Aspen Times Weekly: Dude! Where’s my horse? |

Aspen Times Weekly: Dude! Where’s my horse?

by Amiee White Beazley
Horseback riding and archery are among the family-friendly activites at Smith Fork Ranch in Crawford, Colorado.
Amiee White Beazley | Special to the Daily |


This fall, Anderson Ranch Arts Center will host two workshops in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, to coincide with the three-day Día de los Muertos holiday (Halloween, Día los Niños and All Souls’ Day), Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 2015.

Both workshops will visit nearby small communities to experience the authentic Día de los Muertos traditions from an intimate perspective, including preparation of altars in homes and cemeteries. A day trip to the famous colonial city and mining town of Guanajuato, as well as the pre-Hispanic settlement of Cañada de la Virgen pyramid and archaeological zone, also dot the itinerary.

For aspiring and established photographers, Ed Kashi (photojournalist, filmmaker and educator) and Andrea Wallace (Artistic Director of Photography and New Media at Anderson Ranch) will teach a workshop focused on how to create a personal documentary project. Whether a series of street portraits or an exploration of local cuisine and architecture, participants will be encouraged to discover a subject that speaks to a personal passion and document it in a compelling and unique visual style.

For ceramic artists, Holly Hughes (Professor of Painting and Drawing at Rhode Island School of Design) and Doug Casebeer (Associate Director and Artistic Director of Ceramics at Anderson Ranch) will delve into decorating tiles and plates, using Mexican culture and history as starting points.

Tuition is $2,050 and includes all field excursions, welcome and farewell dinners, instruction and studio supplies. Airfare is not included. More information and registration details are available at or by calling Anderson Ranch at (970) 923-3181x215.

By now you may be planning your summer family getaway — and one might think that by living in the mountains we would automatically spend quality time with the kids outdoors, right? Well, sometimes it takes getting into a new place to explore, reboot the family dynamic and reconnect with the great outdoors around us.

To do this, you can still stick close to home and plan a summer trip to one of Colorado’s dude and guest ranches. There are 26 certified ranches in Colorado that offer riding, river rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, star gazing, guided horseback rides, llama pack trips and old fashioned chuckwagon cookouts.

At the Laramie River Ranch in Glendevey —in north-central Colorado, a few miles from the Wyoming border — you can take a long horseback ride and follow it up with a tube down the Laramie river. Guests are dropped off a mile upriver and they float back to the lodge. If the water is cold, the hot tub is just a few feet away from the takeout so you can follow your swim with a hot soak.

At Lagito Ranch in Kremmling near Steamboat, learn about horesemanship and nature. Known for their outstanding education programs, Latigo Ranch offers a number of ways to learn about the horses, local flora and fauna, and more.

Here’s something that I have to see: at Lost Valley Ranch in Sedalia, two hours southwest of Denver, the staff presents and Old Time Melodrama followed by, yes, their famous ice cream social. A step back in time and tradition.

Located on almost a mile of private Gold-Medal Colorado River, the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch, in Wolcott claims to have some of the best Rainbow and German brown trout fishing in Colorado. This year also marks Bar Lazy J’s 100th year in operation.

Do you have a dog? Sundance Trail Ranch, in Red Feather Lakes, northwest of Fort Collins, is the only pet-friendly dude ranch in the state. Pets must meet ranch guidelines listed on their website, but it’s a great opportunity to keep the kids together, so to speak.

Located within the San Isabel National Forest, near Buena Vista, Elk Mountain Ranch is a small ranch that hosts only a maximum of 30 guests per week. It is also located close to some of the best rafting in Colorado. Raft the Arkansas River and experience the scenic canyon landscape with the kids.