Posts Tagged ‘Creede Co’

The 4UR Ranch’s Reputation in the Early 20th Century

November 7th, 2017 by 4ur ranch

Anglers Fish the Rio Grande in the Early 20th Century


     The 4UR Ranch has a reputation of being an excellent destination for anglers looking to test the waters of Goose Creek. It also offers a luxurious experience to its guest looking to take advantage of the natural hot springs situated on the property. Furthermore it provides the highest quality meals thanks to its elite kitchen staff. Finally, its landscape provides boundless adventures and views around mountains through horseback rides, hikes and mountain biking. However, was it always this way?

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Let the Ranch Vacations Resume!

July 14th, 2013 by Katie Pate

After some serious hand-wringing and worrying, we are so happy to announce that the 4UR Ranch will be re-opening for the 2013 season on July 20th!

We were incredibly lucky to have avoided the wildfires – the ranch lands and buildings are completely unharmed. Once again, the 4UR is a hub of activity! Nearly all of our staff has returned and as of now we are back on the job, getting the ranch prepared for guests next week.

With clear blue Colorado skies above us, we are so thankful for being spared. We are also so thankful for all of your thoughts, prayers, and concerns, not only for the 4UR itself, but for those of us who work here and live here. The Leavell Family has especially been touched by all the emails and Facebook notes they have received.

We are excited to once again start welcoming guests to the 4UR. Forest Service has approved horseback riding and all fishing stations will be open. No fire damage can be seen on the property and there has been no smoke in the area for several days. The ranch compound looks great; Frances was able to save about 90% of the flowers. We thank you for your patience and we are looking forward to seeing many of you soon!

We want to extend a special thank you to all of the brave firemen and women that came to Colorado and stayed in Colorado through this disaster. These brave folks are truly first responders that deserve a standing ovation and all of our respect.

The residents of Creede did just that during their Forth of July parade. Check out the photos of the 4UR Ranch posse in the parade below.



Update on the West Fork Wildfires in Southwest Colorado

June 26th, 2013 by Katie Pate

Unfortunately, the 4UR Ranch had to be evacuated last week because of concerns over the approaching wildfires in our corner of beautiful Southern Colorado. At this point, the ranch and all residents (including those with four legs) are safe. We wanted to let all of you know about what has happened in the last week.

June 20 – A call came down from the Forest Service that we needed to evacuate the ranch. We asked our guests to gather their things and leave as soon as possible. We were able to get the horses to a neighboring pasture, and after gathering some things from the office and ranch housing, our staff made their way to the Christensen’s home in the San Luis Valley.

Smoke makes the air hazy around mine hill, facing Southeast. Photo by Joni Adelman.

Smoke makes the air hazy around mine hill, facing Southeast. Photo by Joni Adelman.

Aaron, Robin & Kathy, and the entire staff had an evacuation plan in place they were able to implement within two hours. 50 guests, 50 horses, 32 staff, seven vehicles loaded with art, archives, computers and sculptures along with three pigs, two goats, and five dogs are all safe. Kudos to our guests, our neighbors, and our friends for their offers of help.

June 21 – Highway 149 between South Fork and Creede closed at 9:00 a.m. South Fork has been evacuated. At this point, the ranch is just getting smoke and the staff and animals are all safe. We are thankful.

June 23 – The 4UR is unharmed. There was a meeting in South Fork at 10:00 a.m. and the highway was open this morning until 11:a.m. Report from the meeting: “Close to 70,000 acres burned. Weather will make [the fires] worse for the next 2 days. Smoke will be worse.”
Aaron and Chef Wray tried to go to the ranch for some supplies but were turned away. Predictions are that the fire will come out at Elk Creek. That is approx. 2-2 1/2 miles up the road from South Fork toward Creede.

June 24 -Kathy was allowed to go into the ranch with a deputy escort. At that time, there was no wind and everything was fine at the 4UR. A team of fireman were at the gate, preparing to go up to Humphrey’s ranch to secure it (the property above ours, where upper  Goose Creek flows from). Afterward, then they were going to move down to 4UR and keep an eye on things there. There has been some road traffic between South Fork & Creede. The Creede locals and merchants are keeping a stiff upper lip. One person said, “If we can make it in January, we can make it through a fire in June.” A sign on another store said, “We’re staying open!” And to show you the real mettle of Creede, Bingo is on tonight as usual.

Southwest Colorado Fire & 4UR Ranch FAQs

What if I have booked a trip to 4UR Ranch this summer?  ~  We are asking incoming guests to “sit tight” – we will be in touch with you soon. Expect a call from Robin to address your reservation.

What has happened to the horses and other livestock?  ~  All of our horses were moved within 2 hours to a pasture on the river half way through town. They are safe and enjoying their new and spacious pasture.

Who is protecting the ranch? How can I help?  ~  Some of the Creede Firemen protecting 4UR include Kathy’s husband and son, Jimmy and Casey. They are both fire fighters. Her son Cody is also helping, he is an EMT.  Karl Kolisch, husband of Francis, who provides fresh flowers for the ranch, is also on the line there, as well as Jessie Albright of the Rincon Realty family in town. We just can’t thank them enough, Kathy and Francis included, for the incredible job they’re doing. Many of you have asked if you could help support the efforts of our firefighters here in Creede. Donations may be sent to the following address and the funds will be distributed accordingly. The community thanks you for your concerns.

Mineral County Fire Protection District
PO Box 298
Creede, CO 81130

While We Wait for the Smoke to Clear…

Here are some pictures from the great kid’s week we had June 8-15.


Hay Rides

Hay Rides

Kids Rodeo Champs

Kids Rodeo Champs

Little Buck-a-roo

Little Buck-a-roo

Camp songs

Camp songs

4UR Ranch: A Rugged Colorado Vacation Destination

December 29th, 2012 by Katie Pate

The 4UR Ranch is not just some pony corral off the highway. Our property is deep inside the Rio Grande National Forest, at almost 9000 ft. altitude. We are surrounded on all sides by unspoiled natural beauty that has barley felt the impact of man. Although the area was well known for mining at one point in history, the industry did not significantly alter or destroy the landscape. It is still breath-taking.

The closest town, Creede, is seven miles away and is little more than a mining ghost town that has re-invented itself as a summer arts tourist destination. The year-round population is about 400 souls. Next closest town is South Fork, which is 14 miles away with a population of 600. We are off the beaten path and we like it that way! Because of our location, we can provide quiet and serene luxury guest ranch vacations with stunning wilderness surrounding us. This remote location also provides us with some of the best fly fishing in Colorado, as our waters are one of only a few entirely private tailwater trout streams in the American West.

All of these conditions make for a little piece of heaven during the summer months, but during the winter, the weather can be extreme. Just a few days ago, the temperature at the ranch was -24 degrees. That’s right, it’s been cold and wet as the snow blankets everything in it’s landscape- changing pristine whiteness.

guest ranch in Colorado

Our guest ranch is a winter wonderland!

Wanna Stay in Touch with 4UR Guest Ranch?

We invite you to like 4UR Ranch on Facebook. We post pictures and news from the ranch year – round. We also find it’s a great way to stay in touch with our former guests and staff. They share stories and pictures from their summers here and everyone enjoys reminiscing!

Creede CO Wins Governor’s Arts Award

March 25th, 2010 by 4ur admin

Yee-haw for Creede! We have always known how special the little community is just outside of our Guest Ranch, and we are honored that the state has acknowledged all the creative energy here. Creede, along with Telluride, were honored at a ceremony at the Denver Art Museum on Friday, February 26, as part of Arts Advocacy Day. The Governor’s Arts Award distinguishes a Colorado town or city for their combined efforts to improve community and grow economically through strategic use of the arts.

Governor Ritter joined the Mayor of Creede Rex Shepperd and the Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser for the awards ceremony, which were original artworks by artist Gayle Gerson of Grand Junction.

A notable statement from Governor Ritter: “Not only are the arts a way to share our heritage and show us new ways of thinking and seeing, the arts are also a way to grow jobs and revitalize Colorado’s economy. It gives me great pleasure to honor these two communities.” There is usually only one winner, but this year it was a tie. There were thirteen other nominees.

According to the press release from the Governor’s Office:

In selecting Creede as a recipient, the review panel cited the town’s transformation from a dying mining town to a thriving tourism destination, with the arts as the catalyst. The panel was impressed with the vision of the town’s Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1966 to recruit a summer theatre as a strategy for economic stability. The Creede Repertory Theatre is now in its 44th year and attracts 20,000 theatre goers each summer. The panel noted that the Town, the school system, and the business district are active partners with the town’s arts groups. They were also impressed that Creede is home to artists and authors with international acclaim.

The awards were two original mixed media collages by artist Gayle Gerson of Grand Junction. The artworks will hang in public locations in the respective cities. In commissioning Gayle, the selection jury noted the spirit and energy in Gayle’s work, her use of bright colors, and the movement and depth that she created in her compositions. Also, they liked her use of mixed media/collage elements and thought her work was unusual and original. Gayle has studied under the guidance of many artists in watercolor, oil and experimental workshops.

Congratulations to Creede! We hope that you will come and visit us this summer for a horseback riding vacation, and enjoy the theater, galleries, shopping and art in Creede.

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Shopping in Creede – the Creede Beadery

February 22nd, 2010 by 4ur admin

Our wonderful Damon Gibbons is usually donning some pretty neat jewelry. I know what you’re thinking, “Cowboys wear jewelry?”. Welcome to the 21st century people. Yes, cowboys wear jewelry and Dude Ranches serve 3 gourmet meals a day. At least that’s how things go around here! Part of the motivation for his adornments is that his lovely wife Kiera is the owner of the Creede Beadery. She has some very elegant designs; families have a great time in the summer taking a break from riding and swimming to create some lovely bracelets, necklaces and even earrings to commemorate their rocky mountain vacation.

Some history about the shop

One of Keira's creations, the Rosaline

One of Kiera’s designs, the Rosaline

Creede Beadery was originally Lovering’s Bead Loft, which opened above J. Thompson’s Gallery in 2001. It was owned by Jan & John Thompson, and has a great following of bead lovers who come every summer to create great new designs. Jan and John felt the bead business was growing too big for their loft, and Jan wanted to focus more on her passion for pastel drawing, using the loft to teach classes and expand into her own personal studio. On April 23, 2008, the Thompsons sold their beads to Damon & Kiera Gibbons, who in turn have moved the Location up the street to Pappy’s Place; a great historic building offering a wonderful studio space for patrons to use, and continue to create their fine pieces.

She also sells pre-made pieces, and you can even reserve the beadery for a party! Can you imagine how fun that would be? I know it can be hard to pull yourself away from the ranch, but historic Creede is worth a visit, as is the fabulous beadery here in town.

Adult Only Dude Ranch Weeks

January 27th, 2010 by 4ur admin

What can you look forward to when you plan a dude ranch vacation during one of 4UR’s adult only weeks? Well, if it were my vacation, this is what the day would go like:

Sleep in. No kids jumping on the bed, leisurely drinking coffee and wandering up to breakfast. Most difficult decision of the day so far: eggs or granola and yogurt?
Finish breakfast almost in time for lunch. Head to the pool for a swim and some sunning. Read a book, drink a Corona, and catch a nap even.

Catch a big one during Adult only weeks at 4UR

Get ready for steak ride. One of my favorite rides at 4UR guest ranch, this would be even more of a hoot as an adults-only affair, I can imagine! A nice ride up the valley to a perfect spot for a cook-out dinner with cold beers, tasty wine and fine cocktails. I remember this night as being a very special one during a horseback riding vacation for families – songs around the campfire after dinner, all that jazz. But I can imagine how it would turn into a party during adults only weekend!

4UR ranch is always a peaceful place, but it takes on a whole new level of serene when it’s just us grownups. If you happen to have a grandparent or friend available for babysitting the weeks of Aug. 21 or Aug. 28, come out and relax with us in style.

Creede CO Architecture

October 15th, 2009 by 4ur admin

We are constantly amazed with what is happening in our little map dot of Creede Colorado. Not only do we have one of the best Repertory Theaters in the Nation, but there is also a unique movement in architecture and sustainable living in Creede. Called “Creede America”, a team of architects has planned a green community that represents the first time the City of Creede has ever grown. They want to add something new and unique to Creede while “safeguarding the integrity, uniqueness and character” of our little mining town.

A beautiful interior shot of one of the homes

A beautiful interior shot of one of the homes

The homes are mostly smaller, which makes them easier to keep warm in the winter, as well as cuts down on cleaning! Creede America uses a geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool houses with solar energy collected in the ground.

The houses’ designs are lovely. The funky old shacks and miners cabins in Creede as well as the extraordinary mining structures (like the one on our Family Dude Ranch) are a major source of inspiration for the designs. The thing that makes the homes unique is the evolution in design that brings a modern day lens to the cabin in the mountains.
If you have the chance to visit the Creede America homes while staying at the Guest Ranch, we would highly recommend it. Ask one of us, we can tell you where to find them in town.


Summer Dude Ranch Vacations

August 3rd, 2009 by 4ur admin

When summer finally arrives after the long winter here in Creede Colorado, we start gearing up for these few perfect months. We hire about 35 young folks to come and work the ranch for the summer. As far as I can tell, they all love it here almost as much as our guests! Some of our staffers have been coming to 4UR for the summer for 5 or 6 years straight.

Mesa Plateau at 4UR Ranch

Mesa Plateau at 4UR Ranch

They help us with all different aspects of the ranch, from basic maintenance to our fabulous dude ranch kids program. We treat them like members of the 4UR ranch family, the same way we do to everyone who comes down our driveway onto this magical place we call home.

One favorite past time for both staff and guests alike are visits into Creede. The little mining village is a short drive from our family dude ranch. This can be a fun change of pace from life at the 4UR for an afternoon. Bring the kids and head to the underground mining museum. Or maybe have a ladies outing; there are a surprising number of quality boutiques and artisan shops in Creede where a piece of jewelery or handcrafted artwork is bound to catch your eye.

Our staff is knowledgeable about the surrounding area’s attractions and must-see locations. So if you can manage to pull yourself away from the ranch for a day, there are really breath-taking locations all around our area of Southern Colorado. We want to make sure your family ranch vacation is a full as you want it to be: schedule an event for every day, or stay by the pool as others in you clan rush to Goose Creek for fly fishing or off to the stables for a ride. It is up to you: let 4UR ranch be exactly as much as you need.