Posts Tagged ‘rio grande’

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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The Ultimate Fly Fishing Vacation

April 11th, 2012 by Gail

We strive to create the ultimate fly fishing vacation here at 4UR Colorado Guest Ranch.

Creede Colorado Fly Fishing and Dude Ranch

Goose Creek makes it easy. One of the only entirely private tailwater trout streams in the country, Goose Creek runs swift and clear. It starts at the southern edge of the 4UR property as a small waterfall below Lake Humphreys dam. As it flows north it gently twists and turns, resting now and again in deep pools until it joins the Rio Grande.

Fly fishing on Goose Creek.

It’s a remarkable experience to stand in waders, playing with the line, catching fish. And catch fish we do, every day, at every station. Some stations are nestled in steep, alpine canyons. Other sections of the river run through wide, open pastures.

Every angler learns where he or she will fish the night before, when Aaron Christensen escorts a shake bottle from table to table after dinner. The lottery winner gets first pick of station, followed by other anglers until the lowest lottery draw selects. In the afternoon, the order is reversed. All stations are good, however, for the fish swim past them all. Colorado Family Guest Ranch offers superlative fishing.

Guests may hire one of our dedicated fishing guides, or fish their stretch alone. It’s as you like it, here at 4UR Colorado Guest Ranch. And that’s how we like it.

Late Winter at 4UR

March 14th, 2012 by Gail

This blog was written by one of our guests, Kent Winchester. He recently the area around 4UR and took some great photographs. Thank you, Kent, for sharing them with us.

Winter 4UR Family Guest Ranch.

“I left springtime last week and drove north, up into winter at 4UR, Creede, and Slumgullion Pass. That’s one of the nice things about living in the American Southwest: If you don’t like the current season, all you have to do is get in your car and drive for half a day and a few thousand vertical feet and you’re in a different season. Go up and it’s is winter in the Rockies, go down and it’s already summer on the Chihuahua desert.

Winter scene at 4UR Colorado Family Guest Ranch.

There are reasons why 4UR isn’t open in the winter. They measure snowfall there in feet instead of inches, and temperatures occasionally drop to 60 degrees below freezing. That’s why bluebirds and most humans don’t winter at 4UR. High mountains aren’t gentle places in winter and the margin for error is smaller. For instance, you drive slower – even though the Colorado road department does a superb job of keeping the roads clear – because you know that the deer and elk have come down from the high country and cross highways without a second thought. A winter traveler is always conscious of their unseen presence, back in the trees. On the way back to South Fork after dinner at Kip’s Diner in Creede – an open-faced elk burger drowning in green chile – I made some nighttime photographs along the road. Until I got home and developed one of the photos, I was unaware of two deer watching me from the deep shadows. The next day I stopped before going into 4UR and waited for a herd of elk to cross the road just south of the bridge over the Rio Grande.

Speaking of the Rio Grande, it’s frozen. Solid. Here is a photo proving it. That’s a full grown female elk crossing.

Elk crossing Rio Grande near Colorado Guest Ranch.

And here is Number 4 on Goose Creek on an early March Day.

Winter at Colorado Family Dude Ranch.

It feels a bit lonely, driving west from South Fork knowing 4UR is closed, like driving by a childhood home that is no longer yours. There is nothing wrong with the accommodations in South Fork, but when I make this drive, I want it to end with a hug from Robin, a handshake with Aaron, and a warm, cozy room, with the hope of trout rising. I took comfort from the knowledge that soon the bluebirds will be back, followed by those of us who winter in softer lands.

Winter at Colorado Fly Fishing Ranch

From the top of Slumgullion (11,530 feet above sea level) I photographed and watched, for a time, a late winter storm moving in and then I headed home, back to springtime. It was 66 degrees when I returned that afternoon. I had lost 6500 feet and gained 65 degrees. It had been one degree above zero on the Big River at dawn.”

Kent Winchester

Dream of Swift Waters and Big Fish

January 4th, 2012 by Gail

For the avid anglers out there, we invite you to dream of swift waters and big fish.

Spend a week at 4UR, and let your dreams come true.

That’s what you’ll find at our Colorado Vacation Ranch. Our fishing waters include miles of private tailwater trout streams (Goose Creek), the Rio Grande River, wilderness lakes and trophy ponds. You can stand in different water every day, surrounded by the incomparable beauty of the Southern Colorado Rockies. For many an angler, a week spent at 4UR is a dream come true.

Our fishing guides are patient and extremely knowledgeable. They’ll help you as much as you like. Novices, rusty anglers, and children may start with casting lessons on the lawn; you may spend one or several mornings or afternoons with a guide on your own stretch of water. If you know what you’re doing and crave solitude, they’ll get you started and leave you be.

Most of the fish in our waters wild. They were born in these waters. You’ll find rainbow, cutthroat, browns, cutbows, and brook trout. Guests frequently catch 16 to 18 inch fish–a satisfying experiencing indeed.

Some of us are passionate about our work. Some of us are passionate about the arts. Some of us are passionate about fly fishing. We spend the winter months tying flies, remembering the best moments of last season, and anticipating great moments to come. If this describes you, contact our Colorado Vacation Ranch soon.

Rafting on the Rio Grande

October 23rd, 2010 by 4ur admin

Most guests of our Colorado Vacation Ranch come here to fish the Rio Grande River or Goose Creek. Those who do enjoy some of the finest fishing conditions in southwest Colorado. Fishing is certainly our favorite activity on the water, but we have to admit that rafting is also fun.

June is the best time of the year for white water rafting on the Rio Grande, thanks to the spring run off. Rides can be downright thrilling. At other times of the year, rafting is often a quiet and calm experience. It’s a wonderful way to take it a broad swath of the Rio Grande National Forest. If you’re planning a trip to 4UR next summer, consider devoting a few hours to rafting the Rio Grande. It can be a delightful addition to your ranching holiday.

There are several rafting outfitters in South Fork, about 10 miles from our Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation. Guided trips and individual boat rentals are available.

The Rio Grande Valley

Photo of the Rio Grande Valley from

Trout Angling in Southern Colorado

June 8th, 2010 by 4ur admin

4UR Ranch is now open to the public, and we are looking forward to get anglers of all skill levels back into beautiful Goose Creek. One of the more traditional aspects of a Dude Ranch vacation at 4UR Ranch is fishing on the creek. Before we were “duding”, Wagon Wheel Gap, where the ranch sits, had attracted past generations with exceptional fishing and natural hot springs. Goose Creek flows into the Rio Grande, and makes it’s way down towards Mexico, but before it reaches the Rio, it is some of America’s only private tailwaters, meaning the the water only passes through one piece of private property before it reaches the guest ranch.

We are currently in the middle of a kids stay free week at 4UR. It has been fun to see fathers and their children bond over the activity of fishing. It happens every year, and has been as long as humans have known to take from the bounty of the sea and stream. Imagine throwing dry flies to the big wild Browns and Rainbows in Goose Creek, or exploring the pristine high mountain stream for big Cutthroats. Come and start your next adventure! We use a lottery system that makes sure that each angler gets to pick a private station on the creek. You end up with solitude, peacefulness and a great chance to catch exciting fish. Of course this is also part of a fabulous horseback riding vacation that you will be able to partake in.

Getting Closer to Dude Ranch Vacations…

April 2nd, 2010 by 4ur admin

As the Spring Thaw begins to hit Goose Creek, we look forward to warm summer days and cool summer nights at the Guest Ranch. The Rio Grande and Goose Creek’s icy exteriors are starting to loosen up. Soon those chilly, clean waters will be home to the big bright trout that make fly fishing vacations at 4UR Ranch so unique. Yesterday there were elk crossing on Walton Pond — they won’t be able to do that much longer or they will be getting an early spring bath! Soon the birds will be back, bluebirds, humming birds, all sorts, adding to the brightness of Spring in Southern Colorado.

Dude Ranch Vacations

We look forward to welcoming you!

We’ll keep you updated on all the seasonal changes around our Rocky Mountain vacation spot as the sun banishes Winter!

What makes us a Colorado Luxury Dude Ranch?

March 4th, 2010 by 4ur admin

There are dude ranches, and then there are luxury dude ranches. That’s 4UR. We are way beyond your basic BBQ & beds setup. Here are some of the small details and big amenities that make 4UR ranch more than your average guest ranch.

Dining: We recruited our chef, Wray Warner, from the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole. Some of his specialties include unique home-made ice creams, and ambitious pasta, beef and fish dinner entrees. One of my favorites is a mushroom pasta that has been prepared to allow the delicate flavors of the fungi to come out.

It’s not just about dinner, breakfast and lunch are stunning as well. I love to start breakfast with the home-made granola and yogurt, along with hot, strong coffee. We also serve unique cook-to-order breakfast dishes. Breakfast is a very personalized meal, and we want you to feel right at home.

Even lunch is a special affair, esp. on Wednesdays when we hold our Mexican luncheon poolside. We have fajitas, chips, guacamole, cold Coronas and margaritas. Box lunches are also available to take out for your fly fishing trip.

Bathing: We have great “watering holes” – literally! Our pool is large and refreshing; there is plenty of deck space for lounging or playing games with family. We have tables if you want to sit in the shade umbrellas and have a cold drink or a snack. The pool is the place to be, if you ask me!
The hot springs are what Wagon Wheel Gap was originally famous for. In the early 1900s, General William Palmer founded the Wagon Wheel Gap Hot Springs Resort. The Hot Springs were thought to have medicinal qualities; we still have the historic bath house on property. You can still enjoy the Hot Springs, they are just adjacent to the pool and may still have the power to cure what ails you.
The sauna is here for you to enjoy as well – it is also in the pool area, and next to it is our massage parlor. This is relaxation central, and something that makes 4UR quite luxurious.

colorado fly fishing

Catch a beauty in our "Private Tailwaters"

Fly Fishing Vacation: Our fly fishing is renowned as spectacular. We divide our pristine Goose Creek into 15 “stations”, each a 1/3 mile, which are assigned by lottery in the evening. This system keeps everything fair, and assures each fisher-person prime waters at a prime time nearly every day.

Along with Goose Creek, there are four stations on the Rio Grande and one in the Weminuche Wilderness. You may also take a guided fishing trip above timberline to Lost Lakes for rare Rio Grande cutts, or fish Station 21, a trophy pond in the ranch valley. All waters are catch and release fly fishing only, except for Walton Pond, which is a great place to start practicing with your little angler.

Goose Creek’s drainage is quite unique. Flowing from the Weminuche Wilderness, it passes through only two private properties before reaching the Rio Grande; the 4UR Ranch and our neighbors upstream. Our neighbor’s reservoir feeds the creek from its cool waters via an 80-foot dam, making this creek one of only a handful of private tailwaters in America. Andy Lee and Aaron Christenson have spent their years with us managing the stream rigorously. This, along with our catch and release practices make for some surprisingly big, well-colored trout. Look forward to seeing rainbows, browns, snake river cutts, cutt-bow hybrids and even brookies.

As you can see, 4UR Ranch is more than boots and dusty arenas – come here for something completely unique.

Colorado Fly Fishing Vacation

July 9th, 2009 by 4ur admin

The mouth of the Rio Grande river originates in the mountains neighboring 4UR Ranch. Our private creek, Goose Creek, feeds into this mighty river at the end of our little valley.
For many, many years, the Valley that has recently facilitated horseback riding vacations for families, was known solely for it’s amazing fly fishing conditions. Goose Creek is quite unique; flowing from the Weminuche Wilderness, it passes through only two pieces of private property before reaching the Rio Grande: the 4UR Ranch and our neighbors upstream. On the neighboring property, a reservoir feeds the creek from the cool and pure waters at the bottom of their 80-foot dam. This makes Goose Creek one of only a few “private tailwaters” in America. We are very proud of how well we maintain our stream. Our ranch manager Aaron Christensen and head guide Andy Lee have taken great care to maintain the integrity of the stream through careful stewardship. Water temperature, flow, fish size and algae growth are some of the things that these two men monitor. Years of rigorous catch and release practices make for some surprisingly big, well-colored trout.

Horses in the Valley at 4UR Ranch

Horses in the Valley at 4UR Ranch

We have a very fun and fair lottery each night to determine who will fish where on the stream and when. We have broken up our approx. 7 miles of stream into 15 stations, each about 1/3 mile. Through our lottery system, each angler gets privacy and fresh water for himself, every day.

We want your Rocky Mountain vacation here at 4UR to be memorable for everyone in the family, not just Dad and his fishing rod. Sometimes Dad can drag out his teenage daughter for a few casts, and sometimes a teenage son is excited to learn about fly fishing. But even if fly fishing is not your primary interest, the 4UR ranch will keep you pleasantly occupied. How about a dip in the pool? Or maybe a soak in our natural hot springs, which have been drawing visitors since the early 1800’s. We have miles of trails to explore, trapshooting and lots of room to just let your mind unwind.

Welcome to 4UR ranch. Whether your here for big fish or big relaxation, you’ll catch it here.