Archive for the ‘Dude Ranch News’ Category

Season: Summer to Fall at the 4UR Ranch

September 24th, 2015 by 4ur ranch

guest ranch patio is lit by evening sun in foreground as parents wave to children passing by on hay wagon in background

Guests see children off from the new deck as they continue on to the last hayride and kid’s cookout of the season.

close up of top of a citronella candle with fire pit burning in background

The new patio features a large fire pit, great for enjoying an evening cocktail or early morning cup of coffee.

The 4UR Ranch has had an amazing summer season, and we’re all looking forward to a fantastic fall! As I write this blog, I can hear laughter through my open windows as the final week of our Children’s Program is winding down and the kids are enjoying their last “hurrahs” before heading back to school. The summer season has been busy, and it almost seems impossible that it could be  ending as quickly as it came upon us. It was a season packed with new experiences and friendships as many of our guests took advantage our  Hiking Program , and an evening cocktail on the new deck area located just off of Maude’s Bar (a favorite).

group sit on open deck with wine and blazing fire pit

Group of artists enjoy an evening sunset and cocktail before dinner.

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Office Space at the 4UR Ranch

May 4th, 2015 by 4ur ranch

The 4UR Ranch has spent this past winter/early spring remodeling the offices and reception area in our Main Lodge. This week, Kathy, Robin and Aaron are finally moving in. There are boxes with miscellaneous computer cords and office supplies occupying counter tops and filing cabinets in the entrance, but our Managers have a smile on their faces as they move into the new space.

looking through doorway into new office space of fly fishing guest ranch

A Breath of Fresh Air

New cabinetry, new windows, and a reception counter with an art wall are just a few of the improvements.

Kathy is looking forward to having an area that is more conducive to the daily dealings of managing the behind the scenes operations, as well as still having accessibility with the guests. Before, Kathy’s office was a long rectangle with an oversized, bulky desk. Now her square shaped, streamlined office makes it easy to access what she needs at an arm’s length in any direction!

office manager looks up from paperwork and computer to smile

Kathy enjoying her new space

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Big Red’s Legacy at the 4UR Ranch

February 21st, 2015 by 4ur ranch

This winter at the 4UR, we had to say goodbye to our old faithful feed truck, Big Red. Although he will be missed, his replacement, Big Red II has proven the “new guy” is ready to face any given task with ease and muscle.

head wrangler hugs old feed truck with mountain pallisades in background

Damon Hugging Ol’ Big Red after Feeding Horses


Winter is vehicle maintenance time at the 4UR Ranch. Our whole fleet gets a full tune up and is readied for the busy summer season. We realized Ol’ Big Red wasn’t going to make it through the upcoming Guest season, being that you had to hold your breath to get him started (due to a stripped fly wheel), and he started to burn oil. It was time for retirement. Damon had a bitter hard time letting go, as Big Red has been a part of his whole ranch history.

The Ranch bought Big Red, a 1985 GMC pickup, in the late 1990’s, and outfitted him with a flatbed. In the early years, the truck was the only vehicle to haul trailers, hay, and functioned mostly as the ranch hands’ work truck.  It was the only standard transmission on the ranch, and taught many  young employees how to drive a “stick shift” on the way to fish fry.

pregnant woman drives loaded red hay truck to horses in snow men throw hay bales to horses off old red feed truck three men in 1985 GMC truck smile as they feed horses on colorado ranch head wrangler hugs old feed truck with mountain pallisades in background old 1985 GMC feed truck travels down ranch road full of hay fish fry next to colorado mountain creek on fly fishing guest ranch

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4UR Ranch Remodels This Winter

December 22nd, 2014 by 4ur ranch

This winter, the 4UR Ranch is remodeling and building to continue to bring you excellent service.

All remodels and construction are the combined efforts of Creede America and Vineyard Construction.

Main Lodge Remodel

When you arrive at the Ranch this summer, you will notice the first remodel as you arrive and check in. We have expanded our reception area and rearranged our offices to better serve your needs during your stay.  The result is a more open, friendly atmosphere to greet you, while still keeping the same 4UR charm.
Maude’s bar will have a new, larger deck with more outside seating, and a fire pit to enjoy the cool Colorado nights while having an after dinner cocktail with friends.

bead bord and wood walls with large open reception area at colorado guest ranch

New Reception Area (as you walk in front door of Lodge)

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RIGHT Photography Workshop at the 4UR Ranch

November 11th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Last month, the 4UR Ranch hosted a photography class sponsored by the  Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT). It was taught by Mike Blakeman, an accomplished photographer who has been donating his time and contributing his expertise to RIGHT for several years.

What is RiGHT?

RiGHT was founded in 1999. It is a non-profit organization that works with private landowners, public agencies, and other conservation organizations to preserve the natural beauty and wildlife habitat of the area and to promote a sustainable agricultural lifestyle. RiGHT’s goals are to protect and support working ranches and farms, water resources, wildlife habitat, scenic landscapes, and inspire a culture of conservation in the San Luis Valley.

The 4UR Ranch strongly supports the values of this organization and is just one of the many conservation easements held by RiGHT throughout the San Luis Valley.

The Photography Workshop

When we were approached to host this photography workshop, it was with much joy that we accepted. The workshop gave many budding (and seasoned) artists and photographers a chance to visit the 4UR Ranch and experience the natural fall beauty of the Goose Creek Valley. One of our own crew was able to join in on the workshop, and rediscovered an appreciation for the gorgeous landscape we work in every day.

man speaks to photography workshop and showcases sample photography

Accomplished Photographer Mike Blakeman instructs group before sending them out to shoot

woman with camera takes picture of creek on fly fishing guest ranch

A photographer looks for the perfect shot of Goose Creek

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Hay Harvesting Season at the 4UR Ranch

September 16th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Red tractor sits in hayfield with colorado mountains in backgroundHay season is in full swing at the 4UR.  We love this time of year – the sunlight seems a little more golden, there is a hint of fall in the leaves, and the air is a little crisper.  A few weeks ago, there was a taint of sadness with many staff returning to college and children back in school, and then hay season came upon us!

We look forward to the harvest. Beside the excellent fishing conditions the stream provides in September, the guests are getting some prime photo opportunities as they drive along Goose Creek Road. The staff enjoy helping with picking up bales from the freshly cut fields and stacking them in the barn. The sense of togetherness, pushing as a team to get a very hard job done, and seeing substantial progress made is very rewarding. It’s no easy task, as bales can weigh up to sixty pounds and some days require picking up and stacking over seven hundred in a day!

new holland tractor with attached baler sits among baled hay in ranch fieldpicking up hay in colorado guest ranch pastureOur hay meadows are filled with many types of grasses and forbs, our favorite composition being clover and timothy, clover being high in protein, and timothy is a good source of calcium and phosphorous. A good broadleaf or legume (such as clover) intermixed with grass captures the sunlight most efficiently while fixing nitrogen in the soil. Properly managing the grazing of our pastures, along with the timing of irrigation and using only natural fertilizer left behind by the horses, produces healthy plants. The hay is used to feed our herd of fifty horses throughout the winter and into spring. We are very lucky to be able to provide our own hay for our herd, and to have pasture for them to graze on all summer.

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4UR Garden Update

July 30th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

row of harvested vcarrots golden beets and striped beets

We wanted to give you an update on the progress of our 4UR garden!

Each day on my walk to the lodge, I walk past the garden and am amazed at the noticeable progression of the plants and herbs growing along the south side of the old bathhouse. Every morning, evening and many times throughout the day, I witness chef Wray Warner riding his bike from the lodge to the garden to make sure the temperature is right, soil is moist, plants are happy. (Yes, he has admitted that he talks to his tomatoes, and I can tell you, the encouragement has produced many little red gems!) This has truly become a project of love for our chef, and the fruit of the labor is incredibly tasty!

tomato plants reach to over five feet inside ranch greenhouse

tomatoes grow to great heights inside our greenhouse

a zucchini blossom in the 4UR garden, next to yellow squash

a zucchini blossom in the 4UR garden, next to yellow squash

a raised bed full of cauliflower, arugula, kale, chard, spinach, and many salad and micro greens

a raised bed full of cauliflower, arugula, kale, chard, spinach, and many salad and micro greens









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The Hatch On the Stream

July 11th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

The summertime buzz around the 4UR Ranch has been the incredible hatch of various flies we are experiencing along Goose Creek and the Rio Grande River. To give you just a glimpse of the incredible fishing we have had due to these little guys, we’ll introduce you to a few that have been out in full force in late June/early July:


a salmonfly crawls up a willow branch on fly fishing guest ranchSalmonfly

It started in mid-June with the hatch of stonefly known as the Salmonfly. Western anglers love salmonflies because of their larger size – every fish in the river will go for this big source of protein. It is the biggest hatch, as far as the size of the bug, you will see all summer. Adults arrive at the onset of summer, when fishing is most pleasant. The Salmon nymphs hatch from the Rio Grande River and then fly up river to lay eggs. This year, many have found their way up Goose Creek, and have been seen as far as station ten.

green drake mayfly spreads its wings on a half bitten leaf




Green Drake

A type of mayfly, the Green Drake (Ephemera guttulata) is currently a bountiful hatch along Goose Creek. This hatch has the ability to lure huge piscivorous brown trout to eat insects at the water’s surface. It is said that the Green Drake hatch “is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women.” – Caucci and Nastasi from their book, Hatches II.

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Palmer House Remodel

June 9th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

palmer house tv area with original fireplacePalmer House, a historic building at the 4UR Ranch, has a new look! The remodel of the building, taken on by Avery Auger of Creede America, started late winter/early spring.  When walking into Palmer House, you will now experience a light, open and airy feel. The building still has a lot of the same beautiful historic qualities that were there before, such as the rock chimney and fireplace, bead board and lofted ceilings, but now they are enhanced and highlighted.

Avery Auger of Creede America  put his wisdom into the start of this project, and worked closely with the Ranch, keeping with the ‘feel’ of the historic buildings populating the grounds. Avery strives to do just this in all his design work throughout Creede, grabbing inspiration from the historic “funky old shacks” and miner cabins, as well as the mining structures themselves. Avery is able to capture the uniqueness of these structures and use an evolution in design to bring a modern day beauty, comfort and touch to his architecture.

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Stephen Quiller Painting Workshops at the 4UR

May 28th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

We are very fortunate to have Stephen Quiller painting at the 4UR Ranch during two workshops this season!

close facial portrait of Stephen Quiller in a hat


Because . . .

Stephen Quiller is an award – winning, internationally recognized Master Watercolorist with an incredible gift for teaching.

And . . .

The 4UR Ranch is a living work of art, inviting the artist to capture its beauty with every turn of the head.

We think . . .

Together they are a perfect combination for a week – long Artist’s Workshop alongside Goose Creek under the Cottonwoods.


Every spring since 2012, we’ve been fortunate to host Stephen’s painting workshops at the 4UR. They have opened our season, just as the Aspens began to leaf out and the wildflowers began to bloom.

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