4UR Guest Ranch History
The 4UR Ranch has a long history. The property which we now care for has been attracting people for over 100 years. Ranching and tourism are not new to the Upper Rio Grande Valley. Settlers began farming at Wagon Wheel Gap as early as 1840. One of the earliest ranches, the Wason Ranch, was homesteaded in 1871.
By the mid–1870s, tourist activities also began to thrive along the Rio Grande. Guide books talking about the wild and unsettled beauty of the American West. Nearly 15 years before there was a town called Creede, a hotel opened at Wagon Wheel Gap.
The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad began transporting eager tourists into the area as early as 1883 with the opening of the depot at Wagon Wheel Gap. Fishermen would ride the train to a favorite “hole,” disembark to fish for the day, and then catch a ride on a returning train. The Utes’ favored hot springs soon became a popular spa with tourists coming in droves to “take the waters.” Praise for the curative and restorative benefits, both by drinking from the bubbling hot springs as well as bathing in the soothing flow, spread through publications promoted by the railroad. A lavish bathhouse sheltered guests as they luxuriated in the therapeutic springs. (source)
The historic bathhouse still stands at 4UR Dude Ranch as a poignant reminder of those early tourism heydays. We invite you to continue this tradition of enjoying and exploring the beauty of Wagon Wheel Gap, during a true Western Vacation at 4UR Ranch.