About Colorado Mountain Ranch
Home of Boulder's Original
Children's Summer Day Camp!
"The Best in All the World"
Also - THE Place for Meaningful Mountain Fun!
Challenge Ropes Course Days, Meetings and Parties, Company Picnics, Weddings, Private Horseback Rides, Mountainboarding
Welcome to The Colorado Mountain Ranch! For over 60 years, The Colorado Mountain Ranch has shared fun, laughter, and good old Western hospitality with countless happy people. Come discover the mountain magic!
Outdoor Adventures ... Located at 8500 feet elevation just above Boulder and near the historic mining town of Gold Hill, The Ranch offers majestic vistas of the Rocky Mountain Front Range in the day and the twinkling lights of Denver by night. The Ranch's 200 acres of wildflower meadows and pine and aspen forests become the perfect mountain setting for Mountain Events May through October. The Ranch is just right for children's summer camps, your outdoor wedding ceremony and indoor reception, company picnics, ropes course challenges for corporate groups, school classes, sports teams and families, as well as private horseback rides and mountainboarding.
The Lodge ... Our rustic turn-of-the century log lodge exudes the ambience and hospitality of the old West. Our friendly staff beautifully presents plentiful and delicious cuisine, from kid-friendly and hearty Western-style to gourmet.
Features ... The Ranch is a songbird sanctuary with an outdoor amphitheatre overlooking Longs Peak, corrals and a barn with gentle Western riding horses, small farm animals to delight the children, gymnastic equipment and trampolines, a campfire ring, a crafts shop and tipi, the challenge ropes course, Frisbee golf course, mountainboarding terrain park, archery range, two nature huts, and four residential dormitory-style cabins. There are many horse and foot trails with magnificent vistas of the snowcapped peaks of the Continental Divide.
History... The members of the Walker Family of The Colorado Mountain Ranch have each been lifetime youth workers, beginning with Coach and Norma Walker, a gym coach and elementary teacher from Texas. They directed residential camps in the hills of Texas and Oklahoma, and at what is now the Y Camp of the Rockies near Estes before establishing their dream as Trojan Ranch in 1947 at today's location in the mountains west of Boulder. Boulder's original Day Camp was added in 1952. Since 1973, second generation Walkers - Gail, Mike and Lynn - have directed the Colorado Mountain Ranch Summer Camp, focusing since 1997 on enhancing the quality of day camps for Boulder youth ages 7-16. The founding principles of the Ranch still hold today as young people build skills and confidence through wholesome outdoor activity and a positive connection with nature, each other, place and Camp community.
Recent History... The Fourmile Fire... On September 6, 2010, the Fourmile wildfire burned about 30 of the Ranch's 160 acres, taking a few buildings and trees and thankfully leaving us the Heart of Camp - the Lodge- and the children's and staff cabins and the Camp Office. By summer, we expect our expanded meadow by the Front Gate to sprout extra green with more wildflowers than ever around our new Barn. The Walkers are familiar with the resilience and tenacity it takes to respond to challenges, knowing first-hand that these provide opportunities for character growth. They have previously rebuilt better and stronger after wind whipped the roof off the Lodge in 1975 and snow load collapsed an old barn a few years later.
The Walker Family... Mike, Lynn, and Gail, the owners and administrators of The Colorado Mountain Ranch, are lifetime youth workers and educators and live and work at the Ranch year-round . Kate, Josie and Rosie Walker are now third generation work team.
Gail is the Executive Office Manager and Director as well as Health Care Supervisor in Camp. Her smiles are contagious and her band-aids and hugs come easy, whether needed or not. She also works with Boulder Valley Schools during the school season.
Mike manages the Ranch Mountain Facility and the Horses year-round. Other horse people refer to Mike as "the best horseman" they know. One of Mike's special gifts is sharing his horsemanship abilities with the campers. Growing up on the Ranch he's become a fine craftsman, learning how to make things work from materials on hand since a trip to town for supplies compromises money for kids' programs and just about shoots the work day. He can fix anything from electrical to plumbing, construct with wood and metal, and he's no stranger to a shovel.
Lynn was hired by Coach Walker in 1970 as a counselor for the little girls' group, has degrees from CU in Psychology and Sociology, and holds an American Montessori Directress certificate. Today she focuses on CMR Staff, Program Development, Group Dynamics and Camp Bus Driving. She sees conflict resolution as an opportunity to develop understanding and respect.
Kate works with Gail in the office, managing accounting and supplies and also drives camp busses.
Josie (on right) helps Lynn with off-season staff and parent communications and Mike with large equipment operation and general maintenance. During the summer season she is a counselor and manages the Arts and Crafts and Native American Indian Lore programs. Rosie (on left) apprentices with Mike as horse manager and Western riding instructor and also assists in the office.
The Ranch Season ... Mid-May through the first of November. Summer Day Camps June through August.
Directions ... Access is through Boulder. Go west (toward the mountains) on Canyon to 9th. Turn north (right) on 9th to Mapleton. Turn left on Mapleton, which becomes Sunshine Canyon. Go 10 miles (6 miles paved and 4 miles dirt road), then through the town of Gold Hill. The Colorado Mountain Ranch is 3/4 mile west of Gold Hill. (NOTE: Do not use MapQuest, Google Maps or GPS.)