Great Family Adventures: Rainbow Trout Ranch

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Courtesy Rainbow Trout Ranch

HIGHLIGHTS: Where else can you get your kid assigned his own horse for the week? At this rustic dude ranch, surrounded by Colorado’s San Juans, equestrian activities are central, and the animals are remarkably good with kids. But there’s lots more to do, too: Teen trips head to an abandoned gold mine, the Colorado Gator Farm, or Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Also popular: mountain Frisbee golf and an overnight ride. For younger children, there’s hiking, fly-fishing, trapshooting, swimming, crafts, and rec-room games. Though counselors will supervise kids to the extent that parents want their space, families can spend as much time together as they want: Activities can include a day trip to Taos, bird-watching, attending the ranch’s traditional cookouts, and taking horse-drawn hayrides. Once the sun goes down, there’s dancing, live music, and stargazing.

OUTFITTER: Rainbow Trout Ranch, an all-inclusive guest ranch that’s existed since the 1920s.

ITINERARY: Stays mainly at Rainbow Trout Ranch, though day-trip options are abundant.

DATES: Available March through August.

PRICE: For a seven-night stay, per person: $2,300 for adults, $2,200 for ages 12 to 17, $1,900 for ages six to 11, $1,700 for ages three to five, $225 for ages two and younger. Rates include log-cabin accommodations, all meals, and all on-ranch activities such as horseback riding, archery, and whitewater rafting.

INFO:, (800) 633-3397.

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