Austinites love Colorado. Even if you don’t ski in winter, you might feel like taking a last minute vacation sometime this spring. Through May 1, 2013 you can unwind at Blue Lake Ranch near Durango and receive your choice of a 10% discount or a complimentary upgrade when you stay within one week of booking. Just mention promo code LASTMIN when calling or booking online.
Blue Lake Ranch is a family-run hidden getaway a few miles off the beaten path. More than 200 acres of peaceful, private land provide space for reunions, meetings, or romantic escapes. Casitas, cabins, and cottages at this 16-room bed and breakfast offer accommodations for all kinds of travelers. Other amenities include full breakfast, free parking, outdoor grills, free wi-fi, gift shop, and housekeeping and mail service—and you can book by the day, week or month.
Hiking on nature trails and fishing are popular onsite activities in a setting that includes lakes and mountains. And there are many parks and activities in the area to keep you occupied, such as:
Mesa Verde National Park
Just thirty minutes from the Ranch, Mesa Verde National Park is considered the top Historic Site in the United States. Take a picnic lunch--you can have one made at the Absolute Bakery in Mancos, and plan on spending the day.
The Ute Mountain Tribal Park
Probably the area's best-kept secret, this Ute Mountain Indian owned and operated private park is six times larger than Mesa Verde and contains some incredible archaeology sites-left just as they were found. You must go into the park with an Indian guide, which makes the adventure even more special. The East Entrance to the park is just sixteen miles from the Ranch, and the guides are happy to meet guests there in the morning for a tour that lasts until mid-afternoon. Take a picnic lunch and water.
Crow Canyon Archeological Center
Crow Canyon Archeological Center, the Aztec, Hovenweep, Lowrey, and Salmon Ruins are all less than an hour from the Ranch--and except for the Aztec Ruins, you'll see very few visitors at these splendid sites.
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
This scenic trip is a must for visitors to the Southwest. The little train has been in operation for over 100 years and winds through the San Juan National Forest. Ask for the canyon side of the train, and take the bus up (provided by the train and covered by roundtrip ticket) and the train back. This cuts about two hours off the trip, and the views from the bus are spectacular. 888-872-4607.
High Country Elk Adventure
A fascinating safari-like tour of the Cervid Elk Preserve is just a couple of miles from the ranch. Sight some of the largest elk bulls and families in the west from a secure, open top tour vehicle. 800-409-7295.
Blue Lake, the Ranch's private, small lake, is stocked with trophy rainbow and brook trout (catch and release). There is also fishing in the La Plata River (small holes), and the Ranch is less than an hour from the San Juan and Dolores River. Guides are available.
Information provided by Colorado Tourism Office and Blue Lake Ranch
Located at 16919 Hwy. 140, Durango, Colorado 888-258-3525