Five Guest Ranches for Fall Foliage

When the days are still warm but the nights are cooler, when the leaves on the Aspen trees turn yellow and the maples and oaks turn blends of yellow and orange or red, it’s fun to see it all on horseback. These ranches are open in the fall and several still offer kids’ activities. Because the actual times fall foliage is the best depend upon Mother Nature, it’s best to touch base with the ranches by phone to see when the leaves are turning.

The Ranch at Emerald Valley, Colorado Springs, Colo.

The cabins at The Ranch at Emerald Valley look rustic on the outside, but inside you’ll find all the comforts expected by guests visiting the Forbes Five-Star Broadmoor Resort. The ranch, a short ride up the mountain from The Broadmoor, is located in a pristine mountain setting. Horseback riding on trails through the woods when the Aspen are turning gold is memorable. The cabins are cozy, the meals are gourmet but served in a casual setting, and the staff caters to its guests.

Paws Up Resort

The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Mont.

There is plenty of room to roam on Paws Up, a 37,000-acre ranch in Montana. You could go glamping in a luxury tent (through Oct. 15) or in a luxury home at Paws Up in Montana. The ranch has three-night, fall, all-inclusive packages that include a trail ride, an ATV tour, a Sky Line Aerial Adventure and more. Experienced adult riders could participate on a cattle drive at this working ranch, while the children have a themed excursion in the Paws Up Kids Corps of Discovery.

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Staying at Alisal Ranch you can get on a horse but you don’t have to go riding. This time of year there is no formal program for the kids, so you can turn it into a true “spend the weekend together” getaway. You’ll have to decide among horseback riding, hiking in Saguaro National Park, fishing or mountain biking by colorful oaks and pine trees. The ranch has two golf courses, and baby-sitting can be arranged. You can book accommodations by the night here, and Alisal Ranch is in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country.

Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Ariz.

At this 60,000-acre resort near Tucson, you see dramatic views of the saguaro and prickly pear cacti in the Sonoran Desert while horseback riding. The Kids Camp is active through the fall, and the riding choices ranch from 1.5 hours to all day. You can get all-inclusive packages with riding trails and lessons, nature hikes, fishing and a supervised kids ranch and riding program. Other options, including a BnB package, are available.

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Red Feathers, Colo.

The family weekends in the fall at this guest ranch are designed to give parents and children a place to enjoy each other beyond the trail rides. During the fall, the ranch offers BnB accommodations in the lodge and cabins. It’s located about an hour from Fort Collins and framed by the Rockies.