C Lazy U Ranch wins awards by staying true to its roots | SkyHiNews.com

C Lazy U Ranch wins awards by staying true to its roots

The guest ranch has flourished since the East Troublesome Fire to receive several accolades

C Lazy U Ranch is known for their "jingle," where wranglers lead the horse herd into the barn in the morning, and back out to pasture in the evening, just as cowboys of old did. The sight of over 200 horses trotting in unison together impresses both new guests and long-time employees.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News

Nestled like it is, beside Willow Creek Reservoir, with the Colorado River winding through it and epic views of the Continental Divide in the distance, it’s no wonder C Lazy U captured fourth place in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Top 10 Best Resorts in Colorado.

The magazine asked readers to vote on the top travel experiences around the globe. C Lazy U secured its spot alongside hotels in Vail, Aspen and Snowmass. The ranch has racked up consistent awards since 2018 by remaining true to its humble beginnings 103 years ago.

Guests can ride horseback through meadows with Rocky Mountain vistas, take a cattle-pushing clinic, becoming a wrangler for a day, fish by the river steps from the main lodge, hike, cross-country ski or ice skate depending on the season.

The ranch is geared toward families and offers the oldest children’s horse camp in the state. Other activities include fireworks shows, “showdeos” each week in the summer (where guests show off their horsemanship skills) and festivals throughout the year.

In April of 2021, C Lazy U officially re-opened after the destruction of the East Troublesome Fire. East Troublesome crossed over Colorado Highway 125 in October 2020 and the ranch was caught in the crossfire. The horse barn, one guest cabin, two employee residences and several member homes were lost in the flames. Thanks to hard work by firefighters, most of C Lazy U’s buildings remained safe, including their main lodge. By April when guests arrived, green grass and wildflowers were beginning to spring up in the burn scar. Volunteers had also cleared and restored many trails.

“We wouldn’t be recognized and have bounced back so quickly without our amazing team and the support of the community,” said Mike Cullen, C Lazy U’s Operations Manager, of the ranch’s recent accolades.

The now high-end ranch has garnered several other major awards, including the 2022 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (their seventh year in a row) and the 2022 Newsweek Best Customer Service award in the Spa Resort & Retreat category. The ranch was also featured in Reader’s Digest July 21 article, “The 25 best all-inclusive resorts in the world for your bucket-list vacation.” If you love the place, you can cast your vote it to win the best all-inclusive resort in USA Today’s Best Reader’s Choice Awards. Winners will be revealed on Aug. 14.

A ride through a green meadow before East Troublesome scorched much of the ranch’s land. Now, greenery has grown back. C Lazy U continues to thrive as they look ahead, welcoming future guests to step back into the history of the Great American West.
Meg Soyars / Courtesy Photo

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.