5.0
Excellent 79 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Proximity to Gunnison National Forest and West Elk Wilderness Area
  • World-class horseback riding, fly-fishing, hiking and more
  • Two furnished teepees can be booked for the night at no extra charge
  • Gourmet organic food and ample wine collection
  • The well-stocked and well-priced Ranch Round Up Store, located in a former grain silo

What To Know

  • Geared mostly toward couples
  • Rooms and cabins have no TVs, and your cell phone most likely will not work here
  • Everything is optional at Smith Fork, but joining in the activities is part of the point of being here
Adventure Mountains Natural wonders Nature Outdoor Activities Outdoors Ranch Scenic views sky grass horse pasture tree field Wildlife horse like mammal flower leaf rural area agriculture colored lush

Overview

The Review

First homesteaded in the 1800s, when Colorado was still a territory, Smith Fork Ranch became an actual ranch in 1928 when newlyweds Mamie and Grant Ferrier combined two pieces of property. Now owned by Marley Hodgson, the retired founder and designer of the Ghurka leather-goods company, and his wife, Linda, Smith Fork Ranch is one of the country’s most lovingly restored guest ranches.

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Linda chose every luxe interior detail (local handmade bath products, plush bedding) and scoured the property for original pieces of furniture and art. Few relics remained, and some of what she did turn up she had to salvage from burn piles. This left her with the task of finding and designing most of the furnishings. Some came from her own collection of American antiques, and many more pieces were made by local craftsmen. The former local fire chief, for example, designed and forged the extra-long metal hinges that support the massive wooden door to the Elk Lodge communal building.

Today Smith Fork Ranch offers five lodge rooms, three cabins that sleep two to four and the expansive two-story River Cabin, which can sleep up to six. The ranch’s permanent residents include a herd of more than 40 sure-footed horses, which carry guests over miles of trails on the ranch and in the neighboring 1.7 million acres of the Gunnison National Forest and West Elk Wilderness Area.

It’s all paired with an easy hospitality that means guests feel perfectly comfortable putting their boots up on that handcrafted coffee table as they enjoy an impeccably made martini during the convivial cocktail hour before a gourmet meal (pistachio-encrusted local lamb and even popcorn ice cream) prepared with creativity and flair.

How to Get There

Smith Fork Ranch
45362 Needle Rock Road
Crawford, CO 81415 United States

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 79 Reviews
Perfect Location for a couple retreat
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We feel so lucky to have landed at SFR after having to change plans last minute due to a hurricane on the east coast. There were so many positives it is hard to know where to start. We went in September with the temperatures cool and perfect for outdoor activities. Courtney and the rest of the staff made sure our stay was relaxing and enjoyable. The choices of activities were a great chance to try something new (fly fishing) but also do some things we love (hiking). The Food was fantastic with several dishes with ingredients grown in the garden. Hard to explain but can't express how much the ranch buildings and grounds creates an environment of relaxation and beauty. Sitting on the front porch drinking coffee early in the morning looking at the beautiful grounds was a perfect start of the day and that feeling of "the day was made for me" continued throughout the day.

Wow, wow,wow, what an incredible time!
Reviewed 6 months ago

This was an extraordinary and phenomenal vacation and if we could give Smith Fork Ranch (SFR) 6 stars out of 5, we would. The activities (horseback riding, fly fishing, archery, clay shooting and spa) were so much fun and made even more so by the outstanding and incredibly attentive and accommodating guide staff (Levi, Alex, Paul and Lewis) and wrangler staff (Stacy, Hannah, Eve and Kayla). From the moment we arrived, Courtney and Casey (front of house?) made us feel so at home and welcomed us with open arms – we felt like part of the SFR family.

Every request was met with a smile and “we can make that happen.” If you wanted the moon they would have lassoed it for you. Even the smallest detail was attended to, like a pot of coffee magically appearing in our house every morning.

We rode almost every day on horses that we so very well cared for and on some of the most beautiful trails imaginable. The wranglers made sure that we were all comfortable with our horses and assigned horses that matched our skill levels and personalities. You could tell that they put al lot of thought into selecting the right horses for everyone in our group.

Being new to fly fishing, after a few days we walked away having learned a fun new sport (that we will definitely try again soon) and pictures of lots of fish that we caught! The guides were great and took us out on the river in waders – it was a zen-like experience.

The food was just outstanding and a match for any 4 star restaurant. At breakfast, lunch and dinner we were offered a variety of choices and enough to satisfy any appetite. The chef (Marcus) and his staff were very accommodating and baked a special cake to help us celebrate our son’s birthday. It was a great surprise for him. Everywhere he went that day, everyone wished him a happy birthday. The service and bar staff (Taylor, Dylan, Chelsea and Mike) were outstanding, making phenomenal cocktails and just taking such good care of us all around. And what a great wine selection, we had so much fun trying different wines at dinner every evening.

We could go on and on raving about SFR, but what is really telling is that as we sit here writing this review, we are trying to figure out when we can get there next – very soon.

Perfect ranch vacation with best possible amenities, food, staff and activities!
Reviewed 1 year ago

Our room was spacious including a living room with fireplace. The standards at this ranch compare to the finest found anywhere. Beautifully trained staff, excellent meals and presentation, incredibly friendly and personable employees at every level.
We especially enjoyed the intimate size with a maximum capacity of just 24 guests. The farm to table fresh food was incredible. The eggs came from the neighboring farm. The beef was from a nearby ranch. The cheese was produced locally. The fruits and vegetables were grown onsite. Delicious food that made us feel good as well.

Luxury Ranch life
Reviewed 1 year ago

The food here is what is amazing. We are locals and eat here about once a month. The atmosphere is real old West and the service is perfect. Everything is locally sourced and the presentation is beautifully understated.

Smithfork ranch to the rescue
Reviewed 1 year ago

Whilst in Vancouver and due to many forest fires our Canadian dude ranch cancelled on us which turned out in our favor because our travel agents Scott Dunn recommended smithfork ranch who had space for my family of six in their river house
From the moment we arrived from an arduous two plane journeys and five hour drive we were made so welcome the staff were sunny and helpful even delivering to our lodge our delayed luggage at 4 am what can I say about this wonderful place amazing food all organic and local produce lovely well cared for horses friendly patient and happy guides beautiful setting the owners Marley and Linda joined in on most events and are a warm and welcoming couple who have led fascinating lives and have great stories to share Tim is an excellent manager who is friendly approachable and effortlessly likable we became friendly with all the staff which was easy as they are all so lovely I have no problem giving this holiday destination full marks and hope to return soon well done guys