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Located in Granby, Colorado


By Glenn Arnette, lll

Do you remember the song composed by Dolly Parton called, “Jolene, Jolene?” Well, I have to start singing the praises of “Gaylene, Gaylene”. She gave a group of travel writers an adventure we will long remember in the mountains of Colorado. I am talking about Gaylene Ore of the Grand County Colorado Tourism Board. If you plan to travel in this part of Colorado, call her at 970-531-2336 or [email protected] You will be glad you did!

It all started in Fort Collins as the first leg of our trip. Then we headed up the road to Grand Lake, Colorado located in North Central, Colorado just outside the Rocky Mountain National Park.

This place offers you a fantastic view of the Continental Divide. It’s a vacation paradise! What a wonderful village of exciting shops and restaurants, including a Little Theatre that would rival some of the off Broadway shows in New York. Quaint is the word for Grand Lake and speaking of the lake, it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful homes you will see in the Rockies.

The boat tour with our fantastic guide gave us the history and the “gossip” of the area including some of the homes for famous celebrities that haunt the village streets after dark. After the tour and a little shopping, we had lunch in one of their fun restaurants before heading to our first stop only a few miles away. 

The Drowsy Water Dude Ranch is one of the most relaxing ranches, packed with exciting things to do each and every minute of the day. If you like rustic, you will really enjoy this family establishment. It is truly a Western tradition of a bygone era that is traditional and unique.

First of all, if you believe in family and family traditions, this is the perfect ranch for you. The Fosha family and the staff at the ranch will transport you back in time 8,200 feet above sea level on more than 660 acres of the most beautiful Colorado Mountains you can imagine and place you right in the center of the perfect Western movie set!

Those Wranglers really know how to take care of the guests. They work with each family to make sure your horseback rides are safe and memorable.

The accommodations are what one should expect when traveling out West and staying on a real dude ranch. It is something you will talk about for days. The log cabins with many rooms and beds for every family member are very comfortable, including the little wood stove you will light each morning to take the chill off as you listen to the rushing stream just outside your door.

The Lodge on the property becomes the gathering place where you will make friends that will last a lifetime. Talk about coffee in the early morning, my goodness, it is a shame they don’t bottle that taste. Everything is very close and within walking distance; i.e., barns, corrals, stables, swimming pool, children’s playground and fishing pond.

The children’s programs are absolutely the best and entertain them while Mom and Dad relax with a morning horseback ride or a moment of peace like hiking the mountains or simply reading a book.

Horseback riding is a main focus on a Dude Ranch and this ranch has that program available for all.

The rides through the mountains thick with forests of the remaining pines and thousands of Aspen trees will give you an opportunity to take many of those moments you want to capture to your digital card! Each horse is specially trained for riding and can match any degree of experience from beginner through advanced and from young to old. Old? Please, you can’t be old in those hills!

Ranching is not for those who want to diet. Would you want to miss a sunrise breakfast on a mountain top or a cup of coffee served out of an old metal coffee pot hot on the fire? Don’t forget the barbecue and the lunches you can take with you in your saddle bag. My hats off to the Cook! Oh, they have special diets, but forget it and live while enjoying your life away from home. With three meals a day, snacks and more, you will find family meals, adult dinners, kid’s meals and enough food to feed any cowboy.

There are many activities to keep you busy, but my favorite was the Square Dancing held each and every week. “So You Think You Can Dance?” Well you can! They teach and have more fun with you than you can imagine. I was dancing my boots off before the night had finished. They also have Campfire sing-a-longs, old fashioned melodramas, carnival nights and other opportunities like river rafting, bike riding, golf at a nearby course, trout fishing and four wheelin’. This list goes on and on! Don’t forget to ask them about shopping and hunting! This is truly a family affair!

This is the place where Cowboys are real and the Wranglers and Staff members are serious. The Fosha Family; i.e., Randy Sue and Ken, Ryan and his brother Justin along with Justin’s wife, Gretta and their new baby Peyton really want you to experience their dream in a real way, as the Drowsy Water Ranch is one of a kind. To me it was authentic and captures what Dude Ranching is all about. When they tell you to bring your boots and cowboy hat complete with a bandana, they mean it. No Tommy Bahama slacks or shirts are needed here. Bring your Western wardrobe of jeans and cowboy shirts. I had to go shopping to get myself in shape! Now I am a real DUDE!

My personal thanks to the Fosha family for making me feel at home and opening their experiences to me. It was a Western experience second to none! Quoting one of the guest, “Doing as much or as little as we wanted was “delicious”!

The Drowsy Water Ranch will capture your imagination! Forget San Francisco, I left my heart on a dude ranch in Colorado! To receive their colorful brochure call 970-725-3456 or visit their website at or email them at [email protected]

They are located in Granby, Colorado.