Smith Fork Ranch is an idyllic luxury guest ranch nestled at the head of a remote valley on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies.
Smith Fork Ranch sits several miles down a winding country road from the small, rural town of Crawford. Surrounded by the vast Gunnison National Forest and the spectacular mountains of the West Elk Wilderness, the setting is a picture postcard of the American West.
The fertile soils on which Smith Fork Ranch sits have been farmed by homesteaders from as early as the 1880s but by the time the current owners took over things had fallen into disrepair. They have painstakingly restored the ranch buildings, often rebuilding cabins log by log. The result is a ranch experience that manages to be both luxurious and, at the same time, true to its roots.
Guests can explore the 1.6 million acres of national forest on the ranch’s sturdy mountain horses, hike through wildflower-filled alpine meadows, or cast to wild cutthroat trout on the ranch’s three mile private stretch of the Smith Fork of the Gunnison. There is also both a sporting clays and archery range. For little ones, the ranch offers an excellent kids program.
After a busy day on the ranch, guests rest their heads either in one of the smaller log cabins or the two larger homes. All are simply decorated with Navajo rugs, handmade furniture, and colorful western art. For a larger family or private group, the River House which sits among the cottonwoods and spruce trees on the banks of the West Fork is the perfect option.
Eat & Drink
The North Fork Valley and wider area of Delta County is blessed with some of the most fertile soil in the state and has long been a hotbed of small scale organic farming. As you approach Smith Fork Ranch, the sight of cattle grazing on open grassland is interspersed by small fruit orchards and vineyards. This abundance, combined with the ranch’s own organic farmstead, gives chef Marcus Parrott the freshest local ingredients to work with and the end result does not disappoint. The ranch’s owners are also dedicated oenophiles and the wine list would not feel amiss in one of New York or London’s finest restaurants.