The Ranch House. Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Ranch

If you’re like me, then you’re a Colorado native who has only checked off a fraction of the must-dos on their home-state bucket list. Conquer a 14er, tour Mesa Verde National Park or get caught in a snow storm during a month that is meant for summer are just some examples of things all true Coloradans should experience before their time is up. If you need to play catch-up on your bucket list activities, have no fear; I have planned the perfect B&B getaway that will make a sizeable dent. And it goes a little something like this…

 The Bed: Blue Lake Ranch is a secluded B&B located on a 200-acre private property just outside of Durango, Colo.. The property includes a lake filled with Rainbow and Brook Trout, thousands of irises that make a colorful scene in the summer an eight lodging options for guests to choose from. This B&B is the place to be regardless of the season and is able to accommodate many vacation needs.One of those lodging options is The Ranch House. It serves as the headquarters with a living room, dining room large enough to sit 50 people and outside patio overlooking the B&B’s private lake. But wait there’s more. The Ranch House also has two guest rooms (The Garden Room and The La Plata Vista Room) and two suites (The Lake View Suite and The Mesa Verde Suite). This lodging option can hold up to 11 guests. The Cabin on the Lake, which can hold eight guests, The Cottage in the Woods, which can hold two guests, and The River House, which can hold six guests, are examples of other lodging options.


The Cabin on the Lake. Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Ranch

The Breakfast: The B&B offers breakfast every morning and I have heard that it’s quite a treat. It’s served buffet style allowing guests to pick and choose exactly what they are in the mood for. In the past, it has included: poached eggs, biscuits and gravy, cereal, sliced ham, bacon, fresh fruit, granola, bread and a wide range of jams and honey spreads (that can also be purchased online). Blue Lake Ranch is also known for its homemade recipes like the pinon nut pancakes made with nuts that fall from the pinon trees located on the property. This homemade recipe along with others can be found on the B&B’s website. Guests have the option of eating their meals in the dining room or outdoor patio (weather permitting). Plan on the chef stopping by during your breakfast to make sure everything is up to par.


Outside Porch. Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Ranch

The Adventure: In less than 30 minutes, travelers can find themselves exploring cliff dwellings or challenged by countless mountain activities. Either way, make sure you come equipped with more than enough water, bug spray (bugs can get pretty feisty in this neck of the woods) and sun screen. Better to be safe than sorry.

For those of you who may need a refresher history course, Mesa Verde was established as a National Park in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt to “preserve the works of man.” The cliff dwellings were villages built by our ancestors under hanging cliffs. While I have never been to this historic landmark, I can tell by pictures alone that this is a sight worth seeing first hand. Travelers have the option of wandering the park on their own or signing up for a tour, which cost $3 per person. The cost may be worth it seeing as some cliff dwellings can only be reached on a tour.