This River Valley

A Brand New Short Celebrating the life and spirit of Rawah Ranch

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In 2022, our team had the privilege to visit the one-of-a-kind “Rawah Ranch,” a quaint guest ranch nestled in the hills of Northern Colorado’s Rawah Mountains, just south of the Wyoming border. To get there, you ride a long and winding dirt road that tosses up small fragments of mud and clay as you slowly enter into a place that’s just as wild as it was 200 years ago. During this journey, you can expect to encounter a vast assortment of wildlife,  ranging from spry Western Hares and chipmunks to traipsing bull moose, Rocky Mountain Elk, and Mule Deer that populate the vast surrounding alpine forests.

Upon pulling through the unmistakable “Rawah Ranch” Gateway, you’re immediately treated by the sights and smells of the American West: Wood smoke billowing through the lodge chimney offers a warm welcome to weary travelers, the rumbling of thunderstorms gather in the distance, the whinny of horses in nearby pastures all provides a taste of the true country yet to be encountered.

It’s this proper first impression that will establish the scene about to unfold—one of a great escape. Not just from the physical setting that people from all over the world travel to, but also a mental release. In this river valley, time slows down, and the torrent of seconds, minutes, and hours that constitute the typical hustle and bustle is forced to a slow drip.

It’s a celebration of this freedom that’s embodied in the newest short from Rawah Ranch: “This River Valley.” Through the lens of the people who dedicate their heart and soul to the operation of this little ranch in the West, the answer to why a place like this is so special in the first place becomes far more discernible. For most of the staff, it’s an escape of their own – a place to step back in time and trade in their truck seat for a saddle. For some, it’s a chance to share a place they call home with others who have never ventured this far from their own “home” in their lives.

It’s a place to learn, and a place to teach. Not just how to shoot a clay pigeon, or catch a trout on a fly – but how to let nature instill compassion and empathy. Rawah conveys this understanding of the world around us; It was here long before we came into it, and it will be here long after we leave. The wind that pushes through the mountains has no schedule, and the fish who occupy the rivers and lakes have no place to be. The only clock that matters is not one that needs to be wound, but the perpetual cycle of the sun rising and setting each day, decorating the hillsides with amber light, and the night sky with a glistening array of stars that can’t be found elsewhere.

The staff that occupies the grounds of Rawah Ranch embodies these natural cadences, working day in and day out to help translate these nuances to new guests each week as they explore this profound yet familiar world. Whether knee-deep in a free-flowing trout stream, atop the saddle of a well-trained horse, or secured within the confines of a cabin next to a crackling fire inside of a wood-burning stove, there is no end to the ways one can find oneself in this impregnable fortress of peace.

Interior of a guest Cabin at Rawah Ranch

Of course, there are times when comfort is desired, and guests can turn to the cozy interiors of the long-standing structures that occupy the property. Within the lodge, seasoned chefs prepare warm meals to thaw frigid bones, and fill not just bellies, but souls as well. After a meal, a glass of fine whiskey pairs well with a game of chess shared with friends, family, or strangers beside a roaring fire. The walls, decorated with photos and relics of the lodge’s antiquity are a constant reminder to its guests that they are not only experiencing a rich history, but are a part of making it.

Our team is grateful to have the chance to revisit Rawah this year; not only to yet again experience what has been described above, but to capture the passion of the people who make every day of its existence possible, in this short: “This River Valley”.

To read our full Lodge Spotlight feature on Rawah Ranch, you can find it Here.

To learn even more about Rawah Ranch and how you can book a stay, click HERE. You can also find Rawah on Instagram, HERE.

Thank you to the fine family we’ve made at Rawah for having us back. We hope to see you soon.

Lodge Spotlight: Rawah Ranch, Colorado

 

 

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