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From Our Editors
In 1874, a few cowboys were presumably struck by the view of what is now Estes Park, so they decided to settle there to raise their barn and breed their horses. Over time, the lodge became known as Ranahan Ranch, named after the many elite cowboys who worked it. More than 100 years later, JT Adams, a former Marine looking for a quiet, beautiful piece of the world, bought the lodge and accompanying horse business.
JT and his staff preserve a lot of the lodge's old traditions, such as raising horses, training folks to ride Western-style, and leading horseback tours on the surrounding trails. Although the trail rides provide spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains, they do more than just take riders to picturesque vistas. The guides peel back the veil of history and discuss the important events that shaped the park, mountain range, and surrounding communities. At the end of each tour, JT invites visitors to the ranch's yard or the Hayloft, the barn's built-in venue with a bar and dance floor. There, he strums his guitar and sings some of his original country songs before sending visitors home with sore thighs and new memories of the sights and sounds of the mountains.