Jane Van Berkum

I've been at Rainbow Trout Ranch since our second season in 1994. My husband David and I ran the ranch for many years with his wonderful parents, Doug & Linda, and now we do so with our grown children, nieces and a great group of long-time return staff. Both my parents were exceptional polo players in Kenya, where I was born, so horses have been part of my life forever. After we left Kenya, we lived for eight years in Brazil where my father ran the King Ranch holdings and that is where my love for the cowboy way of life began. When we moved to America in my early teens - back to polo, this time in Tennessee - I craved that cowboy life, so while at university I started working as a wrangler on ranches in Wyoming and Montana. I met David at the 63 Ranch in Montana in 1990 - it is no longer a dude ranch but we learned so much there. His parents came to visit and also caught the dude ranch bug, and in 1993 they started Rainbow Trout Ranch. I was backpacking around the world with my sister that first year, but I got back in spring of 1994 and David and I got married in October. Since then, we've had so many wonderful guests and staff, ridden countless miles, team-roped, and enjoyed the beauty of this magnificent canyon, plus raised our three children here at the ranch. It used to be known as Rainbow Trout Lodge and was mainly fishing, with some riding - we are now riding AND great fishing, not to mention all the other fun adventures we offer. So it is truly a family affair and we look forward to sharing it with you and your family. Happy Trails, always ~~ Jane.

What if I Don’t Ride at a Colorado Dude Ranch?

By on July 3rd, 2015

Many folks ask “What if I don’t ride but my family wants to go to a dude ranch?”   Here at our dude ranch in southern Colorado we often have guests who don’t choose to ride.  Sometimes they can’t for physical reasons, sometimes they just prefer not to, but either way they still have a wonderful […]

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Colorado Dude Ranch: Five Ways to Choose a Guest Ranch for Your Family Vacation

By on July 3rd, 2015

A Colorado dude ranch is a great way to get your family outdoors, hopefully far away away from technology and enjoying some spectacular scenery from the back of a horse. But choosing a guest ranch can be a challenge, especially when each ranch looks more perfect than the last. Here are five ways to help […]

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Rocky Mountain Adventures on our Colorado Dude Ranch

By on November 1st, 2014

Here in the southern Colorado Rockies we’ve been closed for the dude ranch season for just over a month.  In that time we’ve  shut down the grand old Lodge and all the cabins, said goodbye to our great staff, remodeled the last two cabins that needed living areas and fireplaces, pulled shoes and trimmed feet on the […]

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Colorado Dude Ranch Finds Success with Hydroponic Hay

By on October 17th, 2014

With 130 horses at our southern Colorado dude ranch, you can imagine we go through alot of hay since the terrain here is spectacular, but not conducive to enough grazing to support that many.  So our hay bills run high and we are always on the lookout for creative ways to care for our herd. […]

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The Wonderful Life of a Dude Rancher

By on March 25th, 2014

We live a very wonderful life here on our Colorado dude ranch, the Rainbow Trout Ranch.  We’ve been doing it for twenty-one years, although my husband David and I worked on other ranches for a few years before his parents and he decided to make a full fledged dude ranch out of what used to […]

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Top 10 Reasons to go to a Colorado Dude Ranch, not on a Cruise!

By on April 11th, 2013

Given the recent news stories about cruises, we decided to add our two cents as to why a Colorado dude ranch, like Rainbow Trout Ranch, is a much better choice for your vacation than a cruise… 10. We don’t ever need to wait for tugboats! 9. We don’t have sewer issues that you have to […]

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Dude Ranch “Super” Marketing

By on February 12th, 2013

Like most dude ranchers, I think about marketing at our Colorado guest ranch. A lot. Between all the blogging, face booking, tweeting, pinning—or is it pinteresting?!—posting, meta tags, YouTube videos, keywords and goodness knows what else, my mind is a jumble of noise, rather like a casino when you first walk in. With the recent […]

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Zorro: The Southern Colorado Dude Ranch Legend

By on January 11th, 2013

THE STORY OF ZORRO:  A RAINBOW TROUT RANCH LEGEND ABOUT A HORSE WHO WENT WALKABOUT We operate a beautiful dude ranch set in a picturesque river valley here in the San Juan Mountains range of the southern Colorado Rockies. When we stand in the shade of the massive porch that hugs the lodge, we look […]

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A Very Special Dude Ranch Horse Story: Mikey

By on December 4th, 2012

The true heart and soul of our Colorado dude ranch lies with the horses.  Without horses, a dude ranch is just another place to stay, albeit a pretty one, and although we do have awesome fishing, a fish doesn’t seem to inspire the same love that a horse does, although some of our staunch fly-fishermen […]

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Summer Season 2012 Wrap-Up

By on October 11th, 2012

2012 Rocked! It was an awesome season here at the ranch. Scroll down for some pictures and memories.

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Season’s End at Rainbow Trout Ranch, High in Southern Colorado

By on September 30th, 2012

 A week ago, I took an all-day ride to the back-country high above and behind our Colorado dude ranch.   It was a simply glorious day to be riding good horses in spectacular country.  We came back, seventeen miles and packed-lunches later, tired, sore but on a truly natural high fostered by the sheer beauty around us. […]

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Spring at this Colorado Dude Ranch: Getting Ready for Guests

By on May 16th, 2012

It is so exciting at our Colorado dude ranch located in the southern Rockies when the staff start arriving for the new season. We have a guest capacity of around sixty at our all-inclusive family vacation ranch, and thus we need a staff of around thirty, plus the four of us.  This year we are […]

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The Horse We Shared at the Colorado Dude Ranch

By on May 7th, 2012

A TRIBUTE TO CD, The Horse We Shared By Andrea Hansell      Our family first came to Rainbow Trout Ranch in July of 1997.   Before we arrived, I spent a good deal of time discussing horse choices with Jane on the phone.  I had enough riding experience to want a horse with some spunk, but […]

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Teens at the Dude Ranch: The Transformation from Surly to Happy

By on March 19th, 2012

Dude Ranching for us is primarily about families.  And while we do have a wonderful  “Adults Only” time in September, the three main months of the summer are primarily families who come to share an all-inclusive, adventure  vacation with our family.  We do have couples and groups and we love them.  But the backbone of […]

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Dude Ranch Dogs

By on February 15th, 2012

While most people think of horses when they hear the term “dude ranch,” many ranches, like ours here in the southern Colorado Rockies, are also about the dogs.   Just a bit of background on us here at Rainbow Trout Ranch:  we are a long-time dude ranch dating back to the 1920’s although we are […]

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The Changing Times

By on November 14th, 2011

For those of you who are new to Rainbow Trout Ranch, we are a Colorado dude ranch located in the southern Colorado Rocky Mountains.  We offer a full program of riding, fishing, kids’ programs, teen program and so much more in the summer months and a month of “adults only” time in September.  It is […]

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Dream Trip to our Colorado Dude Ranch Inspired an Article

By on January 3rd, 2011

One of our Colorado dude ranch guests wrote a great article about her experience at Rainbow Trout Ranch in Mommy Magazine of Sarasota, Florida. Dream Trips Save and Plan Your Way to Nirvana by Kerri Dieffenwierth I guess it’s true: Some of us have always had wanderlust. Instead of posters of Leif Garrett, Michael Jackson […]

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Pagosa.com article on Rainbow Trout Ranch

By on August 4th, 2010

Pagosa.com recently posted the following article on Rainbow Trout Ranch: Experience the True West at this Colorado Dude Ranch Living in Colorado the past 7 years, we thought we had been living the Western lifestyle. However, after spending a wonderful week at Rainbow Trout Ranch, a Colorado dude ranch in nearby Antonito, Colorado, we discovered […]

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Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

By on July 13th, 2010

The Peanut Butter Jelly Ride is a great event here at Rainbow Trout Ranch. This ride is the all day horseback ride for the cowpokes, who are ages 6-11. When the clock strikes 10am, I hear the eager voices of the children running down the mountain from the lodge to the stables. As the cowpoke […]

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Colorado dude ranch ride coming in

By on June 9th, 2010

A fun picture of a ride coming in, taken last week. That is wrangler Dave on the paint, guest Susan, guest Joe, wrangler Luke, and guest Deborah on the right holding her hat in the wind–it was pretty windy last week but very beautiful. Note how many of the aspens weren’t budded then–they are all […]

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Rocky Mountain High

By on March 19th, 2010

One Week At A Colorado Dude Ranch Is The Travel Bonanza Of The Year By Candi Pillitterri There’s a reason somebody made a song about springtime in the Rockies; this is the kind of place people get silly and rhapsodic about approximately five seconds after they arrive. And if you’re lucky enough to get to […]

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Spring is coming to the ranch

By on March 18th, 2010

Spring has sprung! Even though we’ve had close to a foot of snow these last few days, there is a definite feel of summer coming in the air. The river is starting to open up–it is frozen solid all winter–and the aspens are budding. That gorgeous blue Colorado sky is spectacular as always and I […]

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