Fresh air, a slow pace, and plenty of mom time.
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Like most people, when I became a mom, my appreciation for my own mom skyrocketed. She's adventurous, strong, and silly. She likes a good spa day just as much as anyone, but really comes alive when she's out doing new things — especially in nature. For months, I've been wanting to treat her to something special — something where we could get away, just us two, and enjoy new adventures together.

Cabin exterior at C Lazy U Ranch
Credit: Courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch

The C Lazy U Ranch checked all the boxes, and then some. The all-inclusive Colorado dude ranch is both elevated and down-home, with unique activities like cattle-pushing clinics and archery offered alongside gourmet meals and a fantastic spa. And it doesn't hurt that the ranch was rated the No. 2 resort in Colorado by Travel + Leisure readers in the 2021 World's Best Awards survey. One reader called it "one of the most picturesque ranches in the wild west," while another said it has "wonderful, warm staff, fine cuisine, and rustic-luxe accommodations."

The guest ranch is set along a creek on 8,500 acres in the Rocky Mountains. It's the perfect basecamp for all things adventurous — from horseback riding and fly-fishing to mountain biking and paddleboarding. You can hike to an alfresco yoga class in the morning, go on a trail ride in the afternoon, and end your day staring at the mountains from the patio, cocktail in hand. Plus, the property has been in operation since 1919 and is family owned — so they know what they're doing.

Circle of spa tents at the C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado
Credit: Courtesy of C Lazy U

And while my mom and I both love a day in the mountains, a little spa time is key — this is a mother-daughter getaway after all. The rustic-chic Lazy You Spa is situated in six luxurious canvas tents on the banks of the creek. And while every spa guest benefits from the fresh air and mountain views, two of the tents are suspended over the creek and have glass floors, so you can watch the water pass by while enjoying a massage (talk about cool). For an experience that's unique to C Lazy U, book a moonlit "cowboy soak" and stargaze from a deep copper tub filled with warm water and aromatherapeutic oils.

There's plenty to do at the C Lazy U, but as the ranch name implies, there's also plenty of opportunity to do nothing at all. The guest cabins and rooms are so cozy, you might not want to leave. Each has a distinct mod-Western feel, and some have luxe amenities like wood-burning stone fireplaces, copper sinks, and private patios.

C Lazy U Ranch
Credit: Courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch

The pace of the day is up to every guest, but meals remain central to the experience here. The day begins with cowboy coffee served by a roaring fire and ends with gourmet, chef-prepared meals paired with wine selected by the on-site sommelier. The three all-inclusive meals are often followed by an evening of s'mores by the campfire.

C Lazy U is just north of Granby, Colorado, near the Willow Creek Reservoir. It's less than two hours from Denver and 40 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. Learn more about the property and make reservations here.