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The Wild West Thrives at the Smith Fork Ranch

If you drive south of Paonia and Hotchkiss through the quiet town of Crawford, Colorado and head sort of south-east-ish, and then just keep going, and going, and going, you will come to the Smith Fork Ranch. Situated near the base of the magnificent Needle Rock formation, this luxury ranch provides guests with a wonderful Wild West experience with five star touches all the way.

Activities such as horseback riding, sporting clays, fly fishing, hiking, and archery entertain guests from around the world by day, and the haute cuisine stylings of Chef Marcus Parrott tickle their taste buds at night. It was one such dining experience that brought me and friends out to Smith Fork for an evening of food, friendship, and fun.

“You only have 18 summers with your kids, make this one count!” – Smith Fork Ranch

Our first course was little puffs of gnocchi with morels, fava beans, mint, and Parmesan cheese paired with a very-special-occasion bottle of Hospices de Beaune 1983 Burgundy. Next was wild Alaskan king salmon with dashes of oranges and fennel and olives, oh my! A bottle of Napa Valley’s the Prisoner helped us wash that down just fine. For dessert, olive oil cake with basil berry compote and caramel budino with sea salt and olive oil accompanied by a snifter of slightly warmed Cognac.

After licking our plates and rubbing our bellies, we danced the night away to the up-beat sounds of a local favorite band, the Strolling Scones. It is with much thanks to the amazing Hodgson family, Chef Marcus, and staff at Smith Fork Ranch that the experience of the rustic old West — and a world-class getaway — is ready and waiting right in our own backyard. Giddy up!

Smith Fork Ranch | | 5362 Needle Rock Rd, Crawford, CO 81415 | (970) 921-3454

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Ashley Trego

Ashley lives on the Western Slope of Colorado in the small mountain town of Paonia. She has had a long running love affair with eating and drinking that shows no sign of slowing as time goes by. Ashley has been a freelance food and spirit writer for over twenty years and is excited to share her gastronomic adventures with you!

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