There has to be a rating other than excellent, “Above & Beyond Any Expectations” would better suit this place.
In all my travels around the world, and there still places on my bucket list to check off, Kessler Canyon in CO just makes all past experiences in the western United States seem rather common. Grey Cliffs Ranch in MT, the Flintner Ranch in WY, the Paws Up Ranch in MT, and The Broadmoor in CO are all outstanding places to stay and experience; and each offer different and unique experiences and grand memories.
But even before you arrive at Kessler Canyon proper, you see and realize this is going to be much more than anything you’ve ever experienced in the past. As you drive in the entrance way of the property you greeted by steel panels of Indian petroglyphs on high columns. As you proceed down the road you are greeted by a marriage of nature’s art and manmade art in the form of a herd giant bronze horses galloping across your path in the canyon. Further down the road there are two fighting bronze stallions that are also lit up at night. As you approach the main lodge you’ll be impressed by the structure and its size and the beauty of it, especially at night. You’ll find bronze figures of all types of wild life surrounding the main lodge area. But then you’ll also realize there are real deer, elk, turkey and pheasant mixed inwith the bronze figures. They are very easy to photograph and used to humans.
Once you enter the building you’re immediately overwhelmed by the beauty of the never ending collection of fine art covering the walls and floor space. You’ll be spending a night or two in a man’s home that houses one of his passions, fine art. The art is from all over the world but a good portion of it is from Africa and the U.S.
Dining there is like no other experience either. The food is world class, the wine selections are excellent and every meal will be memorable, especially dinner. When the chef wraps up things in the kitchen he magically becomes the entertainment. Black Mamba. There were about a dozen or more of us at dinner that night and after a few songs/tunes he had every last person there from 76 to 30 dancing on the dining room floor and having a wild time. Suddenly a woman who disappeared, reappeared with her fiddle and now we had a duo, and it even became more fun. I was laughing so much that night, I ached from it.
Some people come there to do nothing but get away from it all, other’s come there to hike, bike ride or ATV up the mountain trails. Many people come there for big game hunting. They have the finest, largest covered and heated and also lighted for night eight stand, yes, eight stand with thirteen traps, soon to become fifteen traps shooting facility for clay target shooting. Very challenging and loads of fun for all. Lessons are available.
The upland bird hunting is world class with pheasant, chucker and quail available and wild turkey when in season. I’ve never hunted with such finely trained dogs and never had so much fun upland bird hunting. It was like we were in a gun fight and the four of us put down 34 birds in one and a half hours. Not a bad days work.
Leaving is difficult, because I didn’t want to leave. The wildlife also made it difficult as about every mile there was another big buck to photograph or another flock of wild turkey to shoot at; with a camera of course. World class, yes! The best of the best? Yes! It’s like no other place I’ve ever visited in the west and has filled me with sights and memories that will last as long as I do. If you don’t do it, you lose.