D & G Horses and Outfitting, a family-owned operation located five minutes from the Diamond J, takes riders of all ages and abilities on trail rides, hunting and fishing excursions in the White River National Forest. Dale, Gail, and Leah Coombs are your guides, and they’ll take you through beautiful alpine meadows and aspen and pine forests.
Bring your fishing license with you to the Diamond J Ranch, because it’s in the midst of some of the best cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout fishing in Colorado. Families can wet a line at the pond on site, or drive the short distance to Chapman Reservoir or Ruedi Reservoir for a rewarding day of fishing with flies, bait or lures. Accomplished anglers are drawn to the 14-mile stretch of Gold Medal waters of the Frying Pan River below Ruedi Reservoir. Your hosts at the Diamond J Ranch can recommend fishing guides and outfitters who know the flows, the holes and the right flies to match the hatch. Fishing on the Frying Pan is exclusive to fly fishing and primarily catch-and-release—although brown trout in excess of 14 inches can be taken.
Opportunities for hiking around the Diamond J Ranch are limitless. From a trek to a mountaintop, an amble along a wildflower-dotted creek, to an invigorating hike to a clear, cold mountain lake, there are innumerable options.
The White River National Forest and Holy Cross Wilderness are vast public lands. Popular lake destinations are Savage Lakes, Mormon Lake, Lyle Lake, Carter Lake and Sellar Lake. Come prepared with topographic maps: we recommend the USGS Nast Quadrangle and Meredith Quadrangle.
Road bikers spin up the paved road from Basalt to the Diamond J Ranch that parallels the scenic Frying Pan River. Six miles above the ranch, the road turns to dirt, where mountain bikes are the appropriate two-wheeled conveyance. Ambitious bikers can go all the way to the top of Hagerman Pass. Another popular route is Crooked Creek Pass. These same passes are favorites of jeep, four-wheel-drive and off-road vehicle enthusiasts.
Several licensed outfitters run guided river trips on the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon, and the nearby Roaring Fork River. Options include mild floats to exhilarating Class IV rapids.
The White River National Forest is a winter playground for snowmobile enthusiasts. The Eagle/Thomasville Road (FS 400) heads up to Lime Park near Crooked Creek Pass, via Burnt Mountain Road, for wide-open meadow exploration. Hagerman Pass is another popular destination, recommended for experts due to avalanche danger.
Snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing
Verdant hiking trails are transformed to white with the winter snow around the Diamond J Ranch. You can literally ski or snowshoe right from the property. The famous Tenth Mountain Division Hut system, with 350 miles of hut-to-hut touring, has three huts that are proximate to the Diamond J Ranch: the Betty Bear, Margy’s Hut and Harry Gates huts. Many backcountry skiing, hiking and mountain biking adventurers begin and end their trips with a night at the Diamond J.
Some of the best mule deer and elk hunting in the western United States is accessible in the Frying Pan River watershed and White River National Forest. Hunting units 47 and 444 are readily accessible from the Diamond J Ranch, and our hunting parties always welcome a warm bed and tasty hot meal after a day in the field and the forest.