Frequently Asked Questions

General Ranch Questions

When does the ranch open for the season and when does it close?
Are there fire pits, and do we need to bring our own wood?
Do you allow pets?
What accommodations do you offer?
Are there dining facilities for guests?
Can guests bring their own food and beverage?
What are the average weather conditions at Piney River Ranch during the season?
Any advice for avoiding high altitude sickness?
How do I get to the ranch?
Is there WiFi or cell service on the ranch?
Tips for enjoying the ranch

When does the ranch open for the season and when does it close?

Piney River Ranch’s seasonal opening depends on the road to the ranch, which is opened by the US Forest Service no earlier than June 21st each year. Late spring snowfall and early fall snowfall can greatly impact drivers’ ability to reach the ranch. Most seasons, we open June 21st and remain open through the last weekend in September. Exceptions can be made with full acknowledgment that Piney River Ranch will not accept responsibility for closures outside of our control, including Forest Service closures.

Are there fire pits, and do we need to bring our own wood?

Each of our accommodations has its own individual fire pit. Fire wood is available for purchase in our trading post, which is open daily from 9am to 6pm.

Do you allow pets?

Piney River does allow pets to join their owners on the ranch. ALL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED. If you’re staying overnight, we do require a $30 non-refundable fee, per pet, per stay. Maximum of 2 pets per accommodation. Day-visitors and overnight guests are responsible for disposing of all pet waste in appropriately provided trash containers. Pets are not allowed in the main lodge and are prohibited from being on the furniture.

What accommodations do you offer?

Accommodations for the 2020 season are as follows:

  • Bear Cabin (sleeps 8)
  • Osprey Cabin (sleeps 8)
  • Fox Cabin (sleeps 8)
  • Beaver Cabin (sleeps 8)
  • Moose Cabin (sleeps 4)
  • Elk Cabin (sleeps 4)
  • Glamping Tents (3) (sleep 4)

There are no kitchen, bathroom or shower amenities in any of our accommodations. All accommodations share a men’s and women’s guest bathhouse complete with flush toilets.

Please also be aware there is no WiFi or cell service anywhere on the ranch. In case of emergency you can use the phone located inside of the main lodge

Please visit our lodging page for pricing and availability.

Are there dining facilities for guests?

Yes! Our main lodge will be open daily for lunch. We have a variety of house-made items on our menu, including salads, sandwiches, and BBQ smoked on-site daily. We are also licensed to sell beer, wine and liquor to our guests. Please visit Ranch Dining to download our menu.

Can guests bring their own food and beverage?

Overnight guests are free to bring their own food and beverages to Piney River Ranch for their own personal consumption. All personal food and beverages must be consumed within the confines of your accommodations. Operating under a liquor license, the State law requires that all alcoholic beverages purchased from the PRR bar must be consumed within the bar/restaurant licensed area. Day visitors are not permitted to picnic at the ranch, but areas in the National Forest along the road up to the ranch do have pullouts for picnicking.

What are the average weather conditions at Piney River Ranch during the season?

Due to our very high altitude, weather conditions can vary greatly throughout the season and change quickly. We recommend that you come prepared for any condition—including snow, rain, heat and high wind.

Any advice for avoiding high altitude sickness?

Guests should prepare ahead of time. Advance to high altitude slowly, allowing your body to adjust. If you’re visiting us from low-altitude locations (i.e., outside of Colorado), try to spend a day or two at lower elevations before ascending. Drink lots of water, get plenty of rest and avoid consumption of caffeine and alcohol.

How do I get to the ranch?

Piney River Ranch is just 12 miles from the Vail Valley, and our address is 700 Red Sandstone Road, Vail, Colorado 81658. Due to our location within a National Forest, sites such as Google Maps or MapQuest will not always route you properly to the ranch. If using GPS please enter Piney Lake otherwise please visit our directions page for more information.

Is there WiFi or cell service on the ranch?

There is no WiFi or cell service anywhere on the ranch. In case of emergency you can use the phone located inside of the main lodge.

Tips for enjoying the ranch

We want you to maximize your time and enjoyment at the ranch. Please click here for tips to making the most out of your time at Piney.

Wedding & Event Related Questions

How many hours do we have the venue for our wedding?
When does our 10 hour block of time begin?
Who is responsible for setting up and taking down decorations?
Are there any restrictions for décor such as hanging things, stringing lights, candles or fireworks?
Does Piney River Ranch have a ladder available for decorating?
Can I drop off décor items etc. before my 10 hour block begins?
Can I pick up my décor items etc. the day after my event?
What time should I have my guests arrive to Piney River Ranch for my wedding?
When can we and our vendors arrive on the property?
Can we purchase additional hours?
What is included in the cost of the venue for a wedding?
How many guests can you accommodate for events?
Are outside catering vendors permitted?
I want an outdoor ceremony, but I am worried about the weather. Do you have a contingency plan for inclement weather?
Do you provide transportation from the Vail area?
Will we have access to the ranch for a rehearsal?
Will there be a tasting for our event prior to final menu selection?
What are the dimensions of the tables and how many do they seat?
Do you provide linens?
What type of seating does PRR provide?
Does Piney River Ranch have an AV sound system?
Does Piney River Ranch have a microphone?
Is there power available for the ceremony deck?
Does Piney River Ranch have refrigeration available to store a wedding cake or dessert?
Is there WiFi or cell service on the ranch?
Can we bring in our own alcohol to enjoy while we get ready?

How many hours do we have the venue for our wedding?

You will have access to the venue for a total of 10 hours. This includes six hours for your event, three hours for set-up, and one hour for clean-up.

When does our 10 hour block of time begin?

The eight-hour rental begins three hours before your ceremony starts. For example, if your ceremony begins at 4pm, you will have access to the space at 1pm to begin set-up, and will conclude at 10pm. Cleanup and breakdown will then occur between 10pm and 11pm. Though you may dictate when the block of time begins, all events must conclude by 10:00 p.m.

If additional time is required at the beginning of your event, there will be a fee of $500/hour.

Who is responsible for setting up and taking down decorations?

PRR does not assume responsibility for setting up or taking down decorations. You must have a Day-of Coordinator. Pavilions will be ready for decorating three hours prior to your event, and all decorations are to be cleaned up one hour after your event. If additional site time is required for cleanup you will be charged $500/hour.

Are there any restrictions for décor such as hanging things, stringing lights, candles or fireworks?

Piney River Ranch does not allow any holes to be placed into our structures for the purpose of decoration. Strung décor can be tied to our structure with twine or wrapped around posts. Due to the amount of power draw, we do not permit the use of string lights. We do not allow any open flames. All candles must be concealed within a closed sided container, at least three inches above the top of the wick. Due to the fire hazard, PRR does not allow the use of fireworks, sparklers, or floating lanterns.

Does Piney River Ranch have a ladder available for decorating?

No, due to liability, you or your vendor must provide your own ladder.

Can I drop off décor items etc. before my 10 hour block begins?

No. All set-up including deliveries are to be completed within your 10 hour block of time.

Can I pick up my décor items etc. the day after my event?

No. All items must be picked-up and removed from the premises immediately following your event.

What time should I have my guests arrive to Piney River Ranch for my wedding?

We recommend having your guests arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled ceremony time.  This will allow your guests time to park, and find their way to the ceremony site.

When can we and our vendors arrive on the property?

The moment your 10 hour block begins, you and your vendors may have access to the property, no earlier.

Can we purchase additional hours?

Yes. You may add-on hours to the beginning of your scheduled event at a rate of $500/hour.

What is included in the cost of the venue for a wedding?

The fee for the venue rental includes: private use of the ceremony deck, large pavilion, adjoining cocktail pavilion, bride’s getting-ready suite, groom’s lounge, 8’ custom wood dinner tables, benches and chairs for up to 200 guests, cocktail table whiskey barrels, one-hour rehearsal, onsite parking, set-up of benches / chairs, use of horseshoe pits, and playground. Rental fee does not include transportation. Included with our on-site catering and bar packages is also your china, flatware, and glassware.

How many guests can you accommodate for events?

The ranch can accommodate up to 200 guests for an event.

Are outside catering vendors permitted?

We do not allow outside catering vendors at this time.

I want an outdoor ceremony, but I am worried about the weather. Do you have a contingency plan for inclement weather?

Yes. We are prepared for weather, and have great “Plan B” options that can be put into action as early as the day of the wedding.

Do you provide transportation from the Vail area?

Piney River Ranch does not provide transportation of their own. However, we can provide you with a list of transportation companies that are permitted.

Will we have access to the ranch for a rehearsal?

Yes. All rehearsals will be scheduled the day prior to your wedding, from 9:00am – 10:00am.

Will there be a tasting for our event prior to final menu selection?

Tastings will be offered prior to your event. Invitations to tastings will be sent out via email, and reservations will be required. Only two persons will be offered complimentary tastings per event. If you would like to purchase additional tastings, a quote will be provided.

What are the dimensions of the tables and how many do they seat?

The tables we supply are 8′ X 3′ and comfortably seat eight adults (four on each side).

Do you provide linens?

Piney River Ranch does not provide linens. Table linens and dinner napkins must be rented from an outside vendor by the client.

What type of seating does PRR provide?

PRR provides seating for up to 200 of your guests. We have wooden benches for your ceremony and white resin folding chairs for your reception.

Does Piney River Ranch have an AV sound system?

No, we do not have an in-house sound system.

Does Piney River Ranch have a microphone?

No.  We recommend contacting your DJ or band.

Is there power available for the ceremony deck?

Yes, our deck and pavilions are all equipped with power sources.

Does Piney River Ranch have refrigeration available to store a wedding cake or dessert?

No, we do not have any refrigeration available to store event-related items. You must coordinate this with your Pastry Chef or bring another method for keeping desserts cool.

Is there WiFi or cell service on the ranch?

There is no WiFi or cell service anywhere on the ranch. In case of emergency you can use the phone located inside of the main lodge.

Can we bring in our own alcohol to enjoy while we get ready?

No. Piney River Ranch holds a liquor license and does not permit bringing any outside alcohol. We have our restaurant bar open from 11:00-6:00, as well as options to sell you champagne, beer, and wine, to enjoy in your changing rooms. Any alcohol found onsite that was not purchased through Piney River Ranch will be confiscated and you could be fined.

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