Frequently Asked Questions

General Ranch Questions

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 Saturday 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.

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.

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 $40 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.

Piney River Ranch does not allow drones anywhere on property at any time. USFS also does not allow drones anywhere on their land. Their land surrounds our private property. We ask that you leave your drones at home.

Accommodations for the 2023 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.

Yes! Our main lodge will be open daily for lunch from 11am – 6pm to the general public.  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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We want you to maximize your time and enjoyment at the ranch. Here are some handy tips to help make the most out of your time at Piney.

  • Come early or come late –The ranch is busiest during the hours around lunch. We suggest coming near opening or closing hours to have the most peaceful experience. We are open daily from 9am to 6pm unless there is an event scheduled, at which time we close at 4pm.
  • Getting to the ranch – click here for directions.
  • Make plans to eat at our restaurant – Our restaurant serves from 11am to 6pm daily unless we have an event scheduled, at which time we may close at 4pm. No reservations required.
  • Wi-Fi and cell service – Please be aware that there is no Wi-Fi on site and very limited Verizon cell service at the front desk.
  • Talk to us – We pride ourselves on having the friendliest staff who are always happy to answer any question.
  • No Entrance Fee – There is no fee to enter the ranch. We have a main parking lot located inside the ranch. Once that is full, we direct cars to park outside of the ranch in the USFS parking lot.
  • Have fun with your family & friends –The ranch has lots to offer – horseback riding, water activities, hiking, eating, drinking or simply relaxing by the lake.
  • Come prepared – The ranch is located at 9350’ feet which means the temperature is much cooler than Vail, so bring layers.

Wedding & Event Related Questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

We do not allow outside catering vendors at this time.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

We have wooden benches for your ceremony and wooden cross-back chairs for up to 150 guests for your reception.

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

No.  We recommend contacting your DJ or band.

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

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.

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.

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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