Blue Lake Ranch,
has evolved over the years from a
simple Norwegian homestead into one of the
Southwest's best-kept secret hideaways for
those travelers willing to venture off the
beaten path...or at least a few minutes from
The original homestead house, now the
Trading Post, was all that existed when
David Alford purchased the Durango
property over thirty years ago. The
property had been abandoned for years
and only the heirloom hollyhocks and wild
roses managed to survive.
The first decade was spent building the Log Cabin on Blue Lake, renovating and adding to the homestead house, and starting the long process of cleanup and revegetation. Even though the homestead had been abandoned, cattle had overgrazed the land for years.
In 1981, David opened his doors as a Home Stay, with one room in the Main Inn - the expanded homestead house. This was a first for the four corners region and coincided with the opening of the first bed and breakfasts in Santa Fe, NM and Boulder, Colorado. In 1984, David added three additional accommodations including the Log Cabin on the Lake, which to this day remains the only accommodation on the Lake and a favorite lodge of many guests.
In 1991, David married the girl next door, Shirley Isgar, daughter to one of the area's ranching families. Shirley's mom had been David's gardening mentor and had shared many of her heirloom plants, seeds, and numerous gardening tips. Mom's greatest contribution to David's life came, however, when she played matchmaker during one of her daughter's trips to visit the family. Shirley was a physician, practicing in Boulder, Colorado, but was easily lured back home and has been helping David at Blue Lake Ranch ever since. Their daughter, Joan was born in 1993 and assists them in their efforts.
Together, the Alfords have listened to their guests' needs and desires and have expanded the Ranch accordingly. Blue Lake Ranch now encompasses 230 acres. Seventy acres around the main Ranch house, including 35 acres left as open space on the west side of the Blue Lake, and 160 acres along the La Plata River where the River House, the Alford's home, and the Ridgewood Event Center are located.
From the luxury of the Casitas and Spring House, the rustic Cabin on the Lake or the seclusion of the River House and Cottage in the Woods, we now have something for everyone and every occasion. Our guests often return with their families and friends year after year to enjoy Blue Lake Ranch.
We can now host reunions and meetings at the Ranch of up to 50 participants or larger events up to 150 at the Ridgewood Event Center just 1 mile from the original ranch property.