Deer Valley Ranch
Deer Valley Ranch is committed to serving families with excellence and enthusiasm. As guests on a dude and adventure ranch, you are more than clients; you are part of our extended family. For over six decades Deer Valley Ranch has been a haven for families seeking time away from busy schedules to reconnect and grow together. That is what we do at Deer Valley: create opportunities for adventure and connectedness to happen.
As a Dude Ranch, of course we ride horses. However, we do a lot more than that! We hike trails, fish in mountain streams and lakes, raft the Arkansas River, climb to incredible vantage points on mountains, ride bikes along scenic mountain trails and simply breathe in the beauty of God’s creation every day. Yet, the true joy of a Deer Valley Ranch vacation is the “sense of belonging” that it provides.
It is a conversation with another guest at dinner, watching as a wrangler encourages your nervous son on his first ride, sharing the camaraderie of making it up a major mountain peak, or laughing when your guide falls into the cold water while fishing. Ranch vacations have plenty of challenges to meet, nervous new experiences (rafting, horseback riding, and hiking above timberline), and lots of laughter and smiles.
Parker & Clara Woolmington
Deer Valley Ranch was founded by Parker and Clara Woolmington in 1954 as a Christian Family Dude and Guest Ranch. After moving from Philadelphia in 1951 to work on developing the new Young Life property in Buena Vista, Colorado called “Frontier Ranch”. Both Parker and Clara had a true desire to step out even further and impact families with a whole new guest experience, and the beginnings of Deer Valley Ranch were underway. As the years passed and the ranch began to take shape, new and returning families came back each summer to spend time with the Woolmingtons in the beautiful and iconic Deer Valley Ranch.
John Woolmington and Harold & Sue DeWalt
Twenty-five years later, after Parker and Clara had firmly established Deer Valley Ranch as an incredible family guest ranch destination, the ranch transitioned ownership to the second generation. John Woolmington and Harold and Sue DeWalt purchased the ranch from their mother and father and continued to run the ranch in a rich tradition of putting families first. For the past 37 years John, Harold and Sue have poured their lives into making Deer Valley Ranch everything that a true western family guest ranch should be. They worked tirelessly developing new programs and ideas to engage families and create amazing memories.
David & Shannon Johnson
On April 1st, 2016, the ranch changed hands for the third time, this time to a former guest of Deer Valley Ranch with a passion and desire to see families connect in ways never imagined before. Dave and Shannon Johnson (along with their four children) created a new ministry corporation called Project 2411 Ministries, Inc. to successfully transition the ranch and its incredible legacy into the next decades. They continue to work with the previous staff to make all aspects of Deer Valley Ranch exceptional well into the 21st century. With the development of new programs and activities, as well as keeping the traditional ones alive and well, the ranch is sure to continue impacting families for decades to come. Dave and Shannon along with their family currently reside at Deer Valley Ranch full-time and have enjoyed making Buena Vista, Colorado their new home.
Project 2411 Ministries
Project 2411 Ministries, Inc. completely owns all aspects of deer valley Ranch as of April 1st, 2016.
““Deer Valley Ranch creates opportunities for adventure and connectedness allowing families to find their destiny with the Lord.”
It was a pivotal and life changing exercise for me in many ways.
This awakening in me created a passion to bring together several very distinct loves in my life: first, pursuing Jesus Christ and secondly spending time with my family and lastly being in His incredible creation. After spending most of my years in business and ministry in Florida, my wife Shannon and I decided to take God up on a very specific adventure that he was calling us to late in 2013. Colorado here we come!
Since I was a young boy I have loved anything to do with adventure and outdoors and dreamed of combining, at some point, my two greatest passions: first, my pursuit after the heart of Jesus, and secondly, anything remotely adventurous and outdoors. Now, as a grown man raising a teenage son and three daughters all with hearts that seek adventure and truth my desires for the Lord and adventure have been galvanized, not in myself alone but in my legacy through my family. Project 2411 was formed with this purpose in mind. It is a catalyst for that personal adventure, spiritual development and family connectedness to take place. Every organized event on the ranch or guided expedition leaving from the ranch has this central and eternal focus in mind: to explore the heart of individuals and families and to allow that heart to be fully captivated by God’s beauty and majesty.