Around the World in 80 Eco Spas: Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, Colorado, USA

Life & Soul Magazine’s Travel Guide to Eco Spas will whet your appetite for a vacation that brings healing to holidaymakers in accommodations that work in harmony with the planet.

19. Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, Colorado

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, located in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, is a rustic destination for those seeking a natural-based spa, rugged mountain treks, and luxury accommodation that does not compromise on environmentally-friendly principles – set within an area cloaked in Native American lore and legend.

The Ranch Resort & Spa goes a long way to protecting the “precious resources” and caring for the pristine land that it has both embraced and nurtured. Set amidst 6,000 acres of fragrant pines, the 90-acres of ranch that has been developed was originally built as a homestead and operational dairy in 1938.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa has since undergone transformation when the ranch’s current owners, Bob and Suzanne Fanch, saved the property from being developed into a residential and golf course community in 2001. Over the years, the couple have invested in sustainable initiatives including solar panels, geothermal heat and state-of-the-art water filtration system.

With a goal to provide visitors with “a truly authentic, environmentally sensitive, rustically elegant ranch experience that celerates the spirit of Colorado, the Fanchs have created an environment that exudes sustainable luxury while maintaining a down-to-earth presence.

Local and reclaimed building materials have been used throughout Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, while the interior wood pannelling – made from local beetle kill-pine – adds to the ranch’s rustic charm. An emphasis on wooden lodge-style dwellings, the ranch also has small cosy log cabins and high-ceiling, timber framed lodges with stone fireplaces. Making every effort to complement the reclaimed building materials, the accommodations are exquisitely decorated with leather sofas and armchairs, antique wood furniture, wool blankets, tapestries and Native American art.

Devil’s Thumb itself is a rocky outcropping that towers high above the ranch. The thumb-like geological formation was given its name by Native American Ute and Arapahoe tribes, who after years of feuding, settled their differences and “buried the Devil” in the valley, leaving only the Devil’s thumb exposed to remind them of the evils of war and the importance of peace.

The ranch’s spa, located in a quiet corner of a meadow overlooking the ranch, offers the opportunity to both contemplate and respect the peace that was observed within the area by Native American tribes. Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa’s geothermally-heated saltwater pool, akin to a natural pond, and hot tub, overlooking the mountain peaks also provide guests with the opportunity to appreciate the local wildlife.

Ensuring relaxation or rejuventation, the Ranch Creek Spa offers spa treatments including hot-stone massages, wraps, scrubs and soaks, as well as special treatments geared towards children.

Since Devil’s Thumb Ranch is also a working ranch, they also raise their own grass-fed Japanese Wagyu cattle. Evidently dining at one of the ranch’s eateries is a truly local experience – aside from its specialty beef, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa also grows their own herbs and vegetables, cultivates their own honey from their on-site bees housed in 80 hives, and supplements any other requirements from local producers.

Under a two-hour drive from Denver International Airport, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is just as appealing a destination for those seeking a relaxing vacation as it for those wanting to participate in the seasonal recreational activities that the ranch hosts – from cross-country Nordic skiiing, snowshoeing and ice-skating during the winter, to fly fishing, hiking, zip lining, and water-based activities during the summer.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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