When you get to a certain stage in life, there is really only one thing left to gift your family: a place where the entire clan can enjoy layers of generations under one roof, basking in the tranquility of nature.

In other words, a home on the range where memories can be created between generations, and then passed down to future generations.

For many North Texans, that dream is a ranch, one perhaps offering equestrian experiences and certainly, if in neighboring Colorado, relief from the Texas summer heat as well as a full ski season.

However, let’s face it: real life on a ranch is never anything but hard work. As you hike or ride, you notice the fence that needs repairing, the barn that was bashed during the October storms, and oh yes, the horses that need constant tending. Add that to the rest of the inevitable days’ worth of sun-up to sun-down chores, and despite the romantic allure, you begin to wonder, ‘is Ranch ownership a realistic option for our family?’

Pondering this very question inspired our recent visit west to Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club, located in picturesque, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which we knew for awesome skiing.

But ranch life?

We’d heard that this property was different, that it was the perfect solution to mountain ranch ownership: a beautiful mountain property in the northwest corner of the state, acres of breathtaking forest and soaring mountain views that lower your blood pressure every time you open your eyes. There is horseback riding, fly-fishing, golf, ski-in/ski-out mountain access to fresh powder, fresh water swims, critters and cattle, and the best gift of all: a luxurious home on the range without the maintenance.

In other words, you own this ranch: it doesn’t own you.

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Looking for a place to beat the heat? Feast your eyes on one of the hottest equestrian offerings on the market. Just 45 minutes from downtown Dallas, El Milagro Retreat is a sprawling, 50-acre residential estate, and working equestrian ranch that lives like a five-star resort. Whether you want to take a dip in the infinity-edge pool, go for a horseback ride, train your prized mare, or host the entire family for summer vacation, this majestic beauty has it all.

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