This article is a guest post from a dear friend I met while traveling Kansas this summer. Lori Rognlie and her husband, Brad, are mega travelers and long to see the world just as I do. She emailed me about her visit to the Love-A-Llama Lodge and I had to share it. Thanks so much, Lori, for the awesome guest post!
Brad and I just returned home from our annual trip to Colorado. We go to Estes Park, CO every fall because that is my favorite time of year there. I have been going there since I was 3 years old.
This year we decided to extend our trip and check out the Steamboat Springs area. We’ve never been there before. So initially, Brad booked a dog friendly room in Steamboat Springs. I subscribe to “Only In Your State” and saw this story about staying at a Llama Ranch near Steamboat Springs. We checked it out and it was $100 a night cheaper than staying in Steamboat.
The Love A Llama Lodge is located at 27550 Seedhouse Road in Clark, CO about 22 miles from Steamboat Springs. It is easy to find, but your GPS will give out before you get there.
The owners are Don & Diane White Crane. They are very friendly and engaging, but not interfering. They give you a tour of the loft and grounds and show you how everything works when you arrive and then they leave you alone. The only time they seem to interact is when they see you with the Llamas and that is more for your safety than anything else. (Note: if you are into politics, Diane was a member of Robert F. Kennedy’s staff in the 60’s and was with him the night he was assassinated). Diane also grows garlic on the property and this year she harvested over 100 pounds of garlic.
Dogs are welcome at the Love A Llama lodge. If you want to go on a hike, take a dip in the hot springs or shop in Steamboat Diane will gladly take care of your dog for you.
Love A Llama Lodge Barn Loft
Our lodging space was the loft of a small barn on the property. Yes, there are tractors in the bottom space of the barn. The loft is very cozy and well-furnished. It has all the things you need and then some like fondue pots, waffle maker, a first aid kit, and extra toothbrushes. Diane has thought of everything.
There is a full-size kitchen with every utensil you would need, a dishwasher, washer and dryer, and even the soap is included. The loft is an open space, but Diane has done a good job of making sleeping, resting, library, and toy spaces. The barn only has one bed but there are several comfortable mattresses that can be pulled out for more than 2 guests. (Brad actually slept on a mattress on the floor because it just felt more comfortable to his back and he thought it was very firm and comfortable).
The bathroom has a full size tub/shower. For those of you that are tall like Brad & I, the shower is plenty tall enough and you do not have to stoop to use it. For those of you with thick hair like me, the shower has plenty of pressure to wash even the thickest of hair.
There is no Wi-Fi in the barn at Love A Llama Lodge, but there are plenty of other things to keep you entertained. Diane has a well-stocked library with books and movies for all ages, plus a wide variety of toys, puzzles, and board games. Even a toy box for your dogs! Diane has thought of everything.
Love-A-Llama Lodge Grounds
On the grounds there are many things to explore. Some are in plain sight, like the fire ring, horseshoe pit, and chairs for watching the sunset. But Diane takes you into the woods and shows you a quiet place with an extra-large hammock for a nice afternoon nap, or place to read. A teepee is set up in the woods just for kids to play in or read.
The sight also has a place where you can bring your own tent and camp. (You will use restroom facilities in the lower portion of the barn). There is a mountain bike (and helmets) for guests to use or even an ATV to further explore the property. A walking trail is in the pasture and a gentle stream that kids and dogs alike will enjoy playing in.
The big draw to the Love A Llama Lodge is the seven llamas. The llamas are around from about May to early November (depending on the snow conditions). When you first arrive, Diane will introduce you to the llamas and show you how to feed them. You can feed them anytime you like and as often as you like. They are so cute and funny interesting.
Diane has written a children’s book “Stop Spitting at your Brother: Lessons of a Rocky Mountain Llama” and a CD of children’s songs that she gives guests with young children. A copy of her book is in the loft and it is a quick read all about llamas.
Hiking the Property
If hiking is your thing, then you will LOVE this area with hundreds of trails. Lucky for you, Diane has hiked every one of them and has written a book “Hiking the ‘Boat'”. She is also a great resource when you want to know about difficulty of hikes as well. Brad and I thoroughly enjoyed the hike at Pearl Lake State Park. The colors were gorgeous. Steamboat Springs State Lake is 2 miles from Pearl Lake State Park.
This place isn’t for everyone, but if you love quiet, dark sky nights, gorgeous sunsets and interacting with animals, this Love a Llama Lodge is your place. It is cheaper than staying in Steamboat Springs, and you get an amazing experience. The only drawbacks are the fact that there is no Wifi and you must carry your luggage up 18 steps to the loft.
As for Wi-fi, there is an easy remedy. The Clark Store is only two miles away, offers free Wi-fi, and has an amazing breakfast. The store is also a deli, library, grocery store, post office, book store, liquor store and movie rental place all in one.
A Word from the Author: I am Lori Rognlie from Topeka, KS. Born, bred and proud Kansas girl! Don’t make me mad or I will drop a house on you.
I am married to Brad Rognlie and we are parents to twins Tyler and Kacie. The twins have grown and the parents now roam. We are usually accompanied by our Australian shepherds Callie & Piper, because we are guilty dog parents.
I love traveling to new and exciting places, but my very favorite place is Estes Park, Colorado. I’ve been going there since I was 3 years old and I am…..well let’s just say that I’ve been going there a long time. I have deep roots there with the YMCA. A few things about me:
- I’m addicted to Lindt Dark Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt and I pray they never find a cure for that.
- I love postcards!
- I pretend to be a quilter, meaning I buy a lot of fabric. That will all come in useful when I retire.
- I’m old fashioned that I believe in handwriting thank you’s, cards and letters. My great grandmother taught me well. Oh and I like to receive those too!
- I LOVE sports and I am very loyal to Kansas State Wildcats, Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals.
- I enjoy volunteering. “Volunteers are unpaid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless”.
- I collect quotes of all kinds and keep them in diaries. Boy are my kids going to be surprised after I am gone to find that there are no juicy secrets in my diaries.
- I listen to my 70’s music more than I watch TV. It’s simply the BEST music.
- I read a lot. Not because I work in a library, but because I read about places I want to go or to be ready for trivia nights.
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