Vallecitos Mountain Ranch is located at 8,800 feet above sea level, where the mountain weather can be dramatic and surprising in any season.
May and Early June
Daytime high temperatures range in the 60s-70s F° on sunny days to 40s-50s F° in inclement or cooler weather. Nighttime and early morning temperatures can dip down to freezing, and rain and late-season snow are possible. As Canada geese return to the ponds, the meadows green up with new grass, and the aspen put out their first buds and leaves. At this quiet time of year, wildlife is abundant and often sighted on the ranch. Elk grazing across the river are a common sight in the mornings and evenings.
Late June, July, August and Early September
Daytime temperatures reach the 70s and 80s F° on sunny days, and to the 50s and 60s F° in inclement or cooler weather. Nighttime and early morning temperatures typically drop down into the upper 40s and 50s F°. Afternoon showers are not uncommon during this time of year, often called the “monsoon season.” Geese and ducks swim in the ponds with their fledglings, a multitude of wildflowers color the meadows, and the warm butterscotch aroma of Ponderosa pine fills the air. The afternoon rains keep the landscape lush. These are truly the golden days of summer in the mountains.
Mid-September and October
At this time of year, as summer turns to autumn and the days and nights grow gradually cooler, daytime temperatures peak in the 60s and 70s F° on clear days, or the 40s-50s F° on cooler days. The temperature may dip to freezing at night and in the early morning, especially in October. The aspen leaves and meadow grasses turn deep gold. The elk once more trek through and around the ranch during their rutting season, their haunting, bugling calls filling the air in the evenings and mornings.
Winter at the Ranch
The Tusas Mountains usually receive abundant snowfall and the ranch remains under a mantle of snow most of the winter. Blazing fires in the massive fireplaces keep the lodge comfortable and warm all day, and the heated casitas stay snug through the night. The temperature may not rise above freezing on overcast days, but on clear, sunny days the south-facing slope at the ranch warms to a pleasant temperature, making it tempting to ski or snowshoe with just a light jacket. Nighttime temperatures drop well below 0 F°.