welcome you to Elk Mountain Ranch

Tom and Sue Murphy met at Elk Mountain Ranch in 1986. Tom was head wrangler and Sue was a children’s counselor/wrangler. After three years of courting each other from a distance (Sue in Michigan and Tom in Indiana) and returning to Elk Mountain Ranch to work for the summers, Tom finally found the courage to propose in June of 1988. They were married in 1989 and returned to Elk Mountain for what they thought to be one last summer.

Elk Mountain Ranch & its Surrounding Beauty

That winter Tom returned to Indiana where he managed a ski shop (yes, a ski shop in Indiana) and Sue found a teaching job at New Palestine High School. All seemed perfect, but their hearts and minds still drifted to the Summers in the Rockies, views of Mount Princeton, blue skies, fresh air and cowboy cookies. They once again decided to return to the ranch in the Spring, but this time they were packing their bags and heading west for good. Day offs were spent looking for permanent employment in Colorado. When the season ended, the Boyds must have felt sorry for them and offered them ranch housing for the winter (frozen pipes and all) and some remodeling jobs to keep them busy.

In the Summer of 1990, the owner of the ranch was offered a year-round position as Vice-Chancellor at Denver University. The offer was quite an honor, but with the honor came the difficult decision of having to sell the ranch. They asked Tom and Sue if they would be interested in buying it. Their answer – Well, of course! One slight problem… they were fresh out of college and did not have that kind of money. It was in 1991 that they went into a managing partnership in hopes of earning enough for a down payment someday. Well… many years later… the ranch owns them – and they could not be happier.

The Murphys through the years:

Tom and Sue have been blessed to be able to raise two children in a spectacular setting, where they met friends from all over the world, spent their days riding horses, fishing, and hiking to tepees. Their daughter, Hunter is now 30 years old and works for Seaboard Foods in Kansas as a Feed Ingredient Merchandiser. Tyler is 27 years old, graduated from the University of Colorado where he studied Aerospace engineering, and works for Raytheon.

The family of summer-staff are so good about keeping in touch and returning to visit. Employees at the ranch become family. The ranch has also been matchmakers for sixteen lovely couples.

Tom and Sue have been hosts to over 12,500 special guests from all over the world including the US, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Egypt, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Kuwait, Thailand, Bermuda, Italy and U.A.E. They are thankful to be able to spend their lives doing something that they truly love, and thankful that they can share this little piece of heaven with all of you!