This area of Western Colorado boasts a richly diverse history of Native Americans (Utes), Spanish explorers and fur traders, mining, ranching, wild Spanish mustangs, railways and of course it served as a hideout for a few of the American West's most infamous outlaws and notable figures, such as Butch Cassidy, Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp and Tom Horn.
Homesteaders first laid claim and settled Brush Creek canyon, where our main lodge sits, in 1897, scraping out a harsh living by raising livestock in the rugged landscape. Over the years, the property changed hands several times, before ultimately becoming the popular 5-star Marriott Hotel resort known as Kessler Canyon Ranch. In 2017, the property was sold and converted back to a private estate, offering limited availability to outside guests by advance reservation only.
Today, the exquisitely appointed 20,000 square foot Homestead Lodge and 12,000 square foot Guest House grace the homestead cabin site. The original homestead apple orchard still produces succulent heirloom apples and remnants of the early settlers can be found and explored across the property.
The namesake for the ranch is an ancient boulder that tumbled off the canyon rim eons ago and has been 'branded' by area cowboys and wranglers etching their livestock brands and initials into Branded Rock since the late 1800s.