burgers at james ranch

James Ranch is a magical place. Located in the Animas River Valley north of Durango, the setting is as gorgeous as it gets. The Ranch is a family-run, 400 acre, high altitude ranch with irrigated pastures, crystal clear flowing water, 100% grass fed and finished beef cattle, grazing Jersey milk cows, a spruce tree nursery, and an organic vegetable and flower garden. The ranch uses organic farming practices, and consists of four different agriculturally based enterprises. The family has a quality of life goal that dictates the ranch remain in agriculture as a lifestyle preference for the families and open space for the community.

James Ranch sells their beef and cheese and garden goods at the Durango Farmers' Market, but these products are also available at the market at the ranch. Tours of the ranch are also available, something we have yet to do. Our favorite part of the ranch is the Harvest Grill & Greens. It is a food cart on the ranch property where you can get one of the best burgers on this earth. The lawn is terraced with picnic tables and lots of open space and ridiculously amazing views. Not a bad place to enjoy one of the most delicious burgers on earth. They have live music some nights, and the goats and chickens are always around. It is an amazing experience to eat James Ranch's grass fed organic beef burgers on a locally-made bun topped with James Ranch's  organic cheese. Add to that the spectacular atmosphere and views; like I said, it's magical.

Last night we went to James Ranch for dinner. We always get the Signature Burger, which is the one I described above (a hand-formed, one-third pound beef patty with James Ranch Belford cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce from their garden and their signature rosemary garlic mayonnaise spread on a lightly buttered, toasted bun from local bakery, Serious Delights). Raffa will eat a little of our burgers here and there, but last night he was all about the chips (also locally made) and the chocolate chip cookie (surprise! also locally made). He was also all about sitting at the child-sized picnic table, which John and I obligingly sat at too.

After dinner we took a stroll around and found the goats and chickens. It was absolutely the most perfect and beautiful weather, which made it so difficult to leave. But, Raffa's bedtime was calling after an already eventful day, which was spent about 75% outdoors. So, we packed it in and headed the ten miles back to town marveling at the beauty of the valley on the way.
If you are in Durango, or ever get the chance to visit, James Ranch is a "must visit". We adore it; who wouldn't?

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