Sanborn Western Camps

Florissant, Colorado    

Lantern Review of Sanborn Western Camps

The largest camp in the country is set in the wide-open spaces of the West. By largest, we’re not referring to the number of campers, which Sanborn Western Camps limits to 135 at both the boys and the girls camps, but rather we’re referring to the 6,000 acres of mountains, alpine meadows and aspen groves that they call home. It is a summer home where the campers are encouraged to find their own path under the thoughtful guidance of skilled counselors.

The rugged Colorado wilderness is the backdrop for the activities that fit the environment. Mountain climbing, western riding and rock climbing are among the favorites and are effective tools in helping the campers develop a sense of self and build resilience. Some activities change from year-to-year depending on the expertise of the staff, demonstrating that Sanborn is not afraid to try new things in an effort to provide more opportunities for fun, growth and adventure.

Early in the camp session, campers choose among a variety of out-of-camp trips to explore the backcountry. What is interesting about Sanborn is their thoughtful and educational approach that supports the notion that a trip is more about the journey than the destination. During hiking trips, for example, it’s not unusual for the group to stop for yoga at a serene location, or set aside time to read at a picturesque spot, or encourage a look at geology through rock-collecting. It shows that Sanborn truly hopes to inspire broader thinking and an appreciation for one’s place in the wider world.

The boys’ camp, called Big Spring Ranch, and girls’ camp, called High Trails Ranch, have separate campuses at Sanborn, though they find time on weekends to get together for a few coed activities. It’s a fun balance that allows the campers to enjoy friendships that are formed at this mountain retreat.

Fast Facts

  • Girls Only
  • Boys Only
  • 310 Campers per Session
  • 2-week, 4-week
  • Founded in 1948
  • $$

Director's Message

Many campers believe that Sanborn is a "home away from home." We provide children with the structure they need, and the decision making opportunities that they want. A summer at Sanborn Camps will provide your child with benefits that will last a lifetime. Much has been said about the need for unstructured time in the natural world, which is one of the true gifts of a Sanborn Summer. Make time for the time of their lives!

Program Highlights

  • 20 Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Mountains
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Tripping
  • Waterfront
  • Forest
  • Rural
  • Remote

Top 5 Activities

  • Mountain Climbing
  • Wilderness Backpacking
  • Western Riding and Horsemanship
  • Technical Rock Climbing
  • Being in the Outdoors

Travel Information

Parent Drop-Off and Airport Pick-Up in Colorado Springs or Denver


Sanborn Western Camps

(719) 748-3341

Mike MacDonald, Ariella Rogge, Elizabeth Rundle