About Us

Colorado Outdoor Education Center has been offering outstanding programs in the out-of-doors since 1948 and has a national and international reputation for excellence.  In addition to 6000 acres of mountain forest and meadow at an elevation of 8500’ in the Rocky Mountain, the Center operates three separate facilities. 

Big Spring Ranch Dinnertime at the Big Spring Lodgefor Boys is open during the summer season only and includes a historic log lodge/dining hall, a modern health center, a theater and program center, a crafts shop, a heated and filtered swimming pool, a stables area and barn, tennis courts, playing fields, washhouses, and thirty-five platform tents and yurts.

High Trails Living RoomHigh Trails Ranch is the home for the girls’ camp during the summer and the High Trails Outdoor Education Center program during the fall and spring seasons.  This fully-winterized facility includes a lodge/dining hall, and nine modern cabins with two bunk rooms, a full bath and a living room with rock fireplace.  High Trails also has a theater/recreation building, a crafts shop, a stables area and riding arena, a heated and filtered swimming pool, a health center, and playing fields.

The Nature Place AccomodationsThe Nature Place is open year-round for conferences, reunions, and corporate groups focusing on leadership and team development.  It has a large lodge/dining hall with stunning views of Pikes Peak, a business support office, and comfortable areas for meeting and relaxing.  Guests stay in one of forty-eight modern studio-apartments located near the lodge.  Three conference rooms are fully outfitted for meetings and the Sportsplex houses an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, and volleyball court.

The Center’s programs are guided by Executive Director Jane Sanborn and an on-site team of fifteen professional educators. Most of these professionals have many years of experience with COEC and they provide mature and dedicated leadership for all of our programs.  Twenty year-round support staff contribute to facility maintenance, office administration, and food services.  A seasonal staff of one hundred college age students augments our summer camp staff, and a dozen college graduates provide leadership for the High Trails Outdoor Education Center program during the Fall and the Spring.  All programs are overseen by the COEC Board of Directors.