The 2014 National Sheepdog Finals

Open meadows, mountain air, and what are likely the craftiest dogs you'll meet this year. It's the 2014 National Sheepdog Finals in the Roaring Fork Valley. The competition is fierce — and just a little bit shaggy.

Timbers Resorts is proud to sponsor this year's Finals, scheduled September 9–14, and we salute the efforts of the Aspen Valley Land Trust to not only recognize this exciting part of our region's ranching heritage but also to protect the land on which it depends.

Starting in 2011, the Trust understood something special that came along with the dogs, the handlers, and the spirited Western Range sheep that they herd. The Sheepdog Finals not only celebrates mountain life, the event helps raise awareness and support for region-wide conservation.

Held at Strang Ranch, a valued neighbor since 1961, the action is set against a stunning backdrop of some 460 acres of meadow, pasture, sagebrush, and gambel oak. At 7,000 feet, the ranch offers some of the valley's most remarkable views of Mount Sopris and the Elk range.

And the sights on the ground are not to be missed. In a tradition that stretches back to the earliest agricultural times, border collies race, dart and duck, working in almost uncanny tandem with their handlers to direct, corral, divide, and reunite flocks of sheep. No mild lambs, these. Burly Western Range flocks only respond if the dog earns their respect. Even then, these sheep have attitude!

This week, join us just outside Carbondale to root for the best canine and human teams. Eat delicious local fare and shop from onsite valley vendors. It all wraps up on Sunday, with the best of the competitors vying for a $40,000 purse. We hope to see you at the ranch!

To learn more about Timbers Resorts, please contact us at 800.941.4579 (toll free) or 970.963.4626 (direct) or via email at info@timbersresorts.com.