For the past two decades, the Taharaa Mountain Lodge has offered visitors to the Estes Valley a relaxed, secluded getaway amidst the splendor of the Rocky Mountains. The original lodge was built in 1997 by Ken and Diane Harlan, with construction on the adjoining Great Hall being completed in 2006. The Tracy Family has owned and managed the lodge since June of 2013. 

In 2019, the Taharaa was purchased by Sandra Huerta and Thad Eggen. Owners of the Twin Owls Steakhouse, Estes Park’s premiere fine dining and event destination, Sandra and Thad are excited to bring their decades of expertise to the Lodge, and so proud to have found such a spectacular new home for the Steakhouse. Whether you’re joining us for a weekend getaway, the wedding event of the season, or stopping in for a romantic dinner, the entire staff of the Taharaa Mountain Lodge are dedicated to making sure that your time with us leaves you relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready for whatever comes next.

Thank you all so much for your years of support and patronage, and we hope you’ll join us as often as you can in making all the years to come even more memorable!

The Taharaa & Twin Owls Family


With nearly forty years between them spent amidst the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, owners Sandra Huerta and Thad Eggen have made a lifelong home for themselves in the Estes Valley. Together with their son Mateo, they take every opportunity to enjoy all the adventures that this spectacular corner of the world has to offer.

Sandra Huerta

Sandra Huerta is a Colorado native who has lived in Estes Park since 1999, she has been with Twin Owls from the very beginning. Starting out as a hostess before shifting her focus and talents toward developing the Steakhouse into the quintessential Colorado wedding and event venue. She still slips behind the host stand on occasion, but most of her time is now spent working to ensure that every detail of every wedding, rehearsal dinner and family reunion is planned to perfection.

With more than fifteen years spent booking and coordinating events for the Steakhouse, Sandra has worked tirelessly to transform Twin Owls into one of Estes’ most desirable locale for events of every kind. Since taking over ownership of the Steakhouse, Sandra has also made the Twin Owls a centerpiece of the community. Working with the Estes Valley Wedding Association, the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation and with multiple local charities, she has helped to ensure that the Estes Valley continues to be a wonderful place both to work and to live.

Thad Eggen

taharaa mountain lodge

Born in Kansas, Thad Eggen made his way to the Rocky Mountains just as quickly as he could. Living and working in Estes Park since 1997, he is now one of the Valley’s premiere restaurateurs.

Thad took over as General Manager of the Twin Owls Steakhouse in 2009, and has spent the last decade building the Steakhouse into one of Estes Park’s most well-regarded fine dining destinations. A jack of all trades and a master of each, Thad can just as easily be found behind the bar making drinks as he can be on the floor delivering food or helping the kitchen through a busy summer night. He also plays an active role in the community, working with the Estes Park Cycling Coalition, the local Boy Scout troop, and other local businesses, all with an eye toward making Estes Park the best of all Colorado’s mountain towns.


– Rich Sickler – 
Executive Chef

Chef Richard Sickler’s passion for food started at a very young age in his grandmother’s kitchen, where she would sit him on the counter next to her so that he could watch her cook (and so she could sneak him a taste of everything she was making.) At the age of fifteen, Rich started his own culinary career in Wilmington, Delaware, and after high school, he attended the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating, Rich spent a decade developing and refining his craft, working in French and American fine dining in the Philadelphia area.  

In 2012, a love of the mountains and the outdoors, he moved to Colorado. He is an avid snowboarder and mountain biker, and spends most of his free time in the mountains.

After nearly 25 years in the industry, Rich feels he has finally found the kitchen he has been searching for at the Twin Owls Steakhouse. With a menu that combines old favorites and new classics, and one that is a perfect match for the casual elegance of our new home at the Taharaa, Rich looks forward to many years in the Estes valley, and to continuing the Twin Owls’ reputation for being the finest dining experience in the Rockies. 

Vicki Haan
Lodge Manager

taharaa mountain lodge

Kathy Bell
Event Manager