RanchSeeker Blog

Introducing Your Kids to Fishing: The Perfect Guest Ranch Vacation Activity

3/22/2018 9:58:31 AM

The following blog has been provided by  guest contributor Jon Sutton to share his knowledge about fishing with RanchSeeker's readers. 

Guest ranch vacations are rarely boring affairs. Throughout your stay, you’ll be immersed in the dude ranch lifestyle. You’ll ride horses, learn rope skills, get a taste of ranch culture and enjoy wonderful cuisine. But most of the best guest ranches also give you the chance to do other things too.

For example, many guest ranches border rivers or lakes and provide great opportunities for fishing. And because most guest ranch vacations are family affairs that include the kids, they provide the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids to the sport.

It’s really a no-lose proposition: Even if the fishing trip doesn’t go well, you’ll get the chance to spend a couple of hours bonding with your children and sharing the great outdoors with them. But if you plan the trip well, you’ll likely have a fantastic time, catch plenty of fish and take home photos of your kids showing off their catch.

Just try to embrace the tips below to ensure that your kids enjoy the best possible fishing experience. If things go well, you may spark a lifelong love of the sport, and help them develop an appreciation of the natural world.

1. Outfit your kids with age- and size-appropriate equipment.

Too often, kids are forced to fish with a parent’s hand-me-down rod, which is essentially guaranteed to be too large and complicated for them. Instead, you’ll want to outfit them with something befitting their size and skill level. A 5- to 6-foot-long spinning or spincasting combo is the ideal rod and reel for most kids who are learning to fish.

2. Pick a good location to fish with your kids.

You have to put your bait where the fish are if you expect to catch any, so don’t just go down to the lake and started casting about randomly. Instead, look for places near vegetation or man-made structures like docks, or where the depth changes abruptly. These are the types of locations in which fish often congregate. 

3. Get started early or wait until later in the day.

Fish often exhibit daily activity cycles; they’ll become active and feed during some times and rest during others. In the spring, summer and early fall, these active periods are often most pronounced near dawn and dusk, when the sun is low in the sky. Additionally, these times often offer the most comfortable fishing conditions for you and the kids.

4. Target the species your kids will have the best chance of catching.

Don’t set your kids up for disappointment by trying to catch largemouth bass, walleye or pike. Instead, try to increase your children’s chances of catching fish by targeting abundant, easy-to-catch species. This typically means targeting catfish and bluegill (as well as their relatives), but perch and rainbow trout can also be easy to catch in small ponds that are stocked with them.

5. Use real or live baits, rather than artificial lures.

Fancy artificial lures may be productive and fun to use for experienced anglers, but fishing novices will generally struggle to use them and end up snagging them on the bottom. Instead, use natural or live baits when teaching your kids to fish. For example, small worms, crickets and small dough balls are very effective for catching bluegill, while hot dog slices, grapes and shrimp are excellent catfish baits.

6. Keep things light, positive and fun.

Chances are, it may take a little while for your kids to get their first nibbles. This can lead to frustration, which can cause them to lose interest in fishing altogether. Accordingly, you’ll need to maintain a positive attitude and ensure that they’re still entertained and happy while learning to be patient. So, make sure to learn plenty of kid-friendly jokes and allow them frequent breaks to explore the shoreline or chase frogs, if necessary. They’ll usually regain their interest in a few minutes and do so with renewed determination.


If you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll set yourself up for a great day on the water and help your kids form memories that’ll last a lifetime. So be sure to give fishing a try on your next guest ranch vacation – you’ll be glad you did.

Just be sure that you familiarize yourself with the fishing rules and regulations of the state you’re visiting and that you obtain all necessary licenses before doing so. You don’t want to taint your child’s first fishing trip with an unpleasant encounter with law enforcement.

In the meantime, cruise on over to Outdoor Empire and check out their comprehensive article about taking your kids on their first fishing trip. There, you’ll learn more tips and tricks to make your kids first trip a great one.

Happy Trails!

Welcome to the Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

3/13/2018 3:12:41 PM

If you are looking for upscale luxury, a culturally diverse atmosphere, personalized guest care and spectacular natural surroundings then this Wyoming guest ranch is for you. The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch, located in Shell, Wyoming (east of Yellowstone National Park) combines a real working cattle ranch with great horseback riding opportunities as well as world class fly-fishing and old west hospitality.

With no more than 25 guests per week and a 1:1 staff guest ratio as well as access to 85 horses you will find that the owners and staff are actively involved with your well-being during your guest ranch vacation. In addition to riding, working cattle and fly-fishing, they offer an array of non-riding activities and adventures such as trapshooting, archery, canoeing, hiking, biking, 4x4 tours, and other exciting activities to fill your days. While riding you will experience a unique variety of terrains, biodiversity, climates and scenery since elevations in this area range from 4,200 to 13,200 feet. And with close to 650,000 acres to explore you will seldom ride the same trail twice so be sure to bring your camera! The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch is a Riding Guest Ranch with great horses for all levels of riders. Along with Quarter Horses and Paints the ranch also have a growing number of well-trained Mustangs for their guests to ride.

The Hideout Guest Ranch & Lodge, although more of an adult orientated ranch, also welcomes families and is an ideal vacation choice for solo travellers. Many of the ranch’s guests are repeat vacationers. They come back because of the warmth of hospitality, the high-end pampering and excellent, healthy food created by their culinary schooled chef. Accommodations include western-style log cabins that were built in 1992 and recently renovated guest casitas all of which feature your typical creature comforts from home. There is a swimming pond and hot tub for guests to use as well as emerald green lawns and well-lit pathways which connect to the main lodge. While staying at the ranch you will be treated to hearty Western fare and gourmet dinners and the view from the dining room, where meals are served, is simply spectacular! Open all year round the ranch offers many different rates and packages, so you are bound to find a time of year and package that best suits your upcoming vacation needs.

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation.


Adventure Travel at its Finest!

3/8/2018 8:25:00 AM

For folks looking for an exciting vacation as well as spectacular scenery, Banff Trail Riders is the perfect choice!  You will discover an aspect of the Canadian Rockies that is only possible from atop a horse, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With the help of your seasoned guides, the majestic Alberta Rocky Mountains will provide whatever type of western-style adventure you have in mind.

Choose from a variety of horseback riding options that range from one hour up to six days spent exploring the backcountry of Banff National Park. Knowledgeable park guides, who have been sharing their love of Canada’s first National Park for over 50 years, will expertly lead you through exhilarating remote trails.

For example, you could select the one hour “Bow River Ride.” Guests are lead along the peaceful Bow River which encompasses thick marshes and grassy meadows as well as varied wildlife. If you are lucky you might even catch an eagle or a hawk soaring high above in the sky. Be sure to take your camera along to document the endless pristine views of the grandiose Rocky Mountains. There are also several other 1-3-hour rides that you can choose from like the “Spray River Ride”, “Sundance Loop Ride” and “Sulphur Mountain Ride” to name a few. 

If you are looking for more time in the saddle, then the multi-day horseback adventure is for you. This is adventure travel at its finest. At night guests bed down in a cozy backcountry lodge or a well-equipped wilderness campsite after hitting the trails. At the Sundance Lodge expect some added luxuries like hot showers, indoor washrooms, comfortable bedrooms with Egyptian cotton sheets, a large country kitchen and a spacious living room with a cozy fireplace. The Halfway Lodge (utilized on longer rides) is a true backcountry lodge with a cozy interior, single beds, and outhouses. It also features a private, one-with-the-outdoors shower. Both provide a classic mountain lodge feel.


Spacious A-frame heated tents with single, double and family tents available do just nicely for nights spent in the wilderness. Each canvas tent sits on a raised wooden platform with comfortable camp cots ready for you and your sleeping bag. There is a large kitchen tent where all meals are prepared, and many social evenings are spent, and clean outhouses and washbasins are available at each camp. A 10,000-volt wildlife fence surrounds the camp and corrals, so you can rest easy knowing that there won’t be any unexpected wildlife visitors during the night.

You will discover that days spent in the saddle and fresh mountain air tends to work up quite an appetite. And although you are miles from civilization you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by the sophisticated hearty meals that are prepared by your backcountry chefs. Fully catered meals include such delights like braised beef short ribs to grilled salmon. Go ahead and ask for ‘seconds’ you deserve it!


As you can see Banff Trail Rides offer many exciting riding and vacation options to choose from during the warmer months of the year but now you can also experience the magical beauty of the winter season as well. Regardless of when you choose to visit you will not be disappointed! 

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation today.

Three Bars Guest Ranch's 2018 Equine Photography Workshop

2/27/2018 8:22:00 AM

Are you a photography aficionado? Do you love the great outdoors and horses? If so, then Three Bars Ranch has the ideal vacation package for you. From May 27st-June 2nd the ranch is offering their 2018 Equine Photography Week! Join them and award-winning photographer Ryan Courson for a week long equine workshop.

With the Canadian Rockies as your backdrop, and a heard of 80 horses as your subjects, you will have all of the opportunities and assistance that you may need in capturing some incredible equine images. In between customized shoots, you can enjoy all the amenities and activities offered at Three Bars Ranch.

Workshop cost are $2790.00 per adult, + 6.2% tax. Packages include all meals, upscale log cabin accommodations, unlimited horseback riding, and all other ranch activities, plus custom horse shoots, workshops and coaching by Ryan Courson. for more info on Ryan and his photography visit www.ryancourson.ca

Three Bars Ranch Equine Photography Workshop https://www.threebarsranch.com/events/

Be sure to let the ranch know that you heard about this exciting workshop through RanchSeeker’s Blog.

Voted Canada’s # 1 Guest Ranch 4 years running Three Bars Ranch considered “THE Adventure Ranch of The Canadian Rockies” is located just south of Banff in Cranbrook, Super Natural British Columbia. Three Bars specializes in 3 – 6 night all- inclusive riding and non- riding packages. Here you will find an abundance of nature, clean, rushing water, green fields, and breathtaking mountain views. There is a wide range of activities to choose from like horseback riding, hiking, river rafting, mountain biking, fly fishing, and tennis. Every day is a new adventure for you and your loved ones to experience!

At the end of the day a spacious log cabin awaits you where you can kick-back and relax on your porch while enjoying all the western charm that your cabin affords you. There are cabins suited for couples and families alike.  Aside from all of the modern amenities that are included there is also an indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub and Jacuzzi ideal for soothing sore muscles after a long ride.

When you choose to vacation at Three Bars Ranch you are choosing to experience something more than just your regular vacation you are choosing a “real ranch for real people!”

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Old Wild West Style Cooking!

2/14/2018 9:14:00 AM

The Old Wild West conjures up visions of dusty towns, rolling tumbleweed, rowdy saloons, good time gals, sheriffs sporting six-point star silver badges, notorious outlaws and good ole cowboys. What is often overlooked is the hearty western cuisine that was prepared by the ranch’s cook during that era.  After completing a grueling day of wrangling cattle and working out on the range, the American cowboy would have worked up quite an appetite!  In those days, the ranch cook wielded a tremendous amount of power, so it was always wise to stay on his good side. His mood could determine whether the cowboys ate well or not that day. The quality of his food also played an important role in attracting top hands to a ranch, since other than getting a good night’s sleep there was nothing more important than being served up a top-notch meal at the start and end of each day. 

Western cooking entailed much more than baked beans cooked over an open fire. Below are just a few recipes that the American cowboy might have enjoyed after a long day in the saddle out herding cattle! 


Sonofabitch Stew

This was a favorite beef stew dish among cowboys of the America West. It was also known as rascal stew or by the name of some unpopular figure of the time. For example, some cowboys called it Cleveland Stew in (dis)honor of President Grover Cleveland displacing cowboys from the Cherokee Strip. If you’re not into eating animal organs, pass this one up. However, if you want to put some hair on your chest, belly up to the table and pound this meal down.

2 pounds of lean beef

Half a calf heart

1 ½ pounds of calf liver

1 set sweetbreads (that’s the thymus gland for you city slickers)

1 set of brains

1 set of marrow gut

Salt, pepper to taste

Louisiana hot sauce

Cut the beef, liver, and heart into one-inch cubes. Slice the marrow gut into rings. Place these ingredients into the Dutch oven and cover with water. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Chop sweetbreads and brains into small pieces and add to stew. Simmer another hour.

Source: Cowboys Recipes That’ll Put Hair on Your Chest  

Buffalo (or beef) Steaks with Chipotle-Coffee Rub


3 teaspoons ground coffee

3 teaspoons ground chipotle pepper (or chipotle chile powder)

1/4 cup paprika

2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

4 buffalo or beef steaks (8 ounces each)

Combine coffee, ground chipotle, paprika, cumin seeds, sugar and salt. Rub mixture into steaks.  Grill steaks until desired doneness.  Makes four servings.

Source: The Chuckwagon – Western Recipes 


Cowboy Coffee

Out on the trail, coffee was a staple among cowboys. Piping hot coffee helped a cowboy shake off the stiffness from sleeping on the hard desert ground, and it was also a good beverage to wash down the morning sour dough biscuits.  But cowboys didn’t have the luxury of fancy coffee brewers or french presses. They had to pack light, so all they usually had was a metal coffee pot, sans filter, to brew their coffee in. No matter. A cowboy could still make a decent cup of coffee. Here’s how.

1. Bring water to a near boil over your campfire.

2. Throw your coffee grounds right into the water. That’s right. Filters are for city slickers.

3. Stir the coffee over the fire for a minute or two.

4. Remove the pot from the fire and let the coffee sit for a minute or two to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the pot. Add a bit of cold water to help speed along the settling process.

5. Carefully pour the coffee into your tin cup so that the grounds stay in the pot.

6. Stand around the fire with your left thumb in your belt loop and your coffee cup in your right hand. Take slow sips and meditate on the trek ahead.

Source: Cowboys Recipes That’ll Put Hair on Your Chest  

Guest ranches today serve up anything from hearty western-style cuisine to haute cuisine and something in between. Regardless of which guest ranch you decide to stay at you will find that meal times are a special part of the day. They provide an opportunity to discuss the day’s events, make new friends and dine on delicious ranch fare. Click on the links below to see a sampling of just a few of RanchSeeker’s ranch recipes and learn a little more about the ranch’s featured.

White Stallion Ranch’s Hatch Green Chili & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Sundance Guest Ranch’s Summer Berry Salad with ‘Liquid Gold’ Dressing

Red Reflet Ranch's Homemade Biscuit Recipe 

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find the ideal guest ranch vacation today.

A Coffee Creek Guest Ranch Valentine's Special

2/6/2018 10:45:00 AM


                                                                                            Northern California's Finest Guest Ranch...
                                                                                            ...118 years of receiving guests who leave as friends



Lodging for 2 nights, 3 days, all your meals and horseback riding are included at a special rate of $975.00 per couple.

Complementary bottle of wine is also included.

For more information please call 1-800-624-4480. Please check the website for exact dates of our Romantic Weekend Schedule.

Gift Certificates are also available for purchase.

Please be sure to mention that you heard about this special through RanchSeeker first.

Coffee Creek Ranch, located in Northern California, is 367 acres of natural, pristine wilderness that lies along the banks of the Coffee Creek. For fly fishing enthusiasts, this is a dream location. If pack riding or shorter trail riding is more your style, they tailor to suit your needs to ensure your expectations are exceeded. Everything about Coffee Creek, from their comfortable and cozy cabin accommodations, to their freshly prepared, delicious hearty meals says they want to be sure their guests stays are truly enjoyable. With budget friendly options, Coffee Creek is definitely a contender for one of the best guests ranches in California.

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation today!

Look What’s Happening in March at New Mexico’s Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

1/29/2018 12:00:00 AM

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch opens for the season in March and we still have availability. Plus there are several March events in New Mexico to take advantage of!

The beauty of being located in Southwestern New Mexico in the Gila National Forest is our weather. March typically finds most of the country in the grips of unstable spring weather. However, you will find our days to be warm, dry, and most importantly, sunny! It’s the perfect escape for those looking to get out of the cold. For families, it is the perfect place for a spring break adventure! For those who are looking for adult only time, we do have some stays available outside of spring break weeks.

Not only do we have lovely spring weather, but New Mexico itself has some wonderful events for you to enjoy. Read on below for March events in New Mexico.

March Events in New Mexico

First up in March is Cowboy Days at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. The museum is located in Las Cruces (4100 Dripping Springs Road Las Cruces, NM 88011). If you are flying into El Paso International Airport, it is a great pit stop on your way to the ranch. Cowboy Days are the museum’s largest event. They take place the weekend of March 3 and 4, 2018. The museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and you are welcome to come learn more about New Mexico’s ranching traditions. Admission is only $5 for this family friendly event.

Flying into Albuquerque International Sunport? Then be sure to check out the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival Spring Show. Located only 6 miles from the airport, it  offers a wide selection of artists and craftspeople. The Festival takes place March 9, 10, 11, 2018 at EXPO New Mexico (300 San Pedro Dr. NE, Albuquerque, 87108). The festival is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and admission is only $8 (children under 12 are free). More than 185 artists from all over the country are represented! This is a family friendly event with something for everyone. New Mexico is known for its art scene. Take some time to check out the state’s first major art event of the year.

We still have availability for the first 3 weeks of March and the first week of April, so contact Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch today. Take advantage of both the beautiful spring weather and March events in New Mexico!

For more information about Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch check out their listing on RanchSeeker.

Happy Trails!

*Original Blog post *

Spend This Valentine’s Day at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

1/23/2018 10:42:00 AM

Situated on 1100 acres of land that encompasses the scenic beauty of North Idaho guests at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch experience true western hospitality during their stay. Open year-round visitors to the ranch can choose from several different “Adventure Vacation Packages” all of which include lodging, daily horseback rides and three country gourmet meals per day as well as evening entertainment and access to all ranch amenities.

Guests can choose between either a cabin or one of the lodge rooms for their accommodations. Each cabin is different so be sure to explain your vacation needs when booking. All cabins and lodge rooms are comfortably rustic and are guaranteed to provide you with a great night’s sleep. A vacation at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch will reconnect you with nature and take you back to a time when things were simpler. Your ranch stay can be as relaxing or as action packed as you want.

Throughout the year the ranch features special offerings and although anytime during the year is an ideal time to visit for those looking for something special to do this Valentine’s Day Western Pleasure Guest Ranch has you covered.


"Join us at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch for our winter Sleigh Ride Dinner and Concert series! Sleigh rides can be scheduled at 5:00 or 6:00 each evening and dinner will be served at 6:30. Musical performances will follow dinner. A no-host bar will be available for you to purchase beer and wine. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (208) 263-9066.

February 14, 2018 – This evening, local artist Maria Larson will perform soft jazz favorites to set the mood for this romantic evening. Menu TBA. $65.00 per person and $54.00 for children ages 6 to 12. Children ages 5 and under are free.

February 17, 2018 – This evening, local artist Maria Larson will perform soft jazz favorites that the whole family will enjoy. The menu this evening will feature Ranch-Raised Beef Prime Rib and Chef's Choice Chicken. $65.00 per person and $54.00 for children ages 6 to 12. Children ages 5 and under are free."

This year choose Western Pleasure Guest Ranch for your romantic getaway.

*Sleigh rides and dinners are available anytime throughout the winter season by reservation. *

Please be sure to mention that you heard about this Valentine’s Day Special through RanchSeeker first.

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation today!

A Valentine’s Day Getaway at Southern Cross Guest Ranch

1/17/2018 10:31:00 AM

February 14th is just around the corner and although any time during the year is a great time to visit one of RanchSeeker’s beautiful guest ranches Valentine’s Day is a wonderful reason to book a last minute getaway with that special someone in your life. Take romance to the next level and book a vacation stay where you will be surrounded by nature, wildlife, clean air and a star-filled night sky. Get outdoors and ride a horse or try one of the various fun activities available for your enjoyment. When the sun dips below the horizon enjoy a romantic dinner and afterwards take in the breathtaking view of a star-filled sky or simply relax and read a good book before retiring to a cozy room with your partner.

Southern Cross Guest Ranch, considered “One of America’s Best Dude Ranches” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, features quality All-Inclusive vacations in a horse lover’s paradise. The ranch is best known for its exceptional hands-on horseback riding program with unguided riding opportunities, and is also home to well over 150 quality Paint and Quarter horses. Conveniently located in Central Georgia’s Historic Heartland and within an hour’s drive from Atlanta the ranch prides itself in providing good old southern hospitality, delightful accommodations, delectable cuisine and stimulating activities all year round. Here you will rediscover life’s more simple pleasures.

For those of you still looking for a Valentine’s Day getaway Southern Cross Guest Ranch is offering the following special. If you happen to live nearby you can also book a special Valentine’s Day romantic dinner with that special someone.


Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation today.

Family Fun at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

1/10/2018 9:12:00 AM

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, just 16 miles east of Sandpoint, Id.  Spanning over 75 years and four generations, riding and herding cattle across the spectacular 2,000 acre ranch property has been their passion and pride for this dedicated working ranch family.  Since 1991, when Western Pleasures first opened its doors to guests, the ranch family and staff has also provided an unforgettable riding experience to its guests, whether newbies or oldtimers, from daily trail rides to helping herd cattle from one pasture to another and a thrilling night ride under starry skies complete with a campfire cookout to get a real taste of cowboy life.

All-inclusive summer packages offer twice-daily trail riding sessions on specially trained ranch bred horses. Guests are carefully matched with their mounts to ensure maximum riding enjoyment throughout their stay, Personalized programs are also available for guests who usually arrive from Sunday to Saturday to take full advantage of the many exciting on and off-ranch adventures. In addition to couples, groups and singles, families are especially welcomed during the summer months when kids' riding programs and activities are in full swing, so parents get to enjoy some downtime with lots of family fun. Along with its excellent riding programs, which include lessons/riding in the indoor arena on rainy days, Western Pleasures has a varied array of non-riding outdoor activities to please every family member, be it skeet shooting, archery, fat tire biking, hiking, children's playground, recreational room games and TV westerns, wagon rides around the property or a soothing soak in the hot tub after an exhilarating day spent outside. Off-ranch activities available include swimming, boat rides or kayaking expeditions on a nearby lake.

Accommodation choices are cosy lodge rooms or spacious, comfortable fully-equipped cabins dotted around the ranch, suitable for families and groups. Included in the packages are three gourmet meals daily in the large lodge dining room or guests can opt to access the lodge restaurant or self-cater in the cabins.

Ranch amenities also consist of a library for some quiet reading pleasure, access to Wi-Fi, an outdoor seating area and a large old-fashioned veranda to sit back on and appreciate the majestic mountain vistas or watch the wranglers bringing up the horses. Just a few of the many thoughtful touches designed to please and expand the western guest ranch experience. What summer vacation could possibly be more unique, happy and healthy for a family than an active, outdoor, fun-filled guest ranch riding staycation with the friendly folk at Western Pleasures Guest Ranch, where you arrive as guests and depart as family....yahoo!

Ranchseeker is just a click away from helping you find this and many other fine ranch properties for that perfect summer vacation for you, family and friends!

Happy Trails!

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