RanchSeeker Blog

Need a Reason to Book a Guest Ranch Vacation?

7/18/2016 3:33:50 PM

You don’t have to be a cowboy to love a dude ranch vacation. Here are 4 great reasons to book your next vacation at one of RanchSeeker’s guest ranches.

Horseback riding

If you love horses then a dude ranch vacation is definitely for you. Whether you are an experienced rider or will be riding for the first time responsible wranglers will help you find the right horse for you. Enjoy riding through forests, surrounded by majestic mountains, or through canyons or even the desert on your next dude ranch vacation. Many ranches will pair you with a horse at the beginning of the week who will be yours for the rest of your stay so be prepared to make a new friend.


Ranch Life

City hotels and beach resorts are usually quite anonymous.  You come, you stay and you leave, scarcely meeting a soul or getting to know a very different way of life.  At a guest ranch, there is an immediate sense of family with the owners, the ranch hands and fellow guests.  There is communal eating, shared activities during the day and get-together dining and entertainments at night.  People talk, exchange ideas and histories, as well as their varied experiences that day.  Many people form lasting friendships or acquaintances and some return regularly to renew and relive their fond memories of past vacations. It’s a unique personal feature and attraction of a ranch vacation.  It feeds into our psyche of wanting to feel at home, a sense of belonging, while enjoying the freedom of the great outdoors. It’s a way of getting back to the fundamentals, away from the distractions and duty of everyday life.

Spa Facilities

Lots of guest ranches now boast spa facilities…..from a full-on spa complex complete with qualified staff and health professionals to administer facials, body care and massages plus heated pools, mud baths and float therapy to a modest beauty salon providing more basic personal care. This is of benefit to guests wanting to invigorate and rejuvenate during their vacation and an ideal way to indulge the senses and be pampered after participating in an all-day exciting outdoor excursion.  In addition, many ranches offer yoga and Pilate classes to kick off the day. Some ranches have a complete program by fully trained personnel devoted to health care management and an exercise and diet regime, especially tailored to seniors and those in need of life-improvement treatments conducted in a peaceful environment.

Ranch Lodges & Accommodations

When most people think of a ranch, the image that frequently springs to mind is bunk beds and baked beans…….maybe, once upon a time, but not in this day and age. Guest ranches have come a long way from those days and now compete superbly with stylish hotels and resorts.  It all depends on what you want and expect from a guest ranch vacation.  Some ranches offer a more intimate approach, with family-style cabins equipped with kitchenettes, able to sleep a family or group and a patio for casual BBQ meals.


Photo courtesy of Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Other more upscale ranch resorts have private, spacious suites, fine dining and select wines, swimming pools, tennis courts and in-house spas.  In between is a wide variety of guest ranch accommodations and amenities that is designed to ensure the comfort and well-being of every type of guest and their expectations.  The great news about ranches is their versatility and adaptability to all different kinds of guests flocking to their homesteads and their ability to accommodate all types and all budgets.

Guest ranches usually have a comfortable lodge where guests mix and mingle, eat, dine and socialize every night.  Most guest ranches provide some form of nightly entertainment or special event depending on their locale, their staff and their size.  Each guest ranch is unique and has its own special attractions.  And yes…the food ranges from down home, plentiful wholesome fare to haute cuisine prepared by trained chefs designed to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

So…. just go for it and embark on a different kind of adventure , the sort of vacation that will bring endless delights and fond memories long after your trip is over.

Happy Trails!

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

7/15/2016 3:09:58 PM

Thank you White Stallion Ranch for once again sharing one of your ranch recipes with RanchSeeker fans!! Be sure to check out other recipes provided by this Arizona guest ranch. Great food is always an important part of any vacation.

What do you prefer most breakfast, lunch or dinner? For breakfast lovers here is a recipe that is sure to kick start your day off just right!


Hatch Green Chili & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Hatch Green Chili and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

12 lg. eggs

1- 1 1/2 lbs shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1-1 1/2 lbs. shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups diced green hatch chilies

1/4 c. chopped red roasted red peppers

1/4 c. heavy cream

3 T. flour

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix eggs, flour, cream, and salt and pepper in bowl.

Layer the jack cheese in 9×13, greased baking dish

Sprinkle chilies and peppers on top of jack cheese.

Layer the cheddar on top of all ingredients.

Pour egg mixture over cheese and chilies

Cover with foil and bake @350 for 40 minutes, uncover and finish baking until set

(about 15-20 minutes more)

Remove from oven let cool a bit cut into squares and serve with salsa, sliced tomatoes and avocados.

Happy Trails

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

Running Reins Ranch THE Place to Be This Summer

7/6/2016 3:05:50 PM

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Running Reins Ranch, located in Red Deer County, Alberta is the ideal choice for a vacation. Just 90 minutes northeast of Calgary this Canadian guest ranch is the perfect place for horse-minded people to kick back and relax after a fun day spent enjoying one of the many activities available for guests. The ranch sits on 160 acres on the banks of the Red Deer River and is surrounded by hundreds of acres of crown land. There are countless beautiful trails to explore around the property down to the shore of the River.


Since the ranch is only open throughout the warmer months (May-September) guests find the climate during the day perfect for riding, fishing, hiking and swimming. Warm evenings lend themselves to roasting marshmallows around a flickering campfire or stargazing into a night sky devoid of any unnatural light. Don’t forget to bring an inner tube or a floating raft with you so that you can cruise down the river on the four hour float trip that can be arranged with the ranch’s staff!


Bring your own horse or ride one of Running Rein Ranch’s horses. Be sure to contact the ranch in advance to check availability and ride times.  For those who bring their own horses there are kilometers and kilometers of riding trails to explore. Many of the trails lead to the river where you can try your hand at fishing or cool off in the river while taking in the beautiful scenery around you. Camp with your horses! Each site has stalls for your horses, enough room to park several vehicles, your living quarters’ horse trailer or plain horse trailer and each site has at least one two- person Teepee for your enjoyment. If you require a larger Teepee check ask about the larger Teepee sites.


In addition to the regular Teepees there are romantic honeymoon Teepees as well as cozy cabins. If you have never stayed in a Teepee you are in for a huge treat! With over 50 equestrian campsites that in most cases are 100’ by 100’ and all of them include a corral, picnic table and fire pit you and your horses are sure to feel right at home!


Cozy Teepee accommodations

Stay for a few days or longer regardless of how long you can get away for you and your family or friends are bound to have a great time!

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

Happy Trails!

White Stallion Ranch’s Peanut Butter Bar Recipe

6/29/2016 2:54:52 PM

Visit the White Stallion Ranch an authentic western guest ranch nestled at the base of the beautiful Tucson Mountains on 3,000 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. In the meantime enjoy this yummy recipe for Peanut Butter Bars provided by their chef.


Peanut Butter Bars

Preheat oven 350 degrees (300 convection oven)

¾ c. shortening

¾ c. peanut butter

1 c. brown sugar

1c white sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ¼ c. flour

1 ¼ c. oatmeal

¾ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

Cream the shortening, peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla well.  Mix together the flour, oatmeal, soda and salt.  Beat the flour mixture into the creamed mixture.  Spread the dough by hand over sprayed and floured 9”x13” baking pan.  Bake 25 minutes until still chewy.  Immediately sprinkle on the chocolate chips and spread over the bars when melted.

Topping

1 c. powdered sugar

½ c. peanut butter

1 c. chocolate chips

2-4 Tbs. Milk, as needed

Beat topping ingredients well, using enough milk to get a creamy consistency, then swirl over the chocolate.  Cut and serve.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!


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

6/24/2016 2:49:55 PM

The kind folks over at Sundance Guest Ranch have provided us with one of their treasured recipes to share on Ranchseeker. Sundance Guest Ranch, located in British Columbia, offers an all-inclusive package with accommodations, meals and about 5 hours of riding each day through some of the most spectacular countryside in the province. The ranch is almost as famous for the food that they serve their guests as it is for their horses!

Prepare this delicious light summer salad for your family brought to you by the ranch’s very own Chef Lauren Chimilar and let us know how it turns out.


Summer Berry Salad with ‘Liquid Gold’ Dressing:

 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup water

4-6 garlic cloves

3/4 cup nutritional flake yeast

1.5 cup vegetable oil

*Blend the first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Slowly add oil while still blending*

*The salad uses a fresh artisan lettuce blend, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, sweet yellow peppers, cucumber, blackberries and raspberries*

Don’t miss out on the “Health Wellness and Lifestyle” episode that airs on Joy TV in Canada in July where this delightful salad will be featured on the show.

Happy Trails!

White Stallion Ranch Becomes a Member of Historic Hotels of America

6/15/2016 2:41:42 PM

RanchSeeker would like to congratulate the White Stallion Ranch and share the following press release:

Tucson, AZ – June 2, 2016    White Stallion Ranch was selected for membership by Historic Hotels of America in May.  To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old;  been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.   These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America.


Historic Hotels of America

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

White Stallion Ranch was established as a cattle ranch in 1939.  It has been owned and operated by the True family for 50 years as a Guest Ranch, and has been ranked the #1 hotel in Tucson on TripAdvisor for 5 consecutive years.

The True Family and their staff provide the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch, carefully blended with the service and amenities of a fine resort.  The Ranch caters to: individual travelers, couples, families and small meetings and retreats looking for exceptional service, a warm, welcoming atmosphere and unique western adventures.

Video - https://youtu.be/OlJHqXIZ1TA

White Stallion Ranch’s Full American Plan Rates include lodging, meals and daily activities.  The Ranch offers horseback riding, tennis, hiking, evening entertainment, swimming pool, redwood hot tub, game room, movie theatre, petting zoo, gift shop and speciality rides with meals and snacks in desert settings. Rock climbing with a certified guide (gear provided) and Massage therapy are available on property for an addition fee.

Happy Trails!

His Best Father’s Day at a Dude Ranch

6/8/2016 2:38:22 PM

Father’s Day started in the early 20th century in the United States to celebrate fatherhood and to complement Mother’s Day. It was first celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA by Sonora Smart Dodd. She and her siblings were raised by her father as a single parent so she thought that father’s should rightfully have their own day of celebration as well. She proposed the idea to her pastor and the clergyman agreed and the first Father’s Day sermon was given on June 19, 1910.

Now Father’s Day is celebrated around the world and is on June 19, 2016 this year which is just around the corner. Have you decided how you would like to honour your father yet? If you would like to get your dad something different this year besides a tie, socks, dinner or clothing, how about an experience he will remember for a lifetime. Spend some quality time with him at a dude ranch. If your dad is an avid fisherman, hiker, outdoorsman then it’s the perfect choice. Even if he is not, who wouldn’t enjoy relaxing in the beauty of Mother Nature.

Here are some dude ranch vacation specials that are made just for Dad.

Coffee Creek Ranch

This northern California ranch is offering a huge 50% off for Father’s Day week (June 18-24, 2016). At this price you can take Dad, Grandpa, Uncle and more! It’s a stunning ranch located on 367 acres along Coffee Creek which is an excellent stream for fly fishing trout. There is also spectacular hiking in the nearby Trinity Alps. This is an all-inclusive dude ranch so once you are there you won’t need to worry about anything except having fun!


YD Guest Ranch

YD Guest Ranch in British Columbia is celebrated around the world for its rich history, rustic elegance, and legendary cuisine. High above the Village of Ashcroft, this newly renovated ranch now has glamping accommodations. For Father’s Day they are offering for the entire month of June all bookings with Dad include free meals. Also, if you want to send Dad on a memorable adventure with 3 of his buddies, they are featuring a Guys Getaway special. The Guys Getaway features a 2 night stay in an authentic tipi, archery lessons, ATV tour, horseback tour and all meals for $2000. This package is definitely a steal and something your Dad would love.


 Echo Valley Ranch

Echo Valley Ranch is a luxury guest ranch also located in British Columbia. They have a Canada Day special available which is perfect for history buffs. Take a journey through time back to the Cariboo Gold Rush and also enjoy a Canada Day celebration. Echo Valley Ranch has 2 world class spas so you can treat your Dad to some relaxing spa treatments . Gourmet farm to table meals are also included.


These are a few Father’s Day specials but you can always visit any dude ranch that is convenient for your family. Please view our list of dude ranches for one near you.

Happy Trails

A Taste of the Old West at Arizona's White Stallion Ranch!

6/2/2016 2:33:41 PM

The following article appeared in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 6th edition.

Are you looking for a stress-free vacation far from the madding crowd? If so, the White Stallion Ranch is the ideal place.  Situated between Phoenix and Tucson this charming, informal ranch is easily accessible from Arizona’s two major airports. Steeped in the history of cowboy country and the location of many a Hollywood movie, this authentic guest ranch imparts that true Old West feeling to its guests. Located at the foot of the Tucson mountain range and directly adjacent to the Saguaro National Park, guests enjoy wide-open spaces, beautiful scenery and breathtaking sunsets. The White Stallion Ranch is a working ranch and open year round, which means that guests can choose to fill their days with the various ranch activities or simply kick back and relax….. either way you will enjoy exceptional hospitality and all the creature comforts of a top resort.


White Stallion Ranch

Built in the 1900’s this historic ranch started out as a cattle ranch with its original property constructed of Mexican adobe bricks made from straw and mud. Today, guests can still see a small part of the original adobe on display in the dining room, the first structure to be built at the ranch.  In 1965, Allen and Cynthia True from Colorado decided to make The White Stallion Ranch their home and now 51 years later guests are greeted by third-generation Trues who continue to welcome people into their home. Over the years, the True family have maintained the traditions of the Old West by preserving many of the original buildings; however, Russel and Michael (Cynthia and Allen’s boys) have added many modern amenities and established one of the largest privately owned herds of cattle and horses in Arizona.

Movie buffs will love White Stallion Ranch’s extensive Hollywood history. The list of movies that have been filmed here throughout the years starting from 1939 until 2014 is truly impressive. In the earlier years the ranch was often used as a backdrop in Western feature films and later, as a location for the television series, The High Chaparral (1968-72). The ranch has been featured in 27 Hollywood films which include Confessions of a Dangerous Mind filmed in 2002 starring everyone’s favourite actor George Clooney with co-star Sam Rockwell.  If Western movies are your ‘thing’ don’t hesitate to ask the staff for the complete list of movies shot at the ranch and they just might throw in some juicy insider gossip!

A dude ranch vacation is not complete without the opportunity to experience an authentic western rodeo.  Every Wednesday afternoon (weather permitting) the ranch’s wranglers, family and friends take part in an exhibition rodeo that for almost 50 years has been a tradition at White Stallion Ranch. Guests can watch riders compete in team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and sometimes bulldogging. If these terms are unfamiliar don’t worry since from your seat in the bleachers you will hear and see first-hand what a rodeo is all about and gain a better understanding of the cowboy way of life. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and soak up some Old West culture.


Photo Credit: Steve LoRicco

Aside from Wednesday afternoon rodeos, White Stallion Ranch offers lots of fun and interesting activities for guests to partake in such as hiking, rock climbing as well as a diverse children’s program for younger guests. Riding enthusiasts will appreciate the varied scenic trails and wide choice of rides available every day of the week except on Sundays when the horses rest.   Horse lovers can choose from mountain rides, slow, fast or all day, as well as a hay ride and team cattle penning. Each rider is carefully matched with a horse suited to their specific riding experience for the duration of the stay. For those wishing to improve their riding skills, classes are available for $20/hour, payable to one of the friendly wranglers at the ranch, who will gladly help and assist guests  to gain more confidence in the saddle.

In addition to the daily rides, the ranch also offers two unique riding opportunities for guests over the age of 21. These rides, available seasonally, are the perfect way to get to know your fellow guests in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The “Wine & Cheese Ride” takes guests to a secluded area of the ranch surrounded by mountains and stunning scenery where an assortment of cheeses, crackers and bread are paired with a unique selection of wines. While you and your fellow guests sample different cheeses and wines, your horse waits patiently a short distance away. For those who prefer drinking a ‘cold one’ the ranch offers a “Beer & Cheetos” ride. Picnic tables are set up in a special spot in the desert where guests can snack on a childhood favourite, brightly-coloured orange Cheetos, washed down by ice-cold beers. Both rides are a wonderful way to make new friends or enjoy the company of old ones.


White Stallion Ranch

At the end of the day retire into one of the ranch’s 41 guest rooms or a 4 bedroom Hacienda ideal for larger groups or families. You’ll feel right at home in one of the spacious rooms all of which feature a private patio with views of either the cactus gardens, mountains or corrals. Some suites include gas fireplaces or whirlpool bathtubs and all the rooms have hair dryers, mini-refrigerators and personal safes. When you’re not off exploring the area by horseback there is a rec room & movie theatre, gift shop, heated pool & hot tub, sports courts, fitness center, bar, and a fun petting zoo for kids and adults alike.

Currently celebrating 51 years of western hospitality the True family invite you to reconnect with nature, family and friends while engaging in a variety of fun outdoor activities and enjoying the breathtaking scenery that has brought Hollywood filmmakers to the White Stallion Ranch for over 70 years.

So don’t forget to bring your camera along and your sense of adventure too!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

5/30/2016 2:17:26 PM

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is one of Idaho’s best kept secrets .Located on 300,000 scenic acres, the ranch is a 1.5 hour drive from the Spokane International Airport, near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Red Horse Mountain Ranch is somewhere you can go no matter who you are vacationing with. They surely are the ranch for everyone. They offer all-inclusive week long ranch vacations from June through October, family all-inclusive ranch vacations from June through August and couples dude ranch vacations in September and October. They have glorious reviews so you can be assured that this ranch creates top quality vacations and memories.


Family Time & Kids Program

Family dude ranch vacations at Red Horse Mountain Ranch provide plenty of opportunities for family time, delicious healthy food, and lots of healthy outdoor adventure. The all- inclusive package includes 5 full days of guided actives, meals & drinks, accommodations, evening entertainment, and other ranch amenities. Kids will be entertained by the many activities available as well as the Kids Program (ages 3-11) while Mom and Dad can have a bit of time to themselves. With the Kids’ Program, parents can choose to sign up for the adult adventures during their week and know their children will be well cared for and have their own adventures at a child’s pace. But, if it’s family time you are searching for, most activities can be done with your children at their pace with your guides and wranglers. Playing safe is their mission.Don’t be surprised when your kids don’t want to leave!


Adult Weeks

If you would like some adult time, head to Red Horse Mountain Ranch during their adult weeks. Have at your disposal all of their outdoor activities-horseback riding, challenge course, zip lines, mountain biking, bike tours on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene, 3D Archery, Sporting Clays, Horseback lessons, hiking, kayaking tours, guided lake fishing, & other self- guided activities. Alternatively, you can just sit back and relax. At Red Horse Mountain Ranch you can do as little or as much as you like and then end each day at the lodge with some festive conversation in the evening.


Special Weeks

Wine Tasting Weeks are part of the all- inclusive ranch vacations for couples during the fall season. Explore over 30 regional wines paired with chef prepared meals. Also enjoy their wide range of guided adventures and even have your own horse and saddle for the week. Another popular week is Girls Getaway Week. Whether you have a mother-daughter vacation, high school reunion, sisters vacation or a stagette everyone will enjoy themselves at Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

Rustic & Elegant Accommodations

Variety is what Red Horse Mountain Ranch is about. Just as they have a large variety of activities, they also have a large variety of lodging to choose from with each being very comfortable and elegant. Choose from several lodging options ranging from one-bedroom suites to four-bedroom log cabins. Each accommodations offer families private bathrooms, spacious bedrooms and private decks with gorgeous views of the ranch.


So if you are looking for a destination where you and your vacation companions will have a fun and memorable time, look no further than Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

Happy Trails

Authentic Texas Style Peach Cobbler

5/20/2016 4:13:03 PM

Cobblers are as all American as you can get. Early settlers found themselves unable to make their beloved puddings due to the lack of ingredients and cooking equipment available. Most of the time there were at camp and only had a fire to cook with. They then improvised with local ingredients to create their version of a “pudding” with a stewed fruit base covered with a batter or biscuit base. Some variations have a bottom and top crust. Most of the time cobblers were made in dutch ovens over an open fire.

Actually, using fresh fruit to make a cobbler isn’t exactly what you’d call “authentic”. The fact is that the first cobblers didn’t contain anything fresh, they were simply “cobbled” together from odds and ends by Western trail cooks. For the people living and working West of the Mississippi fruit mostly came either dried, preserved in syrup, or in some cases canned.

There are many types of fruit that you can use for cobblers but peach is a classic. There’s just something about peaches. Maybe it's the velvety skin that makes them seem so impossibly delectable. A ripe peach when bitten into has a tender "give" to it, followed by a rush of incredibly sweet and flavorful juice that is about as close to being decadent, without being chocolate, as you can get. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy peaches during their summer prime in as many ways as possible. And one of the best, most time-honored ways to enjoy peaches is in a peach cobbler.

texas peach cobbler

This version of the peach cobbler dessert tops a biscuit like base with a juicy fruit topping. The batter goes into the dish first, then rises up through the fruit as it bakes. Your family will love this and they can reheat it and eat it throughout the day.

INGREDIENTS

Filling
4 cups peaches (ripe, sliced and peeled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons sugar

Batter
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel the peaches. It’s best to use fresh peaches but you can also use canned and frozen peaches in a pinch or if peaches are out of season. Ripe peaches are easier to peel. When you press your thumb against the peach you should be able to feel the peach’s flesh move beneath the skin. If they are too hard you will have to peel them with a pairing knife (or wait for them to ripen).

To peel fresh, ripe peaches bring a pot of water to boil. Submerge peaches completely in boiling water for approximately one minute (less if they are really soft) then immediately dunk them in a bowl full of ice water. Remove peaches and cut a small X at the bottom of each and use these points as starting points for pulling the peels off. Peel and slice the peaches, place in a medium bowl.

If using canned peaches drain them and place them in the bowl. For frozen peaches, thaw and place in the bowl.

2.) Prepare filling by combining peaches, sugar, lemon juice & vanilla. Set aside.

3.)Prepare the batter by placing butter in an 8 inch square baking dish. Place dish over hot water for 5 minutes or until butter melts.

4.)Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Combine milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla together and add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter over butter and spread evenly. Do not stir the mixture

5.)Spoon the peach mixture over the  batter, gently pressing the peaches into batter.

6.)Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crust is golden.

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