RanchSeeker Blog

‘Tis the Season to Celebrate…A Very Merry Christmas at the Ranch!

12/2/2016 11:14:15 AM

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 12th issue

What better way to rediscover the joys of Christmas and experience a truly unique Christmas vacation than at a dude ranch.   A Christmas ranch vacation is an ideal opportunity for family, friends or couples to relax, recharge and reconnect with loved ones by spending active days and leisurely evenings together.

Western Ranches are well-known for their always warm welcome, generous hospitality and outstanding natural surroundings, especially during the Yuletide season when many ranches offer a special Christmas program replete with time honoured traditions and bygone Christmas customs.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”

Imagine…. the luxury of feasting on a gourmet Christmas dinner prepared by a trained chef, in a beautifully decorated ranch lodge by a crackling log fire.

Imagine…. an old-fashioned, jingle bells ringing, Christmas sleigh ride, sipping hot mulled wine or schussing along glistening powdered snow in the pristine winter wilderness of a Colorado ranch resort.

Imagine…. soaking in a hot tub under crystal clear starry skies of old, at a ranch in the Arizona desert after an exhilarating day spent riding the range.

Imagine…….all this and so much more to be enjoyed during a Christmas ranch vacation at one of two stunning western locales.


Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

First stop is the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, laid out like a small western town, located in the remote Mohave Desert, a two hour’s drive from Las Vegas in picture-perfect Wild West country of cacti, scrubland and barren foothills.

Christmas in the desert is an especially lovely time of year with moderate sunny days and cool nights.  The entire ranch gets decorated with Christmas lights and literally oozes an old-fashioned, down-home Christmas; horses have Santa hats and bells and miniature Christmas trees adorn every guestroom. There’s a guitar playing entertainer, White Elephant exchange gifts under the tree, delicious hearty Christmas fare and lots of good cheer for guests, whether mingling in the spacious timbered lodge or around a blazing campfire in the communal courtyard.  Moonlit wagon rides and unobstructed star-gazing evoke memories of a far simpler time when Christmas was something joyous to behold and shouts of Merry Christmas rang out to greet friends and strangers.

Ranch activities at Stagecoach Trails are designed to appeal to all ages and tastes, such as scenic horseback rides, rental ATV’s and fat tire mountain bikes to explore the sandy desert terrain, a popular petting zoo, archery and wild-life viewing.  Back at the ranch, a hot tub and heated pool soothe tired muscles while billiards and horseshoes are perennial ranch past-times.


Accommodations include comfortable one & two bedroom suites with private bathrooms for small or larger groups. Ranch hosts and owners, JP and Tricia McCormick, take great pride in offering guests an old-time fun-filled Christmas vacation with an authentic taste of the Old Wild West…. the stuff of magical Christmas memories to take back home.


Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

Next stop is the upscale, all-inclusive Vista Verde Ranch in Northern Colorado, 25km north of Steamboat Springs.  If your Christmas wish is to be indulged and pampered in a Norman Rockwell  type scenery, then Vista Verde fits the bill.  The pure-white winter beauty and bracing mountain air, create an enchanting Christmas wonderland evoking childish memories of frolicking in freshly fallen snow on long ago Christmas mornings.


Vista Verde Ranch

Christmas at Vista Verde is a rare delight and will surely be a cherished memory for years to come owing to its ultra-luxe ranch amenities, in-house spa massage and plushy comfort of well-equipped cabins with private hot tubs, as well as the many seasonal and exciting activities to keep everyone happy and healthy outdoors whether it’s horse rides along snowy trails, skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing or Fat tire biking.  A kid’s program for younger guests is an extra bonus for parents, while other Christmas treats might be a dog-sledding expedition or a trip to the nearby famous Steamboat Springs ski resort. Adding to all the festive fun and Christmas cheer, log fires burn brightly, Christmas lights twinkle, mistletoe and holly hang from the beams, as guests help to decorate the many individual Christmas trees or enhance their cooking skills with a culinary class.  And no Colorado ranch Christmas would be complete without the thrill of “dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh!”


Vista Verde Ranch

However, the pièce de résistance at Vista Verde is surely the totally decadent, haute cuisine sumptuous Dicken’s style Christmas banquet. Guaranteed to satisfy even the most exacting gourmand, this celebratory meal ensures that by evening’s end, ranch guests and staff alike are filled with the merriest of Christmas cheer and in true Christmas spirit, table guests have become friends.

The Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch and the Vista Verde Ranch, each with its own unique setting, contrasting winter activities and Christmas traditions, are just a sample of the many western dude ranches who offer a select Christmas program of winter-themed activities for the benefit and enjoyment of their guests.

Whatever one’s belief, Christmas continues to be celebrated around the world and thus remains a very special occasion to share with family and friends, with its age-old customs of hearth and home, loved ones gathered around the fire and familiar well-loved traditions.  No matter how one chooses to celebrate Christmas, be it a religious event or not, simple or extravagant or creating new memories at a western ranch, this heartfelt Christmas message never fails to resonate with the best in all of us, ”On earth peace, goodwill toward men”

And lastly in keeping with the Holiday Season,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch News

11/24/2016 4:40:22 PM

It’s here!

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is proud to introduce their newly redesigned website: www.geronimoranch.com.

The new design allows for streamlined menus, clear navigation, and a responsive layout for all platforms. Explore the site to learn more about their ranch!

In addition to the changed design and layout of the pages, new functions have been implemented in this version:

  • Contact Us Form: Now at the bottom of every page!
  • Photo Gallery: New and updated pictures with the ability to enlarge photos.
  • Horse Profiles: Meet some of our herd!
  • Blog: A new resource for news and updates from the ranch.
  • Links to our social media profiles: Follow along for all the best pictures, videos, and status updates!
  • FAQs: Even more FAQs added to address all your questions.
  • Area Attractions: Updated with an interactive map for planning other stops during your trip to New Mexico.


Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch located in Winston New Mexico is open March through mid-November. Here you will find a real western adventure! Horseback riding or hiking takes guests through beautiful forests of tall Ponderosa pine, through astounding deep canyons with sheer towering walls and crystal clear streams. From the “Top of the World” guests view more than 3 million acres of the Gila National Forest, the Aldo Leopold and Gila Wildernesses.The ranch features comfortable, attractive accommodations, warm hospitality, a relaxed atmosphere, great food, and lots of adventure.

Happy Trails!

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

The Art of Dutch Oven Cooking at White Stallion Ranch

11/17/2016 4:37:50 PM

Join the White Stallion Ranch for this unique cooking workshop from Monday, January 2nd-Friday, January 6th 2017.

There is a science to this ancient cooking method and with a little help you will be cooking like Lewis and Clark.

Whether you are a hiker, camper, fisherman, hunter or backyard enthusiast this is the perfect workshop for you. Have you ever wished you could put together your outdoor meals in a Dutch Oven, but had no idea where to begin? As part of this class, the White Stallion Ranch provides each guest with a Dutch Oven to keep.

Dave Lookingbill provides your education from start to finish. You will be guided through seasoning your Dutch Oven, cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner and a dessert during your four night stay.  A special wine tasting evening will help you pair the best ‘vino’ with your meal.  There will be some class work and lots of hands-on experience.


Dave Lookingbill

Dave was born and raised on rural Idaho farmland, where his mother instilled a love of good food and slow cooking in all of her children.  Dave’s life as a wrangler and farrier covered most of the American West when he found himself at Saguaro Lake Ranch, in Mesa, Arizona 40 years ago.  It was there he found a big, old Dutch Oven and began experimenting with traditional recipes.  Dave was soon catering Western events as a featured cook, and today his friends will tell you there’s nothing he can’t make in a Dutch Oven.

White Stallion Ranch’s cooking workshop leaves plenty of time to enjoy the many amenities of the ranch including some amazing trail rides.  The ranch offers a heated pool, fitness center, recreation room and guided hikes.  Your tuition includes a margarita welcome party to meet the chef, lodging, all meals, ranch activities, horseback riding, airport transfers from Tucson, the Dutch Oven classes, tax and service charge.

Cost:  $1,025/person based on double occupancy, Single $1,275.00 inclusive.  Prices include tax and service charge.


Dutch Oven Provençal Chicken Stew

At White Stallion Ranch, the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch is carefully blended with the service and amenities of a fine resort. Reconnect with nature, family, friends and serenity while riding through the unspoiled desert, rugged mountains and cactus that have brought Hollywood film-makers to the ranch for over 70 years.


White Stallion Ranch

White Stallion Ranch is a proud member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame as the #1 property in Tucson for 5 consecutive years. The ranch is situated between Phoenix and Tucson, making it easy accessible from Arizona’s two major airports.

Don’t miss out on this unique cooking workshop and be sure to tell the ranch that you heard about it here on RanchSeeker’s blog.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!

Thanksgiving at Coffee Creek Ranch

10/13/2016 4:10:20 PM

Thanksgiving is an annual tradition that brings families and friends together around a festively decorated table where one can find oven baked turkeys, freshly made cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casseroles and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is also a wonderful opportunity to plan a quick getaway with your loved ones and let someone else do the cooking for a change. Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal surrounded by majestic mountains and beautiful scenery and instead of curling up on your couch at home this year sign up for a horseback ride or take a hike through the woods. If this sounds tempting, then you should consider heading on over to Coffee Creek Ranch for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday.


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 that 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 guest ranches in California.


Open for Thanksgiving this California ranch cooks up a big traditional dinner for its guests, family, and friends in the area. The day after is usually spent looking for and cutting down a Christmas tree to get a jump start on decorating for Christmas! Friday night’s special meal consists of turkey enchiladas with a Mexican flare! In the evening, weather permitting, everyone gathers around a warm, cozy bonfire to celebrate the season .All the winter cabins come stocked with wood for the wood burning stoves for those chilly nights.


Book now and experience a Western Thanksgiving at Coffee Creek Ranch the ideal place to celebrate family and give thanks for your blessings.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!

Why Dude Ranches are the Perfect Family Vacation Destination

9/10/2016 1:57:06 PM

If you have a family you probably find yourself often searching for new vacation destinations suitable for every member in your family unit. On the one hand you want to be assured that where you choose to go is a safe environment for your little ones; but, you also want it to be fun for everyone in your group. And most likely you would like to enjoy some private time with your significant other, even if it’s just for a short period of time perhaps while sharing a relaxing spa treatment. Here’s an idea for your next family getaway: Book Your Next Vacation at a Dude Ranch. 


Echo Valley Ranch

The majority of dude ranches are open during both the summer and winter months. You can choose between rustic accommodations and full-fledged luxury style ranch resorts that offer amenities similar to high end hotels with extras like spas and gourmet dining. Working ranches provide guests with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cowboy way of life in every way allowing you to take part in cattle drives and other exciting day to day ranch activities. This type of vacation may be more suitable for families with older kids; whereas, other guest ranches often offer special kid-friendly programs that are ideal for every age group.

Here are seven reasons to make a reservation for you and your family at a nearby, or faraway, dude ranch.

Experience Ranch Life – If you or your young ones have always dreamed of experiencing the life of a cowboy or cowgirl, this is your chance. Pull on some cowboy boots and walk the walk if only for a short period. Nothing beats waking up to the sound of horses neighing in an open field or the smell of an all-American trail breakfast.


Disconnect In Order To Reconnect – We have never been more connected yet more disconnected than we are now. Although it may seem impossible to “unplug” for even just a short period of time from the myriad of electronic devices available to us nowadays it is possible. Many guest ranches although they offer Wi-Fi connectivity in specified areas it is also quite common to find that you simply can’t connect everywhere you go. Take advantage of these moments to look up from your device and engage in “real moments”.

Discover the Thrill of Horseback Riding – One of the main reasons people choose to visit a dude ranch is because they want to ride. There is nothing like the feeling of being atop a horse as you take in beautiful scenery all around you. The connection between horse and rider can’t be beat.   If you have never ridden before don’t worry most guest ranches provide lessons to help newbies feel comfortable in the saddle.

kids horseback riding


Stop and Smell the Roses – Guest ranches provide the opportunity to rediscover what nature has to offer. Towering mountains, arid deserts, rushing rivers, thick green forests and a sky full of impossibly bright twinkling stars to name a few are what one can expect. Regardless of where you choose to stay the natural beauty that surrounds you will leave you in awe.

Try Something New – Don’t strike dude ranches off your list of holiday destinations if horseback riding isn’t your thing. Many ranches provide a range of activities that will thrill you, relax you and keep everyone in your family excited. For instance, you can go fly fishing, take a guided tour, explore your surroundings through hiking trails, and even book a spa treatment. If you’re heading to a dude ranch during the winter, your list of activities can include skating on nearby lakes or skiing at a nearby resort.

Make New Friends – Most guest ranches do family-style dining which means you get the chance to meet new people at mealtimes. You will also get the opportunity to experience activities while part of a group and time spent around a campfire at night is always a wonderful way to swap stories with newfound friends. Children’s programs enable  kids to mix with other kids their age while giving adults some perhaps much needed adult-time.

Take a Break From Cooking – Enjoy home-cooked, hearty meals or gourmet ranch cuisine while staying at a guest ranch. Many ranches grow and raise a lot of their own food guaranteeing that only the freshest of ingredients are used in your meals. Some guest ranches even offer special wine-tasting weeks!

family ranch vacation


While each of these aspects make dude ranches great, nothing can compare to bringing the whole family together under one roof and at one table. You can’t put a price on that. So book your next vacation soon before another family takes your place. Search for a ranch using our FREE dude ranch search tool.

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!

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!

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!

How To Plan a Memorable Family Reunion in 7 Easy Steps

5/15/2016 11:30:13 PM

Previously in history, our extended family was our community. Now, our extended family is often widely scattered around the world, and our community is composed mostly of strangers. We may be lucky enough to create special friendships with some strangers but those relationships won’t all be like family. Because relatives share a history and hold a permanent connection to us, we should try a little harder to maintain a good and close relationship.

family reunion

Planning a family can be a large undertaking but it is very worth it. Even if it’s only once every year or every couple of years, it’s beneficial to stay in touch with family members near and far. There is nothing like the bonds of family and the memories that are made are irreplaceable. Because there will be multiple generations in one place it is a perfect opportunity for storytelling. It is especially important for seniors to have the opportunity to share their stories with the younger generation. One of the developmental stages of adulthood is engaging in storytelling and reminiscing. Also, by learning more about your family, you will learn more about yourself as well!

If you are planning or thinking of planning an upcoming family reunion, here are some tips to make the experience easier for you and others.

1. Create a Family Reunion Planning Committee

Now “committee” can refer to one person and if the family reunion being planned is small (25 persons or less) one person can handle the planning. If you are planning a larger family reunion then you can increase the number of people on the committee. The size of the committee will also depend on the venue, lodging and activities being planned. If you are planning a family reunion at an all-inclusive resort, many of these things are taken care of so the committee can be smaller. Be sure to delegate tasks to people in the committee so that everything gets done on time. You might also want to create a reunion website to keep everyone informed and get them excited about the event.

plan a family reunion

2. Decide on the guest list.

Ideally you should try to invite everyone that you can but if you have financial or space constraints then decide how far out on the family tree you want to go. Then be sure to invite everyone included to that distance as to not hurt any feelings.  For example, you could only include up to first cousins or extend it out to second or third cousins. Start with your closest relatives and work your way out on the ancestral tree. Then stop when you've reached your limit.

3. Decide on Type of Family Reunion

Family reunions can be as simple as gathering people together for a picnic in the park or as elaborate as going on a cruise in a faraway country. When deciding on what type or family reunion some things you might need to consider are:

Interests of the family members

If most guests are the outdoorsy types then a dinner out in a fancy restaurant in the city won’t be the best choice. Of course people have different interests and you may not be able to satisfy everyone but try to make the majority happy.

How frequent are the family reunions

If the reunions occur frequently there isn’t a need to go all out every year as it could get costly for all of the guests. Therefore, an annual picnic or BBQ in the park would suffice. However, if it is a once in a decade event then it’s the perfect opportunity to splurge a bit more.

Size of the guest list

Some venues are more suited to certain party numbers while others are more flexible and can suit a range of party numbers

Budget Constraints

Some family members might need to stick to a certain budget so keep that in consideration when deciding on a family reunion type.

If you are unsure about any of these questions, a good idea is to conduct a survey with family members to get some ideas of what is preferred.

4. Pick a Date

When picking a date for your family reunion be sure to allow plenty of lead time for people to plan and save up if there are any travel costs. Many of your relatives may have families so giving them lots of advance notice will increase your chances they will be able to attend. Those with school aged children are bound by the school schedule so keep that in mind as well. If possible, try to give at least 6 months’ notice.

family reunion

The reunion length will depend on how far people have to travel. The shorter the distance the shorter the time can be. If people are traveling a distance, it won’t be worthwhile for them to come so far to only stay for a day.

5. Decide on a Reunion Location

There are many places you can host a reunion and the number of guests you are expecting, the distance they are traveling and budget will have a big influence on it. For smaller groups you can hold the reunion at a restaurant, park or someone’s home. For the outdoor enthusiasts a camping trip might be the perfect fit. For larger groups you may want to consider a park, campground, a nice resort, or maybe even a theme park. Whatever you select, be sure there is an activity for everyone to participate in and that there is sufficient lodging, if travel is required. Also,be sensitive to the financial situations of your attending family members. You don’t want to plan a reunion that hardly anyone can afford

6. Create a Budget

Once you know your family reunion type and location you can get started on creating the budget. Create a list of all the expenses you anticipate to incur so you can forecast what your costs will be. Then you must decide on how you plan on recouping these costs. Most commonly people either charge an admission to attend the family reunion or conduct some fundraising such as holding an auction or a raffle. If people are aware that the proceeds will be going to fund the reunion they will participate in the fun. If you are planning the family reunion at an all-inclusive resort, the costs will simply be the cost of the stay and travel Some resorts may give you a volume discount so don’t be shy to ask.

7. Decide on Activities

How many activities and how structured your family reunion will be is entirely up to you. Go with what works best for the guests but be sure to have plenty of activities to keep the kids busy. Some families fund future get-togethers with silent auctions, bake sales and other fund-raising activities built into the reunion day's events. During a multiday event, people may want to explore their surroundings, so compile a list of cultural and shopping destinations in the area.

Family Reunions on a Dude Ranch

For small and large groups, a dude ranch is a good option for many reasons. Because many dude ranches are all -inclusive not one person gets stuck bearing the whole burden of organizing and planning activities. There is no need to worry about entertaining everyone as there are so many activities available for young and old alike. The beauty of a dude ranch you can do as little or as much as you like. Your guests will have the opportunity to seek adventure together or just relax and chit chat on the deck. Also, you don’t have to worry about meals because it’s all taken care of at the dude ranch.

dude ranch family reunion

By holding a family reunion at a dude ranch, the financial awkwardness is removed since each family pays up front for everything. Because group decision making is at a minimum, a lot of potential friction is eliminated. People are not going to have to decide about where to eat, what to do for fun, and who’s in charge. Depending on the size of your group and the dude ranch, you   may be able to book the entire ranch just for your reunion. Lastly, you just can’t beat the hospitality of a dude ranch. They treat their guests like family so you will feel like you are staying with family.

We hope these tips will inspire you to plan a family reunion soon.

Happy Trails!

Now This Is A Great Mother's Day Idea

4/23/2016 3:00:52 PM

Moms are the best. They are always there for you, they love and support you no matter what and are someone you can always count on. So how do you show your appreciation for someone so special? Certainly, your mom will love anything you give her but you REALLY want her to love what you give her. There are countless presents you can purchase with each running some risk of not being right in some way. It may be the wrong size, it may be the wrong color, it may not work for her lifestyle or it may be the same thing you get her every year.

Choosing a Mother's Day present isn't difficult when you realize that what mothers want most is to spend time with their family. Mom’s love to share experiences and strengthen the bonds of family and create memories to be cherished for years to come. One of the best ways to do this is through traveling together where you are away from everyday worries and routines and can be completely focused on each other. A trip together is one of the best ways to forge the bonds of family and friendship while also engaging in some activity or indulging some interest. Just being away from the everyday, out of a comfort zone of the familiar, is already revitalizing and rejuvenating.

A dude ranch may not be the first place you would think of taking your mom but it is an excellent one, especially if the entire family is going. Dude ranches are like summer camp for the entire family. There are many fun activities to choose from including fishing, hiking, wild life watching, hayrides,and horseback riding so everybody gets to be a kid. Dude ranches tend to be very hospitable, laid back, "authentic" in their own way, and bring out a perpetual smile in everyone there.

mothers day

Aside from the typical activities, some dude ranches have some special offers and packages specifically designed for mom in mind or if you are going on a mother/daughter trip. Many dude ranches have specialty classes such cooking classes and wine tasting classes. Some have on site spas ready to pamper your mom. If you want to be a cowgirl for a week you can do that with some women’s weeks.

Here are some specials just for mom:

Victoria Weekend Spa Getaway at Echo Valley Ranch

Book this special packages at this special East meets West guest ranch and spa in British Columbia, Canada. Echo Valley Ranch features not one but two world class spas: European and Thai. Each spa has their own unique spa treatments that your mom can try.  This package includes all accommodations, meals, use of ranch amenities and a special 5 course British style dinner.

Echo Valley Ranch

Mother/ Daughter bonding at Women’s Only Week at Coffee Creek Ranch

 Coffee Creek Ranch is having a women’s only week from May 7 to 13 to celebrate Mother’s day.  Many unique activities are planned for this week including classes where you can learn how to cook healthy meals from scratch, how to bake with ancient grains and even learn how to make lotions and facials from items in your kitchen. Then head outside and go on a hike, a horseback ride or just kick back and stick your feet into the creek.

coffee creek ranch

No matter what you decide, be sure to let her know you appreciate her in every way.

Happy Trails!

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