RanchSeeker Blog

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

8/21/2015 8:24:24 AM

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch is a small year round guest ranch located in Rifle, Colorado. Nestled in a beautiful valley on the shores of a pristine mountain lake guests at the ranch are treated to the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains as well as abundant wildlife. Ideal for summer vacations, family reunions, wedding, business retreats, hunting opportunities and winter getaways since each package can be customized to start and end your days to fit your schedule. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the two trail rides that are offered every day. From atop a horse you will see the Colorado Rockies like no other way so be sure to take your camera. Each guest is matched to a horse that best suits their riding abilities. Whether you are a first time rider or have ridden your whole life Coulter Lake Guest Ranch has the horse for you. There are scenic walking rides and loping on most trails or you can choose to take lessons to improve your skills. You can choose to ride as often or as little as you like. When guests aren’t off riding they can often be found in the lake. With activities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing or simply swimming out to the platform to cool off on a hot day the lake provides kids and adults with hours of entertainment. And this being Colorado there are many other opportunities as well for avid fishermen to fish the superb trout rivers, nearby streams and mountain lakes. Hiking enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either since no matter what direction they choose beautiful trails await them.  For the more adventurous half day white water raft trips are available and for those that like to golf there is a course nearby. If you feel like a short drive you can also visit Colorado’s wineries and orchards in Palisades or book a massage at one of the spas in Glenwood.

Colorado Guest Ranch
Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

At the end of a fun-filled day of activities or a relaxing day spent by the lake guests can retire to their own cabin by the lake or among the aspen trees all within an easy walk to the main Lodge. Each cabin has 1-3 bedrooms, a sitting area, a private bathroom with shower, and a front porch with incredible views of the lake and mountains. For those nights that get chilly all but one cabin has a fireplace and all of them have heating systems. Meals are served either in the lodge’s dining room or al fresco at one of the outdoor locations. Expect family-style meals with a western gourmet flair. Coulter Lake Guest Ranch will provide you and your loved ones with a memorable vacation that will have you coming back year after year.

Happy Trails!  

Upcoming Family Dude Ranch Vacation Specials

5/14/2015 8:52:41 AM

Summertime is fast approaching and that means it’s time to start planning a family vacation that ideally everyone will enjoy. Perhaps in the past that has always meant a beach destination or some sort of RV or camp-site . But there are many more fun and adventurous options to choose from. A dude ranch vacation offers something different from the usual family vacation fare. Many dude ranches provide the opportunity for families to spend time together in the outdoors and to get back to the basics. Imagine visiting a place where iPads, cell phones and laptops are left in the room in favour of learning how to ride or bond with farm animals or simply re-connect with family members over a board game at night or a sing-a-long at a camp-fire  while making s’mores.

The summer is an ideal time to visit a dude ranch with your family since many guest ranches offer child orientated programs with activities specifically tailored for your children. This means that Mom and Dad can also enjoy the various activities that are available while their kids are being entertained by responsible care-givers. It’s a win-win situation for all! Are you ready to learn more about a family orientated dude ranch vacation? These guest ranches excel at providing you and your family with the ideal summer vacation and they promise to create long-lasting memories while offering something new and different from the norm.

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch, Rifle, Colorado   

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch is an ideal vacation spot for a family vacation. It is a place where you can leave the responsibilities and stresses of everyday life behind and experience the greatness of the magnificent Rocky Mountains. The ranch is situated directly on the shores of a pristine mountain lake surrounded by beautiful aspens. Guests enjoy fantastic trail rides, swimming in the lake, boating, white water rafting, and much more while vacationing here.

Summer Family Vacation Special:

Pay half price for each youth package when accompanied by at least one full fare adult!  Kids between 4 and 14 receive a 50% discount on their all-inclusive packages.  Minimum 3 night stays.  E-mail us at info@coulterlake.com  Offer available from June 1st to August 15th and is based on availability. Please mention RanchSeeker when making a reservation!

"Guest ranches offer great family vacations.  There is nothing like spending quality time with your family watching everyone enjoy being outdoors and together.  There is something special about riding horses through the aspen, swimming in the lake, catching a trout, or relaxing on the deck watching the kids play.  You are truly creating memories that will last a lifetime!"—Jack Allard, owner/operator


Come bond with your family at Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

Coffee Creek Ranch, Trinity Center, California   

If it’s a guest ranch vacation that you are wanting to experience this summer, then the staff at Coffee Creek Ranch will make sure your stay is one that you will truly enjoy and remember. From their International children’s counselors, “perky” wait staff to their Western wranglers you and your family will be well taken care of while on vacation.

Summer Family Vacation Special:

For the weeks of June 13th, July 11th, August 15th and 28th the cost for kids is 50% off. There is also a 4 night $1175 per person package from July 1-5th.

Supervised summer youth programs are specially designed by age groups:

  •  Bronc Busters for 13-17 years old
  • Junior Wranglers for ages 6 to 12
  • Cowboys and Cowgirls for ages 3 to 5

Kids enjoy a fun-filled schedule of pony rides, nature walks, crafts, panning for gold and much, much more!


Kids love making new friends at Coffee Creek Guest Ranch!

Marble Mountain Ranch, Somes Bar, California       

Dude ranch vacations at Marble Mountain Ranch have an American cowboy's trail riding theme. We Horseback trail riding vacations are combined with thrilling guest ranch activities such as white-water rafting, kayaking, sporting clays, fly fishing, jet boat adventures on the Lower Klamath and traditional American ranch events.

Summer Family Vacation Special:

“Youth under the age of 14 and "buckaroos" ages 3 & 4 enjoy a discounted fare at Marble Mountain Ranch.  While adult fares for an all-inclusive 5 night package are $1700, youth are discounted to $1560 and buckaroos to $1200 for our 5 night / 6 day program.  Youth are fully engaged in the adult programs with their parents, to enable whole family bonding through shared activities.  The younger buckaroos will join in feeding our small animals, swimming, nature walks, ranch arts and crafts and more. Hands-on involvement in child oriented ranch activities like picking garden strawberries, harvesting a warm chicken egg, or hand feeding a bunny will create memories never to be forgotten. Most of our visiting buckaroos have never experienced the joy of transplanting a berry from vine to mouth without first opening a plastic container! Other activities include picnics & campfire sing-a longs, treasure hunts and orienteering, ranch crafts such as weaving lavender wands, collecting blackberries and fruits and authentic pioneer games.  As much as possible, we try to keep the family unit together during our full spectrum of activities.”- Doug Cole, owner/operator


It's fun to spend time with the horses at Marble Mountain Guest Ranch

Laramie River Ranch, Glendevey, Colorado  

Laramie River Dude Ranch offers genuine western hospitality for you and your family. The timeless beauty of the valley and the majestic Rockies provide a beautiful backdrop for your family guest ranch vacation.

Summer Family Vacation Special:

There are 2 programs featured for kids one for those below the age of 6 and one for those above the age of 6. There are lots of fun options to choose from as well as plenty of time to spend time together as a family.

“Laramie River Ranch is a vacation for the whole family.  Kids over the age of six can participate in all our activities with their family members or with kids that they meet on the ranch.  Children under six are entertained with outdoor focused activities with animals in our petting zoo and adventures with their counselors.”—Bill Burleigh, owner/operator


Come learn how to ride a horse this summer at Laramie River Ranch

Free Rein Guest Ranch, Bridge Lake, British Columbia    

Free Rein Guest Ranch is a small family ranch business that offers an intimate and hands on experience with the horses and the great outdoors. It’s your ideal home away from home for those seeking a Canadian adventure in Super Natural British Columbia.

Summer Family Vacation Special:

“We are one of the few ranches that offers the opportunity of experiencing our equine programme even as young as 5 years old. We don’t want the little ones to miss out in any way and so we aim to educate and empower our younger visitors to become great horsemen and women at an early age. From age 5 upwards we involve the children in all aspects of our daily life, they learn to approach, handle, groom, feed, saddle and indeed ride their own horses during their time with us. We believe that great horse people begin their journey early and we hope instil great instinct and common sense in our younger guests to keep them safe around horses. They certainly don’t miss out on the action here at Free Rein and we will always be right there to hold their hand, teach them, lead them and support them while they learn the ropes of basic horse handling, safety techniques and riding skills. “ –Debbie Atha, owner/operator


Kids have so much fun learning to ride at Free Rein Guest Ranch!

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, Clinton, British Columbia  

At Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, summers are for quality family time. Their beautiful valley provides the perfect backdrop for you to play together, go on adventures, and reconnect as a family.

Summer Family Vacation Special:

During your stay you will be part of the extended Echo Valley Family and enjoy all amenities that are offered, including farm fresh gourmet meals (healthy and delicious - the kids will love it!), fly fishing in their stocked pond, exploring the nature trails around the ranch with their Border Collies, arts, crafts and indoor games, their wonderful pool and exciting scavenger hunts. Of course no family vacation is complete without sharing stories by a campfire and roasting s'mores, so they make sure that you spend some evenings around the campfire, after a delicious BBQ!


A fun activity at the ranch is learning how to fly-fish for trout in our ponds!

“The whole family will find it easy to quit looking down, at their devices - and start looking up to enjoy every moment together. Echo Valley Ranch & Spa is a truly magical place - and the transition from digital to real has never been easier”—Kerstin Auer/head of marketing  

Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado      

Nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains, Vista Verde is a truly unique ranch experience for all seasons but summertime is an especially fun time of year to visit with your family.

Summer Family Vacation Special:

Visit Vista Verde Ranch during the week of May 31-June 7 to kick off their summer season with some fun events. It’s spring time, and that means branding season.  Jump in on the excitement of a traditional branding, and get your hands dirty while you help out.  This is your chance to channel your inner cowboy and cowgirl to be a part of a long standing tradition in the ranching world.  Kids will have a blast learning how to vaccinate, trying their hand at branding, and learning about how things are done on a working ranch.  The first two weeks of the season are discounted off their regular summer rates, so enjoy a savings of up to $600/person to come early in the summer.


Come channel your inner cowboy or cowgirl at Vista Verde Ranch!

“Opening week is one of my favourite weeks of the summer.  The staff have been waiting to have guests here for weeks, and we have inundated them with information, practice, and more practice.  They just want to start doing it, and that enthusiasm is so contagious!  The horses are freshly tuned up and ready to hit the trail.  The whole valley is brilliant green, the rivers rushing, and the wild-flowers popping out all over the place.  It really is a magical time here at Vista Verde.”-Stephanie Wilson,manager

Red Reflet, Ten Sleep, Wyoming  

Red Reflet ranch offers a unique Wyoming Ranch Experience. Set in a beautiful natural setting with outstanding facilities superb food, and experienced staff. Your western experience will far exceed expectations for you and everyone in your family.


Kids and adults love to drive our ATVs at Red Reflet Ranch!

Summer Family Vacation Special:

“The Red Reflet Ranch believes strongly in the family vacation.  We offer a variety of special pricing for families with children: reduced rates for children ages 3 to 17, and there is no charge for children under age 3.  The last week of June, July & August is our Family Week Special which offers 20% off children’s rates with a 6 night minimum stay.  We are a great destination for family reunions and guests may rent the entire ranch, call for special pricing.  Our activities are developed so that the entire family can participate together.”-Laurence Kaplan,owner

So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on your guest ranch vacation this summer at one of these ranches that go out of their way to make summer vacations fun and exciting for the whole family!

Happy Trails!

10 Lessons You'll Learn From A Dude Ranch Vacation

4/13/2015 1:51:16 PM

With spring finally here, many dude ranches are gearing up for the 2015 season. For you, this means that it’s finally time to pack up your cowboy hat and boots and head to where the air is fresh, the scenery is breathtaking, and the adventures are abundant. If this is your first time on a ranch, the following are ten lessons you’re bound to learn during your time there.

1.)Despite What You Thought, You Can Survive Without Technology

Most ranches are remote, which means that your access to Wi-Fi or even your phone network may be close to impossible. However, instead of going Lion King on your mobile device, relax and breathe in the fresh air. Within a few days, you’ll be so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the ranch that you’ll forget that you’ve ever had electrical devices to keep boredom at bay.

Technlogy Free

2.)Riding a Horse is What You’ve Been Meant to Do All Your Life

Horse riding is one of the main activities ranches have to offer. In addition to being fun, this activity improves your balance, boosts your coordination and motor function, strengthens your muscles, enhances blood circulation, and teaches patience, self-discipline and self-confidence. Learning to ride also has mental and emotional benefits. Research shows that staying and steering horses is a challenge that can stimulate your mind and prevent memory loss. On the other hand, you can choose to be alone with the kindred spirit you’re riding or seek human companionship with other riders.  

3.) There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Some ranches will allow you to take part in different chores, some of which you’ll be hesitant to handle since you’re a regular city slicker. However, these tasks are what will build your character and make you appreciate the people working outside offices. You will also enjoy every morsel you eat on the ranch even more knowing you had a hand in getting it to the table. Finally, these chores are bound to be fun, especially when done with other people, such as your family.

4.) Ranch Time is a Great Opportunity for Family Time

Ranch holidays are perfect for families because they offer different activities that are designed for all ages. They also allow all members to bond, be it around the dining table, during square dance and social activities or while working around the ranch. As a result, you’ll go home as one, stronger unit, which is exactly what a family should be.

5.) Food ACTUALLY Has a Flavor You Never Discovered

Some dude ranches grow their own organic produce and raise their own cattle raised on organic feed and fresh water from nearby springs or lakes. Because this food is chemical free, you’ll discover what fresh foods are actually supposed to taste like. Moreover, whether you’re a fan of gourmet ranch meals or country home cooking, you’re bound to find a ranch that caters to your palate. Your dude ranch vacation can also be an epicurean adventure.


6.) Mother Nature is Worthy of Your Praise

Ranches are usually miles away from civilization as you know it, allowing you to enjoy the areas Mother Nature still reigns. Nestled in the mountains or plains, dude ranches will grant you the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful scenery surrounding you and the critters that make it so special. As you don’t get to see these or notice them anywhere else, your time on the ranch will definitely be worthwhile.

Echo Valley Ranch
Echo Valley Ranch in British Columbia

7.) There are SO MANY Outdoor Activities You Haven’t Discovered

While your outdoor activities in the city may be limited to walking, jogging or partying, a dude ranch has a whole list of things you can do under the sun and later starry sky. For instance, you can go kayaking during the day and camping in the evening????. Even if it’s winter, ranches open during the cold season are bound to offer you different activities such as snowboarding and ice fishing.

8.) Caring for Animals isn’t Easy Physically or Emotionally

Remember how Billy Crystal’s character from ‘City Slickers’ made a connection and adopted the calf he brought to the world? By taking care of animals on the ranch, you’re bound to bond with some even if you’ve never considered growing close with a farm animal. This will bring out a softer edge to your personality and appreciate the furry friends of this Earth more.


Joy

9.) The Western Heritage isn’t All Cowboys and Indians

Contrary to what you thought before arriving at the dude ranch, you’re going to discover how deep and interesting the western heritage is. In addition to cowboy history, you’ll learn about important people and figures and their contribution towards the present you’re enjoying at the ranch. Be it through memorabilia, stories or even cooked delicacies, get ready to be submerged deeply into history

10.) You’re Not the Person You Believed You Are in the City

The hard work, honest ranchers, loyal animals and connection you strike with nature is bound to bring OUT the best in you. You’ll challenge yourself and push beyond the limits you’ve established earlier, discovering a new person altogether. You may start appreciate the simpler things in life more as well as material things less.Health and relationships may increase in importance while ambition and status decrease. Interestingly, these aren’t all the lessons you’ll discover during a next ranch vacation. However, only you can contribute to this list. So book your own Wild West experience at one of our ranches today.

Drowsy Water Ranch

7/15/2014 5:37:51 PM

What could be better than an authentic western experience at a private mountain valley resort in Colorado? According to Travelers’ Choice Award … nothing! Voted by travelers as the 2010 #1 favorite all inclusive resort from over 700 worldwide all inclusive vacation destinations, the Drowsy Water Ranch is an adventure of a lifetime.

Drowsy Water Ranch

The  Drowsy Water Ranch has a 90 year history of welcoming families and visitors from all over the world to experience the beauty of their unique dude ranch . Trail riding through the backcountry of the Colorado rocky mountains is not only the primary activity, but an unforgettable experience. They take pride in the over 100 head of horses on site, and each guest is carefully paired with their horse according to riding ability to maximize learning and overall experience. Daily clinics, learner trail walks and advance trail gallops across a variety of terrains are available to improve the proficiency of each guest rider.


Horseback riding

The accommodations at Drowsy Water Ranch range to accommodate singles, couples, families and large groups. While not losing their historical essence, cabins have been remodeled to offer visitors a cozy, comfortable, clean stay with all the comforts of home. Guests can choose the all inclusive package that best meets their desires for a weekend, midweek or full week stay.

Drowsy Water Ranch

A highlight for visitors at Drowsy Water Ranch is always the food. With recipes that have been passed down for generations, they boast of some of the best western style food available anywhere. Although most meals are served in the dining room, guests are treated on occasion to mountain top breakfasts, chuck wagon lunches and open hearth barbeques. With delicious breads and baked goods, and memorable main courses, guests always enjoy the variety, and abundance, of the tasty meals served at Drowsy Water Ranch. It is no wonder Drowsy Water Ranch ranks so favorably with Trip Advisor, Family Vacation Critic and Travelers’ Choice. With kids programs, ranch activities and special events that complement the horse riding focused experience, guests have plenty of ways to enjoy their stay. With a reputation for hospitality, and quality, the Drowsy Water Ranch family show personal attention to each guest that walks through their doors.

Drowsy Water Ranch

Without a doubt, a dude ranch vacation is an experience that creates memories. Many experiences are often the 1st of its kind, and create a unique bond with families and friends as they share these together.  At Drowsy Water Ranch, they share the beauty of the natural surroundings with their guests, and invite visitors to build a special connection with riding horses. Whether beginner, intermediate or experience rider, everyone can learn something new about riding at the ranch. Every aspect of a vacation a Drowsy Water Ranch has been especially prepared, from the accommodations and food, to the activities and clinics, towards maximizing the enjoyment of your stay. With affordable options for their all inclusive packages, many guests return year after year, preferring Drowsy Water  over any other vacation destination. As an outstanding dude ranch vacation spot, the family invites all to come experience the beauty of Drowsy Water Ranch.

Individual Fruit Galettes with Red Wine Sauce

5/19/2014 9:30:53 AM

This is a great dessert for summer outdoor dining brought to you from the folks at Lazy L&B Ranch. Lazy L & B Ranch is a Wyoming dude ranch known for promoting a simple life style,spectacular country, great food and memories of a life time. It's so impressive your friends will think you have gone to pastry school. It also takes advantage of all the delicious summer fruits.

Fruit Galette
Fruit Galette

Serves 12

Galette

12 pieces of puff pastry
 1 cup butter, melted
 4 to 6 cups of the fruit(s) of your choice, sliced
 2 cups brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2.  Lightly score a border around the entire edge with a paring knife and then prick everything inside this border with a fork.
  3. Brush each piece with a generous helping of butter.
  4. Place the buttered pastry in the oven for five minutes or just until it begins to rise.
  5. Take the pastry out of the oven and arrange your fruit(s).
  6. Sprinkle brown sugar over the fruit.
  7. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Sauce

2 cups brown sugar
 Splash of water
 1/2 cup red wine
 2 cups unsalted butter,
divided into 12 pieces

Directions

  1. Heat the brown sugar with a bit of water over medium heat.
  2. Add the red wine and stir slowly.
  3.  Once the sugar and wine is incorporated, incorporate the butter one piece at a time and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Drizzle the sauce over the galettes.

Grilled Salmon With Tangy Blueberry Slaw Recipe

3/21/2014 1:18:08 PM

This delicious salmon recipe comes from the friendly folks at Coffee Creek Ranch Where picture-postcard views await you in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area of Northern California. Take in snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, lush meadows, and sparkling lakes. This salmon recipe was inspired by a trip to New Zealand where the owners had a delicious cooked fish dish served over salad. This dish is served during the ranch's Mother's Day lunch. Be sure to visit the ranch during April while they have their $995/week per person promotion running. You will be glad you did!

Grilled Salmon
Grilled Salmon With Blueberry Slaw

1/3 C    Chobani Plain Fat-Free Yoghurt
4 TBSP     Rice Vinegar
4 TBSP  Honey
4 C    ¼ Inch Sliced Napa Cabbage
6 oz     Fresh Blueberries, Coarsely Chopped
¼ C    Minced Red Onion
1 ½ lbs Atlantic Salmon Fillets
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Stir together yoghurt, 2 tbsp. vinegar and 2 tbsp. honey in a medium bowl
  2. Add cabbage, blueberries and onion and toss well to coat.
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Season salmon with salt and pepper
  5. Stir together remaining vinegar and honey in a small bowl.
  6. Cook salmon well-oiled grill over medium heat for 5 minutes, skin side up.
  7. Turn and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until cooked to your liking, basting with remaining vinegar mixture.
  8. Serve over blueberry slaw
 

Elk Mountain Ranch Steak Rub

1/6/2014 10:30:22 PM

Elk Mountain Guest Ranch is located 2.5 hours away from the Denver airport in Colorado.  Elk Mountain Ranch is unique for it's spectacular location, horseback rides of unmatched beauty, large variety of activities and a superb menu. Sometimes you will be lucky enough to have some grilled steaks with a magical tasty steak rub. The folks at Elk Mountain Ranch have been nice enough to share their recipe with you.

Elk Mountain Ranch Steak Rub

3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder

Mix well together and  rub liberally onto steaks. Grill immediately.    

Steak Rub
Elk Mountain Steak Rub

Six Reasons to Choose a Dude Ranch Vacation for the Holiday Season

12/28/2013 12:08:24 PM

Holidays are just around the corner. As the most anticipated time of the year, holidays signify happiness and joy that know no bounds. For those who want to enjoy the holidays and have memories they can talk about for years to come, a dude ranch is the ideal venue

Holiday Dude Ranch

Dude ranches are becoming increasingly popular among avid travelers and vacationers for good reason. Allowing holidaymakers to enjoy amenities that easily rival any all-inclusive hotel or resort, dude ranches promise travelers a memorable, unique experience. Need reasons to plan an unforgettable trip to a dude ranch with your friends or family? The list goes as follows. Dive in!

A Wonderful Vacation at Wallet-Friendly Prices Vacations don’t have to come with a huge price tag. Since some dude ranches are all-inclusive, travelers can know the prices up front and select something within their budget. There are no hidden costs and travelers don’t have to worry about leaving a hole in their pockets. In short, dude ranches are synonymous to fun without any financial fuss.

There’s More to It than Meets the Eye While dude ranches are characterized by horses, visitors get more than what they have bargained for. Individuals can indulge in a plethora of fun-filled activities like skiing, dog sledding, ice skating, downhill skiing and a lot more. In other words, dude ranches are a chance for individuals to get the best bang for their vacation bucks.

An Ideal Choice for All Age-Groups One problem associated with holiday destinations is that they either cater to an adult crowd or kids. However, since dude ranches offer activities to entertain individuals and kids belonging to any age group, they make up the sweet spot where immense enjoyment meets unlimited convenience.

Works Wonders for the Wee Ones With the increasing trend of traveling with families, dude ranches are quickly climbing everyone’s list of favorites. Since dude ranches offer a plethora of activities for kids, they make the most out of their experience by meeting other kids from across the globe. To top it all, activities like building igloos, wildlife learning, skiing and meeting Santa further sweetens the deal for them.

Chance to Enjoy Some Intimate Family Time Make up for all those times you were too busy be there for your family.  Enjoy a cozy holiday and create memories in a natural setting. Dude ranches offer once-in-a-lifetime chance for you to reconnect with your family and enjoy the company of your dear ones in a home away from home.

Connect With Mother Nature Regardless of which part of the country you are coming from, dude ranches are your getaway from the chronic humdrum of city life. From majestic mountains to breathtaking forests, dude ranches offer you an opportunity to enjoy nature like never before.

The otherworldly setting of a dude ranch makes it seem like a scene straight out of some Hollywood movie where individuals get a chance to enjoy natural beauty and wonderful offerings. Bottom-line: if you are in a mood to enjoy some creature comforts in a setting with timeless beauty, a visit to dude ranch is all you need to turn your visions into reality. Don’t wait! Start planning your visit to dude ranch today and experience a holiday that’s everything to rave about.

Top 5 Dude Ranches for Winter Getaways

11/19/2013 7:58:22 PM

As snow begins to fall, the Old West transforms into an altogether different landscape. Winter is a wonderful time to experience and really take pleasure in the beauty of the Old West. Just because its colder now, doesn’t mean that your favorite ranch activities need to be surrendered. In fact, you can now enjoy a whole new set of adventures to go along with the new season. From snowmobiling, to sleigh rides to cross country skiing, there are tons of new things to do when the winter comes, alone or with a group of family and friends. Of course, horseback rides and bonfires are still an option. After all, what dude ranch vacation would be complete without those! Just make sure that you are nicely bundled up! Here are our top 5 most favorite dude ranches in the winter season:

1.Vista Verde Guest Ranch

Situated near the Steamboat Springs, Colorado, this is a luxury dude ranch that is open during the winters as well.  Winter activities include dog-sledding, ice-climbing and powder cat skiing. The Vista Verde Guest Ranch is situated in the scenic surroundings of the National Forest, completely secluded from others. The winter ranch experience provided by Vista Verde is absolutely fabulous as the ranch provides all that’s needed for memorably classic holiday celebrations for families, friends and corporate get-togethers. They also offer couple’s getaways as well as a fun place for singles and friends to enjoy the plentiful Colorado snow.

Vista Verde Winter
Winter at Vista Verde Ranch

2. Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Lots and lots of snow and beautiful landscape can be viewed. The Echo Valley Ranch in British Columbia, Canada, is the perfect place for a winter getaway situated about 4 hours away from Vancouver. The ranch opens for business in winter around December 13, 2013th. Book your tickets early to celebrate Christmas and New Year because Echo Valley is an amazing place to bring family and friends together. They also accommodate company Christmas retreats.

Echo Valley Ranch
Winter at Echo Valley Ranch

3.  Tod Mountain Ranch

Concealed away in the Louis Creek Valley, amidst the mountains in British Columbia, Canada, Tod Mountain Ranch is a tiny exclusive ranch that offers a serene environment that provides a unique, hands-on horseback riding experience. The best part about the ranch is its close proximity to the Sun Peaks Ski Resort. This makes for almost 4000 acres of skiable terrain, and activities like snow bikes, skating, dog sledding, snow mobiles and Tubing & Tobogganing.

Tod Mountain Ranch
Winter at Tod Mountain Ranch

4.  Lone Mountain Ranch

This is your base camp for the perfect Rocky Mountain adventure vacation. The Lone Mountain ranch boasts of unrivaled downhill skiing facilities and a combined lift-serviced alpine experience with over 5,000 skiable acres. These amenities, coupled with an exclusive world class Nordic Ski Center, make Lone Mountain Ranch an unbeatable winter destination. It is favored by the most experienced cross-country ski devotees. The Montana ranch offers a spell binding 2,200 vertical feet from the top of the system to the bottom.

Lone Mountain Ranch
 Winter at Lone Mountain Ranch

5.  Sugar and Spice Ranch

Situated in Bandera Texas, this is one ranch that offers the real ranch experience. This is the perfect family spot that provides all its guests with a hands-on experience in taking care of the horses and living the ranch lifestyle, just the way it is meant to be. Guests bunk together as a group in a big beautiful bunk room, meals area communal experience and this is what makes vacations here a lovely, bonding experience. The Sugar and Spice Ranch offers women’s only weekends, mother-daughter bonding weeks as well as family weekend packages for the winter season.

Sugar and Spice Ranch
Winter at Sugar and Spice Ranch

Surely one of these dude ranches will have the Winter getaway perfect for you. Use the easy dude ranch search tool on Ranchseeker to find more dude ranches with Winter promotions.

White Stallion Ranch Oatmeal Pancakes

11/11/2013 4:13:24 PM

There is nothing quite like homemade pancakes on a lazy weekend morning. Why not make them healthier by adding the superfood oats! The folks over at White Stallion Ranch in Arizona have provided us this yummy recipe for Oatmeal pancakes.  This Oatmeal Pancake recipe is easy, delicious and healthy!

Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups buttermilk
3 beaten eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter (not oil)
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

  1. Combine oats and buttermilk and let stand overnight
  2. Combine the eggs, sugar and oil in a small bowl and beat together. Add to the oat/buttermilk mixture
  3. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Add a bit of cinnamon if you like!
  4. Cook on a hot griddle

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