RanchSeeker Blog

A Thanksgiving Feast at The Ranch at Rock Creek!

11/9/2016 4:30:06 PM

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 11th issue

History tells us that the first American Thanksgiving occurred sometime during 1621, when the surviving Pilgrim Fathers gave thanks for a successful harvest, which was largely due to the help they received from the native Squanto/Wampanoag tribe, who were invited to sit down at the celebratory feast. Various versions exist as to why and how such an auspicious gathering took place including what food was actually served that day, and no doubt the meal back then differed greatly from what we all associate today as being a quintessential American Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s safe to assume however, that wild turkey, corn, in grain form for bread or for porridge, and venison was there.


In the years that followed, Thanksgiving Day began to be randomly celebrated by various communities, particularly in the north, until a writer, Sara Josepha Hale, made it her mission to have it formally recognized as a National Holiday, enacted by President Lincoln in 1863.

However, it wasn’t until 1939 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that the fourth Thursday of every November would become the official date to celebrate Thanksgiving.  This would not be approved however by Congress until 1941.  (source)

For the majority of American households these days, celebrating Thanksgiving sadly has lost much of its original meaning; instead, it often centers on the actual meal itself and the getting together of family and loved ones under one roof. It is still a time however to give thanks for all the good things we enjoy and for many that includes the opportunity to watch American football be it high school, college or NFL games throughout the day. Some families even engage in a friendly game of touch football before dinner. Volunteering at soup kitchens or holding food drives is another way for some to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a way to give back to those less fortunate during the holiday season and as such some remnant of the true meaning still lives on.

Other modern traditions include attending Thanksgiving parades which are held in cities and towns across the United States. The biggest and most famous parade, which has been attracting millions of onlookers since 1924, takes place in New York City and is put on by Macy’s department store. Elaborate floats, marching bands, giant balloon figures and famous people are what over three million spectators on the ground and over fifty million people at home can expect from this year’s parade. Another fun tradition, with roots dating back to the beginning of the mid-20th century, includes the annual “pardoning” of one or two turkeys on behalf of the President of the United States. This quirky event spares the selected turkeys from the oven and sends them to a “retirement home”.


Thanksgiving is also a wonderful opportunity to pack a bag, book a short getaway, and let someone else take care of the cooking this year. With Christmas fast approaching a trip away can provide a much needed break before the frantic holiday season starts in December. Whether you choose to spend it with that special someone, family or your dearest friends, taking a vacation during this time is a memorable way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Although there are numerous destinations and types of vacations to choose from….. The Ranch at Rock Creek offers a truly unforgettable Thanksgiving experience.

Located in Philipsburg, The Ranch at Rock Creek, although surrounded by breathtaking scenery all year round, is particularly picturesque during the autumn months. As the leaves change colour and fall to the ground there is no better occasion to immerse yourself in Montana’s vast wilderness. By choosing a “Rustic-Luxe Thanksgiving” at The Ranch you will not only be treating yourself to first-class amenities but also to an all-inclusive, customized ranch celebration that enables you to pursue engaging activities and enjoy quality time with loved ones. Guests can pick from exciting activities such as mountain biking, hiking expeditions, shooting, archery, horseback riding, and fly-fishing. Aside from stellar accommodations and a plethora of activities The Ranch at Rock Creek promises truly memorable gourmet meals and an haute cuisine Thanksgiving dinner that features regional seafood and Montana meat products.


A getaway at this Montana guest ranch resort also enables its guests to unwind and take advantage of seasonal offerings like a pumpkin facial in their Granite Spa or simply the opportunity to sit in front of a roaring fire and relax with a good book. Thanksgiving is often associated with over-indulgence, but at The Ranch at Rock Creek guests will not only enjoy delicious gourmet fare but they will also find a perfect balance between organized seasonal activities and downtime.

Celebrate Thanksgiving

Book Between November 22-27, 2016

Chef Josh Drage invites you to enjoy his orchestration of Montana’s bountiful harvest. Delight in traditional culinary offerings inspired by the heart, soul and bounty of our beloved Western Montana. The Ranch at Rock Creek is a special place to host warm and memorable gatherings for families of any size. Rejuvenate and reconnect in splendid accommodations surrounded by Big Sky Country adventure and wildlife.

Our 2016 itinerary combines American traditions, like feasts and football, with the wild pursuits and fireside luxuries. Each morning and afternoon, try your hand at outdoor adventures including mountain biking, hiking expeditions, shooting, archery, horseback riding, fly fishing, the ropes course and geocaching. Thanksgiving Dinner in the Granite Lodge features multiple courses bursting with locally sourced Western delights. Families have more time to enjoy themselves when The Ranch takes care of the activities, amenities and first-class cuisine.


Celebration Details:

The Ranch’s all-inclusive rates include luxury accommodations, all gourmet meals, snacks, premium wine, beer and spirits (excluding reserve wines and liquor), on-ranch activities, daily children’s activities, guides and gear.

Rates start at $1,600 per accommodation, per night, based on standard occupancy, plus 20% Ranch Fee.

Minimum three-night stay, based on availability.

*Offer as seen on The Ranch at Rock Creek’s website. http://www.theranchatrockcreek.com/special/celebrate-thanksgiving/

However you choose to pass the holiday this year RanchSeeker  would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

A Southern Cross Guest Ranch Thanksgiving!

11/4/2016 4:21:12 PM

Autumn brings to mind cooler temperatures, vivid colour displays of fiery red, burnt amber and orange falling leaves as well as spectacular sunsets and brilliant harvest moons. It is also the time of year when families, friends and loved ones gather together under one roof to celebrate Thanksgiving. Lavish meals, friendly games of touch-football and endless football games to watch on T.V. are usually par for the course for this time-honoured holiday tradition .This year why not choose to do something totally different? Let someone else do all the cooking and cleaning and instead of lazing around on that oh-so comfy couch, make this year’s Thanksgiving holiday an event to remember!  Although there are lots of options and destinations to choose from when considering a Thanksgiving getaway, Southern Cross Guest Ranch should definitely be at the top of your list.


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

Thanksgiving at Southern Cross is their most popular week of the year and often sells out months in advance. In fact, many of their guests during this time period, return year after year and even book up for the following year while still at the ranch. In addition to their All-Inclusive schedule of meals and horseback riding, they also cook up a large Thanksgiving feast. Oven roasted turkey, baked ham, lamb, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, corn, and green beans, as well as all of the traditional “fixin’s” make this a truly memorable meal.


Your ranch vacation at Southern Cross has lots of opportunities to relax and unwind, as well as an exciting array of activities to enjoy; take a dip in the pool or soak in the hot tub, hop on a mountain bike, shoot some hoops, try your hand at fishing in the pond, play a game in the rec. room, go on a hike, visit the horses in the pasture, or throw some horseshoes. Attractions nearby include golfing, tennis, boating, skeet shooting, kayaking, museums, historical tours, and shopping.


This year put your shopping list away, pull out your suitcase and book a Thanksgiving getaway at Southern Cross Guest Ranch. Fill your days with fresh air, beautiful autumn-coloured infused scenery, fun activities, great food and make some memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

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!

Ode to Autumn & Ranch Delights!

10/6/2016 4:04:05 PM

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 10 issue

As Keats wrote, “Tis the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and depending on where you live the onset of autumn can represent different things to different people.  It can herald the end of long, lazy, hot days of summer as leaves on the trees change from crisp green to vibrant shades of red and yellow or it can simply reflect a much-awaited drop in temperature and humidity in much warmer climes. Regardless of where you are located on the map, autumn is often considered a favourite season by many of us. As days become shorter and winter approaches, we can bathe in sunlight yet enjoy more temperate weather making it an ideal time for planning various types of outdoor activities.

For families it signifies the beginning of a new school year, but for others it is a great opportunity to travel since plenty of vacation destinations offer tempting packages to suit a variety of budgets once the busy summer season is over. With so many attractive deals “out there” with or without children, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. If spending time in the saddle, participating in diverse outdoor activities, and being surrounded by spectacular scenery appeal, then a guest ranch vacation would be an ideal choice. Check out these four enticing Fall Ranch Specials in Wyoming, Georgia, California and Mexico and start thinking about the great outdoors and what to pack!

Spotted Horse Ranch (http://ow.ly/JRGB3042vZG)

Located near Jackson Hole this Wyoming dude ranch will have you feeling like you have returned to a simpler time similar to the old west. The pace although laid back is never boring!

Fall Special Details:

October 1st to Oct. 15:  Late Season 15% discount

Children under 6 years of age are half price and children under 3 years are free.

Rates are based upon the American plan, which includes the following:

  1. Newly decorated cabins, complete with goose down comforters and private baths.
  2. All meals, served family style in our dining room
  3. Horseback riding
  4. Fly-casting lessons on Monday afternoon
  5. Fly fishing in our private pond as well as in the Hoback River
  6. Barbeque cookouts with live entertainment, weather permitting on Thursdays
  7. A choice of a scenic or whitewater float on the Snake River (only on Thursdays)
  8. Swimming in Granite Hot Springs (only on Thursdays)
  9. Beer and wine are complimentary at happy hour, 5-7pm each evening, along with appetizers
  10. A Children’s Activity Director, Sunday afternoon through Friday
  11. Sauna located adjacent to the Hoback River
  12. Guest Laundry facility, detergent included
  13. Shampoo, conditioner and hair dryers in every cabin

For a chance to explore the Hoback Mountain Range in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the ranch offers you the opportunity of a true Western experience by enjoying an overnight pack-trip into one of their backcountry camps. This is a great opportunity for photo taking and/or fishing!


Spotted Horse Ranch

Southern Cross Guest Ranch 

t its finest at this easy to reach ranch located just an hour outside of Atlanta, GA. Delicious home-cooked  food, over 150 horses and unguided riding opportunities are the highlights at this a bona fide horse lover’s paradise.

Fall Special Details:

Take advantage of “FREE NIGHTS IN GEORGIA”

Sept 29 – Oct 6 or *Oct 30 – Nov 18

Midweeks – Mon-Thurs nights.

The longer you stay the better the deal:

3-nights: 3rd night FREE

4-nights: 4th night FREE + room upgrade for all nights

Weekend Rates

4-nights: 4th night FREE

7-nights: 2 nights FREE when booking their 5-night package rate ($780 & up)

Discounted night must be a night of equal or lesser value.

Promo Code: FALLFREE

Expires: October 31/2016

All-Inclusive Plan with 2x daily horseback riding – just $88/night per person!

Take advantage of the  lowest rates of the year – Valid Nov 27 – Dec 18, 2016 on stays of 4 nights or longer, double occupancy (singles just $98/night).

 Promo Code: FALL88

Expires: November 30, 2016

***Specials above may not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Reservations required, limited availability, new reservations only.


Southern Cross Guest Ranch

Coffee Creek Ranch 

There are many new modern ranches but if you are seeking an authentic dude ranch experience, look no further than Coffee Creek Ranch. This guest ranch was founded in 1900 and lies across 367 acres in Northern California. It’s surrounded by the National Forest and Trinity Alps and is adjacent to Coffee Creek of course.

Fall Special Details:

September 24th-30th

Cowboy & Cowgirl-Up Week:

Adults only week! $1175 per person arriving as couples or groups and Singles at $1295!

October 15th-21st

Cowboy & Cowgirl-Up Week:

Adults only week! $1175 per person arriving as couples or groups and Singles at $1295!

These specials include cooking classes according to guest’s wishes, game nights, fall bonfires, special hot cocoa, homemade ice cream and great fall-themed food to enjoy while staying at the ranch accompanied by the recipes to take home. It also includes two rides a day into a picturesque forest and if everyone is in agreement an all- day ride to one of the lakes nearby.


Coffee Creek Ranch

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch or Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures as it is also known by is a genuine Mexican cattle ranch and wilderness preserve located a mere 55 miles south from the southeast Arizona town of Douglas. With over 30, 000 acres, exotic scenery and otherworldly landscapes you will be reminded of a National Park.

Fall Special Details:

175-185/night Especial de las Vaqueras [Cowgirls Special]

Calling all female friends or family members, sisters and mothers! Take part in the “Cowgirl’s Special” which applies to two or more cowgirls, for five or more nights, at a discounted rate of $175/night/”vaquera” (until the end of October)or $185/night during November and December, based on double occupancy. A savings of $70/ night off of their standard rates. Round trip shuttle from Tucson is included.

Enjoy short rides, long rides, trail rides and back country riding at its finest. Ride through ravines, hills, mesas, down canyons and up into the high sierra and make new memories that will last forever.

November Mexican Roundup [Corrida]

Experience an authentic  Mexican Roundup [Nov 6-13], or “Corrida,” with “vaqueros” (cowboys), horses, cattle, great food and ideal weather for  lots of riding, cattle drives, and cattle work. Only $1,400 per guest, double occupancy, $1,550 per guest, single occupancy for this seven night stay.

Thanksgiving Week at the Rancho [Kids 10 and under stay free; free nightly wine tasting from Latin America]

This Thanksgiving choose a different way to celebrate. Visit Tierra Chamahua towards the end of November and spend Thanksgiving Week from Nov. 20-26, for a 6 night stay, starting at $1,300 per guest, double occupancy, all-inclusive, with shuttle transfer from Tucson.

Your Thanksgiving package includes wine tasting from Latin American wineries, a delicious Thanksgiving Day meal, plus children aged 10 and under stay for free! Exceptional riding and hiking opportunities as well as pleasant, mild temperatures and incredible scenery round out this holiday special.


Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

With fantastic Fall and Thanksgiving Specials like these what are you waiting for?

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation.

Happy Trails!

Enjoy a Romantic Retreat at The Ranch at Rock Creek

9/28/2016 3:56:04 PM

Autumn is just around the corner and you won’t want to miss out on The Ranch at Rock Creek’s “Montana Romance Retreat.” Located in Montana, a popular guest ranch destination, The Ranch at Rock Creek is the ideal dude ranch vacation choice for those looking for a western adventure situated in one of Montana’s most pristine valleys.

2016 ROMANTIC RETREAT | 3 NIGHTS

Book a three-night stay between September 6 and November 22 and receive $900 in additional value.

Escape to The Ranch to rouse your hearts and inspire your minds with curated couples adventures.* Enjoy outdoor activities, such as fly fishing, horseback riding or yoga, and take in spectacular panoramic views from private mountain summits. Your exceptional farm-to-table culinary experiences will be highlighted during a special gathering with a Ranch chef. Relax in rustic, yet elegant accommodations, complemented by the serenity of the Granite Spa and sublime Big Sky grandeur just outside your door.


Special Inclusions:

  • A half-day, private guided fly fishing or horseback ride adventure with a gourmet picnic or a private 2-hour yoga session including refreshments
  • Choose either two (2) complimentary 60-minute Restorative Massages or two side-by-side 45-minute Homestead Sole Foot Treatments in the Granite Spa
  • Spend an hour with a Ranch Chef learning about locally sourced gourmet cuisine while you enjoy regional wine pairings, Montana craft beer pairings or tea time in a private setting


Offer as seen on The Ranch at Rock Creek’s website. Be sure to ask the ranch for more details.

Book your romantic autumn vacation now and enjoy mountain luxury, western adventure, seasonal colours and local cuisine.

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.

Welcome to Willow Ranch Valemount

8/31/2016 3:54:53 PM

Super Natural British Columbia is home to many great guest ranches and Willow Ranch is one of them.  This newly built guest ranch features cozy cabins situated in the middle of the forest surrounded by views of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. Located only 5 minutes from Highway 5 the ranch is conveniently close to the town of Valemount making it the ideal vacation choice for a one night stay while travelling around Canada or perhaps even longer for those looking to kick off their boots and relax a spell.


Willow Ranch

There are 4 modern cabins to choose from: Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter all of which feature a kitchen, dishwasher and microwave for your convenience. A separate bedroom has a comfortable king-size bed and there is a pull-out couch in the living room for additional guests as well as a bathroom. Since they are located on McLennan Forrest Road ATV’s and snowmobiles can easily access them as well. There is also direct access to walking and horseback riding trails.

There are endless horseback riding opportunities available as the ranch is surrounded by crown land (forest and mountains) and there truly is no better way to experience the Canadian mountains than from atop a horse. Guests can choose from several types of rides that can be tailored to fit their specific needs and for those who have never ridden before there are classes available too!


Willow Ranch

Explorer Ride

1.5 hour ride which has everything that a good trail ride needs. It goes through forest, climbs up the mountainside with some great views over the valley. A very nice ride for any level rider, as the route can be adjusted to meet particular rider’s needs and abilities.

Viewpoint Ride

A half day ride through the mountains with amazing views.

Pony Trail

For smaller kids there is a pony ride, a fun loop which takes about 30 minutes. The horses are held by qualified staff members to keep it safe and fun even for the littlest kids.

Pony Experience

For 1st time riders there is the pony experience where qualified wranglers take their time to teach a little bit about horses, grooming and tack and afterwards guests can go on a shirt ride.

Be sure to ask about Willow Ranch’s fantastic combo deals like their “one night & ride” for travellers just passing through which combines their Explorer Ride with a night stay in one of their cabins. Of course the ranch can also help you complete your Canadian horse holiday dream by filling up your days with riding, horse whispering demonstrations and workshops. Whatever your needs the staff at Willow Ranch are happy to customize your stay to suit your specific vacation needs. For those traveling with their own horses and looking for somewhere to stop for a night or two Willow Ranch has pens with shelter ready that are big enough to keep two horses.


Cabin in the winter

Next time you are travelling through Canada be sure to consider a stop at Willow Ranch Valemount!

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

If a Guest Ranch Vacation Isn’t on Your Bucket List It Should Be!

8/25/2016 3:49:27 PM

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 9th issue

The Oxford Dictionary defines “bucket list” as follows:

Noun

Informal

A number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime: making this trip is the first thing on my bucket list

Origin

Early 21st century: from the phrase, “kick the bucket ‘die’ ” popularized by the 2007 film “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman

Ever since “the Bucket List” hit movie theatres worldwide, a bucket list movement has been on the rise and continues to evolve among younger and older generations alike. Websites with titles like “10,000 Things To Do Before You Die”  and “100+ Creative Bucket List  Ideas You Should Add To Your List”  are popular search engine phrases for those looking for inspiration and ideas to help create their own personal bucket list.

Nowadays, more and more people suffer from the never-ending pressure of their day-to-day responsibilities, commitments and overwhelming time constraints. Whether it’s a student working towards a degree, a hardworking employee with perhaps a family to raise or a simple case of trying to schedule a “date” with a significant other, life doesn’t leave much time to dare to dream and plan those things you would like to do before, yes….I’m going to say it…kick the bucket!

Health, monetary and career goals along with those endless to-do lists may already be a part of your daily routine, however, a bucket list allows you to delve deeper and ask yourself what do you really want to do, experience, see and learn in your lifetime? There is nothing too big, insignificant or random when making a bucket list.  In fact it can be an incredibly enlightening experience. From a very young age we are taught to consider others before ourselves and as we grow older this can often result in setting aside or putting off things that perhaps at one time were very important to us.

An encouraging and positive aspect of bucket lists is that they are fluid in nature. During a lifetime, priorities will change and things that at one time or another were at the top of the list, may not be so later on. My bucket list is a perpetual work in progress, a constant subtracting and adding of new experiences and goals that I would like to achieve, although there are many “givens” that consistently remain throughout this process. As I grow as a person and am exposed to all the wonderful choices that this wide world has to offer, I find that a bucket list enables me to approach life with an enthusiastic “joie de vivre” as I strive to live life to the fullest.

Everyone’s bucket list is unique. Perhaps it includes an extreme activity like sky diving, swimming with sharks, or bungee jumping. But a bucket list can also be about learning a new language, living abroad, swimming in the ocean for the first time, learning to ride a horse or visiting a country that appeals to your inner self.  The act of making a bucket list allows your imagination to roam freely as you identify and make accomplishing these goals an integral part of your life plan. As C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

An endless…..literally endless list of possibilities exist out there, so when making up a bucket list perhaps a guest ranch vacation isn’t one that immediately comes to mind…..but oh how it should!  Guest ranches provide an unbeatable opportunity to engage in an array of exciting and challenging activities, quite often conveniently close to home or far away in colourful locales. Experience the thrill of trail rides among absolutely breathtaking scenery as you decompress, reconnect with nature and get in touch with your inner “cowboy or cowgirl.”  With so many excellent dude ranches to choose from, the following is a short list only to consider when planning your next bucket list guest ranch adventure.

Laramie River Ranch 

Experience the rugged Rocky Mountains at this Colorado guest ranch where horseback riding is the main focus and genuine western hospitality is par for the course. In addition guests can partake in exceptional fly fishing opportunities, naturalist led hikes and wildlife adventures. Live musical entertainment and square dancing at night will enhance your western experience. Accommodations include rooms in the lodge or cozy cabins depending on your particular needs.


Laramie River Dude Ranch

Crystal Waters Guest Ranch  

Located in Super Natural British Columbia’s Cariboo region this Canadian guest ranch specializes in horseback riding, ranching and fishing vacations but they also offer lots of other fun summer activities as well as winter packages. Home to caribou, black bears and countless species of birds means bringing a camera along is a must! Accommodations include western-style cabins situated on the shores of the pristine Crystal Water Lake which is surrounded by rolling meadows and deep forests.


Crystal Waters Guest Ranch

Red Horse Mountain Idaho 

This guest ranch is one of Idaho’s best kept secrets. Guests will experience first rate western hospitality, moments of relaxation as well as an extensive list of guided adventures to choose from. With several riding packages at your disposal or activities like mountain biking, 3D archery and kayaking to name a few everyone in your group is sure to be satisfied! Book either the Hilltop Vacation Home (ideal for large groups or families) or one of their cabins or suites.


Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch 

Open meadows, tall ponderosa forests and an abundance of wildlife awaits you at this New Mexico guest ranch. Horseback riders or hikers will marvel at the deep canyons and crystal clear streams that are all part of the Gila National Forest. While you explore the area you will have the opportunity to learn about the rich history associated with the region. Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch is a small ranch (only 4 cabins) so guests are guaranteed a truly personal atmosphere.


Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch

The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch 

Wyoming is the perfect playground for those looking for an exceptional experience! With 650,000 acres to explore this upscale working cattle, riding, fly-fishing and adventure guest ranch is the ideal vacation choice. Trapshooting, archery, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking,4X4 tours as well as many other opportunities await the intrepid traveller. Be sure to book well in advance so that you don’t miss out since this guest ranch fills up quickly due to returning guests and word of mouth.


The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

Let RanchSeeker   help you find your ideal guest ranch bucket list destination!

Top 5 Reasons Why a Guest Ranch is a HOT Destination!

7/28/2016 3:40:27 PM

The following article 1st  appeared in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s  8th issue.

There’s something about summer that brings out a sense of wanderlust in all of us. It makes you want to throw some clothes into a suitcase and leave everything behind in the hope of encountering new experiences that will lead to everlasting memories. With so many vacation options to choose from nowadays it can be difficult to pick the right destination for you, your family or group. Camping in the wilderness, relaxing at a beach-side resort or exploring a new city are always great options; however, choosing to spend your time at a guest ranch is a different, fun and adventurous way to spend a fantastic summer holiday.

There are dozens of reasons why a guest ranch destination should be on your summer vacation to do list. Whether you are organizing a family reunion, a vacation with your immediate family, a getaway with friends or just some alone-time with that special someone a guest ranch vacation is sure to fit the bill. Here are just 5 reasons why booking a guest ranch vacation this summer is the right one for you!

Great bang for your buck!

The majority of guest ranches utilize the “all-inclusive” vacation concept. This means that you pay upfront for your accommodations, meals and in many cases most of your activities are included too. There may be some additional costs but in general your vacation can be budgeted for in advance. You can also customize your vacation to suit your specific needs. An added benefit for solo travelers is that many guest ranches do not add an extra premium to the vacation price.

Reconnect with Nature & Your Loved Ones

We have never been more “connected” than we are now technologically speaking; however, this “connectedness” comes at a heavy price. We are far too often glued to our PCs, laptops, and smart phones even after office hours or while on vacation. We have forgotten what it is like to be truly present in the moment and to be completely focused on the people that are most important in our lives. Many guest ranches are off the grid so to speak, although the majority of them do offer WiFi in their main lodges for those that simply can’t go cold turkey.

Guest ranches provide a great opportunity to reconnect with nature. They are often situated in places that feature majestic mountainous backdrops, lush green forests or arid deserts that boast incredible sunsets and otherworldly landscapes. It is almost impossible not to feel the immensity of nature or be awed by the natural beauty that envelops you while staying at one of these amazing locations.

Learn New Skills

It is always fun to learn a new skill or revel in a sense of accomplishment as you master an activity that is unfamiliar or perhaps even challenging to complete. Guest ranches offer lots of exciting activities to choose from like archery, skeet shooting, rock climbing, rifle shooting, roping, fly fishing, white water rafting and zip lining to name a few. There are countless activities to try that are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Many guest ranches feature specialized activities owing to their particular terrain or resident expert on hand that add to their guests’ enjoyment.

Saddle up and Ride

Horseback riding aficionados will of course be delighted by the idea of a guest ranch vacation; however, those who are new to the sport will also find great joy in saddling up and experiencing the connection that develops between horse and rider as they ride through breath-taking scenery guided by experienced wranglers. Classes are readily available at most  guest ranches to help first-time riders feel more comfortable before mounting up and hitting the trail or for those intermediate riders who would simply like to hone their riding skills. Regardless of your skill level you are sure to have an exhilarating time in the saddle and bond with your new equine friend

Stargazing

Perhaps stargazing isn’t something that immediately comes to mind when planning a vacation, but when was the last time you were able to gaze up into the night sky and be dazzled by hundreds of twinkling stars and constellations overhead, uncluttered by the profusion of city lights and dense pollution? Due to their often remote locations, guest ranches provide a unique opportunity to appreciate not only incredible scenery by day, but to be able to reflect upon the vastness and infinite beauty of the skies above.  Starlit evenings like these are cherished moments to share with those dear to you.

A top 5 list of why you should book a guest ranch wouldn’t be complete without including 5 outstanding guest ranches to consider when booking your summer vacation this year:

Three Bars Guest & Cattle Ranch 

This Canadian guest ranch, located in Super Natural British Columbia, is known as the adventure ranch of the Canadian Rockies. Guests can choose from a wide range of exciting activities like horseback riding, hiking, river rafting, mountain biking, and fly-fishing. Breathtaking scenery and world class lodgings await guests where western culture and modern conveniences are combined to feature 21 log cabins and a main guest house situated on 35,000 acres.


Three Bars Guest Ranch

Vista Verde Ranch

Experience the majestic Rocky Mountains at this Colorado guest ranch where guests will find a list of diverse activities to pick from as well as amazing food. Immerse yourself in their strong horse program or choose from a myriad of activities that promise to keep everyone entertained. Select either a cozy cabin or lodge room situated in the mountains while still enjoying AAA Four Diamond amenities and 1st class hospitality.


Vista Verde Ranch

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch 

Surrounded by acres upon acres of pristine wilderness this Montana guest ranch offers many memory-making activities all set in a wild and remote location. Float down the scenic Yellowstone River, try your hand at fly-fishing, hike unspoiled nature trails, sign up for an unforgettable jeep trip or explore the breathtaking scenery by horseback. At the end of the day settle into one of their comfortable cabins or lodge rooms for a relaxing night’s sleep.


Hawley Mountain Ranch

Spotted Horse Ranch 

Wyoming has always been a popular destination for people seeking an authentic guest ranch experience and the Spotted Horse Ranch definitely delivers. Whether you choose to relax by the Hoback River or partake in one of the many activities available like horseback riding in the valley, white water rafting on the Snake River, fly-fishing the local streams or scenic rafting, each day will provide a variety of things to do.  At night cozy cabins or spacious rooms embodied with the true spirit of the West will provide a relaxing atmosphere in which to lay your head and “perchance to dream” of more fun-filled days to come.


Spotted Horse Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch 

This rustic Idaho guest ranch promises stunning scenic mountain views and a once in a lifetime dude ranch experience. Kayak on Idaho’s largest lake, sign up for an exciting white water rafting adventure, indulge in a day at The Spa at Seasons in Sandpoint or saddle up for a ride that will take you along beautiful ridges and valleys rich in history and spell-binding scenery. Warm hospitality, gourmet country meals coupled with the awe-inspiring vistas and heart-stopping activities would fit anyone’s vacation to do list.


Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Just go for it this summer.  Dare to be different!  Choose a guest ranch for its unbeatable value, the chance to reconnect with nature and loved ones, an opportunity to learn new skills, take in unforgettable scenery from atop a horse, and marvel at an uncluttered night sky. A vacation at a guest ranch provides its guests with endless delights and fond memories long after your western experience has come to an end.

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

Happy Trails!

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!

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