RanchSeeker Blog

Guest Ranch Spa Pampering

10/27/2011 10:22:31 AM

When we think about taking a mini-break for some well-deserved spa pampering, a guest or dude ranch doesn’t usually spring to mind and that’s a pity, because many modern day guest ranches have invested a lot of time and effort into their spa facilities.  So much so, that some ranch resort and spas are regularly featured in travel articles and even make the 10 best spa resort list! 

 Guest  ranches can offer so much more than merely parking yourself in a spa for a few days, especially at this lovely time of year of sunny days and crisp fall nights.  Even if you hadn’t considered a guest ranch or ranch resort for your spa getaway, how does soaking in a hot tub at night on a timbered deck gazing up at a star-filled sky with a glass of something cold close by sound to you? Or getting to experience some of the newest and most innovative spa trends in the ultra-modern facilities of a  guest ranch resort spa? After a day of being pampered, cosseted and soothed by the friendly and skilled staff at your guest ranch spa, what better way to relax than to mix and mingle with the other guests in front of a roaring log fire, before sitting down to an exquisite dinner prepared by the resident chef. 

 As a change of pace from indulging in the decadent delights of your guest ranch spa, a leisurely horseback ride among spectacular surroundings or a gentle hike along verdant trails far removed from the stresses of city life, will refresh and rejuvenate the inner self.  Some guest ranches even boast an indoor heated pool or are situated close to mineral springs for invigorating bathing sessions. Having a mini-vacation at a guest ranch at this time of year means you can take advantage of the many end-of-season specials that ranches offer between their busy summer season and the approach of winter.  Three or four night getaways are typical ranch resort and spa packages and along with comfortable accommodation and satisfying meals, may also include a choice of spa treatments. 

 No one size fits all. RanchSeeker features many guest ranches that are ideal for a guest ranch spa getaway. Use our simple Dude Ranch Finder to find your next guest ranch vacation. Happy Trails!    

Kids and Guest Ranch Vacations

10/20/2011 12:55:10 PM

When school lets out for the holidays either for spring break, summer, Thanksgiving or Winter break parents find themselves wondering where to go with their families. A great option is a guest ranch vacation. Many guest ranches are kid friendly and offer fun kids programs. Be sure to check with each individual guest ranch before booking your vacation to make sure your little ones and not so little ones will have lots of activities to keep them entertained. Many kid friendly guest ranches will allow children as young as 6 years old to ride but this can vary from ranch to ranch. Make sure you ask whether they have babysitting available should your kids be too young to ride with you.

Most ranches offer horseback riding lessons so you and your kids can take some lessons before hitting the trails whether it is your first time or just to perfect your riding skills. Be sure to ask for a helmet or bring your own. Some guest ranches offer discounted rates for children but if they are old enough to ride this may not be the case. Guest ranches may offer very extensive kid’s programs or they may have a lot of kid friendly activities to choose from. Many ranches have swimming pools, farm animals, river tubing, gold panning and fishing which are all suitable for children of varied ages.

 The more extensive kid’s programs may include a counsellor for each group of kids in certain age ranges. They supervise all activities such as nature hikes, riding, scavenger hunts, fishing and arts and crafts. They may even host separate campfire cookouts complete with roasted marshmallows and ghost stories. Your kids can choose to spend their days playing with new found friends or with you. Taking your family to a guest ranch will create lasting memories of fun times spent together as a family.  A guest ranch vacation is a fun option for a family vacation where your time will be spent enjoying the outdoors, learning new skills and away from the television and video games.

 RanchSeeker features many guest ranches that are kid friendly and that offer entertaining kids programs. Use our simple Dude Ranch Finder to find your next family vacation.

Happy Trails! 

How about Visiting a New Mexico Guest Ranch?

10/14/2011 10:42:25 AM

Guest ranches in New Mexico take advantage of over 500,000 acres of national forests and rich history to attract visitors. With four centuries of Native American, Spanish and South-western cultures New Mexico is a melting pot of culture. Typically one thinks of New Mexico as an arid state; however, heavily forested mountain wildernesses cover a substantial area. Aside from horseback riding you can choose from endless recreational activities and enjoy New Mexico’s colourful history, art and flavourful cuisine. On your next guest ranch vacation why not consider visiting the following RanchSeeker guest ranches:

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch   Winston, NM

Our Guest Ranch: A small family owned guest ranch, with emphasis on horseback riding, nestled among tall Ponderosa pines. We are situated in some of the most breathtaking, untouched country in America: Geronimo and Apache country. Once home to outlaw hideouts and early Mimbres people’s (750-1150) dwellings you will also find abundant wildlife, great food and a pleasant climate at our ranch. Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is a real western adventure! Horseback or hiking takes guests through beautiful forests of tall Ponderosa pine, through astounding deep canyons with sheer towering walls and crystal clear streams.    

 Double E Guest Ranch Gila, NM

Our Guest Ranch: Indulge your cowboy spirit with cattle, cayuses, buffalo and the undiluted raw sensations of south-western New Mexico. 30,000 acres adjoining the pristine 3 million acre Gila National Forest, Double E Guest Ranch is a working cattle/guest ranch offering exciting horseback riding, spectacular vistas, great food and interesting company! Our Texas Long Horn Cattle are worked year 'round.    

 Burnt Well Guest Ranch Rosewell,NM

Our Guest Ranch: Burnt Well is a working cattle and sheep ranch. We take a few guests on the side as a supplement to our ranching income. Our guest capacity is small, we don't have a staff, we are open all year around, but we don't take guests week in and week out. Come to Burnt Well, get dirty and have some fun, then kick your boots off and relax a spell!! We'll fill your tummy with good country food, fill your days with fun and adventure, fill the air with lots of conversation & laughter and fill your mind with unforgettable memories!  

 New Mexico guest ranches offer many different exciting vacation opportunities from horseback riding to amazing scenic vistas. Find your next guest ranch vacation using RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder. Happy Trails!

Fun Winter Activities at a Dude Ranch

10/7/2011 12:17:53 PM

As the temperature starts to drop many of RanchSeeker’s dude ranches are gearing up for their winter season. Gone are long, hot sunny days paving the way for winter fun. There are many activities that you can still enjoy at a dude ranch during the cooler winter months. Different dude ranches offer different winter activities depending on location, ranch amenities and the size of the dude ranch. Below are just some of the fun activities that you can find on your next dude ranch vacation.

1)      Skiing & Snowboarding. Some dude ranches like, Vista Verde Guest Ranch, are located near world famous ski resorts. You can enjoy all the amenities of staying at a dude ranch and spend a few days hitting the slopes. Check with your ranch of choice, in advance, to see whether they can provide you with ski equipment and transportation to the mountain base.

    2)      Cross Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing. At many dude ranches like, Ranch 4 Saisons, you can strap on a pair of snow shoes or cross country skis and head out to explore the snowy woods or meadows. A great way to spend the day outdoors and work up an appetite for a hearty dinner.

3)      Sleigh Rides. Various guest ranches, like Bar W, offer sleigh rides accompanied by hot chocolate and cozy blankets. It’s a special way to spend time with family and friends.  

4)      Snowmobiling. Explore the back-country wilderness by snowmobile on your next winter dude ranch vacation. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is just one guest ranch that offers a snowmobile package.  

5)      Horseback riding. Winter horseback riding at a dude ranch is an unforgettable experience; one of the highlights of a winter ranch vacation when weather conditions permit.  

6)      Dog-Sledding. Dog sledding is now being offered at some of the dude ranches and is a great opportunity to experience what can only be described as a truly one-of-a-kind adventure.    

 7)      Spa. For a truly relaxing winter-getaway many dude ranches offer spa treatments that you can enjoy in a winter setting.  

Whatever you decide to do on your next dude ranch vacation RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder can help you find the ideal guest ranch.   Happy Trails,

How about Visiting a Guest Ranch in Arizona?

9/29/2011 8:32:04 AM

Are you looking to experience the true cowboy experience? Arizona awaits where you can savour the real Western lifestyle and where you will find guest ranches as diverse as the state itself. Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon, many other parks, monuments and national parks. With varying temperatures due to its variation in elevation mild winters and hot summers can be expected. You will also find lots of wildlife and unusual flora and fauna. RanchSeeker has many guest ranches located in Arizona and below are just some of them to get you started.

Apache Spirit Ranch Tombstone

Our Guest Ranch: We are on a journey into the year of 1881, when the West was still untamed and rough. Gunsmoke, loose women and tough men were everywhere; living was rough and so were the people. Experience it much as they did; we offer Horseback riding as just one of our features, with an array of diverse activities and onsite facilities. Luxury and Western Hospitality. Enjoy delicious ranch cooking, guided activities, the elegance of a Southern Arizona guest ranch, and a staff dedicated to make your stay something truly special.  

 Bar 10 Ranch Inc. North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Our Guest Ranch: The Grand Canyon is the home of the Bar 10 Ranch. Located on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Bar 10 has been hosting visitors for several decades. Whether it’s an overnight stay at the guest ranch, participating in ranch activities, a thrilling white-water rafting trip, a one-of-a-kind helicopter tour, or simply relaxing and enjoying the “Grand” views in a secluded area, you’ll appreciate the country atmosphere and western hospitality.  

 Rancho de los Caballeros Wickenburg

Our Guest Ranch: Discover the romance of the wide-open range…a guest ranch resort with 20,000 acres, 18 holes of golf, Spa and 100 horses for exploring our rugged trails. Chat with friends in the hospitable lodge, tour the desert, get a massage at the spa, or just relax and enjoy our tradition of hospitality. Arizona's premier Historic Guest Ranch and Golf Club.

Williams Family Guest Ranch Wickenburg

Our Guest Ranch: We invite you to vacation at a little working cattle ranch, guided trail rides, hunt and pack trips ... Experience the life at a real working cattle ranch, have a look at the life and work of a cowboy... Spend a great week at a ranch in the desert of Arizona, in the Hassayampa River Wilderness.  

 Arizona guest ranches offer many different exciting vacation opportunities from horseback riding to amazing scenic vistas. Find your next guest ranch vacation using RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder

7 Fun Activities Other Than Horseback Riding on a Dude Ranch

9/21/2011 10:10:28 AM

You may think that a dude ranch vacation is all about horseback riding and nothing else but many dude ranches offer a wide array of fun activities outdoors. Activities will vary from dude ranch to dude ranch so be sure to ask in advance which activities are available before booking your next dude ranch vacation. Below are 7 possible activities that you could do other than horseback riding.

1)      HIKING- Dude ranches can be found in some of the most spectacular natural settings in the world. A hike could take you through mountains, boreal forests, canyon deserts, grasslands and marshes. Many dude ranches offer guided as well as self-guided hikes which vary from 1 hour to an all day hike.

 2)      FLY-FISHING- Dude ranches that are found near water may offer fly fishing as one of their activities. Beginners can often take a lesson or two before setting out to catch “the big one”.

3)      WILDLIFE VIEWING-Wildlife at dude ranches can be diverse. From Elk, White tail deer, Mule Deer, Black Bears, coyotes, Moose and more abound you are likely to come across something while staying at a dude ranch. Don’t forget your camera!

4)      RAFTING-Some dude ranches offer white water rafting excursions to rivers nearby. This could include simply enjoying a nice leisurely day floating down the rapids or a far more advanced program.

5)      SPORTING CLAYS & SKEET SHOOTING-Dude ranches may offer a visit to the range where after learning some shooting basics and safety guidelines you can try your hand at shooting.

 6)      BIRD WATCHING-Many dude ranches are home to a diverse bird population. Birders of all levels of interest can spend their time in the pursuit of easily found or not so easily found birds.

7)      MOUNTAIN BIKING-For those people who prefer to ride a bike rather than hiking many dude ranches will make available sturdy mountain bikes for their guests to use out on the trails.

Whatever you decide to do on your next dude ranch vacation RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder can help you find the ideal guest ranch.

Spend Thanksgiving at a Canadian Guest Ranch This Year

9/14/2011 2:19:58 PM

With its spectacular sunsets and brilliant harvest moons, a Canadian Thanksgiving guest ranch vacation will surely become a cherished memory for years to come for your family. Canadian guest ranches are surrounded by magnificent scenery whatever time of year but especially so during the beautiful fall season when the trees are ablaze with crimson red, orange and burnt amber leaves.

What better way than to spend a Thanksgiving Holiday with your family or friends by staying at a guest ranch and enjoying lovely sunny days and crisp autumn nights together. Instead of toiling in the kitchen all day, why not relax and let the friendly staff and trained chefs of a Canadian guest ranch do all the work by providing a delicious and traditional Thanksgiving feast for your family or friends. Canadian guest ranch’s often offer special package prices for the Thanksgiving holiday period which can be less than during the summer season.

With so many activities to choose from they are an ideal vacation to spend with family and friends. From horseback riding to fly fishing, water rafting, hiking and spa treatments there is something for everyone Here are just some of the guest ranches in Canada offering Thanksgiving packages.

Tod Mountain Ranch Heffley Creek, British Columbia, Canada

Special Offer: Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend - $745 per person

Arrive Friday after 4pm for Dinner. Enjoy a variety of trail rides on Saturday and Sunday with one last ride on Monday morning. Take advantage of the facilities and activities at the ranch throughout your stay and enjoy a special Thanksgiving Feast prepared by our resident Chef on Sunday. Depart Monday after lunch.

Offer valid: October 7, 2011 through October 10, 2011  

 Sundance Guest Ranch Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada

Thanksgiving Weekend October 7-10, 2011 - Two Rooms Available!

What can we say about this one? Many of our regulars think this is the best riding of the year. Glorious food, including a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, and a long-running, always hotly-contested horseshoe tournament!

 Echo Valley Ranch & Spa Clinton, British Columbia, Canada

A Cariboo Thanksgiving, October 8th to 10th

At Echo Valley we've created a special weekend filled with adventure, activities and fine food and we invite you to come and celebrate in the spectacular landscape of BC's Cariboo. You'll enjoy two nights at the ranch including a welcome bottle of wine in your room and a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. In addition to exploring the ranch and meeting the resident Border Collies, choose between a half-day horseback ride through the trails of the Gold Rush days, or a half-day hike, perhaps to explore the Cariboo grasslands or to strike out to the top of Mt. Bowman.

    So take the stress out of planning a huge Thanksgiving meal and spend some quality time with family and friends at a Canadian guest ranch.

Happy Trails, RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder will help you plan your next guest ranch vacation.

Guest Ranch Vacations and First Time Riding a Horse

9/8/2011 9:59:50 AM

So you have decided to go to a guest ranch for your next vacation but it will be the first time riding a horse. That’s okay as most guest ranches offer lessons to those who haven't ridden a horse before  sending them out on a group ride. Horseback riding is a lot of fun but it is important to learn a few basics before riding a horse for the first time.

 A Few Basic Horseback riding tips for Beginners:

1)      Before booking a guest ranch vacation find out whether the guest ranch that you want to go to offers lessons for first time riders. If it is your first time riding a horse let them know in advance that you would like some lessons.

2)      Take sensible riding clothes with you on your guest ranch vacation. If you don’t have riding boots you don’t need to buy them unless you want to. Most guest ranches have boots that you can use in various sizes. It is important that you wear something with a sturdy heel. Take a couple pairs of jeans with you as your legs can chafe against the saddle if you don’t wear long pants.

3)      If it is your first time riding a horse, wear a helmet when possible to protect your head in case you fall.

4)      Horses have blind spots so avoid approaching a horse from behind or from the front to avoid getting kicked from a startled horse. It is better to approach them from the side where they can see you.

5)      In the beginning use a mounting block to get onto your horse and always mount from the left-side.

6)      When you are riding a horse on your guest ranch vacation try to remain calm and relaxed. Horses are very sensitive creatures and they can feel if you are uncomfortable and not in control. Be patient and take deep breaths until you feel at ease.

7)      When riding a horse keep your heels tilted down while in the stirrups as this will prevent you from flying over the horse’s head if your horse has to come to a sudden stop.

8)      When riding a horse ,keep your head upright and sit firmly in your saddle and maintain a good posture. Don’t wave your arms around in the air.

9)      To stop, pull your reins back and sit deep in your saddle. Don’t pull too hard as a horse’s mouth is very soft and sensitive.

10)   Most importantly try to have fun and enjoy your surrounding s and your horse.

 These are just some of the basics that you will learn about horseback riding if it is your first time riding a horse. Once you feel comfortable with the basics you will find that horseback riding is a fun way to spend time on vacation. There are many other activities at a guest ranch aside from riding but spending time with horses is definitely one of the most enjoyable.

Find your next guest ranch vacation today using our Dude Ranch Finder

Autumn Guest Ranch Vacation Specials

8/30/2011 11:28:45 AM

How about a guest ranch vacation in the Fall? It has never been so affordable than now with several guest ranches on RanchSeeker offering great Fall discounts.

Elk Mountain Guest Ranch Buena Vista, Colorado, United States

Special Offer: Adult Only Weeks - No additional charge for single stays at the guest ranch

Weeks of September 4 and 11, 2011 are Adult-Only Weeks. Limited to 20 guests with a focus on riding and relaxing. Additional 10% charge for single occupancy is waived during these weeks.

Offer valid: September 4, 2011 through September 18, 2011

 Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch Yucca, Arizona, United States

Special Offer: 25% discount for stays in October and November at our guest ranch

Special 25% discount for stays between October 2-6, October 23-28 and November 13-17. No minimum night stay requirement. Offer valid on reservations made after August 24, 2011.

Offer valid: August 24, 2011 through November 17, 2011

    Tod Mountain Guest Ranch Heffley Creek, British Columbia, Canada

Special Offer: Labour Day Weekend At the Fall Fair & Rodeo

$845 per person. Arrive Friday after 4pm for Dinner. On Saturday after breakfast we will head to Barriere to the Fall Fair & Rodeo. Spend the morning exploring the various exhibits and shows. Enjoy lunch straight out of the chuckwagon and then take in the Rodeo, Chariot Racing and Chuckwagon Racing. After the Rodeo we will have dinner at a local restaurant before returning to the guest ranch. Enjoy a full day of riding on Sunday and take one last morning ride on Monday. Depart Monday after lunch.

Offer valid: September 2, 2011 through September 5, 2011

Special Offer: Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend - $745 per person

Arrive Friday after 4pm for Dinner. Enjoy a variety of trail rides on Saturday and Sunday with one last ride on Monday morning. Take advantage of the facilities and activities at the ranch throughout your stay and enjoy a special Thanksgiving Feast prepared by our resident Chef on Sunday. Depart Monday after lunch.

Offer valid: October 7, 2011 through October 10, 2011

     Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures at Rancho Los Baños northeast Sonora, Arizona, United States

Special Offer: Pristine Wilderness Backcountry Horseback Riding

$898/guest for 7 nights/8 days, all inclusive, double occupancy, with 4 full days of riding (4-6 hours), in addition to 2-3 days of riding at 3 hours/day. Non full days of riding can be made full days of riding for $30/day/guest. Single occupancy rate is $1038. With 30,000 acres as your playground, backcountry horseback riding at Rancho Los Baños guest ranch offers world-class riding, full of challenge, thrills, and fun in remote, rugged, vast mountains, hills, canyons and unsurpassed, unspoiled nature.

Offer valid: August 15, 2011 through May 15, 2012

Special Offer: Couples' Four Night Adventure Special

Offering 4 Nights/5 Days ($990/couple) guest ranch packages for couples, all inclusive daily rate. Enjoy hiking,backcountry horseback riding, trekking, canyoneering, bouldering, mountain biking, boxed canyons, petroglyphs, wildlife spotting, ecotours, jeeping, Dark Skies, birdwatching, kayaking (lake/river), fishing, rest and relaxation, tranquility, serenity and a pristine, scenic wilderness that is unlike anything else out there.

Offer valid: August 15, 2011 through May 15, 2012

Special Offer: Ladies' Special (Especial de las Señoritas)

Take advantage of our Ladies Special: $115/night, all inclusive Daily Rate, based on double occupancy, minimum four night stay, for two or more Ladies. Enjoy hiking,backcountry horseback riding, trekking, canyoneering, bouldering, mountain biking, boxed canyons, petroglyphs, wildlife spotting, ecotours, jeeping, Dark Skies, birdwatching, kayaking (lake/river), fishing, rest and relaxation, tranquility, serenity and a pristine, scenic wilderness that is unlike anything else out there.

Offer valid: August 15, 2011 through May 15, 2012

Special Offer: Five and Six Night Adventure Specials 5 Nights/6 Days: $599/guest double occupancy; $699 single occupancy, all inclusive. 6 Nights/7 Days: $705/guest double occupancy; $825 single occupancy, all inclusive. Enjoy hiking,backcountry horseback riding, trekking, porching, bouldering, biking, boxed canyons, petroglyphs, wildlife, ecotours, jeeping, Dark Skies, birdwatching, kayaking (lake/river), fishing, rest and relaxation, tranquility, serenity and a pristine, scenic wilderness that is unlike anything else out there.

Offer valid: August 15, 2011 through May 15, 2012

 Happy Trails!  

Guest Ranch Activities after Dark!

8/24/2011 10:44:49 AM

There are numerous activities to enjoy while visiting a guest ranch and after the sun goes down the fun continues.Guest ranch activities will vary from guest ranch to guest ranch so be sure to check with the individual ranch that you are booking with in advance. Here are some examples of what you will be able to do after dark on your next guest ranch vacation.

1)      Cookouts and Campfire Sing-Alongs. Many guest ranches have at least 1 cookout per week where guests gather around together to enjoy such culinary delights such as barbecued steak, sausages, corn, potatoes and fresh salads. After a filling meal guests can join staff members around a warm crackling fire to sing along to old favourites and new songs accompanied by guitars and even the odd harmonica or two. You may even get to roast marshmallows on a stick and finish your night off with a few s’mores. For example Red Reflet Guest Ranch has campfire programs with a cowboy singer to delight its guests

 2)      Western Dancing. After dinner break out your dancing shoes and join in the fun with some western dancing. It doesn’t matter if you know the steps or not as someone is sure to show you the way. Country dancing at a guest ranch is informal and since there are many different versions that go by different names from region to region there is always something new to learn. For example on Thursday nights Harmel’s Ranch Resort offers dancing with professional square-dance caller Walt Cranor.

3)      Spa Treatments. After a long day mounted on a horse or hiking through the mountains you may wish to indulge yourself in a spa treatment found at many guest ranch spas today. Spa treatments could include Eastern techniques or Western techniques that are sure to pamper your body and soul. For example at Sorrel River Ranch & Spa they satisfying guests seeking a destination spa retreat with revitalizing spa treatments and renewing body massages.

4)      Go Into Town. Many guest ranches are close to major towns or cities. You could decide to dine away from the ranch that night or just head into town for dessert and a drink. Exploring new places and meeting the locals is always fun to do. For example at Colorado Trails Guest Ranch they feature an evening at an old fashioned Melodrama in Durango.

5)      Movie Night. Guest ranches often have cozy home theaters so that guests can unwind at night by watching a movie. Often with lots of titles to choose from you can catch-up on movie night while on vacation. 6)      Games. Get in touch with your inner child and play one of many games that you can find in guest ranches like scrabble, Pictionary, checkers or pool. Great family fun. For example Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch has a games night as part of their weekly entertainment.

7)      Late Night Swim or Jacuzzi. Wash away any aches and pains that you may have after a long day’s fun at a guest ranch by enjoying a late night swim or Jacuzzi. Nowadays most guest ranches have either swimming pools or indoor/outdoor Jacuzzis and some ranches are situated close to lakes.

 8)      Just Relax. Guest ranch vacations are all about relaxing as well as participating in lots of fun activities.

So grab a book, snuggle up in a comfy chair or just kick back and relax with your partner and enjoy the clean air, starry skies and breathtaking views. To find your ideal guest ranch vacation use RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder

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