RanchSeeker Blog

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!

Cowtown! Calgary’s Stampede City!

8/19/2016 3:43:33 PM

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

Many years ago, as a young, British immigrant, I found myself at the Calgary Stampede…..one of the most famous and largest rodeos in the world. It totally blew me away!  I had never experienced or seen anything quite like it. An amazing kaleidoscope of events, from a foot stomping, mind boggling opening Parade of marching brass bands, flamboyant floats, honorary marshal, parade queen and princesses to heart-stopping feats as cowboys and cowgirls showed off their skills and competed for major prize money in the huge Stampede Grandstand arena. The rodeo events were an eye-popping spectacle of calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and, most thrilling of all, bare-back riders exploding out of the gate astride big bucking bulls or broncos. Between various events, nimble rodeo clowns kept the stands laughing and rearing animals distracted, when a rider tumbled to the ground!  Every night, enthusiastic aficionados of chuck wagon racing filled the stands to hoot and holler and cheer on their favourite teams as wagons careened and thundered around the track.  After that heady rush of adrenaline, it was time for spectators to sit back and enjoy big-name entertainment at the evening concert, climaxed by a brilliant firework display at the evening’s close.

During the day and into the night, good-natured crowds jostled and pushed their way around the various venues, trying to take in as much as possible.  Vendors hawked their wares and sold everything from hot dogs and cotton candy to the latest kitchen gadgets. The constant hustle and bustle was an infectious mix of good times and fun-filled days that invoked a true carnival atmosphere.  Among the major attractions, was an authentic Indian Village recreated on the banks of the Elbow River, representing the six local tribes, replete with tipis, native art and tribal members resplendent in ceremonial dress and traditional attire.  Other big draws were the many agricultural exhibitions and magnificent prize livestock on show in the cattle sheds, polished and groomed by their proud owners, as visitors gingerly picked their way around bellowing animals and sawdust strewn floors!

Free pancake breakfasts, free barbecues and impromptu street parties were hosted at countless outdoor venues around town… western hospitality at its finest and a sure-fire Stampede staple.  Saloon-type restaurants did a roaring trade happily serving up large plates of steak and eggs to customers from early morning ‘til late at night. White Stetsons, cowboy boots and blue jeans were de rigueur as everyone got in on the act to celebrate Stampede week. Calgary residents and visitors alike lived and breathed in a bygone western era, which then, as now, remains the true essence of the Calgary Stampede.

But what exactly is the Calgary Stampede and how did it come to symbolize and define Calgary as Stampede City, hosting the largest, richest, most successful rodeo festival to date?


Basically, the Stampede is a 10-day annual Rodeo, Exhibition and Agricultural fair held every July in Calgary, a prosperous modern city situated at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers surrounded by foothills and prairies in the Province of Alberta, about 80km from the east range of the Canadian Rockies. The Stampede is run by a “not for profit organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.”  Thousands of volunteers help to make the annual Stampede possible, which bills itself as, “The Greatest Show on Earth!”  Only the present-day midway funfair is a for profit run business by an entirely separate entity.

But let’s go back to the very beginning when Calgary was truly deserving of its nickname Cowtown!   Like all great and enduring ventures, it has an uneven and colourful history dating from 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society put on its first fair and exhibition to encourage farmers to move west.  At that time, Calgary was a small town with most of the 2,000 population involved in farming, ranching and raising cattle.  The society’s fair enjoyed a modest profit and success which continued in one form or another until 1895 when poor weather, failed crops and declining attendance put an end to it.  However, in 1899, the Western Pacific Exhibition stepped in, took over the Victoria Park facility and resumed the fairs which began to grow annually. In 1910 the fair became known as the Calgary Industrial Exhibition.

The big break came in 1908, when the Canadian government chose Calgary to host the Dominion Exhibition and provided necessary funds. The city, seizing an opportunity to promote itself, invested a further $145,000 to build six new pavilions and despite a recession the Exhibition was a total success.

But the birth of the Stampede as we know it today, was the idea and brainchild of Guy Weadick, an American trick roper at the Dominion Exhibition, who later returned to Calgary and convinced four Calgary businessmen, Pat Burns, George Lane, A.J. McLean and A. E. Cross, forever immortalized in Calgarian folk-lore history as the Big Four, to back an authentic wild-west type Stampede.  The Big Four thought it would be a fitting, one-time only event to celebrate their lives as cattlemen, and so the first Stampede took place in 1912 as a joint venture with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition and was an instant success. It took another 7 years before Weadick managed to get the Big Four to sponsor another such event, which was the 1919 Victory Stampede to mark the end of W.W.1 and honour returning war veterans.   It too was an immediate rip-roaring success. However, it wasn’t until 1923 that the Calgary Industrial Exhibition, suffering losses and falling revenues, agreed to merge with Weadick’s Stampede group and form the “Calgary Exhibition and Stampede” which became a permanent fixture on the rodeo circuit.


With the discovery of the Leduc 1 oil well in 1947, far-reaching changes took place in Calgary having an enormous impact on the city’s future and that of the Stampede. The former small cattle and farming community was transformed into the present-day oil and gas capital of Canada and financial hub of Alberta. As Calgary grew, so did the Stampede, attracting notables from afar, including the Queen and Prince Philip twice, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope as parade marshals and six Hollywood-made films featuring the Stampede……some using actual footage.  But by the 1950’s it was evident that further expansion was necessary to accommodate the increasing number of attendees and rodeo events to ensure the continuing success of the Stampede.

With this in mind, the organization embarked on an ambitious building program, which included a 7,500 seat Stampede Corral in 1950 followed by a race-track in 1954. The Big Four Building (named after its four benefactors) was completed in 1959, the city’s largest Exhibition Hall at the time.  In 1961, the OH Ranch, in Hanna, Alberta was established to raise and breed cattle, horses and bulls for the Stampede’s six rodeo disciplines using humane methods. By 1968, the Stampede had grown so rapidly that it was extended to its current 10 days. The Roundup Centre came next in 1979 and served as the new Exhibition Hall and finally in 1983 the Olympic Saddledome took its place as the Stampede’s newest and biggest venue. Owing to the improved and expanded facilities, attendance rose steadily until it finally plateaued at around 1.2 million with a one-time peak of 1.4 million in 2012 at the Stampede’s Centennial year celebrations.

In 2007, “Exhibition” was dropped and the event was called simply, The Calgary Stampede. At the same time, the Stampede organization finally acquired additional lands at Victoria Park, expanding the original site, now known as Stampede Park.  Long-term plans include it being a year-round destination for both locals and visitors.  The Stampede Park complex is located in S.E. downtown Calgary in the Beltline district, serviced by a rapid transit line and consists of the following facilities:  the Saddledome and Corral, the Big Four building, the BMO Centre and the Stampede Grandstand.


In the years since my long-ago visit, many new attractions have been added to the Stampede, such as the ever- popular Midway,  an exciting Adventure Park , a Nashville North venue showcasing well-known country and western artists and the Transalta Grandstand, which features a troupe of talented young Canadian performers strutting their stuff in front of a packed house!

The horrendous 2013 floods, which decimated much of Calgary, threatened to cancel that year’s stampede, however, Stampede City literally pulled itself out of the mud and with the help of selfless volunteers the show went on… a testament to the indomitable spirit that has infused the Calgary Stampede since its inception. As a direct result of the floods, millions of dollars were raised from government and private donors for ongoing improvements to the Stampede facilities and future expansion projects.

In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to stay at a cattle farm 120km outside of Calgary and got to explore the neighbouring  high country and arid badlands, plus renew my acquaintance with Calgary’s downtown, now an imposing, sophisticated city of skyscrapers, condo towers and trendy restaurants. But at the heart of all this modernity, Cowtown is alive and well with a warm invitation to step back into the past and soak up the spirit of the old wild-west at the next Calgary Stampede!

Sheilan Dove/ June 29/2016

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!

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

7/15/2016 3:09:58 PM

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

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


Hatch Green Chili & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Hatch Green Chili and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

12 lg. eggs

1- 1 1/2 lbs shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1-1 1/2 lbs. shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups diced green hatch chilies

1/4 c. chopped red roasted red peppers

1/4 c. heavy cream

3 T. flour

Salt and pepper to taste


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

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

Sprinkle chilies and peppers on top of jack cheese.

Layer the cheddar on top of all ingredients.

Pour egg mixture over cheese and chilies

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

(about 15-20 minutes more)

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

Happy Trails

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

Running Reins Ranch THE Place to Be This Summer

7/6/2016 3:05:50 PM

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


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


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


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


Cozy Teepee accommodations

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

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

Happy Trails!

White Stallion Ranch’s Peanut Butter Bar Recipe

6/29/2016 2:54:52 PM

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


Peanut Butter Bars

Preheat oven 350 degrees (300 convection oven)

¾ c. shortening

¾ c. peanut butter

1 c. brown sugar

1c white sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ¼ c. flour

1 ¼ c. oatmeal

¾ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

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

Topping

1 c. powdered sugar

½ c. peanut butter

1 c. chocolate chips

2-4 Tbs. Milk, as needed

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

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!


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

6/24/2016 2:49:55 PM

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

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


Summer Berry Salad with ‘Liquid Gold’ Dressing:

 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup water

4-6 garlic cloves

3/4 cup nutritional flake yeast

1.5 cup vegetable oil

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

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

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

Happy Trails!

White Stallion Ranch Becomes a Member of Historic Hotels of America

6/15/2016 2:41:42 PM

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

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


Historic Hotels of America

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

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

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

Video - https://youtu.be/OlJHqXIZ1TA

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

Happy Trails!

His Best Father’s Day at a Dude Ranch

6/8/2016 2:38:22 PM

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

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

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

Coffee Creek Ranch

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


YD Guest Ranch

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


 Echo Valley Ranch

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


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

Happy Trails

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