RanchSeeker Blog

Be a Cowboy for a Week at a Working Ranch

11/11/2015 11:18:50 AM

For your next vacation why not consider a working ranch. A working ranch differs from your typical guest ranch in that guests can choose to take part in a hands-on ranching experience as well as other fun activities.  If you have ever dreamed of being a cowboy or cowgirl then this is the ideal vacation choice for you. So grab a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and take a look at these two working ranches and book your vacation today!

Burnt Well Guest Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico 

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is an authentic working cattle and sheep ranch. They take on a few guests per year on the side to help supplement their ranching income. Because they can only accept small numbers this means that your vacation will be tailored to your needs. Whether you are an avid rider who would like to participate in actual ranch work or whether you are just a beginner who wants to work on your riding skills Burnt Well can accommodate you. If you are looking to take part in a cattle drive be sure to contact the ranch in advance to see which dates are programmed for these events. They offer two types of working ranch vacations: Dude Ranch Style and Authentic “Old West” Style On the Dude Ranch style cattle drive any number of cattle are driven from point A to point B. This drive could be from one to ten miles. You will typically sleep and eat most, if not all, meals at the ranch house. You may have the occasional sack lunch in the saddle bags. Since they are a working cattle ranch on 15,000 acres there is always plenty of cattle work to be done. The need to round up cattle and drive them various distances to pastures or pens could have you in the saddle from many miles and/or hours a day. The ranch can take about any age and any level of riding experience. This type of cattle drive is very common, if not the norm, at Burnt Well with most regular ranch stays.

New Mexico Cattle Drive
Burnt Well Guest Ranch

The Authentic “Old West” Style drives are a little more active for guests as you will camp out on the trail for at least three nights; however it can be four or five nights depending on the drive. You are usually in the saddle between five to ten hours a day. They start early, driving cattle by sun up and will try to be at camp by early afternoon. This drive can be between ten and fifteen miles a day depending on the location. Burnt Well provide a “cowboy” bedroll very similar to the ones cowboys had to use on cattle drives. The bedroll is a three inch mattress made up with sheets and blankets and rolled in a tarp. (Those cowboys probably didn’t use sheets, but they did have a padded bedroll with blankets which was rolled up in a tarp to keep out the dust and rain). They also provide cots for those who are a little squeamish about being right on the ground. Burnt Well has plenty of “cowboy” teepees in case of inclement weather and an outdoor privy. Your comfort is in their best interest.

New Mexico Cattle Drives
Burnt Well Guest Ranch

Hot meals are cooked in a Dutch oven and over a campfire for breakfast and dinners. You pack your own lunch right after breakfast from the wide variety of choices laid out for .Nightly campfires, a blanket of twinkling stars on a New Mexico black velvet sky and sweet fiddle music are some of the things to be enjoyed on these drives. The Authentic “Old West” Style cattle drives are adult drive only and for those who are in fairly good shape since you will be out on the range land for the duration of the drive. You will be actually driving cattle for miles and living out under the stars just as the cowboys did before trains and trucks came to being. At times the weather can be trying and unpleasant. This drive is for adventurous adults with plenty of stick-to-itiveness! The stuff memories, stories and bucket lists are made of.  

Laughing Water Ranch, Fortine, Montana

During selected weeks in May and September adults can sign up for a cattle drive at Laughing Water Ranch. For the first few days you will only be trail riding so that you can get acquainted with your horse and make any needed adjustments. There will also be a “Cattle Clinic” to prepare you for what to expect once you join the herd. This is a great opportunity to see some breathtaking Montana scenery. Then it’s time to get to work. Depending on the week you come out to the ranch, you will be rounding up, sorting, branding and moving cattle from their winter pasture to summer range in May or from summer range to the home ranch in September. The horses really love it and you'll love it too. It gets you off the beaten path - chasing cows and calves that have their own ideas of when to stop, and where to go.

Montana Cattle Drives
Laughing Water Ranch

You will be working approximately 170 head of cattle. The cattle belong to their local Judge and rancher, Terry Utter. Terry will be joining everyone on the drives and he is as helpful as he is entertaining. After a day of working cows your appetite will be hearty and the camp cook will put out a spread like you can only get out west. When the workday is done you will gather round the campfire for some entertaining story- telling and lots of laughter while you discus the day’s events. Guests will have the choice of either staying at night at cow camp, or returning each evening to the comforts of The Ranch. Cow Camp will be set up with spacious wall tents with comfortable cots. Remember to bring your sleeping bags, slickers, and sense of adventure!!!

Montana Cattle Drives
Laughing Water Ranch

So make sure to head to a dude ranch before its upcoming cattle drive. Search our extensive list of ranches by defining the ‘cattle drive’ criteria and book your spot before someone else nabs it.

Happy Trails!

What to Bring On a Dude Ranch Vacation

11/7/2015 7:44:36 PM

A dude ranch, or a guest ranch, is a ranch that opens it’s doors to people for tourism purposes. Especially for first time visitors, many people have a little dilemma of what to pack. Well, here is a generalized list of items you should bring on your dude ranch vacation.

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Shoes

Riding boots are an absolute must They should have a short heel which makes it comfortable for you to walk on uneven and rough terrain. They can be cowboy boots or another low heeled boot. Some dude ranches sell them  or offer a selection on site so ask beforehand. Some dude ranches have a formal dinner setting where you may need dressy shoes so confirm before you head out. Sneakers or runners are also recommended for other activities such as hiking or trail jogging. Some dude ranches have a pool or in the Summer months so flip-flops might be needed.

cowboy boots

Clothing

Casual attire is widely accepted and encouraged at most dude ranches. Jeans are a necessity for many dude ranch vacation activities so be sure to pack a few pairs. Padded pants, like cycling shorts, for riding are also advisable, especially for beginner riders. The other clothing you may pack will mostly depend on the weather and the season. If it’s Summer and the weather is bound to be hot and sunny, pack breathable light clothing. It will help to keep you cool but still protect you from the sun’s rays. Include light shirts, vests, shorts, jeans and light jackets. For protection from the hot elements bring a hat with a brim and sunglasses. If it is Fall or Winter and predicted to be cool, pack some heavier clothing for warmth and layering. Include wool or fleece jackets, long sleeve shirts, long pants, scarves, gloves, hats and socks. If you plan to be outdoors riding or on an excursion, bring a something to cover and protect your ears. Rain coats should be packed if it is going to be rainy at the ranch. Hats are essential to protect you against the heat from the sun. They should fit well to avoid being carried off in the wind, especially when riding. They don't necessarily have to be cowboy or cowgirl hats, baseball hats can also work. Most dude ranches sell hats as well so it's not necessary for you to carry one from home.

Cowboy-Boots-And-Hat

Gloves will be necessary if you plan to do a lot of riding or if you are attending a working ranch or cattle drive. Pick a pair that are made of flexible, but strong, leather. If you are planning to do any swimming or working out at the dude ranch, make sure you bring the proper attire for those activities as well.

Personal Items

Seeing as it is a dude ranch vacation, a camera/video camera should tag along with you. Make sure it isn't bulky because you may be carrying it with you on horseback and other excursions. Don’t forget to also bring the camera charger.  If you are planning on doing any bird watching or wildlife viewing a pair of binoculars will come in handy. Other essentials include phone chargers, hair dryers. Some ranches supply hair dryers so ask first because If they do, that's one less bulky item to carry.

Toiletries

Sunscreen and insect repellent are absolute musts for a dude ranch vacation. After being out in the sun or cold, keep your skin smooth with some moisturizer and chapstick. Depending on the dude ranch, you may need to bring your own shower items. You should always try to stay hydrated at the ranch so also bring a water bottle that's suitable for carrying around. Lastly bring and open mind and your sense of adventure. You may be exposed to new things out of your comfort zone. Throw caution to the wind and try something new!

Should I Book a Guest Ranch Vacation?

11/4/2015 9:49:24 AM

Heck ya you should book a guest ranch vacation for your next holiday! Guest ranches are a great choice for families, couples and solo travelers alike. With so many different destinations to choose from in the United States, Canada and Mexico how could you possibly go wrong? Here are just a few reasons why you should forgo the typical beach vacation in favour of a fun, western themed getaway.   HORSEBACK RIDING This is probably the #1 reason to go to a guest ranch. Who doesn’t love the idea of saddling-up and exploring scenic vistas from atop a horse? It doesn’t matter whether you are a first time rider because qualified wranglers will teach you the basics so that you feel comfortable out on the trails. If you are an advanced rider many guest ranches will tailor exciting rides to match your experience level. Some guest ranches even offer overnight pack trips.

Horseback riding
Horseback riding

Multiple Activities to Choose From

Aside from horseback riding the majority of guest ranches offer a plethora of activities to choose from. You can hike or mountain bike on scenic trails, kayak or canoe on beautiful lakes, rent an ATV, try your hand at fly-fishing, learn a new skill like archery or rifle shooting, or zoom along a zip-line or participate in a cattle drive. These are just a few of the exciting activities that guest ranches offer. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to ask each guest ranch what activities they include.

Hiking
Hiking

The All-Inclusive Package

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. Another added benefit is if you are a solo traveler many guest ranches don’t add an extra premium for single vacationers.

Spa-aaah Time

Just because you are staying at a guest ranch it doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in some quality me-time as well. Many guest ranches are considered spa destinations as well with qualified spa technicians available to cater to your every wish. After a day of riding there is nothing better than a relaxing massage to soothe sore muscles.  When booking your guest ranch vacation be sure to ask whether they offer spa services if that is on your vacation wish-list.

Spa Time
Spa Time

The Dining Experience

Meals can break or make a vacation! Guest ranches take pride in the food that they serve their guests. This can mean gourmet meals prepared by a culinary chef or simple hearty home-cooked meals that rely on old family favourite recipes. Whichever the case may be you will be treated to satisfying meals that will leave you asking for seconds. If you have special dietary concerns be sure to let your guest ranch know in advance so that they can accommodate your needs.

Hospitality at its Finest

A guest ranch isn’t part of a hotel chain. More often than not the guest ranch that you choose for your next vacation has a long, interesting, family history. You will be welcomed into their home as a guest but once you leave you will feel like family. Guest ranches are famous for their down home hospitality and in many cases they boast a high rate of returning guests.

Disconnect and Re-connect

A vacation at a guest ranch gives you the opportunity to disconnect from the digital world since many guest ranches are off the beaten path cell service isn’t always readily available; although, you can usually find somewhere on-site to access WiFi if need be. Disconnecting from the digital world allows you and your loved ones to re-connect with each other and your surroundings and isn’t that what a vacation should be all about?

Re-connect with nature
Re-connect with nature

Kid-friendly Programs

Many guest ranches have special programs tailored specifically for your kids. Aside from being fun they are often educational as well. This gives parents a chance to participate in more adult orientated activities or perhaps indulge in a relaxing spa treatment or simple enjoy some time together as a couple. Parents can feel comfortable knowing that their children are being taken care of by responsible staff members and most importantly that their little-ones or not so little-ones are meeting new friends and having a blast.

Specialty Weeks

Throughout the year guest ranches usually offer specialty weeks. Depending on the ranch this could include girls’ only weeks, cattle drives, horsemanship clinics, artistic events, culinary events, adults’ only weeks and of course special holiday celebration weeks. Be sure to ask what events and specials are offered during the year at the guest ranch that you are interested in for your next vacation.   These are just a few of the reasons that when you next decide to pack your bags you should consider choosing a guest ranch as your vacation destination.

RanchSeeker can help you find the perfect guest ranch for you! Happy Trails!

Colorado Trails Ranch

10/29/2015 4:21:59 PM

Earth’s Gateway to Heaven  Colorado has always been a popular vacation destination due to its majestic mountains, natural beauty, fly fishing spots, active lifestyle, and strong western heritage roots. Luckily, you can experience all of these at one spot – Colorado Trails Ranch. Combining casual luxury with the beauty of its surroundings, this dude ranch is quickly becoming a popular choice. And if you have a family, this is definitely the right dude ranch vacation for you. To find out more, giddy up through the following lines.

Colorada Trails Ranch


The History of Colorado Trails Ranch 

Unlike other ranches across North America, Colorado Trails Ranch was originally established as a dude ranch back in 1960. At the time, the property had two buildings: an old barn and an anteroom which was the Coney Cove dance hall in 1912. The log structure is still withstanding time till this day, but is used as wrangler staff housing. Over the span of half a decade, the ranch has grown beyond its ‘new’ lodge and six Alpine cabins. It had to also leave behind its tradition of allowing guests to make their own brands and burning them into the lodge’s timber posts. However, this was necessary to protect the building from burning down. Luckily, some traditions continue to this day. In addition to the arrival of staff every May over the past fifty years, Colorado Trails continues hosting the Equine Investigator’s Academy, an event that aims at teaching animal control officers and animal professionals how to identify and investigate horse abuse.

Why Colorado Trails Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

So, what makes Colorado Trails Ranch one of the best Colorado vacations destinations? Of the many reasons that come to mind, the following stand out the most.

Excellent Location 

The dude ranch is only 12 miles away from the historic mining town of Durango, a hot spot for scenic beauty and a historic landmark since the days of silver mines. The 450-acre property also shares a property line with the two million acre San Juan National Forest, allowing guests to view its natural marvels as well. Moreover, visitors get to enjoy panoramic views of the undeveloped country, which is one of the reasons city slickers visited the area since the 1800s.

Colorado Trails Ranch


Comfortable Accommodations

The dude ranch’s cabins are very comfortable and beautifully decorated with casual luxury in mind. You can choose from the following cabins available according to your family’s size:

  • Country – These two cabins are duplex units (four bedrooms and bathrooms) which share the porch area but have separate entrances. Each section of the Country Cabin is a suite that features a king bed, a bathroom with a tub or shower. The connecting room contains two sets of bunk beds or a twin bed and a bunk bed along with another bathroom.
  • Longview – This cabin features a living room, king-sized bed, a bathroom with a tub or shower, and a great porch you can enjoy the surrounding views from.
  • Bird House – Built in 2013, The Birdhouse is designed to offer handicapped guests all the amenities they need. One of the cabin’s two bedrooms has a king bed while the other has a queen bed and a twin bed. Each bedroom has its own sitting porch and bathroom. However, you’ll need to share the central living room.
  • The Fish Pond and The Den – Built in 2014 and 2015 respectively, The Fish Pond and The Den have two bedrooms and a central living room. While one bed has a king bed, the other contains a double bed and single bunk beds. Each room has its own private bathroom. The cabins have separate covered porches on each side.
  • The Lake Cabin, Mountain Cabin and The Woodlands Cabin – Three of the newest cabins at Colorado Trails Ranch, these are duplex units with covered porches on each side. Each side comprises of a main room with a king bed and bathroom. The other room has a double bunk and a single bunk. The Lake Cabin features a large living room for all the tenants of its four rooms whereas the other two have separate living rooms for each two bedrooms.
  • Storm Shelter – Built in 2014, The Storm Shelter has three bedrooms and a living room. Each bedroom has its private bathroom. Meanwhile, the bedrooms contain a kind bed, two double beds, and a double bed with a single set of bunks respectively.
Colorado Trails Ranch

Great Western Foods

At Colorado Trails Ranch, you can indulge your senses in scrumptious, wholesome edibles that are fulfilling and satisfying to all guests regardless of age. For instance, breakfast comprises of cold food selections such as bagels, yogurt and cereal, hot food selections like waffles and sausage. If you’re looking for something unique, you’re also welcome at the ranch’s cookout breakfasts.

Colorado Trails Ranch

Exciting On-Site Amenities 

Even if you decide to stay at the ranch, you won’t be too bored. While the Lodge is the heart of the ranch community, you can enjoy the heated swimming pool, gym, archery and rifle ranges, and basketball court. You’ll also enjoy dancing at The Opera House, playing games at The Ruckus Room, indulging in milkshakes or ice cream at Soda Fountain, or getting fly fishing supplies from the Fly Fishing Center.

Colorado Trails Ranch

A Variety of Dude Ranch Activities

There’s so much to do and see while staying at Colorado Trails Ranch, including the following:

  • Horseback Riding – You can enjoy the beauty of the San Juan Mountain trails on horseback. If you’re good enough, you can even take part in the Corral Capers guest rodeo. However, if you’re new, you can learn how to ride with the help of the ranch’s experienced riders.
  • Fishing – The dude ranch takes pride in being a trout heaven, so get your gear ready. You can also learn from Gordy Herrick, an experienced fisherman and head of the ranch’s fishing program. So decide whether you’re in for half-day fishing or full-day fishing beforehand.
  • Water Activities – You can go white water rafting on the Animas River with one of the ranch’s experts. Children are also welcome to go power tubing at the nearby Vallecito Lake.
Aside from these, you can go on a guided nature hike, enjoy horseshoe pit games, or trap shoot (with supervision). If you’re planning on relaxing during your vacation, the ranch also welcomes you to soak up in the ranch’s hot tub or curl with a book at the covered porch.

Special Activities for Children and Teens

As a family retreat, Colorado Trails Ranch offers kids from 5-17 years a range of activities that are suitable and safe for their age. For instance 5-8 year olds can go on a picnic lunch horseback ride, while 9-12 year olds can enjoy half-day river rafting trips. As for your teens, they can be part of the action during overnight wilderness camping or archery. The best part is that you’ll get to relax with your significant other while the ranch’s skilled staff helps them enjoy the vacation of a lifetime.

Affordable Packages

The ranch understands how important affordable vacations are for families, which is why it offers a range of packages that can help them slash costs. For starters, you have discount weeks, which offer up to 20% discounts on weekly rates between set dates. You also get special packages, which maximize your savings and fun. However, you’ll need to click these links to find out about the 2016 specials before the season starts in June.

The Bottom Line 

If you’re looking for a place you and your children will never be bored to be at, Colorado Trails Ranch is what you seek. Just remember to reserve in advance to book your spot. Moreover, send through any dietary requirements you and your family members have in order for the chef to avoid ingredients that could bring on an allergic reaction. If you’d rather not avail these special packages, you can expect to pay at least $2,600 per adult in a two-room cabin. Children will be charged at $2,250 at the very least if between 5 and 12 years, whereas younger children will be charged $950. If you have a third child, they can stay with you free. You can also plan your vacation with another family and get a 15% discount. However, you’ll get more value for money with one of the ranch’s packages. Find out about those at Ranchseeker next year! Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

10/28/2015 9:41:34 AM

Do you like adventure, scenic landscapes and pristine wilderness? If so, then Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch is the ideal vacation destination for you. Located at the foot of the Sierra Madre (the Mexican Rockies) in northeast Sonora, Mexico, which is just 55miles south of the southeast Arizona town of Douglas you will find this privately owned 30,000 acre guest ranch and cattle ranch. Rancho Los Baños, or Ranch of the Springs in English, is in a safe and secure area centered at the crossroads of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts.

Enveloped by some of the most unique, inspiring and diverse desert landscapes this protected wilderness preserve is remote, serene and promises otherworldly landscapes to its visitors. Here you will enjoy world-class backcountry horseback riding that will take you through several different habitats that encompass lake, river, mountain, high desert, box canyon and riparian ecosystems. Besides the many scenic nature trails, you can also ride to numerous historical attractions like a 17th century abandoned Jesuit gold mine or visit the remains of a 19th century bandit hiding camp where both American and Mexican outlaws went to lay low. You can also ride to 2,000 year old pre-Colombian dwellings full of pictographs, deep inside El Cajon Canyon, or visit a 20 mile long lake, and its dam, built during the Great Depression by the architects and engineers that also built Hoover Dam (the dam is a smaller replica of Hoover). This is just a small sampling of what you will see and learn about while staying at the ranch. From atop your horse you will be breathing and living the history of days gone by while taking in spectacular scenery.

Aside from horseback riding there is canyon hiking, jeep eco-tours, river and lake kayaking, fishing, wildlife spotting and birding. Nighttime at Rancho Los Baños you will experience star-gazing at its finest! You will be awed by the tens of thousands of stars visible to the naked eye since there isn’t any interference of unnatural light. Avid nature lovers and thrill seekers will revel in all that there is to see and do at this guest ranch.

Adventure Guest Ranch
Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

Modern, homey, B&B-style ranch lodge and cabins featuring all the creature comforts of home provide comfortable and relaxing accommodations white staying at your home-away-from-home. Gourmet, International and Mexican home-cooked cuisine is served family-style in either the dining room or outside on the balcony overlooking breathtaking scenery. Meal times are a wonderful opportunity to swap stories about your day with other guests and to make new friends.

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch caters to a new generation of adventure travellers who are seeking a thrilling, challenging, educational, fun-filled vacation in a unique setting.

Happy Trails!

*Shuttle service is provided from Tucson to the ranch and back*

Thanksgiving 2015 Dude Ranch Specials

10/25/2015 3:00:53 PM

Thanksgiving is one of the traditions that bring families together around a festive table filled with delicious edibles that everyone loves. But why stick to your dinner table when you can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal within the mountains, surrounded by the beautiful scenery you should be thankful for? And why curl in front of the TV later when you can go on a horseback ride, hike through beautiful valleys, or lounge with others in a lodge to exchange stories? If this sounds tempting, then it’s high time that you head on to a dude ranch Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving

To help you get the best of the season without stretching your budget, take a look at the following three Thanksgiving 2015 vacation specials available.

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

A 30,000 acre adventure guest ranch, Rancho Los Baños is an authentic cattle ranch at the foothills of the Sierra Madres in Sonora, Mexico. What makes it special is its original, exotic flavor which you won’t find in nearby ranches. As an adventure guest ranch, you can also expect thrilling, challenging, educational, and, of course, fun-filled activities that would keep you and your loved ones coming back for more. The dude ranch is also enshrouded by wilderness, adding to its seclusion and separating it from the hubbub of Douglas, Arizona almost 55 miles away.

Rancho Los Banos

For Thanksgiving 2015, Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch is offering a six night, seven day package that starts from Sunday November 22 through Saturday November 28. The package costs $1,200 per guest per stay (single occupancy is $1,320 per stay), but children aged 10 and under are welcome to stay there for free. In addition to a round-trip shuttle, this deal includes a Latin American Wine Tasting session that stretches all week long. Get ready to tantalize your palate with complimentary wines from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru and other great wineries in the region. And to top it all, you’ll enjoy a Thanksgiving turkey dinner served in a unique, cultural setting.

Coffee Creek Ranch

Known for being Northern California’s Finest Guest Ranch, Coffee Creek Ranch is also one of the oldest ranches in the area. Surrounded by the National Forest and the Trinity Alps, the 367-acre ranch offers vacationers the chance to reconnect with nature and experience firsthand the world-famous southern hospitality. Families are most welcome at the ranch, a fact proven by its range of Ranch Youth Activities which offer age-appropriate activities to children aged 3-17, such as horse/pony rides, crafts, and roping lessons. Adults, on the other hand, can pick from horseback riding activities, pack trips, fishing trips, or hunting sessions.

Coffee Creek Ranch

For Thanksgiving 2015 on November 29, Coffee Creek Ranch invites you to unwind, unplug and relax at the ranch. The Thanksgiving package includes all meals, lodging, horseback riding, and all the ranch’s activities. However, if you live within 150 miles of the ranch you can stay there for $150 per night per person to have the best time of your life. Better yet, if your family consists of four members, you can save and enjoy Thanksgiving at the ranch for $400 a night. Children under three years can stay for free. So, book quickly to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner by the ranch’s pool this year

White Stallion Ranch

A member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame after winning the #1 Property in Tucson for five years in a row, White Stallion Ranch has been welcoming visitors for over seven decades. It’s  well maintained facilities and wonderful scenery contributed to making it one of the top settings for many Hollywood movies over the years. In addition to comfortable, luxurious rooms, the ranch amenities flaunts sports courts, a fitness center, a bar, a recreation room, a movie theater, and a petting zoo which your kids will love. You can also take part in a range of activities such as riding, rodeo, and hiking. Even if you’re not the adventurous type, your stay will be fun thanks to the ranch’s evening entertainment which includes moonlight bonfires, an astronomy show, line dancing lessons, whip cracking lessons and lastly gun spinning lessons.


If White Stallion Ranch is your destination this Thanksgiving 2015, you can ride your heart out or relax by the pool while a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is being cooked outside. However, you’ll need to book your spot quickly since Thanksgiving Week is very popular and space is limited. Make sure to inquire at  520-297-0252 or email at info@whitestallion.com. These are just some of the Thanksgiving 2015 vacation specials our dude ranches have available this year. Make sure to book the package you like the most right away or else you and your family won’t be able to experience a Western Thanksgiving before next year.

Escape to a Winter Guest Ranch Destination

10/21/2015 11:07:00 AM

The winter season will soon be upon us and probably faster than many of us would like, I am sure, but just because the temperature drops it doesn’t mean that fun times are over. In fact, wintertime means that there are lots of new adventures to be experienced and enjoyed with friends and loved ones. Guest ranches are an excellent option to consider when booking your winter wonderland escape. Though several guest ranches do close down during this period there are many that stay open all year round and thy offer a diverse range of activities to choose from. Here are a few of the guest ranches that offer winter vacation packages:

The Laughing Water Guest Ranch, Fortine, Montana:

Nestled against the foot hills of the Whitefish Divide and just a short drive from Glacier National Park, The Laughing Water Guest Ranch is a true Montana, Rocky Mountain trail riding ranch. During the winter months the Laughing Water Guest Ranch has lots to offer its guests. With over 220 acres of gentle rolling timber and pasture land you will find that your days can be as busy as you like or as relaxed as you like. Your stay is custom fitted for you. Choose from activities like horseback riding in the snow, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, ice fishing and one day spent dog sledding. For an additional charge guests can go down-hill skiing at Whitefish Mountain as well as back country powder skiing and snowmobiling.

Montana Guest Ranch
The Laughing Water Ranch

The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana:

Located in one of Montana’s most pristine valleys, The Ranch at Rock Creek offers year-round unique vacations on an authentic 19th century homestead. Here Western adventure is balanced with lavish all-inclusive amenities. This season make the most out of winter and book the 2016 Winter Ski & Spa Special. Within less than a mile of your accommodations, you will find a skating pond, sledding hills, cross country skiing trails, sleigh rides and a relaxing spa. Book a six-day stay and you’ll receive $700 in additional value, including complimentary spa treatments and downhill skiing at Discovery Ski Area–a Montana alpine ski hill with 67 runs and short lift lines. Offer Details: Rates start at $1,600 per accommodation, per night based on standard occupancy, plus 20% Ranch Fee. Offer valid on new reservations only for travel between January 3 and March 31, 2016. Offer is not combinable with other promotions and cannot be redeemed for cash or credit. A four (4) night minimum stay is required. Complimentary amenities depend on length of stay. All guests are strongly encouraged to plan their itineraries related to their complimentary amenities prior to their arrival to secure preferred timing. Standard RC Inclusions: luxury accommodations; all gourmet meals; premium wine, beer, spirits and other beverages; a selection of gear and guided on-ranch activities


The Ranch at Rock Creek

Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado:

Situated in the Elk River Valley this Colorado guest ranch features luxurious cabins and spacious lodge rooms. During the winter months Vista Verde Ranch becomes a veritable winter wonderland. Come hideout in a cozy log cabin with a private hot tub and enjoy delicious, freshly prepared meals in between adventures out in the snow. Christmas and New Year’s weeks are perfect for families looking for a special way to celebrate the holidays.  Then, from early January until mid-February the ranch becomes available to adults only until President’s Day weekend rolls around and the kid’s program kicks back into gear. While staying at Vista Verde Tanch during the winter you can take a sleigh-ride or strap on some skis and try a variety of styles of Nordic skiing from classic to skate to back country. There’s also snow-shoeing, “fat” biking (bikes with wide tires that allow you to bike across snowy terrain) and snow tubing. The ranch also offers their riding program during the winter months as well as photography lessons, yoga, spa treatments and weekly cooking lessons and wine tastings.


Vista Verde Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, Sandpoint, Idaho:

Located on 1100 acres, you will be treated to true western hospitality while surrounded by the scenic beauty of North Idaho while staying at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. During the winter months you can choose from 5 different packages as the guest ranch is transformed by a blanket of white snow. Log Cabin or Lodge Room Getaway Schweitzer Ski Packages: This all-inclusive ski package includes two nights lodging for two in one of their cozy, log cabins or lodge rooms, one day of skiing at Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, a romantic horse drawn sleigh ride for two, and a hearty ranch breakfast served in the main lodge for two mornings. Snowmobile Package: If you are looking for adventure then this package is for you! Come enjoy the grandeur of the back country wilderness by snowmobile. You will experience two evenings of comfort in either a cozy lodge room or one of our private log cabins. Your stay at Western Pleasure will also include a hearty ranch breakfast. Spa Package: For those of you who are looking for a relaxing winter get-a-way, try this spa package. Your stay will begin with a sleigh ride and accommodations that include two nights in a modern rustic log cabin or choose one of their spacious guest rooms. Both mornings include a hearty ranch breakfast. Indulge yourself in a day of absolute pampering while you enjoy the services and beautiful facility at the Spa at Seasons in Sandpoint. Your “Time Together” package will include (2) 50-Minute Massages and (2) Spa Pedicures. Cross-Country Ski Package: If you want to get out and enjoy the snow, but are looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of the ski mountain this is the package for you. Two nights lodging for two, your own private horse drawn sleigh ride and a hearty ranch breakfast served in the lodge is only part of what this package has to offer. ***Be sure to check which dates these packages are available when booking***    


Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Tod Mountain Ranch, Heffley Creek, British Columbia:

Hidden in the Louis Creek Valley, surrounded by mountains, this Canadian guest ranch is small and exclusive and offers a relaxing, tranquil environment. Available for group bookings, Tod Mountain Guest Ranch is the perfect relaxing winter getaway. Only 15 minutes away from Sun Peaks Ski Resort means that guests can enjoy all the fun, outdoor activities of Sun Peaks during the day, and then relax in comfort at the ranch in the evening. Sun Peaks Resort, the 2nd largest Ski Resort in Canada, has over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain and 126 runs.  

Activities include:

  • Downhill skiing & snowboarding
  • Snobikes
  • Snow shoeing
  • Dog sledding
  • Skating Rink
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Tubing & Tobogganing
  • Ski School
 
Tod Mountain Ranch

As you can see there is lots to do at a guest ranch during the winter months. From sleigh-rides, skiing and snowmobiling to spa treatments, yoga classes and wine tastings you are sure to find the ideal guest ranch for you and your family and friends!

Happy Trails!

Bar 10 Ranch's Unbelievable Grand Canyon Packages

10/15/2015 1:09:34 PM

The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and probably the easiest Wonder to visit if you’re located in North America. It’s also a great place to revel in the American lifestyle as it’s considered home to the oldest national park in the country and over 4,800 archeological sites. On the other hand, it gives nature lovers a lot of memories they can immortalize on film. However, you can double your fun by staying at the Bar 10 Ranch.

Grand Canyon

Located on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, the Bar 10 Ranch is a dude ranch that offers true Western hospitality and never-ending adventure. But that’s not even all you can expect at Bar 10 Ranch; the following are the main activities and tour packages you can enjoy at the dude ranch.

Grand Canyon Colorado River Rafting Trips


Three and Four Day Trips– Starting from $1,262 per person
Six and Seven Day Trips – Starting from $850 per person

This Activity is Only Available from May through September.  

Bar 10 Ranch is known for being the best place to start and end river rafting trips. You can be part of this experience by booking a Grand Canyon Colorado River Rafting Trip. Become one with the river as you steer your raft and observe the natural wonders surrounding you. The ranch will provide the equipment you need to ensure your safety and entertainment as you make your way away from cars, long lines and the hubbub of people.

Three-Day Outdoor Odyssey


Three Day Outdoor Odyssey – Starting from $615 per person
Four Day Outdoor Odyssey – Starting from $850 per person
Air Fare (Las Vegas – Bar 10 – Las Vegas) – Starting from $290 per person

Get ready to explore the Grand Canyon, immersing yourself in its grandeur and history while traveling between towering vistas and majestic canyons. History buffs are also in for a treat as they’ll get to learn everything about the colorful history of Indians, ranchers, homesteaders and outlaws who once roamed (or hid) in this marvel. On the other hand, nature and art lovers will love the array of colors reflected around them as the sun moves during the day. As part of the Outdoor Odyssey, you’ll receive delicious meals, comfortable lodging, and cowboy guided activities like ATV tours, hiking, ranch demonstrations, and extended horseback rides. You get to decide, however, whether you want to enjoy these activities for three or four days any time year round.

Bar 10 Grand Canyon Air and Ground Tour


Bar 10 Grand Canyon Air and Ground Tour – Starting from $286 per person
Bar 10 Grand Canyon Air and Ground Tour  with ATV Upgrade – Starting from $351 per person

This Activity is Only Available from April through Mid-November.  

Explore the Grand Canyon in more than one unique way: via Bar 10 Ranch’s Dornier Twin-Engine Plane, your own ATV, or as a passenger in a stretch ranger. The ranch’s plane offers you the chance to enjoy a scenic flight at least 2,000 feet over the Grand Canyon. On the other hand, ATVs and the stretch ranger allow you to explore the inner gorge by delving 3,000 feet beneath the sheer cliffs. Rest assured that you’ll go home with a wonderful memory and lots of pictures of breathtaking views. By booking the Bar 10 Grand Canyon Air and Ground Tour, you’re entitled to the following four: Round-trip flights over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon ATV or ranger tour with your personal cowboy guide Dutch oven BBQ lunch comprising of BBQ beef sandwich, potatoes, vegetables and dessert Free shuttle transfers to and from certain hotels Aside from these, you can contact the Bar 10 Ranch to create custom or group tours. You can add horseback riders, river rafting, helicopter tours, wagon trek, rock climbing, line dancing instruction, and much more. However, you’ll need to contact the dude ranch with your requirements first to get a quote. So get in touch with Bar 10 Ranch’s friendly reservation staff at 1-800-582-4139.

Romantic Getaways at a Guest Ranch

10/13/2015 10:42:21 AM

Looking to spend some romantic, quality time with your partner or perhaps get married or even elope then look no further. Guest ranches can be the ideal place for romantic getaways with that special someone or to celebrate a special event.

Red Horse Mountain, Harrison, Idaho

Book a private suite with your partner and leave your worries (and kids ;) ) at home on your romantic getaway. During the fall months Red Horse Mountain Ranch is for adults only and it is the perfect time to get away from it all and to reconnect with your loved one. As the leaves on the trees start to change from green to beautiful shades of vibrant red and yellow you can just feel romance in the air. Guests will find adventure, gourmet meals, decadent desserts, hot tubs and a staff waiting to help make your stay a perfect one. At night you’ll make new friends in the main lodge and enjoy evening concerts and cowboy poets as well as spectacular views and a star- studded sky. For couples, the ranch has private suites. You’ll have the entire lodge to relax in during the evenings with hot tubs, wrap around deck, and a full service bar available.  Nestled on 300,000 acres of the Idaho’s Rocky Mountains this vacation spot was made for relaxation and quiet time as well as lots of fun activities during the day like horseback riding and outdoor guided adventures. If you enjoy wine tasting as well make sure you check out the ranch’s Wine Tasting Event available during this season.

Idaho Guest Ranch
Red Horse Mountain Guest Ranch

The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana 

Book a three-night stay starting from now through to November 24, 2015 and receive up to $500 in additional value. Escape to The Ranch to rouse your hearts and minds with curated couple’s adventures. Enjoy outdoor activities, such as fly fishing, horseback riding and hiking, as well as spectacular panoramic views from private mountain summits. Your exceptional farm-to-table culinary experiences and rustic, yet elegant accommodations will be complemented by the serenity of the Granite Spa and a glass of champagne with the murmur of the creek outside your door.

What’s Included:

  • A welcome bottle of champagne in accommodation upon arrival
  • A half-day, private guided fly fishing or horseback ride adventure with a gourmet picnic
  •  Two (2) complimentary 60-minute restorative massages in the Granite


The Ranch at Rock Creek

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, Clinton, British Columbia 

Are you looking for that perfect destination to say "I do"? Have you always dreamed about a guest ranch wedding surrounded by horses and a beautiful wilderness backdrop? Or perhaps you would simply like to celebrate that special day with just your partner before later celebrating with friends and family. If so, then Echo Valley Ranch and Spa offers 2 packages that will suit your needs for either your dream ranch wedding or elopement. The Ranch Wedding Package Includes: • Flower bouquet in room • Wedding ceremony in the Baan Thai wedding pavillion • Wedding commissioner & fees • Wedding bouquet & boutonniere • Reception table with floral centerpiece • Reception for bride, groom and guests • Traditional Thai Massage for two • Bridal hair styling & Bridal makeup • Manicure and pedicure for bride, groom • Breakfast-in-bed on morning of your choice • A wedding keepsake from your friends at Echo Valley Ranch The Ranch Wedding Package is designed for the happy couple and up to 8 guests. For larger groups, their Book the Ranch option is the best choice!

The Echo Valley Elopement includes:

  • Private wedding ceremony in the Baan Thai wedding pavilion
  • Special candlelit four course wedding dinner with champagne
  • Echo Valley Baan Thai couples massage for two in Baan Thai Spa (90 minutes)
  • BC Certified Marriage Commissionaire and fees, plus two witnesses to the marriage ceremony
  • Personalized bridal bouquet & groom's boutonnière
  • Pre wedding hair styling and make up for the bride
  • Photos of the wedding ceremony*
  • Personalized wedding cake prepared by the Chef *
  • A wedding gift keepsake from your friends at Echo Valley

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Always included during your stay at Echo Valley: 
  • Welcome glass of champagne
  • All meals prepared by our executive chef including a glass of wine or beer with your dinner, soft beverages at any time
  • Deluxe lodging in one of Lodge and Premium Rooms, Unique Cabins or the sumptuous Royal Suite
  • Daily guided Thai yoga (Ruesri dat ton) stretching classes
  • Weekly evening entertainment program including camp fires, barbeque dinners, authentic Thai banquet and traditional Thai dancing*
  • Weekly cooking demonstrations with nutrition tips from our chef as well as tips on Thai cooking*
  • Use of all ranch facilities, including indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre, walking/hiking trails and large games room featuring pool table, shuffle board, darts, card table and more
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi  

So, if you are in need of some quality, romantic time with your loved one or if you have decided to tie-the-knot then why not consider one of these guest ranches for your next romantic getaway. Happy Trails!

Winter the Coolest Time to Visit Crystal Waters Guest Ranch

10/7/2015 11:17:04 AM

Crystal Waters Guest Ranch is located in British Columbia’s Chilcotin region and during the warmer months they specialize in horseback riding, ranching and fishing holidays as well as many other activities. When winter hits the region in late November the ranch is covered by a snowy blanket and it becomes a playground for winter enthusiasts. Locals love this time of year as white powder envelops the vast forests and covers the mountain peaks, rolling hills and alpine meadows. Backcountry travel becomes easier as the waterways and varied types of terrain freeze and are covered by a uniform carpet of snow.

Crystal Lake
Crystal Waters Lake Guest Ranch

Guests who stay at Crystal Waters Guest Ranch during this time can choose from a list of fun outdoor activities or they can simply curl up with a good book in their private log cabin that resides on the shores of Crystal Lake. For those seeking to enjoy the outdoors there are snowshoes available which provides a wonderful opportunity to follow the tracks of the region’s bountiful wildlife. Fishermen will love the peace and quiet found sitting by a hole in the ice with their fishing pole and horse lovers will be thrilled riding through snow-powdered plains. Then, after a fun-filled day of exploring join other guests by a roaring fire and share the day’s experiences while sipping on a hot drink or perhaps take in a sauna. If you feel the need for speed you can bring your own snowmobile or let the ranch help you organize a rental to use during your stay. There are lots of exciting places to explore. Plus during the winter Crystal Lake provides a great surface for ice-skating or playing ice hockey. If you are looking for a more peaceful activity cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are an excellent way to explore this Winter Wonderland. Downhill ski enthusiasts and snow-boarders will love the close proximity of the ranch to Sun Peaks Mountain known throughout the world for its light, dry, “Champagne Powder.” Here you can also find Heli Skiing/Snow-boarding at its best! Plan on getting up early to make a day of it so that you can be back in the evening to enjoy sitting by the fire.

Skiing at Sun Peaks Mountain
Skiing at Sun Peaks Mountain

As you can see Crystal Waters Guest Ranch offers lots of fun outdoor activities for those looking to play in the snow.

Happy Trails!

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