Ranch Seeker Blog

Montana Wilderness Adventures at Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch

3/9/2017 4:03:46 PM

Are you looking for a Montana Wilderness Adventure for your next vacation? Well, look no further then since Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch has it all! Situated in the middle of thousands of acres of untouched, pristine wilderness, just north of the Yellowstone Park, this Montana guest ranch is where you can enjoy a vacation away from the distractions of everyday life.

Come explore and discover exhilarating mountain wilderness experiences, spectacular scenery, wildlife and western cowboy culture. All meals, lodging, and activities (including fly-fishing and riding instruction) are included in their all-inclusive low rates. With a variety of activities available you just might learn a new skill while on your vacation this year.


Crossing the Boulder River

Choose from fun-filled activities like:

  • Horseback Riding: Ride with experienced wranglers and experience Montana as it should be from atop a horse
  • Mountain Hiking: Go guided and unguided to explore unspoiled natural environments. Your travels will take you through mountains, lakes, caves and much more.
  • Fly Fishing: Catch some trout on the one mile private river frontage of the ranch. Enjoy a high wild trout population, private access and unguided fly-fishing
  • Explore Ghost Towns: Take a jeep trip to Independence, famous for its gold mines and ghost town.
  • Campfires and cookouts: Enjoy some hearty western meals while sharing the campfire and some spooky stories with other guests.
  • Explore an Archeological site: This one date’s way back 11,500 years. See our history, well-preserved!
  • See some Wildlife: Elk, moose, coyotes and even bears walk free through these parts. Can you spot some?
  • River Float: When you need a change of scenery why not choose to float down the scenic waters of the Yellowstone River west of Big Timber? This activity is fun for the entire family.

At the end of the day a comfortable bed and warm shower await you in either one of the ranch’s cabins or lodge rooms. In the Eagle Nest Lodge, which is perched high atop a 300 foot cliff, you will find a roaring fireplace, and big deck outside where you can take in the breathtaking beauty of the mountainous river valley.


Eagle Nest Lodge

Mealtimes at the ranch always include hearty, western meals served buffet-style as well as homemade bread and desserts, served three times a day! And if the weather cooperates you will be treated to two cookouts during your stay. Sometimes lunches are out of a saddle bag on a day trips but no matter where your meal is served the food is always great. For those feeling peckish in between mealtimes there are always cookies, fresh fruit, and drinks available in the lodge.

So what are you waiting for? Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch is the ideal vacation choice for you if you are looking for a place with quiet solitude and breathtaking scenery. Leave your everyday worries behind and experience true warm western hospitality and unique outdoor adventures balanced with a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.

Happy Trails!

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

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch A 4 Season Ranch

1/19/2017 12:55:27 PM

Located in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado you will find Sundance Trail Guest Ranch a family owned and operated ranch 100 miles NW of Denver. Open all year round this ranch is ideal for your next family vacation and offers dude ranching at its best.

Fall, winter and spring are Bed & Breakfast Mountain Lodge seasons at the ranch where you will find lodging, meals and morning horseback rides. These times of year are a bit quieter than the more activity packed summer months.


Guests are welcome to come for one or two nights, or for a week and during these months the ranch is also pet friendly. Be sure to ask for the ranch’s list of “common-sense rules” and “Special Notes” regarding your four-legged family members.

During this time period guests enjoy a quiet retreat away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life. Some couples find this to be the perfect romantic guest ranch get-away for elopement weddings and the ideal destination for a honeymoon. Fill your days horseback riding the trails of the Roosevelt National Forest, indulging in an array of spa treatments, stargazing from the Jacuzzi, swapping stories in front of a Colorado Mountain Lodge fireplace or simply enjoying a great book on a sunny porch. If you ae traveling as a group of between 8-12 people the ranch can arrange Country Inn Murder Mystery Weekends. What fun!


Summer months at Sundance Trail provide a ranch vacation lifestyle that can be compared to summer camp. Remember how much fun summer camp used to be? You will find a plethora of activities and outdoor adventures to choose from that can be enjoyed by the whole family on your 7 day/6 night or 4 day/3 night vacation. With structured activities and unstructured time to explore or relax you can be as busy as you want or simply enjoy doing nothing for a couple of hours. With a “Colorado Horseback Riding” theme guests can ride every day if they want to or choose from lots of other fun activities as well like:

  • hiking
  • white water rafting
  • professional rock climbing lessons
  • fun family fishing in nearby lakes (cutthroat trout)
  • serious fly fishing on the nearby “Wild and Scenic” Cache La Poudre River (rainbow & brown trout)
  • horse shoes
  • target and trap shooting (with instruction and careful supervision!)
  • evening campfires (s’mores!)
  • cowboy singing and poetry
  • professional massage and Jacuzzi
  • and for little ones children’s programs.


Accommodations include cozy mountain lodge and cabin suites for up to seven families or twenty-four guests. Mealtimes at the ranch are always special whether it’s cookouts, steak barbecues, lunch on the trail or picnicking under the pines. The ranch serves up excellent fare. Meals are Colorado hearty western, served family style, with home- made breads and desserts… always delicious. If you have any dietary restrictions the ranch kitchen is always very flexible and happy to accommodate with advance notice.

So as you can see no matter what time of year you choose to getaway Sundance Trail Guest Ranch can meet your vacation needs.

Happy Trails!

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

Spring Summer Bonanza Rates 2017 at White Stallion Ranch

12/14/2016 11:28:29 AM

It’s never too early to plan your spring vacation! White Stallion Ranch’s 2017 Spring Vacation package offers their best rates in near perfect weather.

Sun, May 14th, 2017 – Sun, June 11th 2017

This special is as golden as the desert in bloom. Bask in the warm early summer sun and enjoy the multitude of desert blossoms on the Palo Verde trees, ironwood trees, saguaro, and cholla cacti. It’s a Kodak moment everywhere you turn. You will find yourself delighted with the frolics of their new-born Longhorn calves. This time of year is also fantastic riding weather!

The packages include lodging, all meals, horseback riding (except Sundays), cookouts, airport transfers from the Tucson International Airport, and daily ranch activities.

FOUR NIGHTS – FIVE DAYS
Double: $735.00/person* ($183.75/extra nights)
Single: $800.00/person* ($200.00/extra nights)
Deluxe Single: $1075.00*  ($268.75/extra nights)
Third person: $438.00*  ($109.50/extra nights)


White Stallion Ranch

SEVEN NIGHTS – EIGHT DAYS
Double: $1,220.00/person* ($174.29/extra nights)
Single: $1,332.00/person* ($190.29/extra nights)
Deluxe Single: $1,790.00* ($255.72/extra nights)
Third person: $731.00* ($104.43/extra nights)

*rates are subject to 8.1% tax and 15% service charge

White Stallion Ranch (/Search/DetailView?id=303 ) is a traditional dude ranch located in Tucson, Arizona that has been in the True family for almost fifty years. Nestled at the base of the beautiful Tucson Mountains on 3,000 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert you will be surrounded by rugged mountains, cactus and unspoiled desert. With several different rides to choose from first-time trailblazers to life-long riders will have ample time to enjoy the beauty of the desert from atop a horse. The True family has one of the largest privately owned herds in Arizona which means they have the right horse for every guest.


White Stallion Ranch

The White Stallion ranch is an authentic western guest ranch that has been carefully blended with the service and quality of a fine resort. The True family and their staff look forward to having you and your loved ones visit them on your next vacation.

Happy Trails!

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

‘Tis the Season to Celebrate…A Very Merry Christmas at the Ranch!

12/2/2016 11:14:15 AM

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 12th issue

What better way to rediscover the joys of Christmas and experience a truly unique Christmas vacation than at a dude ranch.   A Christmas ranch vacation is an ideal opportunity for family, friends or couples to relax, recharge and reconnect with loved ones by spending active days and leisurely evenings together.

Western Ranches are well-known for their always warm welcome, generous hospitality and outstanding natural surroundings, especially during the Yuletide season when many ranches offer a special Christmas program replete with time honoured traditions and bygone Christmas customs.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”

Imagine…. the luxury of feasting on a gourmet Christmas dinner prepared by a trained chef, in a beautifully decorated ranch lodge by a crackling log fire.

Imagine…. an old-fashioned, jingle bells ringing, Christmas sleigh ride, sipping hot mulled wine or schussing along glistening powdered snow in the pristine winter wilderness of a Colorado ranch resort.

Imagine…. soaking in a hot tub under crystal clear starry skies of old, at a ranch in the Arizona desert after an exhilarating day spent riding the range.

Imagine…….all this and so much more to be enjoyed during a Christmas ranch vacation at one of two stunning western locales.


Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

First stop is the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, laid out like a small western town, located in the remote Mohave Desert, a two hour’s drive from Las Vegas in picture-perfect Wild West country of cacti, scrubland and barren foothills.

Christmas in the desert is an especially lovely time of year with moderate sunny days and cool nights.  The entire ranch gets decorated with Christmas lights and literally oozes an old-fashioned, down-home Christmas; horses have Santa hats and bells and miniature Christmas trees adorn every guestroom. There’s a guitar playing entertainer, White Elephant exchange gifts under the tree, delicious hearty Christmas fare and lots of good cheer for guests, whether mingling in the spacious timbered lodge or around a blazing campfire in the communal courtyard.  Moonlit wagon rides and unobstructed star-gazing evoke memories of a far simpler time when Christmas was something joyous to behold and shouts of Merry Christmas rang out to greet friends and strangers.

Ranch activities at Stagecoach Trails are designed to appeal to all ages and tastes, such as scenic horseback rides, rental ATV’s and fat tire mountain bikes to explore the sandy desert terrain, a popular petting zoo, archery and wild-life viewing.  Back at the ranch, a hot tub and heated pool soothe tired muscles while billiards and horseshoes are perennial ranch past-times.


Accommodations include comfortable one & two bedroom suites with private bathrooms for small or larger groups. Ranch hosts and owners, JP and Tricia McCormick, take great pride in offering guests an old-time fun-filled Christmas vacation with an authentic taste of the Old Wild West…. the stuff of magical Christmas memories to take back home.


Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

Next stop is the upscale, all-inclusive Vista Verde Ranch in Northern Colorado, 25km north of Steamboat Springs.  If your Christmas wish is to be indulged and pampered in a Norman Rockwell  type scenery, then Vista Verde fits the bill.  The pure-white winter beauty and bracing mountain air, create an enchanting Christmas wonderland evoking childish memories of frolicking in freshly fallen snow on long ago Christmas mornings.


Vista Verde Ranch

Christmas at Vista Verde is a rare delight and will surely be a cherished memory for years to come owing to its ultra-luxe ranch amenities, in-house spa massage and plushy comfort of well-equipped cabins with private hot tubs, as well as the many seasonal and exciting activities to keep everyone happy and healthy outdoors whether it’s horse rides along snowy trails, skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing or Fat tire biking.  A kid’s program for younger guests is an extra bonus for parents, while other Christmas treats might be a dog-sledding expedition or a trip to the nearby famous Steamboat Springs ski resort. Adding to all the festive fun and Christmas cheer, log fires burn brightly, Christmas lights twinkle, mistletoe and holly hang from the beams, as guests help to decorate the many individual Christmas trees or enhance their cooking skills with a culinary class.  And no Colorado ranch Christmas would be complete without the thrill of “dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh!”


Vista Verde Ranch

However, the pièce de résistance at Vista Verde is surely the totally decadent, haute cuisine sumptuous Dicken’s style Christmas banquet. Guaranteed to satisfy even the most exacting gourmand, this celebratory meal ensures that by evening’s end, ranch guests and staff alike are filled with the merriest of Christmas cheer and in true Christmas spirit, table guests have become friends.

The Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch and the Vista Verde Ranch, each with its own unique setting, contrasting winter activities and Christmas traditions, are just a sample of the many western dude ranches who offer a select Christmas program of winter-themed activities for the benefit and enjoyment of their guests.

Whatever one’s belief, Christmas continues to be celebrated around the world and thus remains a very special occasion to share with family and friends, with its age-old customs of hearth and home, loved ones gathered around the fire and familiar well-loved traditions.  No matter how one chooses to celebrate Christmas, be it a religious event or not, simple or extravagant or creating new memories at a western ranch, this heartfelt Christmas message never fails to resonate with the best in all of us, ”On earth peace, goodwill toward men”

And lastly in keeping with the Holiday Season,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

A Thanksgiving Feast at The Ranch at Rock Creek!

11/9/2016 4:30:06 PM

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Celebrate Thanksgiving

Book Between November 22-27, 2016

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

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


Celebration Details:

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

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

Minimum three-night stay, based on availability.

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

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

A Southern Cross Guest Ranch Thanksgiving!

11/4/2016 4:21:12 PM

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


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

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


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


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

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Why Dude Ranches are the Perfect Family Vacation Destination

9/10/2016 1:57:06 PM

If you have a family you probably find yourself often searching for new vacation destinations suitable for every member in your family unit. On the one hand you want to be assured that where you choose to go is a safe environment for your little ones; but, you also want it to be fun for everyone in your group. And most likely you would like to enjoy some private time with your significant other, even if it’s just for a short period of time perhaps while sharing a relaxing spa treatment. Here’s an idea for your next family getaway: Book Your Next Vacation at a Dude Ranch. 


Echo Valley Ranch

The majority of dude ranches are open during both the summer and winter months. You can choose between rustic accommodations and full-fledged luxury style ranch resorts that offer amenities similar to high end hotels with extras like spas and gourmet dining. Working ranches provide guests with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cowboy way of life in every way allowing you to take part in cattle drives and other exciting day to day ranch activities. This type of vacation may be more suitable for families with older kids; whereas, other guest ranches often offer special kid-friendly programs that are ideal for every age group.

Here are seven reasons to make a reservation for you and your family at a nearby, or faraway, dude ranch.

Experience Ranch Life – If you or your young ones have always dreamed of experiencing the life of a cowboy or cowgirl, this is your chance. Pull on some cowboy boots and walk the walk if only for a short period. Nothing beats waking up to the sound of horses neighing in an open field or the smell of an all-American trail breakfast.


Disconnect In Order To Reconnect – We have never been more connected yet more disconnected than we are now. Although it may seem impossible to “unplug” for even just a short period of time from the myriad of electronic devices available to us nowadays it is possible. Many guest ranches although they offer Wi-Fi connectivity in specified areas it is also quite common to find that you simply can’t connect everywhere you go. Take advantage of these moments to look up from your device and engage in “real moments”.

Discover the Thrill of Horseback Riding – One of the main reasons people choose to visit a dude ranch is because they want to ride. There is nothing like the feeling of being atop a horse as you take in beautiful scenery all around you. The connection between horse and rider can’t be beat.   If you have never ridden before don’t worry most guest ranches provide lessons to help newbies feel comfortable in the saddle.

kids horseback riding


Stop and Smell the Roses – Guest ranches provide the opportunity to rediscover what nature has to offer. Towering mountains, arid deserts, rushing rivers, thick green forests and a sky full of impossibly bright twinkling stars to name a few are what one can expect. Regardless of where you choose to stay the natural beauty that surrounds you will leave you in awe.

Try Something New – Don’t strike dude ranches off your list of holiday destinations if horseback riding isn’t your thing. Many ranches provide a range of activities that will thrill you, relax you and keep everyone in your family excited. For instance, you can go fly fishing, take a guided tour, explore your surroundings through hiking trails, and even book a spa treatment. If you’re heading to a dude ranch during the winter, your list of activities can include skating on nearby lakes or skiing at a nearby resort.

Make New Friends – Most guest ranches do family-style dining which means you get the chance to meet new people at mealtimes. You will also get the opportunity to experience activities while part of a group and time spent around a campfire at night is always a wonderful way to swap stories with newfound friends. Children’s programs enable  kids to mix with other kids their age while giving adults some perhaps much needed adult-time.

Take a Break From Cooking – Enjoy home-cooked, hearty meals or gourmet ranch cuisine while staying at a guest ranch. Many ranches grow and raise a lot of their own food guaranteeing that only the freshest of ingredients are used in your meals. Some guest ranches even offer special wine-tasting weeks!

family ranch vacation


While each of these aspects make dude ranches great, nothing can compare to bringing the whole family together under one roof and at one table. You can’t put a price on that. So book your next vacation soon before another family takes your place. Search for a ranch using our FREE dude ranch search tool.

Welcome to Willow Ranch Valemount

8/31/2016 3:54:53 PM

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


Willow Ranch

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

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


Willow Ranch

Explorer Ride

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

Viewpoint Ride

A half day ride through the mountains with amazing views.

Pony Trail

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

Pony Experience

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

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


Cabin in the winter

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

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

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

8/25/2016 3:49:27 PM

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

The Oxford Dictionary defines “bucket list” as follows:

Noun

Informal

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

Origin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laramie River Ranch 

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


Laramie River Dude Ranch

Crystal Waters Guest Ranch  

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


Crystal Waters Guest Ranch

Red Horse Mountain Idaho 

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


Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch 

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


Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch

The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch 

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


The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

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Need a Reason to Book a Guest Ranch Vacation?

7/18/2016 3:33:50 PM

You don’t have to be a cowboy to love a dude ranch vacation. Here are 4 great reasons to book your next vacation at one of RanchSeeker’s guest ranches.

Horseback riding

If you love horses then a dude ranch vacation is definitely for you. Whether you are an experienced rider or will be riding for the first time responsible wranglers will help you find the right horse for you. Enjoy riding through forests, surrounded by majestic mountains, or through canyons or even the desert on your next dude ranch vacation. Many ranches will pair you with a horse at the beginning of the week who will be yours for the rest of your stay so be prepared to make a new friend.


Ranch Life

City hotels and beach resorts are usually quite anonymous.  You come, you stay and you leave, scarcely meeting a soul or getting to know a very different way of life.  At a guest ranch, there is an immediate sense of family with the owners, the ranch hands and fellow guests.  There is communal eating, shared activities during the day and get-together dining and entertainments at night.  People talk, exchange ideas and histories, as well as their varied experiences that day.  Many people form lasting friendships or acquaintances and some return regularly to renew and relive their fond memories of past vacations. It’s a unique personal feature and attraction of a ranch vacation.  It feeds into our psyche of wanting to feel at home, a sense of belonging, while enjoying the freedom of the great outdoors. It’s a way of getting back to the fundamentals, away from the distractions and duty of everyday life.

Spa Facilities

Lots of guest ranches now boast spa facilities…..from a full-on spa complex complete with qualified staff and health professionals to administer facials, body care and massages plus heated pools, mud baths and float therapy to a modest beauty salon providing more basic personal care. This is of benefit to guests wanting to invigorate and rejuvenate during their vacation and an ideal way to indulge the senses and be pampered after participating in an all-day exciting outdoor excursion.  In addition, many ranches offer yoga and Pilate classes to kick off the day. Some ranches have a complete program by fully trained personnel devoted to health care management and an exercise and diet regime, especially tailored to seniors and those in need of life-improvement treatments conducted in a peaceful environment.

Ranch Lodges & Accommodations

When most people think of a ranch, the image that frequently springs to mind is bunk beds and baked beans…….maybe, once upon a time, but not in this day and age. Guest ranches have come a long way from those days and now compete superbly with stylish hotels and resorts.  It all depends on what you want and expect from a guest ranch vacation.  Some ranches offer a more intimate approach, with family-style cabins equipped with kitchenettes, able to sleep a family or group and a patio for casual BBQ meals.


Photo courtesy of Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Other more upscale ranch resorts have private, spacious suites, fine dining and select wines, swimming pools, tennis courts and in-house spas.  In between is a wide variety of guest ranch accommodations and amenities that is designed to ensure the comfort and well-being of every type of guest and their expectations.  The great news about ranches is their versatility and adaptability to all different kinds of guests flocking to their homesteads and their ability to accommodate all types and all budgets.

Guest ranches usually have a comfortable lodge where guests mix and mingle, eat, dine and socialize every night.  Most guest ranches provide some form of nightly entertainment or special event depending on their locale, their staff and their size.  Each guest ranch is unique and has its own special attractions.  And yes…the food ranges from down home, plentiful wholesome fare to haute cuisine prepared by trained chefs designed to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

So…. just go for it and embark on a different kind of adventure , the sort of vacation that will bring endless delights and fond memories long after your trip is over.

Happy Trails!

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