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

December 2nd, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

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.

 

Arizona Guest Ranch

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.

 

Arizona Guest Ranch

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.

Colorado Guest Ranch

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!”

Colorado Guest Ranch

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!

 

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch News

November 24th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

It’s here!

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is proud to introduce their newly redesigned website: www.geronimoranch.com.

The new design allows for streamlined menus, clear navigation, and a responsive layout for all platforms. Explore the site to learn more about their ranch!

In addition to the changed design and layout of the pages, new functions have been implemented in this version:

  • Contact Us Form: Now at the bottom of every page!
  • Photo Gallery: New and updated pictures with the ability to enlarge photos.
  • Horse Profiles: Meet some of our herd!
  • Blog: A new resource for news and updates from the ranch.
  • Links to our social media profiles: Follow along for all the best pictures, videos, and status updates!
  • FAQs: Even more FAQs added to address all your questions.
  • Area Attractions: Updated with an interactive map for planning other stops during your trip to New Mexico.

New Mexico guest ranch

Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch located in Winston New Mexico is open March through mid-November. Here you will find a real western adventure! Horseback riding or hiking takes guests through beautiful forests of tall Ponderosa pine, through astounding deep canyons with sheer towering walls and crystal clear streams. From the “Top of the World” guests view more than 3 million acres of the Gila National Forest, the Aldo Leopold and Gila Wildernesses.The ranch features comfortable, attractive accommodations, warm hospitality, a relaxed atmosphere, great food, and lots of adventure.

Happy Trails!

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

The Art of Dutch Oven Cooking at White Stallion Ranch

November 17th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

Join the White Stallion Ranch for this unique cooking workshop from Monday, January 2nd-Friday, January 6th 2017.

There is a science to this ancient cooking method and with a little help you will be cooking like Lewis and Clark.

Whether you are a hiker, camper, fisherman, hunter or backyard enthusiast this is the perfect workshop for you. Have you ever wished you could put together your outdoor meals in a Dutch Oven, but had no idea where to begin? As part of this class, the White Stallion Ranch provides each guest with a Dutch Oven to keep.

Dave Lookingbill provides your education from start to finish. You will be guided through seasoning your Dutch Oven, cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner and a dessert during your four night stay.  A special wine tasting evening will help you pair the best ‘vino’ with your meal.  There will be some class work and lots of hands-on experience.

Dutch Oven workshop

Dave Lookingbill

Dave was born and raised on rural Idaho farmland, where his mother instilled a love of good food and slow cooking in all of her children.  Dave’s life as a wrangler and farrier covered most of the American West when he found himself at Saguaro Lake Ranch, in Mesa, Arizona 40 years ago.  It was there he found a big, old Dutch Oven and began experimenting with traditional recipes.  Dave was soon catering Western events as a featured cook, and today his friends will tell you there’s nothing he can’t make in a Dutch Oven.

White Stallion Ranch’s cooking workshop leaves plenty of time to enjoy the many amenities of the ranch including some amazing trail rides.  The ranch offers a heated pool, fitness center, recreation room and guided hikes.  Your tuition includes a margarita welcome party to meet the chef, lodging, all meals, ranch activities, horseback riding, airport transfers from Tucson, the Dutch Oven classes, tax and service charge.

Cost:  $1,025/person based on double occupancy, Single $1,275.00 inclusive.  Prices include tax and service charge.

cooking workshop

Dutch Oven Provençal Chicken Stew

At White Stallion Ranch, the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch is carefully blended with the service and amenities of a fine resort. Reconnect with nature, family, friends and serenity while riding through the unspoiled desert, rugged mountains and cactus that have brought Hollywood film-makers to the ranch for over 70 years.

Arizona Guest Ranch

White Stallion Ranch

White Stallion Ranch is a proud member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame as the #1 property in Tucson for 5 consecutive years. The ranch is situated between Phoenix and Tucson, making it easy accessible from Arizona’s two major airports.

Don’t miss out on this unique cooking workshop and be sure to tell the ranch that you heard about it here on RanchSeeker’s blog.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!

A Thanksgiving Feast at The Ranch at Rock Creek!

November 9th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

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.

Thanksgiving

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 Parade

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.

Thanksgiving Celebration

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.

 The Ranch at Rock Creek

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!

November 4th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

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.

Georgia Guest Ranch

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.

Southern Cross Guest Ranch

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.

Georgia Guest Ranch

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!