Sundance Guest Ranch

June 28th, 2015 by Ashlie Dove

Your Rustic Home in British Columbia’s Thompson River Valley

If you’re in the mood to experience Canadian hospitality, Sundance Guest Ranch is where you should be. Located outside Ashcroft, a small town with history dating back to the Gold Rush Days, Sundance is a three-star working ranch in Thompson River Valley. There are 22 rooms, which are simple, yet comfy enough to guarantee a good night’s sleep. You’ll especially need plenty of ample rest if you’re planning on enjoying the dude ranch’s top activity: horseback riding.

Sundance Guest Ranch

If this inspires you to head to Sundance Guest Ranch, read on to find out why it has received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the years 2013 and 2014.

The Sundance Guest Ranch Experience

Sundance truly offers its visitors a memorable experience promising its guests that” A feat it promises through its tagline “the first time, it’s a vacation – after that, it’s coming home”. Situated just four hours from Vancouver, BC, the ranch is accessible through three scenic routes. These will give you an idea of what you’re going to enjoy at the dude ranch, starting from panoramic views of the Thompson River Valley to the varied terrain promising ensuring you the ride of your life.

If you enjoy horseback riding, this is the perfect place for you. Sundance Guest Ranch usually breaks up its guests into groups based on their horse riding experience. However, you can always request to be grouped with your friends and family members regardless of everyone’s abilities. That way, you can have more fun with the people you love. If you’re worried about safety, don’t. The ranch won’t let you leave without an experienced wrangler. In addition to instructing you on how to enjoy your ride safely, they’ll share their 30 years of experience in the riding the area, ensuring that you enjoy mesmerizing views that can stop you in your tracks.

Horseback Riding

If you’re visiting the dude ranch in summer, you don’t have to worry about hot temperatures on horseback. The ranch will skip afternoon rides and offer beautiful evening rides instead. Meanwhile, you can soak in the guest ranch’s heated pool, catch up on some reading on one of the outdoor decks, or simply sleep through the heat in your air-conditioned room. Once the sun sets, you can saddle up for a twilight ride after which you can enjoy a generous table filled with a variety of refreshments.

Now that you have worked up an appetite, this is the best time to discuss the dining experience at Sundance Ranch. For breakfast, you’re welcome to you can select from a large variety of dishes at the breakfast buffet or order the daily special from the grill. As for the other two meals, you’ll indulge your senses in charcoal-grilled steaks or pick from international cuisine offerings. Complementing your meals is a selection of wine and the view of their 100 horses running in the pastures.

If you are in the mood for a lively atmosphere, the adults-only BYOB bar lounge is perfect. Featuring a stone fireplace and large bar, the lounge is a social hub. On Saturday nights the lounge features a weekly country-rock dance with DJ.

Sundance Guest Ranch Lounge

Why Sundance Guest Ranch Should Be Your Next Destination

If you’re in the area up till October 18th, 2015 and want another home away from home, Sundance Guest Ranch is the perfect fit. The following are some perks you can enjoy while staying at the ranch.

  • Affordable Daily Rates – Adults are charged $275 while children are charged starting from $35. For these rates, you get to enjoy comfortable accommodation, delicious meals and two horseback rides per day. You also gain access to all the ranch’s facilities.
  • Rustic Yet Comfortable Rooms – Though you may want to rough it up a little at Sundance, the guest ranch ensures that you remain comfortable. Featuring a rustic design with wood décor, the rooms are air-conditioned and come with comfy beds and private bathrooms.
Sundance Guest Ranch
  • Indoor Amenities – Aside from the pool and decks, you can enjoy the offerings of Sundance Ranch’s free-play games room, billiards room and movie lounge. If you want, you can schedule a massage with the ranch’s registered RMT.
  • Stag Getaway Packages – To have some fun before tying the knot, schedule a stag or stagette getaway at the ranch. In addition to western themed games, you’ll get complimentary Happy Hour drinks, Saturday night dances, and a karaoke machine.
  • Range of Specials – For this season, Sundance Guest Ranch offers different specials including a Kids Summer Special, a 10% Greenhorn Discount, Young Guns Package, and an Early Booking Discount.
  • Special Events Year-Round – To celebrate different events such as the end of summer school holidays or the Thanksgiving weekend, the ranch offers special treats to its visitors.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want a couple’s getaway, a Western themed stag/stagette party or a place where the whole family can enjoy during summer, Sundance Guest Ranch is one place you should seriously consider.

 

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Laughing Water Ranch

June 15th, 2015 by Ashlie Dove

Let Laughing Water Ranch be your Montana adventure destination for your next vacation. Located in Fortine, Montana, this authentic western dude ranch is situated against the foot hills of the Whitefish Divide. It encompasses 220 breathtaking acres of mountain timber and rolling pastures which is nestled in a beautiful valley just west of Glacier National Park and bordered on three sides by the Kootenai National Forest.

With miles and miles of scenic trails available for riding throughout the public lands of the National Forest mountain trail riding is Laughing Water Ranch’s main focus. There are nice and easy rides for the novice rider to the low lakes and more challenging rides for the more advanced rider on high country trails. Colourful names such as the “Trail of Tears,” “Laughing Water Overlook,” and the “North Fork of Deep Creek Trail” will become part of your everyday vocabulary when signing up for a ride while staying at the ranch. Since Laughing Water Ranch is the only dude ranch in the area you will enjoy visiting nearby lakes, stopping for lunch by babbling brooks and taking in scenic vistas uninterrupted by other riders.

Montana Guest Ranch

Laughing Water Ranch

There are other activities to fill your days as well. From fishing, hiking and swimming in the summer months to cross-county skiing, snow-shoeing, ice-fishing and even dog sledding in the winter. During the year the ranch also features specialty weeks that shouldn’t be missed out on. “Cattle Drives”, “Ladies Only”, “Horse Confidence”, “Extreme Trail Rider”, “Wild West Week”, “Hands on Horse Week” and “Kids Hands on Horse Week” will have you coming back again and again.

Laughing Water Ranch’s friendly, personable staff will ensure that you and your travelling companions enjoy your guest ranch vacation to the fullest while being treated to delicious western cuisine, comfortable accommodations in either their lodge rooms or cabins and fun filled days exploring Montana’s wilderness.

Happy Trails!

7 Activities You Can Enjoy at Dude Ranches (Which Don’t Entail Horses!)

June 12th, 2015 by Ashlie Dove

While many dude ranches tend to emphasize on their horseback riding packages, they do offer more amenities and activities to please all their guests. If you haven’t booked a dude ranch holiday yet simply because you don’t want to go horseback riding, here are seven activities that you can enjoy sans horses.

#1) Fishing

Fishing at dude ranches is special because you get to indulge in your favorite hobby in a wide, open space or near the mountains. You also get to experience the thrill of watching fish rise to your offering through the clean, clear waters of nearby springs or ponds. If you’re a fishing enthusiast and want to fish this holiday, the following dude ranches are great.

The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch – An upscale working cattle in Shell, WY, The Hideout boasts 10 miles of creeks, casting ponds and challenging streams of the Cody and Yellowstone Park. If you’re in the mood for brook trout, brown, Yellowstone Cutthroat and rainbow, this is where you should be.

Fishing at The Hideout Lodge

Vista Verde Guest Ranch – If you’re planning on visiting the Rocky Mountains, head to Vista Verde and get the chance to be engulfed in serenity while fishing for rainbows, mountain whitefish and grayling. The ranch also offers high quality gear, including Sage rods and Simms boots, but you’re welcome to purchase equipment from the Fly Hut.

Spotted Horse Ranch – Located in Jackson Hole, WY, the Spotted Horse is perfect for fly fishing as it has access to some of the best streams and rivers for trout. You can also choose to go on a guided fishing trip or attend a casting lesson on Monday afternoons.

Bar Lazy J – Nestled on ¾ mile of the Colorado River, Bar Lazy J provides its guests with a memorable fly fishing experience. You can also cast your lure in the stocked trout pond, go on a fly fishing guided tour, or attend the Fishing Clinic lessons to improve your technique.

The Bar W Guest Ranch – This dude ranch offers ranch fishing at the Spencer Lake during summer, allowing you to catch small bass fish and even pikes. As one of Montana’s finest, The Bar W also provides access to the best fly fishing facilities and can hook you up with lake fishing within Flathead Valley.

Colorado Trails Ranch – A self-proclaimed Trout Haven, Colorado Trails has over two miles of private water on the Florida River, offering its guests excellent fishing spots on cold mountain streams. You can opt for a half-day fishing trip or a full-day one.

Crystal Waters – If you want to fish year-round in British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin, Crystal Waters Ranch is perfect. You can fish at Crystal Lake between May and mid –July and again from September to late October. Once the lake freezes over, you can go on an ice fishing trip and catch rainbows as well as other local fish.

#2) Wall Climbing and Obstacle Courses

If you have adventure flowing through your veins but don’t want to ride horses any time soon, you can get thrills and chills while climbing walls or challenging yourself at a dude ranch’s obstacle course. Some of the ranches which offer this facility are:

Red Horse Mountain Ranch Idaho’s prominent dude ranch offers a challenge course and climbing wall which will keep your mind and body fit. While challenging, the 63 ft. climbing wall, 30 ft. platform, and 300 ft. zip line are checked and maintained regularly for your safety.

Climbing Wall

Climbing wall at Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Red Reflet Ranch – In addition to guiding you to explore several climbing sites, you can flex your shooting skills at the rifle range or go skeet shooting.

Vista Verde – Offering a twice weekly trip to climbing areas in the National Forest, the ranch will take you on a short hike up the climbing rock, where you can even learn climbing and rappelling.

White Stallion Ranch – If this is your first time climbing, White Stallion’s certified instructors will help you against the boulders located at the eastern end of the ranch. The ranch offers eight 25′ to 35′ climbs, but will expand to 125’ – 150’ climbs in the future.

#3) Archery

Archery is one of the popular non-riding activities at dude ranches, especially on days when you want to be outdoors but not out on the range. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games or DC’s The Arrow, you can perfect your archery skills at the following ranches.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch – This dude ranch provides an archery course where you get to build or improve your shooting abilities at 12 shooting stations. Perfect for both families and group events, this activity will ensure that you feel adventurous.

The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch – The Hideout invites you to its newest archery range, which feature professional archery mats instead of bales of hay and straw. The wranglers promise to “help you and set you up for a great Robin Hood time.

Bar W Ranch – Offered during summer, the archery program at Bar W focuses on teaching using recurve and compound style bows. Rest assured that you’ll hit a bulls eye every time in the future.

#4) ATV Rides

If you’d rather ride an ATV, many dude ranches will deliver. In fact, this experience will stand out since you’ll be riding through scenic trails surrounding the ranch. Here are some places where you can rent ATVs on the side.

Crystal Waters Ranch – The ranch offers to book you a tour with the nearby Cariboo ATV Tours. While on their tour, you’ll discover the natural beauty of British Columbia and explore remote lakes during your breaks.

Red Reflet Ranch – Red Reflet has 20 ATVs, four of which are for children. After instructing you on how to use the vehicle safely, you can explore the nearby trails via tours or groups.

Bar 10 Ranch – Bar 10 offers the most exciting ATV adventure, allowing you to ride through the Grand Canyon’s 217-mile-long, 6250-foot-deep gorge. You can pick between 90 minute tours to full day ones to truly explore the place.

ATV Rides

ATV Rides at Bar 10 Ranch

#5) Bird Watching

Most dude ranches are far away from civilization. As a result, you get to explore different flora and fauna than you do in the city. Even if you don’t want to leave the ranch, you can see different species as they hop on nearby branches and chirp their hearts out. And this is what Howard Creek Ranch has to offer. The ranch has a list of local species sorted out by the months you can watch them in. For instance, of you want to catch a glimpse of robins or scrub jays, visit the ranch in June.

#6) Cooking Classes

If you want to make your vacation a special one, learn a new skill such as cooking. Dude ranches are known for creating delicious dishes with special flavors you can’t copy without chef’s recipes. At Vista Verde Ranch, you can enroll in the ranch’s weekly cooking class to learn the secrets of bread baking, formal dinner recipes and much more. By the time you go home, you’ll know much more than microwaving meals. You can also join wine tasting classes to learn about wines and develop your knowledge on the topic.

Culinary adventures

Culinary adventures at Vista Verde Ranch

#7) Spa

Though you may want to rough it up during your vacation, you can’t expect to transform from a city slicker overnight. This is where a spa treatment will be valuable. Not only do spas offer the perfect balance to ranch life, but they also give you a chance to enjoy indoors while others are out on the trails. One of the relaxing ranch spas in British Columbia is Echo Valley Ranch, which specializes in Thai skin care, massages, and scalp and hair therapies. The authentic Baan Thai spa also offers western style treatments which you can try during your stay.

Spa services

Spa Services at Echo Valley Ranch

To enjoy these activities, book your next vacation at any of the suggested dude ranches or search through our database for facilities which offer them.

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Red Horse Mountain Ranch

June 8th, 2015 by Ashlie Dove

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is located on 300,000 acres in Harrison, Idaho and is the ideal retreat for those looking for relaxation, adventure, and a little western hospitality. Here you will find just the right blend of outdoor adventure and rustic luxury on your all-inclusive guest ranch vacation. All Inclusive family dude ranch vacations are available from June through August and couples dude ranch vacations are available in September and October. Special ranch weeks include Wine Tasting and Girl’s Getaway weeks. There is also a Kid’s Program for ages 3 and up.

There are a wide range of activities to choose from at the ranch. You can take in the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains from atop a horse or go on a self-guided hike or guided hike to explore the many trails around the ranch. There is also 3D archery, fishing, geo-caching, kayaking, mountain biking, sporting clays, and white-water rafting to fill your days. At Red Horse Mountain there are packages to suit everyone in your group.

Idaho Guest Ranch

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

When the sun goes down you can socialize with fellow guests during cocktail hour and after a dinner join in on the evening activities or simply sit in one of the hot-tubs and marvel at Montana’s star filled sky. Once you are ready to turn in for the night there are private guest cabins or lodge suits to choose from. Private cabins feature 1-2 bedrooms, multiple baths, sitting rooms, microwaves, refrigerators, private decks, and semi-private hot tubs. Lodge suites feature luxurious queen bedrooms, sitting areas, private baths, microwaves, refrigerators, and beautiful views of the surrounding valley.

With all inclusive packages, a wide range of outdoor activities, great food, and fantastic amenities, Red Horse Mountain Ranch truly has something for everyone. Start your family tradition this season at Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Southern Cross Guest Ranch

June 3rd, 2015 by Ashlie Dove

Considered “One of America’s Best Dude Ranches” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Southern Cross Guest Ranch, is a wonderful All-Inclusive vacation in a horse lover’s paradise. It is conveniently located in Central Georgia’s Historic Heartland and is within an hour’s drive from Atlanta. The ranch is best known for its exceptional hands-on horseback riding program, unguided riding opportunities, and peaceful, comfortable setting and is also home to well over 150 quality Paint and Quarter horses.

There are various activities to choose from while staying at Southern Cross Guest Ranch but horseback riding is the featured activity. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider they have the horse for you. Lessons are available for those that need them and each rider is assigned their own horse for the duration of their stay based on their skill level. For a true hands-on and bonding experience you are encouraged to groom and help tack your horse. Rides consist of small groups of three to seven people and will take you across beautiful open pastures and lush wooded trails and the climate in Georgia is ideal for horseback riding all year round.

Georgia Guest Ranch

Southern Cross Guest Ranch

Other activities at the ranch include swimming in the pool, soaking in the hot tub, relaxing with a good book, playing pool, darts or foosball in the game room, riding mountain bikes, throwing horseshoes, shooting basketball or simply taking a nap after a delicious home-cooked meal. You can also use the ranch’s convenient location to visit many of Georgia’s local attractions like golf courses, shopping, fishing, skeet shooting, museums, and more. It’s your vacation and you can choose to be as active or restful as you want to be while staying at Southern Cross Guest Ranch.

The ranch prides itself in providing good old southern hospitality, delightful accommodations, exceptional cuisine and a guest ranch experience for its guests year round. So for your next vacation why not consider Southern Cross Guest Ranch?
Happy Trails!