Enjoy the Cold Season in a Rustic Setting of a Dude Ranch
If you want to enjoy the beauty of winter in a setting different from home, you’ll be glad to know that dude ranches are open during the colder season. In addition to allowing you to watch the falling snow while cozying up with a loved one in front of the fire, ranches open in winter host a different set of winter activities like snow-shoeing, ice skating and horseback riding through snow. So if you’re sold to the idea of heading to a dude ranch this winter, here are three great options you should seriously consider.
#1) Echo Valley Ranch and Spa
Nominated as TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice, Echo Valley Ranch and Spa is nestled in the mountains of British Columbia. A few hours away from Vancouver, the ranch is an all-natural treat where Canadian wildlife grazes peacefully around and the mountain spring water reflects the same purity as the air. On the inside, the rooms are warm and comfortable while the exclusive Royal Suite promises privacy and total relaxation. However, if you’d rather stay at a cabin, you can take your pick from a number of unique types available at EV Ranch.
If you’re in the area during winter, make sure to avail the Winter Ranch Vacation Getaway between December 12, 2014 and January 5, 2015. Some of the great offerings of this vacation package include:
• A glass of champagne or mulled wine on your arrival
• Guided snowshoeing walks every day
• Ice fishing at the nearest lake with the ranch’s own equipment
• Cross Country skiing
• Thai yoga stretching classes every day
• Weekly Thai banquet and Thai dancing
• Weekly cooking demonstrations
For a minimum of $186 per person per night (Canadian $210), you’ll also get to use all the ranch’s facilities, including free Wi-Fi, a heated swimming pool, games room, Karaoke, and fitness center.
Echo Valley Ranch
#2) Lone Mountain Ranch
Established as a cattle ranch in 1915, Lone Mountain Ranch is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Montana. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places, giving it a significant role in the history of the state as well as the guest ranch industry nationwide. You can still see many century-old original structures on the dude ranch, including the Meadowlark guest cabin, corrals and barns. Lone Mountain also flaunts exclusive Northern Rocky Mountain cuisine delicacies such as elk chops.
If you want to head to Montana this winter and rough things up a little, the Winter Discovery Package at Lone Mountain Ranch will cost you $2,300 per week per adult. For this price, you’ll get the following perks:
• A choice between cabins and rooms in Ridgetop Lodge
• Access to Nordic trails and snowshoe trails
• Sleigh ride dinner
• Ski and snowshoe rental
• Gourmet BBQ trail lunch between January and March
• Evening programs at the Ranch saloon
For a little extra, you can add other things to this list, including Yellowstone Park snowcoach tours, ski lessons, and massage therapy.
Lone Mountain Ranch
#3) Big Bar Guest Ranch
Six hours away from Vancouver and nestled in the Marble Range of the Southern Cariboo in British Columbia, Big Bar Guest Ranch is the perfect place to experience rustic living just like the cowboys. Its main attraction is the Harrison House, which was built on the land in 1936. On the inside, it welcomes guests to relax and enjoy the warmth of a fireplace built with rocks from the Fraser River. Surrounding the house is an extensive lawn where you can play soccer, badminton or even horseshoes. After a long day, you’re welcome at the communal dining room where you can enjoy authentic ranch delicacies in hearty portions.
Now if you plan to head to Big Bar Guest Ranch during the colder season, be prepared to be welcomed by plenty of snowfall. The serenity of the area combined with the cozy atmosphere inside the cabins will make you forget your worries back home. You can also visit the nearby pond to skate, go ice fishing, or explore the surrounding country either on skis, snowshoes or even horseback. Currently, the winter rates are $150 per night for cabins, $25 per stay for the ski pass, and $65 per person for each ride.
One thing you should know is that the dude ranch’s restaurant will be closed, so you’ll be cooking your meals in your cabin’s fully equipped kitchen. However, if you plan to be at the ranch during Christmas, you can celebrate with a traditional meal with the ranchers and other guests for an additional fee.
Big Bar Ranch
So whether you plan on spending your winter dude ranch vacation indoors or out in the snow, check out these three options first for the best experience around.