California’s Marble Mountain Guest Ranch

April 28th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

The following article appeared in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 5th edition.

California usually evokes images of surfboards, bikini-clad girls, tanned beach-goers, Hollywood stars and authentic Mexican food, but this “sunny state” also has a different, more adventurous side for you to discover!  Somes Bar in northwest California is home to the Marble Mountain Guest Ranch where guests can experience an all-inclusive, unparalleled ‘summit to sea’ vacation. Families and groups with diverse interests and needs will easily be entertained and engaged throughout their stay owing to the many activities to choose from as well as a youth buckaroo program.

Marble Mountain Guest Ranch is a true family-owned and operated business. Since 1981 the Cole family has been welcoming guests into their home and, as of 1970, they have been in the outfitting, guiding and dude ranch industry. Unlike many guest ranches, all of the activities are personally outfitted and guided by Marble Mountain Guest Ranch family members, which eliminates the handing over of guests to third-party vendors and does away with long shuttle rides to off-site locations. This hands-on attention enables the ranch to maintain the highest level of quality control and risk management, while providing its guests with exceptional individualized hospitality.  The guest ranch’s signature all-inclusive “saddle and paddle” or “raft and ride” vacation options coupled with its superb dining experience is sure to satisfy even the pickiest traveler in your group.

California Guest Ranch

Marble Mountain Ranch

Horseback riders will be awed by the stunning scenery of the Klamath National forest which provides thrilling mountain trail riding through ancient Douglas Fir stands to high vistas with views across deep river valleys and granite ridge tops. Riders and horses alike will find themselves challenged by an ever-evolving backdrop of dramatic, rugged landscapes. All of the horseback rides are designed to match individual groups’ riding experience with a ratio of 6 riders to 1 wrangler. There are also plenty of opportunities for novice riders and younger riders including round-pen and arena horse riding instruction

The ranch’s signature “raft and ride” program enables guests to either ride or sign up for various sport shooting and sporting clays activities available in the cooler mornings and then take part in the rafting trips in the warmer afternoons. Guests who choose shooting sports will get to experience the Western Firearms tradition in a sporting non-kill venue. The afternoon Klamath River Rafting program features class II and III beginner and intermediate level rapids and is suited for all ages and experience levels and also provides great swimming opportunities. Guests will find themselves navigating the gentle river currents that pass through the land of Big Foot in the Siskiyou Mountain. Wildlife enthusiasts will have the chance to spot otters, beavers, ospreys, eagles and a myriad of other creatures and perhaps even BIG FOOT himself! For adventure-seekers visiting before the month of July there are stand-alone rafting options on the thrilling California Salmon River, the Scott River, and on Clear Creek. The Cal Salmon, or “Slammin Salmon” is for advanced white-water enthusiasts only who are visiting in the spring, and is not included as part of the normal summer family guest ranch program.

More details are available upon request.

California Guest Ranch

Marble Mountain Ranch

Marble Mountain Guest Ranch’s target audience is families so that your kids, no matter what their age, will depart the ranch with lifelong pen pals from all walks of life and from all across the globe. Exciting activities that are based on traditional Western frontier experiences provide non-stop fun. Little ones enjoy nature walks, arts and crafts, feeding small animals, harvesting chicken eggs and more. Older kids take part in riding games, riding lessons, scenic trail ride adventures, and Western shooting sports at the range. Afternoon excursions include rafting, kayaking, and fishing. Evening activities are all about campfires, lariat challenges, fish-outs, and Western frontier games. At the end of their stay your kids will find it hard to choose which part of the vacation they loved most.

One cannot talk about the thrilling experiences and spectacular scenery at this California guest ranch without also mentioning the food!  Fresh mountain air and invigorating daily outdoor activities stimulate appetites and make mealtimes an important part of a dude ranch vacation. Healthy, hearty, and wholesome meals using only the freshest ingredients and produce cultivated from the ranch’s very own gardens and orchards are something to savour and enjoy every day. Upscale and original cuisine is brought to you by Executive Chef, and ranch co-owner Heidi Cole, who brings to the table over 40 years in the food service industry. Be sure to check out Heidi’s cookbook “Ranch Cooking – Simply Good” available in the ranch’s gift shop.

Last but not least at the end of an action-packed day, guests retire to either cottages or homes. Accommodations include fully furnished deluxe homes and housekeeping cottages with full kitchens, as well as smaller units that come with kitchenettes. Ranch cottages include 1-3 bedrooms that vary in size which can accommodate two people or as large as a group of seven. Every cottage provides beds with linens and towels, bathrooms with toilets as well as showers and a kitchenette.  Breathtaking sunrises in the morning and fiery sunsets in the evenings with a star-studded sky are included at no extra charge.

California Guest Ranch

Marble Mountain Ranch

There isn’t any cell coverage at Marble Mountain Guest Ranch although there is WiFi available in the lodge for those who really need to stay connected during their stay; however, a vacation at this guest ranch is the ideal opportunity to disconnect from technology and maximize family participation as well as reconnect with nature. Although many guest ranches offer great food, incredible scenery, superb hospitality and a marvelous horse program, there aren’t many ranches that excel at providing such a diverse program of activities designed to appeal to mixed interest groups and families.

California, or the Golden State as it is fondly referred to, is more commonly associated with surfers, swimsuits and movie stars, but it is also home to Marble Mountain Guest Ranch, a dude ranch that encompasses a singular all-inclusive outdoor adventure designed specifically for you and your family’s enjoyment.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation destination! www.ranchseeker.com

Happy Trails!

 

 

Now This Is A Great Mother’s Day Idea

April 23rd, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

Moms are the best. They are always there for you, they love and support you no matter what and are someone you can always count on. So how do you show your appreciation for someone so special? Certainly, your mom will love anything you give her but you REALLY want her to love what you give her. There are countless presents you can purchase with each running some risk of not being right in some way. It may be the wrong size, it may be the wrong color, it may not work for her lifestyle or it may be the same thing you get her every year.

Choosing a Mother’s Day present isn’t difficult when you realize that what mothers want most is to spend time with their family. Mom’s love to share experiences and strengthen the bonds of family and create memories to be cherished for years to come. One of the best ways to do this is through traveling together where you are away from everyday worries and routines and can be completely focused on each other. A trip together is one of the best ways to forge the bonds of family and friendship while also engaging in some activity or indulging some interest. Just being away from the everyday, out of a comfort zone of the familiar, is already revitalizing and rejuvenating.

A dude ranch may not be the first place you would think of taking your mom but it is an excellent one, especially if the entire family is going. Dude ranches are like summer camp for the entire family. There are many fun activities to choose from including fishing, hiking, wild life watching, hayrides,and horseback riding so everybody gets to be a kid. Dude ranches tend to be very hospitable, laid back, “authentic” in their own way, and bring out a perpetual smile in everyone there.

mothers day

Aside from the typical activities, some dude ranches have some special offers and packages specifically designed for mom in mind or if you are going on a mother/daughter trip. Many dude ranches have specialty classes such cooking classes and wine tasting classes. Some have on site spas ready to pamper your mom. If you want to be a cowgirl for a week you can do that with some women’s weeks.

Here are some specials just for mom:

Victoria Weekend Spa Getaway at Echo Valley Ranch

Book this special packages at this special East meets West guest ranch and spa in British Columbia, Canada. Echo Valley Ranch features not one but two world class spas: European and Thai. Each spa has their own unique spa treatments that your mom can try.  This package includes all accommodations, meals, use of ranch amenities and a special 5 course British style dinner.

Echo Valley Ranch

 

Mother/ Daughter bonding at Women’s Only Week at Coffee Creek Ranch

 Coffee Creek Ranch is having a women’s only week from May 7 to 13 to celebrate Mother’s day.  Many unique activities are planned for this week including classes where you can learn how to cook healthy meals from scratch, how to bake with ancient grains and even learn how to make lotions and facials from items in your kitchen. Then head outside and go on a hike, a horseback ride or just kick back and stick your feet into the creek.

coffee creek ranch

No matter what you decide, be sure to let her know you appreciate her in every way.

Happy Trails!

More Inspiring Horse Quotes

April 20th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

Images have a powerful way of affecting how we feel and our mood. Seeing a beautiful horse with an inspiring quote is just about the most perfect imagery for me. Here is our second instalment of inspiring horse quotes. I just can’t get enough of these and love to reread these every day.  Here is the first instalment of inspiring horse quotes, if you happened to miss them.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man ~ Winston Churchill

Horse Quotes

The horse knows..He knows if you know..He also knows if you don’t know.

The horse knows

If you’re too busy to ride, then you are too busy

horseback riding

Can you see her smile? That’s true happiness.

horse quotes

Riding is the best solution to any problem

horse quotes

 

Happy Trails!

Horses N Courage, LLC….A Unique Montana Dude Ranch

April 13th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

Come to Big Sky Country and experience a rustic Dude Ranch vacation, Cowgirl Camp or Healing Retreat for Women. Located in Sawmill Canyon in Lennep, Montana this family owned and operated dude ranch combines dude ranching culture with good old western hospitality to make your vacation experience a memorable one. Open to guests from June 1st until September 1st Horses N Courage, can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time so that your stay at the ranch can be customized according to your particular vacation needs. You’ll arrive as a guest but depart as a friend.

 

Accommodations & Meals

This Montana guest ranch offers unique accommodations for those looking for a different kind of ranch experience in the great outdoors. There is no cell phone coverage or WIFI available so that guests can disconnect in order to re-connect with each other as well as their surroundings. Choose from either a wall-tent or a cowboy-teepee.

Montana Dude Ranch

Horses N Courage

Wall-Tents: Clean, cozy wall tents, sleep up to 4 adults comfortably and are furnished with comfortable cots, warm fluffy sleeping bags, extra blankets, throw rug, lantern, a mirror, lawn chair, small table with a wash bowl and a pitcher. The clean, old fashioned out house toilet is a short walk from your tent.

Cowboy-Teepees: Teepee’s sleep one adult or 2 children comfortably, with a cot(s) and a fluffy sleeping bag, extra blankets, a table, lantern, throw rug, lawn chair, a washbowl, pitcher and a mirror. The clean, old fashioned out house toilet is a short walk from your teepee.

Shower: A large, wood-sided outdoor shower that is a self- standing little structure with propane heated water. It sits behind the cook tent, facing the trees, ensuring that you have the utmost privacy!

Guests enjoy rustic, hearty ranch-cooked meals that are prepared outdoors and  served with all the western fixing’s which include ranch raised natural beef, big mountain breakfasts and substantial lunches. All that clean fresh air will have you asking for seconds but make sure you save some room for s’mores around the campfire at night! If you require a special diet, be sure to note it on your contact form in advance, so that the ranch can accommodate your needs. Guests are welcome to bring any favourite snacks or soda with them as well as any alcohol since the ranch is BYOB (Bring your own booze). These items can be stored in the cook tent’s propane powered refrigerator.

 

Montana Dude Ranch

Horses N Courage

Dude Ranch Vacation

If you and your friends or family love horseback riding then this is the vacation choice for you!  This rustic dude ranch package includes either 7 days and 6 nights or 4 days and 3 nights, with wall-tent or cowboy-teepee accommodations and three hearty western ranch-cooked meals per day. With over 2,000 acres of private land to explore on horseback you will have the chance to herd and move cattle while observing the abundant wildlife and taking in the breathtaking mountain scenery. Guests can ride up to 6 hours per day, depending on riding ability and comfort level in the saddle. When not in the saddle guests enjoy mountain hiking, photography, soaking in a natural hot spring pool at White Sulphur Springs, honing roping skills or simply kicking back at night to admire a star filled sky.

 

Montana Dude Ranch

Horses N Courage

Cowgirl Camps

June 23-26 (6 spots left), June 30- July 3 (8 spots left) July 7-10 (8 spots left) July 14-17 (2 spots left) 2016

Calling all wannabee cowgirls! These weekends are for girlfriends, moms, daughters and sisters who want to experience a “cowgirl getaway” in Montana. After learning basic horsemanship you will saddle-up and ride as well as trail cattle and learn to rope. A trip to White Sulphur Springs as well as hiking, photography and wildlife spotting opportunities will round off your weekend fun. On the last night of your stay you and the rest of the gals will enjoy “song & s’mores” while swapping stories around a blazing campfire. An experience like this will stay with you forever!

 

Healing Retreat for Women

Hope, Courage and Healing Retreat for Women Suffering from Emotional Shock and Trauma in the Body (August 11-14, 2016)

This special retreat is for women only and will help those in need get out of the pattern of self-defeat and bring hope, joy and unlimited possibilities through the healing power of the horse in the back country of Sawmill Canyon in Montana.  This is a horseback riding Healing Retreat for Women Veterans and Women Suffering from Emotion Shock and Trauma in the Body. Together with the horses and nature you will be guided through a healing process to help you rediscover aspects of your life that have been lost and help you employ healthy changes in your life.

The retreat focuses on” Healthy Relationships, Emotional Shock and Trauma, Emotions and the Body and Co-Dependency”. Your stay is all-inclusive and includes wall-tent and cowboy teepee accommodations, ranch-style cooked meals, beautiful scenery, horseback riding, a chance to see wildlife, photography opportunities, dummy roping and a soak in a natural hot spring spa to empower the Mind, Body and Spirit.

Learn more about your retreat hosts here: Sarah: http://horsesncourage.com/meet-the-hereim-family/ and Rosie: http://gentlehoofbeats.com/therapyaboutus.htm

 

When the mountains start  calling consider Horses N Courage for your next adventure!

Happy Trails!

 

Dog Friendly Dude Ranch Vacations

April 10th, 2016 by Ashlie Dove

Pets are our best friends and people want to do everything with them including vacation. Since dogs are like members of our families there’s always tough decisions to be made when you decide to go on a vacation. Who will take care of your dog? Where will your dog stay? Will your dog get lonely? Will your dog miss your family? What if an emergency occurs with your dog while you are away? These are not things you would like to be worrying about while you are trying to relax and bond with your family. However, there is a solution. Take your dog with you on a dude ranch vacation.

Dog Friendly Dude Ranches

Dog friendly dude ranches are becoming more popular every year. The dude ranch environment is highly suitable for dogs and with all that glorious outdoor space at their disposal, they will have a blast! Imagine going on a horseback ride with your furry friend happily trotting along beside you. Perhaps on another day your dog can join you for a hike or bike ride on the nature trails. Bring along some toys and enjoy a nice game of frisbee on another day.

Here are some pet friendly dude ranches who welcome dogs and other pets. Each ranch has different rules and expectations for dogs, so contact any dude ranch you’re considering and speak to them about the specifics of their dog-friendly policy before booking. Most fees are pretty nominal and a small price to pay to bring your furry BFF. Most likely your dog will need to be house trained and get along well with other animals and people.

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch welcomes dogs to stay in cabins for only an additional $15 fee per night. They also allow guests to bring their own horses in the Spring and Fall. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is a fourth generation family owned and operated ranch, located on 1100 acres of beautifully scenic North Idaho. They are open year round and very family friendly. There are a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy.

pet friendly dude ranch

YD Guest Ranch

 YD Guest Ranch in British Columbia is pet friendly and all they require is for your dog to be kept on a leash or contained when you are away from the ranch. Your dog will need to be trained to not bark when left on their own as well. Pet’s can stay in tipis and tent-cabins for an extra charge of $20/day. Horses are also welcome. Dry hook up are $35/night and paddocks are $35 for a single horse and $15 for shared. YD Guest Ranch is a luxury adventure ranch featuring unique first class accommodation, exceptional dining and a huge diversity of guided experiences on site. Their accommodations are very unique and you can book a stay in one of their tipis, tent- cabins and tree houses.

pet friendly vacation

Southern Cross Guest Ranch

 Southern Cross Guest Ranch welcomes guests to bring their own horse. Guests can book the All Inclusive Non-Riding plan which includes their lodging and meals.  A stall rental of $15 per night is charged for the horse.  Then you can ride on their trails at any time of the day or night.  They have many repeat guests that do this quite frequently. Southern Cross Guest Ranch is a premier year-round guest ranch and horse farm conveniently nestled in Central Georgia’s Historic Heartland and within an hours drive from Atlanta

Echo Valley Ranch

Echo Valley Ranch is a luxury ranch and world class spa located in British Columbia. They also welcome dogs and horses. Their only requirements for dogs is that they must get along with border collies as the ranch has about 10 over them residing there and the guests must rent a cabin. The additional cost is $20/day. Horses need a certificate of health from a veterinarian and the cost of boarding is $25/day.

dog friendly vacation

Coffee Creek Ranch

Coffee Creek Ranch welcomes animals of all types as long as they are house trained and well socialized. You can bring your dog, cat, rabbit, pig etc. They have dog friendly cabins with outside kennels for your dog to stay in while you are gone for activities. Dogs are not allowed on horseback rides but can join you for walks and hikes on the trails.  The fees are $10/per day for each animal and a refundable cleaning deposit of $10 a day. They also allow you to bring your own horse for $25/day as long as you can verify your horse is current on shots. Coffee Creek Ranch is located Northern California on 357 acres surrounded by National Forest and the Trinity Alps wilderness area.

pet friendly vacations

Happy Trails (Woof)