Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

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

Friday, June 12th, 2015

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.

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Where Every Day is Better than the Last

Formerly the Wood V-X Cattle Ranch, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is one of Idaho’s renowned ranches. Winner of the Gene Kilgore 2015 World’s Best Ranches Award and recognized as one of Equitrekking Top 20 Ranches, the ranch offers a variety of cabin rental and packages for all seasons. Whether you’re heading to Sandpoint, Idaho alone, with friends or with your family, this is the place to be. The following lines will explain why.

Western Pleasures Ranch

The History of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

The ranch was founded by Riley Wood in 1942 as a cattle ranch. He formerly lived and farmed in Colorado before discovering an ad for the land in Northern Idaho. After traveling with his wife Gladys there, they fell in love with the area and moved to Gold Creek with the rest of their family. By 1957, his son Jim purchased the 960 acres and started expanding the ranch, establishing the ranch as it is today.

Currently, the ranch is run by Jim’s daughter Janice and her husband Roley. Janice had grown up on the ranch long before it became the Western Pleasure dude ranch. After marrying her high school sweetheart, they moved away to pursue Roley’s career. However, they returned six years after he earned a degree in business administration. Now, their children, Danielle and Isaac are continuing the legacy and settling their own families at the ranch.

What to Expect During Your Visit

If you decide to head to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, trust that every day will be special. There is just so much to see and do there that you won’t be bored despite the lack of technology.

A Variety of Horses Raised on the Ranch – You get to enjoy riding horses that were born on the ranch. In fact, the Ranch Matriarch Katie has given birth to ten of the best horses on the ranch and has some of her grandchildren helping out. Whether you’re riding on their backs or being pulled by them in sleighs, rest assured that you will be in safe hooves.

Ranch Horses

Exciting Trail Rides – The ranch offers two-hour guided trail rides for people who haven’t chosen its inclusive package or those not staying at the ranch. During one of these, you can enjoy wonderful views of natural beauties such as the Lake Pend Oreille and the Cabinet Mountains.

Trail Riding

Variety of Summer Packages – You can determine how to celebrate your summer through the ranch’s special summer packages. In addition to the Lake to Lodge Kayak Adventure on Lake Pend Oreille, you can opt for the seven-night Ranch, Raft and Rest package, Mountain to Lake Spa package, or the Kootenai River Fishing package. These packages start from $925 plus Idaho Lodging and Sales Tax, making them quite affordable.

River Rapids

Equally Exhilarating Winter Packages – To enjoy winter to the fullest, you can choose the Log Cabin Getaway Schweitzer Ski package, Lodge Room Getaway Schweitzer Ski package, Snowmobile package, Spa package, and Cross-Country Ski package. Other winter activities you’ll love are sleigh rides and Nordic trails.

Winter Guest Ranch

Fun Children’s Packages – Children will love the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch’s Children’s Program. Designed for children aged 8 and 18, the program offers them hands-on experiences with horses and their care. Children will also receive trophies and ribbons which they can show off back home. On the other hand, you have the Youth Horsemanship Program for children between 10-16 years, whose parents aren’t on the ranch. All you need for these programs is the right apparel, cowboy boots, a riding helmet, and a sleeping bag.

Kids Ranch Activities

Adrenaline Pumping Adult Retreats – Tap into your inner cowgirl or cowboy during a five night getaway. Scheduled between September 6th and 11th, 2015, the Adult Horsemanship session will offer you the opportunity of cozying up in the lodge’s rooms while enjoying wholesome ranch cooking, horseback riding lessons and trail riding.

Wide Range of Amenities at the Lodge – While staying at the ranch, you can avail a number of amenities including the Greet Room for dining, the upstairs Loft, the Recreation room, outdoor hot tub, and playground among others.

Hot Tub

The Bottom Line

With bed and breakfast stay during summer starting from $145, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to book your next holiday at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. You can save further by opting for one of the available packages, but make sure to book early to get a spot at this wonderful Idaho dude ranch.

Bar W Guest Ranch

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Bar W Guest Ranch – A Western Vacation for the Whole Family

If you want to slip away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the rolling ridges of the countryside, Bar W Guest Ranch is where you should be. Stretched on 3,000 acres on Spencer Lake in Whitefish, Montana, the ranch is open all year round to extend true western hospitality to all its guests, be it through its accommodation options or variety of activities. So whether you’re planning your upcoming winter vacation or your summer holidays next year, read on to find out why Bar W is where you should be.

Bar W Guest Ranch

A Look at the Past of Bar W Guest Ranch

Before it evolved into a dude ranch, Bar W was the sanctuary of a father who wanted to escape the chaos of his workplace. Former world-class skier and outdoorsman Dave Leishman moved permanently to Montana with his wife Jan and his daughters Meghan and Emily after falling in love with the western way of life. Previously, he and his girls would visit a ranch in Northwest Montana where they would ride, work, interact with interesting people, and enjoy the rodeo experience. However, short holidays weren’t enough, which is when he decided to partner with Double D Guest Ranch’s owner Phil Dukes to buy his own.

Bar W Guest Ranch

Why It’s Time that You Drop By Bar W

Under Dave’s and Phil’s leadership, Bar W Guest Ranch received numerous accolades, including the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014, Signature Ranch Best of Horseback Riding in 2012 and 2013, and Signature Ranch Best Dining 2012. These alone make the dude ranch worth exploring, but here are more reasons that truly make it stand out.

Dogs Welcomed – Bar W Guest Ranch truly is for the whole family, including members on all four feet. While you can’t keep them inside the lodge or cabin, they’ll be comfortably placed in stalls in the barn and provided with relaxing beds, shavings and water. Just remember to have your pet on a leash while roaming the ranch.

Best Horse Riding Experience in Montana – Dave and his girls hardly knew how to ride when they visited their first dude ranch. However, they’ve come a long way and use their experience to help their guests. As a horse-oriented ranch, Bar W offers an advanced and diversified equestrian program and boasts the best trainers in the area. You can explore the mountainous beauty of Montana, especially the peaks of the Stryker Range, meadows of Swisher Lake, and open prairie of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Horseback Riding at Bar W Guest Ranch

 

A Wide Variety of Activities – If your idea of a vacation entails a lot of action, this is where you should be. The ranch provides a range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, skeet shooting, fishing at Spencer Lake or Trout Pond, archery, wagon rides, and steer wrestling. Guests can also take part in the rodeo, which features barrel racing and pole bending along with other activities.

Bar W Ranch Rodeo

Three Types of Lodging – Bar W offers three accommodation options to suit different needs: traditional western lodge, rustic cabin suites, and unique Glamping tents. The main lodge features six rooms, three common spaces, and a game parlor. In addition to promising comfort, the lodge overlooks the horse pasture and allows you to enjoy the wildlife making its way through the wetlands around Spencer Lake. As for the cabin, it was designed by Montana’s skilled Amish to overlook the pasture and surrounding forest. There are two suites you can choose from, both of which boast hand-crafted log furniture and a rustic design. Finally, the Glamping (GLAMorous camPING) tents allow you to enjoy an informal western feel without compromising on luxury. With each tent, you get a queen size bed, futon, kitchenette and private porch. However, the tents are only available between May 1st and October 31st.

Glamping at Bar W Guest Ranch

Indoor Evening Entertainment – The 60×100 indoor arena is used to improve riders’ skills or train the horses. However, it’s also where you can get together with everyone to enjoy live band music, dancing and an ol’ fashioned hoe-down. You can even book the arena for a wedding, company party or reunion during your vacation.

All Year Round Activities – Unlike most dude ranches, this Montana gem is open all year-round. So even if you can’t make it in summer, you’re welcome to enjoy the different activities offered in winter, including snowshoeing or hiking the ridge near Spencer Lake, dog sledding, ice fishing, pigeon shooting, and sleigh ride dinners. You can also relax in the peaceful surrounding in a nice hot tub on the ranch or at one of the nearby day spas.

winter dude ranch

Numerous Events Around the Area – Whitefish offers its visitors a wide range of events, including the Winter Stroll along Main Street and the Winter Carnival to crown the Royalty. To ensure that you don’t miss out on these, the ranch’s website details monthly Whitefish events.

Different Package for Different People – Bar W offers a variety of packages, including CowGirl-Up, Western Cattle Drives, Adults Only Week, and Photography Week. During off-peak months, the least you can expect to pay is $75 + tax per night for only your room. However, rest assured that you get more than your money’s worth at the ranch by going for a more comprehensive package.

The Bottom Line

Overall, Bar W Guest Ranch has a lot to offer, especially if you and your family enjoy horseback riding. So don’t miss your chance to indulge in an authentic cowboy lifestyle while enjoying a little luxury on the side.

A Closer Look at Laughing Water Ranch

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

A Unique Trail Riding Ranch in the Rocky Mountains

Nestled in the Kootenai National Forest at 3,200 ft. on top of Montana’s northern Rockies, Laughing Water Ranch offers visitors a look at the pristine beauty which made the Kootenai and Salish Indian tribes fall in love with the place. Close to the Glacier Park and Whitefish and Columbia Falls, the dude ranch promises miles and miles of trails spread across its 200 acres of rolling timber and pasture land.

Laughing water ranch

What Makes the Ranch at Laughing Water Special

Whether you’re in the mood for adventure or simply relaxing, the Ranch at Laughing Water offers the amenities you’ll need and more. To learn about what you can expect during your stay, skim through the following points.

Variety of Accommodation Options – There are three accommodation choices for you to pick from: Large Family Cabin, Duplex Cabins and Main Lodge Rooms. The first option comes with two bedrooms and an open loft. Large enough to accommodate 12 individuals, the cabin features a western theme and is surrounded by Montana’s unique beauty. The duplex cabins provide guests with their own private bath and covered porch. As for the lodge’s 4 two-room suites, these allow visitors full access to the dining and game rooms in the building. You can also snuggle up in front of the fire at the center of the family room, dining room, and adult lounge.

Numerous Fun Activities that Match the Season – Open during both summer and winter, the ranch offers a variety of activities for both seasons. During summer, you can enjoy horseback riding, fishing, swimming, and hiking. You also get a day at Glacier Park where you enjoy horseback rides by day, white water raft trips in the afternoon, and a rodeo show in the evening. Meanwhile, in winter, you can ride in the snow and enjoy activities such as snow shoeing and cross country skiing. In addition, you get a day out to enjoy dog sledding.

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Bar W Guest Ranch

Monday, December 15th, 2014

A Western Vacation for the Whole Family

If you want to slip away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the rolling ridges of the countryside, Bar W Guest Ranch is where you should be. Stretched on 3,000 acres on Spencer Lake in Whitefish, Montana, the ranch is open all year round to extend true western hospitality to all its guests, be it through its accommodation options or variety of activities. So whether you’re planning your upcoming winter vacation or your summer holidays next year, read on to find out why Bar W is where you should be.

A Look at the Past of Bar W Guest Ranch

Before it evolved into a dude ranch, Bar W was the sanctuary of a father who wanted to escape the chaos of his workplace. Former world-class skier and outdoorsman Dave Leishman moved permanently to Montana with his wife Jan and his daughters Meghan and Emily after falling in love with the western way of life. Previously, he and his girls would visit a ranch in Northwest Montana where they would ride, work, interact with interesting people, and enjoy the rodeo experience. However, short holidays weren’t enough, which is when he decided to partner with Double D Guest Ranch’s owner Phil Dukes to buy his own.

Why It’s Time that You Drop By Bar W

Under Dave’s and Phil’s leadership, Bar W Guest Ranch received numerous accolades, including the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014, Signature Ranch Best of Horseback Riding in 2012 and 2013, and Signature Ranch Best Dining 2012. These alone make the dude ranch worth exploring, but here are more reasons that truly make it stand out.

Dogs Welcomed – Bar W Guest Ranch truly is for the whole family, including members on all four feet. While you can’t keep them inside the lodge or cabin, they’ll be comfortably placed in stalls in the barn and provided with relaxing beds, shavings and water. Just remember to have your pet on a leash while roaming the ranch.

(more…)