Posts Tagged ‘vacation ideas’

Riding the Range Cowboy Style!

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 2017 3rd  issue

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam  and the deer and the antelope play……

Almost everyone even remotely acquainted with western folklore is familiar with this refrain from a classic American folk song, “Home on the Range” written in the early 1870’s by  Dr. Brewster M. Higley.   Later on the original verses were slightly modified, set to music and recorded by various big-name singers, Bing Crosby being the first in 1933 and later by Frank Sinatra and Burl Ives.   Home on the Range has since become the unofficial anthem of the American west and the State song of Kansas.  This paen to a “cowboy’s life” also happened to be President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favourite song.

Montana Guest Ranch

Riding the range

Home on the Range’s popularity with its images of the old wild west still resonates with die-hard riding enthusiasts and city slickers alike who relish the thought of a truly authentic western experience of long days riding the range, herding cattle and sleeping out under a canopy of stars.  What could be more exciting to a real western aficionado or a relatively newbie to horseback riding than the adrenalin-rush of riding outdoors on the range, honing equestrian skills and the joy of living a dream.

The good news is that this isn’t just something to dream about since various working ranches offer a limited number of guests the experience of being part of the daily ranch routine of actively riding the range, moving and herding cattle under the expert guidance of family owners and ranch hands.

One such ranch is Horses N Courage, which warmly welcomes guests to its Big Sky back-country spread at Sawmill Canyon south of the Snowy Mountains in Martinsdale, Montana.  Horses N Courage is a rustic working guest ranch which truly evokes the spirit of Home on the Range, owing to the deer, elk and antelope population along with moose, coyotes and bears that inhabit their breathtaking 2,000 acre private range land with its wide open pastures, rolling hills and high mountain views.

Montana Guest Ranch

Horses N Courage

Family owned and operated by Kent and Sarah Hereim since 1997, this working cattle ranch offers 4 day/3 nights riding packages, consisting of range riding on the property of up to 6 hours daily in the saddle according to comfort level and expertise, herding or moving cattle across different terrains and streams.   In addition, there is hiking, wildlife photography or soaking in the nearby White Sulphur Springs.  You can also practice dummy roping skills.

The ranch can accommodate up to 8 guests in four comfortable tents, each containing two cots, sleeping bags, warm blankets, lantern, table, chair and wash bowl. An immaculately clean outdoor toilet and shower are close at hand.

Hearty down-home meals are ranch-prepared and eaten in a communal dining tent.  At night, a campfire and ‘smores add to the western ambience after a hard day in the saddle before tumbling into bed in your cosy tent.  As a BYOB ranch, guests are advised to bring their own alcohol and that smoking is not permitted in tents or on the trails.  There is no wifi or cell phone access thereby providing an “off the grid” break from the cares of normal city life to better focus on the spectacular Montana surroundings and a chance to truly reconnect with nature.

Guests are welcomed at Horses N Courage ranch during the beautiful Montana summer months when the weather is usually warm, dry and sunny. Rustic Working Ranch Riding Vacations are offered on these dates, June 28 – July 1st      (8 spots available) and August 24-27 (4 spots available). For more information please contact the ranch about this and other innovative packages available.

Horses N Courage Ranch provides extensive range riding activities and outdoor camping for a really different, fun kind of ranch vacation. No frills but plenty of thrills!

 

I was born under a wanderin’ sky, wheels are made for rollin’ and mules are made to pack, I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back…..

Written for the musical, Paint Your Wagon in 1951 by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe, this beloved western song exemplifies the spirit of a roving cowboy, always saddling up and moving onto someplace else, such as New Mexico, where the next working ranch is located.

D. H. Lawrence wrote, “I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had.”

Known for its dramatic landscapes of plains, mountains, plateaus and desert grasslands, it’s not difficult to understand the impact New Mexico had on the renowned English novelist, who made Kiowa Ranch in Taos (now known as the D.H. Lawrence Ranch and a popular tourist attraction) his home during the early 1920’s where he wrote The Plumed Serpent.

Burnt Well Guest Ranch lies in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains at an elevation of 4,200 feet, about 40 miles from Roswell, the city of UFO fame, in the sunny arid climate of southeastern New Mexico.   Burnt Well has a long and colourful history of cattle breeding that goes back to the family’s patriarch, Ivan Chesser, who purchased the property in 1950.  Current owners and operators are his son Kim, wife Patricia and their 3rd and 4th generation family. The Chesser family are so passionate about ranching and their way of life, it prompted them to open up the ranch in 2002 to guests wanting to immerse themselves in the lifestyle and daily operation of a working ranch.

New Mexico working ranch

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

The ranch mainly uses quarter horses and not a regular dude string.  Avid horse riders will be pleased to learn there is no nose to tail riding at Burnt well.  Open pasture riding is the norm, unless you opt for a mountain trail ride for your day trip during the 6-day package. Overnight campouts are available as are all types of cattle work depending on the season. Riding and roping lessons are offered to interested guests.

Cattle drive packages are the crème de la crème for physically healthy, adventurous adults, who love to ride, sleep out under the stars, rough it a little and take home never-to-be-forgotten bucket list memories.  This year’s Chisum Challenge Cattle Drive is from October 2-8, 2017.                       For details, please refer to the ranch website.

Ranch dining is good, wholesome food, be it Mexican-themed fare or lots of “cowboy cuisine” such as brisket, chicken fried steak, grilled steak, lamb chops and plenty of country-type cooking served family-style in the main ranch house or outside around the campfire.  The meat served at Burnt Well is Chesser’s own natural beef and lamb….all superbly prepared by Patricia, who can sometimes be persuaded to entertain guests after dinner with her fiddle playing. Occasionally, local musicians are on hand to add to the general merriment.

Guest ranch lodging consists of a comfortable hacienda containing two bedrooms each with its own private bathroom; one bedroom can accommodate a family of 6, the other a family of 4.  There is also a great room, pool table, kitchenette, laundry room, separate bath & horse trough shower (called the privy) and a hot tub on the porch. Guests are allowed to bring their own beverages to consume on the premises.

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is open all year to guests and exudes typical western hospitality with generous, caring hosts who strive to make their guests feel like family.  The ranch offers an exciting array of daily riding activities, packages and the chance of a lifetime to participate fully in the general routine of a genuine working ranch in beautiful New Mexico.

New Mexico working ranch

Live the life of a cowboy

Both of these working ranches offer exceptional opportunities to realize a truly special dream vacation where you get to enjoy a hands-on experience of what a working cowboy’s life is all about and if you’re really lucky, you might even catch a glimpse one moonlit, starry night of galloping ….♫Ghost Riders in the Sky….. and the sound of…..  ♫Yippie yi ooh, Yippie yi yay….. fading into the distance as you fall blissfully asleep.

By guest author Sheilan Dove

Let RanchSeeker help you find your next vacation!

Happy Trails!

It’s Spring Time at the Ranch!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s Vol 2 Issue 2  Author: Sheilan Dove

As winter slowly slips away and slushy snow still drips down city drains, thoughts of spring eagerly come to mind with its promise of warmer days, trees blossoming and newly-born lambs and foals gambolling among wild-flowered meadows.  And nowhere could it be better or more beautiful than at a guest ranch to welcome this time of hope and rebirth and experience the wonders of a seasonal shift, which calls to all of us on some ancient primeval level.

As Mark Twain famously said, “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

A spring break vacation is the ideal time to give way to all these feverish  yearnings and dare to do something different, unexpected and exhilarating  by heading off to a guest ranch with your family or loved one, friends or fellow students to satisfy that inner wish, that ache to feel gloriously alive at this time of awakening and renewal.  To become totally aware of your existence in the here and now with a giddy, heady sense of anticipation of exciting things about to happen as you herald the advent of spring.

Spring break vacation

A guest ranch vacation is guaranteed to fulfil all the senses; that joyous feeling of well-being and sudden adrenaline rush as you try something new or perhaps do something you already love, such as exploring the neighbouring terrain of a ranch by horseback and drinking in the breathtaking landscape vistas that Mother Nature so generously provides.  A guest ranch vacation is a golden opportunity to have adventurous fun-filled days, whether riding the trails, tubing, rafting and hiking or taking advantage of the many other activities that guests can enjoy when not in the saddle.  The cheerful camaraderie of mingling with other guests at dinner and afterward…. the utter bliss of sleeping deeply and well within the quiet peacefulness of the ranch property after a healthy day spent outdoors.

The following guest ranches are just three examples of the many ranches situated in stunning locations ideally suited for that super-special spring break vacation that will satisfy your heart’s longing to do something truly out of the ordinary this coming spring.

 

The White Stallion Ranch  in Tucson, Arizona is proud of being awarded the No. 1 spot out of 129 properties in the area for six consecutive years.  This well-known, spectacular 50 year old ranch of Hollywood fame is set in unspoiled desert, cacti and rugged mountainous terrain and is the perfect place to enjoy a memorable spring break vacation.  Owned and managed by three generations of the True family, this traditional dude ranch is carefully blended with the service and amenities associated with a fine resort.

Arizona Guest Ranch

White Stallion Ranch

In addition to its exceptional riding program and varied trail rides designed to suit adults and children at all skill levels, the ranch also offers an array of activities such as rock climbing, hiking, a weekly performance rodeo, tennis, basketball, swimming, rec room games and a movie theatre plus evening entertainment and a bar.  Children in particular are encouraged to experience the freedom and love of nature, with access to many outdoor physical activities and a petting zoo.

The comfortable, spacious and well- appointed 43 guest rooms situated throughout the White Stallion Ranch all come with private patios and are designed to accommodate families and couples plus there’s  a four-bedroom separate Hacienda available for small groups.  According to the ranch website, an appreciative guest commented:

The accommodations are beautiful western-themed casitas with views of mountains, gardens and of course the horses.”

White Stallion Ranch provides a variety of delicious meal options to please most palates with a cooked-to-order breakfast menu and continental-style buffet. Lunch and dinner buffets satisfy hearty appetites with an appetising array of dishes. Tasty snacks and hot and cold drinks are available throughout the day.

White Stallion Ranch is a one-of-a-kind ranch resort, especially at spring time when the desert daytime temperature is refreshingly cool and fragrant.

 

Coffee Creek Ranch , founded in 1900, is surrounded by a beautiful National Forest and the Trinity Alps wilderness area in Northern California and sits at an elevation of 3,068 feet. The guest ranch exudes a taste of southern-type hospitality and old west culture with an expansive list of amenities to entertain guests along with its unparalleled horseback trails.

Owing to its wilderness location, Coffee Creek Ranch is an ideal vacation for those wishing to reconnect with nature and “get off the grid” since the electricity is ranch-generated and switched off between midnight and 7.00am.

Boasting a “a real cowboy experience” as one happy guest wrote, there are two rides per day divided by ability level with access to 510 miles of  stunning true wilderness scenery.

California Guest Ranch

Coffee Creek Ranch

Amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center with gym/workout room and a bar/lounge area. The adjacent Coffee Creek is an excellent fly fishing stream for trout and tubing expeditions.  Hiking and mountain bike riding in the wild Trinity wilderness can be arranged for the more active guests.  Additional activities include badminton, volleyball, horseshoes, table tennis, pedal boating or basketball.  Guests can also test their skill at the archery and rifle range.

Accommodations consist of 16 spacious, rustic and comfortable cabins; food is ample, fresh from the garden and superbly prepared by Ruth, owner and chef of Coffee Creek Ranch.

The Coffee Creek guest ranch offers a unique opportunity to visit an outstanding protected wilderness area with all the comforts of home.

 

Sundance Guest Ranch  is close to Ashcroft, the site of many a western movie, in ‘Supernatural Beautiful British Columbia’ among sage-brush speckled high desert hills and sandstone hoodoos just 4 hours from Vancouver, Canada.  The ranch has a herd of over 100 well-groomed horses for daily trail rides to explore the semi-arid desert terrain and sprawling valley grasslands.  Horse and rider are carefully matched to optimize each guest’s riding experience.

One satisfied guest from Italy recently reported, “A beautiful location with helpful wranglers/staff. The riding was pitched just right for us with responsive characterful horses.”                                                                                        salinascape10 reviewer

Other outdoor activities include sunny decks, heated swimming pool, an authentic horseshoe set, walking and hiking trails.  Indoors, there’s a games room, billiards room and a movie lounge to add to guests’ enjoyment.  And yes, a registered massage specialist is on hand to soothe away any aches and pains.

British Columbia Guest Ranch

Sundance Guest Ranch

Dining is a special event at Sundance and the food doesn’t disappoint starting with the breakfast buffet and daily morning specials, such as eggs benny and French toast and after that to set menus for lunch and dinner of maybe classic charcoal-grilled steaks and hamburgers to more sophisticated international cuisine. The dining room is licenced with a fine wine list and overlooks the pastures where the horses graze at night and gallop freely….truly a sight to behold, photograph and cherish. The ranch has an adults-only BYOB lounge for after dinner socializing, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, the place of some legendary parties, and a weekly country-rock DJ dance every Saturday.

Accommodations vary from well-maintained standard to king size rooms and come with private full bathrooms, air-conditioning and comfortable beds. All the rooms are on one level and accessed by a covered boardwalk.

Sundance Guest Ranch is a highly recommended and very popular Canadian guest ranch destination for an unforgettable adventurous spring break vacation.

So…. dust off your riding boots and cowboy hat and make plans to celebrate this year’s spring break at an amazing ranch locale whether it’s the Arizona desert, the high North Californian wilderness or the picturesque semi-arid interior of British Columbia.

As Mark Twain might have put it, “It’s all there folks, just waiting for y’all.”

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

The Art of Dutch Oven Cooking at White Stallion Ranch

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

There is a science to this unique cooking method,

and after this workshop, you will be cooking in Cast Iron, just like Lewis and Clark.

Join the White Stallion Ranch for another cooking workshop from Sunday, March 12, – Thursday, March 16, 2017,

 or Tuesday, January 2 – Sunday, January  6  2018

 For Cooking and Outdoor Enthusiasts

If you’re a hiker, camper, fisherman, hunter or backyard enthusiast this is the perfect workshop for you. Have you ever wished you could cook your outdoor meals in a Dutch Oven, but had no idea where to begin?  Dave Lookingbill provides your education from start to finish. You will be taught everything you need to know: from building and controlling your fire, seasoning the Dutch Oven, recipes and techniques for cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.  There will be first-hand cooking experience for all, including demonstrations of techniques and tools.

Dave was born and raised in rural Idaho, where his mother instilled a love of good food and slow cooking in all of her children.  He had covered most of the American West as a wrangler and a farrier when he took a job at a Dude Ranch in Arizona over 40 years ago.  It was there he found a Dutch Oven and began experimenting with traditional recipes.  It wasn’t long before Dave was 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

The Art of Dutch Oven Cooking

White Stallion Ranch’s Dutch Oven Cooking workshop leaves plenty of time to relax and enjoy the amenities of the ranch. Horseback riding, though not included in this workshop, may be purchased a la carte.  The ranch offers a heated pool, Redwood hot tub, fitness center, movie theater, recreation room, evening entertainment and guided hikes.

Your tuition includes;  a Margarita welcome party, 4 nights lodging, all meals, ranch activities, airport transfers from Tucson International Airport, four nights lodging and 3 days of cooking classes.

Double occupancy $1,100* per person  ~  Single occupancy $1,325*  

 including tax and service charge

Please call or send us an inquiry  for reservations

520.297.0252  or White Stallion Ranch

Don’t miss out this workshop fills up fast! Book today!

Workshop is Limited to 12 guests

to provide each student plenty of time with the Chef

Happy Trails!

 Be sure to let White Stallion Ranch know that you heard about the workshop through RanchSeeker.

Frost & Fire Winter Celebration at The Ranch at Rock Creek

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

February 14th is just around the corner and although any time during the year is a great time to visit one of RanchSeeker’s beautiful guest ranches Valentine’s Day is a wonderful reason to book a last minute getaway with that special someone in your life. Take romance to the next level and book a vacation stay where you will be surrounded by nature, wildlife, clean air and a star-filled night sky. Book a spa appointment for two, get outdoors and  try one of the various fun activities available for your enjoyment. When the sun dips below the horizon enjoy a romantic dinner and afterwards take in the breathtaking view of a star-filled sky .This Valentine’s Day why not consider The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana

FROST & FIRE WINTER CELEBRATION

Book between February 14 and 21, 2017

Resist the urge to hibernate this winter. Getaway with friends, family or your sweetheart and delight in the snowy splendor of Big Sky Country. Over Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Weekend, you can enjoy special seasonal offerings, including complimentary group yoga and Snowga, as well as gourmet tasting menus, a barn dance, a wood fire barbeque and a Valentine’s Day dinner. Spend your days skiing, skating, snowshoeing and snowmobiling and your nights relaxing by firelight or enjoying the Silver Dollar Saloon.

Montana Guest Ranch

Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend with your spouse, a family vacation over winter break or a ski weekend with a group of friends, our variety of accommodations and abundant snow sports allow you to tailor the celebration to your needs.

CELEBRATION DETAILS

  • Our 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, gear and round-trip ground transportation to and from Missoula, Butte and Anaconda airports upon request.
  • Weekend festivities include complimentary Snowga, as well as tasting menus, a barn dance and champagne tasting.
  • Rates start at $1,800 per accommodation, per night, based on standard occupancy, plus 20% Ranch Fee.
  • Minimum three-night stay, based on availability.
Montana Guest Ranch

So what are you waiting for surprise that special someone today and take advantage of this great guest ranch special.

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find the ideal guest ranch vacation.

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch A 4 Season Ranch

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Located in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado you will find Sundance Trail Guest Ranch a family owned and operated ranch 100 miles NW of Denver. Open all year round this ranch is ideal for your next family vacation and offers dude ranching at its best.

Fall, winter and spring are Bed & Breakfast Mountain Lodge seasons at the ranch where you will find lodging, meals and morning horseback rides. These times of year are a bit quieter than the more activity packed summer months.

Colorado Guest Ranch

Guests are welcome to come for one or two nights, or for a week and during these months the ranch is also pet friendly. Be sure to ask for the ranch’s list of “common-sense rules” and “Special Notes” regarding your four-legged family members.

During this time period guests enjoy a quiet retreat away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life. Some couples find this to be the perfect romantic guest ranch get-away for elopement weddings and the ideal destination for a honeymoon. Fill your days horseback riding the trails of the Roosevelt National Forest, indulging in an array of spa treatments, stargazing from the Jacuzzi, swapping stories in front of a Colorado Mountain Lodge fireplace or simply enjoying a great book on a sunny porch. If you ae traveling as a group of between 8-12 people the ranch can arrange Country Inn Murder Mystery Weekends. What fun!

Colorado Guest Ranch

Summer months at Sundance Trail provide a ranch vacation lifestyle that can be compared to summer camp. Remember how much fun summer camp used to be? You will find a plethora of activities and outdoor adventures to choose from that can be enjoyed by the whole family on your 7 day/6 night or 4 day/3 night vacation. With structured activities and unstructured time to explore or relax you can be as busy as you want or simply enjoy doing nothing for a couple of hours. With a “Colorado Horseback Riding” theme guests can ride every day if they want to or choose from lots of other fun activities as well like:

 

  • hiking
  • white water rafting
  • professional rock climbing lessons
  • fun family fishing in nearby lakes (cutthroat trout)
  • serious fly fishing on the nearby “Wild and Scenic” Cache La Poudre River (rainbow & brown trout)
  • horse shoes
  • target and trap shooting (with instruction and careful supervision!)
  • evening campfires (s’mores!)
  • cowboy singing and poetry
  • professional massage and Jacuzzi
  • and for little ones children’s programs.

Colorado Guest Ranch

Accommodations include cozy mountain lodge and cabin suites for up to seven families or twenty-four guests. Mealtimes at the ranch are always special whether it’s cookouts, steak barbecues, lunch on the trail or picnicking under the pines. The ranch serves up excellent fare. Meals are Colorado hearty western, served family style, with home- made breads and desserts… always delicious. If you have any dietary restrictions the ranch kitchen is always very flexible and happy to accommodate with advance notice.

So as you can see no matter what time of year you choose to getaway Sundance Trail Guest Ranch can meet your vacation needs.

Happy Trails!

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