Gene Kilgore’s Ranch Vacations

Ranch Vacations
The Leading Guide to Guest and Resort, Fly-Fishing, and Cross-Country Skiing Ranches in the United States and Canada, 6th Edition.

Ranch news and deals in Arizona

endlodgeAlyson at The Kay El Bar dropped us a nice note the other day, with word of big news at the ranch. “The Kay El Bar recently underwent a  “face lift” with remodeled bathrooms, dining room, and landscaping.  The original adobe bricks were reinforced so that they’ll be around for another 85 years!”

She notes that there’s also a new patio and cook-out area that is “the perfect setting for a reunion or wedding reception–in fact, we have one of those coming up on March 14th.  A local cowboy is marrying his sweetheart and arriving at the ranch in a horse-drawn carriage.”  Cool.

They’ve also updated their bathrooms-check out the photo at right, below.bath-1copy

Sounds like the The Kay El Bar is a good example of how a historical dude ranch can modernize without “selling out.”  Take a look at their new website; it reflects how they give people an authentic Western experience.

More ranch news in Arizona. You might think about getting a break for spring break by staying at Hidden Meadow Ranch where children, 11 and under, stay free the third night. And at Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, they are offering a special discounted rate for a 3-night stay between: March 21-April 1 or April 27-May 3, 2009.

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2 comments to Ranch news and deals in Arizona

  • Jessica Bernard

    I miss this place. It is Heaven and Earth.

  • Linda Anderson

    I wholeheartedly recommend the Kay El Bar guest ranch in Wickenburg, AZ. I have visited the ranch more than 20 times beginning in 1999. Originally I was attracted to the ranch because of its size (maximum of 24 guests), its history, authenticity, and philosophy. But it was the magic that drew me back year after year. From the beginning I was impressed with the authentic western decor which included many antiques personally purchased by the owners. I also was impressed with the dedication of the staff, the owner’s committment, the quality of the horses and riding, the great food, and the commaradarie I enjoyed with the other guests. I’ve met many interesting people some of whom I’ve maintainted friendships with even away from the ranch. The atmosphere is perfect for families, couples, singles, seniors, and girl friends (check out their website for Women’s Week in February. I’ve been to 5 of these). The riding has always been the most important feature of the ranch with the staff making every effort to match riders with the right horse and assuring a safe and fun-filled riding experience. The maximum capicity of the ranch is 24 which allows for personal attention to each guest in fulfilling their particular riding interests. There are plenty of healthy well mannered horses suited to all riding abilities from children to teens, adults, and seniors. The grounds are beautifully maintained while keeping true to the “out west” flavor. There’s a spa for relaxing and a sparkling swimming pool. Before dinner each evening the guests gather in the amazing lodge living room to talk about their day’s riding and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres. Dinner is in the cozy dining room. There’s always a lot of laughter and good hearted teasing. The town of Wickenburg is fun to visit for a few hours between rides. It’s a real western town without pretense–not a Hollywood movie set. The shopping is fabulous. There are several shops for western wear, jewelry, and riding gear. There’s a renowned western museum and a world class performing arts center. There are fun events all year round in Wickenburg–especially the Bluegrass Festival in November, the Cowboy Poetry Gathering early in December, and Gold Rush Days in February. The town has a wonderful western style. The Chamber of Commerce website is a good place to look for the calendar of events. The Kay El Bar is about 3 miles out of town and it seems that once there, you are taken back in time to the old west (but with all the comforts of a first class resort). Many guests return year after year. The universal comment seems to be that the ranch holds a special kind of magic that makes your visit fantastic. The day begins with some guests hiking to a nearby hillside to watch the sunrise and then gathering in the corral to brush their horses followed by a ranch style breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunch. The morning ride into the beautiful desert hills, valleys, and riverbeds lasts about 2 1/2 hours. Lunch is hearty with everyone excitedly sharing their morning riding tales. After lunch guests either hit the spa, swim, go to town for shopping, or rest before the afternoon ride of another 2 or so hours. Everyone rides as much as they want. Some people ride only once a day preferring the afternoons for reading and relaxing or playing golf nearby. After the afternoon ride, there is time to relax in the spa or take a nap. Cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres are served in the magnificant lodge living room before everyone heads for the dining room and dinner. After dinner, everyone gathers in the lodge again for conversation or to hear a western singer, a poet, or a naturalist. Sometimes the guests provide the entertainment with guitar or piano while everyone sings along. I’ve met some amazing people at the Kay El Bar–but regarless of one’s background or life away from the ranch, everyone is there to experience the west and ride the beautiful horses. I am willing to be contacted for further comment.
    Linda Anderson

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