September ranch roundup

3731615686_8c535f266dLook to the aspen and maples in the high country— the first leaves are just starting to glow gold and red. And  our thoughts turn to winding up the summer season in the ranches back East and in the high Rockies, then getting ready for the transition to fall and winter activities.

But make no mistake: there’s still lots happening on the ranches and so many reasons to visit now—including some innovative programs and good deals. And in Arizona and California, more exciting new programs are spicing things up.


Sundance Guest Ranch, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada

Fall is prime time at Sundance, with a ton of fall specials. Start with  a 15% mid-week discount for bookings between Sunday and Thursday in September and October. Or check out the  Cowgirls’ Fall Getaway for ladies only, October 16-18, 2009, with contests, prizes, pyjama breakfasts, and lots of chocolate – great “girls-only fun. Next month, Halloween comes early at Sundance -October 23-25, 2009—with costume contest, prizes, a Haunted House and the last dance of the season. It’s so much fun, its spooky.       BOOK: 800/553-3533, or click on

Tod Mountain Ranch, British Columbia

It’s one of the prettiest times of year in British Columbia, yet September/October also brings some pretty great deals. For all bookings of 3 nights or longer during September & October, we are offering one night free.  Example stay for 5 nights, pay for 4.  Saving of approx $250 per person.  Applies to all bookings – no restrictions on dates.    BOOK: 877/488-8881 or 250/578-8881; or click on


Stay for a cause, or an anniversary at Grapevine Canyon Ranch

Warm days and cooler nights are heading to the ranch in Pearce, Arizona. Saddle up and ride with them this fall or later on to ring in the New Year. Enjoy great food, great horses and fun times!  SPECIALS: American Breast Cancer Week: Grapevine Canyon Ranch marks American Breast Cancer Week Sept. 26— Oct. 3, when 20% of all bookings are donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation.  The ranch’s own Breast Cancer/Grapevine Tees are also still available on their online gift shop, and 50% of the t-shirt profits are also donated. Silver Anniversary for Grapevine Canyon Guest Ranch:  Don’t miss this one— it only comes around once. Come help  celebrate Grapevine’s first 25 years during the month of December, leading up to a huge New Year’s Eve 25th Anniversary party. As a  bonus, the ranch will take 25% off  regular rates for the month of December.         BOOK: 800/245-9202 or 520/826-3185 or click on


At Alisal, the Outback meets the Wild West
Experience a taste of South Australia in the heart of California Wine County with this month’s The Outback at Alisal, (September 17-20, 2009) a weekend filled with riding, food and wine with an Aussie theme and Aussie Chef Curtis Stone (reservations limited to the first 10 bookings). Southern California’s Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, and the South Australian Tourism Commission saddle up for a cowboy adventure highlighted by an intimate and interactive wine dinner by Chef Stone. Guests will also have the opportunity to horseback ride, sip Shiraz, dine at an Australian and American BBQ feast, and be eligible to win a trip for two to the Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive in August 2010 (valued at $8,000).

COST: Three-night stay (Thursday – Sunday) is $1247.00 per person double occupancy; Two -night stay (Friday – Sunday) is $897.50 per person double occupancy. The Outback at Alisal All-Inclusive Weekend Package includes Studio accommodations for two or three nights and unlimited ranch activities including golf, horseback riding and more; a reception, lakeside lunch; wine dinner featuring Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone; Australian and American BBQ; breakfast horseback ride; screening of “Australia” the movie, under the stars. Also included: all meals, including wine, taxes, gratuities, etc. and a chance to win a trip for two to the Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive in South Australia. NOTE: The event is limited to the first 10 bookings (the dinner can be purchased separately for $135pp).
BOOK: To reserve, call 800/4-ALISAL, visit or email:

Rest and Relaxation Week at Rankin Ranch
Set in the beautiful Walker Basin, of northern California, the Rankin Ranch is an ideal place to chill out. So they’re offering a brand new program: Rest and Relaxation Week, October 5-9, 2009.  This is the perfect time for those of you who need a quiet and peaceful getaway before the hectic holiday season begins.  You can enjoy the Walker Basin’s beautiful autumn season when the leaves are turning and the evening temperatures are dropping.  The ranch supplied all the food, lodging, and atmosphere…all you need to bring is mind, body and soul willing to relax and enjoy. Join the gang at Rankin for just one night or all four nights.  You’ll also enjoy the lowest rates of their season…only $80 per person per night, double occupancy.  BOOK: Call and reserve today at 661/867-2511 or visit

Wind River Christian Dude Ranch

September brings family fun, fall color, and deals to this Estes Park area ranch. Labor Day Family Camp (Sept. 4-7): celebrate Labor Day weekend with this wonderful, shortened family camp, action-packed with lots of horseback riding, children’s, tween’s and teen’s programs in the mornings, a pool and hot tub party, climbing wall, zip-line, and more. Guest speaker: Jeff Hutcheon from Parker, Colorado. Call for details and discounts. Estes Park Golf Retreat (Sept. 10-13): Links Ministries is putting on a golf retreat at Wind River Ranch on September 10 -13.  The cost for the golfers is $495 and $395 for non-participating spouse. Call for details.  Women’s Retreat (Sept. 17-20): Walking in Grace Ministries is putting on a conference that is open to all ladies.  Melissa Shaver is the speaker and this is a wonderful conference and fall is spectacular time to enjoy the golden aspens that fill our mountain forests with the cool crisp mountain air. Call for details.    BOOK: 970/586-4212, 800/523-4212 or click on

Wilderness Trails Ranch

Near Durango, the Wilderness Trails Ranch offers discounted adults-only weeks September 6-26 at $1895/person for a 6 night all-inclusive (no gratuity) package. Then, September 27-October 3 is the Ride the Colors of the Fall Week during the peak of the fall color change.  Daily all-day rides are geared to ability level and view the stunning vistas of Colorado ’s fall foliage.  Evenings include educational wine-paired meals, live musical entertainment, hayrides, roping lessons, and  social hours around the fireplace.  The week is in conjunction with Durango ’s annual Cowboy Gathering Festival which includes music and poetry events, rodeos, horse competitions, education events, and a cowboy convention  click on   BOOK: 800/527-2624
970-247-0722 or click on


Cowgirl UP at Bar W Guest Ranch

Get in touch with your inner cowgirl (or just relax and have an exciting vacation with some galpals).  The Bar W’s popular Cowgirl UP program is a 6-night all inclusive woman’s adventure retreat. Held at the beautiful ranch near Spencer Lake in Northwest Montana, this special package starts with a horsemanship clinic, roping, shooting, fly casting lessons and archery and moves to spa treatments, massages, vintners presentations, and cocktail receptions. Dates: Sept. 27-Oct. 3 and Oct. 11-17.       BOOK: 866/828-2900, 406-863-9099 or

Unlock your artistic talents at Triple Creek Ranch

Stay in one of 23 luxurious log cabins, roam 600 tranquil acres, and get in touch with your artistic side. Nine high-profile Western artists will lead three weekend workshops  from Oct 1-4, Oct. 8-11, and Oct. 15-18. Called A Spectrum of Color & Artistry, the program offers an opportunity  for art lovers to work, watch, and learn side by side with talented artists in a dramatic and inspirational setting. From $1,725. Artists: Carol Hgan, Nancy D. Cawdrey, Brent Cotton,Steve Seltzer, Loren Kovich, Sheila Reiman, Dawn Emerson, Steve Olestad, Thomas English.    BOOK:800-654-2943, 406/ 821-4600 or


Go wild over wildlife at Vermejo Park Ranch

Stay at media mogul Ted Turner’s place in northern New Mexico. Vermejo Park offers “an unparalleled opportunity to hunt and fish in one of the last large tracts of the West that still resembles what the West was before we altered it almost beyond recognition in the last century.” At some 588,000 acres, this is the largest contiguous deeded ranch in New Mexico.  News: bald and golden eagles winter here, among the wildlife you can watch, along with 8,000-10,000 elk, 3,000 deer, and 2,000 bison (hunting is allowed here—call ahead to inquire about the rules and regulations).     BOOK: 505/445-3097 or visit


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