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.

Autumn ranch news: from Arizona to Rockies pack trips

pic5Just got a note from Mary Miller at Elkhorn Ranch in Arizona, who tells us  they’re getting ready to open the ranch for another lovely Arizona winter season. “We’ll be ready for guests in mid-November,” notes Mary. “We are quite full for the holidays, but still have scattered openings in mid-November and early December—quiet times with great riding weather! In the new year, January has openings every week.” Mary adds that February, March and April are filling fast, so guests hoping to stay then should call soon. Book: 520/822-1040 or check out their new web site at www.elkhornranch.com.

Russell True writes in from Arizona’s White Stallion Ranch to tell us that “business does seem to be definitely on the upswing for the Arizona ranches.” One reason? “They are offering more specials, not only in pricing but in terms of more ladies weeks, weeks built around rodeos, bridge (as in cards), Elderhostel programs, horsemanship, self-improvement using horses as a catalyst, family camps, and more,” he notes. And that’s not all that’s going on in Arizona. “The other story is that many of the ranches are allowing shorter stays in response to people having less time and money,” says True. Book: 888/ WSRANCH or 520/ 297-0252.

Meanwhile, don’t forget how lovely autumn is in the high country of the Rockies, where fall pack trips are just getting going. As Gene K. says, “Fresh mountain trout, horse bells, and the good old-fashioned wilderness make dude ranch pack trips one of the most exhilarating experiences on earth.” Here’s a list to get you started:

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch CO
Established in 1897 and operating as a guest ranch since 1934, this small, family-oriented outfit has made it’s name with it warm western hospitality, lovely lakeside setting, and unspoiled setting in the White River National Forest of northwestern Colorado. Here, the scenery and wildlife are a photographers delight and hunters can sign up for guided or unguided hunts for deer and elk. In the evening, gather in the lodge to play cards or perhaps sit around the campfire and discuss the day’s sightings with your new friends. Book: (800) 858-3046 or (970) 625-1473 or via www.ranchweb.com/coulter/index.html.

Turpin Meadow Ranch, WY

Autumn at the ranch is a time for relaxation and inspiration. It’s ideal for retreats, group activities, and peaceful family outings: enjoy a hike into forests filled with autumn colors, join a fishing expedition for beginners or experienced anglers; take day trips and tours of Yellowstone Park.
Set in Wyoming’s majestic Jackson Hole, Turpin Meadow Ranch offers a big game hunter’s dream trip—a six-day excursion, with one guide for every two hunters to lead you to the finest elk and mule deer. Or design your own pack trip of 3-10 days, riding with a string of pack mules into the wilderness, backcountry that has been little changed since the days of the mountain men. When you reach camp, you’ll find comfy tents and hearty meals, arranged by professional, personable wranglers and packers. It can be an unforgettable trek through the majestic setting of the Teton Wilderness Area/Bridger-Teton National Forest. Ask about Fall specials. Book: 800/743-2496 or 307/543-2000

Warner Guiding & Outfitting, Ltd. – Banff, Alberta, Canada
Wilderness tenting pack rides, rustic backcountry lodge rides, and learning enriched/interpretive pack rides—it’s all here. Join one of Warner’s unique ‘Holiday on Horseback’ pack trips (pictured above) and you’ll venture deep into the heart of Canada’s spectacular Banff National Park. Here, you can choose to stay in tents or enjoy a backcountry lodge stay at the historical Halfway Lodge or the beautiful Sundance Lodge. Enjoy the outdoors but don’t want the hassle of planning a camping trip? Then the wilderness tenting rides are perfect for you– meals are cooked for you, tents are set up, and you can just sit back and relax. Book: 800/661-8352, or local at 403/762-4551; e-mail to warner@horseback.com

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