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.

Holiday at a dude ranch

Holiday fun, ranch style. If you’re looking to escape the December craziness, crowded malls, and repetitive jingles, we can’t think of a better escape than to a guest ranch. Chose a peaceful mountain ranch wrapped in a mantel of snow, a warm California ranch getaway, or a sun-drenched Arizona guest ranch resort, then sit back and let the ranch staff take care of your meals, entertainment and decorating–you’ll be in good hands. Make it a holiday getaway, or a post-holiday respite. Either way, your winter ranch escape will be unforgettable.
ARIZONA
Stagecoach Trails Guest RanchStagecoach trails
You’ve gotta love a ranch that’s located on a street called S. Doc Holliday Road (named for the famed Western gambler and gunman), and that’s just where you’ll find Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch. Open year-round (except June- July 13), this Arizona ranch has a ten-year history and a loyal following. You can help them celebrate their big anniversary in January. The special Ten Year Anniversary rate for January amounts to a 60 percent discount (approx).

Dates and rates: Between January 1-10, 2011.  Rate: $99 single occupancy, $79 per person double occupancy, $69 per child ages 4-11. Valid on reservations made after November 23, 2010. No minimum night stay requirement.
They’ll continue the deals with  February and March specials adding up to a roughly 50 percent discount. Dates and rates: February 7-17 and March 2-6, 2011, rates are single occupancy $119 per night, double occupancy $89 per person/per night, Children ages 4-11 cost $69 per child/per night. No minimum night stay requirement. Valid on reservations made after November 24, 2010.

CALIFORNIA
The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resortalisal
Discover the warmth and spirit of the Alisal during the Holiday Season. Lavish decorations, twinkling lights, and eight uniquely themed trees transform the resort into a winter wonderland the whole family will enjoy. Set in Solvang, the Alisal offers a Locals Only Holiday Package including:
• Cottage with wood-burning fireplace  • Golf on two championship courses
• Gourmet breakfast and dinner  • Horseback riding • Fitness Center & Spa access and more.
Dates and rates: Available December 1-23 (excluding nights of December 17 & 18) on a space available basis; two-night minimum is waived.  $395 per night double occupancy*, $295 per night double occupancy (without activities)* *Must mention this ad and reside in Santa Barbara County to receive special rate.  Taxes & service charges are additional. Or buy an Alisal Gift Card by Dec. 23 for a special Holiday Package rate which can be used from January 2 – March 31,2011. (Space available basis. Excludes weekends and holidays.)

COLORADO

Chico Basin Ranch

Chico Basin Ranch is an 87,000-acre working cattle ranch 35 minutes southeast of Colorado Springs, Colorado. “It’s a unique experience,” notes Caroline Ferguson, Executive Director. “Our message is working together to live with the land.”cowboywithpond

Part of what is special is that the ranch is owned by the Colorado State Land Board and managed under a one-of-a-kind lease by Duke and Janet Phillips and their family. The ranch offers education and recreation opportunities for both adults and children, and the Chico Basin Ranch is a working cattle ranch that derives its main income from grazing and running cattle. For guests, Chico Basin Ranch is open-year round, but to get the full experience, most guests visit spring thru fall. That’s when they can watch or participate in the most activities–from branding to cattle drives. And you can send time with ranch hands and families. You’ll stay in on of just two guest rooms that share a bathroom, sitting room, and full kitchen. Guests cook their own meals or chose to dine in their cabin on the ranch’s chef-prepared meals.
Since it is dedicated to the enhancement and preservation of the natural world and of western heritage, as are many ranchers themselves. In philosophy and style, staying at Chico Basin Ranch is a little like being a rancher–without the worries.
Dates and rates: book any 2011 week vacation before December 31,2010 and you’ll get a 10% discount off of the weekly rate.

MONTANA

Lone Mountain Ranch

Hankering for a really white Christmas? You can’t miss with snowy Montana. Check out the wintery fun the holidays  at Lone Mountain Ranch. From snowshoe treks to gourmet meals, and side trip to schuss down the alpine slopes at nearby Big Sky Resort, there’s a lot to choose from at Lone Mountain Ranch. Saturday, December 18, 2010 Full Moon Snowshoe with one of our guides.  Explore the Ranch trails by moonlight!  A festive snowshoe through the woods and up to the hill to overlook the cabins and the Ranch glowing in holiday lights.  Includes snowshoes, hot cider and hot chocolate, cookies, trail pass and guide.

Christmas at Lone Mountain Ranch Christmas week has always been special at the Ranch. What a magical place to spend the holidays with snow laden trees, festive holiday meals, and the Lodge and cabins dressed in their holiday finest. Christmas week is December 19-26, 2010.  Each year we “surprise” guests with something new and special, whether it’s a Christmas Eve feast, complete with ice carvings and Santa or a Christmas torchlight ski.

Triple Creek Ranch
Turns out,  Triple Creek Ranch is set a place that happens to offer terrific winter birding–the Bitterroot Valley. With the help of guides, guests can search for the 250 species known to visit the valley (just don’t get distracted by the spectacular mountain scenery). Watch a peregrine falcon swoop from the sky at 150 miles per hour as one of their local falconers shows off her prize bird. Visit Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge to see migratory ducks, geese and swans, then move on to the CB Ranch to watch eagles and hawks soar through Montana’s big sky. Also look for majestic bull elk, moose, mule deer, big horn sheep, antelope, an occasional shy wolf and the track of the silent mountain lion. Ask for the Ranchweb Special: Nature Lover’s Birding Weekend. Dates and rates: January 21, 2011 to January 22, 2011; February 25, 2011 to February 26, 2011. Beginning at $750 per night, per couple.
Powder1smallSki Package: Triple Creek offers a new “Ski the Northern Rockies” package, with downhill skiing at Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort (shown at right) and cross-country skiing at Chief Joseph Pass, through February 28, 2011. The 4-night* “Ski the Northern Rockies” package** includes downhill ski passes, snowboard and ski rental, and transportation to Lost Trail Powder Mountain; cross-country equipment use and transportation to the eight ski loops at Chief Joseph Pass on the Montana-Idaho border; accommodations in a luxury log cabin; all meals and house wines and spirits; complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival with freshly baked cookies and trail mix; to-go lunch and snacks for all winter excursions. On-ranch activities including horseback riding, hiking, and snowshoeing.
Dates and rates: Now through the end of February, the four-night* “Ski the Northern Rockies” package is priced at $2,700 based on double occupancy (*Additional nights are available at a discount of 10% off nightly $750 rate;** Blackout Dates:  December 23-25 and December 30-January 1).

And for those who want to brush up their horsemanship skills, don’t forget Western Horsemanship Weekends. All riding levels are welcomed in, but only real cowboys and cowgirls will check out from Triple Creek Ranch after their Western Horsemanship Weekend. Dates and rates: January 7, 2011 to January 8, 2011; January 28, 2011 to January 29, 2011; February 25, 2011 to February 26, 2011. Beginning at $750 per night, per couple

NEW MEXICO
Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch
Set in the Gila National Forest, between the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wildernesses, the Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is located in southwest New Mexico. Cozy cabins are nestled in the pines; they are large, with fireplaces, queen beds (and bunkbeds), coffee maker, full bath/shower, reading chairs, magazines and books, snacks, table/chairs, covered porches, and a cookie jar filled with homemade goodies. Cabins are comfortably furnished in a Native American style or a Cowboy motif. Dates and rates: Open March 1 – New Year’s (Closed for Christmas, but open December 27 – New Year’s). Groups of seven or more save 10 percent.

TEXAS

Running -R Guest Ranch

Diane at the Running -R Guest Ranch tells us that the ranch has two specials going on. The first offering: Stay 3 nights get the 4th night free (excluding holidays).  Dates and rates: January 2, 2011 through February 28, 2011 (NOTE:  Must mention code 344 to get the discount.)  And don’t miss out on the big Running –R Guest Ranch Cattle Drive, set for February 25 through February 27. On this special three-day event, you get the chance to taste life as a cowboy as you drive cattle across the Texas Hill Country State Natural Area.  One thing’s for sure: you’ll get a lifetime of memories. But don’t delay or you will miss out on this unique experience.
Dates and rates: The cattle drive will take place rain or shine Feb 25-27. Space on the cattle drive is limited and they expect this to sell out very quickly.The cost of the three-day event is $150.00 per night for adults, and $110/night for children from 10-16 (plus tax), which includes horse and tack, park entry fee, camping fees, meals, the assistance of park wrangler guides. Check out the Texas Hill Country site at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/hill_country/. Email runningr@texas.net for more information.

The buzz about Arizona’s Elkhorn Ranch

Our friends at Arizona’s Elkhorn Ranch dropped us a note about their latest ventures into the cyber world. “Some of us are a bit reluctant to launch ourselves into the world of social networking, but luckily we have young people around to help us! Facebook and Twitter are a fun way to keep up with friends and share news, so we’re out there! If you’re on Facebook, our “fan page” is ElkhornRanchAZ. We’ve got some new photos up that you might like. If you’re into Twitter, you can get our latest “tweets” by following ElkhornRanch. And if you aren’t so keen on high tech news, rest assured Elkhorn Ranch will greet you with old fashioned paper a few times a year!’

‘We’ve also adventured onto TripAdvisor, which provides traveler reviews and opinions. We’d love to have yours on the Elkhorn Ranch listing! You can find our listing by copying and pasting this link into your browser: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60950-d1900844-Reviews-Elkhorn_Ranch-Tucson_Arizona.html” Thanks to our pals at Elkhorn for the news.

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