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.

Spring into an Arizona guest ranch resort

rancho de caballerosSeasonal special

Ah, springtime in the desert. The desert wildflower season in Southern Arizona and the Tucson area (where so many dude ranch resorts are located) is a bit unpredictable. A good flower season requires early winter rains, and then a warm and unusually wet spring. So far, things are looking promising for a great wildflower display in the desert. But no matter what, there is sure to be something great blooming from February through May, from brittlebush to giant saguaros.

Imagine saddling up at your guest ranch resort and riding through a spectacular show of brittlebush (already blooming now) and magenta hedgehog cactus. The spindly ocotillo—with its fire engine red blossoms— is blooming along with the low-growing fairy duster with its misty pink flowers.

Slow Old Paint down to a walk, look down from the saddle and you may see splashes of yellow from gold poppy, bahia, fiddleneck, paperflower, desert hibiscus;  pink from Parry penstemon, and blue from lupine, and blue dicks)

Now’s the time to go out in the desert and nip away for a warm, sunny dude ranch resort vacation. But which ranch to choose? Since Arizona ranches have so much to offer, it can be a challenge. If its an upscale hideaway you want, try Hidden Meadow Ranch (near Greer), with its elegent log main house and 12 luxury log cabins; or the Rancho de los Caballeros (which has an Old West lodge, and championship golf) in Wickenburg, with its 79 charmingly elegant casitas.

Bar 10
If you’re looking for casual and family-friendly, consider the Bar 10 Ranch near the Grand Canyon, with its big, country-style meals and genuine western hospitality (the Bar 10 sits at almost 4,200 feet in elevation, so March is still the off-season here, which means rates are lower). And near Wickenburg, the Flying E Ranch is loaded with family-friendly fun, wide-open spaces, and bountiful meals served family style.

Both White Stallion Ranch and Tanque Verde Ranch outside Tucson offer a ton of fun things to do, from nature walks to swimming and gourmet cuisine, along with the kind of classic southwestern design and décor that many clients come for. Tanque Verde even has tennis courts and a swanky little spa out by the swimming pool. This is living!

If you need help planning side trips while you’re in Arizona, don’t forget Arizona Country Excursions, which can take you on guided horseback or ATV trips through the Arizona desert.

But if you need more help with your selection, turn to Ranchweb for help. To begin, click on Selecting A Ranch and you’ll see groupings of ranches by lists of all the options that various ranches have to offer, from riding, fishing, and cattle drives to spas and luxury options. If you’re looking for deals, click on Travel Bargains on the Ranchweb.com home page. It’s another handy sorting tool.

Details: For a wildflower update, go to
www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html

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1 comment to Spring into an Arizona guest ranch resort

  • Hello Gene! All of us at Rancho de los Caballeros enjoy your blog, and thank you for mentioning our beautiful property. We are proud that our property is a unique combination of traditional resort and western ranch, with horseback, award-winning golf, trap & skeet shooting, tennis, full-serice spa, and gourmet cuisine.
    Some exciting information for your readers; Golfweek has chosen Los Caballeros Golf Club as one of the “Best Places To Play – 2011.” In celebration we have released a new golf package – check http://www.sunc.com for details.
    March & April are for KIDS at the Ranch and we are offering children ages 12 & under to stay and eat FREE, and children ages 5-12 receive COMPLIMENTARY daily Caballeros Kids Club entry, including 3 meals daily, horseback riding (8 % up), nature hikes, campfire cookouts, and lots more fun activities. Call 800-684-5030 or e-mail reservations@sunc.com for more info or to make reservations

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