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.

Winter ranches for snow fun, value vacation

CLazy_4Admit it—you love winter. The real thing: crisp, clean air, clouds scudding over snow-dusted mountains; inside, a hot drink beside a crackling fire awaits. Or not. Maybe at your home winter is all traffic jams and rain-slicked highways, with a cooling cup of bad coffee at your desk.

So get the heck out of that faux-season and go where real winter lives— out in clean, snow-covered ranch country. And while you’re at it, find some bargains out there!


C Lazy U Ranch

At Colorado’s C Lazy U, shown above, January means that all your fave winter activities are going full blast. The pond is frozen, kids are sledding down the driveway luge run and the snowcat is fired up and ready to take you out for some private skiing. Sleigh rides, snow tubing, snowmobiling and even horseback riding are on the menu.

Ice hockey, ice skating (on a pond kept smooth by Zamboni grooming), as well as snow tubing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing round out the winter sports program at C Lazy U. Don’t worry about gear—they’ll provide just about everything you will need.

Don’t worry about anything, for that matter. Personal service is a big deal here—the kind of friendly, dedicated service that can only be provided by people who love their jobs and strive to make guests feel welcome and pampered. “At the C Lazy U Luxury Guest Ranch & Resort, we go that extra mile to welcome you and make sure you have a great time: we call it 5-Spur Service and it is what makes our Colorado dude ranch “Miles Above Ordinary.”

Open year round, this may be the ultimate Colorado winter resort, with cozy fireplaces and a world-class spa with a hot tub. Ahhh…


Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Another Year round ranch, Western Pleasure guest ranch offers four seasons of fun, but winter has a legion of fans. I saw this on TripAdvisor recently, posted by guests who’d taken a cross-country ski visit to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

“We had the most incredible day of cross country skiing at Western Pleasure Ranch. It was a glorious, sunny day when we arrived at this beautiful setting in the wilderness. We met friendly “grandma” Janice who was babysitting her two grandchildren in the spectacular lodge. She answered all of our questions and allowed us to check out one of the empty cabins. Wow! If anyone wants a very reasonable getaway, this is the place to go!! The start of cross-country trails are just a hop, skip, and jump from the lodge. The scenery along the 2-mile trail loop is incredible with views of Schweitzer, creeks, mountains and open fields of untouched snow (except for moose tracks?). When you finish cross-country skiing, drop by the lodge for coffee and popcorn. We will definitely return! G. and M., Cranbrook, BC”

Check out their “Log Cabin Getaway Ski Packages” and ski down remote hills and perfectly groomed runs in the secluded wilderness. Then, return to a cozy cabin and a crackling fire. Or try the ‘Schweitzer Ski Vacation package’, do all of that starting with a hearty country gourmet breakfast in the Grand Lodge and then travel a few miles to Schweitzer Ski Resort, North Idaho, and Sandpoint’s premier ski hill. This all inclusive ski package includes two nights lodging for two in a log cabin, one day of skiing at Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, a romantic horse drawn sleigh ride for two, and a hearty ranch breakfast served in the main lodge two mornings. $430.00/Couple (taxes does included).

Crystal ranch-angle-rev2UTAH

Crystal Ranch Lodge and Resort

This intimate, year-round lodge is best known as a fly fishing resort, but since Utah is known around the world for winter sports (Utah hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics), they really know how to play in the snow here.

Snowmobile ‘junkies’ know its hard to find a good balance of mixed terrain and untouched snow, but the folks at Crystal Ranch can help you find it. They know the Uinta Mountains well and can help you find the best. And while the ranch is in a remote area, the road is maintained in good condition year-round so you can drive your car or truck right to the lodge.

DETAILS: For more winter trip-planning help, including finding deals, go to


RedReflet_3HOT DEALS

Men’s Journal really seems to like dude and guest ranch adventures—they’ve just launched the third video in their video series, ‘Remote and Refined.’ This short armchair sojourn takes viewers to the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming—a giant playground for anyone who loves the outdoors—and to one of our Ranchweb member ranches.

The setting is the luxurious Red Reflet Ranch, which caters to visitors who want to work the cattle ranch and explore the outdoors. At The Red Reflet Ranch, host Ryan Van Duzer explores some of what Wyoming has to offer, skeet shooting and wrangling cattle. (See our story on Van Duzer by clicking here.) And the best part: the Wyoming ranch featured in this episode, The Red Reflet Ranch, is offering a 10% discount for anyone booking a trip that mentions “Men’s Journal” or “Remote and Refined.” So saddle up, pardner—even if its just from the comfort of your desk chair!

Details: To see the video, go to Men’s Journal. For more trip planning help, go to


Make your ranch dream happen

burnt-leather-fly-fishing-ranchRANCH REAL ESTATE

Hello 2013. Maybe this is the year you live your dream. A dream of wide open spaces and big skies, of fast-moving streams alive with trout, of snow-topped mountains filled with elk. Ranch country—and it’s all yours.

Big country, big dreams. But it doesn’t have to remain in the realm of make-believe, thanks to an outfit like Fay Ranches. You can make it happen—with the help of these ranch real estate experts. We profiled Gregory Fay, partner in Fay Ranches, Inc. last month. Now, with their permission, we’re sharing tidbits from the Fay Ranches blog, just to whet your land-owning appetites. It helps us kick off a new feature for 2013: Ranch Real Estate.

Enjoy. . .

Five Montana Fly Fishing Properties For Sale

By admin on Tue, 09/18/2012 – 1:22pm

Buying a Montana fly fishing property for sale is a wise investment, and a decision that will give you and your family years of adventures and innumerable memories. The fly fishing in Montana is some of the best in the lower 48 states, and blue-ribbon trout streams and fisheries wind through the entire state. Montana’s Jefferson, Madison, Missouri, and Yellowstone Rivers are world-renowned for their fly fishing. Bozeman has an abundance of blue-ribbon trout streams within an hour’s drive, and neighboring Livingston also provides access to Paradise Valley and Yellowstone National Park.

Fay Ranches is proud to represent the following five Montana fly fishing ranches for sale, which are some of the most famous and unique ranches in the West. Some feature custom-built ranch homes and structures, some are productive agricultural properties, but all of them feature private access to some of the most sought-after fly fishing in the United States.

Circle B Ranch The Circle B Ranch features over three and a half miles incredible fly fishing waters, including 1.6 miles of frontage along Baker and V Creeks, and 1.5 miles of West Gallatin River Frontage. This 427+- acre property is a true sportsman’s paradise, with excellent whitetail, waterfowl, and pheasant hunting, a beautiful 5-bedroom luxury home, barn, guest quarters, machine shop, and the potential to expand the length of the fisheries on the ranch. Read more about this Manhattan Montana fly fishing property for sale.

Dome Mountain Ranch The Dome Mountain Ranch is an enormous Montana fly fishing property, featuring 5360+_ deeded acres, 470+_ State leased acres, and 508 acres leased from the BLM. One side of the ranch is bordered by over six miles of Yellowstone River frontage, providing world-famous wild trout fishing, and the rest of the ranch borders the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park. The ranch includes 3 lakes, a stunning log home, guest homes, barns, sheds, and a commercial lodge. The wildlife is abundant and diverse, and moose, elk, deer, mountain lion, antelope, waterfowl, and birds of prey are only a few of the animals that frequent the Dome Mountain Ranch. This property has been featured on several nationally televised programs and large publications, and it is rightfully one of the famous ranches in Southwest Montana. Learn more about the Dome Mountain fly fishing ranch for sale in Montana.

Burnt Leather Ranch The Burnt Leather fly fishing ranch in McCleod Montana (pictured at top) is one of the most scenic fly fishing experiences in Montana, and also contains 2 miles of both sides of the West Boulder, a renowned and prolific fly fishery in the middle of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The property includes the Steen Place Headquarters, is under Conservation Easement, and hosts an extraordinary array of wildlife, from deer to turkey to mountain lion. The Burnt Leather Ranch is a historic and iconic ranch, and is only 35 minutes from Livingston Montana.  Learn more about the Burnt Leather fly fishing property for sale in Montana.

mccoy-fly-fishing-ranchMcCoy Spring Creek Ranch The McCoy Spring Creek Ranch is a 1209-acre fly fishing property for sale near Dillon Montana, in the Beaverhead Valley. The ranch houses several ponds and wetlands that provide endless hours of fly fishing and waterfowl hunting, and both sides of a productive spring creek flow through the property. Several other blue-ribbon fisheries are nearby. In addition, McCoy Spring Creek Ranch has five circle pivots and produces grain, alfalfa, and corn. This ranch has an astounding amount of recreational value for a property of its size. Learn more about this Dillon Montana fly fishing ranch for sale.

oyler-fly-fishing-ranchOyler Ranch on the Gallatin River The Oyler Fly Fishing Property in Bozeman Montana straddles the West Gallatin River for approximately 2 miles, as well as two other spring creeks, providing immediate access to over three and a half miles of blue-ribbon fly fishing. The property is known for its excellent whitetail, pheasant, and waterfowl hunting, and it also includes around 90 acres of irrigated production ground. Only 15 minutes from a commercial airport and 30 minutes from the boutique shops, restaurants, and historic downtown of Bozeman, Montana, this world-class recreational ranch is an opportunity not to be missed. Read more about this Bozeman Montana fly fishing property for sale.