Holiday gifts from ranch country


A perfect stocking stuffer for ranch vacation planning

Everybody’s doing more vacation plan-ahead work these days. It’s one way to save time, money, and hassle. And now is a good time to begin the planning process for your big summer getaway. Sure, you could surf the web (that’s what Ranchweb is for), but sometimes there’s nothing better than a real, honest-to-God book, with color photos to pour over, and tactile pages to flip through as you dream about the perfect ranch vacation with your loved ones.

There’s nothing better, more accurate, or up-to-date than Gene Kilgore’s Ranch Vacations 2011; ($22.95), now available on and on Amazon. On the cover: Wyoming’s newest, The Ranch at Rock Creek. Its a great way to find dude ranch deals, value vacations, backcountry getaways, and the best dude ranch food and wine. Inside, a total access guide to more than 100 great ranches across the West, the USA, and the world. It’s got details on pricing, dining, kids’ programs, plus loads of color pix, all in a handy glovebox size–a great stocking stuffer (just try stuffing a web page into that stocking).


Gifts right from the ranch

Sometimes, you want a memento from that long-ago ranch vacation. Where to find ranch-y things? Well, some ranches let you shop for their own branded, logo-ed duds and goodies online.


Alisal Guest Ranch

Alisal Ranch’s online store offers hats and gear, gourmet products, jewelry, spa products, branded apparel and gift cards. Here’s how they put it: “From a variety of Alisal-branded apparel, to our signature spa products, to Chef Pascal’s renowned barbecue blends, you will surely find the perfect gift for a family member, a friend or yourself. If you have any questions about a product that is offered in our General Store, please contact Guest Services at 805/686-7700.” At the site, you can choose from four of Chef Pascal’s custom spice blends. Also available are the Ranch’s Old Adobe Pancake Mix and its very popular granola blend. New from their sterling silver jewelry collection is the ranch’s popular charm bracelet with an Alisal brand charm (natch!). Every year a new charm will be introduced. Spa Products feature their signature Woodland Sage scent.
The Resort at Paws Up

Seeks out treasures of the West, some molded by hand, others by the hand of nature, but always “crafted with a spirit of adventure,” says the resort. Don’t look for typical western wear here. The hand-selected items are split into categories: Clothing and Apparel, House and Home, Montana food and snacks, and accessories and jewelry, it’s all unique. Want to bring a little of the flavor of the Rockies into your home? The Montana huckleberry honey, huckleberry jam or syrup will remind you of those high mountain berries every time you pop it into your mouth (for $8 and up). For more expensive tastes, order up a Silver Paw Belt Buckle (a hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind belt buckle made by a local Montana silversmith) for some $1,200. And there’s a lot in between.

How about a really BIG present?

How about buying a piece of a real dude ranch? You can at Colorado’s C Lazy U Ranch. As they put it, “Our guests only get to spend a week here, but owners can experience it as often as they wish for generation after generation and in every season. Inquire about our Colorado land for sale or our mountain homes for sale. Become a member of our happy vacation real estate community…become one of the family.”


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