Triple Creek Ranch invites you to an exclusive New York charity event

Published by Jody on September 9 2013 00:18 in Food & Wine
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Triple Creek Ranch, along with owners Barbara and Craig Barrett, and Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman, will be hosting a special charitable event dinner at the James Beard House in New York City, November 21st. Please join them and invite friends from the area this fall to attend an event that promises to satisfy every epicurean and oenophile's appetite. 

Triple Creek Ranch food and wine

Experience the best in culinary experiences, from the west to the 'Big Apple'. Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman has been creating fabulous dishes for the guests at Triple Creek Ranch since 2005 and believes in using top-quality produce to create stunning contemporary cuisine, so you can expect only the best to be on offer.

Jacob Leatherman Triple Creek Ranch


Ranch vacations make great trips for food lovers

Published by Jody on June 24 2013 11:09 in Culinary Vacations | Food & Wine
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Ranch vacations make great holidays for foodies, although they may not seem like the obvious choice. There are as many types of food as there are types of ranches, so you can make sure you are filling yourself with the best fuel for riding, exploring or relaxing, no matter where you stay.

Lone Mountain Guest Ranch, Montana
Photo: Lone Mountain Guest Ranch, Montana, USA

Satisfying traditional ranch dining

Rankin Ranch, California
Photo: Rankin Ranch, California, USA

Everyone has a food preference and it's not always the French-style fine dining that tickles our tastebuds. If it's rustic, traditional dining that makes your mouth water, consider booking a traditional ranch vacation. From homegrown BBQ steak to traditional homemade bread, you will get to taste the full, real ranch flavours of the ranch you are visiting. 

Estancia Los Potreros, Cordoba, Argentina
Photo: Estancia Los Potreros, Cordoba, Argentina


Chocolate and Raspberry Tart Recipe, courtesy of Zapata Ranch

Published by Jody on July 23 2012 12:40 in Cattle drives | Food & Wine | Recipes | Working Ranches
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Chocolate and raspberry tart, anyone? It’s hard to say no to this chocolate creation that’s served up to the lucky guests of Zapata Ranch in the USA. After a long day gathering bison on the Colorado working ranch, you’ll have more than enough room for at least one helping of this indugent Oreo dessert. But if you can’t wait until your working ranch vacations at Zapata to dive in headfirst, here’s the recipe so you can make it in your own kitchen. It’s super easy to make – the hardest part will be trying not to eat it all at once!

Ranch Recipe of the Month: Zapata’s Chocolate and Raspberry Tart


For the crust
2 Dozen Oreo Cookies - turn to crumbs in a food processor
1/4 cup Butter melted

For the Filling
1 Cup of corn Starch
1 Cup of sugar
1 Table spoon of vanilla extract
4 Cups of half & half
6 Egg yolks placed in large heatproof bowl
12 oz. of chocolate chips
3 Cups of fresh Raspberries


1. First, make the crust. Place the crumbs in a 9-inch springform pan then pour in the melted butter. Mix well until a crust can be formed. Press the crust into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.

2. Next, prepare the filling. Place the corn starch and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Over medium-high heat, gradually add the vanilla extract and the half & half, constantly whisking until the mixture starts to thicken. Pour half of the mixture over the eggs yolks, still whisking, then pour the egg mixture back in to the hot pan. Continue whisking until thickened (2-3 minutes).

3. Pour the mixture over the chocolate chips. Allow to stand for 2 minutes then whisk well until a chocolate custard forms. Pour into prepared pie shell and top with raspberries. Chill for 4-6 hours.

Dive in and enjoy!

For more information on working ranch vacations at Zapata Ranch, including its famous bison cattle drives, visit

Top50 Road Trip - Brush Creek Ranch

Published by Jody on June 29 2012 09:38 in Dude Ranches | Food & Wine | Horse & Rider Magazine | New Ranches | Relaxation Ranches
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Touring the States is all part of the job for the Top50 Ranches team, as Jody Dahl reveals in her series of blogs for the UK's Horse&Rider Magazine. First stop, Brush Creek Ranch, a luxury Wyoming dude ranch...

Horse riding holidays can be expensive, so when you’re spending you’re hard-earned money on a horseback riding holiday you want to know that your chosen destination gives you exactly what it promises on the tin – or on at least!

Part of showcasing the best horseback riding holidays in the world means ensuring travellers get the ranch experience we promise them on While it’s very easy for a ranch to tell us they’re giving all their guests great horseback riding holidays, the only way to ensure that is to experience it for ourselves. And so this summer we’re embarking on our annual tour of the ranches, and checking out new ones to see if they make the Top50 grade!

First on our road trip was Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming. As we’re based in Montana this meant just a short hop across the border – well, at 500 miles it was more than a hop, but compared to the rest of our route the first leg was easy! After a long day on the road with my husband (and Top50 photographer extraordinaire) Toby, we pull into the ranch – and immediately feel right at home. Brush Creek Ranch is one of our luxury dude ranches, so we had high expectations of this one. We weren’t disappointed. Ultimate luxury from start to finish this might be, but it’s a world away from a ‘clinical’ five-star resort. Every guest is made to feel like the ranch is their house and home, thanks to personal touches like complimentary slippers for each guest to slip on when entering the main lodge. Toby and I took no time in sounding out the large indoor fireplace with its huge comfy couches – the perfect way to relax after our long drive.

When it comes to dining at Brush Creek, boy are you in for a treat. Now, I’m not really a fan of lamb but when it was served up to me at dinner that night I became a convert. It was dang good! And instead of being handed a wine list, we were escorted down to the wine cellar where we could pluck out any bottle of our choice. With some $200 on offer and all included in the base price, this takes guest satisfaction to a new level. Sipping on fine wine and tucking into wonderful food, we truly believed we’d died and gone to heaven as we watched the horses munching away in the pasture outside through the dining area’s huge windows, which offer panoramic views of the vast Wyoming dude ranch.

Great horseback riding
Next day it was all about the action. Being an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodge, Brush Creek offers great fishing for avid anglers - but we were all about the horseback riding. Arriving at the barn we found all the horses to be in great condition and of the highest quality. And it was like sitting back in one of those comfy armchairs in the lodge when we climbed into our saddles. All of Brush Creek’s tack is chosen for comfort and quality, and is clearly well cared-for by the attentive and highly-trained wranglers.

While chatting with our guide out on one of the beautiful trails covering thousands of acres of ranch land, we learned how each wrangler is trained to provide horseback riding for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Really avid riders can take part in private ‘clinics’ with the dude ranch’s lead horse trainer. Back at the ranch I was asked if I wanted to try one of Brush Creek’s trained cutting horses – and with cutting being one of my favourite western horseback activities, I jumped at the chance. As I’d previously only cut cattle on one our home-bred and trained saddle horses, riding a finely-tuned cutting horse in the huge outdoor arena felt incredible, and something I’d definitely recommend for serious riders. Toby certainly had his eye on at least one of their cutting horses! I knew we should’ve brought the trailer…

After a wonderful horseback riding experience we checked out the full-service spa complete with fitness room, sauna and steam room. The rest of our tour took us to see the climbing wall, a very comprehensive shooting range and a huge paintball course. And that was just outdoors! Heading inside to the indoor gym we found great basketball facilities and even indoor simulated golf. I had a hard time trying to convince Toby that a career change from cowboy to pro golfer was not a good idea. I think Tiger Woods can rest easy... .

Jody's Top 5 favourite things about horseback riding holidays at Brush Creek Ranch:

  • Although everything is high-end and no expense has been spared, the ranch maintains a homely feel with great hospitality and warm service
  • Incredible facilities for ranch weddings and corporate retreats – including a separate ‘ranch within a ranch’ so guests can stay separate from the main dude ranch guests. They’ll even bring the horses to you!
  • Everything is included in one price – even those $200 bottles of wine! So no need to bring or buy snacks, alcohol, drinks or anything else during your stay.
  • The ranch owner has great connections and brings in bands such as Marshal Tucker, for private concerts held solely for the guests staying at the time.
  • Incredible horses and riding program for ALL levels – from absolute beginners to challenging riding for experienced and advanced riders.

For more information on Brush Creek Ranch, visit

Women's Dude Ranch Vacations โ€“ Top50 offers what women want!

Published by Jody on May 29 2012 09:28 in Canada | Dude Ranches | Food & Wine | Girlfriends Getaways | Mexico | Montana | Ranch Specials | Relaxation Ranches | Rodeos | Therapeutic | Yoga Ranches
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Women-only ranch vacations at dude ranches promise a whole lotta fun – cowgirl style! We’ve come up with all of our ranches’ women-only weeks for 2012-13, so you can find the girls’ vacation to suit you. Whether you’re looking to get pampered on a luxury dude ranch vacation, or “cowgirl up” on a working ranch vacation, we’ve got something for every gal!

Triple Creek Ranch - Klicks For Chicks
Several times this year, the Montana guest ranch is hosting a 100 kilometer (62 mile) horseback ride for women only. Saddle up with the girls and horseback ride into deep canyons, over mountain passes, alongside crystal-clear lakes and through stunning meadows, as you discover the 'last frontier' of the Rocky Mountain west. Each evening you’ll return to the ranch where cocktails, where gourmet food and luxury cabins await. Next morning, mount up and venture out for another day on the Big Sky frontier! An adventurous girls’ vacation for women who love trail riding (and the odd cocktail).

Bar W Guest Ranch - Cowgirl Up
For several weeks this year, the Montana guest ranch is offering 6 night, 5 day girls’ vacations. The all-inclusive packages invite women to “Cowgirl Up” with friends, sisters, daughters, moms or simply on their own, as the girls take over the ranch! The girls’ vacations promise to refuel your spirit and delight your body. Explore nearly one million acres of trails, saddle up for a horsemanship clinic in the arena, and ride to your heart’s delight with one of the Montana guest ranch’s expert wranglers. Novice and experienced women riders alike will can work cattle in the arena, with team sorting and penning lessons. You can even try barrel racing and roping!

Nicely saddle sore, hop off your horse and kick off those cowgirl boots for a honey-and-hot-cream rock foot massage, followed by a couple hours of luxury pampering. By evening, enjoy Vintners presentations and cocktail receptions before tucking into real Montana. After a quick two-step or soak in the hot tub under the stars, retire to a soft bed and prepare to do it all again tomorrow. This girls' vacation is perfect for groups of cowgirls with varying riding abilities.

C Lazy U Ranch - Julie Goodnight Horse & Yoga Clinic for Women
This fall, the luxury Colorado dude ranch, along with renowned horsewoman Julie Goodnight, is hosting the ultimate girls’ vacation – a women-only riding and yoga retreat. With discounted rates on the luxury dude ranch’s quality accommodations, you’ll feel truly spoilt on this all-inclusive package, which includes all programming, horseback riding and yoga. Bring your own horse or use one of C Lazy U’s trusty steeds, as you take part in horsemanship clinic sessions that promise to be as fun as they are productive. Julie will ensure you’re having a good time, working at your own pace, staying safe and learning a lot, while giving more confidence with horses. It’s about you, your horse and progressing together while having a great time with other girls in an incredible setting. A great girls’ vacation for the keen horsewoman!

Echo Valley Ranch and Spa - Girlfriends Getaway Package
If you always wanted to be a cross between Calamity Jane and Holly Golightly when you grew up, this is the girls’ vacation for you! Realise your dreams of riding the range and throwing a lasso, and then treat yourself to a little luxury at the end of the day, at this luxury Canada dude ranch and spa. Sure to set your spurs jingling and your spirits soaring, the all-inclusive girls’ vacation will open your eyes to the magic of ranch life. Start with early-morning Thai yoga classes, before saddling up for all-day trail rides complete with gourmet picnic lunches, all rounded off with an Asian or European spa treatment at the end of the day. The icing on the cake? Relax with your girls and watch the sun go down. A girls’ vacation with the perfect balance between horseback riding and pampering!

Los Banos Ranch - Semana de las Vaqueras, “Cowgirls Week”
From October 14-20 this year, head south for a Mexico horseback riding holiday with the girls! Spend seven days with your fellow Vaqueras as you ride to all corners of the Rancho – from short trail rides to longer backcountry horse treks, this is western horseback riding at its best. Prepare to be challenged, awed, thrilled and entertained as you ride through the most beautiful country you have ever seen on this girls’ vacation. Embrace cowgirl camaraderie as you negotiate ravines, hills, mesas, canyons and the high sierra on horseback, and get the adrenaline pumping as you tackle steep declines and climb vertical sierras. This girls’ vacation offers women a horseback riding experience in its truest, most free form. One for the experienced cowgirls out there!

White Stallion Ranch - Cactus Cowgirls
Looking further ahead to 2013? Check out this Arizona dude ranch, which offers authentic western girls’ vacations with a luxury edge. White Stallion Ranch is offering three weekly packages dedicated solely to cowgirls next year. First up is Cactus Cowgirls Ride Again in January 2013, a week of fun, pampering and basking in the warm Arizona sunshine, which you can make as horsey or horse-less as you please. This all-inclusive pampering girls’ vacation will get you a Margarita welcome party, massage, trail rides, horseback riding lesson each day, guided hikes, yoga, country-and-western dance lessons, and more!

Or head to the Arizona dude ranch in February 2013, for Cactus Cowgirls at Rodeo Time. The girls’ vacation takes place in Tuscon’s rodeo week, so you and your fellow cowgirls will take a trip to the finals performance at the nearby Tucson de la Fiesta Rodeo. Earn your rodeo stripes with riding each day including barrel racing lessons and team penning, then relax in the saddle on a breakfast ride and a wine-and-cheese ride.

Delay your girls’ vacation until April 2013 and you’ll get to see White Stallion Ranch at its best, when the cactus is in full bloom. Ultimate Wild West Cactus Cowgirls is an all-inclusive women-only dude ranch vacation package that guranatees lots of trail rides, horseback riding lessons, team penning in the area and more. Out of the saddle, you and your girls’ can let your hair down with a Tequila tasting party and – once firmly sober! – a target shooting with a gun safety class.

For more information on prices and to book any of these western girls' vacations, visit

 By Jody Dahl

About the author

Welcome to Top50's Ranch blog -The best way to stay current on the best ranch getaways, network with friends, and share stories about your ranch experiences.

Since this blog is largely driven by guest and ranch input and experiences, please contact us with your videos, photos, and stories about your ranch experience or for any story ideas you may have! 

Continue to check back regularly as ranches keep us updated about happenings & special offers throughout the year. 


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