White Stallion Ranch is Top50's newest luxury dude ranch

Published by Jody on April 24 2012 11:06 in Children's Programs | Dude Ranches | Food & Wine | New Ranches | Ranch Owners | Relaxation Ranches | Rodeos | Shopping | Therapeutic | United States
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White Stallion Ranch, a luxury dude ranch and working cattle ranch in Arizona, USA, is the latest ranch to gain the Top50 accolade. One thing that really stood out for us was not just the ranch's convenient location just 35 minutes from Tuscon International Airport, but the fact that as soon as you step cowboy boot-clad foot inside the Arizona ranch, you could be a hundred miles from the 'outside world'. One reason is that White Stallion Ranch sits right alongside Saguaro National Park, with access to mile upon mile of cactus-adorned desert plains and mountain wilderness. What's more, the luxury dude ranch is nestled into the west side of the Saguaro studded mountains, where only on reaching the very top is the nearest town in sight.

Don't be fooled by the ranch's high guest capacity of 70 and luxury, resort-style facilities and amenities. This family-owned and operated 3,000-acre ranch is steeped in history, and is still a working cattle ranch alongside providing luxury and family dude ranch vacations. Brothers Russell and Michael True took over the guest ranch from their parents, who bought White Stallion in 1965, and go out of their way to get to know each and every guest taking dude ranch vacations at the ranch. This is the kind of place where people treat you like one of the family - so no wonder the Trues are renowned for their high-quality service and first-rate hospitality.

At White Stallion Ranch, it's all about the horse riding. This is the perfect family ranch vacation for parents with children able to ride, as kids aged 5 and above are, if able, welcome to join in the beautiful, scenic trail rides on the diverse riding program. Children aged 8 and above can - again, if able - even join the faster, more adventurous rides, complete with loping and trickier terrain. And if you want to ride without the kids, you must go on the adults-only "Cheese and Wine Ride" - a slower, relaxing ride to one of the ranch's most beautiful areas where you'll enjoy wine, cheese and other treats. With 140 horses, the Arizona dude ranch runs one of the largest horse herds in the state and so can match each guest with more than one perfect horse. Whether you're a complete beginner or an advanced rider looking to tackle some 'real' riding, there is a horse and a trail ride for you.

Running 100 head of cattle across the ranch, White Stallion runs a hugely popular team penning program - an arena based riding activity where guests can learn the art of this tricky rodeo sport. And because you'll no doubt be hooked on rodeo by the end of the week, you'll love the weekly ranch rodeo featuring local cowboys and ranch wranglers demonstrating how the pros do it.

Not interested in riding? The guest ranch's wonderful location offers wonderful guided and unguided hiking opportunities, both through White Stallion Ranch and in the adjacent Saguaro National Park. There are also plenty of off-ranch activities to enjoy should you wish to head further afield - all made easy with the option of hiring a car direct from the ranch.

Aside from comfortable lodging and tasty meals, the luxury dude ranch boasts a heated pool with a large redwood hot tub; a fitness room with an exercise room, sauna and massage therapy; a lighted tennis court and sports court; a recreation room with a 27-seater movie theater, lots of fun games; a children’s playground and a petting zoo. Come evening, retire to the beautiful bar and hop up on one of the western-saddle bar stools for a drink with other guests - you don't have to be a rider to get in these saddles! And forget having to trek to town for souvenirs, as the ranch has its own gift shop where you can buy riding gear, gifts, travel items and lots more.

Whether you're travelling alone, with family and friends, with your partner or as part of a corporate retreat, White Stallion Ranch will give you a dude ranch vacation experience you will never forget - and want to return to year after year.

For more information on dude ranch vacations at White Stallion Ranch, visit their ranch profile at Top50Ranches.com

Dude ranch vacation of the month: Rancho de los Caballeros

Published by Jody on April 16 2012 10:11 in Cowboy Culture | Dude Ranches | Relaxation Ranches
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Dude ranch vacations don't get more unique than Rancho de los Caballeros, which is why the Arizona dude ranch has been chosen as Top50's April 2012 Ranch of the Month.

Each month we scour our selection of dude ranches and picks out one that we feel surpasses our standards of excellence - and, most importantly, offers something unique. That could be anything from ultra-luxurious facilities, to those personal touches that really make a ranch vacation, to fast-and-furious cattle drives that'll be etched in your memory forever.

Top50 has chosen Arizona dude ranch Rancho de los Caballeros as April 2012 Ranch of the Month 

On paper, Rancho de los Caballeros might look like your typical large-scale dude ranch resort, with its high guest capacity, full-service spa and stunning golf club. But although the ranch offers full resort amenities and privacy, it all comes with the charm and intimacy of a much smaller family ranch operation - this is the kind of place where everyone knows your name and remembers your favorite horse, and where the staff start to feel like family! The 20,000-acre luxury dude ranch is also steeped in history: opened to the public by the Gant family in 1948, the ranch strives to honor the grand tradition of the Spanish caballeros who explored and settled the Southwest. This rich history has made Rancho de los Caballeros what it is today, and the charm and service remain the same as it was back in the '40s.

Rancho de los Caballeros became involved in cattle ranching in 1953 as a steer operation, later developing into a cow-calf operation with the purchase of 100 cattle from the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. Although the ranch is no longer a working operation, cows still offer guests the chance to work on their cowboy skills with team penning activities in the arena.

A fine example of true luxury, the dude ranch's location in the vast a beautiful Sonora desert seal it as one of the best dude ranch vacations in the USA, and its warm, personal service makes dude ranch vacations at this Arizona guest ranch that extra bit special. Close your eyes and you might believe you're in a small, cozy B&B! Because this dude ranch has soul - this is what makes it unique and this is what makes it Top50's dude ranch of the month.

If you're after great weather then this is the ranch for you - open between October and May, the Arizona guest ranch makes the most of its warm climate for out-of-season dude ranch vacations. For incredible horseback riding country, a great place for kids and non-riders to enjoy a ranch vacation and all the luxury offered by a spa, then Rancho de los Caballeros is ready to give you a dude ranch vacation you'll never forget.

For more information and to book a western ranch vacation at Rancho de los Caballeros, visit Top50Ranches.com

Is there a ranch that stands out for you? Tell us why and we'll consider for upcoming Ranches of the Month!

Five-star service at Top50 Ranches

Published by Jody on March 29 2012 06:05 in Canada | Dude Ranches | Food & Wine | Montana | Relaxation Ranches | Therapeutic | United States
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Five-star service is an added luxury on dude ranch vacations. While all of Top50's ranches meet high standards of excellence in food, accommodations, horseback riding and hospitality, there are a few stand-out ranches when it comes to five-star service, from high guest:staff ratios, to personalized vacations and those all-important personal touches.

If you're looking for five-star service on your next dude ranch vacation, you need to check out these Top50 ranches...

The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, USA, has a real commitment to luxury, offering first-class service, and luxurious accommodations and amenities. Step into a world of incomparable creature comforts, gourmet cuisine, decadent spa treatments, hi-tech amenities and, most importantly, a highly personalized service. Stay in the Montana dude ranch's private luxury homes and tents, and enjoy the staff's attentive, anticipatory service, with your own personal butler and chef. Paws Up is ideal if you're after a resort-style dude ranch vacation with privacy and a flexible, personalized schedule.

Luxury and great hospitality at Siwash Lake Ranch, Canada

Siwash Lake Ranch in BC, Canada, treats every guest to their own personal horse for duration of their stay, and private guides will escort you through the beautiful ranch. Here the focus is on supportive and informative mentoring at all times; being such a small, private and exclusive Canada guest ranch, taking a maximum of 16-24 guests, the ranch's 14 staff ensure royal pampering for all. The personal service is complemented by Siwash Lake's intimate, boutique atmosphere, and because it's run by 4th-generation ranches, the luxury dude ranch guarantees authentic dude ranch vacations as well.

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia is Top50's only luxury tented safari camp, and is a truly high-end and detail-oriented Canada guest ranch. As well as a gourmet food and wine experience, you'll be treated to highly personalized trips with no need to sign up in advance, and your own personal guide if desired. Every evening the luxury dude ranch's Activities Directors will sit with you personally and design your adventures for the next day. A remarkable team of staff provides the Clayoquot Wilderness experience, where nature adventure meets personalized service - from the office staff, to kitchen staff and servers, to the sommelier, to the nature guides.

Echo Valley Ranch and Spa is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), and offers warm and welcoming dude ranch vacations in BC Canada. Owners Norm and Nan, and their highly dedicated staff, will all make you feel right at home while providing a five-star iconic Canadian ranch experience. Not forgetting the award-winning BaanThai and European-style spa - a bit of pampering is a must at this Canada guest ranch! With babysitting service and lots of packages to cater to all needs, Echo Valley does its utmost to make your dude ranch vacation special.

Head to Montana's The Ranch at Rock Creek and experience limitless outdoor recreational opportunities, outstanding accommodation and cuisine, and a full-service spa. The Montana dude ranch offers the feel of the “true West” without sacrificing true comfort, designing an activities program with your individual tastes, preferences and needs in mind. Think tailor-made experiences, no strict schedule, a full-service spa, and five-star dining. At Rock Creek, hospitality and attention to detail is delivered with a subtle excellence and with an ambiance of warmth, luxury and comfort. Staff interaction is casual but professional, making dude ranch vacations at The Ranch truly five-star.

Vista Verde is a luxury Colorado dude ranch with an incredible 1:1 guest-staff ratio! This means dude ranch vacations with flexibility and personalization. Unlike a resort, however, Vista Verde hires down to earth people who treat you like family. The luxury dude ranch's wranglers and guides will go out of their way to tailor each experience to your interest and ability, and you can rest assured that top-notch gear and equipment is provided for your convenience.

Everything at Triple Creek Ranch, MT, is made 'just so' by the caring staff

Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, USA, allows you to relax in world-class accommodations, dine on the freshest contemporary cuisine and sample the world's finest wines. The luxury dude ranch's caring staff pamper you at every turn, and can personally plan special adventures off-ranch, as well as on-ranch. An adult oriented ranch, this is a couple's haven - think luxury accommodations, chef's table dining, candlelit dinners, moonlight strolls and a private cabin, plus movies under the stars! You'll also be welcomed with a bottle of wine and basket of goodies in your luxury accommodations. A winner for adults wanting a secluded getaway with five star service!

For more information on ranches with five-star service, vist Top50Ranches.com

Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming unveils ultra-private ‘Ranch within a Ranch’

Published by Jody on March 16 2012 04:00 in Dude Ranches | Historical Ranches | New Ranches | Relaxation Ranches | Therapeutic | United States | Working Ranches | Yoga Ranches
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Brush Creek Ranch’s Magee Homestead offers the ideal secluded hideaway for intimate dude ranch vacations for discerning individuals and families, as well as corporate, wedding and leisure groups.

Looking for complete privacy on your dude ranch vacation? Then enjoy the secluded and exclusive Magee Homestead at The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek – the Wyoming guest ranch’s ultra-private “Ranch within a Ranch”. Located just five miles from the main lodge at Brush Creek Ranch, Magee Homestead features a private lodge and a collection of seven historically-restored cabins in a tranquil, creek-side setting, tucked amidst rolling meadowlands and natural rock outcroppings in the heart of Wyoming cattle and ranching country. With its immaculate private lodge and dedicated staff, Magee Homestead offers the ideal secluded hideaway for intimate dude ranch vacations for the most discerning individuals and families, and is also ideal for corporate retreats, weddings and leisure groups.

Says Bruce White, owner of the luxury Wyoming guest ranch: “The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch is located in such a pristine and remote location that we felt compelled to create a place that offers true privacy and exclusivity for a select few. There very few places left in this world that provide complete privacy and luxury while still being understated and down-to-earth, and we believe Magee Homestead is the best of them.”

Much like the rest of Brush Creek Ranch, Magee Homestead has its own fascinating history. The property on which Magee Homestead sits was a cow camp and hay-producing ranch back in the early 1900s. The smaller cabins on the property, which have been renovated and turned into individual lodging cabins, were once used as housing for cowpokes. The names of each individual cabin – TZ, Elk Hollow, Burgess, Wood, Pierce, Downie and Wiant – come from the original property title work, which likely reflects the names of the original homesteaders before the Wyoming ranch was combined into one larger property.

The crowning jewel of dude ranch vacations at the Magee Homestead is the luxurious lodge. Its large, open club room offers a comfortable living area as well as a game room featuring an elegant bar with antique rifle collection. With a Steinway seven-foot grand piano, hand-carved billiards table, poker tables and two indoor fireplaces, dude ranch vacations at this secluded location are more than luxurious. There’s even a fully staffed private kitchen and dining room, serving up gourmet meals and premium beers, wine and spirits. Or why not dine outside, on the spacious outdoor dining and entertainment patio which features an outdoor fireplace and expansive views over the Wyoming guest ranch’s sweeping countryside.

Magee Homestead Brush CReek Ranch

   Magee Homestead Brush CReek Ranch

Retire to luxury accommodations within seven historically-restored cabins, totalling nine bedrooms that sleeps up to 25 guests. There are sure to be fights over the three-bedroom TZ Cabin Residence, which includes a full kitchen, dining room and living area. Rest assured, however, that the other cabins are just as luxurious, all with en-suite bathrooms, plush interiors and complimentary Antica Farmistica® toiletries.

Horseback riding cowboys at Brush Creek Ranch Wyoming

Go horseback riding direct from the Homestead

Take your dude ranch vacation at the Magee Homestead and enjoy the privacy of your own manicured lawns and a pergola with spacious outdoor hot tub. The Wyoming guest ranch even provides a private concierge to handle your every need, including scheduling activities such as horseback riding, ranger tours, float trips and more. And it’s all available direct from the Homestead – fly fishing and floating on the restored Elk Hollow Creek, a private tee pee for spa treatments, hiking and biking trails that connect to the Ranch’s 50 miles of maintained trails… Even its own private stable so you can ride out on the ranch horses without having to leave the Homestead. Dude ranch vacations at Magee also include access to the main Lodge and Spa, whether for morning yoga on Falcon Peak Overlook, or poker night at the Saloon.

Magee Homestead is available to book now, as a total package starting at $10,000 per night, with a minimum stay of four nights in peak periods and three nights in off-peak periods.

Discover more about Brush Creek Ranch at Top50Ranches.com

Family dude ranch vacations kids will love: The Resort at Paws Up

Published by Jody on February 29 2012 09:12 in Children's Programs | Dude Ranches | Montana | Relaxation Ranches | United States
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Family dude ranch vacations don't come much better than at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, USA. In an age where iPads, X-Boxes and 3D televisions seem to be the centre of our children's worlds, it can be hard to encourage them to enjoy the simpler things in life, and even the most sporty, active and 'outdoors' kids have that favorite TV show they simply can't miss. But on a dude ranch vacation - especially at family dude ranches like Paws Up - sitting in front of the box will be the last thing on their minds.

Paws Up for kids

The Montana dude ranch offers an unbeatable range of activities for all ages that will drag any kid out of bed in the morning, whether taken as part of the Paws Up Children's Program or tackled with Mom and Dad. Let 'em take their pick from all of this...

Outdoor activities
Horseback riding - lessons, cattle sorting and more
Climbing
Mountain biking
Sporting clays
Campouts
Wagon rides
ATV Rentals (guided)
Fly-fishing
Zorbing (pictured below)
Rappelling
Hot-air ballooning
Geocaching
Archery

Water-based activities
Lake water sports
River floating
White-water rafting adventures

Winter adventures
Cross-country skiing Snowmobiling
Snowshoeing

Children's program

The family dude ranch's Children's Program is perfect for children aged four and over, providing supervised, age-appropriate games and activities including:

  • Horseback riding (pony rides, arena riding and trail riding)
  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Nature education
  • Wrangler activities
  • Wildlife appreciation
  • Scavenger/treasure hunts
  • Horseshoes
  • Badminton
  • Pool
  • Animal care
  • Horse care

The Paws Up "Kids Corps of Discovery" is held seven days a week, will full- and half-day programs available for children aged five to 12. Think trips to a local ghost town, fun in the sun at the Paws Up lake house, authentic ranch experiences and more!

Paws Up for parents

With the kids fully entertained, it's time for Mom and Dad to kick back and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of Paws Up. Whether it's enjoying candlelit dinners, romantic lakeside walks or horseback rides, decadent spa treatments or a dip in the hot tub, adults are guaranteed a wonderful family ranch vacation with as much or as little time with the kids as they please.

As for the sleeping arrangements, parents won't want to leave the luxury 'glamping' tented accommodations with personalized butler service, while the kids will love the luxury camping experience just as much. And if they're too tired to move after a day crammed with adventure? Well, there's always the flat-screen TVs...

For more information on family dude ranch vacations at The Resort at Paws Up, visit Top50Ranches.com

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! 

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