My wife and I signed up for the Dusk Dinner Ride on 3/11. When making the reservation we were told to be there no later than 5. We arrived at around 440 and were greated by a friendly cowboy who introduced himself and took care of collecting our money and filling out brief liability paperwork. There were a bunch of horses tied up and ready to go. Then we seemed to sit and sit and sit. I was starting to get disapointed that we wouldn't leave until after it was dark and I really wanted to be able to see the scenery. During this time there was no communication as to when we would get going. A few people continued to filter in well after 5 but finally we were assigned horses and were on our way a bit after 530pm.
Once horses were assigned there were quite a few cowboys who helped everyone get on thier horse and introduced you to your horse by name (although I wonder if they made the names up on the spot as they didn't seem to really know the names). We were then told to fall in line. Almost everyone in our group was beginners so we had no clue how to stear our horses or get them to move. Everyone seemed to have their struggles but were quickly atteneded to by the professional staff. I would HIGHLY recomend THEM giving a brief riding lesson PRIOR to people getting on thier horse. The good news is the horses are obviously well trained and well behaved so even with the lack of any training / guidance they were easy to control and I never felt unsafe.
Our ride consisted of roughly 14 people with a guide at the front (believe Doug who was friendly) and a guide at the back (not sure his name but he wasn't a very friendly fellow). Both guides seemed very knowledgeable on horse riding and the area and quickly attenended to anyones needs that arose during the ride. Riding at dusk was great. The mountainous dessert terrain was beautiful as we trecked to the restaurant. I was very impressed on how the horses performed and actually at times got bored as I wanted to make my horse do more. The scenery was amazing and after about 1.25 hours we arrived at the restaurant.
The resteraunt was in a great location overlooking the city of Phoenix. The country decor was perfect for the journey we were embarking on. Price was a little high but not bad for the value and we both enjoyed our meal. Once everyone had concluded eating it was time to hop back on our horses.
When getting on the horses for our return trip it was pitch black. Once leaving the streets leading to the resteraunt you were off into nature once again. You could here all sorts of animals and we even saw a few coyotes. The veiw of the city lights twinkling in the distance below was pretty however I preffered the sights of the mountains, scrub brush, and cactus you could see during day light.
Upon getting back to the ranch the cowboys got everyone off there horse one by one. It felt odd that after spending 4 hours together there was no "closing presentationt" you simply got off your horse and left.
OVERALL: EXCELLENT VALUE for the money, we really enjoyed our trip and would do it again. the restaurant was good, the scenery was beuatiful, and the horses were very well behaved and trained. The experience could have been improved with a brief Welcome and riding orientation at the beginning and a closing any questions thank you type presentation at the end.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.