What an amazing vacation! My (new) husband and I chose Black Mountain Ranch for our honeymoon. It might seem a bit crazy to spend your honeymoon on a Dude Ranch but it was exactly what we were looking for and I can't recommend it enough!
During our week on the Ranch we met families and independent travelers - the Ranch can handle any group of travelers, all you have to do is bring your adventurous spirit.
The staff are so warm and truly lovely. They are great with kids, great with adults who are kids at heart and great with adjusting city folks to life on a working cattle ranch.
The setting could not be more stunning. Every day you're surrounded by horses and landscapes as far as the eye can see. Your daily schedule is really up to you! Trail riding, arena riding, a trip to the shooting range, learning to rope, playing horseshoes, shooting pool, take a swim in the pool, go rafting, fishing, canoeing...see what I mean!
One night dinner is served at the lake, you ride there and back. One night everyone sleeps out at Pack Camp, and you ride back the next day. You pick the difficulty of your ride (easy, medium, hard) and once you arrive at Pack Camp your tent is set up and hot food is waiting for you. Plus campfire songs and the most beautiful night sky and stars you could ever imagine.
The food is so delicious with lots of options for your whole family. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style and most days you order breakfast at dinner from a few options. Plus endless cookies on hand fresh-baked daily.
I love vacations like this - limited decisions! All you have to do is pick a few things every day and the rest is taken care of.
Your wrangler is your guide for the week but anyone on the property will help you with questions and everyone has skills they're really great at and willing to share their tips and tricks from practicing roping to learning to Texas 2-step in the saloon in the evenings. Kids included!
Your horse is your best friend for the week. You'll be shocked at how much more comfortable you feel on a hose by the end of the week. This goes for both experienced and non-experienced riders.
Not having a cell phone was a blessing and we didn't miss it one bit. What a treat to really be on vacation and not be attached to your phone. There is limited wifi, but we didn't use it and didn't miss that either. There are of course phones on the property and ways to check back in with work/family if you have to.
Towards the end of the week, I mentioned to some of the families that I was surprised not to see one single kid meltdown or anyone not smiling all the time - the parents all agreed that since there were endless options and activities the kids were always occupied and that left everyone happy and tired at the end of the day. Same goes for adults!
As for us, it was a really romantic trip. We had tons of time to spend alone in the wilderness but also time to get to know some really cool families and some amazing staff, cowboys, cowgirls and wranglers.
Thank you to the May Family at Black Mountain Ranch for over 20 years of service. It was absolutely a vacation we'll never forget and will be telling friends about for years and years to come.