I struggled with rating my experience Very Good or Average and decided to go with "very good" only because the staff was so friendly and my kids had such a great time but it was really a stretch.
We went for a long weekend during a slow time because we wanted to avoid crowds. The day we arrived a busload of 60 tourists showed up for a day trip and basically took over the ranch. So much for quiet.
That said, the rest of our stay was much more peaceful. The ranch is large and there is plenty of space for the dude ranch folks as well as those there for the fitness program.
The ranch hands were very good with the kids. Cowboy Larry is awesome with kids. He has a very good rapore with children as do his assistants, Tyler and Bill. All three made all of us feel very welcomed. On the trail rides, I felt very secure that both me and my family were in good hands.
Where I feel there could be some improvement would be in the area of safety.. I would have liked to see the use of helmets during riding. There were a few available but the staff did not encourage or discourage their use. Other guest weren't using them so I was affraid to be the only one wearing them. Additionally, our bunkhouse did not have smoke detectors. They appear to have been all been removed except for two and one of the remaining had no cover and was missing a battery. We reported this to the desk and were told we could move or that someone would be out on Monday to correct. Since we had just moved our stuff in, we decided to get a battery and put it in the remaining detector and wait till Monday. They fixed it on Tuesday.
On our last day there I took the kids to the indoor pool which was an above ground pool enclosed in a barn with a deck built around it. We were told several times not to push off against the walls so the kids got in and were splashing around in the middle of the pool. I thought that was just a basic warning until a few minutes into the swim when the walls caved in, busted through the barn door and sucked a man and his daughter along with all the pool water out into the road. I screamed at my kids to hold on for dear life and thank goodness they were all safe but quite scared at seeing the accident. Apparently the walls gave way and busted open from the pressure of the water at the spot where the man and his child were playing. That pretty much ended the fun for me. I would have expected an apology or at least a discount on our stay for the inconvenience, but the only thing I was told was that it was good that everyone was ok and that they had just put in a new liner recently. Perhaps when they put in the liner they should have also replaced the metal exterior that actually keeps the water in place!
We can joke about it now, but at the time it was quite scary!
The day consists of breakfast, a 1 hour trail ride and 1 hour or so in the arena in the morning, lunch, followed by a repeat of the morning trail ride and arena. Then there is a 3 hour gap until dinner that can be quite boring. After dinner comes the campfire where you basically sit and watch the fire and cook s'mores. Not much push to keep things flowing after the time the last arena activity ends.
Finally, the food was not good at all and served in very small portions although seconds were available. Not sure if it was because of all the attention to fitness but when on vacation at a dude ranch you expect to have "cowboy food"....steak, potatoes, barbeque and certainly desert! Not so.
Anyway. I don't want to come down too had on them because, as I said in the beginning, they are good folk, know their craft, and are great with kids, but a little attention to the little things (smoke detectors, pool structure, etc) would have made for a much better experience.,
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.