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Sprucedale Guest Ranch

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About

#1 of 1 ranch in Alpine
Location
4.8
Cleanliness
4.1
Service
4.8
Value
4.9
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HOTEL STYLE
Mid-range
Quaint
Property amenities
Free parking
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
45Reviews1Q+A12Room tips
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T D wrote a review Jan 2024
3 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
The staff at Sprucedale are down-to-earth, hard-working people who make the extra effort to make your stay is as authentic as possible, while tailoring your experience to your capabilities and goals. Want to ride? There are ample opportunities. Want to improve your skills? They'll help push you. Want to be a wrangler? Offer to pitch in, demonstrate some basic knowledge/skills, be teachable, and you can work as hard as you want to. Want to see wildlife up close? Keep your eyes open and your head "on a swivel". We saw: Big Horn Sheep, Antelope, Deer, and a Grey Fox. I heard Elk bugling and a large pack of coyotes nearby. The terrain offered some good challenges, while the horses are sure-footed and responsive. The cattle... were sometimes difficult (which just makes it a more memorable experience); as one remarked during a particularly challenging drive: "It's a good thing they taste good...". For our last ride, the wranglers took us out for some light sight-seeing, while adding in a horse race and a game of "zombie tag" on horseback. That's a lasting memory that I never imagined I'd have. A close second as the most fun activity after chasing "break away" cows who tried to run up a hill and had to be chased down and returned to the herd. Billy is experienced, knowledgeable, and flexible- his priorities are: 1) safety; 2) get the job done (it IS a working ranch, after all); and 3) make sure the guests have a great experience. The ladies prepared great meals, and were often heard singing in the kitchen as they made sure we never left hungry! Lots of "home-made" "from scratch" deliciousness... I'm already looking at planning another visit... If you want a rustic, authentic, no-frills, challenging, hard working FUN ranch experience, this is the place to go.
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Date of stay: September 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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T D wrote a review Oct 2023
3 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
The staff at Sprucedale are down-to-earth, hard-working people who make the extra effort to make your stay is as authentic as possible, while tailoring your experience to your capabilities and goals. Want to ride? There are ample opportunities. Want to improve your skills? They'll help push you. Want to be a wrangler? Offer to pitch in, demonstrate some basic knowledge/skills, be teachable, and you can work as hard as you want to. Want to see wildlife up close? Keep your eyes open and your head "on a swivel". We saw: Big Horn Sheep, Antelope, Deer, and a Grey Fox. I heard Elk bugling and a large pack of coyotes nearby. The terrain offered some good challenges, while the horses are sure-footed and responsive. The cattle... were sometimes difficult (which just makes it a more memorable experience); as one remarked during a particularly challenging drive: "It's a good thing they taste good...". For our last ride, the wranglers took us out for some light sight-seeing, while adding in a horse race and a game of "zombie tag" on horseback. That's a lasting memory that I never imagined I'd have. A close second as the most fun activity after chasing "break away" cows who tried to run up a hill and had to be chased down and returned to the herd. Billy is experienced, knowledgeable, and flexible- his priorities are: 1) safety; 2) get the job done (it IS a working ranch, after all); and 3) make sure the guests have a great experience. The ladies prepared great meals, and were often heard singing in the kitchen as they made sure we never left hungry! Lots of "home-made" "from scratch" deliciousness... I'm already looking at planning another visit... If you want a rustic, authentic, no-frills, challenging, hard working FUN ranch experience, this is the place to go.
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Date of stay: September 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Plan early, as many activity weeks are "capped" and can fill up early. Plan your travel wisely:...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Anita H wrote a review Sep 2023
Reading, Pennsylvania67 contributions47 helpful votes
+1
First let me say this is not your typical dude ranch experience; and that is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I wasn't interested in e-biking, shooting, swimming, gourmet meals or luxury accommodations -- I was looking to ride as many hours a day as possible. I signed up for Whitney's Extreme Ranch Adventure Week, and all my riding expectations were more than fulfilled. This week caters to intermediate plus riders (you must be extremely comfortable at a posting trot, long working trot over distance, lope, etc. over a variety of terrains.) We loped, we long trotted, we moved yearlings, we herded cows, we rode in pouring rain, we rode in brilliant sunshine, we jumped, we bushwhacked and broke a new time record for loading the stock trailer with 6 horses. We rode in high country and lovely pastures; got to experience the local wildlife. Cabins were rustic with comfy beds, hearty simple meals (best homemade French fries I have had in 40 years.) Within a day I was in tune with the lack of electricity (the generator ran a couple of hours in the morning, and again during the evening) but propane hot water heaters delivered a hot shower whenever needed. No cell service (unless you have Verizon and can access from the dining room), no Wi-Fi and I can't say that's a bad thing. As I mentioned, I came to ride. :-) I am already signed up for next year's ride and if you're serious about getting off the beaten track and having some fun I heartily recommend this ride. LASTLY, let me repeat -- if you're looking for the high-end dude ranch experience with all the extra amenities, this is not your ranch. If you're looking to ride many hours a day, on a good horse in beautiful country -- then this ride is for you.
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Date of stay: September 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Charge your "chargers" while the power is on; then charge your phones overnight.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
2 Helpful votes
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Ms_Griz wrote a review Aug 2023
Arizona165 contributions37 helpful votes
+1
This was my second stay at Sprucedale. Obviously I didn't get enough of it the first time! This time I brought friends and they've told me I "undersold" the experience. We all had an absolutely amazing time. A true-to-the-old-west type of rustic experience, polished by a staff that is over-the-top friendly and helpful at all levels. For the best experience do not disregard the information provided on the website about the accommodations and what to bring. We arrived as guests but left feeling like family. Every one of us improved our riding abilities and tried our hands at new challenges. I even milked a cow (it is harder than it looks) and drank raw milk (more delicious than expected). We will be back!!
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Date of stay: August 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: Plan ahead. Availability sells out early. Expect variable weather - it is at 8000 ft elevation.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Ravi I wrote a review Jul 2023
1 contribution1 helpful vote
I mainly came to support my kids horseback riding love and they had a great time. They made fast friends with others and ran around the ranch all week. It was everything I hoped for. What I didn’t expect was that I’d be moving cows and loping by the end of the trip in some of the most beautiful meadows in the world. Highly recommended as long as you come in with the right expectations (it’s a real ranch, not a 5 star resort). Great value compared to other weeklong horse ranch experiences too. Can’t wait to come back.
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: You can get an Uber from Phoenix airport. Just do it in the day and make sure to follow their...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Tour02652306932 wrote a review Jun 2023
1 contribution1 helpful vote
An amazing place, owned and staffed by amazing people! Neither my wife nor I had ridden horses before staying at Sprucedale, but by the end of 5 days we were both comfortable in the saddle, mounting and controlling the horses, and riding on trails. We even were able to participate in their mini rodeo! The food is simple, but great, and the friendly, family atmosphere is wonderful. Our stay at Sprucedale was the Best Vacation We Have Ever Had, bar none.
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Date of stay: June 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: Rustic, but with all necessary amenities. Friendly owners and staff. Magnificent scenery. Good...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Karen N wrote a review Jun 2023
1 contribution1 helpful vote
+1
Sprucedale is a one-of-a-kind experience. I went alone over 20 years ago, but went this time with my teenage kid. We had a spacious two-bedroom log cabin with a modern bathroom and our own personal water heater. The third generation of Wiltbank family now runs the working dude ranch. Scratch home-made meals were generous and delicious. All of the staff were incredibly friendly. Riding horses is an option that most choose to participate. As the week progresses your skills improve and the rides become more complicated, but always tailored to your skill and comfort level. Even beginners that have never rode a horse will enjoy learning. Activities like dancing, singing, games, playing with other animals, etc. will keep you and your teens unplugged for the week. A great value for the vacation of a lifetime will leave you yearning to return.
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Date of stay: June 2023Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Dawn Sinclair wrote a review Sep 2022
1 contribution
I know how to ride and was looking forward to taking a few “Loping” rides. However, when we arrived I was told that, even if I am an expert rider, I would have to purchase a “Training” ride so that Whitney, one of the co-owners and wrangler, could assess my riding skills. Whitney promised that the Loping ride that afternoon would be “exciting”. Three sisters were coming for the ride with me and they were all expert riders. But in fact only two sisters showed up and one had no riding experience. They also arrived two hours late. The Loping ride was changed to a Training ride, through multiple horse pastures. It was not exciting or even interesting. But I thought that perhaps tha all day ride tha following day would make up for it. But since one of the sisters didn’t get to take the Training ride Whitney decided to cancel the all day ride. He was quite taken with the sister who could ride and asked her to help him herd the horses one morning, something I have done before and love to do. But Whitney cited “health concerns” (after riding 4 hours I had a very sore ankle) as the reason I was excluded. When I complained to Tiffany, another family co-owner and Manager, she said: “I don’t get involved in Whitney’s decisions.” We left 3 days early, extremely disappointed. Whitney changes the riding schedules whenever he pleases and plays favorites with the guests. I was never able to dry my hair with a hair dryer because the electricity in the cabin didn’t work. The meals were pathetic - soup and salad from a bag for lunch; a burrito for dinner. Breakfast was at 8 am but if you arrived at 8:40 am all the food was gone.c
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Date of stay: September 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Whitney Wiltbank, Owner at Sprucedale Guest Ranch
Responded Sep 12, 2022
First of all, I honor the feelings you are having. I honor your frustration. I am very sad we were not able to meet your needs/expectations. Your vacation time is precious, and we want that time to be wonderful. I could see that was not what you were experiencing and that is why we charged you nothing for your stay/rides and refunded you fully. My heart aches for the things you experience. My sister passed away recently from MS. Before the disease took over her body, she was absolutely amazing to watch on a horse. She and her horse were one in a magical way. Before the disease took her, she would sit on her horse and we would lead her with two people supporting her. It was not fair and so hard to see a part of her life she loved taken away from her. Experiencing this with her gives me great empathy for you. While riding with you I could easily see you are an amazing horsewoman; however, also during our rides together I had manually lift you on and off your horse. Some of our requests require steps to get on their horse and support off of their horse, but none of my adult guest require me to lift their bodies on and off their horse. Also, during our afternoon ride together (an easy ride in elevation, activity level, and time), you voiced concern in having the strength to stop your horse. A horse that is trained in both body ques and reign ques to stop easily. When we made it back to the corral, and I LIFTED you off your horse and placed you safely on the ground, you collapsed forward. Your strength, stamina, and balance were completely depleted. I was able to catch you before you hit the ground. A fellow guest supported you while I was able to bring a vehicle and transport you to your cabin. While on the drive to your cabin you mentioned how frustrating it is to feel young in your mind and heart, but your body no longer is cooperating. We laughed together on how true that is. When we made it to your cabin, I had to give you support up the stair and to the front door of your cabin. That evening I invited two guests to wrangle with me (1 male and 1 female). A wrangle is a very strenuous and advance equestrian exercise. I know your horse skill was more than sufficient, but I had seen what an easy ride did to you, so when you approached me to go on the wrangle I voiced I was not comfortable with you wrangling due to your health. I do wish I would have been more clear. While it is the worst part of my job, I do have to make a determination on what riding activities are appropriate for each individual guest. I was absolutely not comfortable your strength, stamina, and balance were adequate for a wrangling experience. I completely understand you are angry at me for not allowing you to wrangle, but for your safety I feel it was a very wise decision.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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dpassan wrote a review Jul 2022
Goodyear, Arizona3 contributions6 helpful votes
+1
Grandma (66 y/o) and Grandpa (84 y/o) from broiling Goodyear, AZ brought a 10 y/o, animal loving Grandson from Prairie Village, KS to cooler Alpine, AZ for a week at Sprucedale Guest Ranch. It would turn out to be a week that exceeded everyone’s expectations. The Wiltbank family have chosen the friendliest and hardest working young folks for their dining room and wrangler staff. This is not a luxury resort. It is not a spa. It is a working ranch. The like minded folks who come back year after year understand that. A dinner bell calls you to lunch and dinner (not breakfast). All the meals are tasty and hearty and made from scratch but not 5 star fancy. There are no snacks served between meals. If you are going to want ice, you need to bring your own. Our cozy, old, 2 bedroom log cabin sat up on a hill amid fragrant towering pines. It had a tin roof and a bathroom with plenty of hot water. For heat there is a wood burning stove. Many an UNO game was played on the front porch. The generator turns off at about 10:30 PM. Lights go out. You’ll be ready to sleep anyway. Be prepared to ride your gentle, exceptionally well trained steed rain or shine. There are 2 scheduled rides most days. One day there is an all day ride with a picnic lunch. My poor old knees were only up to one ride each day. Our grandson established friendships within a few hours of arrival. There were a ton of other boys the week we were there. He loved the gentle ranch dogs. He was very proud of his improving rodeo skills with his daily practice. He was most proud of taking the all day ride and climbing the cliffs by the river and then jumping in. I was delighted to see him participating in evening activities including dancing and a hayride. My husband particularly enjoyed participating in moving 100+ cattle, which were delivered the day before, to a new pasture (a la City Slickers). Me? My riding skills improved, I got to breathe in pine scented air, got to see a black star filled sky one night and read an entire book. Don’t expect a great (or any) cell signal, especially if ATT is your carrier. This is a vacation to unplug. We all thought it was great.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Jem C wrote a review Jun 2022
Denver, Colorado63 contributions37 helpful votes
+1
Didn't know what to expect going into it, never experienced anything close to it before, my husband and I prepared for 4 months, leasing and taking horseback riding lessons weekly, and it exceeded any and all expectations! From check in we felt very welcome and excited, after putting luggage away and getting settled, having some pigs in a blanket and cold lemonade, you get to go on your first ride! Horses were friendly, eager to please and fun to ride! I was assigned to Legs the first day and she was wonderful. So easy and sweet. Next day you head out to camp, and every day after that is just filled with amazing moments. Sprucedale is in a class all its own, and the horse drive itself is so special.. like being a part of the changing of seasons. I love that two new babies were born in the herd during the drive (first day we found a baby born the night after we corraled them) and one that had it at the pasture in Lyman Lake. Being around all the horses, especially the cute yearlings ❤️, riding through some amazing Arizona scenery, and being able to ride some truly special and unique horses is beyond words. Highly recommend the horse drive experience but overall highly recommend Sprucedale providing you an absolutely unforgettable vacation be it a family, a couple, group of friends, or solo trip.
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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LOCATION
United StatesArizonaAlpine
NUMBER OF ROOMS
21
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SPRUCEDALE GUEST RANCH - Updated 2024 Reviews (Alpine, AZ)

Frequently Asked Questions about Sprucedale Guest Ranch
Which popular attractions are close to Sprucedale Guest Ranch?
Nearby attractions include West Baldy Trail (3.2 miles), Tunnel Reservoir (2.3 miles), and Butterfly Lodge Museum (1.4 miles).
Is parking available at Sprucedale Guest Ranch?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Sprucedale Guest Ranch?
Conveniently located restaurants include Rendezvous Diner, Molly Butler Lodge Restaurant, and Omnivores Eatery.