This is our 4th dude ranch vacation. Three Bars is nestled at the foot of the Kootenay Mountains--the setting is beautiful, quiet, and the accomodations (cabins) are superior as compared to other dude ranches insofar as they are very clean and well kept and nicely designed. The food, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. This is supposed to be an award winning dude ranch (with accompanying price tag) and as such the food just has to be better. There was never any choice at any meal (fish was never offered) and the food itself was poorly cooked (ie. the "roast beef" was like shoe leather) and often cold if you are at the end of the chow line. And I don't subscribe to the idea that "it's a ranch and therefore you shouldn't expect much in the way of choice or quality when it comes to food".
The wranglers were competent and friendly and the horses were typical to what you would expect on a dude ranch. The terrain around the ranch was beautiful. New horses (recently purchased ones) were broken in to ranch and trail riding duties by the wranglers during the time they were escorting us dudes on trail rides. I don't think this is a good idea as during our stay two wranglers were thrown from their horses and ended up with some bumps and bruises. New horses should not be trained "on the job".
One last comment: I would have liked to see a little more effort by management to be sensitive to guest needs that are slightly out of the ordinary. My wife was a little too nervous to lope or gallop on her horse but wanted to do a lot of trotting. She tried to communicate this to the powers that be but often found herself in novice groups that mostly walked their horses. Surely there is enough flex so that a "trot group" can be orginized without too much trouble?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Three Bars Guest Ranch, The Adventure Ranch of the Canadian Rockies. Three Bars is Canada's premier guest ranch. Packages include access to a world class riding program, rafting, guided hiking, mountain biking, skeet shooting and a full evening program. All accommodations and meals are included in packages. ... more less