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Reviewed September 23, 2012

This holiday was by far the best we have ever been on! The setting, the staff, the horses, the activities, the food and the bar, all fantastic. We did so much research before we went, looking at different ranches, reviews, photos etc and BMR looked by far the best, and its all true!! You are made to feel like one of the family as soon as you arrive. The food was absolutely out of this world thanks to Bob, Andy and the rest of the kitchen crew. The wranglers tailored your day to suit exactly what you wanted to do and nothing was too much trouble. The ride out to the top of Black Mountain is a must, the scenery was out of this world. The evening meal at Jakes Lake and pack camp also had amazing scenery and were a lot of fun but watch out for the margueritas they are stronger than they look :) !
It doesn't matter what your level of riding ability is, by the time you leave you will be much better. We only had a few lessons before we went and were galloping along tracks by mid week.
The cattle drive and calf roping / branding was a fantastic experience too. The roping takes a bit of practice and raises a few laughs between guests, nothing is taken too seriously.
The saloon was a nice touch at the end of the day with guests, wranglers, kitchen staff and owners all playing pool and having a couple of beers together.
The cabins all have log burners in them that creates the perfect end of the day for when you collapse on the sofa after a full day of riding ( If that is what you decide to do).
We made a lot of friends during the week and we were sorry when it was time to leave.
We are definately planning on a return trip and can highly recommend this as the ranch to visit if you want the holiday of a lifetime.
A big thankyou to Nowell and the rest of the May family and staff.....see you soon!

Room tip: Get one near the saloon / dining hall, its up hill to the cabins. Columbine cabin is nearest.
Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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2  Thank B-H-Lamb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

This is definitely an experience well worth your time (and money). I was absolutely in love with the grand vistas, simple living, and freedom from tech that we found here. For lack of a better word, the staff is REAL: they have a welcoming, "down home," hands-on presence that is reassuring and makes for a gradual but challenging and fun integration into life on a functional ranch.

NOTE: If you hate the outdoors this is not for you. If you can't put your cell phone down, this may be just the therapy you're looking for to unplug and ENJOY your freedom from information overload.

If you're down to get your hands dirty, have fun, learn new skills and meet some truly amazing folks, give Black Mountain Ranch a try. (And yes, I loved shooting at the range and working with the horses.)

Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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2  Thank Mandaline G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2012

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.

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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6  Thank sloanedavidson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

This for me was a dream come true. What an amazing and life-changing experience. From start to finish I lived the dream. First of all, the ranch is just amazing. The scenery, the views, the horses, the cattle drive...there are no words to describe the beauty and adventure of a lifetime. You get assigned a horse and by the end of the week you know him/her very well. Ranch is like a little town, even have their own saloon with music and dancing into the night!!! You have the freedom to participate or not in activities, depending on your taste. The food is amazing. Cooking out under the stars we had the most delicious food made on a campfire!! Every morning we had buffet breakfast (even pack camp we had marvelous food); lunch varied but always excellent, and some of the dinners were gourmet dinners you would spend lots of money for. If you love to eat...this is the place. Trail rides were awesome and breathtaking. Someone always available to take you where you wanted to go or available to partake in the other activities such as skeet shooting or arena work. There's also the pool and hot tub. The accomodations were amazing...so clean...beds were so comfortable and comforter so comfy. Day of water rafting was an amazing fit. Colorado River was awesome. And the people at the ranch.....so down to earth, hard working, and there for you....to make you happy. They couldn't do enough for you. I cried when I had to leave and hope to go back again real soon. If you're looking for a working dude ranch and the vacation and fun of a lifetime...this is the place to go!!!!

Room tip: Our cabin was lovely and at top of hill. All the accomodations were generally in the same area and all kept up and clean.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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2  Thank Cathy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

Black Mountain Ranch is a one of a kind vacation. The owners and wranglers make you feel a part of the ranch not just a visitor. Everyone is especially friendly and all of the staff goes to great lengths to make sure your every need is taken care of.

The accommodations are extremely clean and comfortable.

The food is 5+ star (amazingly even the packed lunches we took on trail rides. I won't spoil the surprises)

I was especially impressed with the quality and care of the horses. These animals work hard and all (75+) are in excellent condition. They do an amazing job of matching the horse to the rider's ability.

The range of activities is also a plus. You can choose what you want to do from riding all day, to soaking in a hot tub or pool, white water rafting, camp out or just hanging out and relax.

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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2  Thank Patty T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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