Our family just spent four wonderful nights at Pack Creek Ranch outside Moab, Utah. My wife and I and our 15-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter thoroughly enjoyed this old-fashioned Western ranch. Our plan was to travel to the area to explore Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and to enjoy other outdoor activities. We had never been to the Moab area before, but were sure that we wanted to have our first ranch experience rather than staying at a motel in town.
Pack Creek Ranch is about 15 minutes south of Moab in the foothills of the LaSal Mountains. As you drive south out of Moab, you leave the shopping centers, road construction, and motels behind. You turn off of Highway 191, onto the LaSal Mountain Loop Road and into another world. You wind your way easily through the flat scrub and watch as the red rock hills in the distance grow larger.
When you reach the ranch you are completely immersed in tranquility. There is no trace of Moab or of the highway. Ahead the road continues to a few homes scattered on the hillsides. On the left is Pack Creek Ranch, which comprises about ten cabins, a swimming pool and hot tub, and a horse barn and corral. The ranch is spread over many acres, with some of the cabins clustered around a central loop. We traveled with another family, so we chose two cabins that were separated by a large well-maintained lawn. The lawn was perfect for baseball, football and Frisbee.
Check-in is handled at the office cabin near the entrance to the ranch. At check-in, we were greeted by Alan, whose title of maintenance man seems to be more than a little understated. He gave us the keys and welcome information. Alan is a former rancher, is easy going with a quick smile, and very helpful. Alan can fill you in on the history of the ranch and the Moab area. Alan is the father of Travis, who will likely be your contact regarding Pack Creek reservations. Travis always answered my many emailed questions politely and thoroughly within 24 hours of my email.
Our cabin was the M-4, which got its name from the old name of Pack Creek Ranch: the 4-M Ranch, named after the four Musselman brothers who owned the ranch many years ago. Our M-4 cabin was a beautiful log cabin with a bedroom, living room, dining room, bathroom, and kitchen on the first floor, and a spacious loft with three beds on the second floor. Our kids loved the loft. The family traveling with us stayed at the Farm House, which is all on one floor and is more modern-looking with its paneled walls. Both cabins were air conditioned. Although there was not central air conditioning, the large window air conditioner, room fans and cool winds kept our cabin comfortable. I think that our cabin cost $225 per night, but we received a discount off of that price because we rented two cabins at a time. I believe that other discounts may also be available.
Please keep in mind that these cabins are not for everyone. Pack Creek Ranch describes them as “rustic.” The kitchens are older, but clean and functional with all plates, glasses and silverware provided. There is no maid service, but towels and washcloths are provided, and more are given upon request. The furniture is not new or modern but is in keeping with a rustic ranch. Expect the unexpected. We were greeted every morning on our front porch by a cat that meowed until we gave it milk. Our children fell in love with it. If you happen to see that cat, call it Twilight. That is the name my daughter gave it. Another morning, one of the many (wild?) turkeys on the property was roaming just outside the front door.
There is no restaurant at the ranch. However, there is a propane grill, and the kitchen refrigerator, microwave and oven work just fine. Also, the restaurants of Moab are just 15-20 minutes away.
We enjoyed the swimming pool, which is large, and well maintained. From the pool you have a stunning view of the LaSal Mountains, including the highest peak, Mt. Peale, which rises above the tree line in the distance. The pool is located just behind a cabin named the Ranch House. Conveniently, there was rarely anyone else in the pool when we used it.
One of the best features of Pack Creek Ranch is the beautiful horses, which had their barn and saddling area a stone’s throw from our cabin. Ken Sleight, the expert horseman in charge of (owner of?) the horses gave us a trail ride through the wooded hills adjacent to the ranch. A few of the children (and my wife) were initially afraid to ride the horses, but Ken calmly alleviated their fears. All of us loved the ride through the peaceful countryside. Halfway through the ride, Ken spoke to us about the history of the ranch and the Moab movie industry, of which he and the ranch were intimately familiar. I believe that the trail rides cost $25 per hour per person.
One interesting feature of the ranch is the huge prairie dog colony on the premises. Located near (but not too close to) the cabins, the colony contains hundred of prairie dogs, with some popping out of their holes, some scampering around and some whistling. Never having seen a prairie dog, I found it fascinating. On several occasions as I walked from the pool to the cabin, I watched a coyote perhaps 40 yards away slowly stalking the prairie dogs. He saw me but ignored me. I never saw him catch a prairie dog.
In conclusion, I would, without hesitation, wholeheartedly recommend Pack Creek Ranch. If you want a peaceful Western experience, and realize that this is a ranch and not a resort, you will not be disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pack Creek Campground is a family owned and operated business under new ownership! We offer affordable nightly and monthly rates for tents and RVs. The Pack Creek runs parallel to our property and the shade trees all add to a rustic camping experience. Campfires are welcome and so are the family pets! Come check out the new improvements at Pack Creek Campground in beautiful Moab, Utah. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pack Creek Ranch Hotel Moab
- Pack Creek Ranch Moab, Utah