15 Days/14 Nights – Gateway: Phoenix

1: Arrive Phoenix/Scottsdale

Welcome to Phoenix and a tour unlike anything you have experienced in the past! When you depart you will truly be able to call yourself a “cowboy/cowgirl!” Pick up your car and head for your home for the next two nights.

2 nights Scottsdale at the Hotel Valley Ho. Hotel Valley Ho was cool back in 1956 when it first opened its doors before downtown Scottsdale was downtown. It’s every bit as chic now, after an expansive but meticulously groomed 2005 renovation. This mid-century landmark is the evolution of cool with posh, playful rooms and suites, fabulous fare at ZuZu and Trader Vic’s and VH Spa for Vitality and Health.

2: Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ

Explore the area today … see the fabulous Heard Museum in Phoenix, a must-see Arizona landmark. With exhibitions of cultural objects and fine art to jewelry and fashion, the Heard Museum offers the best in traditional and contemporary American Indian art. In Scottsdale arts aficionados will appreciate the city’s more than 125 galleries, studios and museums. You can learn about Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture at Taliesin West, or take a self-guided walking tour of Historic Town Scottsdale.

3 & 4: Grand Canyon, AZ (238 mi/396 km)

Drive today to the Grand Canyon. Along the way stop in lovely Sedona for a Pink Jeep tour over and around the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. See Oak creek Canyon, often described as a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon because of its scenic beauty. Continue to the Grand Canyon for a two-night stay. A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. Take advantage of the free Park ranger programs to learn more about this awesome place.

2 nights Grand Canyon

5, 6, 7 & 8: Tucson, AZ (341 mi/569 km)

Your first ranching experience is in Tucson. Here you will find horseback riding for all levels – from beginner’s lessons to fast rides for the experienced horsemen. You’ll enjoy guided, western-style horseback riding with friendly wranglers, fine horses, and scores of scenic trails. When needed professional wranglers can help guests overcome bad experiences and instill confidence at any skill level.


4 nights Tucson, AZ at Tanque Verde Ranch: Located on 640 beautiful acres east of Tucson, Arizona and adjacent to Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest, offers horseback riding, tennis, guided hiking, mountain biking, nature walks and much more, all included in your nightly rate. If you are looking for dude ranch family vacations or adventurous horseback riding vacations, look no further! This historic dude ranch, founded in 1868, offers the very best of a Southwestern resort along with an authentic Arizona dude ranch experience. Your stay here is all-inclusive, including meals and activities. Enjoy spacious rooms and fabulous dining as well as indoor and outdoor pools, spas, saunas, outdoor BBQ’s, breakfast rides and all day rides, all included in your nightly rate. Come share the magic of the Last Luxurious Outpost of the Old West, a true dude ranch family vacation! The ranch was voted Conde Nast Johansen’s Best Ranch of 2007 and has been nominated for the 2008 Award of Excellence/Best Ranch of 2008.

9 & 10: Sasabe, AZ (74 mi/119 km)

Travel almost to the Mexican border for two nights. In the late 17th Century the fertile Altar Valley was settled by Spanish Jesuits. Father Eusebio Francisco Kino and his followers built a mission outpost on the ranch. This building was used for more than a century as an outpost to trade with the local Indians and Mexicans. This rare and historic adobe structure is reputed to be the oldest building in Arizona and still serves as a peaceful gathering place for guests to mingle and relax.


2 nights Sasane at  Rancho de la Osa :  This 300 year old intimate property is one of the last great haciendas in America. Established as a guest ranch in 1923, Rancho de la Osa’s history has been lovingly preserved in the beautiful buildings that rest comfortably in the rolling grasslands of the high Sonoran Desert. Day time activities include horseback trail rides, guided hikes, nature walks, mountain biking and bird watching. After spending time in the saddle and exploring on foot, you can relax in the hot tub, cool down in the pool or have a massage before enjoying a pre-dinner drink in the cantina. Dining is focused around quality food and wine.

11, 12, 13 & 14: Greer, AZ (308 mi/493 km)

Retracing our short journey to Tucson we drive to the town of Mammoth, site of the mine so named because it contained a hugh amount of ore, and renowned for its natural beauty. Then to the town of Globe, an old frontier town close to the San Carlos Apache reservation, its history is laced with many historic events such as murders, stagecoach robberies, outlaws, lynchings, and Apache raids.  Now travel through the Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Greer and the Hidden Meadow Ranch.

4 nights Greer at Hidden Meadow Ranch.

Celebrate the seasons at this luxury guest ranch surrounded by majestic national forest in eastern Arizona’s White Mountains. Near the charming and historic town of Greer in Apache County, Hidden Meadow Ranch is an escape from urban life—a luxurious retreat for relaxing in a hammock under the whispering pine trees or enjoying the best activities nature has to offer. Surrounded by thousands of acres of natural open space, the Lodge is the perfect year-round place from which to launch a myriad of activities—or for just hiding away and relaxing in luxury. More than 975 miles of trails wind through the two-million-acre Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Nine wildlife habitat areas are closed to motorized vehicles, including the area surrounding Hidden Meadow Ranch, so you’ll enjoy quiet, peaceful hiking, fly fishing, winter cross-country skiing and trail riding experiences. Our concierge is available to assist you in planning activities during your stay, and a daily newsletter delivered to your cabin will provide information about planned activities and events. Horseback riding, Fly Fishing, Hiking, Archery, Horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, Canoeing, Mountain biking. Guest cabin services and amenities include pillow-top mattresses or featherbeds, down pillows, leather and locally hand carved wood furniture, fine art and antiques, digital music channels, candlelit baths, and complimentary soft drinks and fruit. Each cabin is unique in its décor, symbolizing some facet of the region, including the area’s wildlife (bear, elk, horse, wolf and trout), its plant life (wild strawberries, ponderosa pines and aspen trees) and its people (Apaches, Navajos and cowboys). Your stay at the Lodge includes three meals per day, ranging from fresh squeezed juice at breakfast to a lunch on the trail packed in your backpack or saddlebags to a candlelit “gourmet mountain cuisine” dinner overlooking the meadow.

15: To Phoenix/Home (229 mi/367 km)

Return to Phoenix today to drop your car and catch your homeward flight. Depart, taking with you memories of your incredible ranching holiday.

Photo Credit: David Jewell & Metropolitan Tucson CVB
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