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Dude ranches and riding

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Wickenburg, Arizona
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Dude ranches and riding

<I visited a resort years ago outside Wickenburg where we had Sun brunch, where tennis was available and it had casitas available to rent but cannot find any info on it. Does anyone have any knowledge of such a place and it is still a resort? kb, mn snowbird>

This is from a really old post and closed topic. There was one reply - but not with the answer to this. Well, the place the OP was looking for was “The Wickenburg Inn- Tennis and Guest Ranch” – and it is indeed no more. (Not to be mixed up with the current Wickenburg Inn motel – nothing to do with each other).

It used to be a large dude ranch located a couple of miles up 89 on the right after you turn off 93, heading north. There were lots of tennis courts (around ten I think). But the main focus was on riding really. I used to work there as a wrangler, and during peak season were had over 100 horses (leased from a large ranch up in Colorado).

Guests stayed in neat bungalows built as a Casita village along a ridge. Across from it, backed against the next parallel ridge, was the main building with dining room and some guest rooms – as well as the pool. There were Saturday night cook-outs. You could go there on the hay ride or ride there – and some of the wranglers would sing songs at the campfire after the steak dinner barbecued right there. There was also a small boutique and an arts & crafts center for guests.

Back in those days the ranch belonged to some business group back in Chicago, and was later bought by Merv Griffin – who died in 2007. The ranch was then sold again and totally destroyed – everything was demolished and all the vegetation was cleared. It’s now like a massive sandpit. The idea was to create another of those modern resorts with golf course and all. The drop in the real estate boom recent years has halted operations. Last year there was nothing doing, after the bulldozers had been busy leveling the ground. It’ll be interesting to see what’s going to happen. IMO it is a damn shame they tore the place down, I loved it, and so did the legion guests who came and stayed there.

Apart from having been voted ‘most authentic western town’ several times, Wickenburg used to be nicknamed the Dude Ranch capital of the world – and it still is a great place to go to experience the ‘real’ Old West – no town is more authentic than Wickenburg. Sadly the KL Bar, a smaller-scale, traditional local dude ranch, is closed again this season; dearth of business has forced them to this step. It can only be hoped they’ll be open again next year. You can get the full experience at Flying E, though. Or guests can stay with the Williams family on their working ranch and ‘play cowboy’. Or you can stay at a hotel/motel and just go riding (guided trail rides) to see the beautiful Sonora Desert with its rich and varied flora and fauna.

Edited: 12 March 2012, 12:46
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Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: Dude ranches and riding

Great report esty. Where can hotel guests and day-visitors go to get the trail rides?

Wickenburg, Arizona
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2. Re: Dude ranches and riding

Well, there’s Cowboy Way Adventures on E. Wickenburg Way (= highway 60). They offer one-hour rides, as well as half-day, full-day or even overnight rides. They are listed on TA as a Wickenburg thing to do. However, they spend summers up in Prescott, so if you want to enjoy them in Wickenburg, it’s got to be during the winter.

You can also ride at Rosie Lloyd’s Effus Ranch, a small working ranch, year round. Rosie offers guided trail rides on gentle horses fit for any level, and she’s highly safety-conscious. She’ll also pass on a lot of local lore and information on the flora and fauna. You can also take riding lessons at Rosie’s. You can find her a few miles west of Wickenburg off highway 60. You leave town on 60 going west (direction Aguila) as far as mile marker 98, which comes as you come driving over a bit of a rise and drop down again. It comes upon you a bit sudden like, as it’s only an ordinary gate in the fence on your left hand side. If you drive underneath the power line you’ve gone too far. Call ahead to make a reservation with Rosie (928) 277-7703.

Forgot to mention in the first post there’s also the traditional, large Rancho de los Caballeros. Even though these days it gives the impression of a major golf resort from the road (well, it is that, too), they are still very big on riding. After your ride you could also eat a really great steak there – plus all the trimmings & trappings of course.

West Yellowstone...
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3. Re: Dude ranches and riding

Great report! We recently took the time to explore around Wickenburg a little more than we had in the past. I loved it and wished we'd had more time. Thanks for sharing!

Sun City West...
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4. Re: Dude ranches and riding

check out esty....great addition to these forums.

i'm hoping a local d.e. might suggest her to t.a. to make her a d.e. as well.

git aloooong...little dogie!

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: Dude ranches and riding

For what it's worth, I second Billy's nomination. I think every expert on the Arizona forum (or sub-sets) should recognize she has at least as much knowledge of the state as a whole, and without a doubt, more knowledge of the Wickenburg area and northwest quandrant of this state, than all the other experts combined. I think all DE's owe it to the readers of this forum to speak up for esty to become a DE.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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6. Re: Dude ranches and riding

Gee, guys, blush, blush - I DO love my hometown VERY much indeed and feel very strongly about it, and the whole of Arizona as well, our heritage, and I really want to ensure visitors have the greatest possible time here - always depending on what they're after of course ... so proud of my home I want to show it off to visitors ... I'd love to be nominated a DE of course ...

Edited: 12 March 2012, 18:16
Phoenix, Arizona
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7. Re: Dude ranches and riding

Just waiting to hear from all those DE's out there. Personally, from what I know about you and what you know about this great state, I don't see how they can do anything but make it unanimous. Any DE's out there?

West Yellowstone...
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8. Re: Dude ranches and riding

It does not require a DE to nominate, to my knowledge, but I'll be happy to do so! Multiple nominations won't hurt either, I think.

Good luck, Esty!

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Dude ranches and riding

I just hope one DE can't "veto" other DE nominations. I think she's proved hereself and earned it. Would like to hear from other DE's. Thanks Flagg!

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10. Re: Dude ranches and riding

We have gone to the Flying E Ranch every year for at least a week since 1980 and missed only one when one of our daughters was having a baby! For 5 years we had 4 generations. We have never had a bad stay. You can do as much or as little as you want with: horses, swimming, golf, tennis, eating, talking etc. We have enjoyed meeting people from all of the country and the world.

It is a small ranch and not as formal as Los Cab but that is how we like it.

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