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“Best Holiday ever!”

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Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reading, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Holiday ever!”
Reviewed 2 May 2010

What a dilemma….do I tell you all how wonderful this place is and risk it becoming so popular that we cannot get reservations, or do I cause an injustice by saying nothing…………Easy - this place deserves the highest praise so I guess I will just have to book well in advance!

We have just returned from a trip to the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch which was unintentionally extended by 10 days due to the Icelandic Volcano ash cloud. It was the best holiday we have ever had!

The wranglers were all fantastic and got my whole family loping after just 4 days. Prior to this trip my husband had been on a horse once and hated it! My 10-yr old son had never ridden and my 7-yr old daughter had had max 10 lessons in the UK. A big thank you to both Natasha and Dwayne for achieving this amazing feat and for taking us on some memorable rides! And to Craig for taking us on a fantastic fast lope on our last afternoon – what fun to lope and yeehah together as a family.

Carrie was so accommodating and we all went on rides that suited our ability - this meant that we rode with many other people, which was great fun as there was plenty of time to chat and find out more about each other.

I have ridden all my life and was given the opportunity to go on a couple of 4 hour lunch rides which were amazing - the scenery was spectacular and the horses were great (Whiskey was my favourite..).

When the volcano issue hit and our flight was cancelled we initially panicked...we then considered what our options were and it was an easy decision to stay on at the ranch rather than return to Vegas and wait with hundreds of other people for a flight which could take more than a week to materialise. Carrie and Dan were a fantastic support to us and we ended staying another 10 days until we finally got a flight home.

This was the best decision we have ever made! We spent even more time in the saddle and met even more amazing people from the UK, USA and Germany. We also had the pleasure of witnessing Tony and Joanne renewing their marriage vows in a horseback ceremony at sunset led by Craig, the head wrangler and attended by all the guests.

Everyone was so welcoming and introduced themselves on first sight (not something we often experience)…and we soon found ourselves offering the same enthusiastic welcome to all the guests who arrived after us.

The kids loved the freedom they had on the ranch - no locks on the doors meant they could come and go as they pleased. They loved playing with the dogs (Tux, Phoenix, Gus and Opey) and the other kids. After the first day the Nintendo DS's gathered dust in the room as they chose to play table tennis, pool, horseshoes and other more traditional games - the wranglers even taught them how to place Dice.

The food was amazing - especially the steaks – and there was always fresh fruit, vegetables and salad, a welcome change from the previous week of fast food in Vegas. And I mustn't forget the delicious homemade desserts which added a couple of inches to my waistline....A huge thank you to Tony the chef for feeding us so well to and also to Vicki, (his wife and Carrie's daughter) for letting me cuddle their beautiful 2 month old daughter, Raygen, when she was busy running backwards and forwards from the kitchen to the dining room (which was often!).

The evening entertainment was really fun and we especially liked playing Catchphrase. However the highlight was hearing Craig and Carrie sing with the band that we were fortunate enough to see on 2 occasions. I will admit that I shed a few tears during Craig’s rendition of “Home on the Range” the night before we finally left...

So many people said they wished they could stay longer and many were returning guests (some on 10+ visits!)….we booked up for next year (spring break) before we left and we are now counting the days (338) until we can return to our little piece of paradise.

I could write many more pages about this wonderful place but I will sum it all up by saying that the Ranch’s motto “You’ll arrive as guests, and leave feeling like family” is absolutely true. When we finally left we got so many hugs from all of the family that I was all choked up and couldn’t speak for a while. I am even welling up as I write this!

A special thank you to Dan, Carrie, Tony, Vicki, Raygen, Amy, Peggy, Carolyn, Mary, Scott, Natasha, Dwayne and Craig for making our stay so special. You are all awesome!

And a big “Howdy” to the amazing people we met during our stay – Pete, Sue & Ethan; Jeff, Julie & Nicole; Yvonne, Mark, Juliette & Adam; Tony, Joanne, Henry, Gloria, Heather & cutie Evan; David, Amy, Sarah, Elaine & Abby the guidedog; Linda, Bill, Ali, Natalie & Jack; Lee, Lisa, Emma & Aaron; Scott, Sarah & Callum; Patrick, Heike & Jacob. Please keep in touch!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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1 Thank ClaireG123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hudson, Quebec
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2010

We spent only two nights at the STGR. Prior to our visit I contacted them to see if there was an ordained minister who could help my wife and I renew our vows. Carrie Rynders responded that Craig, the Head Wrangler, was ordained. Tony, the Chef, is also an excellent photographer and could shoot our special moment if we wished also.

Well, I couldn't have been happier, we had an amazing experience with our 7&8 year old daughters at hand.

Craig and Tony took great care of us, as did the entire staff during our stay.

The rest of the ranch is as reviewed by others, don't worry, the place is beautiful and the location is stunning, it is definitely worth the trip!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Travellingfools49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2010

My husband and I decided to escape the madness of Las Vegas and venture out to Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch for a 3 night stay towards the end of March.
Our first encounter with STGR was with Jodi (the owner Carrie's daughter-in-law) who took my call, answered my many e-mails and made me feel like I'd made the right choice in booking a stay at their Ranch.
The ranch is 11 miles down a dirt road but the directions provided were excellent. We loved how remote the ranch was - we arrived to a haven of peace and quiet.
Tony (Carrie's son-in-law) met us and showed us around and got us settled in.
The rooms are rustic (don't expect a 5 star hotel experience) but they were clean and I loved the western decor. Our bed wasn't all that comfortable but that didn't detract from our stay at all. We would definitely visit again.
It took some getting used to having nothing to do but we just loved the peace and quiet.
That afternoon we met some other arriving families. We had the pleasure of meeting some great people (including oxybill and her family!).
We also met Carrie who had driven to Las Vegas to collect some guests.
The food was superb (wanted to take Tony home with me so I can eat that well every day!).
The horse riding was great for us as we're not at all experienced riders. However, I did feel that we weren't given sufficient instruction but we seemed to pick it up pretty quickly.
I had the pleasure of riding 3 different horses but my husband had the same horse for every ride.
Dwayne was our favourite wrangler and I was fortunate enough to go on my last ride out with him. Loved how he stopped en-route and told us stories. He also came and chatted to us before dinner one night. What a great guy!
Our stay was way too short and we were very sad to leave. Next time we will stay for longer. It was definitely a visit to remember and I would highly recommend this ranch to everyone looking for a peaceful, relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kaz08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2009

What can I say, this was the best holiday myself and my husband have ever had which makes my feel even gultier about the late review!

We spent a week at STGR last September having spent 2 days at Lake Las Vegas to chill out and get over the jet lag. We were prepared for the fact that the ranch was in the middle of nowhere and up an 11 mile dirt track as the information we received from Carrie when we booked included this and was very useful.

I was a bit aprehensive about what to expect from the ranch before we arrived as neither myself or my husband had ridden before (with the exception of 1 lesson about a week before we went), but we both loved the idea of being in "the wild west", the peace and quiet and seeing some amazing scenery. We have visited many places in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and California over the years and loved the area.

I was also unsure about how we would get on with the rest of the guests as we don't normally socialise that much when we go on holiday, preferring to enjoy each others company as we don't get to do that much at home.

We arrived too late in the afternoon on the Tuesday to make the evening ride but many of the other guests were out on the horses. We were met by Carrie and Tux (the dog) when we arrived and Carrie showed us around the ranch and to our room. Carrie was really friendly and made us feel so welcome.

Our room was great - 1 of a series of single story rooms connected in a row like small bungalows. The room was a good size with large comfy bed, a/c, plenty of hanging and drawer space, well equipped bathroom and sofa bed. My favourite bit was the horseshoe hooks on the wall which were perfect for hanging your hat on after a long ride! The hat hooks summed up the theme of the roome perfectly - quirky, rustic and just what you would think of for a ranch. There are no locks on the doors but this really is no problem - it is the safest place I have ever been. If you are really worried then you could lock stuff in your car I suppose but this really isn't necessary.

The covered patio outside had rocking chairs and benches and there are more chairs and picnic tables scattered around the site, perfect to sit and read or just study the scenery.

After unpacking we took the opportunity to have a drink and smoke outside on a picnic table when we saw the first load of guests arriving back from their ride. Kim, Michael, Phil and Val (who turned out to be in the neighbouring rooms) came straight over to introduce themselves and sat and had a chat, telling us all about it as they had arrived on the Sunday. This summed up how friendly everyone was and any remaining doubts we had completely disappeared. Sat outside in the beautiful warmth of the desert, looking at amazing scenery with no other building, car or person in sight was truly amazing.

Nights were my favourite part - dinner was always fabulous (as were all the meals!), the stars were beautiful and the peace and quiet, other than the occassional sound of the cayotes was mesmerising. Sat in the courtyard sharing a drink and swapping stories with other guests was great. We were all in bed by 10.30 as we had to get up at 6 for the morning rides so if you are into night life this is definately not the place for you!

The morning rides were early as September is stil very hot but it is worth getting up early to see the beautiful sunrises. I must have 100 pictures of the sun rise and set as it was so spectacular.

The horses are great and the wranglers are so passionate about the horses and look after them really well. We had Chuck, Jesse and Craig there when we were there and they are all great.

As for the rides themselves, your 1st ride is a walk only so that the wranglers can assess how competent and confident you are. After that you will be assigned into groups with similar competency levels. Carrie will let you know at lunch time what time your afternoon ride is and who you are going out with and the same at dinner time for the following morning. The rides lasted about 60-90 minutes at that time of year due to the heat. There are loads of different trails to go on so no 2 rides you take will be the same.

My husband took to the riding great but unfortunately I fell on my 3rd ride whilst loping. I won't lie - it hurt! As an amusing irony the horse was called Pride - as one of my riding mates on that ride (thanks Katrina! ) said just before I fell.... "Pride comes before a fall!" Boy was she right!

It did knock my confidence and although I did get straight back on and tried to go out on the next ride, as soon as I tried to lope again I just froze and had to stop, returning to walking the horse for the remainder of the ride. Carrie was adamant that I was not going to leave the ranch frightened of horses and that she would get me riding again properly before I left - she took the time out to take me out herself on a number of occassions, rather than with one of the wranglers. Knowing how busy she was this was really over and above and very much appreciated.

Even though after the fall I did not do 2 rides a day, I was never bored on the ranch. It seems really strange when you try to describe this to someone as you can't think what it was that you did. Usually had a nap after breakfast then a couple of hours round the pool before lunch, more time in the pool in the afternoon before time for the afternoon rides.

There were others on the ranch who did not ride every day, one played golf every day in Lake Havasu City (45 min away). There is no pressure to ride and there is no pressure to ride at a pace that doesn't suit you. The family and the wranglers just seem to want everyone to do whatever makes them happy.

As others have said, make sure you stock up on everything you need before you get there as the nearest stores are either Kingman or Lake Havasu, both 45 minutes away. We went down to Yucca thinking there would be a local convenience store there but no joy. No alcohol is sold on site so you need to stock up on the way. There is a large fridge in the lodge where everyone stocks their booze. The lodge also has soft drinks and snacks on sale - honour bar system where you just make a note on a pad of what you have taken. The same system is used in the gift shop which stocks a range of souvenirs as well as some essentials such as sunglasses for when you lose yours whilst loping.

There are a few things to do round about if you fancy a change (no riding on Sunday's). Kingman is o.k to have a look round but nothing special. Oatman is a good day out in a kitsch sort of way although 60-90 minutes there is more than enough (the cowboy shoot out in the middle of the street is a bit dire).

Overall, the title of this review says it all. At the end of our week we went on to Vegas for 5 days which we had been to before on a number of occassions and loved. This time, we wished we were still on the ranch. For us that is the best compliment I can give.

We will definately be back to visit soon, (I just can't guarantee I will be doing any riding!)

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank scouselou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calif
1 review
Reviewed 5 December 2009

This was our 14th visit to the ranch and it was the best ever! Five all day lunch rides with Boss Rangler Craig and even a day trip trailering the horses up to the mountains to ride with Carrie and all the ranch wranglers!

We always schedule our trips to the ranch for our wedding anniversary. This year was our 40th and will always be super special.

The brocedure says it all. Quiet, peaceful, beautiful weather, clean comfortable rooms, great meals, honest & reliable trail horses and of course, super duper family staff.

Lots of things to do for everyone. The wranglers take special pride in fitting your riding ability to the right horse for you. They have scheduled rides for all levels and everyone comes back smiling and relaxed.

The meals are varied and something for everyone and you will never, never leave a meal hungry. Might want to schedule a nice walk around the desert afterwards to try and work some of the food and especially the dessert off!

Can't wait to schedule our next trip. Join us, you will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kitchells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wester USA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2009

We would like to thank the Rynder family and the staff for a most excellent Thanksgiving week. The ranch is very comfortable to settle into quickly. Our ranch cabin was very nice - modern construction with comfortable beds.

The best thing (next to the food which was really good) however is the horses. The wranglers are not uptight about the horses and we could therefore able to take some awesome rides, including loping up some dry river beds. It was like the old west probably was, thundering hooves, dust clouds, horses breathing heavily...... Really quite a life experience. We had a very nice Thanksgiving day (no relatives, no cooking, no cleaning) where we got to go for a long morning ride, have a horseshoe tournament and a fabulous Thanksgiving feast. The kids particularly liked the lodge with its pool table and old time games. Even though there is a video room there the kids opted for old time fun like card playing and billiards. Its nice to get their faces out of the video games and re-connect every so often.

When we go back - and we will - we will go for some longer rides which were really a blast.

In summary, we really liked the laid back nature of the Rynder family and staff, it was a great vacation especially if you have kids.

Congratulations guys for achieving the dream.

See you soon.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Redmondtravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix
1 review
Reviewed 28 November 2009

They had a real gift for treating me, as a solo traveler, as if my experience was just as important as, say, that of a family or a couple or a group. This is quite rare. I understand that it can't be easy to make everyone happy, and I often find when I travel alone
that I tend to slip through the cracks and get stuck here and there, having
to adapt to the plans set out for larger groups... With my desires taking a
back seat to the other patrons. A bit of a second fiddle... But not at this place. I feel like everybody went out of their way to make sure that I had a good visit just right for me...

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BreakfromtheRatRace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

Property: Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch
Address: 19985 S. Doc Holliday Road, P.O. Box 580, Yucca, AZ 86438
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Arizona > Yucca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Yucca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stagecoach Trails is centrally located in NW Arizona just 2 hours south of Las Vegas and 3 hours west of The Grand Canyon south rim. We offer overnight packages that include room, home-cooked meals, daily horseback riding, and the use of all the ranches amenities. We have a heated swimming pool and hot-tub, western lodge with billiards table and fireplace, horseshoe pits, wagon rides, ping-pong, campfires, archery, fat tire mountain bikes, petting zoo and more. Come see the Wild West the way it was, the way it is now. Located in the middle of the Mohave Desert at the foot of 3 mountain ranges, Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch is a wilderness paradise. One of the few places on earth were you can see the Milky Way at night. See ya at the ranch! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch Hotel Yucca
Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch Arizona/Yucca

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