Just have to put my two cents in about my recent trip to Rancho-Oso.
There are three types of accomodations at the ranch.
If you want to rough it you can stay in the covered wagons, which is something like a tent, with cots inside. If you have a large group going, it would be neat to rent several of the wagons, because they are arranged in a circle(maybe 5 wagons to a circle?) and in the middle of them is a large fire pit where everyone can mingle as the sun goes down.
Second type of accomodation is "bring your own". Most of the campers at the ranch were RV'ers. There was ample parking and hookups for your own motorhome. It is one of the few places that you can bring your own horse as well and many of these travelers did. There are corrals and arenas to board your animal during your stay.
We stayed in the cabins. There aren't very many so get your reservations in early, but they adequately kept 4 adults comfy in a queen bed/ and a bunk bed.
First thing we did when we arrived was reposition the picnic table to the back of the cabin to get it out of the afternoon sun. Other than a small grill to contend with and meat eating(chicken-burger) yellowjackets, we found the "almost camping" weekend a delight.
If you aren't one to do your own cooking make sure to stay at the camp on Fri-Sat-Sun. That is when their food facilities are open. I think you make reservations and pay in the morning. We arrived late Sunday so didn't get a chance to experience any of their cooking.
I did get a chance to ride on a long excursion with the same guide as the previous reviewer. I actually liked the solitude and was not expecting a narrated guided tour (during my 3 hour ride). His job I felt was to show us the way, keep the other horses from galloping off, and remind us not to get too close to the horse in front. Anything else he added in the form of tales/asides/answered questions were bonuses in my opinion. It was an incredible ride from the bottom of the valley to the top of a high mountain/ridge. I felt the ride for days after(in my back and legs) so be prepared.
My only negative comment about the whole stay was the fact that the pools were "OVERLY CLORINATED". Bring googles, and visine because it will burn a hole in your pupils.
And no matter how hard I tried, my cell phone would not work. WOW---peace at last........
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The spirit of the Old West abounds in this family-oriented rustic ranch setting. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rancho Oso Hotel Santa Barbara