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“Great Experience!”

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Big Bar Guest Ranch
Victoria, BC
1 review
“Great Experience!”
Reviewed 7 September 2009

We camped at the Big Bar Ranch for four nights, and we absolutely loved it! The goal was to have a horseback vacation off the beaten path. The remote location made us feel like we were truly on the Western Frontier. The ranch was rustic and had a truly authentic appeal, but had all basic amenities. We rode for four days straight, with horses perfectly matched to our ability, and each day we saw new stunning vistas. The wranglers were taken right out of a Western movie and clearly loved their lifestyle. The steaks from a nearby ranch were among the tastiest we've ever eaten.

In addition to horseback riding, we rode mountain bikes, hiked, and played table tennis and pool. Other guests highly recommended the canoeing, but we simply ran out of time. There were always plenty of things to do and lots of nice people to talk to.

We will definitely be going back to Big Bar Ranch.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChaseBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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103 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Aarhus
1 review
Reviewed 20 July 2009

Just spent a week at Big Bar Guest Ranch, and WAUW what a place. The Ranch it self is nothing fancy - it's a REAL ranch, and you can come as you are. The horse riding was AWSOME. I was on two 2 hour rides - one took almost three hours. We went up to the meadows behind Big Bar Mountain, and I felt like being Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves ... a part from the fact that I wore a helmet ;O). My wife also did two 2 hour rides - one with advanges riders ... she came back with a smile from ear to ear ;O).

We have a one year old son, and we were a bit afraid of him getting bored, but NO problem. We just took turns in taking care of him and the staff at the ranch was so freindly with him ... and us.

Speaking of the staff. They really made our stay different. They're positive and we actually diden't feel like guests - more like being a part of everything.

The food was NICE ... too nice ;O) ... no, I just ate too much of the lovely food ... and deserts.

We stayed i Coyte Lodge - simple and nice rooms. At Coyte Lodge there's a big room for everybody - really good for family reunions or businesses. We saw the cabins and they're GREAT. They are situated on the hill down to a lake - really NICE.

I haden't read the negative review on forehand, and I'm GLAD that I haden't - I might have chosen not to go to Big Bar Guest Ranch. Now that we've been there and had a LOVELY time, we're SURE to go back.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank NoLaptop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban SA / Berkshire , UK
Level 5 Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2008

We were a little concerned and apprehensive to have read the previous review on Big Bar Guest Ranch from Scottish travellers ...Our family of 5 including our teenage son and 2 daughters aged 9 and 11 arrived in the wee hours of the morning ( almost a day late as we had underestimated travel time from Vancouver in our 36ft RV!)...we were met with a hesitant welcome and it seemed as though all was not right...a few minutes later Pat (wife of Charlie the Cowboy and manager of Ranch and owner of next door cattle range) told us that they were short of cowboys and we could only head out at midday and not 10am as planned. As it happenned this really suited us as we had a huge amount of laundry and Pat said that, to make up for the inconvenience, we could do the washing and drying free of charge. We had a leisurely breakfast accompanied by about 5 real live cowboys(!), also having breakfast - awesome ;-) At midday we chose our cowboy boots (!), cowboy hats (!) & steeds - mine a lovely 16 hand mare called Mollie - an appropriate mount was provided for all levels of expertise and experience. Western style took a little getting use to - especially as Mollie was so wide! Kim was positioned at the back of the ride to check that all was OK. We set of over stunning terrain and after a couple of hours arrived at our corral camp. The horses were untacked and placed in a fenced area next to us and we erected our tents while Charlie started cooking. We lit a lovely campfire and watched the sun setting whilst sipping cool beers. Charlie's T Bone steaks were huge and delicious - Pat wouldn't partake as this was 'Malcom' that we were eating - one of their calves raised on their cattle farm! Charlie is a true real live cowboy - check out the Canadian Geographic for September 08 (I think & hope it is this edition!) as it has a 2 page article all about Big Bar Ranch and Charlie with a great review! We had a comfortable night in the tents although we heard some noise in the middle of the night - when we woke in the morning we discovered that all barring 3 (Charlie's horse and me and my son's horses) had escaped and broken through the fence - hence the noise! Fortunately while we ate breakfast their location was identified and while we rode off to meet them the others headed off to find their horses by pick up truck! We had another enjoyable ride and when we got back to the Ranch we were pleasantly surprised when Pat re-imbursed us with $800 as we had arrived a day late and missed some meals but had prepaid everything (our being late was entirely our fault so we were very appreciative of this gesture!) - we would definitely recommend this place - it is a no frills and is an authentic cowboy experience if you go out on the pack trip, which is perhaps what had been missed by other travellers with bad reviews! My only comment is that we really wished that Charlie & Pat had joined us at the camp fire after cooking our great steaks as we would have loved to hear all about his experiences of being a cowboy and their lives growing up in such a spectacular place! We suspect that they were respecting our privacy, but we would have welcomed their conversation! If we find ourselves in the area we would definitely go again!

  • Liked — The scenery and being out on the horses
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Shaka1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2008

we booked this holiday online and spoke to the staff by phone from scotland before we went. we went to whistler and were married there then on to big bar ranch for four days. what a let down. the place was undergoing renovation and the website still reffered to the old owner yet at no time in our contact with staff was this mentioned. the staff were friendly enough but this has honestly got to be the worst holiday ever. we did a bit of riding but most of the time we spent on long walks just to do something. after dark you really were on your own. the accomadation in one of the cabins was very run down and basic. after four days we paid only half the fee and left, had they accepted visa we would have paid by this and reclaimed it upon arrival back in the uk. all in all a real let down which is a shame as we love canada and intend to go back on our third trip in two years but no where near big bar ranch. if you go here make sure they accept visa so at least you can claim your money back if they let you down this badly . why did we stay four days only because we had already booked a car and other accomadation to follow.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — old dated
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank fixitScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BigBar_GuestRanch, Front Office Manager at Big Bar Guest Ranch, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
New owners have since taken over the Big Bar Guest Ranch and are working hard to ensure each and every guest has an incredible and unique ranch experience. We're sorry that you didn't enjoy your stay with the previous owners, but would love to welcome you back for a second chance.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 18 July 2004

We just spent four nights at Big Bar where we had an excellent vacation. Situated in a pristine valley in BC’s Cariboo region, Big Bar provided the best terrain for horseback riding we have yet experienced in the province. For those intent on improving their riding, Big Bar offers a superlative selection of mounts, wranglers and trails. Be sure to make your level clear to the staff. They proved equally accommodating to beginners, intermediates and advanced. Anne Freeman--the owner--and her staff will welcome you into the “family” with open arms, making the spirit of Big Bar infectious. We had lovely chats during hearty meals at large tables with fellow lodgers who mainly came from Europe (including many from the U.K.). The accommodations, while Spartan, helped us decompress completely and keep our minds on the beauty of the surroundings and the next day’s riding. For the more adventurous, Anne can arrange a three-night packtrip or a day driving cattle through--often into (!)--the bush.

Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Big Bar Guest Ranch

Property: Big Bar Guest Ranch
Address: 5960 Big Bar Road, Clinton, British Columbia V0K 1K0, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Cariboo > Clinton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Clinton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Big Bar Guest Ranch 2*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We're an all inclusive Guest Ranch located north west of Clinton, BC. Included in your package is your accommodations, three square meals and up to 5 hours of riding per day. You can either participate in two short rides in the morning and afternoon or take your lunch with you for an all day riding experience. Archery lessons provide an alternative activity to consider. Also included is access to our private lake with use of our canoes and peddle boats; as well as maps to our marked trails to enjoy either on foot or by mountain bike. Of course all the social areas are part of the package and you can feel free to play billiards or shuffle board in the lounge or simply hang out by the camp fire. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Bar Guest Ranch Hotel Clinton
Big Bar Guest Ranch Clinton, Cariboo, Canada

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