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“Absolutely the Best”
Review of Elkhorn Ranch

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Elkhorn Ranch
Ranked #19 of 47 Speciality Lodging in Tucson
Brookline, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Absolutely the Best”
Reviewed 14 March 2014

Over the past several decades my family and I have vacationed at multiple dude ranches, including four others in Arizona, have enjoyed nearly all, and have revisited some. Without question, I would rank Elkhorn as the best. I got a sense that I had stumbled onto a good thing when, on our first evening I turned to the couple next to me and asked if they had been to Elkhorn previously, and they replied, yes, every year for thirty years. The wrangler who was with us every day on rides that were customized to our taste and skill, and never exceeded four persons, had first come to the ranch as a guest at age 6. Of the 35 guests at the ranch, two-thirds had been there multiple times. Within a day I felt like I was revisiting my extended family. All the meals were hosted by three generations of the Miller family. The guests were interesting, the horses first rate, the accommodations fine, the setting beautiful, and the experience - to be repeated.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank Daniel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 reviews from our community

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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

Three generations of my family just returned from our fourth week-long visit to Elkhorn in four years. Elkhorn is a magical place to all members of my family. New and returning guests share the feeling of "great good fortune" to enjoy what Elkhorn offers. The Miller family (in its third generation of operating Elkhorn) and the staff are invariably kind, attentive, and fun to be around. They clearly like, and take great pride in, everything they do and how they do it. The wilderness setting is magnificent, and the rides (especially the high mountain rides) are into sublime landscapes that figure prominently in native American creation myths. Galloping in the desert is a popular option, along with mountain rides. Mountain and valley views extend endlessly with no sign of human activity. The horses and Elkhorn's dramatic trails are perfectly matched. One does not need to be an experienced rider to enjoy Elkhorn, and many guests hike or simply enjoy the setting and company. Elkhorn attracts a warm, interesting and diverse group of guests. The food is excellent, and the casitas are charming. In sum, Elkhorn = amazing people doing amazing things in an amazing setting: true luxury.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Geoff60811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver BC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013 via mobile

The location is the starring attraction, but putting that great string of horses there and having the joy of riding up and down the hills and mountains around was quite breathtaking. I still can't believe they can clamber up rocky slopes so ably and lope through the flat desert lands so smoothly.
Great owners, great staff, lovely little clean cabins, more good food than I could possibly eat and helpful and highly skilled wranglers. If you're looking for winter riding experiences, I'd highly recommend them.
Bring warmer clothes than you expect to need - lots of layers!

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank NolaT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis / Jena
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013

Last year we were looking for an escape over Thanksgiving last minute and found Elkhorn incidentally. As a cabin was still available we took a chance and we were suprised how much we loved it.
In the middle of nowhere in sunny Arizona - what a treat coming from cold Minnesota.
A small place and family owned and we felt home right away. We loved it so much that we signed up for the following year, again. Even it seems that the crowd coming over the holidays every year is the same we were included right away.
This year' weeklong stay over Thanksgiving was wonderful, again. A small cabin with a sun porch facing the mountains was great for viewing the sunsets or stars at night. It's all about ridiing and that is what we want. The horses are well trained and Charley the owner find the perfect match for every rider. The groups on trail rides are small and the wranglers make sure that everybody feels safe and enjoys the ride. They always find the right level of challenge if one wishes to. Thanks to Topher to leading us on challenging loping rides through the beautiful desert to help to refine and improve our rather novice' riding skills.
The food is excellent and plenty; the weekly steak dinner from the large outside grill is great. I was surprised with a birthday cake.
My 17 year old daughter was included in the kids/teenager group right away. They chose their own table during meals and went riding together.
The evenings were spent in the great room, playing games or just sitting by the fireplace. There was always somebody for an interesting conversation. Although, I often choose to cuddle up in my cabin with a good book, a treasure which I do not have often back home.
We signed up, again and this time will be going back in April as we do not want to wait until November.
We like to thank the Miller family, Diane, the office manager, the entire crew and all the wranglers for providing us with a wonderful vacation and for sure we will plan a week or two at Elkhorn every year.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2013

We have been going to Elkhorn Ranch for many years, and if you include my parents, children and grandchildren for generations. We like its location at the base of the Baboquivari Mountains, the riding in the mountains or on the desert, the food and accommodations and above all the people. The ranch's website and the Tripadvisor guest comments give a good summary of the ranch and the overall experience. My daughter says that it is her favorite place to go on vacation---a really good time, no cooking for her and the children can go anywhere/ do anything without concern.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Charles S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2013

My family has been going to Elkhorn Ranch for about 50 years and we have always loved it for the warm and friendly atmosphere the Miller family has created all these years. We have had all ages with us and we all have a good time, whether it's my 90 yo mother who loves the people and the chance to walk surrounded by the beauty of the SW or a 2 yo who was introduced to horses and cowboys. The riding is magnificent and they accommodate different rides whenever you ask for them. The food is delicious and the family style eating ensures great conversations at every meal. We always look forward to our annual visit, catching up with old friends and making new ones.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank ShippenCambridge_MA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
92 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2012

I've been to the Elkhorn several times over the past 20 years and I'm pleased to report that it never changes. I've heard it said that wilderness is the greatest luxury. If that's the case, then the Elkhorn is exceedingly luxurious! However, it's a subtle brand of luxury; no spa or marble bathtubs here (though you can get a massage!). The luxury is better defined by the level of hospitality and service. For example, they have enough staff and horses on hand that you can get exactly the kind of ride you want, even if most of the other riders want to do something completely different. Rides are always small. The quaint casitas are spotless and very comfortable, complete with wood and kindling ready to go in the fireplace. The meals are wholesome, tasty, and plentiful. It's worth the trip just for the baking. I love that there are no phones, TV, or internet in the rooms. Relaxation comes quickly and stays.

Our hosts, the Miller family, is in their third generation running the Elkorn, and they have it down to a fine art. The service is gracious and friendly. The horses are perfectly suited for all levels of trail riding, and the best I have ever ridden. I have been there with children, by myself, with my husband, and on a girlfriends trip, and found the ranch to be the perfect place for all of them.

We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank sfs1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elkhorn Ranch

Property: Elkhorn Ranch
Address: 27000 W Elkhorn Ranch Rd, Tucson, AZ 85736-1005
Region: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 47 Speciality Lodging in Tucson
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elkhorn Ranch lies 51 miles southwest of Tucson, in a valley where mountains and desert meet. Since 1945, the Miller family has owned and operated the ranch, offering exceptional riding and living for thirty-two guests. Riding is the main interest with gentle or loping rides through the desert and vigorous trips up through the mountains. With seventy head of horses, the right horse can be yours throughout your visit. Come enjoy the Arizona sunshine! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elkhorn Ranch Tucson, Arizona

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