For our 50th birthdays my friends and I decided to "step out of our box" and go to Red Mountain Dude Ranch. That was the best decision we could have made. This by far outdoes any vacation I have ever had!! You will read all these reviews but until you go there you will never experience the peace, serenity, fun, and overall feeling of self achievement that occurs while you are there.
We attended the "Ladies Week" with 28 other women from around the country. I met so many spectacular, brave women. Everyone instantly became friends. We shared stories, advise, achievements and failures. We laughed constantly. It felt so good. Sitting on the back porch of the ranch overlooking the mountains and horses with no telephones, televisions or stress of everyday life makes you realize how you become desensitized to the most important things in life. We are working to live not living to work.
During ladies week we were pampered with massages, excellent food, wine tasting (actually drinking since it really was pretty much "happy hour" daily and a 7 course meal that surpassed any restaurant I have been to. The activities were incredible. I envisioned archery as standing in a field just shooting a target with an arrow. Boy was I wrong!! We walked through the mountains as if we were hunting then would come up to an "unusual" animal (fake target) and would use either a compound bow or recluse. Sarah, our ranch hand (and now friend) taught us how to use both types of bows. We challenged our selves on the challenge course which was a blast. We walked across a log 50 feet up in the air, zip lined and climbed a 54 foot high wall. The ranch hands were there every step of the way educating us on what to do and keep us safe. The horse back riding was constant. You are assigned your own horse for the week. You can ride as much or little as you want. I personally took a horse back riding lesson and that was enough for me. I was busy shooting clay pigeons, hiking, geo caching, making pottery, pontooning, kayaking and a multitude of other things.
The evening entertainment included kareoke in the saloon, a campfire with a real folk story teller and guitar player. We even made smores. I was amazed that they set up a bar down by the campfire. It was just what the doctor prescribed. We played games, went looking for moose in the safari truck and were constantly busy. All these things I am mentioning are personal choices I decided to attend. You can attend as many things as you would like. At the end of each night we would sit outside in the hot tub and look at the stars. Its amazing that it is the same sky no matter where you live BUT I could see the Milky Way and constelations I would never see from Wisconsin.
The cabins were phenominal. Our cabin had a loft with a queen size bed and the lower level had 2 twin size beds. We overlooked the corrals and could hear the horses as night along with the bugeling of the elks. It was so serene. I slept like a baby every night cuddled up in my down comforter and cozy bed. I do not sleep like that at home. I am usually up at 3-4am. That didnt happen there. We had a specified day for laundry service which was included in the cost of the vacation.
The staff.....There are not any words that can describe the compassion, caring, fun loving staff that have now become part of everyones "ranch family". They all were so much fun and knowledgeable. Most live in the bunk house during the season so they would come up to the lodge and hang out witus. We learned so much from Nick, Sarah, Matt,Kiley, Tim, Jess, Jeanie, Alicen, Brenda to name a few. I must say though my favorite staff member was "Hank". When I came home from the ranch I have been telling everyone that "I found me a cowboy and his name is Hank" I then show them a picture of the most beautiful black labradore. He watches over everyone to ensure they are safe. You will find him laying on the front grass when you return from an activity, or he may decide to walk with you while you hike around the land. He is the most well mannered, layed back dog. Kids can climb on him and he would just lay there. I sure do miss Hank.
Last of all I have to commend Cory the ranch manager on the excellent hospitality, cleanliness of all areas of the ranch, amazing food, orginization of activities and his true desire to make sure everyone is having fun. Cory is present all the time. If you dont find him in the kitchen cooking he may be on the shooting range teaching guests how to fire a 338 Lapuea. I thank you with all my heart for providing such an amazing experience to myself and friends. I also thank you for hiring such an amazing staff. We are planning our next trip back to the ranch and are bringing our daughters with us. YAHOO. Were commin back!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Red Horse Mountain Ranch is a family dude ranch, vacation getaway, and retreat on nearly 300,000 acres tucked away in Rocky Mountains near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Since 1947, the ranch has had a rich history of dude ranching in Idaho and the same traditions of the Western experience live today. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch Hotel Harrison