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Kay El Bar Ranch

Overview

This ranch has been present on this land in Arizona since 1909 and the first adobe building was built in 1914. This old adobe building is now the Homestead House guest casita with additional accommodation added over the following years. As early as 1918 the ranch welcomed its first guests and it ha…

Highlights

  • Ride through slot canyons and saguaro forests
  • Experience the Sonoran desert on horseback
  • Stay in a truly historic ranch
  • Close to Phoenix for easy flight options
  • All ages and abilities welcomed

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 10 riders per group (28 in camp)
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 108kg / 240 lbs / 17 stone 2lbs

Description

This ranch has been present on this land in Arizona since 1909 and the first adobe building was built in 1914. This old adobe building is now the Homestead House guest casita with additional accommodation added over the following years. As early as 1918 the ranch welcomed its first guests and it has been welcoming guests ever since (apart from a short period from 2012-2018). The ranch has also been listed on the State Register of Historic Places since 1979.

The authentic, intimate and friendly ranch offers a genuine dude ranch experience. Located in the Sonoran Desert, in the shadow of the Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness it sits at an altitude of 2130ft. The nearby Hassayampa Hill offers desert vistas and unforgettable sunsets. Whilst the ranch itself encompasses 100 acres, there is access to over 2,000 acres of state and federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management which can be enjoyed on horseback or on foot.

The ranch’s proximity to the Hassayampa River makes for some spectacular riding - the Hassayampa is intermittent, meaning it doesn’t always flow at the surface, but rather underground in stretches. It creates the unique desert riparian habitat in the area. Guests ride through slot canyons, saguaro forests and sandy stretches of the river’s washes with plenty of opportunity to see the Sonoran Desert plants and animals. For more experienced riders, trotting and loping can be incorporated into rides where the terrain allows and at the wrangler's discretion. Riders do have to prove they can safely control their horse at faster gaits in the arena before doing any faster riding on the trail.

As well as riding the trails, you can also enjoy the pool and whirlpool spa, hike, or rest in the lodge living room. Whatever you want, you will find peace and relaxation at your own pace. Authentic adobe-walled buildings and cowboy décor help transport you to a quiet place, apart from the rush of modern life.

The friendly staff make it easy to become part of the ranch family. Many guests return every year to wake up to the gorgeous desert sunrise, enjoy delicious home-cooked meals, and ride into the beautiful landscape on wrangler-led horseback rides.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Western

Horses

Mainly Quarter horse types and a few draft crosses.
The horses are a real mixture and some horses are very gentle and suitable for beginners, whilst others are more spirited for experienced riders.
There is no riding on Sunday afternoons or bank holidays.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Ranch Stay is a based ride

Ages

5 years and older to join trails; 8 years and older for cattle penning

Health

General good health

Weight

108kg / 240 lbs / 17 stone 2lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

All meals are included and prepared by their in-house professional chef in the homey ranch kitchen. There are plenty of choices and meals are served family-style in the dining room, on the patio, or even out on the trail. There are also desserts—fresh-baked cookies and pastries hot from the oven after each lunch and dinner.

A fresh pot of coffee is ready in the lodge for early risers, followed by breakfast before the first ride. They serve cowboy-hearty breakfasts, including fresh fruit, cereal, and home-made specialties of the day.

Lunch is usually enjoyed on the dining patio between the morning and afternoon rides.

There’s a social hour every evening in the lodge which is a great way to swap stories and mingle with fellow guests and the wranglers. Dinner is served family style in the dining room or on the patio. Savour home-cooked goodness, including garden vegetables and crisp salads and warm rolls, as well as choice meats, fish and poultry.

Special dietary requests such as vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice.

Accommodation

The main lodge has eight rooms which are a mixture of Double, Queen, Twin or King. Each room has a private bathroom, Monterey painted furniture, custom bedspreads and Western artwork.

Additional rooms are available in the Homestead House which is a 2 bed/2 bath cottage with it's own living area and fireplace - perfect for families or small groups. There are also two separate casitas with walk-in showers, tucked away under the trees.

There is a communal dining area and living room in the main lodge as well as a swimming pool and whirlpool spa.

Itineraries

Ranch Stay Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

There's plenty to offer non-riders or to keep you busy when not in the saddle.

The Sonoran Desert is gorgeous and hiking trails range from flat to gentle hills, so you can venture out to see the plants and animals of the desert.

The skies are alive with desert birds, and head cook Keith is happy to share his avian expertise with guests.

During evenings in the lodge you can rediscover the pleasures of board games, puzzles, reading, and music . The timbers and décor is original, so it's easy to get in a relaxed spirit and you won't miss watching TV or a movie (there aren't any).

The historic town of Wickenburg also makes a great day trip if you fancy leaving the ranch for a few hours, with a museum full of western artefacts, an ice cream parlour and western attire shops.

Travel

Kay El Bar is 5 minutes from the town of Wickenburg, 1 hour and 30 minutes from the Phoenix Airport, 1 hour and 15 minutes from Prescott, 2 hours from Sedona, 2 hours and 30 minutes from Flagstaff, 3 hours from Las Vegas, 4 hours from the Grand Canyon, and 5 hours and 30 minutes from Los Angeles.

For most European guests, Phoenix airport will be the easiest option as there are many direct flights into this major hub airport.

Guests are responsible for their own transportation to and from the ranch. There is a Wickenburg-based Airport Express shuttle available if you don't wish to drive yourselves or the Advantage Car Rental in Phoenix offers Kay El Bar Ranch a 10% discount off the lowest rate.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive and settle in.

Days 2 to 7

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

Life at the ranch is centred around the horses and riding program with a well-trained string of horses for every experience level − beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Before breakfast riders can head down to the corral and groom their horse if they'd like. During your first orientation, the staff will go over western riding techniques and explain safety precautions with the group.

Rides go out twice daily except Sunday and holidays, when the horses have the afternoon off. All-day rides are available by request.

The wranglers select a horse for each rider based on his or her experience and each rider is assigned to a group based on individual riding abilities, experience, and the type of ride that you want. More experienced riders may ride at all paces, including lope (canter). Riding is done on endless trails through federal lands adjoining the ranch. In addition to the stunning landscape, you may also spot some of the local wildlife. Keep a lookout for the desert tortoise, jackrabbit, or banded gecko. You may even catch a glimpse of a coyote or the poisonous but sluggish Gila monster.

Children (age 5 and older) are also assessed for individual ability and it is not required that children are on the same ride as their parents or guardians, unless you request it. There is no minimum age for a child allowed to sit on horse if the parent or legal guardian is present but they must be 5 or older to join the rides. Riders 8 years and older may canter or trot through the wash of the Hassaymapa River beneath sheer canyon walls, or climb rocky ridges for spectacular mountain views.

Cattle Penning, also known as Team Penning is also on offer (subject to availability). Evolved from the common ranch work of separating cattle into pens for branding, doctoring or transport, during this activity groups divide into teams and work together to separate and move specifically identified cattle from the herd to another area of the arena. This is a popular sport for riders wanting to test their equestrian skills with cattle, with family teams, (children ages 8 and up) and group vacationers; it requires coordination with your horse and with your teammates.

Please note that during the summer season, the riding schedule is adjusted to accommodate for warmer temperatures.

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Time allowing, you can join the morning ride and stay for lunch before heading to the airport for your flight home.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities can be accommodated.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 10
Accommodation for up to 28.
Departure windows

At any time during: Oct. 1, 2021 - March 31, 2023

Pricing

2021/2022
Lodge room (October 2021 - 1 May 2022), adult, single occupancy
£285 $380 €335 per night
2021/2022
Lodge room (October 2021 - 1 May 2022), adult, double occupancy
£255 $340 €300 per night
2021/2022
Homestead House (max 6 pax), (1 October 2021 - 1 May 2022), per house, 1-4 occupants
£1100 $1465 €1295 per night
2021/2022
Homestead House (max 6 pax), (1 October 2021 - 30 September 2022), per person, 5th or 6th occupant
£148 $197 €174 per night
2021/2022
Casa Grande (max 4 pax), (1 October 2021 - 30 September 2022), per person, 3rd or 4th occupant
£148 $197 €174 per night
2021/2022
Casa Grande (max 4 pax), (October 2021 - 1 May 2022), per house, 1 or 2 occupants
£560 $750 €660 per night
2022
Casa Grande (max 4 pax), (1 October 2022 - 31 March 2023), per house, 1 or 2 occupants
£575 $770 €680 per night
2022
Homestead House (max 6 pax), (2 May - 30 September 2022), per house, 1-4 occupants
£870 $1165 €1030 per night
2022
Lodge room (2 May - 30 September 2022), adult, single occupancy
£200 $265 €235 per night
2022
Lodge room (2 May - 30 September 2022), adult, double occupancy
£166 $220 €196 per night
2022
Casa Grande (max 4 pax), (2 May - 30 September 2022), per house, 1 or 2 occupants
£375 $505 €445 per night
2022/2023
Lodge room (1 October 2022 - 31 March 2023), adult, double occupancy
£260 $350 €310 per night
2022/2023
Homestead House (max 6 pax), (1 October 2022 - 31 March 2023), per person, 5th or 6th occupant
£151 $200 €178 per night
2022/2023
Homestead House (max 6 pax), (1 October 2022 - 31 March 2023), per house, 1-4 occupants
£1130 $1510 €1335 per night
2022/2023
Casa Grande (max 4 pax), (1 October 2022 - 31 March 2023), per person, 3rd or 4th occupant
£151 $200 €178
2022/2023
Lodge room (1 October 2022 - 31 March 2023), adult, single occupancy
£290 $390 €345 per night
Included Accommodation, all meals, daily riding, use of ranch facilities and activities, 6.9% state taxes and 15% gratuities
Not included Flights, transfers, riding lessons, drinks, personal expenses
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.