Are you interested in a luxury dude ranch vacation at Rancho de los Caballeros in Arizona? I’ve visited more than one guest ranch in the Sonoran desert. What sets Rancho de los Caballeros apart from other dude ranches? The family-owned historic Arizona ranch was founded in 1948 and is known for their Southwest hospitality. Of course, my favorite highlight of this winter holiday was the horseback riding! Read on for my first-hand, updated review.
What to expect at Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona
I flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and was met by a friendly driver from the Rancho de los Caballeros dude ranch in Wickenburg. Whether you drive yourself or take the RDLC airport shuttle, expect a one hour and 15 minute drive northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The scenic drive was a nice way to learn about the high Sonoran Desert, as well as the 20,000 acre resort.
This was my second time to visit Rancho de los Cab for a luxury dude ranch vacation. My first visit was in 2012. While many features of the historic ranch resort & golf club remain the same, I’m glad to see that the new owners are investing in infrastructure upgrades such as the golf clubhouse, more luxury casitas and food quality. My horse will be the first to notice that I enjoyed all meals.
Family friendly Rancho de los Caballeros
“I grew up coming here every Thanksgiving holiday,” says Ande Torgerson McCally of Washington D. C. “My grandmother and grandfather came to Wickenburg in the 1940’s and built a house at Rancho de los Caballeros in 1972. Now we bring our kids here. They like playing cowboy,” laughs Torgerson McCally. Eleven year old daughter Georgia agreed. “Team penning is awesome,” smiles Georgia. “And making friends here!”
While I was traveling solo on this horseback riding holiday, family was the re-occurring theme that I experienced during my three night stay at Rancho de los Caballeros. I was pleased to ride with several resort homeowners during both stays. Learning about the flora and fauna through their eyes is a great way to hear the history of the ranch and what keeps them coming back to the Sonoran Desert.
Rooms and casitas at historic Arizona ranch resort
The all-inclusive Arizona ranch resort is open year round. While I prefer a winter visit, many Europeans like the warmth of an Arizona summer, while locals from Phoenix, Tucson and other locations enjoy a summer staycation.
There are currently 79 casitas at Rancho de los Caballeros with 5 different room types. Whether this is a romantic escape, girlfriend riding getaway or a family vacation, the Maricopa suites are my favorite. The living room has a Kiva fireplace, private patio and Murphy bed. I loved my king bed with Santa Fe furnishings and western art featured throughout the hotel suite. The boot jacket was my favorite feature in the room. The gift shop sells hats, gloves, clothing and boot jacks with the Sun C logo included.
The suite had a spacious bathroom with jetted-tub and walk-in shower. The wet bar and refrigerator were appreciated, as I needed a place to stash my leftovers from the restaurant. I opted for the Getaway package and will explain the inclusive package rundown below.
Arizona horseback riding vacation
If you are like me, you seek out Arizona horseback riding vacations for the quality of the trail rides. At Rancho de los Caballeros guests have the opportunity to ride two times daily, except Sunday. The cowboy and cowgirl equestrian activities are designed for beginning riders, as well as those with considerable horseback riding experience. The head wrangler and his staff are very good at matching horse to rider.
I mentioned that I would be riding with two hip replacements and they gave me a horse that was responsive for an experienced rider, yet stood still while I slowly mounted the horse. The horses were well cared for and most enjoyed exploring the Sonoran Desert.
In addition to morning and afternoon trail rides, Rancho de los Caballeros offers roping, barrel racing and team penning (cutting cows from the herd in a timed environment.) There are also loping rides for intermediate riders and lessons are available. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, there is also an opportunity to groom the horses.
Dude ranch activities at Rancho de los Caballeros
There are numerous ranch activities, beyond horseback riding, at Rancho de los Caballeros. Golfers will enjoy the 18 hole course, in addition to the new clubhouse and 19 Restaurant. There is ax throwing, archery, hiking, e-bikes, tennis, pickleball, trap and skeet shooting and a swimming pool. Plans are underway for several additional pools and more lodging.
I highly recommend a visit to Rancho de los Caballeros Spa during your luxury dude ranch vacation. In addition to the infrared sauna, there is a stone labyrinth behind the spa for quieting the mind. Yoga and guided meditation are offered, in addition to massage and facial treatments.
Rancho de los Caballeros cookouts, culinary and dining options
As mentioned previously, Rancho de los Caballeros is open year round and offers multiple inclusive packages. On my visit the ranch offered Getaway Packages, Golf Packages, Full American plans and Rise and Dine packages. There are several dining options offered at this historic ranch resort & golf club.
I enjoyed 19 restaurant in the golf club, as well as Club Grill. Here, you’ll have views of the Sonoran Desert, as well as the Bradshaw Mountains. There is a dress code for 19 restaurant in the Rancho de los Caballeros clubhouse.
The main dining room at Rancho de los Caballeros offers breakfast and lunch served buffet style. Dinner is served formally in the main dining room. Weekly cookouts are available for ranch guests, as well as the Los Cab Saloon. Drop in for live music and signature cocktails. As always, check the website for current pricing and luxury dude ranch vacation specials.
Horseback riding vacation in Arizona’s Sonoran desert
Have you been on a horseback riding vacation in Wickenburg, Arizona? What are your favorite things to do in Wickenburg, Arizona? Rancho de los Caballeros is a member of Historic Hotels of America, Dude Ranchers Association and Arizona Dude Ranch Association.
If You Go:
Rancho de los Caballeros (928) 684-5484 or (800) 684-5030
1551 South Vulture Mine Road, Wickenburg, Arizona 85390
Luxury dude ranch vacation at Rancho de los Caballeros review, YouTube video and all photography by Pacific Northwest travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona for review purposes. All opinions are my own.