Red Horse Mountain Ranch Horseback Riding Vacation, Harrison, Idaho

Looking out to the forest floor, from my horses' perspective, in Harrison, Idaho during a horse riding vacation with Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch – All Inclusive Dude Ranch

If you are looking for a family-friendly horse riding vacation in North Idaho, I have a dude ranch for you. It’s not often that I visit a guest ranch more than once. Red Horse Mountain Ranch was worth a second visit to see what had changed and what remained the same. The all inclusive Idaho dude ranch is situated in north Idaho and is easily accessible from Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

In updating my Idaho dude ranch review, you’ll see that the owners, cowboys and cowgirls have changed, yet the authentic experience remains the same. Now that my children are young adults, I look at Red Horse Mountain Ranch through a different lens, but the memories still draw me back to ten years ago.

Gravel crunched beneath my cowboy boots as I walked toward the Red Horse Mountain Lodge. I instinctively ducked my head as a low flying humming bird swept past me, intent on his afternoon sugar water cocktail at Red Horse Mountain Ranch.  I had a different cocktail in mind as I sauntered into the bar area of the timbered lodge. This particular concoction involved huckleberry flavored vodka. After all, I was in Idaho now for a horseback riding vacation.

As this was not your typical dude ranch, one of the wranglers asked if I would like a crab cake to accompany my evening libation. As I settled onto the bar stool, a horse nickered in the distance. The herd was headed out to pasture after providing horseback riding vacations to city slickers and wanna-be cowboys and cowgirls.

This particular horseback riding vacation brought a returning family from The Woodlands, Texas, several California families, and a trio of New Yorkers, among others. Ten years ago I met a family of four from Florida, a mother and teenage daughter duo from Los Angeles looking to escape their comfort zones and a couple with two young boys who had business in Spokane, Washington and decided to try a dude ranch vacation for the first time. In both instances all guests couldn’t wait to return.

Girlfriend Getaways, Family Reunions, Outdoor Adventure Seekers

“We found Red Horse Mountain Ranch through a travel agent. We love how passionate all of the staff are about the horses,” said Avery Cannon of Hillsborough, California. “Having your own horse for the week made it possible to get to know your horse and develop your riding skills far more than if you rode different horses.

Our kids had a blast at the Kid’s Club and have fallen in love with riding horses here. This place allows you to focus on the simple pleasures in life; connecting with friends and family, delicious home-cooked meals, the serenity of northern Idaho, riding horses and enjoying activities that take you back to childhood summer camp.”

Red Horse Mountain Ranch has plenty to offer the horse lover. “We can take guests out two times a day for a week and not ride the same trail,” says Wrangler David Walker.

Horseback riding equestrians of all levels go out on Monday for an orientation trail ride. Experienced equestrians looking for a higher level of ride on their horseback riding vacation are offered an equestrian test on Tuesday to demonstrate to the wranglers that they can control their horse in the riding arena and on the trail. With over 80 horses on the ranch, Red Horse Mountain is able to match horse to rider. Even non-riders will find something to enjoy at the ranch.

From wine tasting weekends to girlfriend getaways or family reunions, the staff at Red Horse Mountain Ranch caters to individual needs. When I mentioned that I had read the Toffee cookie recipe on the Red Horse Mountain blog, the next day fresh baked cookies appeared after a buffet lunch.


Nancy D. Brown and Gunner on a horseback riding vacation at Red Horse Mountain Ranch
Nancy D. Brown and Gunner on a horseback riding vacation at Red Horse Mountain Ranch

All Inclusive Red Horse Mountain Ranch Activities

  • Archery
  • Challenge Course
  • Fishing
  • Horseback riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Napping
  • Sporting Clays
  • Swimming
  • Yoga Retreat – additional charge

Red Horse Mountain – All Inclusive Culinary Horseback Riding Vacation


After feeding apples to the horses in the pasture, we hiked down to a campfire with s’mores, followed with games for the children. Red Horse Mountain has plenty of cowboy cookouts, but culinary aficionados will delight in the ranches seven course meal or an evening wine tasting.  My stay was only an overnight, so I can’t speak to the culinary extravaganza. However, I did sample the crab cakes with watermelon salsa and cilantro aiolo – yum.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch – Put Away the Cell Phone


As I watched the 14 year old young lady from Los Angeles check her cell phone repeatedly, I could see her anxiety level rising. When I assured her that there was Internet access in the library/tv room, she smiled and put away her cell phone momentarily. I, too had difficulty detaching from the online world.

Red Horse Mountain wants you to to stay connected and offers free long distance phone service from their telephone in the lodge. They also have laptop computers available. While you are online, you can become a fan of Red Horse Mountain or Writing Horseback on Facebook. Red Horse Mountain is also a member of the Dude Ranchers’ Association.


Outpost Cabin at Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Harrison, Idaho


Cabins at Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Hearty souls might enjoy sleeping in a tee pee at Red Horse Mountain Ranch.  My camping under the stars days are now few and far between. I enjoy the luxury of hot running water, heated rooms and comfortable beds while on a horseback riding vacation. Red Horse Mountain Ranch has 20 suites scattered about the property. I stayed at the Outpost Cabin, conveniently located next to the hot tub and swimming pool. After a two hour horseback riding vacation, I enjoyed having the hot tub all to myself.

Decorated in western themes, each suite comes with its own bathroom and/or shower. The ranch offers daily housekeeping and laundry services so don’t worry if you get dirty. Red Horse Mountain is environmentally friendly and attempts to be green with its shampoo and soap in dispensers in a nod toward plastic reduction. While you won’t find plastic water bottles in your room, guests do receive logo bottles during their stay with filtered water offered in the Red Horse Mountain lodge.

If You Go:

Red Horse Mountain Ranch (888) 689-9680

11077 East Blue Lake Road, Harrison, Idaho 83833

Related Post:

Hidden Meadow Ranch, Greer, AZ

Red Horse Mountain Ranch Horseback Riding Vacation article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip. I was a guest of Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch.


4 thoughts on “Red Horse Mountain Ranch Horseback Riding Vacation, Harrison, Idaho”

  1. Beautiful ranch, and I’m SURE I’ve been there – years ago when my step-kids were younger we’d take them on dude ranch vacations, and we went to several in Idaho. This lodge in your photos and video looks so familiar right down to the details of the decor – I remember it as being one of my favorites because everyone there was so nice and the horses were terrific! Even the weather was perfect while we were there. Now I want to go back!

  2. I think you Dude Ranch looks great. Do you have a size limit on your riders?
    Just wondering…

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