From Our Editors
Nestled between the rocky foothills of Mount Lemmon and the banks of the San Pedro River, Cactus Ridge Ranch is a wilderness lover's paradise with bobcats and coyote bounding through the scrub brush and bountiful saguaro cacti keeping watch over the area. But guests rarely have time to whip out their binoculars, as they’re usually too busy mending fences and rounding up cattle. A real working cattle ranch, Cactus Ridge Ranch welcomes guests to partake in an authentic slice of cowboy life, to experience its learning opportunities and the joys of a hands-on way of life.
Each day, amateur ranch hands rise at dawn, saddle up, and spend the day shadowing ranchers and tending to the territory's 6,000 acres of land, sometimes riding and sometimes roping or learning ranching techniques. Each speck of dirt that collects on boots and clothes as the days progress is like a badge of honor, each moment of hard work rewarded with feelings of accomplishment and views of a sky full of stars at the end of each day. By clinic’s end, the average cowboy in training can proudly bridle a horse, mend a fence, and tell the difference between a horse and a centaur in disguise.
During their four-day stay, Cactus Ridge Ranch furnishes all guests with lodging and meals. At the end of camp, ranchers conduct an awards ceremony to honor the ablest ranch hands and present all guests with a certificate of completion that can then be folded into a cowboy hat.