Southwestern Dude Ranch Surrounded by Desert Mountains
At Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, horses trot across miles of cactus-dotted Arizona desert against a backdrop of the Hualapai, Mohave, and Buck Mountains. Southwestern-style dwellings are scattered across the grounds, where friendly pet dogs are allowed to wander freely. The mood is laid-back and family-friendly, thanks to helpful staff members—many of whom are related and live on the ranch.
The horseback-riding program lets you explore a network of winding desert trails. Experienced wranglers match riders to one of the ranch's many equines for twice-daily, 60- to 90-minute treks through rugged natural landscapes of varying difficulty. Solo riders must be at least 8 years old; children aged 6 or 7 can ride with the assistance of a staff member. Stagecoach Trails also offers short, walking horseback rides for younger cowpokes.
Home-cooked meals are served buffet-style three times a day in the main Frontier Lodge’s dining room. Through numerous windows, you can watch the sun chart its daily course over jagged mountaintops. The courtyard transforms into an alfresco eatery where guests can loll in the sun while nibbling on pecan pie or homemade bread. A large indoor fireplace creates a cozy environment for chitchat, reading, or crocheting a pair of sunglasses.
As in the dining room, the windows in each guest room act as portals to dazzling mountain scenery. Sunlight pours in on two sides of the room, illuminating blond-wood furnishings and décor inspired by the American Southwest.
Mohave County, Arizona: Old West Desert Towns Lining Historic Route 66
The legendary Route 66 snakes through the rugged desert of Arizona, connecting motorists to a string of once-booming mining villages along the way. Many of these ghost towns have been revived as tourist destinations for fans of the Wild West. One of the cities even hosts staged gunfights.
Stagecoach Trails lies within 50 miles of Lake Havasu City, current home of the famed London Bridge, which was relocated from England in the 1960s. It now sits on Lake Havasu, right along the border of Arizona and California. Numerous boating activities take place on the lake, and landlubbers can soak up the Uptown neighborhood's many shops and restaurants.