Family-Run Horse Ranch in Mountainous Countryside
With a stable of 110 horses, Three Bars Ranch has nearly two horses for every one guest, even at peak occupancy. Thanks to this favorable ratio, riders can pair up with a horse whose demeanor and personality are perfectly compatible with theirs. Once saddled up, you’ll have 35,000 acres of breathtaking terrain to explore.
In addition to twice-daily horseback riding expeditions into the surrounding Canadian Rockies, days on the ranch can be spent rafting, mountain biking, and trap shooting. Kids not old enough to ride can immerse themselves in ranch life, from feeding sheep and gathering chicken eggs to trading cattle futures. When the stars come out, sing-alongs take shape around the campfire and the settle into the ranch’s saloon, which doubles as a western-style casino one night a week.
Hand-built log furniture and quilts contribute to a rustic feel in one- and two-queen cabins, and full baths and daily maid add a touch of comfort. After polishing off chef Ester’s homemade bread and desserts at dinner, you can retire to a rocking chair back at the cabin and watch the sun retreat over the mountains.
Some activities at Three Bars Ranch require a fee, including horseback riding ($75 CAN for a half-day tour), skeet shooting ($30 CAN/round), and guided hikes ($30 CAN). Lunch ($15 CAN) and dinner ($20 CAN) can also be purchased. Consult Three Bars Ranch FAQ page for additional info.
Cranbrook: Sunlit City Tucked Between Mountain Ranges
Tucked between the Purcell Mountains to the west and the Canadian Rockies to the northeast, Cranbrook receives the most annual sunshine of any city in British Columbia. The town first developed as a rail stop at the turn of the 20th century, and this heritage is celebrated at the centrally located Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. With a pretty downtown and comparatively flat terrain, the Cranbrook of today is more residential than touristy, home to a long list of retired professional hockey players who can be found skating on a frozen pond or nostalgically ramming each other with grocery carts.