My week at the Box R ranch was a once in a lifetime experience. If you want mints on the pillow and to be waited on hand and foot. This is not the vacation for you. I went during a cattle drive week and got to experience working a real cattle drive. We moved large numbers of cattle into the "Drift". We got to meet local ranchers and hear their stories. We got to watch cattle dogs work and we got to ride great horses and actually help with the cattle drive. This is a "working" ranch so you have to come with that expectation. The food was hearty American. I can't say much about my room because all I did was sleep there. If I wasn't riding, I was visitng with guests or hiking in the surrounding area. If you want to find out what a real cattle drive is like, the cattle drive weeks are for you. Also the riding is not for the faint hearted. Cows don't always take the easy route and of course you'll be right behind them. If you are looking for pampering ....this is the wrong place. If you want to experience an important part of American culture then the Box R Ranch is the place for you. I can't wait for a return trip.
I've been going to the Box R over 10 years and never met the negative points the prior poster mentions. Food has always been good -- not fancy, but good and plenty of it. On all day rides you pack your own lunch, so if you run out of food it's your fault. The cowboys *do* have cell phone contact with the ranch (especially in case of emergency), so I strongly doubt they were left for over an hour waiting. As for waiting while strays were rounded up -- well, that's part of a cattle drive. You leave *only* when the work is done.
If you want a strictly structured vacation and strict supervision/pampering this isn't the right place. If you want independence, and a place where people give you credit for knowing what you're doing, you'll love it here.
This is the third ranch I've been to and it was the worst. I chose this ranch because of customer reviews on their website. My experience in no way matched those of happy customers.
I went during a cattle drive week and looked forward to riding free vs. typical head to tail trail rides. That was the only part of the trip that matched what they promoted.
During our first ride two riders were injured, both with broken bones. Though an irresponsible guest caused the accident, we all sign the waivers so we know the possibilities.
It was inexcusable, however, that the guide had no radio or phone to call for help. Everyone had to wait on the trail for about an hour and a half for the guide to race off to the ranch and return with a truck. Their inability to respond to an emergency was inexcusable.
I'm not a mint on the pillow vacationer, so my expectations were realistic. However, the accomodations were more old RV than rustic. The food quality was poor to moderate. I had one meal in a week that was worth repeating. For anyone that does ranch vacations, food is a big darn deal. Not only was it bad, they actually ran out during one lunch ride.
The information they gave each day on basics such as departure time and what was needed on the trail was inadequate at best and incorrect at others. One day all of the guests were left waiting roadside for two hours, with no water provided, while we waited for the owner and another to gather a couple strays. Staff were with us and we had three ranch vehicles & trailers for about 14 people, but no one would start taking people back to the ranch. And yes, some of the guests did ask.
It was literally the worst week of my time spent and the worst value I've ever experienced on vacation. Sure, I got to ride esentially on my own one day but when every other element of a vacation failed miserably I had to say it just wasn't worth it.
I don't know what happened my week there vs. the ones that other happy customers experience but I didn't even enter a drawing for a free week because even that would not be worth it for me to return again.
Better luck on your vacation!
I've been going to the Box R since 1993 -- it's a perfect getaway from city life. Plenty of riding -- cattle drives early and late in the season, scenic rides and some cattle work mid-season. The owners treat you like family; cabins are spotless, food is wonderful. If you're into spas and pampering, this might not be the right place for you, it's not a fancy resort. If you want a relaxing getaway, yet want to be in the outdoors viewing some of the best scenery around, this is the place to be.