Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, this ranch operates as a traditional dude ranch during the summer and as a conference center for up to fifty people during the rest of the year. You won't be roughing it if you stay here! Their cabins are decorated with a Western motif and feature ... More
Rock Springs Guest Ranch
Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, this ranch operates as a traditional dude ranch during the summer and as a conference center for up to fifty people during the rest of the year. You won't be roughing it if you stay here! Their cabins are decorated with a Western motif and feature sundecks, bathrooms adjoining each bedroom, fireplaces, and wet bars. Northwestern cuisine is featured at all meals.
Our family will return in August to Rock Springs Ranch for the 37th consecutive year; we love this place. We go two weeks every summer because we can't bear to leave after one week. All three of our daughters worked at the Ranch, including one head wrangler. Last year, for the first time, we took a granddaughter, and next summer we will bring two granddaughters, plus the daughters. The riding is excellent, from beginners to experienced, and getting out on the trails is a special experience. The food is excellent. The youth program is outstanding. They have a variety of activities, two ponies, a craft house, outdoor play equipment, and supervision around the pond and the pool. Our kids loved being in the youth program, and now our grandchildren do.
We have made many good friends there, and most people in the week we come are returning guests. The staff is very qualified. There is a feeling, an ambiance, that is not found elsewhere. You really "do get away from it all" and settle, quickly, into the ranch life.
My sister and her family have gone to Rock Springs Guest Ranch for years and 4 years ago she had invited me. I have a horse of my own and ride daily but I thought it would be nice to be with my family.
I was so impressed with the staff, lodging,dining(yum),the beautiful environment and the rides!
The horses were picked for your ability and mine have been perfect.
We go during tennis week and have the best time with Annie, the tennis pro.
I would highly reccomend a vacation for anyone to stay at Rock Springs Ranch and experience the GOOD LIFE!
I cannot begin to explain what a special place Rock Springs is! My family has been going every summer for 4 years. Last year we were unable to make it due to changing school schedules, but we are all set to go again this year! It is something that we all look forward to. A count down begins somewhere around January and preparations begin to be made for carpooling, shopping, and activities we most look forward to.
Rock Springs provides you with an abundance of guided activities (obviously horseback riding, but also rafting trips, golf, cave explorations, and hiking to name a few.) Or you can choose to spend the quiet days reading, playing cards or games (which my family is fond of) or lying by the pool. With no phones, TV’s, computers, or video games provided in the cabins, it is the perfect respite from our hectic lives.
The kids program is stellar. My nephew wastes no time with the adults in our family, he takes off down to the kid's camp almost as soon as the cars are unloaded. The kids have a wonderful program full of activities, horseback riding, crafts, swimming, and being independent. They have the run of the place, and no matter what, we know that they are safe at all times. The trust that ensues is something that you take home with you. The camp's staff, lead by Hud has always been incredibly professional, kind, and compassionate with kids of all ages.
The rest of the staff gets to know you by name, and is willing to do just about anything to make your stay more comfortable. By the second year we were there, there was already a card table sitting on our porch waiting for us since they know we play games and cards every night! It is the little things like that, that truly make this place feel like home and the staff feel like family.
Heather and the wranglers have matched all of us up perfectly with horses, riding partners, and will ask you what you would like to do before each ride. Not being a completely competent horse person, I love the opportunity that the wranglers give you to actually feel like you have been riding a horse all of your life!
Rock Springs is the light at the end of the tunnel for our family after our busy school years (I teach and my nephew is still in school, so our whole family vacation schedule is dictated by our school schedules. My family gets together a lot during the year. We all live within driving distance. However, the experience we get at Rock Springs really solidifies our family unit. We ride together, play together, read together, and really talk. There are no other places I can imagine that allow a family to really be a family without distraction.
Our family - grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, grandson, grandson's friends - have been visiting Rock Springs now for four (soon to be five) years, plus one year way back when our son, now 26, was a boy in the Youth Program. Every one of us starts looking forward to the trip in January and eagerly anticipates not only the horse experience, but the total leisure of "nothing to do." Nothing to do but walk, swim, read, play cards, scrapbook, take photos, nap, read, eat, explore, fish, play tennis, read, do yoga, play pool, dream, star gaze, enjoy S'mores around the campfire, practice your skills for the talent show OR, for the more adventurous - trek into Bend for the excellent High Desert Museum and Lava Lands, caving, river rafting, Newberry National Volcanic Monument for a day of hiking, driving 'round Mt. Bachelor for great views, rock-hounding in the nearby Redmond/Madras area, shopping in Sisters - I could go on and on. All these and more are experiences my family has enjoyed whilst staying at the ranch.
The kids develop independence and truly enjoy the freedom to do their own thing. They are always safe and well looked after. They can spend as much or as little time with parents as either desires. Hud (child wrangler extraordinaire) and his staff are the best ever.
Few in my family are real horseback riders, but we all participate to some degree - after the first time or two it's not nearly so scary! Adding some "special" rides - wine and chocolate, breakfast - as well as the traditional family ride - really gets us all up in the saddle!
We love the food, and there is always something for every taste, kids as well as the adults. There is a barbeque, special adult plated dinner, tasty cocktail treats, and, my husband's favorite - biscuits and gravy! Always cookies available, as well.
All-in-all this is one of the best and most affordable family vacations I can think of. Even mom gets to truly relax and unwind - no worries! The entire staff is congenial and friendly and fun to get to know. Heather (head wrangler) knows just where each of us is in our riding ability and insures that our horse is a good match with us. Capri (housekeeping) is aware of any special needs and arranges things just right.
We recommend Rock Springs to all families for that perfect get away from it all (no t.v., no video games, no computers) vacation.
Having been to many ranches spanning over several decades, I found Rock Springs to be head and shoulders above many of the others. To the extent that my family and I have now been to Rock Springs 5 times in the past 10 years. They are the bar to which other ranches must raise in our opinion. Several things stand out. They have the best children's program/camp counselors and adjust it to suit little ones up to teens. Other places do this as a "side service" but RS does it with heart and genuine caring for the children and the overall experience of the entire family. Though the cabins are not "luxurious", they are all maintained well, have a porch and fireplace and provide nearness to the main lodge while also providing solitude when you need it. This year they added a new Chef to the RS family. While the food in the past was always very good, this year there were truly several outstanding dishes that were worthy of a 5 star rating. The Chef was also fabulous at making amazing homemade soups daily. Something I found particularly comforting after a long day of riding and eating a lot of good food. The ranch fits best those that ride and the string of horses they have are top notch--no nags here. The wranglers work hard to find the horse that fits you best on your first day there but if for some reason there isn't a good fit, they are quick to give you a new horse. They have horses that fit beginners as well as those of us who like a little (or a lot) of challenge.
They have massages (at a reasonable extra fee) available during the week at the ranch that will help work out those knots and an occasional yoga class. However, this is a ranch and not a spa. So I'd leave your open toed, 3-inch sandals at home and bring cowboy boots instead. The area is dusty so you will get dirty but for us that just added to the expeience. The Gill family who have run the ranch forever have found a nice mix between sophistication and a rugged outdoor experience. Their ranch is smaller them some of those big industrial/spa ones which allows for a more one-on-one experience that we love. If you raise any problem to them, they will be happy to address quickly. For example, our son did not like the food provided one night and at our request the kitche was able to make him a simple turkey sandwich which satisfied him completely. All you have to do is ask.
For those people who do not ride much and don't want to, I'd look for going those weeks that offer other activities, renting a car to explore on your own and bringing some good books. This past summer we were there during one of their Tennis weeks with a lot of Tennis players that seemed to be having a fabulous time. Some of my family even gave the Tennis games a whirl and enjoyed themselves tremendously. John Gill is also always willing to arrange golf times at a local golf course and there are white water rafting and other excursions nearby at a reasonable rate.
I'll stop now since I could go on and on but it is by far a fabulous and wonderful ranch for the right people that would enjoy riding, family experience, good food and meeting a small group of guests.
My family loves Rock Springs - and for good reason - we always have fun! The kids program is great. The staff makes sure they are active and safe. They can eat together, if they choose, or join the family at meal time. Their activities range from trail rides, crafts, swimming and games (no TV, no playstation!!!).
My wife and I enjoy meeting the other families, the trail riding and cooling off in the pool at the end of the day. Eva and John are great hosts. Heather is their wonderful head wrangler. The foot hills of the Cascades are dry and dusty so don't be surprised if you get dirty, you're outside having fun breathing fresh air. The meals are served buffet style and guests eat together. We've always been happy with the chow.
For the "unhappy guest" . . . I'd suggest you try vacationing at the Ritz Carlton.
I was eight years old the first time I went to Rock Springs. That was twenty years ago. Living in California at the time, our family decided to make the drive to the Ranch every year in July. I can still remember sitting in the back seat with my brother anticipating the last curve of Tyler road before we descended upon the beautiful green pastures of Rock Springs. My birthday always fell on the week that we went to the ranch, and I couldn't imagine spending it anywhere else. Since Rock Springs seems to attract families, I found there were many kids my age to hang out with. We would go on horseback rides, swimming in the pond or pool, play tennis or play games in the lodge. There was always plenty of activities. We always enjoyed the campouts, hayrides and preparing for the talent show. It was my dream to someday be a wrangler at Rock Springs, and once I was old enough I spent two great summers working on the ranch. We have made lifelong friends, not only with fellow guests but the owners and employees as well. I continue to visit each summer and have grown to love "The Ranch". It's our family tradition.
My family first visited RS 14 years ago when I was 7 and we’ve been returning ever since. Needless to say, I’ve spent most of my time in the outstanding youth program and loved every minute of it. The Youth Councilors are very attentive to the needs and interests of the kids and tailor their program to each week’s kids as much as possible. They are always very animated and excited to do whatever kids are interested in, often with an enthusiasm that rivals even the most impassioned of 5 year-olds. The weekly activities include a campout/BBQ (or just a BBQ if kids are too young), talent show, and piñata building/destroying. The youth program runs all day and makes sure that kids are fed, get to their trail rides, and are otherwise safe and entertained.
For kids who are too young to ride or choose not to there is still a lot to do, depending on the individual’s interests. Arts and crafts, such as making friendship bracelets, coloring T-shirts, and building and racing Popsicle stick boats have always been favorites. For more active kids, there’s pedal boating, ping-pong, lizard catching, any number of ball games from lawn golf to volleyball, and even a pool table available to kids. In the heat of the afternoon I only occasionally elected to go out for the second ride of the day. Instead I joined the youth program in the duck-shaped-pool to play Marco polo or have cannon ball contests. Parents are welcome to have kids in the program during whatever hours they want, though as a kid I lived for the youth program and hated being pried away by my parents for such trivial things as sleep and showers.
Concerning the service, I am, again, most familiar with the Youth Councilors, who I have found consistently enthusiastic and mindful from the age of 7 up until my late teens. I still spend a considerable amount of each visit with the Youth Councilors because they’re just fun to hang out with. I also spent a considerable amount of time with the wranglers who take out the trail rides. They have a solid knowledge of the twisting and intersecting trail systems and are very good at evaluating and tailoring rides to a group’s skill level and preferences. RS is also very adept at matching riders to their horses. Over my 14 years I have without fail had a fitting horse each year as I transitioned from inept 7 year-old to reasonably competent 21 year-old.
There has recently been a change in head chefs, and the food is better than ever. From breakfast, to dinner, to the cookies left out for snacks the food has been great. Even as a kid I was treated with courtesy and smiles by all the staff, whether I was bothering the kitchen for more lemonade or showing the maintenance staff the cool bug we’d found under a rock. RS has been, for me, one of the best and longest of my family’s traditions and I still anticipate our weekly visit each summer.
I don't have sufficient superlatives to describe Rock Springs. It is a wonderful oasis of magic nestled into the ranch country outside Bend, Oregon. My family and I have gone for two summers now, and it is the highlight of our year. We will be going back--again and again!
How to describe the wonderfulness that is Rock Springs? Owners Eva and John are terrific people, and terrific hosts; they set a tone which permeates the place. Rock Springs is warm, wonderful, gentle, fun, beautiful, exciting and down-to-earth.
Our family has spanned the ages from 4 years to 79 years. There is something for everybody--actually, lots for everybody. If you are into horses, well then you can ride to your heart's content. Lessons, trail rides, easy rides, hard rides, breakfast rides--whatever suits your fancy. The wranglers take inventory every day of the guest's desires, and aim to make everybody happy.
If riding is not your thing, no problem. There is oodles to do in and around on the ranch. Swimming, tennis, trail biking, nature hikes, hot tubbing, reading a book on the back porch. Not enough? Then cruise into Bend for some whitewater rafting. Or perhaps golfing, or trail running, or antiquing in nearby Sisters. How about a roping lesson? Or wine tasting?
Eva and John are available to help and guide, but walk that nice balance, where they give folks their space to do what they want.
We used the kid's camp--they call it "The YC" at Rock Springs--and found it to be the best of its type at any of the high-end resorts we've been to. Most of the counselors are former clients of the ranch (same with the wranglers) who know the magical Rock Spring vibe well, and keep it going. Our kids just loved the camp, and their freedom to come and go with us, as well, when we chose. It's flexible, very professional and very creative. Don't forget to check out the talent show on the last night--fun for all ages!
How about the food? My goodness--it is simply superb! They serve the food buffet style, with many options at each meal, and the chefs will individually adjust the meals to hit any diet. Lactose intolerant? No problem? On a low-salt diet? He'll put out foods just for you! Seriously, this is gourmet food presented in an understated way. Just terrific!
Anyway, we can't say enough at this very special little part of the world. If you cannot appreciate all that Rock Springs has to offer, then you must be severely depressed or living on another planet.
The are only open for limited weeks in the summer, and the place tends to fill up, and with good reason. There is a lot of repeat business--some families going back for second and third generations, or so we learned from the other guests the two times we visited. It is that kind of place--special to many people across the years.
My kids and I have been going to Rock Springs every year for several years. Honestly, I think I'd have a family revolt if we didn't go back each summer. It's their favorite place on the planet, and nothing (not even Disneyland) is a close second.
The horseback riding, of course, is the prime attraction, but it's not just that. It's the whole atmosphere of the place. It's the staff, all of whom love kids and treat them like royalty. It's the Bend area, which is an outdoor wonderland.
We've been to other guest ranches. This is the one we keep coming back to. Other places are more luxurious, but this one is like home. And, not surprisingly, there are many families we've met that have been coming for ten years or longer.
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