After leaving the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, we drove down the road 20 minutes to stay the night at a working cattle ranch that dates back to the 1860’s!Canyon.4

The Grand Canyon Ranch Resort offers up everything you would want to feel like you have stepped back in time, but to still have all the modern day necessary amenities! The cabins are simple, rustic and clean complete with country western decor of bull horns and saddles. They even have teepees you can sleep in.
The dining hall is family style giving you the option of dining on your own or with other visitors. During our one night stay, we met people from Germany, Britain and Ireland! The staff is super friendly and accommodating, even providing Gluten Free bread options (I gave then a heads up the week before). The dinner was well prepared cowboy fare…ribs, chicken, steak, buffalo burgers, veggie burgers and salad (but I’m guessing cowboys didn’t eat much the last two).

My husband and three older boys (15, 13, 10) went on a sunset horseback ride, and I took my 7-year old son on a sunset wagon ride. The Joshua Tree spotted hills were beautiful and the sunset were amazing.

We especially enjoyed seeing the small Buffalo herd with their two babies born this spring. Cowboy Dave joined us at sunset to give us some history of the ranch, the buffalo, and sing us some songs while we drank our choice of water, soda or champagne.
That night we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores around the campfire while Cowboy Dave sang everything from the Beatles, to You are my Sunshine, and Happy Birthday to my husband.

In the morning, after a breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon and potatoes, we headed off in a horse drawn wagon to a highlight of our trip…the helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon! Along the West Rim, because it is owned by the Native American Hualapai Indian Tribe, rather than US govt regulated, helicopters can fly into the canyon rather than just hovering above. This is guaranteed to be, possibly, the most spectacular 20 minute ride of your life. There’s no question why the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World! It is money well spent!

Before leaving, we spend some time doing a family horseshoe competition (I’m not sure how, but I won!), the boys did some rope and tie, my little guy spun on the rope swing, and we took a quick pass through the old fashioned General Store as we left.

This is the kind of place to stay one, maybe 2 nights, if you are doing the West Rim between the 2 nights. It sounds like a similar experience every day. This was a really unique and fun place to stay during our Grand Canyon experience!

Grand Canyon Ranch Resort
Reservations: 1-800-359-8727
Acknowledgements:  thank you to Grand Canyon Ranch Resort and Heli USA for hosting us during our stay!  Book your flight under Ranch “activities” from the Grand Canyon Ranch Resort webpage, where you can also book a tour from Las Vegas.

By:  LaDawn Stone, a freelance travel writer

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