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Spring Fever & BCGRA Contest!

February 26th, 2012 by bc guest ranches

It’s that time of year for guest ranches throughout Canada, and they are gearing up for the 2012 season. Most of the ranches will open their doors to guests from mid to end of May, before then there is a lot of preparation that takes place.

If you have vacationed at a guest ranch, then you know there is a lot that goes into making a ranch run smoothly and keeping them in working order.

Even with a blanket of white snow, spring cleaning begins. Fences are inspected and tended to accordingly. Once accessible, trails will need to be checked for any fallen trees or change in footing.

For the working ranches, fields are becoming speckled with little black or brown calves, and for some small foals are not far behind – a sign that spring is just around the corner. Around the first of May, all those calves will need to be branded. Several ranches offer vacation packages allowing guests to get in on the branding fun.

The horses all need to be vaccinated, and checked over before open season. Their teeth are floated to remove all sharp points, making sure they get the best from their food. Any horses with long hooves are trimmed and their coats, manes and tails are inspected for burs they may have accumulated from being turned out to pasture over the winter months.

Any last minute staff hiring will be done and lodges and cabins will be cleaned and set up for the arrival of the first guests. Once staff arrives at the ranch, they will be put through weeks of training before guests arrive, in order to provide the best service and vacation.

There’s a lot to get done over the next month and a half in preparation for the 2012 season and the ranches of Canada are all looking forward to meeting new guests and doing what they love best – sharing the western lifestyle.

Want a chance to stay at a beautiful and adventurous guest ranch? Here’s your chance! The BC Guest Ranch Association (BCGRA) launched their “Great Canadian Guest Ranch Getaway Contest” and, at its close, 12 entrants from around the globe will have won once-in-a-lifetime getaways to some of beautiful British Columbia’s most exciting guest ranches.

This unique contest, which boasts an accumulated prize value of more than $30,000, is taking place online via the association’s Facebook Page, and is comprised of six rounds. Every two weeks, a new round will begin and two new prizes will be up for grabs – that’s two guest ranches and two winners!

Winners will receive all-inclusive stays at one of the BCGRA member guest ranches. Some of the activities they might enjoy while they visit include horseback riding, world-class fishing, and riding the range on a working cattle ranch. Whether they’re looking for pristine nature, rest and relaxation, or thrilling adventure in the wilds of B.C., they’ll find it there.

People are entering the contest via the association’s Facebook Contest Page and have been asked to provide, along with their contact details, short but creative explanations as to why they think they’re the most deserving of the prize. The winners will be those entrants who’ve successfully convinced the BCGRA judges that they deserve a stay at one of the province’s best guest ranches.

Making the contest even more exciting is the fact that people can enter more than once! At the end of each round, eager entrants who entered but didn’t win can enter again!

The BCGRA is a non-profit organization that represents over a dozen BC Guest Ranches. Says BCGRA: “From horseback riding, world-class fishing, wilderness retreats to western family vacations our members offer a diverse selection of BC’s best.” And this contest promises to show the world (and especially the winners) just what it means to leave behind the hustle and bustle of life and escape to the wilds of beautiful BC.

For more information about the BCGRA and the Great Canadian Guest Ranch Getaway Contest, visit the association’s website at or Facebook page at Alternately, feel free to call the BCGRA and contest organizers directly at (250) 593-0258.

Spring Fever

April 12th, 2011 by bc guest ranches

It’s that time of year! The guest ranches in British Columbia will be gearing up for the 2011 season. Most ranches will open around mid to end of May. In a typical year the snow would have melted by the first of April and staff would be tending to the yards for the spring and summer season. This year however, Mother Nature had other plans. In many areas, the snow is still lingering, having melted away many times to nothing but s few small patches of white – a teaser of warm weather to come, just to get yet another full on dump of snow. So for many BC guest ranches, spring cleaning and preparation has been put on hold.
Even with the unsightly white stuff, some things just can’t wait. For the working ranches, fields are becoming speckled with little black or brown calves. For some it will be the first year that foals are   born in the snow. Even the horses are getting tired of it.
The horses all need to be vaccinated, and checked over before open season. Once accessible, trails will need to be overlooked for any fallen trees or change in footing and any broken fences will need mending.
Any last minute staff hiring will be done and lodges and cabins will be cleaned and set up for the arrival of the first guests.
There’s a lot to get done over the next month and a half in preparation for the 2011 season and the ranches of British Columbia are all looking forward to meeting new guests and doing what they love best – sharing the western lifestyle.




Ranching in BC This Summer Means Wild Open Spaces

February 26th, 2010 by

Ranching in BC This Summer Means Wild Open Spaces, a range of outdoor experiences and all the horseback riding you can handle.

Vancouver, BC Feb 26, 2010 – British Columbia has truly perfected the art of guest ranching. For generations, BC’s guest ranches have been offering the experience of the ‘western way of life’ – from sleeping under the stars to high end luxury accommodations that allow guests to experience real life on a ranch.

Ranchers provide their guests with a new appreciation for connecting with nature through the amazing land that is their backyard during their ranch stay.  From cowboy-inspired dude ranches and sophisticated wilderness luxury to family friendly experiences, these guest ranches focus on riding with horsemanship lessons, cattle drives, wilderness pack horse excursions and leisurely paced rides in unparalleled beauty. There are also lessons in bear and wilderness survival, guiding, organic gardens and the simple pleasures of relaxing in rustic and luxury surroundings.

These guest ranches are just a few of those available this summer offering an adventure that will truly take guests away from their everyday.

The Siwash Lake Ranch, 70 Mile House, BC has the “ultimate family dude ranch experience” in the Family Fun on the Frontier package. This summer vacation offers fun and learning as families reconnect in the old-fashioned sense and spend quality time together, enjoying unlimited  horseback riding and instruction, swimming, hiking, canoeing, and mountain biking as well as a Free-Range Kids program, fine dining and luxury accommodation in a family suite. Available on select summer dates. $1,650 CAD per night per family(maximum two adults, and three children)

The Summer Adventure Guest Ranch weekly packages at Three Bars Guest Ranch, a third generation guest ranch in Cranbrook, BC includes log cabin accommodations, all meals, guided horseback riding every morning and afternoon, kids horse program, a guided river float trip as well as guided and unguided hiking, mountain biking, tennis, fly fishing equipment and an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. From $1080 USD for a three night stay, double

The most popular package at Tod Mountain Guest Ranch inHeffley Creek, BC,is the all-inclusive five night stay which includes four full days of riding, gourmet meals with a ranch twist and accommodation in one of the newly built cabins.  Rates are truly all inclusive, there are no hidden extras.  From $1,000 CAD per person for five nights (4 days riding) no single supplement.

At Chaunigan Lake Lodge in Pitt Meadows, BC, summer packages include private log cabin accommodation, three meals a day, daily guided horseback riding, motor boat and mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and fishing. Fish cleaning, smoking and packaging is also included. From $269 CAD/night/

The Weekend Ranch Experience at Chezacut Wilderness Adventures in Redstone, BC envelopes guests in the everyday life of a working cattle ranch. Spend time with horses, learn to rope, herd cattle on horseback, take care of the animals and enjoy ranch raised, grass finished meats with organic produce. Rooms and suites available. (Activities vary depending on season.) $350 CAD/person/weekend (dbl. occupancy of 3 nights accommodation, all meals and activities included).

About BC Guest Ranches

Rugged ranges, vast plateaus, tucked away lakes and ocean lapping at wild west coast line – this is the setting of 14 of the most incredible guest ranches of British Columbia. All members of the BC Guest Rancher’s Association (BCGRA) established in 1985, live up to their mantra of, “A Vacation of A Lifetime”. They are mainly located in the Chilcotin Cariboo and the Thompson Okanagan regions of this most westerly province in Canada.

For more information visit –

Three Bars Guest Ranch announces 2010 Summer Video and Photo Contest

January 27th, 2010 by

WANTED: Guest Shooter! 
Three Bars Guest & Cattle Ranch announces the
2010 Summer Video and Photo Contest

CRANBROOK, B.C., January 27, 2010- For three generationsThree Bars Guest & Cattle Ranch has captured the imagination of guests by delivering enduring experiences of life on the range. This summer, Three Bars is putting the challenge out to guests, to help capture their guest ranch adventures, with the launch of the Three Bars Ranch 2010 Summer Video and Photo Contest beginning July 4 through to August 21, 2010.

“It has been said that you cannot explain in words to someone what it is that makes a guest ranch vacation so special,” says Tyler Beckley whose family owns and operates Three Bars Guest Ranch. “We’ve been providing guest ranching experiences for 30 years and for about the same length of time have been looking for the right words to describe the thrill that families are taking away with them. So we’re sweetening the challenge to find the ‘best guest shooter’ to tell us what they see and feel through images! ”

The Contest: 

All summer long guests are invited to capture their vacation through images or video. Entries will be uploaded on the ranch website for everyone to see. These entries will be judged on how well they portray the true guest ranch experience. The grand prize winner will be awarded a guest ranch vacation at a partner ranch: the White Stallion in Tucson AZ. The all inclusive three night stay prize package is valued at $1260 USD.

Contest details can be found at or call 1.877.426.5230

Three Bars Guest Ranch is located in Canadian Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, between Banff Park and Glacier Park. Three generations of the Beckley family have owned, operated and welcomed people in true western hospitality fashion to the dude ranch where all-inclusive horseback riding vacations with diverse activities and programs are available. Dude Ranchers Association Safety certified wranglers provide a helping hand and tailor programs for all levels of experience and age to ensure an enjoyable time horseback riding. Other activities include hiking, river rafting, mountain bikes, fly fishing, tennis, heated pool, hot tub, archery and fitness facility. Singles, families and couples are all welcome.

Media Contact:

Tyler Beckley

Cowboys and Carbon Footprints

December 21st, 2009 by

Remote off-the-grid dude ranch lightens their eco-footprint with innovative clean energy technologies

70 Mile House, British Columbia, December, 2009: Cowboys and carbon footprints haven’t always gone hand in hand, but for Siwash Lake Ranch located in British Columbia’s Cariboo region, wrangling the most progressive clean energy technologies is just as integral to the resort as wrangling horses, fly fishing for rainbow trout or tracking black bear, coyotes and cougars.

Already a leader in sustainable tourism operations and recently rated by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s top eco-friendly luxury destinations, Siwash Lake Ranch is currently completely overhauling its entire off-the-grid power system.  Remote businesses like the ranch have typically depended upon diesel electric generation to provide power to their operations. As part of their ongoing commitment to reduce their eco-footprint, the Siwash Lake Ranch is eliminating over 90% of their fossil fuel energy production by installing a Solar Power Plant which will be their primary source of clean, renewable and reliable energy.

They have chosen to work with another BC small business, Victoria- based, EA Energy Alternatives Ltd., who are leading the way with the technology systems design and installation. The installation features a state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic system for electricity creation and also includes a retro-fit of the hot water heating system, along with new technology to capture excess energy from heated water.  The ranch is also switching from gas powered to solar powered pumps for irrigation and other water systems.

“This project will save $32,000 per year in fuel costs and reduce our annual carbon footprint by 123 tons of green house gases. This is the equivalent of taking 22 passenger vehicles of the road for one year.  At Siwash Lake Ranch we are an advocate of local energy-efficiency and we’re proud to set an example for other small businesses that want to achieve both growth and a small environmental footprint,” says Allyson Rogers, owner and proprietor at Siwash Lake Ranch.  “Our guests are excited about all the work we do to make our operations as sustainable as possible and they’ve told us they also want to support other similar businesses that show innovation and leadership in response to the needs of our planet.”

“We are committed to providing our guests with a luxurious, genuine and responsible wilderness experience,” says Rogers. “To stay in harmony with our environment by using renewable green energy to fuel our operations is incredibly important to us.”

To learn more about their comprehensive sustainability program, and for a list of their land stewardship initiatives and their daily best practices, please visit

About Siwash Lake Ranch
Siwash Lake Guest Ranch in BC, Canada, is truly one of the world’s premier luxury dude and guest ranches, surrounded by 80,000 acres of pristine British Columbia wilderness. Wildlife thrives there among their natural grasslands, forests, lakes, and rivers. This remarkable, eco-friendly setting provides a refreshing oasis of wilderness solitude, filled with enriching moments for adventurous people who seek the finer things in life.

The year 2010 will mark the ranch’s 10th year of operations as a nature-based tourism business. In addition to the recent Globe and Mail rating, Siwash Lake Ranch was the only Canadian ranch to make the Forbes Traveler “Top Ten” list of Luxury Dude Ranches in May 2007.  The ranch has a rating of four-and-a-half Stars with Canada Select and has garnered an Eco-rating of Five Green Keys, the highest rating available, with the Hotel Association of Canada. Siwash Lake Ranch was nominated for a 2009 Tourism Industry Award for Environmentally Responsible Tourism and was selected by the Ministry of Agriculture to help market its Fields for the Future campaign.

Leadership in Sustainability 
This project will help the BC government promote improved ways of producing and using energy in BC’s remote off-grid communities and rural residences. It will further the production of local, clean and renewable energy to reduce diesel electric generation and will focus on the use of advanced solar heating technologies, and electricity self-generation, for “net-zero energy” buildings.

The Siwash Lake Ranch is well poised to help promote sustainable practices in BC. The place is ideally situated for a demonstration site and will open as such within a year of the technology being installed. A handbook for retro-fits will be designed for end-users, and the ranch will also facilitate educational workshops.

With nature-based tourism as one of BC’s leading industries, Siwash sets the perfect stage for displaying the province’s green legacy. As an internationally-renowned, high-end tourism operation, the ranch will showcase, worldwide, the BC government’s target “electrical self-sufficiency for 2016”.  By providing a shining light example for small businesses, BC’s tourism industry and agricultural community; for rural residents in the province, the goal is to help demonstrate to fellow British Columbians that clean energy is accessible and viable for all of these sectors.

This project is supported by the Province of British Columbia, partially funded through the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund.

The ranch is currently seeking sponsors for the educational phases of this project. For more information, please email moc.hcnarekalhsawisnull@ofni or visit