BOOK + PLAN
Thank you for your interest in Elkhorn Ranch. Our All-Inclusive dude ranch American plan rates include guided horseback riding and hiking, lodging and dining. See below for rates and guidelines for how to book your stay with us.
Already made your reservation? See our guidelines for planning your stay, plus information about hosting large groups, family retreats and special events.
HOW TO MAKE A RESERVATION
Reservations can be made one year in advance of your stay. We strongly recommend reservations of a week (6 or 7 nights) or longer to provide you with the opportunity to relax and become comfortable with your horse and ranch life. Guests generally arrive and depart on Sundays. Shorter stays of a minimum of four nights are available only when there is a space between week or longer stays.
Please contact us to check and confirm cabin availability. A cabin will be held in in your name while you return the application form and 25% deposit. Deposits can be made online, or by check or bank transfer. Upon receipt of your deposit, you will receive a written confirmation letter.
LIABILITY & RISK PAPERWORK
Upon arrival at Elkhorn, you will be asked to sign a Participant Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement. If you are traveling with a young person (age 17 and under) for whom you are not the parent or legal guardian, the release form must be signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian in advance — please contact the office for instructions regarding signing the release from afar.
We respectfully ask that you monitor your health prior to traveling and choose not to visit if you are ill. Deposit on cancellation occurring 60 days or more prior to arrival fully refundable. Deposit on cancellation occurring less than 60 days prior to arrival may be carried over to a future reservation within the following two seasons, less $100 per person. Advance payments in excess of 25% deposit fully refundable. Slight changes of dates negotiable, with understanding that rate may change.
METHOD OF PAYMENT
Elkhorn prefers payment by check. You may also use VISA or MC credit card (American Express is not accepted)
LET US CARE FOR YOU
with traditional hospitality, warm friendship, the comforts of home, and horseback time in the peaceful and curious Sonoran desert. Many adjustments have been made to address risk minimization for our crew and guests during the COVID-19 pandemic — thankfully horseback riding and social distancing are a match made in heaven! Elkhorn will continue to update its Covid Care program in response to federal and local guidelines as we approach the 2022-23 season and as needed during the season.
Elkhorn Ranch specializes in multi-generational family reunions and reunions of adult friends.
Families and groups of friends appreciate the fact that they may gather at meals, yet scatter different directions to ride, hike or explore, and no one has to cook, organize or plan activities. Everyone can relax! Elkhorn begins booking reservations a year in advance, and we suggest checking school calendars as soon as possible! Note that rates are all-inclusive with discounted rates for kids through age 18 (and there’s no charge for kids age 5 and younger)!
RETREATS + SPECIAL EVENTS
Business and non-profit organizations occasionally hold small retreats at Elkhorn, generally during the winter quiet stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Elkhorn Ranch does not have formal conference facilities, but the guest dining room and/or some of the larger family cabins may be used for meetings.
Elkhorn hosts destination weddings occasionally, usually for families that have visited Elkhorn previously. When people enquire about wedding venues, we generally recommend Tucson based guest ranches Tanque Verde Ranch or White Stallion Ranch, both of which have facilities and programs tailored to wedding events.
GIVEN THE INTIMACY OF THE ELKHORN EXPERIENCE, WE ARE VERY CAREFUL WHEN SCHEDULING BUSINESS OR WEDDING EVENTS, AS WE FEEL THAT THEY MAY NOT MIX WELL WITH THE WEEK (OR LONGER) VACATION EXPERIENCE MOST GUESTS SEEK. THE WINTER QUIET STRETCH BETWEEN THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS IS A GOOD TIME FOR BUSINESS OR DESTINATION WEDDING EVENTS.
Please let us know your travel plans at least two weeks before your arrival. Elkhorn Ranch is about a 1 1⁄2 hour drive from Tucson International Airport or a solid 3 hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (ask for the Marana shortcut directions).
TRANSPORT TO/FROM AIRPORT
For the 2021-22 guest season, we request that you rent a car if you are able and comfortable doing so. The ranch will limit airport transportation services to people who truly need our services, with health and age as primary considerations. We will not mix separate parties on airport runs unless both parties agree in advance. This will limit the number of airport transport runs we can take and our ability to minimize wait times. Please contact us for more information about our shuttle service and alternate sources of transport to and from the ranch.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS FROM TUCSON
1. From Tucson, head southwest on Route 86, the Ajo Highway. From the Tucson airport, head west on Valencia Road to reach Route 86.
2. From Route 86 / Ajo Highway, head southwest until you reach Three Points or Robles Junction.
3. Turn south on Route 286 / Sasabe Highway and go about 20 miles south until you see the Elkhorn Ranch sign and mailboxes on the right or west side of the road, between milepost 26 and 25.
4. Follow the dirt road 7 miles towards the mountains, until you reach the very end. At about the 5.5 mile mark, you will see a red metal gate within wooden corrals — you’ll need to open the gate, and then close it behind you. You’re almost there!
5. Upon arrival at the ranch buildings, follow signs to the ranch office. Be alert as you may see a golden eagle, a herd of javelina or white tail deer, jackrabbits, Elkhorn horses out at pasture or our neighbors’ cattle!
NAVIGATION SYSTEMS (GPS)
For the most accurate driving directions please use Google Maps. Other services may not place the location correctly. Please do not completely trust vehicle navigation systems once you leave Tucson. Despite our ongoing efforts to correct on-line mapping systems, they are not all correct. Several guests have been led astray into the desert. Please follow our written directions, especially once you head south onto Route 286 / Sasabe Highway.
RIDING + SAFETY
Out of respect for our horses, we have a 250 pound weight limit on all riders. Children must be 6 or older to ride. Pregnant women are advised to consult with their physician about riding prior to your visit. Elkhorn Ranch discourages riding during late-term pregnancy and does not allow loping at any time during pregnancy. For your safety and comfort, Western style boots with a smooth sole, heel and no laces are required when riding. A brimmed hat with a safety string is recommended for sun and heat protection. Excessive sun exposure is a concern in the desert. Sunscreen, hats, lightweight long sleeves, and hydration are important. Think about hydration before your visit and during travel to the ranch. Boots and hats can be borrowed from the ranch lending closet. Long underwear, tights, or pantyhose and long socks are helpful in warding off saddle soreness. You are welcome to bring your own riding helmet. Elkhorn Ranch does not provide helmets, but encourages you to use one if it makes you feel better about safety. If you choose to use a helmet, purchase one from a knowledgeable dealer who works with you to assure proper sizing and helps you adjust it properly. Monitor use of the helmet to assure it has not been damaged in a fall. The disadvantage of helmets is that they provide very little sun protection. So if you choose to wear one, seek a model with ventilation and as much sun protection as possible. Your safety while riding is very important to us. Please help the Elkhorn Ranch guides keep you safe by reading the riding tips in your cabin notebook, ask questions as you go, and pay attention to your guide, your horse, and the people and situation around you.
Children are very welcome. Please note that we do not have a supervised children’s program nor babysitting services. Kids age six and older can ride with other kids or with their parents. We are pleased to help them learn to ride. Families are responsible for supervising their children at the swimming pool — Elkhorn Ranch does not provide a life guard at the pool. If you are bringing a child with you under age 18, for whom you are not the parent or guardian, you will need to bring a completed Participant Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement with you for that minor. Contact the office to get the agreement well ahead of time.
FOOD + SPECIAL NEEDS
If you have particular dietary needs or requests for your cabin, we are pleased to accommodate you—please be in touch at least two weeks before your arrival so that we can shop and plan accordingly. With advance notice, we are happy to do cakes for birthdays or anniversaries! Please feel free to discuss any medical or other situations that might require special attention during your visit. Elkhorn has a long and successful history of helping people ride safely and happily well into their senior years and we work hard to accommodate other situations. We greatly appreciate your efforts to be up-front with us about your family member’s medical concerns or suite of abilities or disabilities — we in turn will be honest about what we feel we can do safely, particular with regard to riding. We have found that many guests with declining health enjoy many extra years at Elkhorn by traveling with a family member or companion.
CHECKING IN + OUT
An ideal arrival time falls between 4 – 5 pm and ideal departure time is 10 am at the latest. That said, Elkhorn is flexible, so let us know your travel itinerary and we’ll arrange accordingly. When you book a return flight, keep in mind that you’ll need to leave Elkhorn Ranch a minimum of 3 hours ahead of your Tucson departing flight and 5 hours ahead of your Phoenix flight.
ITINERARY FOR THE WEEK
Our weekly itinerary flows from most guests’ Sunday arrival to their Sunday departure. The schedule may change occasionally, especially during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays. Meal times remain steady, with breakfast from 7:30 – 9 am, lunch at 12:30 pm, and supper at 6:30 pm (holiday feasts at 1 pm are a noteworthy exception). Morning rides depart at 9:30 am and afternoon rides depart at 2 pm.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
Ranch guests and crew wear casual clothing. Jeans are recommended for riding. Elkhorn laundry service provides a one day turn around, every day except Sunday. Shopping is over an hour away in Tucson, but basic items are available at the ranch store — ie. toiletry items, snacks and the like. Beer, wine, soda pop and juices are sold at the ranch — we suggest purchasing liquor on your way out from Tucson.
SHIPPING AND STORAGE
You are welcome to ship parcels directly to the ranch. United Parcel Service (UPS) has the most reliable service, right to the ranch office. Elkhorn will return your parcels via UPS and bill you accordingly. Please do not ship parcels via the US Postal Service. You are also welcome to store a box or trunk at Elkhorn.
Wireless internet, a phone and computer are available in the ranch computer room.