Covid Care2020-07-11T04:50:40+00:00


July 9, 2020  |  Elkhorn Ranch Contact: Mary Miller

Horseback riding in fresh air outdoors and social distancing are a match made in heaven, but day-to-day guest ranch life requires adjustments to decrease risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our plan focuses on ranch guests and crew. It describes the measures Elkhorn Ranch takes to minimize risk and adhere to federal Center for Disease Control (CDC), State of Arizona and/or Pima County guidelines or rules.  It is adaptive by design and we welcome feedback. Please check back periodically for updates!

What can we do to increase your confidence and comfort before and during your Elkhorn visit? We welcome your ideas!


Our COVID-19 Risk Management Plan is published here and available upon request. Guests’ advance review of this plan is indicated by initialing the Application for Reservation form. Ranch crew members’ advance review is indicated by a question on the ranch job application. We are increasing pre-arrival communication, including steps such as:  signing the Participant Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Assumption of Risk and Indenity Agreement in advance, checking in about travel and special needs, and requesting that you monitor your health prior to your ranch visit. If COVID-19 or other infectious disease symptoms are present, we respectfully ask that you choose not to travel to Elkhorn Ranch

For the 2020-21 guest season, Elkhorn Ranch has a flexible cancellation policy with two options: Carry over 100% of your deposit to a future reservation; or refund the deposit, less $100 per person.


Until further notice, airport transportation services are limited to those who truly need our services, with health and age as primary considerations. Separate parties are not mixed on airport runs unless both parties agree in advance. This limits the number of airport transport runs we can take and our ability to minimize wait times. The ranch driver and passengers must wear face masks. Vehicles are cleaned between airport runs.

For the 2020-21 guest season, we request that you rent a car if you are able and comfortable doing so.


Frequent hand washing and sanitizing is encouraged, with friendly visual reminders and strategically located hand sanitizer. Current guidance on mask wearing is practiced, again with friendly visual reminders.  Likely situations where masks are appropriate include: any time you’re indoors in a public space such as the office, computer room or dining room (except when eating), driving in ranch vehicle, and mounting or dismounting your horse. Professionally made non-medical masks, designed to hang around your neck when not in use, are sold at the ranch office in various sizes. (Note that the ranch provides masks for crew.)


The usual self-serve buffet is replaced by meals individually served by ranch crew wearing gloves and a mask. Seating is more spread out in the dining room and outdoors. Details are dependent on weather and the number of guests. In addition, a take-out option is more routinely available. Hand sanitization supplies are available at all entrances to the dining room.


Research on enhanced sanitation practices is underway.  We are consulting with experts, other ranches and Pima County Health Department.  We are considering an “on-demand” housekeeping strategy that reduces our staff’s travel into and between guest quarters.  We welcome your ideas and insight!

Note that Elkhorn buildings do not have air conditioning nor recycled air – you can open windows to let in fresh air!


With regard to COVID-19 symptoms, we monitor CDC guidelines to determine symptoms that merit concern. Non-invasive forehead thermometers are available to check for presence of fever. Mandatory and/or voluntary temperature checks are logged. Should someone become ill, the individual is isolated in their cabin and care is arranged in coordination with the individual (and other members of their party). Care arrangements seek to care for the patient and to safeguard others residing at the ranch. Strategies include: providing take-out meals, minimizing housekeeping, and excluding the person from riding and other group oriented ranch activities.

These practices are extended to other members of the party as appropriate. In the event that an individual with a confirmed COVID-19 case occurs at Elkhorn Ranch, the individual will be cared for in accordance with CDC guidelines. Elkhorn Ranch fully cooperates with any contact tracing conducted by public or medical officials, and individually notifies guests, crew and other individuals who may have had contact. Expect updates to this topic over the summer.


As we work together to navigate the COVID-19 situation.

Thank you!

The Miller Family 

Our request for your feedback is very sincere! Please contact our family here