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Canada Dude Ranch

Liz Malinka

Flying U Ranch
P.O. Box 69, 70 Mile House, B.C. Canada, V0K 2K0
tel: 250-456-7717

A Dude Ranch!

My husband and myself had each been to this ranch a few times before but not for the last 14 years so we thought it was time to head back with our kids and give them a bit of the dude ranch experience.

Well the ranch was exactly as we had left it; completely authentic little cabins with wood burning stoves and small porches to sit out on and enjoy the lake views. Very, very tranquil setting in the heart of the caribou country in British Columbia, Canada.

This ranch is very popular since apparently it is the only dude ranch in North America that allows you to ride unsupervised. As a result horse lovers from all over the world descend on this little place. They have had many guests from Europe, but the majority come from the United States and Canada. If you want miles and miles of trails and rolling hillside this is the ranch for you; the scenery is simply outstanding.

On Saturday night the ranch hands form a band and perform some country standards for the guests which is always a big hit. We had an impromptu 2-step lesson which of course I turned into a polka. The dancing also helped to loosen up my aching body!

Now for the downside, this is an all inclusive resort (except for alcohol and sundries). For a family of 4, it costs approx. $500.00 CDN per day. (Hence all the visitors from the U.S.) That does include as much riding as you want. Now I wouldn't have a problem with this price if in fact you were getting a good dollar value but in my opinion this isn't the case.

My #1 gripe would have to be the beds! They were terrible and left me so crippled I could barely ride! It's now just a few days since my return and I still have pain! Keep in mind though that I do have a slightly sensitive back and most guests seemed to be fine. Our kids of course slept well since they are young and less concerned about the type of mattress they sleep on.

The food - well it is a ranch and while we were not expecting fine dining in the least, but most meals left a lot to be desired. In fact one of my daughters is a vegetarian and they served her up slabs of fried tofu with nothing else, yumm! Being in cattle country vegetarians are scarce so they haven't yet mastered the skills of vegetarian cuisine.

Another gripe would be the trail maps they supply you with. Unfortunately we found very few of the trails actually marked, so the map didn't help out a great deal. In fact most of the time we were wondering where the blazes we were! We were never too worried since we knew (hoped) that sooner or later we would run into someone that perhaps had a better sense of direction than us! At the end of a six hour ride I was wishing for supervised riding!

Lastly, I would have to comment on the towels that are provided, actually I would have to put them more in the paper towel range! I have a thing with towels and need them to be big and fluffy and these were basically at the point of falling to pieces and quite small. If you have the need for good towels, be warned and bring your own!

But while quite a few guests seems to gripe about the same few things, most say they will return again and again for the opportunity to ride unsupervised in one of the most picturesque areas around.

All in all we had a great time, so I would give this ranch a good, but guarded rating due to the problems with the beds/food etc.

Happy trails!

Liz is a lover of art, travel and fun!

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