I’ve often wondered what it would be like to stay on a working ranch but not being a proficient rider it wasn’t on my top ten list of thing to do – until now. I was recently invited to experience a couple of nights at Three Bars Ranch, a working ranch in British Columbia, Canada where you can indulge all your cowboy fantasies.
Three Bars Ranch is well located, easily incorprated into a self drive itinerary or just 15 minutes from Cranbrook airport, it is set in breathtaking countryside overlooking the Rockies. Entering through its gates feels like leaving the rest of the world behind (although they do have wifi). Guest accommodation is in comfortable log cabins set around an immaculate lawn at the centre of which is The Lodge, the heart of the ranch where meals are served inside or out on the patio with its stunning views.
It is the outdoor activities that everyone wants to get involved in though, and with over a hundred horses on the working ranch, there is one to suit everyone from the experienced rider to the complete beginner. My measurements and weight were noted together with my limited experience and I was issued first with cowboy boots and hat and then with my horse, Ivory.
The friendly Wranglers have endless patience with beginners and take clients out in small groups dependent on ability. However long guests stay at the ranch (usually 6 nights) they retain the same horse, enabling riders to build confidence throughout their stay as they get to know and trust their horse. After a exhilarating morning ride with the Rockies in the background we returned to the ranch for a welcome and delicious lunch.
Our afternoon activities were a challenging UTV ride through woods and mountains, followed by a chance to show off our shooting skills with a variety of guns, targets and clays.
There are a wide range of activities here for the afternoons or for non-riders during their stay: fishing, river rafting, mountain biking, hiking, plus there are constant wildlife spotting opportunities – and with a golf course nearby and a small gym on site there really is something for everyone. All the activities with the exception of UTV’s and golf are included in the price, making it excellent value for such a unique experience.
If you have any aches and pains at the end of the day, relax them away with a swim in the indoor pool or some time in the outdoor Jacuzzi, Three Bars, has everything the guest might need for a unique and memorable holiday experience.
After a wonderful bbq dinner, we had a chance to relax in the bar or join the wranglers who provide an evening activity or teach a new skill to their guests. For us it was how to master the lasso, before stories round the camp fire under a clear dark sky perfect for star gazing.
Tyler Beckley and his family are tremendous hosts, mingling easily with the guests it is clear that they love the life they have created here and are proud to share it. Tyler told me almost every week guests are in tears as they don’t want to leave: having experienced his outstanding ranch for myself I can see why.