The following article appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine's 5th edition.
California usually evokes images of surfboards, bikini-clad girls, tanned beach-goers, Hollywood stars and authentic Mexican food, but this “sunny state” also has a different, more adventurous side for you to discover! Somes Bar in northwest California is home to the Marble Mountain Guest Ranch where guests can experience an all-inclusive, unparalleled ‘summit to sea’ vacation. Families and groups with diverse interests and needs will easily be entertained and engaged throughout their stay owing to the many activities to choose from as well as a youth buckaroo program.
Marble Mountain Guest Ranch is a true family-owned and operated business. Since 1981 the Cole family has been welcoming guests into their home and, as of 1970, they have been in the outfitting, guiding and dude ranch industry. Unlike many guest ranches, all of the activities are personally outfitted and guided by Marble Mountain Guest Ranch family members, which eliminates the handing over of guests to third-party vendors and does away with long shuttle rides to off-site locations. This hands-on attention enables the ranch to maintain the highest level of quality control and risk management, while providing its guests with exceptional individualized hospitality. The guest ranch’s signature all-inclusive “saddle and paddle” or “raft and ride” vacation options coupled with its superb dining experience is sure to satisfy even the pickiest traveler in your group.
Horseback riders will be awed by the stunning scenery of the Klamath National forest which provides thrilling mountain trail riding through ancient Douglas Fir stands to high vistas with views across deep river valleys and granite ridge tops. Riders and horses alike will find themselves challenged by an ever-evolving backdrop of dramatic, rugged landscapes. All of the horseback rides are designed to match individual groups’ riding experience with a ratio of 6 riders to 1 wrangler. There are also plenty of opportunities for novice riders and younger riders including round-pen and arena horse riding instruction
The ranch’s signature “raft and ride” program enables guests to either ride or sign up for various sport shooting and sporting clays activities available in the cooler mornings and then take part in the rafting trips in the warmer afternoons. Guests who choose shooting sports will get to experience the Western Firearms tradition in a sporting non-kill venue. The afternoon Klamath River Rafting program features class II and III beginner and intermediate level rapids and is suited for all ages and experience levels and also provides great swimming opportunities. Guests will find themselves navigating the gentle river currents that pass through the land of Big Foot in the Siskiyou Mountain. Wildlife enthusiasts will have the chance to spot otters, beavers, ospreys, eagles and a myriad of other creatures and perhaps even BIG FOOT himself! For adventure-seekers visiting before the month of July there are stand-alone rafting options on the thrilling California Salmon River, the Scott River, and on Clear Creek. The Cal Salmon, or “Slammin Salmon” is for advanced white-water enthusiasts only who are visiting in the spring, and is not included as part of the normal summer family guest ranch program.
More details are available upon request.
Marble Mountain Guest Ranch’s target audience is families so that your kids, no matter what their age, will depart the ranch with lifelong pen pals from all walks of life and from all across the globe. Exciting activities that are based on traditional Western frontier experiences provide non-stop fun. Little ones enjoy nature walks, arts and crafts, feeding small animals, harvesting chicken eggs and more. Older kids take part in riding games, riding lessons, scenic trail ride adventures, and Western shooting sports at the range. Afternoon excursions include rafting, kayaking, and fishing. Evening activities are all about campfires, lariat challenges, fish-outs, and Western frontier games. At the end of their stay your kids will find it hard to choose which part of the vacation they loved most.
One cannot talk about the thrilling experiences and spectacular scenery at this California guest ranch without also mentioning the food! Fresh mountain air and invigorating daily outdoor activities stimulate appetites and make mealtimes an important part of a dude ranch vacation. Healthy, hearty, and wholesome meals using only the freshest ingredients and produce cultivated from the ranch’s very own gardens and orchards are something to savour and enjoy every day. Upscale and original cuisine is brought to you by Executive Chef, and ranch co-owner Heidi Cole, who brings to the table over 40 years in the food service industry. Be sure to check out Heidi’s cookbook “Ranch Cooking - Simply Good” available in the ranch’s gift shop.
Last but not least at the end of an action-packed day, guests retire to either cottages or homes. Accommodations include fully furnished deluxe homes and housekeeping cottages with full kitchens, as well as smaller units that come with kitchenettes. Ranch cottages include 1-3 bedrooms that vary in size which can accommodate two people or as large as a group of seven. Every cottage provides beds with linens and towels, bathrooms with toilets as well as showers and a kitchenette. Breathtaking sunrises in the morning and fiery sunsets in the evenings with a star-studded sky are included at no extra charge.
There isn’t any cell coverage at Marble Mountain Guest Ranch although there is WiFi available in the lodge for those who really need to stay connected during their stay; however, a vacation at this guest ranch is the ideal opportunity to disconnect from technology and maximize family participation as well as reconnect with nature. Although many guest ranches offer great food, incredible scenery, superb hospitality and a marvelous horse program, there aren’t many ranches that excel at providing such a diverse program of activities designed to appeal to mixed interest groups and families.
California, or the Golden State as it is fondly referred to, is more commonly associated with surfers, swimsuits and movie stars, but it is also home to Marble Mountain Guest Ranch, a dude ranch that encompasses a singular all-inclusive outdoor adventure designed specifically for you and your family’s enjoyment.
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