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Discover Grapevine while riding horseback through the trails of the west at Grapevine Canyon Ranch!Our riding program is offered over a two week period so that guests staying with us for longer than a week can experience varying trails over some of the most beautiful country in south east Arizona. The all day rides go to different locations every day, with the exception of the popular Chiricahua National Monument’s “Wonderland of Rocks” ride and the ruins of Old Fort Bowie ride, which are available every week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively.

The all day rides are available every day except Sundays, when the program offers a morning ride, either trail or an advanced “loping” ride. Both rides meet at the roping arena for the Sunday “Horseback Games” where you can test your skill and your horse’s willingness in a series of competitions. Following this, all riders gather round the cook-wagon to enjoy a tasty lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and fixing’s cooked over an open fire. In the summer, this becomes a breakfast cook-out, with lunch served back at the ranch following the morning’s rides.

As many of our guests like to plan their vacation according to the rides available, the timetable below lists the available rides on Week One and Week Two. Choose your dates from the drop down list, and you will be linked to the schedule for that particular week.

As many of our guests like to plan their vacation according to the rides available, the timetable below lists the available rides on Week One and Week Two in 2011.  Choose your dates from the drop down list, and you will be linked to the schedule for that particular week.

 

 

Ft Bowie

Trail Rides

Grapevine Canyon Ranch Trail RideWe'll guide you through some of the most beautiful country you've ever experienced, where the extraordinary scenery changes every few minutes. These trail rides are for all levels of rider skill, besides being marvelous photo opportunities for those wanting to capture the beauty of the desert on film. Morning rides are long enough to enjoy the scenery, with as many rest or photo opportunity stops as the riders desire, with stories of nature and local history shared by the wranglers. All guests take a morning trail ride as an introduction to their horses, western riding techniques, and the desert-to-mountain terrain, before joining other rides in our program.

 


Grapevine Canyon Loping RideAdvanced Rides

These rides cover more difficult trails, and offer the rider several opportunities to "lope" (or canter) through this amazing country. After their introductory morning Trail Ride, guests will be lope checked in the arena to demonstrate their ability to sit well and control the horse at an increased speed before signing up for the Advanced Ride the following day. Remember - not all the time on these rides is spent loping - there are times when the terrain presents enough of a challenge!

 


Grapevine Canyon Ranch Seasonal Cattle WorkSeasonal Cattle Work

You must be lope checked before riding the range, as there may be a need for speed at times. There are also three opportunities to participate in seasonal cattle work. Contact Bonnie for more information.

 

 


Day Ride on a horse ridiing holiday or vacation at Grapevine Canyon RanchDay Rides

The Day Rides cover an extended distance on a variety of trails, with a lunch break and rest stops throughout. The ride destinations rotate every two weeks, as we want to vary your riding experience as much as possible. The only exceptions are the popular Off Ranch Adventure Rides which are offered weekly.

 

You and your horse will be trailered to the trail head for these incomparable riding expeditions. These, too, last all day, returning to the ranch in plenty of time for dinner.

Fort Bowie Ride at Grapevine Canyon RanchFort Bowie

Fort Bowie, built in the 1860s, was there to protect the infamous Apache Pass where many a wagon train was attacked by braves led by Chief Cochise of the Chiricahua Apaches and Chief Mangas Coloradas of the Mimbres.

Normally, visitors to the Fort have to walk along a Forest Service trail from the parking area a mile and a half away (2km). But on horseback, you'll ride the Butterfield Trail, retracing the old stage coach route from a wagon train massacre site on the top of Apache Pass, all the way to the Fort itself.

You'll ride past the ruins of the stage station, then on past the remnants of the old Fort Bowie cemetery - where remains of soldier and Indian are buried side by side. You'll pass through the canyon where the Battle of Apache Pass took place, and by the foundation of Tom Jeffords' house. Jeffords was a friend to Cochise and Indian Agent at the time. The trail goes past Apache Spring, the only source of water for miles around - one of the causes of contention between the white man and the Apaches - and finally onto the summit of the pass, where you'll see the United States flag waving lone and tall on the long-ago deserted parade ground of old Fort Bowie.

Today, Fort Bowie is fast disappearing, crumbling back into the earth, but it remains a fascinating and nostalgic reminder of the tough pioneers who won the West for us...

The Fort Bowie ride is for all levels of experience, and is offered on Thursdays - weather permitting. For Off Ranch Adventure Rides, there is an additional fee for trailering the horses to the trail head. There is a minimum of two riders and a maximum of eight for this day-long expedition.


 

Chiricahua National Monument by Don Ransenberg
Chiricahua Natonal Monument
Photo by Don & Cathy Ransenberg

Chiricahua National Monument

This spectacular Canyon, with its fantastic rock formations, is probably the least known of America's National Parks - yet is one of the most beautiful. For many years after the first settlers arrived in this valley, Bonita Canyon - a refuge for the Apache - remained unknown to the white man.

In the 1870s, a detachment of Buffalo Soldiers (the famous black cavalry) camped at the mouth of Bonita Canyon to prevent Indians from escaping into its wilderness. Five decades later, in the 1920s, early settler Ed Riggs discovered its wonders while looking for lost cattle. Riggs petitioned the government to designate it a National Park, protecting the area for future generations.

The Civilian Conservation Corps camped in the canyon during the 1930s, and constructed the miles of winding, superbly-designed trails enabling exploration and full enjoyment of the area today. The horses are trailered to the Faraway Ranch, once the home of Ed and Lillian Riggs, and from there we ride past the recently-restored homestead - an interesting example of early Arizona architecture. Then, on through rolling meadows of ranch country, and up a steadily-ascending trail winding through tall pines reminiscent of Montana, each switchback reveals ever-more breathtaking scenery, until we arrive at the near lunar landscape of Bib Balancing Rock. Without question, this is an outing you will never forget.

This trail is challenging but not daunting - unless sweeping views from dramatic overlooks are cause for concern. As the elevation is 7,000 ft (2100m), this ride, offered on Tuesdays, may not be possible in winter because of possible snow on the trail.

For Off Ranch Adventure Rides, there is an additional fee for trailering the horses to the trail head. There is a minimum of two riders and a maximum of eight for this day-long expedition.

 

Grapevine Canyon Ranch Lessons

Dear Fun Seekers,

My name is Peter and after a ½ day jaunt on a horse in Colorado I thought I had the basics down pat – stop, go, right, left.  So I went on a ride.

Well, the horse had one speed – slow -  nipped every stalk of grass he could find – and I came back with sores on  my legs and feet that only responded to a hot shower, Motrin and four fingers of Scotch.

Then I had the inspired idea to take the 8:30 lesson. Lo – the skies opened, and I learned the basics I thought I had. My next two days here were a pleasure. The horse went where I wished, as fast as I wished, and I came back with nary an ache. The ride is so much finer when you’re not fighting your horse because you don’t know what you’re doing.

The moral of this is – TAKE THE LESSON!!! No matter what you think you know – chances are you don’t know as much as you think you do.

 

Suggested for Beginners...
Monday through Friday

What you will learn in a group riding lesson:

  • Proper seat and riding position in a western saddle,
  • Correct use of legs and hands,
  • Basics of sitting the trot in a western saddle, and
  • Basics of stopping and turning your trail horse.

Lessons are available 8:00 - 8:30 am and are $15 per person. Private, one on one riding lessons are available by arrangement with the barn boss and are $45 per person.

Lessons Can Be More Than Just Riding

We offer:

  • Riding
  • Saddling
  • Roping
  • Bits and bridles
  • Horse conformation
  • Veting
  • Tack
  • Trailering (loading horse correctly)

If you have questions about our lesson program, please email Sarah.

Cost: $45 per person for approximately 1 hour – We suggest scheduling in advance to guarantee time for your lesson. Thank you.

 

 

History Week at Grapevine Canyon RanchLearn about the enthralling days just decades ago in this truly historic area. From the ancient people of the Dragoons Culture, to the Chiricahua Apaches with Chief Cochise and Geronimo eluding the United States Cavalry, to outlaws and renegades, this was a turbulent land. Come, see where it happened... come step into the past.

  • Sunday - Check in after 2:00 p.m. Get settled.
  • Monday - Your weeks starts with a Morning Orientation trail ride. Then, an afternoon visit to the world famous Amerind Foundation, with its fascinating display of old Indian artifacts.
  • Tuesday - You'll ride horseback through the Chiricahua National Monument, also known as the "Wonderland of Rocks", where the Apaches used to retreat in troubled times.
  • Wednesday - Enjoy an all day ride to Cochise Stronghold, impregnable long-time camp of the Chiricahua Apache.
  • Thursday - Follow the famous Butterfield Trail on horseback to the ruins of old Fort Bowie, built in the 1860s to protect the traffic along the California Highway. Ride by the site of one of the most famous Indian battles of this area, in which the California Volunteers defeated a mighty Apache host by unexpectedly using howitzers.
  • Friday - You'll have a vehicle trip to the unique Military Museum in Fort Huachuca, the oldest continuously operating military fort in the USA. (Only available to citizens of the United States.) On the way back to the ranch, you'll visit world famous Tombstone, as well as get a brief look at three genuine ghost towns - Courtland, Gleeson, and Pearce.
  • Saturday - Join us for an all day or morning trail ride - or just rest and relax and remember everything you've learned.
  • Sunday - Your morning ride culminates with a cook-out ride, then good-bye till next time!

Price per person is $390 (plus 6.1% tax) in addition to the weekly rate. Call 800.245.9202 for availability or more information.

Arizona sales tax will be added to the Final Bill. Service fee based on the regular rate will be added to the Final Bill.

Horsemanship Week ....

"Introduction to Horsemanship"

Horsemanship Program
is offered on the following dates:
Dates to be announced

"The goal of a good horseman is to become so sensitive to the entire horse, to the movement of its body and how the horse thinks, that the rider can sense trouble, anticipate exactly how the horse will react, and move to control that reaction even before the horse is aware of its own feelings." - Dorothy Moore Jasper, Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Book

Are you a rider or merely a passenger? A horse owner or a horse slave? A wise horse purchaser or a horse trader's dream? Are you buying your veterinarian's Rolls Royce? Attend our Horse Camp, and become an informed horse owner. Your horse will thank you!

Many people approach purchasing a horse in much the same way they approach buying a puppy. They don't realize a horse - besides being a significantly larger animal - has a mind of its own and its own unique agenda. Throughout this one week program, we'll present a great many highlights of horse ownership - and some of the pitfalls.

During Horse Camp at Grapevine, we'll discuss the following:

  • What to look for in purchasing a horse - ideal conformation and temperament
  • Horse etiquette and handling - proper approach, handling, and grooming
  • Basic horsemanship - how to control the horse, how to communicate
  • Horse health management - necessary inoculations, worming program, when not to panic, and when to call the vet
  • Equine nutrition and shelter
  • Farrier science - examples of a well-shod hoof and a shoeing demonstration
  • Theory of saddles and the correct way to pad and saddle
  • Theory of bits and bridling

The rate for Horse Camp is $390 (plus 6.1% tax) per person in addition to the weekly rate.
Minimum of 2 people required. If just one person wants to sign up we will try to fill the other position.


If you have questions about our Horse Camp - email Sarah.

Arizona sales tax will be added to the Final Bill. Service fee based on the regular rate will be added to the Final Bill.

Book Now Through Our Online Reservation System

 

Mini Horsemanship Program
is offered on the following dates:
Dates to be announced

3 days
Ride in the morning
Spend the afternoon with the Barn Boss covering 3 topics of your choice:

  • What to look for in purchasing a horse - ideal conformation and temperament
  • Horse etiquette and handling - proper approach, handling, and grooming
  • Basic horsemanship - how to control the horse, how to communicate
  • Horse health management - necessary inoculations, worming program, when not to panic, and when to call the vet
  • Equine nutrition and shelter
  • Farrier science - examples of a well-shod hoof and a shoeing demonstration
  • Theory of saddles and the correct way to pad and saddle
  • Theory of bits and bridling
  • Private Riding Lesson
  • Vetting
  • Loading a horse correctly - trailering

The rate for Mini Horse Camp is $252 (plus 6.1% tax) per person in addition to the daily rate.
Minimum of 2 people required.
If just one person wants to sign up we will try to fill the other position.


If you have questions about our Mini Horse Camp - email Sarah.

Arizona sales tax will be added to the Final Bill. Service fee based on the regular rate will be added to the Final Bill.

Book Now Through Our Online Reservation System

 

What the Grapevine guests are saying

What challenge does a professional race car driver, business consultant, zookeeper and contemporary mixed media artist have in common? COW CAMP. Even though I'm an Arizona cowgirl with my own horses - I needed a challenge that would take me beyond my routine of riding the trail. How about getting together with at least 3 other strangers, being trained in a crash course of cowboy skills, by professionals, only to be let out together, each on a horse with a herd of cows with the task of getting them from point A to B. The result is 4 individuals with newly gained confidence and a sense of accomplishment that they didn't have when they first drove up the dusty road to Grapevine Canyon Ranch. Cow Camp wasn't just a dude ranch recreational activity, it was a life changing adventure for me supported by some of best equestrian professionals in the business. I will be back.

Sharon Wysocki
Cow Camp November 2009

Read More Guest Testimonials

Read Some of Our Cow Camp Guest Diaries

More Cow Camp Guest Diaries

 


Cow Camp – Learn how to cowboy

Driving Cattle at Grapevine Canyon Ranch

Dates for Cow Camp
2011
January 11 - 16

February 22 - 27

March 21 - 25

 

We have had participation in our cattle round-ups for many years now, but this program is different. Here you will learn how a cow thinks, how she can be persuaded to see it your way – how to pen cattle, how to run them through the cattle chute, and how to herd them across country.  The first day or so is spent in learning “cow talk” – where do you stand, what do you do, how do you get her to see it your way.  Then there is the actual “cattle work” – learning how to influence a cow’s thinking, how to get her to move here and there. When all that is under your belt, it’s time to put all this in practice, by trailing the cattle across the ranch to a neighboring set of corrals. There you will find out just how much of an art roping a cow can be. After feeding all the livestock, you spend the evening around a campfire, eating steak and beans, then bedding down in a tent. Next morning, feed the livestock, enjoy a camp breakfast, and then hit the trail for the return journey.  The aim of this whole exercise is not so much to get the cattle from point A to point B, but rather to learn how to do it – to learn how to outwit a cow, who, owning (we believe), a lesser brain, and without benefit of having been to college, can yet outwit lots of cowboys and make fools of the best of us!

Cow Camp - $175 per person

  • Minimum 4 / Maximum 6 people
  • Must pay in full for Camp when making reservation
  • Non-refundable unless minimum requirement not met

Arrive at Grapevine on Monday or before and Check out on Friday (or later)

Day 1 (Sunday) – Arrive at Grapevine

  • Check in and get settled for your cowboy adventure ahead

Day 2 (Monday) – Teaching Day

  • Enjoy a “cooked to order” breakfast
  • Teach roping skills
  • Horsemanship skills
  • Lunch at Grapevine
  • Gather camping gear to Horsecamp Porch
  • Ride out and gather cattle into holding pasture (Corner Pasture)
  • Dinner at Grapevine

Day 3 (Tuesday) – TASK: Move cattle…

  • Breakfast at Grapevine
  • Ride and gather the Corner Pasture into Arena
  • Practice roping skills
  • Learn “all about knots”
  • Discuss general cattle ranching information
  • Drive cattle back to corner pasture
  • Feed the horses
  • Enjoy a steak dinner cooked over an open fire
  • Relax and enjoy being a ‘cowboy’

Day 4 (Wednesday) – TASK: Move cattle back to Ranch

  • Feed the horses
  • Breakfast at campsite, cooked over an open fire
  • Break down campsite
  • Gather corner pasture
  • Cattle drive to the open range
  • Ride back to Grapevine - unsaddle
  • Dinner at the ranch …. and a good night’s sleep in your comfy bed!
  • Check out on Thursday – and goodbye till next time!

Arizona sales tax will be added to the Final Bill. Service fee based on the regular rate will be added to the Final Bill.

Book Now Through Our Online Reservation System

 

Head 'em up and move 'em out!

Come ride Round-up with us!

Every April, September and October...


The dates for 2011 Round Ups are:

April 11 - 13 (Full!)

September 12 - 14 (3 Spaces Left!)

& October 17 - 19 (8 spaces left )

Cattle Round Up at Grapevine Canyon RanchSeveral times a year we need to gather our cattle and bring them into the corrals for various “works”.   In April, the baby calves are branded and vaccinated, in September those same calves, now grown and ready to move on, are sold, giving the cattle ranch its once a year paycheck, and in October the mother cows are pregnancy tested, vaccinated, dewormed, and turned out back to winter pasture.

It’s a lot of fun working cattle, and we’d love to have you join us.  We prefer you to be a return guest of the ranch, as we’ll be familiar and comfortable with your riding ability. If you have not been a past guest at Grapevine, it is absolutely necessary for you to check in at least two days prior to round up, so we can test your riding, you do your "lope check", and we’ll be able to ensure we've assigned you the right horse and the right job.

There is an additional insurance premium charge of $50 per day plus tax in addition to the accommodation rate.  Call 1.800.245.9202, or email info@gcranch.com for availability and more information.

Arizona sales tax will be added to the Final Bill. Service fee based on the regular rate will be added to the Final Bill.


Cattle Round Up October 2009

 
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Pack Trips are offered on the following dates:
Dates to be announced
Jimmie on the grill during a pack trip

Available October, November,
and March-through-June...

Join us on a pack trip in the rugged Dragoon Mountains, once home to the fierce Chiricahua Apache. After a day's ride through their old camping and hunting grounds, we set up our camp in a picturesque canyon, then enjoy a dinner of steak, beans, and all the fixin's cooked over a campfire. Later, we relax under the twinkling stars and listen to the lonely howl of a coyote, the sounds of the horses jostling each other on the picket line.

In the morning, the smell of cowboy coffee and sizzling bacon wakes us, ready for another day's adventure.

Price is $100 per person per night out, in addition to the accommodation rate. Minimum fee is $300 plus tax. Call 1.800.245.9202 for availability or more information. Pack Trips must be booked in advance.

Please mention when making your reservation that you would like to sign up for a pack trip. Also, please note that the necessary gear for the pack trip is provided.


Arizona sales tax will be added to the Final Bill. Service fee based on the regular rate will be added to the Final Bill.

Book Now Through Our Online Reservation System