All Inclusive Stay in North Idaho at Red Horse Mountain Ranch
Located in northern Idaho, Red Horse Mountain Ranch is an easy drive from Spokane, Washington, yet miles away from the city lights. The all-inclusive Idaho guest ranch is designed with families in mind, but single cowgirls and multi-generational travelers will feel right at home here.
I opted to drive to Harrison, Idaho from the San Francisco Bay Area. The multi-day drive was beautiful, passing through Joseph, Oregon before arriving in the tiny town of Harrison, population 217.
Red Horse Mountain Ranch (RHMR), is a family affair, with several families jointly owning the 6,000+ acre property. Established in 2005, I had the pleasure of visiting the dude ranch in 2010 under different ownership. While the bedding has been upgraded since my last visit to cushy pillow top mattresses and white fluffy duvets, not a lot has changed. And that’s a good thing. The ranch has 21 cabin rooms, two lodge suites and a private, 2,800 square foot Hilltop log cabin home, perfect for large families.
I stayed in the two-story Eagle’s Nest, a four bedroom cabin, ideal for couples traveling together, a girlfriend getaway or family of 6-8 people. All bedrooms feature king beds (can be converted to 2 twin beds) and private bathroom with a tub shower combination. Additionally, there is a mini fridge and coffee makers set up for tea or coffee. As a tea drinker, I appreciated that RHMR carried Harney & Sons teas. This was proving to be an upscale guest ranch experience.
Next door, the smaller White Pine, Cutthroat or Old Post cabins were perfect for smaller families. All of the cabins are close in proximity to the main lodge, swimming pool and hot tub, with the exception of Hilltop cabin. Guests staying at Hilltop have access to their own golf cart to come and go at their leisure.
All-Inclusive Dude Ranch
The all-inclusive ranch package includes snacks and meals, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Guests receive cooked to order breakfasts, with lunch and dinner plated and served cafeteria style. Our weather was wonderful during the June visit, allowing guests to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner outside on the deck with a view of the horse pasture.
Everyday is happy hour at RHMR, but the “official” happy hour begins at 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Signature cocktails change with the seasons and are named with Western and Idaho-specific themes. Don’t miss the Huckleberry Lemonade with vodka, lemonade and housemade huckleberry syrup. Of course, JD, the bartender is happy to whip up non-alcoholic mocktails, too. The ranch stocks a list of wines available for purchase, chosen by the chefs. Spirits not usually stocked may be requested by the bottle and the cost will be added to your bill.
All stays at the guest ranch are typically Sunday – Saturday, with dinner included Sunday night and breakfast served on the day of departure. Ask the reservations manager if shorter stays are available.
Ranch Activities – Something for Everyone
Red Horse Mountain Ranch is all about horseback riding. With 104 horses to chose from, including a gorgeous dapple gray mule, there is a horse to match every riding ability. While I consider myself an advanced equestrian, I was delighted to see so many first-time riders at the ranch. RHMR is an ideal place for beginning riders or those who haven’t ridden regularly. All wranglers are true professionals with a “can-do” attitude, as are their horses.
There is an advanced rider test in the arena, offered several times during your stay, should you want to attempt trotting and loping out on the forested trails. Don’t fret if you don’t pass the test the first time. Lessons are offered throughout your stay at no additional charge. During my visit, the wranglers offering lessons were top-notch and instilled a large dose of confidence to their charges from youth to adult.
However, if horseback riding isn’t your thing, there is a challenge course & climbing wall, MegaZip, hiking, 3D archery, sporting clays, mountain biking, bike tours, kayaking, on ranch fishing, fly fishing lessons, heated swimming pool, hot tub and morning fitness activities such as yoga.
Non-guided activities include on ranch fishing, geocaching, hiking, swimming pool, hot tubs, library, family board games in the lodge, disc golf, horseshoes, and other lawn games. Evening activities include campfire games and s’more fixings, live entertainment with dancing at the saloon and roping activities. Activities requiring additional charges include guided fishing trips and massage therapy.
Meals at Red Horse Mountain Ranch
As an all-inclusive guest ranch, meals include breakfast, lunch, appetizers, snacks, drinks and dinner. Having had the chance to stay at several dude ranchers’ association member ranches, I’m pleased to report that the food served here is delicious. Breakfast is off the menu, cooked to order or buffet, with plenty of kid-friendly options. Lunches and dinners include homemade breads, rolls and desserts, as well as salads and healthy menu selections. Guests with gluten-free or other dietary restrictions may be accommodated with advance notice. As a dessert lover, I was aware that gluten-free options were always available on my trip. I don’t need gluten-free items, but honestly, the gluten-free choices were just as tasty as regular baked goods.
The kids program, for ages 3-10, is highly revered by both children and their parents and grandparents! I had a chance to visit with some repeat guests and the kids loved their counselors as much as their horses. From trail rides, to painting activities and s’mores around the campfire, the kids program will entertain the little ones and give you that all-important alone time.
Additional Costs & Extras:
There are additional activities and items available for your vacation at an extra cost, including fly fishing by a contracted outfitter, on site massage and nearby golf. Additionally, a shuttle service is available, for an additional fee, with advance notice.
There is WiFi available in the lodge and limited cell phone service. Red Horse Mountain Ranch is better for disconnecting from laptops and mobile phones. The ranch is not pet-friendly. Weekly rates vary from $2175 per person, per week to $3,400 per person, per week. The ranch offers active military and grandparent rates. Ask about fall events, including yoga retreats, singles and solo weeks and adult-only weeks.
Red Horse Mountain Ranch review and all photos by equestrian travel expert Nancy D. Brown. Nancy was a guest of Red Horse Mountain for review purposes. All opinions are her own.