Sunflowers outside the cabin
Pioneer cabin
Pioneer cabin
Cabin living room
Roping room in the main house
Wildlife room in the main house
Downstairs cabin room
Upstairs cabin room
Lucasia Ranch

Get away from it all and gain an inside view of an authentic working family ranch... ride the foothills, check cattle, fix fences, learn to rope the dummy or just kick back and relax. Set at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Canada this small working cattle ranch is the real thing. On 2 week programmes guests will experience cattle work and learn the basic techniques of working cattle and ranch roping. Some riding experience is required as the terrain can be uneven and challenging in places, although the pace is mainly at a walk for trail rides. Cattle roundups are faster and for experienced riders only.

Why not combine your stay at the Ranch with a two day stay in the city for the world famous Calgary Stampede in July? Please contact Unicorn Trails for details.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from CL of London on 14/09/2017

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday
Lucasia Ranch is an animal lovers paradise, of course the daily 4 hour trail rides over foothills and forests were the highlight of my day but having the freedom to roam the ranch and help out with the feeding and watering of the abundance of other animals on the ranch made this so much more than a horse riding holiday. I felt welcome and enjoyed it very much.
Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify) Personal care, I felt like I was Fiona's only customer     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments Christina knows her stuff and was ready to give advice when asked and was not afraid to correct bad habits. Keen to learn, she taught me to tack up my horse and gave me tips to improve my confidence around horses.
Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments It was lovely to see the horses just being horses in the field when we were not riding them.
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Transfer arrangements     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response When I arrived in Calgary I went straight to the starbucks which I was told was the meeting point, having waited 45 min at the startbucks I spotted an cowboy with a sign and decided to check it out and sure enough it said Lucasia Ranch. Lucasia Ranch had nominated the horse statue as the meeting point. Also they were only given landing times and not flight numbers or any additional information regarding the passengers. I feel like Unicorn trails and Lucasia Ranch should have communicated better and that a mobile number should be given rather than a landline because for 45 mins I was calling the landline with no response where as if i had a mobile number I would not have wasted everyone's time by waiting in the wrong place.
What could we do to improve this ride?
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced? 7
Please explain why you scored it as you did was good enough for beginners and advanced riders
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response I have already
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments
Unicorn comments Thanks for your lovely comments and pleased you had a great time! I will now update our info re the meeting point as we weren't aware so sorry about that.

There are many different programmes on this riding holiday and they vary with the time of year, work needing to be done and guests requests. Varying length of stays are possible on this ranch.

Short Break 5d/4n
for those passing through
Ranch stay 7d/6n probably the minimum needed to get to grips with cattle work
Cow puncher 14d /13n for those serious about learning the ranch lifestyle

This is a genuine working ranch and you will learn about all this entails. On the longer stays, you will experience more cattle work and learn the basic techniques of working cattle and ranch roping. Some riding experience is necessary as the terrain can be uneven and challenging in places, although the trail riding is mostly done at a walk. There are a number of special occasions during the typical ranching year and these are detailed below.

Branding Week 7d/6n
Take in a traditional branding experience that even today, echoes the practices of the past. Help the crew gather, sort and brand; you're welcome to observe or pitch in and learn the basics.

Cattle Drives 7d/6n
The first cattle drive takes place in mid-August and allows you to take the yearlings into the Forest Reserve.
Usually they are gathered on one day and then we drive them three miles to the neighbour's corrals. They will stay there overnight, and the next morning we combine the herd and move them between 15 and 20 miles into the Forest Reserve.

The final cattle drive is the Fall Roundup. This drive takes place at the end of September/beginning of October as the cattle need to be out of the Forest Reserve by the 15th of the month.

We usually leave early from the ranch buildings and ride into the reserve from the back of the ranch. The cattle are gathered and pushed to the corral setup, which is located in the Reserve. At the end of the day we will return to the ranch for a well-earned rest and a wholesome supper. The next day will be very similar as all of the stragglers need to be found and corralled.
While the search is on for the stragglers, a group of ranchers will be separating the cattle as there are five ranchers with herds combined on the Reserve. When everyone has returned, each owner will leave with their herds at different intervals. The ranch herd will then be driven the seven miles home. This is two hard days in the saddle and riders must be experienced and able to handle 6-10 hours per drive day in the saddle.

We would also suggest that if you are interested in a cattle drive, please book early as space is limited and these weeks are always the first to book.

There are 3 single rooms on the ranch. Single guests can have these at no extra cost subject to availability.

Please note that there is no riding on arrival and departure days. Arrival time at the ranch is after 3pm and departure time on your final day is before 11am. If you have booked an airport transfer then pick up is between noon and 6pm on the arrival day and drop off is between noon and 6pm on departure day.

They stop by a store on the way back from the airport for people to pick up wine, beer etc.

Please enquire for transfer costs if arriving on a day other than a Sunday or departing on a day other than a Saturday.

Please note that all our ranch prices are fully inclusive of taxes and charges. Extras that are commonly charged onsite ranches which we include in our prices are: state taxes, local town taxes and accommodation tax. Gratuities are payable on site; 12-15% is commonly expected as the staff are paid largely via tips. We recommend a tip of approximately CAD$175. In addition our prices are guaranteed not to be affected by currency fluctuations once booked.

Reading List
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.

The Penguin History of Canada - Kenneth McNaught. A basic but useful primer on the country's history.
Native Peoples and Cultures of Canada - Allan Macmillan. This provides a historical framework and raises contemporary issues regarding Canada's Native people.
City to City (also published as O Canada!: Travels in an Unknown Country - Jan Morris. This is a collection of essays written after she traveled in Canada from coast to coast.
Maple Leaf Rag: Travels Across Canada - Stephen Brook. A somewhat quirkier collection of travel essays.
The Road to Canada's Wilds: Parks Along the Trans Canada Highway - John and Martha Stradiotta describe the many national and provincial parks across the country in .
For a taste of Canadian literature, read Margaret Atwood's Surfacing and Booker-winning The Blind Assassin, Alice Munro's The Moons Of Jupiter short story collection, Michael Ondaatje's In The Skin Of A Lion or Robertson Davies' Fifth Business .

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are 60 quarter horses and Appaloosas on the ranch and usually a selection of 12 for guests to choose from. They are all working ranch horses, good natured and fit. The horses live out and are in excellent condition. They are ridden in Western saddles and riding is in western style with neck reining. This is very easy to learn and first time western riders will be given tips and advice. Normally guests ride for 2 hours in the morning and return after lunch for 3 to 4 hours of riding. The terrain is rolling hills with one or 2 guides, depending on amount of guests (2 guides for more than 5 riders). Daily programmes change with the time of year and guest requests. All riding, apart from cattle drives which are for experienced riders only, is at a walk. See our web site for likely activities at different times of the year. Apart from the cattle drives, branding days, fall round-up, checking cattle & horses you can also take in team roping practice & learn the basics of roping the dummy at any time. Stopping to view wildlife and vistas in the country is always on the programme!

Rider requirements

Guests must have some experience of riding for this holiday as the terrain can be uneven and challenging at times, although as trail rides are mostly done at a walk novices are welcome. More experienced riders will get more out of the advanced riding techniques, such as cutting, team penning and roping. The hours of riding can be tailormade to your requirements - you can ride as much as you like or as little as you like. The cattle work is as necessary however and cattle are moved most days on this ranch.

For the cattle drive, riders must be experienced and fit for the 6-10 hours in the saddle on the drive days.

There is a weight limit of 250lb/110kg on this ride, there is a minimum age of 14 years old.

Riders may tack up their horses if they wish to but no participation in the horse care or saddling is required. There is plenty of help to get you on and comfortable.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 18 st/250 lb/114 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

The ranch enjoys a set of well-established ranch buildings, some of which date back to the 1800s. In the main ranch house there are two double guestrooms with a shared bath & sitting room on a private floor. A new guest cabin features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area on the main floor and a loft area upstairs. Alternatively guests may choose the rustic life in a turn of the century refurbished log bunkhouse. Decor in all of these reflects the ranch's western flavour. There is a maximum capacity of 12 guests at any one time. Meals are home-cooked with ranch-raised beef & plenty of vegetables. Desserts are varied, homemade & delicious! Hearty ranch breakfast served. Vegetarians can be catered for but they do need to know that the ranch makes a living by selling and eating beef. There is no wine on site, so guests wanting some are advised to bring their own. In the evenings, relax around the ranch firepit or rest on the spacious deck while you enjoy a spring-fed brook that bubbles through the ranch yard. Brush up on your roping skills or find a seat in the peaceful shade garden; wander through the yard scattered with trees, flowers & birdlife. Guest conveniences also include TV, VCR with varied videos/DVDs, a woodburning fireplace and a horseshoe pit.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Climate Summary

The climate is very cold in the winter and warm and sunny in the summer (mid 20's) - perfect for riding. It is cool at night even in the summer. Spring and autumn are crisp with lovely foliage and again great for riding and working. The climate can change fast, so it is best to come prepared!

Climate Chart

Film and Camera Equipment

There is electricity available on the ranch for recharging cameras, video's and telephone equipment. You should bring all the film and batteries you require before heading to the ranch.

Packing List

Jeans or jodhpurs
Windproof jacket
Long sleeved shirts
Casual dinner wear
T - shirts
Rain gear (no ponchos)
Sweater / fleece
Sneakers or soft shoes
Riding boots also suitable for walking in
Chaps (optional)
Binoculars (optional)
Riding helmet
Broad rimmed hat for sun protection
Insect repellant

The ranch does have a small selection of boots, chaps and hat to borrow (free of charge).


These programmes are available on set dates each year. Stays as follows: Short Break 5 days / 4 nights; Ranch stay 7 days / 6 nights; Cow puncher 14 days / 13 nights

Departure Dates

2018 Ranch stay and short break: 3, 17 Jun; 15, 22 Jul; 5 Aug; 2, 9 Sept.
2018 Cattle drives: 12 Aug; 26 Sept (extended stays possible).
2018 Branding Week: 10 Jun
2018 Cowpuncher: 15 Jul; 2 Sept.

A single room can be booked for no extra supplement when available.
No of   
Riding days Product item description £
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp1,219
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,285
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp1,219
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,285
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11double pp1,895
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11Double with ensuite pp1,989
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp959
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp1,025
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3double pp689
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3Double with ensuite pp759
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp1,019
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp1,085
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp1,285
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,349
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11double pp 1,975
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11Double with ensuite pp2,075
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp1,285
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,349
No of   
Riding days Product item description
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp1,399
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,475
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp1,399
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,475
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11double pp2,175
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11Double with ensuite pp2,285
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp1,099
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp1,175
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3double pp775
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3Double with ensuite pp849
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp1,145
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp1,215
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp1,435
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,509
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11double pp 2,209
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11Double with ensuite pp2,319
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp1,435
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,509
No of   
Riding days Product item description $
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp1,649
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,735
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp1,649
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,735
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11double pp2,559
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11Double with ensuite pp2,689
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp1,295
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp1,385
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3double pp909
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3Double with ensuite pp999
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp1,345
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp1,429
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp1,689
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,779
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11double pp 2,599
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11Double with ensuite pp2,729
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp1,689
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp1,779
No of   
Riding days Product item description SEK
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp13,469
2017 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp14,179
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp13,469
2017 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp14,179
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11double pp20,915
2017 Cow Puncher14d/13n11Double with ensuite pp21,979
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp10,599
2017 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp11,309
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3double pp7,445
2017 Short Stay5d/4n3Double with ensuite pp8,155
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6double pp10,989
2018 Ranch Stay7d/6n6Double with ensuite pp11,699
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5double pp13,825
2018 Branding Week7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp14,535
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11double pp 21,269
2018 Cow Puncher13d/12n11Double with ensuite pp22,335
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5double pp13,825
2018 Cattle Drive7d/6n5Double with ensuite pp14,535

Revel in breathtaking scenery while keeping a lookout for an amazing diversity of wildlife that calls this region their home - elk, moose, deer, coyotes, hawks, eagles and more. Abundant wildflowers will provide photographic opportunities and ample excuses to rest and drink in the views.

Other Activities

Challenge someone to a game of horseshoes! Spend an evening around the firepit and enjoy cowboy camaraderie. Hike the hills & enjoy birds and other wildlife or if you have your own transport, visit one of southern Alberta's local tourism venues.

Other Information

The ranch was formerly known as the Circle L Ranch.
It was one of the first ranches in the district and was established in the Porcupine Hills Northwest of Fort Macleod in July, 1881, by Captain Charles Augustus Lyndon and his wife Margaret. The Lyndons came from Salt Lake City and when they landed at the Post at Fort Macleod the Captain and an Indian named Doodney toured the Porcupine Hills. Doodney took a fancy to the Captains pinto horse, so they reached an agreement... if the Indian could show the Captain some land with plenty of good grass, shelter and water he could have the pony.

After several days they arrived at the present Ranch site. This had been used as an Indian camping ground for many moons. The Lyndons purchased a few head of cattle and the Circle L cattle brand was granted to the Captain. It was considered one of the first brands given to a homesteader in the Northwest territory. Ranch life was filled with challenges. Going to market was not an easy task. This was a once-a-year trip took about a month with a wagon and 4 horse team. Ft. Benton, Montana was the shopping centre. During the Riel Rebellion, Louis Riel tried to induce American Indians to come north. William Lyndon was assigned a look-out point on a hill west of Claresholm, near the ranch.

In 1896 a house and barn was built near the spring site. The big barn that still stands was built in 1919. The Lyndons were assigned the post office in 1895. The Captain purchased a phonograph in 1899 and the neighbours often picked up their mail and stayed to listen. The Lyndon family continued to run the post office until 1945 when it was moved to Claresholm. The Captain's son William married and had 2 sons and a daughter. His wife died in childbirth when their daughter was born. Because of flooding, her body was buried at the ranch and later moved to Fort Macleod. William died in 1938, and his son Charles was killed at Hong Kong in 1941.

William's second wife Clara continued to run the ranch until 1944. She then moved to Calgary and the ranch was run by Alec Patterson. The Lyndon family continued to own the ranch but the Pattersons managed it until 1966. In 1966 the ranch was sold to Bob Lindsey, ending 85 years of ownership by the Lyndon family.

In 1974 the ranch was sold again, this time to the Lucas family but the original circle L brand did not go with the transaction. Many changes have been made, but several of the old log buildings are still in use and the spring has never gone dry.

Other Country Information

People migrating from Asia crossing the Bering Strait first settled the North American continent. They formed a number of tribes that can be distinguished by language: the Algonquian in the eastern sub-arctic and maritime areas spreading into the prairies and plains of the mid-west; the Iriquioian speaking tribes mostly in the St Lawrence Valley and around Lakes Ontario and Erie; the Salishan, Athabascan and other linguistic groups lived along the rivers and coastline of British Columbia. Small, isolated Inuit bands developed a unique culture in the harsh environment of the Arctic.

John Cabot, a Venetian working in the service of the English sailed to Newfoundland in 1497. This and later explorations formed the basis of the English claim to Canada. The Frenchman Jacques Cartier undertook a series of explorations, mainly along the route of the St Lawrence River during the 1530s and 1540s and he claimed the land for France.

It's the edginess between Canada's indigenous, French and British traditions that gives the nation its complex three-dimensional character. Add to this a constant infusion of US culture and a plethora of traditions brought by migrants, and you have a thriving multicultural society.

Canada is between 3.5 and 8 hours behind GMT depending on where you are in the country. They use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.

The international dialling code is +1.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Calgary International airport (YYC). Set transfer pickup time is between noon and 6pm on Sundays and the drop off time is between noon and 6pm on Saturdays.
2018: C$315 return for a single passenger and C$52.50 return for every additional passenger (including local taxes). Payable on site. Approx. transfer time 2 hours. Pick up is on Sundays between 12 noon and 6pm, drop off is on Saturdays between 12 noon and 6pm.
Alternatively take the Red Arrow bus from Calgary for a total cost of C$90pp.
Flight Guide:
London - Canada (YYC) from £400 return
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