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 VG of on 19/11/2018
The itinerary for this holiday is completely flexible and can be planned around your riding experience and interests. For a 7 night stay, 4 days will be spent at Tucson Ranch before transferring to Tombstone for the remaining 3 days. Stays of 10 or 14 nights will be split evenly between the two ranches. Please note that there is no riding at Tucson Ranch on Sundays.
An example of the activities available at each ranch is below.
The riding programme has slow rides both on the flat and up into the heights of the Saguaro National Park and the weekly team penning event is fun for all. Children are very welcome at the ranch and can join all the ranch's regular activities. After having done a slow ride and passed a lope check, experienced riders can join the faster rides. All day rides and breakfast cookouts add variety and adventure to the regular riding schedule. Specialty 'Beer and Cheetos' and 'Wine and Cheese' rides are available for adults only.
Other activities away from the horse riding include hiking (guided and unguided), tennis, basketball, volleyball, badminton, a fitness centre, horseshoes, shuffleboard, billiards, the extensive collection of books in the library, and of course the sparkling and refreshing heated pool and indoor redwood hot tub. There is a petting zoo with deer, miniature horses, llamas, pot-bellied pigs, and pygmy goats. One of the unique aspects of this ranch is the weekly rodeo where the ranch cowboys and cowgirls rope, ride cutting horses, barrel race, and steer wrestle. The ranch also has a movie theatre, game room, and hosts regular evening entertainment shows. Rock climbing and massage therapy are available for an additional fee.
The riding programme is varied and designed to fit all levels of riders. It consists of: scenic walking rides, fast lope/trot rides, half day rides, all day rides, Beer and Cheetos Ride, Tequila Sunset Ride, Ride to Tombstone Town, team cattle penning and lessons (extra charge).
Please Note: the minimum age requirement for slow rides is 5 years old and 8 years old for fast rides and team penning. Half day rides start from the ranch towards the Dome mountain where you can take your horse on an adventure around the mountain to see amazing views of the Huachuca Mountains, spot prospectors’ monuments and abandoned mines. Experience a cowboy lunch out in cowboy country. The full day ride takes you on a journey down Walnut Gulch into the San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area and on to Fairbank. The way back leads you to ride along the old railroad grade that once connected Tombstone and Fairbank, at a slightly higher elevation you will be able to view the spectacular panoramic views of the mountains that surround south-eastern Arizona.
Other activities available at Tombstone include hiking, shoot
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.
There are horses of all types on the ranches. Most are Quarter Horses with some Draft crosses, Arab crosses, Appaloosa, Pains and Clydesdales varying in height from 14.2hh to 16.2hh. The horses are all well trained and excellent on the trails. The saddles and riding style is western - you are given pointers if not familiar with the style and most English riders find it easy to adapt to. Learning to ride is also a lot easier western style! There is a wide variety of rides to choose from - from slow and fast rides; trail rides and team penning. Slow rides are usually 1-1.5hrs, mostly walking with the occasional trot; fast rides are about an hour where about half the distance is covered loping (cantering); mountain rides of 1.5-2hrs on very steep and rocky trails (no drop offs); team penning and all day rides into the Saguaro National Park are also available.
There is a range of hard hats available as well as a smaller selection of boots. A safety briefing is given at the start of your first ride and a mounting block is available.
Riders of all levels are catered for. Some activities require more experience; the wranglers will asses the riding ability of anyone wishing to participate in these.
The minimum age for riding is 5 years and 8 years for fast rides or mountain rides. There are plenty of other activities for children of all ages available.
There is no weight limit for riding within reason. The horses are all cared for and saddled/unsaddled by the wranglers.
Tombstone Ranch: The rooms are all uniquely decorated in turn-of-the-century style, designed to represent the storefronts of Tombstone town in the 1800's. You might just wake up in the “Jail” or the “Post Office”… Experience the Old West without losing any of the comforts of today. All rooms are in easy walking distance of the lodge, pool, hot tub, parking, and corral. Rooms have two queen size beds and a private bathroom plus bath amenities, satellite TV, ac/heat, coffee maker and free wifi.
Schieffelin’s Restaurant serves three delicious meals daily, all with a home-cooked, hearty western style. Selections are from favorite family recipes, based on what’s in season, to insure each meal is made with the freshest ingredients. Be sure to share any special dietary needs or restrictions you may have and they will be accommodated. Instead of à la carte dining there is the Chef’s Choice each evening. Breakfast and lunch offer a variety of options to suit all tastes. The Special Chuck Wagon breakfast is likely be the best breakfast tasted by a campfire.
Tucson Ranch: The ranch has a warm, welcoming atmosphere that will make you feel right at home. Guest rooms are spacious and charming and situated throughout the ranch. Every guest room has a private patio with views of the cactus gardens, mountains, or corrals. Generous floor plans offer sunny, comfortable rooms with plenty of closet space. All rooms have air conditioning and private bathroom. Friendly housekeeping staff care for your needs daily and all guest rooms are supplied with eco-friendly soaps, shampoos and lotions. Hair dryers, mini-refrigerators, bathrobes, alarm clocks and personal safes are found in all rooms. Each room has access to high speed Wi-Fi. Laundry facilities are available on the ranch for guests. Rooms are perfectly placed for viewing our spectacular Arizona sunsets, and include tile floors, solid wood furniture and granite vanities. They offer one Queen bed and one Twin bed and bathroom with separate vanity area. You’ll be right next to the horses and conveniently located near our main lodge and dining room.
There is a full size swimming pool on site and a hot tub. Other facilities include: lodge/lounge area, bar, dining room, guest business centre, gift shop, game room, shuffle board & horseshoe throwing. The meals at the ranch are of a very high standard and freshly prepared. Lunches are often taken on the terrace buffet style, full American breakfast and four course dinners.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
All travellers are required to provide details online 72 hours prior to travel. For more information, and to apply online please visit the following website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Electronic travel authorities once obtained will be valid for a period of two years, or the validity of the travellers passport (whichever is shorter). There is a $14 charge for this service (2015). Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely to be detained and sent home.
On 5 January 2004, the US Authorities introduced the US-VISIT Programme. This means that all those aged between 14 and 79 travelling to the US are now finger-scanned and digitally photographed on arrival at passport control.
There are British consulates at many locations in the US, please check with the Foreign Office website for your closest one. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0232/0233 or see www.fco.gov.uk
The Tucson area of Arizona has a dry desert climate with a wealth of cactus type vegetation. There are very few days with any rain, the climate is warm and sunny in the day time, cold at night in winter, hot in the summer with warm nights. Tombstone is usually about 5C cooler than Tucson as it lies at an altitude of 4,500ft while Tucson is at 2,200ft.
No specific health precautions are required for visits to the USA.
Medical treatment can be very expensive; there are no special arrangements for British visitors. The British Embassy and Consulates-General cannot assist with medical expenses.
Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is essential; at least $1,000,000 cover, which includes hospital treatment and medical evacuation to the UK, would be wise. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake including horse riding.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org
There are no specific health requirements, but do bring plenty of sun block!
The voltage is 110V in the USA and you will need a flat blade plug and possibly an adaptor depending on the appliance. Check the voltage input required for mobile phone and digital/video cameras before leaving.
There is electricity on the ranch to recharge your equipment and film and batteries are widely available for purchase including a small selection at the gift shop on site.
Ranch attire is completely casual, if you wish to dress up for evenings in Tombstone, Western wear is appropriate
Jeans – Pairs for riding and pairs for evening/daytime wear
Shorts/ Skirts – Casual – depending on time of year and weather conditions
T-shirts/Sleeveless tops/Comfortable shirts
Long sleeve shirts – we highly recommend riding in long sleeve shirts to block the sun
Outerwear – Jackets and layers are suggested
Riding Boots – Not compulsory for riding, but boots with a low heel are the safest if you do not have riding boots
Chaps – Personal preference; not compulsory for riding
Sandals/Flip flops – For the pool/hot tub area
Bathing suit – For the pool / hot tub
Bike Shorts / Tights / Underclothing – To minimize possible chafing from riding
Hat / Stampede string
Sun Protection Items – Sunglasses, Lip balm, SPF 15 or higher Sunscreen, After-sun moisturizer
Gloves for riding
Plug in converter – If you are traveling from outside the USA
This programme can be booked as an 8 day/7 night, 11 day/10 night or 15 day/14 night option with a flexible itinerary. The ride is available all year round with any day start date (please note that there is no riding on Sundays at Tucson)
2020 Low Season: 1 June - 30 Sept
2020 Mid Season: 2 Jan - 14 Feb; 1 - 31 May; 1 Oct - 19 Dec
2020 High Season: 15 Feb - 31 Mar; 1 - 30 Apr; 20 Dec - 1 Jan 2021
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||double pp||2,005|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||single||2,145|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||1,245|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||785|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||double pp||2,789|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||single||3,005|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||1,685|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||1,169|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||double pp||3,679|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||single||4,005|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||2,075|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||1,565|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||double pp||2,269|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||single||2,429|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||1,409|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||885|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||double pp||3,159|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||single||3,405|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||1,909|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||1,325|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||double pp||4,165|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||single||4,539|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||2,349|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||1,769|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||double pp||2,505|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||single||2,685|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||1,555|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||979|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||double pp||3,489|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||single||3,759|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||2,109|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||1,459|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||double pp||4,599|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||single||5,009|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||2,595|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||1,955|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||double pp||24,869|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||single||26,635|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||15,435|
|2019 7n High Season||8d/7n||6||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||9,705|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||double pp||34,655|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||single||37,299|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||20,919|
|2019 10n High Season||11d/10n||9||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||14,489|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||double pp||45,679|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||single||49,739|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||3rd adult sharing room, 12 years upwards||25,755|
|2019 14n High Season||15d/14n||13||Child 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults||19,405|
Monty Roberts particularly ‘The Horse Whisperer’.
For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com
Also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com
There are a number of tours and trips available to book through Tombstone Ranch including Dragoon Mountain, Chiricahua National Monument, San Pedro River, Bisbee, Kartchner Caverns State Park, ATV Tours, Sonoita Wine Tasting, OK Corral Gunfight, and Downtown Tombstone Historical Tour.
Golf courses and day excursions from Tucson are set out for you on your arrival should you wish to explore the area. Visits to a target shooting range can also be arranged.
There are 116 species of bird that thrive in the desert surroundings of the ranch. There are other various animals, flora and fauna, including many cacti!
The USA has 4 main times zones - Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST) and Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Vermont is on EST, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah are all on MST, California is on PST.
Weights and measures are imperial although weight is always expressed in pounds, not stone. The US gallon is 3.8 litres in contrast to an imperial gallon which is 4.2 litres.
Mobile telephone: In 2015 3G is widely available throughout the US in cities, towns, villages and along main highways with AT&T having the best overall coverage and T-mobile offering better speeds in cities. 4G is beginning to be available in cities. There are still a few rural areas which have no GSM reception but do have the older CDMA telephone networks. To be able to call from these areas we recommend buying a cheap Verizon phone from eg Walmart (from $13) and topping up with credit. Almost all hotels and airports offer free wifi connection.