Cariboo Cowboy Escape
British Columbia Canada: (GRBC02)
Experience the thrill of cantering over the open meadows and every changing scenery from one spectacular vista after another. If the idea of open spaces, a small group of friendly people, good organic food, and animals in a idyllic setting appeal to you, then this ranch may just be the perfect vacation destination for you. You can spend your day horseback riding - everyone is catered for regardless of experience - and very quickly you build a bond between you and your horse, which simply goes to strengthen your ability to relax and unwind. Here you can live as a 'true cowboy' with real people, real cowboys on a real ranch - a verified vacation from your normal life.
The ranch is nestled in the rolling hills of the Cariboo where time has no meaning. In the heart of cattle country, the spirit of old-fashioned hospitality, good ol' home cooking and a relaxed western atmosphere lives on. It is surrounded by majestic mountains, graceful meadows, wildflowers and lakes. Riding from the main Ranch House, follow the natural trails of tranquil splendor from one magnificent vista to another.Standing beside your horse, in the peaceful silence atop the Knoll, the awe that is felt cannot be described as you enjoy the breathtaking 360 degree view and know that one can surrender to the vastness of this wilderness. Follow natural trails through the
timber or enjoy the wide-open spaces, over range lands and mountain
meadows of the Cariboo Cattle Country. Feel the freedom that can only
be experienced on horseback. There are a variety of horses and rides suited for all riding
As one explores this immense untamed valley, the only distractions are the yip-yip of a coyote, the hoot of an owl, deer bounding over an open meadow, mama bear watching over her playful cubs, or the whinny of a horse. Stands of Aspens and Jack Pines lead the way through gentle meadows to extraordinary canyons and mountain ranges that rise above the mighty Fraser River. Appreciating the offerings of Mother Nature, this corner of heaven comes together to soothe the soul and summon the spirit!
The ranch offers a wide variety of accommodations - from guest rooms in the Sagebrush guest unit to spacious two-and three-bedroom cabins, or even some tepees for the youngsters. Meals are buffet style & served at specific times. All buildings are smoke free environments.
Meals are served at 8:30-breakfast, 12:30-lunch, and 6:00-dinner, and the bar opens with drinks and appetizers at 5:00.
Take off your watch. You won’t need it. We ring the dinner bell for the most important activities of the day.
Sagebrush is the main guest house where guests enjoy all of their meals together in the dining room.
Guestrooms in the Sagebrush Inn have queen beds or two twin beds. All have private bathrooms with showers. Each room offers a view of the riding stables or the beautiful valley.
Coyote Lodge, a traditional log cabin nestled in the pines, has six bedrooms (three rooms with double beds and three rooms with two twin beds in each). There are two full bathrooms in the lodge. A fireplace enhanced the large living room. There are two terraces, one where you can enjoy the sunrise, and the other where you can enjoy the sunset. The Coyote Lodge is perfect for reunions, retreats, or groups up to 12.
Just behind the Coyote Lodge is the forest where you can follow either the riding path or explore the overgrown pathways. In the early morning there is plenty of forest life to see and your children will be thrilled by coming so close to the animals.
Cabin 1 is equipped with a full kitchen, working wood stove, electric heat, and one bedroom with a double bed. The loft holds a double bed and two twin beds which are accessed by a vertical ladder. A screen is acting as a divider between the beds. In the living room you have a dining area, a fireplace, and a breathtaking view of the creek.
To the south you have the horse pen where you can watch the horses return each morning from the vast expanse. Behind the cabin you have the forest and mountains.
Cabin 1 is close to the path that leads to the lake. There you will find canoes and paddleboats. The same path will also lead you to Harrison House.
Cabin 2 is equipped with a full kitchen, working wood stove, electric heat, and one bedroom with a double bed. The loft holds a double bed and two twin beds which are accessed by a vertical ladder. A screen is acting as a divider between the beds. In the living room you have a dining area, a fireplace and a breathtaking view of the creek.
Serene and peaceful, Cabin 2 is next to the path leading to the lake where you will find canoes and paddleboats. From the porch you can watch the geese on the lake, and may even see a bald eagle sitting in a tree keeping its eye on potential prey. At night enjoy the song of the coyotes and wolves howling at the moon. It is a fabulous experience.
This is one of the original cabins and has a very special atmosphere that only comes with age. This cabin has the most spacious living room. Cabin 3 is equipped with a full kitchen, working wood stove, electric heat and one bedroom with a double bed. There is a bedroom loft with two mattresses. The bedroom loft is suitable for children who can play in their own cave upstairs. The bedroom loft is accessible by a vertical ladder.
Here you have a view to the teepees and are close to the forest that holds stunning wildlife. In the morning you can see the haze drifting away from the lake.
This is one of the original cabins and has a very special atmosphere that only comes with age. This cabin has the most spacious living room. Cabin 4 is equipped with a full kitchen, working wood stove, electric heat and one bedroom with a double bed. There is a bedroom loft with two mattresses. The bedroom loft is suitable for children who can play in their own cave upstairs. The bedroom loft is accessible by a vertical ladder.
If you are looking for remoteness Cabin 4 is for you. However, you might be watched by a curious chipmunk enjoying the quiet morning on the porch. You are surrounded by stunning scenery and are only a few steps away from the forest. The veranda is covered with a roof and from here there is an amazing view of the creek and the entire ranch
TEPEE - especially suited for teens
For summer fun, experience traditional First Nations living in the authentic teepees which are complete with central fire pits and electric lighting. A washhouse with private bathrooms and showers are close by. Each Teepee sleeps four. Bring your own sleeping gear or borrow one of our sleeping bags.
The Teepees are on a hill overlooking our small lake and have a beautiful view of the countryside.
Pets are welcome in cabins only.
For their own safety pets must be leashed and kept at cabins.
Visiting pets are not allowed on trail rides.
All pets must be announced before arrival.
The horses are the heart and soul of the Ranch and are well fed, healthy and constantly groomed. Come and see the nightly event as we turn our horses out to open graze, play and socialize and then return to the barn in the morning. They live on the ranch year round, and are ridden throughout the winter. Therefore, they have constant human contact and nurturing which is so vital to their well-being and continued well-mannered dispositions.
Our Goal and values
Having discovered our own corner of heaven, we feel compelled by our love for this awe-inspiring country to share the splendor of the wilderness and give people the opportunity to experience the peace and serenity we have found here. We also want to share our passion for the preservation of a gentler way of life and an era long gone.
Our staff is hand-picked, for their expertise and for their outgoing personalities that display family camaraderie. Their enthusiasm, dedication and love for the cowboy way of life, make this breed of people very committed to ensure that everyone will enjoy their vacation and return home with memories that will warm your hearts, and ours, for years to come.
The warmth, grace and old-fashioned western Hospitality is only one of the many reasons that keep guests returning year after year. The friendly camaraderie and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel at home.
The ranch offers an action packed agenda that
will keep you busy from dawn until dark. You're welcome to participate
in as much or as little as you care to. The horses are 'user friendly'! Whether you have ridden all your life
and just want to experience new country, or have never been on a horse
before and want to give it a go, we have just the horse for you. Just
like people, the horses have their own distinct personalities and our
experienced wranglers will match you with a horse that will suite you
perfectly. For something new, become
a real cowboy or cowgirl and try a cowboy ride. The horses really love
it and you'll love it too - chasing cows and calves that have their own
ideas of when to stop,and where to go. You’ll spend an exciting day
rounding up and herding cattle alongside a professional cowboy.
This is a sample itinerary of a week at the ranch.
Guests arrive and settle in cabins or rooms
Take a deep breath!
Tour ranch and meet horses and staff
to meet other guests
to Cowboy Poetry
Barn orientation – “Horse Instincts and
Introduction to how we train our horses,
some horse psychology, and how to saddle and ride. Then you will be
matched with your horse for the week, become acquainted while in the
arena, and then head out on a short trail ride. After lunch you'll hit
the trails again.
Start tournaments: Horseshoe, Volley ball,
Shooting with bow and arrow, Target shooting,
After dinner - learn Roping or play in the gameroom, “Branding”
Before breakfast - guided Wildlife sightseeing.
Horse grooming and tack lesson
Leaving for a one hour trail ride around
After lunch a 2 hour ride in the mountains. The Riders
might be broken into more advanced groups
For non-riders: Canoeing, Fishing or a
guided tour to Fraser River for goldpanning
After dinner - Entertainment by the campfire. Continuing
Dayride. Lunch on the trail. Non-riders
will have the possibility to join the riders for lunch in “the wilderness”.
Afternoon for non-riders: Guided tour to
Adult Candle light dinner. Relax for the
evening at the bar and gameroom. Special arrangement for the kids.
Riders go on a camp ride. Or you can also
just take a morning and afternoon ride.
Dinner will be arranged for everybody at
the camp in the mountains. Sunset hike.
For those who don’t join the camp ride
there will be a morning and afternoon ride.
After lunch - Gymkana Arena Games
Steak BBQ followed by finals of the
Before you have to think about leaving, you can hit the trails one
last time. After lunch we'll say good-bye, until the next visit!
Check out is at 1:00 p.m.
The program is subject to alterations
Other Summer Activities
There is always gold in the Fraser River. It is washed into streams and creeks that drain into the Fraser River and comes down with the silt. Get a lesson at the ranch or organize a trip of 6 or more to go to the river with a guide.
Join in the fun of gold panning. Learn how and where to explore for gold in Fraser River. Experience the thrill of discovering the precious yellow metal in your gold pan. Keep any gold you find - you may even find a gold nugget. Most of the world’s gold is yet to be discovered.
Canoe, pedal boat, row boat
Relax in the serenity of nature whether exploring our pond by canoe or splashing around and having fun in the pedal boats.
The ranch is surrounded by lakes renowned throughout British Columbia for their excellent trout fishing. Big Bar Creek joins our network of lakes and continues on to the Fraser River. Wild trout are abundant, fat and sassy. So gather your flies & lures & come hit the lakes.
Mountain bike across the meadows which are filled with the fresh scent of sage. Our network of trails & logging roads provide an array of spectacular scenery & wildlife.
British Columbia is a bird watcher's haven. More than a million birds migrate on the Pacific flyway, and thousands stop over or stay through the year. British Columbia is one of the richest wildlife viewing areas in Canada, with diverse and extraordinary creatures ranging from Aise Swallowtails, and Green Herons, to Trumpeter Swans.
Every summer the blooming wildflowers transform the country into a sea of colors. A spectacular show is put on by many varieties of wildflowers. Varieties include: lupine, columbine, lilies, orange hawkweed, wild roses and paintbrush. Canada has approximately 3,200 species of native vascular plants, of which over 1,000 are considered rare and over 100 are presently at risk of extinction. Fewer than a dozen of these species are presently included in formal endangered species recovery plans.
Make your wish! Enjoy an incredible evening of stargazing under the canopy of Cariboo’s brilliant night sky. Many clear dark nights in the Cariboo area produce outstanding views. Bring your friends and family for a tour of the universe under the star-filled skies of Cariboo while you cuddle up to a crackling fire.
Feel the freedom that can only be experienced on horseback over open meadows in sparkling, powdery snow on sunny winter days. You will discover wildlife that will reach beyond your imagination. We have vast open areas that have been untouched by modern civilization. Our rides follow natural trails through the timber or wide-open spaces, over rangelands and mountain meadows of Cariboo Cattle Country.
Some of the best cross-country skiing terrain in Cariboo is in our backyard. You can depart directly from Big Bar Guest Ranch and access the backcountry trails.
Groomed trails are available within a 45-minute drive. Our guests are encouraged to bring their own equipment (skies, boots, etc.). However we do have some equipment here at the ranch that you are welcome to use.
Snowshoes have been the best way to trek around Canada's backwoods since they were invented centuries ago. Snowshoes allow you radical freedom in the backcountry that no other sport can parallel. Go anywhere and do anything. It’s truly a unique experience and is easy to learn. You will be assisted in learning how to use your snowshoes on a variety of terrain and at a level comfortable to you.
Ice fishing is in full swing by mid-January for Kokanee, Rainbow Trout and the occasional Burbot. You can't say you have fished British Columbia until you have tried ice fishing! All ice fishing gear is provided to the guests.
Rates and Dates for Cariboo Cowboy Escape
Accommodations, all meals from dinner on arrival to breakfast on last day, glass of wine or beer with dinner, one half day (2 hrs) and 5 all day rides with picnic lunch
GST (VAT): 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)
GST (VAT) 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Kamloops Airport included
7d / 6n
7 day stay, MAP 5.5 riding ...
Daily arrival possible during the year.
Rates do not include:
Transfer: Kamloops or Clinton
The South Cariboo Weather
What To Bring:
This list is only a guideline for you
It doesn't matter when you travel to the South Cariboo, every one of the distinct 4 seasons is great!
Since the elevation of the region ranges between approx. 800 and 1250 meter, with a few higher areas and peaks here and there, spring doesn't really arrive before the months of April and May when flora and fauna then explode into growth and activity. The temperatures are quite mild during the day but could still drop below 0 degrees Celsius during the night. The ice disappears from the lakes during the second half of April, in higher elevations it can even be May before the boats can go in the water.
June, July and August are the summer months in the South Cariboo with hot and usually dry days and comfortably cool nights. The lakes reach a pleasant temperature for swimming and other water sports.
Quite spectacular is the "Indian Summer" during late September and early October, when the leaves of the trees change to colours of yellow to dark red and every shade in between. The days are dry, sunny and can still be quite warm, the nights are getting cooler until snowflakes start to fly in October.
Winter doesn't really arrive with all its force before late November or early December. The region is soon covered in a white blanket and turns into Winter Wonderland with cold -but dry- and very sunny days, offering the perfect location for a huge variety of winter activities.
- Travel documents and Voucher
- Flight tickets
- Visa (check with your consulate)
- Two pairs of riding pants - Jeans or Jodhpurs
- Cowboy boots or ankle boots and full or half chaps
- Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
- Riding gloves
- Cowboy or wide brimmed hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
- Raincoat & Windbreaker
THINGS TO BRING
- Warm jacket and sweater
- Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
- Underwear and socks
- Bag for dirty clothes
- Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
- Swimsuit (hot tub)
- Personal Toiletries
shampoo & toothpaste
- Insect protection
- Personal medications
- Sore cream (for an emergency)
- Moisturizing Cream
- Hair Dryer if needed
- Camera, Film & Batteries
- Sun glasses with strap
- Sun tan lotion and lip balm
- Flashlight, extra batteries