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Day 3 Arizona Family Vacation Tucson Dude Ranch

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Thank you to White Stallion Ranch for hosting our stay at your beautiful luxury family-friendly dude ranch in Tucson Arizona. All opinions and photographs of the property are ours.

family dude ranch

Day three at White Stallion Dude Ranch started with riding horses of course! 

On Sundays, the horses rest, so we were all excited to get back on the saddle, literally! Pete, Ashley, and Emmy went for a 7 am ride and then took a lesson mid morning to make sure they were ready for the afternoon fast ride up the mountain.

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fast ride dude ranch arizona

Emmy is too young for the fast ride, so she just enjoyed the lesson while Pete and Ash fine tuned their riding and passed the skill test for the fast ride. The lessons are one of the only things not included in the all-inclusive price, along with some drinks (like alcohol and soda) and spa treatments. However, they are a bargain at only $20 a person, paid directly to the Wrangler.

dude ranch food

They had worked up an appetite, and were happy to see a vegetable stir fry waiting for us at lunch!

kids fun

In the early afternoon, Pete and Ashley went to CrossFit, so I took Emmy to the pool, and then I let her do something I used to love doing on family vacations to Yosemite. I let her play in the dirt for over an hour. I’m one of those people that (tries) to keep their kids clean and dust free. But at a dude ranch, there is dirt everywhere, and I finally let it go. She wanted to get all dirty and play with the pebbles and just be a kid. I honestly forgot how much of my childhood I enjoyed doing the same thing. She never once asked for an electronic device, except for me to take a picture of her so she could remember this forever. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the afternoon. 

summer at dude ranch

The evening crept up on us quickly, and it was time for our 5 pm ride. This was a ride we all had been waiting for. We rode out through the desert and up the mountain a bit. It was pretty steep at times and definitely an adventure. Emmy, Maddie, and I took the slow ride, while Pete and Ash took the fast ride. The only difference is that they went faster going to and from the mountain while our horses walked the whole time. They LOVED the fast ride and thought it was really fun. 

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mountain horse back ride

cowgirl

mountain rides at dude ranch

riding horse

desert horseback riding

sunset ride

what age should kids ride horses

We got back just in time for dinner.

We went back to our suite and freshened up (Emmy tried to get some more dirt play time in) and enjoyed dinner!

dude ranch for teen

fun

relaxation at dude ranch arizona

I can’t get over how gorgeous the views are. While Emmy was playing earlier, I just stared off into the distance. Arizona really is beautiful!

pink mountains

desert flowers

arizona sunset

After another great sunset, we followed flashing red lights over to the star party.

The star party is lead by a local astronomer, who brings a large telescope and his knowledge to the ranch of the planets and stars. We gazed through the telescope and saw craters on the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. The ranch has enrichment and entertainment activities each night, and they rotate so that there are no repeats during the week. This was a great way to spend the evening.

star party

dude ranch

Emmy was asleep within minutes of getting into bed. I’d say that is a good indication of the great day we had!

Here is our day three video:

See our full White Stallion Dude Ranch adventure here.

Are you taking a vacation this summer?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog It's a Lovely Life®! In addition to traveling 150+ days a year, she also helps new bloggers build successful blogging businesses.

67 Comments

  • This looks amazing. I’ve never been to Arizona and have always thought of just cactus and thorns but I would certainly be up to stay ing at this dude ranch.

  • It looks like your girls had such a lovely time! Arizona looks like it is a BLAST!

  • What a great day! So much to fun! I think it is funny that of all the things you all did, that your daughter was just happy to play in the dirt as to ride a horse!

  • Oh my goodness, what total fun. My family went on a family vacation to a dude ranch once and it was so much fun. This would be the perfect family vacation, as it is so different than what we normally do. Thanks for the idea.

  • Such gorgeous photos. It looks like a blast. emmy seems to be really enjoying herself, which I can see why. What an amazing time you all must be having!

  • This looks like so much fun! I’ve always to go horse riding, but can’t seem to muster up the courage. But you can’t go to a dude ranch and not ride a horse!

  • This looks like so much fun and a great family trip. I have always wanted to go horseback riding. I am going on a cruise in a couple of weeks.

  • Riding horses out there must have been amazing. I love those views! The star party seemed like a great way to wind down.

  • I lived in Texas for many years growing up, but I never went to a Dude Ranch. It sounds like something we should all experience at least once in our lifetime!

  • I would love to experience a Dude Ranch some day. I bet that Fast Ride was a lot of fun too but, I would have gone slow with you!

  • Your kids look so happy, you all seemed to be having so much fun. My kids and I love dude ranches, riding horses is always a ton of fun (even though it hurts after!)

  • My daughters would have loved this. They love being able to ride on horses. This would be the perfect place to go for them. Hopefully we’ll be able to go sometime!

  • This would be so amazing. I have always wanted to go to a Dude Ranch. I would love the horses. These are fantastic photos.

  • Sounds like you had a busy day! It’s so fun when you see the hubby and the kids having a great time, that makes the trip worthwhile! The ranch is such a nice place to go to for some extra quality time.

  • We are going on a summer vacation in a couple of weeks!
    The kids are going to ottawa and are going to be camping in Northern Ontario while the hubby and I are going to NYC.
    Completely opposite of what you have done 🙂
    Looks like you guys had fun though.

  • Growing up in the desert, there is something about the scenery that I will forever find so peaceful and comforting. This looks like a wonderful family vacation destination and I love that it is all inclusive!

  • I have never been to a dude ranch, what fun! Not sure even if we have any here in Alberta but we must being such a horse province. Love this area though and would love to visit!

  • I read about your day 1 and 2 here. I love that white horse, your daughter is so brave.

  • You’ve really got some amazing shots everywhere there. I wish I can hop a horse as casually fun as you guys, my luck falls short whenever I try to do it. Boy, even the cacti look cool I’d hug them! Or not. Haha.

  • Oh, she looks lovely. I like the white horse, I haven’t tried horseback riding for so long.

  • I would’ve been ready to get back in the saddle too, but it’s good to hear they give the horses a day off. This place looks like so much fun!

  • That is so fun! I haven’t been horseback riding in so many years, I really need to go again. I miss being young and enjoying stuff like that on a regular basis.

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