Just north of Tahoe you’ll find the gorgeous, off-the-beaten path area of the Lost Sierras. Here you can really get away from it all and spend some time with your family among massive trees and native animals. Greenhorn Ranch in Quincy, CA is the perfect vacation for families who want to get away from it all and experience dude ranch life. Read on for 11 reasons why you should make Greenhorn Ranch your next family glamping vacation.
1. The setting could not be more gorgeous.
When you drive down the dirt road to Greenhorn Ranch, you know you are going to get a true outdoors experience. Just an hour north of Truckee, Greenhorn Ranch sits on 660 acres of wooded land. Cowboy culture takes center stage with horseback riding being one of the main activities on the Ranch. Adirondack chairs and hammocks dot the property and are the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon.
2. The property is perfect for families.
The main building at Greenhorn Ranch is the Dance Hall and Saloon. Here you'll find the check-in desk, gift shop, game room and bar. Just outside you'll find games like horseshoes and cornhole, plus tons of outdoor seating for enjoying a drink or dinner.
3. Kids (and parents) will love the game room.
Ping pong, pool, shuffleboard and a super fun retro arcade game are a big draw of the game room. They also have cards and games like Battleship that you can take outside for a quiet afternoon activity.
4. You can go fishing any time of day.
One of the biggest draws for kids is the pond that's just outside the saloon. Here little anglers can borrow a fishing rod and some worms to cast into the pond. The property provides both spinning rods and fly fishing rods for guests. The pond is catch and release, but if you catch a fish that you just have to keep, you can pay $10 for it. You just might be able to get the chef to cook it up for you!
5. Horseback riding and all activities are included as part of your stay.
Near the check-in desk you'll find signups for activities for the following days. Here you can sign up for horseback rides that are offered both morning and afternoon. All levels of riders are welcome and kids must be six or older for trail rides. Younger ones can still experience a ride inside the property's arena. With over 80 horses on site, this is a major draw to a vacation at Greenhorn Ranch. Remember to bring your cowboy boots with you (or they have some loaners available if you don't have your own).
6. There's plenty to keep the whole family busy.
With a wide variety of daily activities, there's no chance of getting bored at Greenhorn Ranch. Evenings bring karaoke and live music to the saloon, along with outdoor activities like bonfires and stargazing. The whole family can join in a 3D archery challenge and older kids can take the e-bikes out for a trail ride. The property has a recreation specialist who is available to help the kids learn to fish or tell you where the best hiking trails are.
7. Relax in the pool.
After a day on the trails, the swimming pool is the perfect option to soothe tired muscles. It's right outside the saloon and within view of the pond so you can easily keep an eye on your kids who prefer to spend all day fishing.
8. Cheer on the horses in the arena.
Gather 'round the arena on rodeo night and cheer on the wranglers as they complete in spoon-and-egg races and wrangling activities. Kids will also love the roping demos in the arena.
9. You don't have to worry about cooking.
Your stay at Greenhorn Ranch includes all your meals from taco night to the Saturday Night BBQ. Chef Cole prepares delicious treats like homemade muffins and jams for breakfast, and locally-sourced greens and steak for dinner. If you are there on a night of their cookout, you can choose to take a trail ride or wagon ride to and from your meal. The food is truly a highlight of your stay!
10. Cabins are perfectly-sized for families.
The Pines and Creekside cabins are great options for families. The one-bedroom option has a king-sized bed in its own room. The main room has a queen and twin-over-twin bunk bed. Private bathrooms and daily housekeeping is included. Each cabin has a porch swing right out front.
There are also 12 rooms in the Lodge with queen- or king-sized beds.
11. A Greenhorn Ranch vacation is one to remember!
Your kids will be talking about their Greenhorn Ranch vacation for months after you return home. Many families make the yearly trek as a summertime tradition.
COVID-19 precautions like contactless check-in and spread out dining allow social distancing while you are on the property. Plus, you'll be spending the majority of your day outside breathing the fresh air.
2116 Greenhorn Ranch Rd.
—photos and story by Kate Loweth