Whether you’re a beginner or have been on the back of a horse your entire life, there’s a horse-riding activity for everyone at Tanque Verde Ranch (tanqueverderanch.com).
Tanque Verde Ranch
The Facts: 60K | Number of acres the ranch leases from the U.S. Forest Service for its cattle operation.
When you’re not taking in the breathtaking Arizona views on the back of a horse, wind down with a trip to the spa and treat yourself to ultimate relaxation. Afterward, indulge in fine cuisine—there’s even the option to partake in a cowboy cookout where you’ll enjoy grilled meats by a campfire and listen to live music.
Your little ones will also stay busy with Tanque Verde Ranch’s daily kids program. This complimentary service (for those who choose to book an all-inclusive package) allows kids from ages 4 to 12 the opportunity to learn the basics of horse care and riding, along with other activities like tennis, hiking, swimming, and nature programs.
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Head to the 1. Kartchner Caverns State Park to explore the depths of Arizona caves and caverns and discover a variety of crystallized limestone formations. Then visit the most authentic Western town left in the U.S. at 2. Tombstone and see why it’s considered “The Town Too Tough to Die.”
Grab some wings and enjoy one of Tanque Verde Ranch’s famous prickly pear margaritas at 3. The Dog House Saloon. For a great breakfast option check out 4. The Oink Café where you can order a flight of bacon featuring eight delicious flavors. If you’re in the mood for a beverage, you won’t be disappointed with their Bloody Mary flight.
After you’ve spent a few days exploring the desert horseback, see it from a new point of view by taking a hot air balloon ride with 5. Fleur de Tucson Balloon Tours. For a completely different view of the Arizona sky, take a drive over to 6. Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter and spend the evening stargazing.
History of Tanque Verde
The ranch is one of America’s oldest cattle and guest ranches, and was originally started in 1868 when Don Emilio Carrillo moved his family from Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico, to Tucson and started ranching in Tanque Verde Valley.