A horseback riding vacation at Canada’s Big Bar Guest Ranch
Southern Cariboo horseback riding vacation at Big Bar Guest Ranch
Weaving our way through Aspen and Pine trees, our horses perked up as we broke through to the open Canadian grasslands in front of us. We were on a horseback riding vacation in the Southern Cariboo region of British Columbia on the Big Bar Guest Ranch. The 105 acre ranch offers miles of horseback riding trials, with the added bonus of access to the 1,500 acre neighboring OK Ranch.
Cowboy Culture at Big Bar Guest Ranch
“Ninety percent of our guests come for a horseback riding vacation,” says Big Bar Guest Ranch General Manager Flint Bondurant. While the guest ranch offers plenty of additional outdoor activities; from sporting clay to canoeing, fly fishing and archery, it’s the horses that keep guests coming back.
With 21 well-trained horses, ranging from Quarter Horses to American Saddlebreds, Appaloosas and Arabians, there is a horse for every riding level. My mount, Holly, was a 14 year old sturdy Fjord horse, like the Fjord horse I rode in Bergen, Norway, Holly was sure-footed and mild mannered – a pleasure to ride.
Unlike the majestic fjords of Norway, British Columbia has its on magical scenery. Wrangler and horseback riding guide, Bill Spoonemore, grew up in Clinton, British Columbia and smiles with pride when I remind him that he has one of the best jobs in the world.
Guests on a horseback riding vacation at Big Bar Ranch in British Columbia, Canada
Lodging Options at Big Bar Guest Ranch
From Teepees to lake-view cabins and Sagebrush Inn guest rooms, there are plenty of horseback riding vacation options at Big Bar Guest Ranch. Four self-contained cabins feature family-friendly lodging with fireplaces and come with or without meal plans. Kids will stake their claim in the upstairs loft, while parents get their own bedroom in these rustic cabins situated a short distance from the main lodge. Rates range from $189 per couple to $240 per family – not including meals.
No cooking necessary on a horseback riding vacation at Big Bar Guest Ranch
Sagebrush Inn – an ideal horseback riding vacation
If your idea of an ideal horseback riding vacation means no cooking, then by all means, opt for the Big Bar Guest Ranch meal plan. You won’t have an option for cooking in room at the Sagebrush Inn – instead, sit back and enjoy the ranches home cooking. Priced at $120 per night, with an additional $60 per person meal plan, Big Bar Guest Ranch prides itself on fresh, homemade cinnamon buns, hearty eggs and bacon, buffet lunches and barbeque steak dinners. Did I mention to check the cookie jar in the dining room? While there is not a formal dining menu, the ranch does take food allergies into consideration.
Cowboy boots stand ready on your horseback riding vacation at Big Bar Guest Ranch
2 hour ride $55 per person
All day ride $130, including lunch
1 hour ride $40 per person
Pony ride $30 per half hour
Overnight pack trips
Sporting Clay -$15 for 25 shells
Archery – $20 per bow, per hour
Canoeing and Peddle Boats – complimentary
Mountain Biking – additional charge
Bring Your Own Horse to Big Bar Guest Ranch
Not many guest ranches offer the option to ride your own horse on holiday. Big Bar Guest Ranch offer a BYOH (bring your own horse) horseback riding vacation. Ask the ranch for details and pricing information.
Big Bar Guest Ranch is a five hour drive along Hwy. 1 from Vancouver through some of British Columbia’s more beautiful scenery. An alternate route is Hwy. 99 via Whistler and Lillooet, connecting with Hwy. 97 south of Clinton. If you plan on flying to Kamloops, arrangements can be made for transportation to Big Bar Guest Ranch.