Join Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on a horseback riding vacation at Echo Valley Ranch
Written by Nancy D. Brown
Echo Valley Ranch Horseback Riding Vacation
A mechanical engineer by trade, Echo Valley Ranch and Spa owner Norm Dove chuckled when I asked how a chap from England came to own a 160 acre Canadian guest ranch and spa.
“This place came with the cattle,” smiles Norm. “I like to build things, so the rest of the ranch simply evolved.”
Birth of a British Columbia Luxury Guest Ranch
Acknowledging that he and his Thai wife, Nan, were open to opportunity, the couple capitalized on this beautiful and peaceful Canadian property; originally sharing the experience with friends and eventually opening up as a guest ranch in 1995.
Canadian Horseback Riding Vacation at Echo Valley Ranch
Ultimate Canadian Horseback Riding Vacation
With 35 head of Quarter horses and Tennessee Walking horses, the guest ranch offers the ultimate horseback riding vacation in that it is also a first class spa. Guests typically purchase packages ranging from daily horseback rides – two hours in the morning or afternoon – to spa packages of all types.
What is unique about the Echo Valley Ranch horseback riding vacation is the Southern Cariboo, British Columbia location. The BC guest ranch accesses miles of horseback riding trails, bordering the Marble Range Park. A day horseback ride up Mount Bowman offers breathing views of Fraser Canyon, while two hour horseback rides offer trotting and loping opportunities depending on the equestrian’s riding ability.
Solo Travelers Welcome on Horseback Riding Vacation at Echo Valley Ranch
Solo Horseback Riding Vacation
“I found Echo Valley Ranch on the Internet,” said Kate Law, a solo equestrian traveler from London, England. “I was specifically looking for a Canadian horseback riding vacation. The fact that I cold get a massage after my horseback ride was an added bonus.”
And what a bonus it was. The East Meets West Spa offers Western and Thai style massage treatments. The traditional 90 minute Thai massage is ideal for easing sore muscles after a horseback riding vacation.
Meals at Echo Valley Ranch are prepared in an open kitchen and served family style in the Dove Lodge dining room. Executive Chef Justin Folk creates fresh, local cuisine, making use of the ranches organic vegetable garden. In addition to raising its own cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys, Echo Valley Ranch sources products from nearby Canadian farms.
Horseback Riding Vacation options offered at Lookout Lodge, Echo Valley Ranch
Lodging Options at Echo Valley Ranch
With 21 rooms on property, Echo Valley Ranch is ideal for family reunions, girlfriend getaways or romantic horseback riding vacations – don’t forget the spa treatments!
Horse lovers will want to stay in the self-contained, seven room Lookout Lodge. My room #16, located next to the horse corral, looked out to a flower-studded meadow of grazing horses with Mt. Bowman in the distance. Newlyweds will enjoy the honeymoon cabin with its four poster bed, while individual guest cabins feature king beds and jacuzzi tubs. Dove Lodge offers a hot tub and sauna.
Girls Getaway Horseback Riding Vacation at Echo Valley Ranch
Girls Getaway Horseback Riding Vacation Package:
Welcome glass of champagne on arrival
Lodging in Deluxe Cabins, Lodge, Premium Rooms or Baan Thai Suite
Meals prepared by executive chef, including glass of wine or beer with dinner, soft drinks at any time. The cookie jar is always stocked!
Daily turndown service with treats and weather update
Bottle of wine in room upon arrival
Half day horseback ride and wilderness picnic
One signature Western or Asian spa treatment during the stay
Lasso throwing lessons from local cowboys
Self guided hiking program
Daily Thai yoga (Ruesri dat ton ) stretching classes
Fly fishing in stocked ponds (equipment provided)
Weekly evening entertainment program including camp fires, barbeque dinners, authentic Thai banquet and traditional Thai dancing
Weekly cooking demonstrations with nutrition tips from the chef, as well as Thai cooking tips
Use of ranch facilities including: outdoor hot tub, indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, fitness center, disk golf course, self-guided hiking trails, game room featuring: pool table, shuffleboard, darts, card table, Karaoke and a large TV screening room