Elkhorn Ranch- Arizona Dude Ranch


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Elkhorn Ranch website
27000 W Elkhorn Ranch Road
Tucson, Arizona 85736
Email Elkhorn Ranch
Tel. 520-822-1040



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Elkhorn Ranch- Arizona Dude Ranch Top 20 RanchesAbout 50 miles southwest of Tucson, you will find Elkhorn Ranch nestled into secluded Sabino Canyon. This Arizona guest ranch offers unparalleled horseback riding and comfortable living for around 32 guests.

Couples, families, and solo travelers find a home away from home at Elkhorn Ranch, and many return year after year. Horseback riding at Elkhorn Ranch provides plenty of opportunity for adventure and a great way to see the incredible scenery of the Baboquivari Mountains and Altar Valley. Gentle or loping rides through the desert and more vigorous trips up into the mountains are offered every day except Sunday, when the horses enjoy the day off. The ranch’s 10,000 acres provide plenty of remote canyon and mountain country to explore, a true wilderness experience. For those who really wish to see the country, there are all day adventures with sandwiches or a mule-packed hot lunch.

With six guides, groups are kept small so that you may have the length and pace of ride you desire. Beginning riders have the chance to build skills and confidence while more experienced riders can find challenge and stimulation. Over the years, people of all ages have learned to ride at Elkhorn and many adults have continued to venture high into the mountains well into their senior years. (Children must be age 6 or older to ride, and there is a 250 lb. weight limit for all riders.) The Elkhorn herd of 120 head of horses includes brood mares, colts and saddle horses that vary in type and temperament to suit any rider – the right horse and saddle remain yours throughout your visit. Horses have been raised and trained here for years and we pride ourselves on having the variety that makes for fun and safety.

2017/ 2018 Season Specials

Elkhorn Ranch arizona

Elkhorn Ranch- Spend the Holidays in Arizona and Special Winter Workshop Weeks

About 50 miles southwest of Tucson, you will find Elkhorn Ranch nestled into secluded Sabino Canyon. This Arizona guest ranch offers unparalleled horseback riding and comfortable living for around 32 guests. Visit this winter for special workshops and holiday fun.

Spend the Holidays at this Arizona Ranch
Thanksgiving Holiday
November 19 – 26, 2017
Launch the holiday season with true family time, whether you are with generations of your own family or a solo traveler seeking a holiday vacation where friends are like family. The ranch community celebrates Thanksgiving with a mid-day punch party and traditional turkey feast, followed by an afternoon off for horses and people.

Christmas Week
December 20 (or earlier) – December 27, 2017
Experience an active but festive holiday vacation without the commercial trappings. The ranch family of guests and crew trims a Christmas tree and the dining room during the annual decorating party and Christmas Eve with caroling and gifts for all from Ranch Santa. Horses and riders rest for a gentle Christmas Day, and the ranch community gathers for a mid-day punch party and holiday feast.

New Year’s dates
December 27, 2017 – January 3, 2018
Ring in the New Year with a family holiday vacation and celebrate New Year’s Eve with a Mexican fiesta meal and New Year’s Eve festivities, including games and a piñata for kids. Horses and riders rest on New Year’s day, and everyone gathers for a relaxed mid-day barbeque. As of mid September, New Year’s week is full – but we do keep a waitlist.

Extended New Year’s Special
January 3 (or earlier if space available) – 7, 2018
Launch the new year with a riding holiday! Enjoy a 4 – 5 (based on available space) night stay at special pricing.

Special Workshops
Old-Time Music Week
Guided by: Rory MacLeod, Sandol Astrausky & Bill Burke
Dates: January 7 – 14, 2018
Workshop weeks add creative flair and camaraderie to your week, at no extra charge. The rate for the week will be $1727 per person, plus 15% gratuity and sales tax - no extra charge for the workshop! This week is inspired by the tradition of Old-Time music, when friends gathered with their fiddles, guitars, banjos, mandolins, spoons for rhythm and more.

Digital Photography & Natural History at Elkhorn Ranch
Lead by: Ann Kramer & Stewart Aitchison
Dates: January 21 – 28, 2018
Unravel the mysteries of digital still photography and video, whether you shoot with a camera, smart phone or other image capturing device. Also, learn what to do with all those great images. The day often begins at the barnyard capturing the light and action of the morning wrangle, followed by the relaxation and adventure of the Elkhorn day.

Friends of Western Art
Artist in Residence: Michael Ewing
Dates: April 1 – 8, 2018
Join us in celebrating western art with an artist in residence, oil painter Michael Ewing, who will give a couple of after dinner talks, including a drawing lesson for all. Friends of Western Art is dedicated to raising awareness of western art and to supporting young artists and art education, including the art program at our local Altar Valley.

Learn more by visiting Elkhorn Ranch. Call 520-822-1040. Email Mary.

Ranch history

Elkhorn Ranch has been continuously owned and operated by the Miller family since 1945, when Grace and Ernest Miller ventured south from Montana to find a sunny winter guest ranch location. They already operated an Elkhorn Ranch in the Gallatin Valley of Montana, and had teamed up with other pioneer dude ranchers to found the Dude Ranchers’ Association.

In Arizona, they found an ideal location at what had been the Fresnal Ranch School, and before that a cattle ranch homesteaded by Sabino Otero. Sadly Ernest passed on soon after purchase of the Arizona ranch, but Grace and her son Bob and his wife Jan improved the ranch infrastructure and developed generations of friendships among ranch guests. The third generation, Charley and Mary Miller and Tom and Anne Miller, continue the tradition today.

The Millers raise and train Thoroughbred, Percheron and Quarter horse cross horses uniquely suited for the Baboquivari Mountain terrain, and they work closely with ranching neighbors involved in the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance to keep the surrounding country a healthy open working landscape. For over 60 years now, the Miller family and their crew have provided the care you need to enjoy rest, quiet and stimulating activity around the ranch and on miles of mountain and desert trails. You will always find a friendly welcome plus abundant birds and wildlife and curious Sonoran desert vegetation will greet you each day.

Activities & Amenities

Winter Ranch Vacations, Birding in Sonoran Desert, Heated swimming pool, Tennis court, Western horse riding, Hiking.


Twenty cabins provide comfortable accommodations for singles, couples of families. Cabins are equipped with private baths, electric heat and good reading lights. Some have separate sitting rooms and fireplaces – no television or phones in the rooms. Accommodations are scattered throughout the mesquite to provide privacy and seclusion for rest, sunning on chaise lounges, writing, reading or socializing with friends or family. You’ll find a bird feeder outside your cabin and as much birdseed as you care to feed.


Meals are served buffet style in the Long House three times a day and you can order hot breakfast of your choice. Meals are well-balanced, nutritiously prepared and the variety appeals to most appetites. You’ll have the option of an adventurous lunch on the trail a couple times a week, plus everyone enjoys the weekly Saturday picnic in the desert. The ranch has no bar, rather those who wish entertain at their cabins. Special dietary requests or celebration cakes are welcomed, with advance notice.

Area Attractions

Live amidst the curious beauty of the Sonoran Desert during your Elkhorn visit, and access scenic mountain country on horseback or on foot with wilderness views as well as open desert country for faster riding. For regional sight-seeing, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is our family favorite – also the old Spanish missions at San Xavier del Bac and Tumacacori, and Kitt Peak National Observatory.








At a Glance

Traditional winter season Arizona guest ranch


Baboquivari Mountains southwest of Tucson, Arizona


Tucson International Airport

Riding Style/ Ability

Western style, beginner to advanced


Winter season, mid-November through April


Twenty cabins, with average capacity of 32 guests

Corporate Groups, Retreats, Meetings are welcome with the ideal number being 20 people or less during the winter quieter months in December between Thanksgiving and Christmas or when space available. Please inquire.


2017-2018 Season
Sunday, November 12, 2017 to Sunday, April 29, 2018
6 or 7 nights Add’l nights prorated
Per Person, adult or child $ 1727.00

4 or 5 nights Four night minimum
Per Person, adult or child

See more rates

Payment by check, cash, credit card or bank wire.