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.

Special 2015-16 Ranch Weeks

Elkhorn Ranch will be open from November 15, 2015 through April 24, 2016. Below are some of the Special Weeks at the ranch.

Music, Photography and Art Workshops

Add creative flair to your Elkhorn Ranch week, at no extra charge!

Blend relaxation, adventure and friendship amidst curious Sonoran desert country. Experience half and all-day rides, tailored to your interests, comfortable living in Elkhorn’s cabins and hearty healthy food. A workshop week adds creative camaraderie to the mix.

Old-Time Music - January 3 - 10, 2016
Digital Photography and Natural History- January 24 - 31, 2016
Art and the Desert Landscape-  February 7 - 14, 2016
Friends of Western Art- March 27 - April 3, 2016

Note that workshop activities strive to time conflicts with the ranch schedule, but there may be times when one must choose between the workshop activity and afternoon riding — particularly during the February art week.

At Elkhorn Ranch, Kids Stay Free Through High School
Family friendly discounts for kids

An Elkhorn Ranch vacation is a relaxing and adventurous family friendly vacation. Park your car, lose your keys in the bottom of your bags, and let friendly capable horses, grand and intimately beautiful country and the simple joy of time with good friends fill your day. You’ll enjoy half and all-day rides tailored to your experience and interests, comfortable living in Elkhorn’s cabins amidst curious Sonoran Desert vegetation and birds, hearty healthy food and camaraderie. No charge for children 5 and under (as kids must be 6 to ride), 45% discount from adjust weekly rate for kids 6 - 15, and 35% discount for teens 16 - 18. Check your school holiday schedule and give us a call!

Winter Quiet and Extended Stays
Sunny discounts in sunny Arizona this winter!

An Elkhorn Ranch vacation is a relaxing and adventurous vacation for riders of all ability levels and some visitors simply enjoy the company of birds and fellow guests without riding. Let friendly capable horses, grand and intimately beautiful country and the simple joy of time with good friends fill your day. You’ll enjoy half and all-day rides tailored to your experience and interests, comfortable living in Elkhorn’s cabins amidst curious Sonoran Desert vegetation and birds, hearty healthy food and camaraderie. Visit between November 29 - December 20, 2015 and enjoy the 5% winter quiet discount (off of adult single / double cabin rate of $1620 per week plus tax and gratuity) … try a longer 2 week visit and enjoy a 5% discount, or 3 week plus length visit with a 12% discount. 

For more information or to book a reservation, call at 520-822-1040. Email Mary. Visit Elkhorn Ranch's website.

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.


2015/ 2016 weekly rate is $1620 per person per week single or double cabin, plus 15% gratuity and tax, with lower rates available for longer stays and additional people in the same cabin (generally used for children). Nightly rate $320 per person plus tax and gratuity, with four night minimum.

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