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HORSESHOE CANYON RANCH
Jasper, Arkansas 72641
As the Ranch slumbers and the sun not yet risen over the eastern bluff. The peaceful quiet is interrupted by the sound of thundering hoof beats as horses gallop through the woods. The HCR wranglers whoop and holler as they push the stock down to the day pen. Bays, Paints, Buckskins, Chestnuts, and even an Appy or two make their way through the meadows. The last pony is urged into the corral, the gate is pulled shut and another day at Horseshoe Canyon guest ranch has begun. After a full day of activity, 3 good meals and quite a few new friends made, you can relax on your porch, hit the hot tub, or just snuggle down and sort out the day’s activities at this Arkansas family dude ranch. Enjoy canoeing down the awe-inspiring Buffalo National River, with high bluffs, tall trees, and a variety of wildlife resulting in a peaceful, isolated feeling. Rock climbing is popular year-round, scale large cliffs and peer at breathtaking terrain that seems endless. Of course, there’s nothing like horseback rides, experiencing Horseshoe Canyon, exploring the many caves, springs and clear mountain streams. “Your” horse will be chosen with your particular needs in mind, so you can comfortably enjoy each scenic ride.
Cabins and Facilities
Things to Do
Reunions and Retreats
Cabins and Facilities
The main Lodge at the Ranch is the place to be when your stomach is rumbling after a full day at the Ranch, it is also is a great place to relax and socialize. The huge fireplace is a natural gathering place. Downstairs, the Lodge has a pool table, ping pong, and foosball table; as well a theater room where you can watch that big game or catch a late movie. The popcorn is hot, fresh and never runs out. There are two café computers and wi-fi for your convenience. The hot tub and pool are right outside too, so enjoy yourself and stay as long as you like…
Our Ozarks dude ranch cabins are made from solid log, hand peeled yellow pine. They are rustic yet modern and all have a western homey feel about them. All the cabins have a/c and heat as well as a wood burning stove for those chilly nights when a nice fire is the best way to end the day. A small refrigerator, coffee pot, and microwave are there for your convenience. They all have full baths and are fully furnished including linens and towels. The cabins all have spectacular views of the east bluff and a big front porch to soak it all in.
The Center of activity at any ranch is the Barn and we have a dandy. That’s where we meet to head out on the trail. Upstairs you can play indoor hoops, check out the climbing wall or experience the cave simulator called a spelio box… one of only a few in the country. If you cant find your kids at dinner time this is a good place to look.
It’s easy to work up a big appetite at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. If the riding and climbing don’t do it, then the zip lines, hiking, or rappelling sure will. No one goes hungry at Horseshoe Canyon. The kitchen staff know fresh air stimulates the appetite, and prepares accordingly. Our hearty, gourmet dude ranch dining will do much more than fill you up.
The smell of baking biscuits and roasted coffee lures guests to the lodge each morning. Breakfast is served buffet style, you may choose to start the day with a hearty “stick to your ribs” breakfast to hold you ’til lunch or fresh fruit, bagels, and yogurt for the not-so-big eaters. One special morning during your stay, wake at daybreak, mount up and ride to a cowboy breakfast where the staff are busy grilling smoked ham and dutch-oven potatoes.
High noon means time for lunch and back to the lodge to enjoy a meal while swapping tales of the latest ranch adventure. Lunch is served buffet style, allowing guests to choose their portions, and favorites.
Dinners are brought to your table by servers. Miss Heather will serve up everything from seafood pasta and steaks to grilled mahi mahi and barbecue ribs.
The meals are kid friendly too with a breakfast bar, salad bar and a bottomless cookie jar. Lemonade, iced tea and fresh fruit are available throughout the day in the main lodge. With advance notice, we attempt to accommodate those with special dietary needs or allergies.
Things To do
Horseback Riding Program
Our head wrangler will select one of our seasoned trail horses for you based on your ability and past experience so please be accurate regarding your height, weight and riding ability. If we make a good match you will have your same horse for the duration of your stay. All of our dude ranch trail rides are guided and single file for the safety of the rider and horse.
Typically there are two rides a day- morning and afternoon. Our scenic trail rides take you through some of the prettiest country in the Ozarks. You will ride through meadows, hardwoods, and past massive sandstone rock formation and bluffs. Additionally there are rides to the breakfast cookout and to the steak fry on sat night. There is an adult only ride at twilight one night as well.
If you are a beginner there is no need to worry. Our experienced wranglers will take good care of you. You should leave knowing more about horses and riding after your vacation is done. Qualified riders may trot and lope with their wrangler in appropriate areas on certain days. Also for the more experienced or adventurous rider we offer trails such as Bear Bait, Bermuda Triangle and Crack House Alley – which are fun, rugged and challenging.
Arena rides are offered throughout the week for instruction or for a faster paced ride in a controlled environment.
Riders must be at least 6 years old. There is a maximum weight allowed of 250lb and all rides are non-smoking. Pony leads are available for cowboys and cowgirls 3-5 years in our children’s program.
The kids program at the Ranch is for those ages 3-5 who don’t need to be with mom, but aren’t quite old enough to ride on the trails. They will ride ponies with a youth counselor, do arts and crafts, play games and swim. They also get the opportunity for some nature walks, bug hunts, and fishing. This is not a babysitting service. Families are encouraged to do things as a family so the program coincides with the riding times to allow those of riding age to be together… any children not picked up on time will be given espresso, candy, a free puppy or goat and then delivered free to your cabin…(smile).
We’ll show you how to climb safely with certified and experienced guides. HCR is known around the world in the climbing community as a great destination for some of the finest sandstone sport climbing anywhere. Whether you are an experienced climber or lacing up your shoes for the first time- you will love the climbing here at the Ranch.
Horseshoe Canyon Ranch has been featured in multiple outdoor magazines as one of the best climbing areas east of the Rockies. You don’t have to be a top class climber to enjoy climbing at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. We have many beginner routes available for the person who is just starting out. Our climbing guides will show you the ropes.
Whether you have always wanted to try climbing or you have never thought about it before arriving at the ranch, it is one activity you don’t want to miss.
Swimming and Canoeing
The Buffalo National River is minutes away and is a must see during your dude ranch vacation. The best way to do that is canoeing lazily down the cool water past massive sandstone bluffs. The water is so clear you can watch the fish and turtles as you drift by. We’ll send a lunch with you so take your time and enjoy the sun, or maybe jump off a bluff at one of the established swimming holes, either way your float will be something you won’t soon forget.
There’s no need to leave the ranch if you’re after a quick dip. Cool off in the pool in the summer, and relax your well-worked muscles in the hot tub.
Other Ranch Activities
In addition to our scheduled activities other things to try include campfires, hiking, cave trips, elk viewing, cookouts, skeet shooting and .22 target shooting, a petting zoo, fishing pond, archery, disc golf, wagon rides, games in the lodge and barn and more. There’s no need to leave the ranch if you need a quick dip. Cool off in the pool in the summer, or relax those muscles in the hot tub and let your cares melt away.
Spend some time alone: Several cool springs, cascading streams, and quiet pools await you on hikes and nature walks. The rock outcroppings and caves along the bluffs are there to be explored and arrowheads are waiting to be found.
Something relatively new to the US and the Ranch is the Via Ferrata, meaning “iron way”. Using iron rungs bolted into the rock and a fixed cable, you ascend and traverse the sandstone walls eventually coming down to earth again.