by Carrie Calzaretta
Tanque Verde Ranch is an upscale, all-inclusive dude ranch, located just east of Tucson, Arizona, and adjacent to the Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest. It encompasses 60,000 acres, caters to families, and is well-known as a family favorite.
Our Editor Loves
- Riding lessons for all ages
- Children's program for ages 4 to 11
- 180 horses
- All Inclusive Rates
- Children Programs
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The Ranch has 74 Southwestern-style rooms and suites. Rooms have views of the desert and mountains, and some have patios and fireplaces. Most large deluxe rooms have two queen beds or a king, fireplaces and private patios, and some have sitting areas with sofa sleepers. Most rooms will accommodate up to four but some can accommodate eight comfortably. All rooms have a telephone, XM Radio, coffee pot, hair dryer, air conditioning, heat, and full private bathrooms. There are no televisions in the guestrooms. Rollaway beds and cribs are available, and should be requested when you make your reservation.
We held a Corporate event at TVR and from the time I walked in to the lobby until the time I left, I experienced nothing but top notch service from every employee. The Guest Services are amazing all the way around, from waitstaff, to front receptions, to Groundskeepers, shuttle. I could go on and on! I also had the pleasure of working with the Sales Manager, Grace Watson. Her exceptional organizational skills kept our event running like a well oiled machine. This has been the easiest and most pleasurable event I have coordinated to date. THANK YOU Tanque Verde Ranch staff!
We came to this ranch in our late 20's and returned for the first time in 25 years. It had always been top of the list of favorite vacations and we finally returned. Other than a few enhancements, Tanque Verde is timeless and felt so much the same. The ranch is nestled in the Saguaro National Forest and just beautiful. Our room was quite large and very comfortable. Loved waking up every morning and seeing the beautiful scenery outside the window. We visited at the end of September and it was very hot. About 100 degrees every day and I would probably visit later next time. All the activities seemed to be concentrated in the 7am-11 am time frame with not much to do in the heat in the afternoon. In the cooler weather, the activities seem to be more spread out. The walking rides are pretty much for anyone and are very scenic. The breakfast ride is not to be missed and one of our favorite meals. Also, the cowboy cookout is excellent and fun as well. If you are not a regular horseback rider it will be challenging to be able to go out on a loping ride. The test is quite difficult and was only offered once a day when we visited. The horsemanship lessons are ok but if it is a larger group with varying abilities you don't get much out of it. I would recommend a private lesson. I think some people who expected to go on loping rides were disappointed when they didn't pass the test. We had loped last time and it was more of a challenge to get out this time but we still enjoyed other rides. Compared to our visit long ago, the wranglers are young and seem a bit disengaged. This is definitely a fun trip, especially if you like horses and want to get out of your element. The food was good though the menu stays pretty much the same all week so it got a bit old for us. Overall a great trip and so glad we returned!
Naturally, horseback riding tops the list of outdoor activities at Tanque Verde; the resort has miles of trails for families with riders of every skill level. There are over 180 Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Appaloosas, Paints, and Mustangs to choose from; riding and lessons are offered every day of the week, and are included in your daily rate. There are walking rides for the less-experienced, and loping rides for intermediate riders. You'll also get the chance to take specialty rides, including breakfast rides up to the Old Homestead for a cowboy breakfast, six-hour rides with lunch out on the trail in the mountains, and shorter picnic rides which stop in nearby Cottonwood Grove.
There is a children's program for kids ages 4 to 11. Buckaroo Kids is for children ages 4 to 6, and their day might include crafts, breakfast, hikes, and swimming. Wrangler Kids is for children ages 7 to 11 and they'll be offered riding lessons, breakfast, swimming, trail hiking, crafts, and fun throughout the day. These programs are included in the cost of your stay.
In addition to horseback riding, the resort offers excellent hiking and biking trails. The guided hiking program offers miles of trails for varying experience levels, and treks for the whole family. There are over 600 acres of Sonoran desert to explore, and an experienced guide can outfit you with a bike, helmet and gloves. Rides vary from beginning trail riding to more advanced technical riding. There are also weekly off-site rides in a variety of elevation and landscapes.
For those not keen on riding anything during their stay, there are Horse Whisperer sessions, lectures and other outdoor activities. The ranch has five tennis courts, three of which are turf and one of which is lighted for nighttime play. There are both and outdoor pools, as well as a separate wading pool for the little ones, and a nature center where the whole family can learn about the unique desert habitat and the animals that live in surrounding areas. And in the event you have some energy left after taking in the outdoors, there is a fitness center with men's and women's saunas.
Three meals a day and snacks are included in the cost of your stay. With the exception of family cookouts and breakfast rides, all meals are served in the main dining room at the ranch; and there is something for the kids at every meal. For breakfast families can choose something from the menu, or head to the breakfast buffet with its fresh fruit, yogurt, and an assortment of cereals and other breakfast items. Lunch is served between noon and 1:30 pm and is buffet-style. Choose from entrees including pasta, seafood, chicken, beef, salads, soups and sandwiches. Dinner at the ranch is served between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. with your choice of beef, poultry, fish or a vegetarian entrÃ©e, served with soup or salad. Mexican Fiesta night comes complete with a Mariachi Band and buffet with a variety of Southwestern specialties featuring beef, chicken, or pork.