Travel Channel Names Tanque Verde Ranch a Top 10 Family Vacation Spot – Again!

For the sixth year in a row, Tanque Verde Ranch is honored to receive the Top 10 Family Vacations from Travel Channel. The popular TV station based the accolade on specific vacation destinations that tailor to the entire family. These family-friendly resorts are required to provide a multitude of amenities for families including entertainment for kids of all ages, and relaxing experiences for spouses, all while enjoying the North American outdoors. 

General Manager, Jim Bankson, commented, “It is always an honor to be recognized by such a great vacation authority as Travel Channel. It shows what our guests continue to tell us about not just being a great family vacation, but a great family tradition.” Also showcased in the top 10 include Atlantis Resort and Casino in Paradise Island, Bahamas and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

 Travel Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned as a joint venture between Scripps Networks Interactive and Cox. The channel is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States. It features documentaries, reality, and how-to shows related to travel and leisure around the United States and throughout the world.


The Fastest Bird in the West

December 30, 2013

The Fastest Bird in the West

“Beep beep,” is what we know cartoon coyotes think they sound like, but the Greater Roadrunner actually makes more of quiet descending coo and occasional clack. These incredible birds are common throughout the Sonoran Desert, as well as the American Southwest and Mexico. The name “roadrunner” comes from the bird’s habit of racing down roads in front of moving vehicles and then darting to safety in the brush.

The roadrunner can grow about 24 inches long (half of which is their tail), around 12 inches tall and can weigh up to 19 ounces. It is the largest North American cuckoo and has a bushy crest and long, dark bill. It also has a lengthy, dark tail, a dark head and back, and is blue on the front of the neck, as well as on the belly. Roadrunners have 4 toes on each zygodactyl foot – two toes face forward, and the other two face backward.

Mainly they feed on insects, fruit and seeds, but also enjoy small reptiles, small rodents, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, small birds, their eggs, and carrion, including roadkills. The roadrunner hunts by walking fast and running toward prey but they can also jump straight up in the air when small birds or flying insects are overhead. The adult uses its long tail as a rudder for maneuvering while running. It kills larger prey with a blow from the beak—hitting the base of the neck of small mammals—or by holding it in the beak and beating it against a rock. It is not uncommon to have two roadrunners attack a relatively big snake cooperatively.

Although capable of weak flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. This is the fastest running speed ever clocked for a flying bird, although it is not as fast as the flightless Ostrich.

Some Pueblo Indian tribes, such as the Hopi, believed that the roadrunner provided protection against evil spirits. In Mexico, some said it delivered babies, as the stork was said to in Europe. Some Anglo frontier people believed roadrunners led lost people to trails. Either way, we love the roadrunners at Tanque Verde Ranch. Next time you visit, see if you’re fast enough to capture a photo of these timeless outlaws of the west.

Cowgirl Concierge

December 30, 2013

Cowgirl Concierge

If you’ve visited the ranch lately, you may have crossed paths with wrangers Kelly Hoffman, Melissa Meridew and Kelsey Anderson, but just this fall Tanque Verde Ranch launched a new program featuring the trio to help improve the guest experience. It’s called the Cowgirl Concierge.

While offering a concierge service is no new amenity to the oldest and largest working dude ranch country, the Cowgirl Concierge trio provides a very unique service that offers not only the expected on-on-one assistance, but also provide educational opportunities for guests, regardless of age or activity. Enhancing riding and horsemanship skills and helping create new aptitudes in all other daily ranch activities is all a part of the new service.

The trio has a variety of educational backgrounds and experiences in the hospitality industry, but they all carry a synced personal passion for their guests and horses alike. “The goal of the Cowgirl Concierge service is to give guests a true Wild West vacation,” said Meridew, Tanque Verde’s program director. “We wake up and come to work everyday with a simple goal in mind – to help create a lifetime of memories for our guests and create bonds between the horse and rider.”

Blueberry-Thyme Buttermilk Pie

December 30, 2013

Blueberry-Thyme Buttermilk Pie

‘Tis the season to enjoy leftovers! Use this recipe with all the remaining ingredients from your Holiday cooking! Our Blueberry-Thyme Buttermilk Pie is sure to please into 2014.

(For a printable version of these recipes for your recipe box, click here, print and cut.)

The Diary of Golden Eye – Director of Fun

The long, summer days at Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert remained fresh in Golden Eye’s mind, even months after leaving Minnesota to head back to his home at Tanque Verde Ranch. His experience at camp provided not only new friends, but new skill sets and strengthen talents. It changed him for the better.

Everyone noticed this change in Golden Eye including Tanque Verde Ranch’s General Manager, Jim Bankson, who surprised Golden Eye with a promotion upon his return – Golden Eye was now the official Director of Fun.

The Diary of Golden Eye – Director of Fun

Honored and proud of his new position at the ranch, Golden Eye wasted no time in transitioning into his new role. As director of fun, his focus is placed on leading and organizing current and new activities, teaching the fundamentals of horsemanship, and ensuring each and every guest is making the most of their time at the ranch. His efforts are going to be especially centered on the idea of ‘unplugging’ from the world and technology and hone in on those around you – like family and friends. In Golden Eye’s mind, the ranch is a place of rest, relaxation and a ‘golden opportunity’ to create new memories.

With Minnesota’s 10,000 plus lakes, Golden Eye spent a fair amount of time fishing. It was one of his new, favorite past times. The first time he felt that tug on his line and set the hook on the big, 14” walleye was one of the most thrilling experiences he had ever had in his life. So of course he had to share his passion for fishing with guests at the ranch.

The Diary of Golden Eye – Director of Fun

Lake Corchran Is a 1.5 acre catch-and-release fishing lake which is known to provide a relaxing, close-to-nature experience. Bluegill sunfish, largemouth bass, and channel catfish provide plenty of action and sport for both experienced and novice anglers. Golden Eye’s led a group of guests to the lake and provided them with bait, tackle and instruction. Within minutes after dropping a line in the water, guests were getting bites left and right.

The Diary of Golden Eye – Director of Fun

Golden Eye smiled ear to ear. His first day as director of fun was a success. The anticipation and excitement for what may come next in his new role stirred inside of him as he began daydreaming of future activities he would be in charge of – and then suddenly he was pulled back into reality as he felt a tug on his own fishing line!

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The Jewel of North Tucson

December 30, 2013

The Jewel of North Tucson

Need something unique to do on your next visit to the ranch? Put a hike to Mecca of Seven Falls on your ranch bucketlist! This is a very easy and popular hike everyone should experience at least once. Even though this hike is hot in lower elevations during the summer months, you can cool off in the pools at Seven Falls, and even get your clothes wet in order to keep you cool on the hike back.

Some of the Tucson area’s incredible views are here. Take the Bear Canyon Tram route to the end of the line. The trailhead is approximately 2 miles from the parking lot and it takes another 2 1/2 miles to reach Seven Falls. The trail crisscrosses over Sabino Creek. When the creek is dry, the footing is stable at most of the crossing points, but when water is present, it can be more challenging. After crossing over the creek several times, the trail rises up the side of Bear Canyon, leveling off at Seven Falls.

Hikers are not only rewarded by both pools of water to relax and wade in, but also by the sight of several running waterfalls during certain times of the year. Hikers can expect to see waterfalls during select winter months as the snow melts off the mountain and in the summer months during Tucson’s monsoon season. Also those that are daring enough (and depending on water levels) enjoy cliff jumping into the large pools of water at the base of the falls.

Make sure you allow a minimum of 3 hours for this hike and it is suggested to bring a minimum of 1 quart of water per person. With a total hiking length of around 7.8 miles, you will start at around 2,600’ elevation and hike up casually to about 3,250’.

Depending on the time of the year, the hike can range from easy to difficult, but is considered a great family activity, couple’s outing, or opportunity to bring together friends. Sabino Canyon Tours’ Bear Canyon Trail tram is a non-narrated 2-mile ride that travels to the trailhead of Seven Fall. Visitors can ride for #3 round trip and get off the tram at any of the stops and re-board later. Trams arrive on average every hour. The Bear Canyon tram ride has 3 stops along the way for hikers to choose from. Click here for more information.