Dude Ranch FAQs
Our all inclusive packages provide everything you will need for the activities during your stay with us. All rafting gear, fishing gear, shooting equipment, and riding tack is provided. Just Bring your personal clothing and toiletries and a few suggested optional items. Packing Suggestions for your ranch holiday are discussed in more detail on our “Dude Ranch Packing Suggestions” page.
Coming with some basic riding skills is an investment that will make your dude ranch experience here even more enjoyable, but lessons are not required. We offer horse riding lessons and instructional arena games for novices and experienced riders as part of your fare. When you arrive, we will do a preliminary arena introduction and evaluation of your horsemanship. Our hope is to direct your first rides onto skill appropriate trails or lessons. Our minimum standard for trail riding is that you are physically conditioned enough to be stable in the saddle and can saddle-up without assistance. Also, our weight limit for Western mountain trail riding is 240 pounds. Most importantly, you should have a minimal level of core strength physical conditioning and balance with a desire to learn.
We often have experienced riders in the English riding discipline that are anxious about the transition to Western Riding. In our experience, we find that good horsemanship translates to both English and Western riding styles with little difficulty.
One of our strengths is activity diversity. If you want a riding opportunity each day but also are interested in rafting, kayaking, fishing, trap house sporting clays, ATV trail riding, hiking and group activities such as ranch crafting, and camp fire activities, then come here. Yes, we have a great riding program with lessons and arena challenges, beginner rides, and advanced adventure rides, but our signature is in offering “mixed activity days” to meet interests of whole families and mixed groups. Sometimes we use the term “saddle/paddle” vacations or “raft and ride” vacations in our descriptions of Marble Mountain Ranch vacations. The truly amazing thing about this product diversity is that we are able to do it all “in house.” We do not hand-off to a third party outfitter for the rafting, or drive you three hours one way to get to a kayak trip or fishing guide. It is done by our in-house staff and done without the long shuttles.
Your culinary travel experience with us will be exquisite. Our meals are original, fresh, abundant, and diverse enough that most vegetarian and special needs diets are easily satisfied. Check out a blog article we posted on the topic of “Dude Ranch Food“. We do appreciate advance notice of a dietary special need so that we can adjust a menu as needed. However, we are unfortunately not able to meet the needs of a vegan diet.
Many of our guests are single people and are quickly adopted into our ranch family. Making friends is easy here with opportunities to bond through shared adventures and common interests.
“To the Cole Family, I just wanted to say Thank You for a great week at Marble Mountain Ranch. As a single woman, I wanted to find a place I could vacation, doing things I enjoy and still feel safe. Marble Mountain Ranch was perfect and met every need. The horseback riding, rafting, hike to the waterfall, fishing, and everything else was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The food was really good too. Thanks for making me feel at home and comfortable there. I will definitely tell my friends and family about the ranch. Thanks Again, Charlotte Wooldridge”
Children enjoy the sense of freedom and ability to wander anywhere without danger of traffic or strange people here on the ranch. Your children will also enjoy fishing in our pond, visiting with the many domestic animals, the goats, bunnies, chickens and other animals in the small animal petting pens. The newly added zip line is now perhaps the single most popular attraction for the youth on the ranch. Of course, we also have the standard swings, slides, and playground equipment familiar to your child. Our intent is to keep the young buckaroos busy and involved!
Our wranglers will also take your children on short rides and provide arena riding games to teach good horsemanship. Parent sharing is an option for infants and toddlers too young to participate, and arrangements can be made to get baby sitters (Currently $10/hour/child) during activities that exclude them. We also have VCRs and an extensive video library available for your use.
Minimum ages vary depending on the maturity of each child and on previous training such as youth riding lessons. As a guideline we offer the following minimum ages. Arena riding lessons, teaching basic horsemanship, and “on ranch” rides are appropriate for most children at 5 years of age. At around 7 years of age we find children are often comfortable riding hour-long easy trail rides. The advanced half day ride is reserved for our intermediate to advanced riders. On Wednesdays, we have a rafting trip that is appropriate for children under the age of 5. We suggest you contact our office about the specifics of your child’s abilities. On all other rafting trips, the children should be a minimum of 5 years age. Shooting can begin at 6 years of age utilizing bb and pellet rifles with emphasis on teaching firearm safety. We welcome the discussion about the particulars of your children and aim to include participation at the maximum safe level. Our prime directive is safety, recreation comes in at second position in decision making.
We cap our target occupancy at 36 guests unless you have made an exclusive ranch charter for a larger group. We have beds for about 50 in 10 cottages and two deluxe homes. Because of our occupancy cap, our usual guest occupancy ranges between 24 – 36 visitors. There is no minimum booking size, but we have an “in-season” minimum stay of 5 nights and 6 days (between June 1 and Sept 1) .
No, no, and no. (Sorry) The ranch is located in a wilderness setting and is not appropriate for household pets in an unfamiliar setting. Foreign pets also increase anxiety of our resident animal population and increase risk to our guests. We have also found that we must reserve our energies for horse riders utilizing our resident horses and fitting into our existing programs.
While we do not exclude a target population segment (children), we by default become an adult oriented facility after September 1. This is when our Summer target audience of families looses their children to school obligations and can no longer travel. So, If you need a break from the little darlings, join us after Sept 1, when the group sizes are more intimate and mature. As an aside, the smaller group settings of the Fall often allow us to be much more flexible in our itinerary and we can also include guided fly fishing during the Salmon and Steelhead spawning returns. This is a magical time of year that is filled with remarkable Autumn beauty in the Klamath River corridor.
All California rules for smoking apply here at the ranch which basically means: no smoking in any of our buildings or public areas where others might be affected by the smoke. Having said, that we do often have guests with us who smoke and I’m sure you, like they, will make decisions that are respectful of the non-smokers in the group. We look forward to having you and your family join us here.
Alcohol is allowed at Marble Mountain Ranch, but it is not a heavily promoted part of our family based signature and risk inherent activity base. There is no bar, but we provide a courtesy drink of beer and wine during the pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres and at dinner. There is no charge for this service. If you would like additional beer or wine, or if you enjoy cocktails, you should plan on also bringing your own beverages.
“My grandson and I had the vacation of a lifetime at Marble Mountain Ranch. It far exceeded our expectations. We are excited to make a return trip in 2010. We miss all the staff and will continue to keep in touch with guests we met this past summer. Louise Duren”