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When we receive an inbound call from a prospective guest to Marble Mountain Ranch, we presume they have reviewed our website and are wanting some sort of participatory vacation. People don’t usually consider dude ranch vacations to be in the realm of more passive luxury travel. Our client base shows an interest in shared experiences, in smaller more personal venues, and increasingly we see our clients traveling in extended family groups..

These trends are good for us in the guest ranch / dude ranch industry. Our base in traditions of the American West, our more intimate venue sizes, and frequently family run operations enable us to provide an authentic experiential holiday that can be shared across extended family groups. Grandma can gather up the clan and spend a week sharing an adventure! Memories are created in the shared events, and bonding of the family members happens naturally.

Here at Marble Mountain Ranch we enable a broad based client involvement that connects with our local natural resources.   For us, this active involvement happens on foot, on horseback, on raft, kayak, drift boat and especially in the dining room. Rather than passive observation of a crowded tourist attraction, we choreograph direct participation of smaller groups in activities that expose our guests to the outdoors and to traditions of the American West.

dude ranch rafting vacations

The whole family bonds through sharing adventures

Ranch guests get a riparian view of the Klamath National Forest with river excursions via raft and kayak.  Less mobile guests can do the trips with the guides doing all the work in oar-powered rafts.  More participatory guests can experience the same river stretches in paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks.  We float three different stretches of the Klamath River that are unique in wildlife viewing opportunities, cultural features, and in various geological formations.  We also offer daily excursions into the Klamath National Forest via horseback trail rides.  Each ride moves through new and evolving area forest conditions featuring creek crossings, and magnificent canyon vistas.  Historical and cultural opportunities include riding through gold-rush era mining camps, and homesteads. The entire Klamath National Forest is the aboriginal land of several local native tribes and affords opportunity for edification and exposure to native cultures.  Western frontier skills are also taught at our archery and shooting range.


The activities we offer have evolved to better meet our guest interests and needs.  As an example, our early activity offerings did not address the historical importance of the California gold rush.  Currently our guests can join us on a guided walk along an 1860 mining flume and learn how to pan for gold using the same technologies as our predecessors.

Some of our guests may not cognate on the point that they are jointly participating in adventures and activities as complete nuclear families and groups.  Unlike some resorts that separate out younger kids into a kid camp with counselors, and keep adults together in a separate event, we engineer our activity offerings to enable shared adventure.   Shared adventures and shared meals and time spent together allows families and groups to connect, to communicate, and bond as they jointly participate in an event.   A follow-up cementing of the bond also occurs as they later re-tell the events, laugh, and re-live the events at future dates.

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I wish that our prospective guests understood how many new things that they would experience at our guest ranch.  One visiting family formalized a list at departure, and came up with over 100 different new experiences that they shared during their week-long stay at our ranch.   This sharing of new and authentic experiences is the foundation to the commonly heard comment by our departing guests that “This was the best vacation our family has ever had, and we will be back!”

We hope you can join us here at Marble Mountain Ranch, and experience first-hand the hospitality of our family as we share many new and exciting authentic adventures.

Doug Cole

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