The Story of Amos

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Being on the back deck of the lodge early morning with a warm cup of coffee is breathtaking. I can’t help but to enjoy the peace and silence. The morning cup of joe taking in the views of the ranch has been done for decades. Looking through the old records you’ll find lists of names on census reports, deeds, and old homestead documents of people who have lived here before. There’s only a few records of an old man by the name of Amos Vaughn from Iowa. He lived at Red Horse Mountain Ranch in the early 1900’s but only briefly. There’s little history of the man in the records but his story is timeless and it reminds me why the ranch is so important in today’s world.

I picture a small log structure similar to this. Today, nothing remains of his home.

In the early 1900’s, Harrison, Idaho was a busy little town with the logging operations, supportive businesses, steamships, and it was buzzing with activity. Homesteaders were making their way west. The rail and wagons provided transportation. One such man tried to make his claim and bought 21 acres along the lower east border of the ranch near Blue Lake. Mr. Amos C. Vaughn was not like the rest of the young men trying to build their home and carve out a way for a new family. In fact, when Amos signed for the land I think he was escaping his memories of war and incredible loss.

After his parents moved north to Iowa, Amos was born in 1842 into a growing farm family. His twin sister passed not long after birth. He was given his father’s name. As the Civil War began to heat up, their happy Life on a Missouri Farm dramatically changed. His father, also named Amos, was a “Yankee” in Missouri, whom was harassed and even arrested and jailed for a time.

Amos’s father, Amos Fuller Vaughn.

Sometime after September of 1863 the Vaughns moved to a farm in Cass County, then part of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where his father worked hauling freight. When the war broke, both Amos and his brother William enlisted in the Civil War. William was captured and spent some time at Andersonville Prison, one of the largest confederate prisons holding over 45,000. William died soon after his release as a result of the poor treatment while in prison. Amos, now 22 years old, was assigned to the 15th Infantry Regiment, Iowa. The men fought until July of 1865 and the regiment had lost over 350 men. Amos saw battles such as Corinth, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Savanah, and others. The 15th Iowa was said to fight like demons against the savage assaults of the enemy, even repelling seven charges in one day from the enemy. H.T. Reid, Commander of the 15th recounts surrounding their flag in a last stand where 40 men were killed and many more wounded.

After the war, his parents continued operating a family stagecoach stop and hotel in Indiantown, Iowa. Something happened because decades would past before Amos would make contact with his folks again. Both of his parents were strong people. During the War of the Rebellion, Amos’s mother rode her favorite horse, taking a string of other horses with her, into Iowa state to keep Rebel soldiers in Missouri from getting their stock. It appears from records, Amos would not have the opportunity to see them again.

Harrison Idaho at the turn of the century. Steamships were common to help move the timber down the river.

During the next few decades, Amos disappeared into the West. Stories of him buying 500 head of horses in Mexico has surfaced. As the story goes, Amos lost over half of the horses from Indians stampeding the herd but still was able to make a decent profit. About the time of his father’s death, he surfaces again in Columbia, Oregon and married Margaret Cloninger and the couple gives birth to their first daughter, Mary. Amos has another daughter, Effie and a son named Allen. Allen’s records are also sparse, but it appears he enlisted in WWI then again enlisted at the age of 60 for WWII, passing in 1956. Mary’s records are also scarce, but it does appear she had a family in Clatsop until her early death in 1915. By 1908, Amos has lost his wife and daughter Effie. It seems the family went separate directions.

In March of 1909, Amos finds the ranch and offers to homestead 21 acres at the age of 67. Frank Wilbur, Harvey Kelly, Lucas Lawrence, and Peter Delonay all homestead other pieces of the ranch around the same time. That year, John Nederhood who married a local from Harrison would pass away not long after he finishes building their home on the ranch. John’s daughter would be born a month later. When the 1910 Census occurs in town, Amos reports in the midst of these other names. They must have been standing together in line. Back then it must have been the big thing in town. He tells the government he is single and a veteran of the Civil War. He also reports to be a gardener and living on a small farm. The Great fire of 1910 would soon rush through North Idaho. By 1920 Census, Amos reports he is not working. He’s 77 years old and in a few months would pass away to a stomach sickness believed to have been caused by a war injury. He is buried in Boise, Idaho. The story of his death does make it back to his family in Iowa.

A copy of the certificate for Amos’s 21 acres on the ranch.

I can only imagine the stories Amos could have told about his adventures out west and bringing in a herd of 500 head. I imagine the loss of his wife and daughter. The distance and apparent isolation from his family back home in Iowa. I wonder if his daughter Mary and son Allen ever reconnected. I think of the heroism of being a soldier and the treachery of the Civil War. I can almost see old Amos standing by his wood stove during a heavy winter pouring a cup of coffee. He walks out of his one room log home and sits in an old wood chair on his covered porch with a thick wool jacket. He’s contemplating as he looks out across the ranch valley and feeling a sense of peace and sorrow as he remembers all the people that have gone before him. He’s wondering what happens to this little slice of Heaven years from now. I think if he saw it he may just crack a smile.

5 Tips to Landing a Summer Job

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For over 10 years I’ve ben involved in finding our seasonal staff at the ranch. Hiring takes a tremendous amount of time and effort and a full team of people. We’ve been truly blessed with our staff in the past and I would have to say it’s one of the top reasons why the ranch makes such a wonderful vacation spot and I enjoy coming to work. “Surround yourself with great people.” This is such an important rule in life and one I’ve tried to remember. For the applicant, there are some tips you could try to help land that summer job you desperately want to get.

#1Search NOW!!! It’s amazing how every hiring season goes like clockwork. It’s typical the gals who usually have their resume and applications filled out and done before most of the boys have even thought about the upcoming summer. Guys you can’t wait/procrastinate anymore. The saying is absolutely true and the early bird does get the worm. The gals are beating you to the punch. We see it every season and at the end of Spring a rash of frantic phone calls begin in late April from a bunch of guys looking for summer work starting May. It used to be when I was looking for summer jobs applying took time; we weren’t able to hop online and send our information off in 10 minutes. The internet has made the application system so quick and fast everyone applies. Online job boards give access to so many more people these days. You need to consider these things in your search for a summer job.

#2 Be Available to Talk. Emails, video chat, text messaging, online social sites, and all of the new fan dangled ways of communicating are helpful in speeding up the process. This is not completely what you want as an applicant when your information comes up.  It seems having a one-on-one conversation with someone has not been saved for the “important” conversations but found it’s way to the bottom of the communication technique pile. Maybe I’m old fashioned, or just old, but I’ve always enjoyed the one or two folks every season that take the energy to set up a call and ask me a few questions about a position and working at the ranch (preferably questions not answered in the job description). Employers can have the most thorough job description on the website, but it’s never going to be a full explanation of living and working somewhere for a summer. I know the applicant who really asks great questions are taking the time and care. I would also suggest making an unscheduled call to tell the interviewer how perfect you are for the position is probably not a good idea. Here’s a tip; find out who the actual supervisor is. Many times it’s not the same person who is interviewing. See if it’s ok to get their number and ask them a few questions. It’s not helpful to me, but I also know some hiring teams love to get the paper copy of your information. Not a bad idea.

# 3 Tell Your Story. Two things come to mind. We get a few different kinds of applications. The first application is from someone who took a few extra minutes to tell us why this job would be important to them. It explains why working at our ranch means something. I’ve seen a couple applications in the past years from individuals who explained why the job is important, what they’re planning to do with the experiences in the future, and how it helps them meet their goal.
Another type of application is definitely a cut/past and click. This applicant is using the shotgun method waiting for the phone call from whoever calls back. Spend a few extra moments and include a brief paragraph of who you are and what’s important to you. Many times we receive your accomplishments and lists of jobs but it doesn’t tell us about who you are. Tell the story and make the interviewer understand why this job is important to you.

#4 Please Stop Using the  Thesauruses. I prefer reading applications which don’t require me to lookup every other word. Although there are hiring teams which have members with doctorates of the english language, try to keep it concise and for us common folks. Using it a few times is fine. If you’re applying for a summer position at Lockheed Martin as a rocket scientist….no, they probably don’t want it either.

#5 Just be real. Most summer jobs, if not all, include a need for genuine customer service. As we roll through interviews I always have to take into consideration those applicants who were overly nervous. We understand being nervous because we’re a little nervous too. The nervousness will most likely never fully go away. An applicant able to have a real conversation is extremely refreshing when searching for candidates in a customer service job. Practice can help you push through being nervous. There are many websites listing difficult interview questions such as Monster ( ). Taking the time to come up with some good answers to these questions may seem fake or rehearsed. But in reality, if it’ll help you, the interviewer will actually be seeing who you really are. I wouldn’t recommend rehearsing a script, but practice does make perfect.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Idaho is currently hiring for the 2017 Summer season. If you’re looking for a Wrangler, Kids Counselor, Kitchen, or Housekeeping job, we highly recommend checking our job listings on our website at, Application deadlines are coming soon and most positions begin in May 2017.

Hooked on Fishing with Kids

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Being on a dude ranch isn’t just about horses. Wranglers work hard and you definitely need to have some experience to work with 100 plus horses. You need to work smart too. Being cautious of the occasional kick or ornery personality is part of the job. But that’s not the only job on the ranch with dangers.

Teaching kids how to fish for bass and northern pike with a 2/0 sized hook and 3/8 ounce weights in the tight confinements of a boat can get interesting fast. For those of you not familiar with the treachery here, it’s sort of like poking a coiled rattlesnake. Sooner or later it’s going to strike and boy when it happens, it sure does surprise you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that “wifffff” sound go screaming next to my ear as a cast is made. Or you look one direction, bend down to pick something up and the lure rolls slowly down your arm, pauses, then rockets back up your arm, past your collar, slams you in the hat, and out to the water. The 6 year old closes his bail, looks back and smiles intently with not a hint of knowing how close your ear was to being pierced by a 5 inch smoke colored bait.

Some kids LOVE to fish. You’ll never pull them away from it, even to eat. And when its finally time to head home it’s like pulling packing tape off of cardboard. Not pretty when it’s done. I was the same. Give me a rod, a creek, and a fly and you’ll never see or hear me until it gets dark. For me it was the challenge of trying to outwit a fish and hopefully catch a huge fish. I do remember fishing on the Middle Fork of the Salmon once and a beat up old salmon came darting after my fly. Hooked Jaw, almost black in color, and it was absolutely huge compared to the standard cutthroat trout I was chasing. I was fairly young and It frightened me. I try to keep that in mind while taking the kids out fishing for Northern Pike which can have the same affect.

There are the kids that aren’t too interested in the fishing part, just the catching. These are the tough ones. They’ll talk and talk and talk about whatever and everything that enters their head. They’re usually the ones telling a big long story while holding onto the rod and the tip is throbbing from a fish on the other end. It’s hard to keep focus for a younger child so I don’t mind the stories. I’ll usually grab the rod about a mid-way up, jerk it to set the hook and let the kids finish their story. These kids usually get so excited reeling the fish up that it comes flying out of the water and the net becomes a catcher’s mitt. There’s so much excited that the rod goes one way and they go towards the fish. An experienced guide reaches for the rod before it rolls out of the boat and, “kerplunk!” Or, a good guide will grab the line and hopefully fish the rod back up.

The final group of kids I see from time to time are the ones with absolutely no interest in fishing at all. They’re usually not at all excited about being dragged from bed to go fishing at 6 am. When we fit them for a life jacket and the older brother doesn’t have to wear one it’s possible the last straw may have been drawn. I take these kids on as a personal challenge. Mainly because I feel I’m part of the responsibility to show them how fun fishing can actually be. Most of the time it’s a success. They start to come out of their shell as we pull away from the dock and the jet boat fires up and planes off. That’s kind of fun but they try to not show a smile. I’ll show them one of those new imaging systems where you can see the fish and they start to show a little interest. Won’t quite start asking questions yet. Once they get the hang of the cast it’s only a matter of time until the first fish bites. They’ll hide the smile while reeling up their fish. Not long after that we usually can’t keep them quiet.

Now when you put two or three kids in the boat pandemonium begins. I’ve guided a few types of fishing trips and none are more challenging. It’s best to set a few ground rules and I tend to stress safe casting techniques most. I tend to like a longer rod to keep the hooks away from innocent bystanders during the casting process. I shy away from treble hooks religiously and try to mash down barbs. I’ve ended up wearing those too many times. Lastly, have the kids yell, “casting!” This is your last chance to get out of the way in case they wind up that extra little bit.

But even through all the dangers and occasional frustrations because the fish aren’t cooperating, I have to say taking the kids out fishing has been one of the better parts of being on a dude ranch. It’s like the rest of what kids get to do on the ranch. They feel a sense of freedom and accomplishment, especially when we throw those big fish photos up on the wall at the lodge. Sometimes I wonder if the stories would be better without the photos.

The lake fishing trips at Red Horse Mountain ranch are included in your stay, except for the daily fishing license which aren’t too bad. We handle all the gear and most trips are catch – photo – release. The foods much better at the lodge. Trips during your stay can be handled on your arrival so don’t worry about having to pre-book. We’ll make sure you get out on the water. More information about our trips can be seen on our website at, .

Idaho’s Red Horse Mountain Ranch
11077 East Blue Lake Road
Harrison, ID 83833
(888) 689-9680

Fly fishing on the St Joe River

Big Savings on Couples Vacations beginning this Fall.

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  • Sneaking away for an overnight stay at a nearby hotel gives a couple just enough time to realize they need a vacation. We see it time and time again…around day 2 on the ranch the outside world and daily grind seem to slough off a person . It takes time to put your worries aside and focus on what’s truly important. Daily life is filled with hectic schedules, constant phone reminders, and never ending work loads. It’s hard for couples to find time together and even harder to find things you both love to do. And ladies we know it’s not easy weeding through the tangled web of places to pick a getaway; sometimes a little nudge in the right direction is helpful. Red Horse Mountain Ranch near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has one thing few places have which makes the stay here an automatic win for a couples getaway. We have horses.
  • We’re lucky on the ranch in that technology hasn’t completely been able to find it’s way over the mountain. Cell phones just don’t work very well. Occasionally a text message will somehow make it’s way to your phone, but don’t count on it. It’s best to let your work know you’ll be unreachable except for any emergencies. Set that email reply message before you head into the ranch. And men, your significant other will appreciate you picking the one place where you can completely focus on her. We may be missing technology, but we aren’t missing some of the finer things in life. She won’t believe the desserts, homemade fresh breads, artisan salads, and wonderful meals created by our three chefs. The cozy and comfortable cabins will be welcomed after a full day of outdoor adventures. Early morning fitness hiking, yoga classes, and the massage therapist are all available depending on her desires.
  • A week stay at ranch is definitely an active vacation and you’ll both have opportunities to grow and try something new together. Sitting on its beach has it’s place and time, but the exhilaration of loping on a horse through a weave of mountain trails has a far different appeal. Being shuttled to a nearby peak and coming down a single track trail on a mountain bike is a blast, especially for first timers. Evening walks on the ranch, hanging out in the hot tub under a blanket of stars, a very special dinner event, and a spectacular week of outdoor adventure are some of the many things available while at the ranch. It’s these simple western experiences that make for great memories. It may very well spark an interest both of you can do together in the future.
  • Take advantage of our pre-season rates ending May 1st for the fall Adult Weeks on the ranch. You’ll most likely meet couples and other adults in the same situations, feeling the same pressures of living. Before falling for the Groupon vacation package for you and your significant other; check out the ranch. Call and speak to our staff. There is a reason folks come back year after year! You can count on the ranch making your stay exactly what you want it to be. Check out the available weeks remaining on our website at .

Ladies Week: Our Dedication to the Devoted

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  • Almost 10 years ago Red Horse Mountain Ranch near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho had its first Ladies Week. Women only trips were just becoming popular and Red Horse was looking for other ways to bring folks to the ranch to help make ends meet. We had a week coinciding with the fall colors after the kids head back to school. So we gave it go. Even the first Ladies Week, with maybe 20 or 25 women, was an amazing week. The ladies had enough fun to last them an entire year and most of them returned. Now, we need 2 weeks at the ranch to accommodate all the interest. Over the years, I’ve learned how important Ladies weeks are and it took me a little by surprise. Ultimately we feel it’s essential the ranch dedicates a part of each season to the women who have dedicated themselves to their friends and family.

We all need to break away from a daily routine once in a while and rejuvenate our souls. Ladies week at the ranch gives women the freedom, space, and security to get a little relaxation, be pampered with special treatment, laugh to the point of crying, and to socialize with women from around the world. I’ll never profess to understand it, but there’s something different about a group of gals having the week to hang out together. It just works. Ladies come alone, with life-long friends, or family members. They heckle each other, talk about life’s frustrations, enjoy each other’s company, laugh hysterically, and most of all, celebrate their lives. Many people consider horseback riding to be a personal adventure, but that’s just not the case here. Bonding with their horses is common and some ladies definitely learn more about how to ride. But when you get 40 ladies up on horseback together there’s a different dynamic. These ladies go out on trail for hours and come back after telling stories upon stories and taking in the occasional quiet moments from vistas and scenic points along the way. By the end of the week their bums are sore (but you’d never know it) and they’re ready to overcome or meet any challenges in their path.

“I wanted a different kind of solo adventure, preferably in the Northwest with gorgeous lakes, mountains, and fresh air. Although it had been several decades since I’d ridden a horse for any length of time, I was drawn to a dude ranch kind of getaway. When I discovered that there was a girls’ week at this ranch, my curiosity was piqued. After I spent some time on their website, I was sold! That same day (Mid-August) i called and guaranteed my stay. Since I was alone, I was assigned my own cabin, and it was beautiful! Nothing rustic there! The package was all-inclusive, with opportunities for great food and adult beverages pretty much any time. I was assigned a horse for the week and opportunities to take a refresher class, go out on a morning ride, then an afternoon ride, and never lift a finger unless I wanted to. The ranch has a close knit staff of wranglers who make each guest feel like they’ve known us a long time. Each night there was some kind of relaxation opportunity from bonfire tales to saloon karaoke and live band. Kay, the barkeep, went wherever the party was with our favorite beverages, which she had memorized after the first night, along with all out names. The week went by way too fast, and I could have done both girl’s weeks if I’d had the time! While the ranch in summer season holds about 60 guests, the girls’ weeks entertain about 25 women of all legal ages. This will definitely be my go to September adventure next year as well!” ~ TripAdvisor, 2016

  • Here’s another thing I learned during Ladies Weeks. The theories of motivating staff and team building can be tossed out the window. There are just certain happenings on the ranch where the Red Horse staff go five steps extra. Going above and beyond is normal for our staff, but there is something special about Ladies Week. I think it’s a mutual feeling; they’re so happy that we’re so happy and that they’re happy makes us more happy sort of thing. It just spirals out of control and hospitality is replaced with what I would call family care. Special diet concerns, special requests or needs, and anything that’ll make their stay more personal the staff just do. The laughter is ridiculous from the dining room during ladies weeks. This is saying a lot. They’re more fired up and excited than the kids on the ranch during the summer. By the end of the week the hugs, email exchanges, tears, plans for next year are made. They’ll keep in touch with each other as the years go by and we’re so happy to be a small part.

I think any gal needing to refresh or break away from daily routine should seriously consider coming. We need to smile and remind ourselves how blessed we are, even through life’s troubles and change. I’ve heard too many times how important and rejuvenating time spent on the ranch is for our guests. There’s something special about being on a remote ranch listening to the crackle of a campfire, being under the stars, the exhilaration of horseback riding, and being completely surrounded by friends, family, and people who share a common thread. Friendships like this and celebrating life is truly what Red Horse Mountain Ranch is about.

8 Tips to be ready for Single’s Week at the Ranch

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Even though the ranch is buried in snow and the horses look like furballs, there’s already a buzz beginning to build around the 2017 summer vacation season and a big part of the excitement stems from our first ever Single’s Week starting May 21st. A good group of solo travelers have already decided they’re coming but there’s some 400 plus folks waiting till the summer gets closer to finalize their reservations. Just as a reminder there are only 36 spots. We’ll try to fit as many of you as possible because this is going to be one of those weeks on the ranch to remember. We even created a group rate so bring your friends! In the Red Horse way, we have a few things up our sleeves to make sure the week is a blast for all. To get everyone ready, we wanted to throw out a few tips if you’ve never been to Red Horse Mountain Ranch for a dude ranch vacation.

Even though Old Man Winter hasn’t let loose yet, the excitement is building for our first Single’s Week to begin our 2017 Summer Season.

Tip 1: Finding a little peace and quiet with a Book. 

It’s not a bad idea to bring that book on the nightstand you’ve been trying to finish but you’ll have to purposefully make time to read it on this ranch. With early morning hikes and yoga, meal times, horseback rides and lessons, challenge courses, sporting clays, mountain bikes, and all the other adventures we have packing the week, you’re going to have to get serious about setting aside quiet time to read. Near the private cabins and lodge there are some perfect places to sit or soak while reading a book. It’ll be a hard decision to bow out for an afternoon but I’ll bet you’ll experience a little bit of peace Idaho has to offer. And if you don’t, our library is packed full of books to borrow. 

Tip 2: What to pack for your ranch vacation. 

This can get a little tricky with all the land and water adventures we have but you can never go wrong if you have a few key items. Before we give you the list, remember the ranch does have laundry service so we’ll be offering to do a load for you while on the ranch. You’ll need at least a couple pair of jeans for riding and the other activities on the ranch. Riding boots with slick soles too.  We’d also recommend shorts and water shoes for the kayaking, fishing trips, and mega zip line. Bring a good pair of hiking boots and something to wear while you’re kicking around the lodge and evening entertainment. May mornings and evenings are cool so a fleece or thin jacket is nice. We’d also recommend a lightweight shell jacket for any of the spring showers that come our way. Now, our Wine Dinner is a thing and most of the gals wear a long dress and men have been known to kick it up a notch as well. Just remember, jeans are the norm on the ranch – can’t go wrong with a good pair of jeans and boots. Don’t forget to throw in a swimsuit for a dip in the pool or a soak in one of our many hot tubs around the cabins. Don’t forget the Cowboy Hat!

You can never go wrong with a good pair of Jeans and slick soled boots at the ranch. Don’t forget the Hat!

Tip 3: Leave your worries at the Gate. 

By day 1 you’ll see that the staff and everyone else will be lifelong friends. This week is going to filled with laughter, smiles, and some well needed moments of peace. Once you arrive on the ranch you’ll realize your wallet, cell phone, and watch don’t need to make an appearance, or be used for that matter. 

Wranglers catching horses in the morning

The staff of Red Horse Mountain Ranch will make sure you’re well taken care of. Leave your worries at the gate!

Tip 4: Take a lesson before you arrive. 

Some of the most exhilarating adventures on the ranch are the advanced horseback rides which you’ll need to pass the advanced riding test to participate in these rides. Lessons are offered throughout the week for those interested, but we’ve heard from many guests that a lesson or two before visiting us has made a difference! Horseback riding tends to use muscles you never thought existed (your backside may be a bit sore- a hot tub can only do so much) and we definitely want you to be able to ride during the entire week. Some guests have commented on wearing a pair of bicycle shorts under their jeans to help with soreness. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to come prepared for some of the amazing opportunities the ranch has to offer. 

Tip 5: Let everyone know it’ll be hard to catch you during the week. 

Not only are you going to be pretty much busy all week long but you also don’t have a phone in your cabin and most of the cabins don’t have wifi either. Internet at the lodge is spotty since we’re on a satellite system and the ranch really doesn’t get cell service. If someone does need to get in touch with you, best way is to have them call the ranch office at (888) 689-9680 and have us take a message for you. Other than this, the occasional voice mail or text will find it’s way through the internet. It may take getting used to, but it’s best to just let everyone know you’re going to be tough to reach. Take it from us, the catch up is well worth it!   

Tip 6: Headlamps are great.  

During the evenings the pathways are lowly lit so our lights don’t interfere with the stars. If you’ve never seen the milky way in all its glory you’ll understand why we keep the lights low. It can be comforting to have your own light which leave you hands free. The LED headlamps you can get for $20-$30 are perfect or a small flashlight works too. You can use the light on your phone but remember you’ll be running around all day and it’s better to keep your battery up for all the photos you’ll most likely be taking. 

Tip 7: Artist beware, this place is inspiring. 

I’ve been on the ranch for 12 years and love to shoot photographs. I’m no expert but having your camera or supplies with you is a must. The 1oo horses, wildlife, beautiful valleys, wildflowers, creeks, mountains, all of it makes for an absolutely inspiring place to spend time. 

Whether you’re coming to meet your next love or you just need to getaway from the daily grind, Single’s Week will be a perfect kick off to a great summer!

Tip 8: Call or email Andi.  

Andi, who handles reservations at the ranch, can fill you in on any other details for the week you’re wondering about. She’s been around the ranch for many years and knows the ranch better than most. Dietary concerns, cabin questions, adventure questions, travel concerns; Andi is your gal! (888)689-9680

So there’s a few tips to help you prepare for the week in Idaho. I know we have a few of our returning folks coming during the week too. The excitement surrounding this week is something. I’m so happy we’ve decided to kick off our 2017 summer season with a Singles Week. I’m hoping it remains and becomes a part of our annual schedule at the ranch. It’ll be here before we all know it and we can’t wait to meet you!

Secrets to the best family reunion you’ll be talking about for years.

Cory Inouye Ranch News, Ranch News & Stories

Family Reunions at a Ranch

Family reunion planning can be tricky. Just picking a reunion destination spot can take time. I myself come from a large family and we’re lucky to have several amazing planners who handle our family reunions. Planning can be stressful and trying to find a perfect location which everyone will enjoy is a daunting task. Working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch for over a decade, I’ve come to know many of the challenges with family reunion planning.

However, it is a small price to pay for some of life’s most enduring memories. Sadly, I think ranches are not normally on a family’s radar as a destination spot. There are definitely some true advantages in picking a ranch for a family reunion. A ranch can streamline your family planning, control your budget, reconnect your family, and make sure each member has an amazing time. There are also a few ways to help you with costs.

Large Family Reunions

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A Ranch can streamline your planning. Typical family reunion planning starts 12-18 months in advance and it’s usually on the shoulders of one or a few individuals to begin the early planning phase. Besides the typical quirks in everyone’s family, the most common difficulties revolve around finding a convenient location, controlling costs, choosing dates, and making sure everyone has activities to keep them happy. Although the web has put a lot of information at your fingertips,  it can be somewhat tangled, formidable, and messy. Ranches tend to eliminate some of these barriers in planning a family reunion.

A Ranch can control your budget AND Reconnect your family.  Most ranches, like Red Horse Mountain Ranch, are all-inclusive. It’s typical a few auxiliary costs will come (such as souvenirs or an extra massage), but you should have total control over 95% of your costs. Most ranches aren’t like you’re typical all-Inclusive resorts; they don’t usually attempt to capture added revenues through nickel and diming you. Some ranches even include beverages and alcohol beverages. It’s usual that family members will never need or see their wallet throughout their entire stay at a ranch. Many things such as a wrist watch, cell phone, or other devices, quickly find the bottom of a suitcase. Everyone is usually scrambling to find all these devices when it’s time to head home. This is an important distinction between many other more public choices for a family reunion. If your goal is to re-connect and disconnect, a ranch setting by nature makes these items not necessary.

A Ranch will make everyone happy (even if they don’t think it will).  Family members whom have handled planning of a reunion will quickly agree the initial planning is one of the most important phases. Ranches tend to make this relatively easy. A ranch is typically on a schedule with certain days of arrival and departure. Their activities and guest adventures are also well developed to accommodate families with multiple desires. With a large list of guided and non-guided adventures, a ranch can accommodate numerous interests and age groups. Outdoor activities are also interactive and allow for true family time and conversations. Family members who have not had the opportunity for some outdoor activities may very much like the challenge or new adventure, especially while in the company of their family members.

Dietary Concerns and the Healthy Alternative. Dietary concerns or healthy food alternatives are more the norm these days than a special request and ranches have definitely embraced this. Working outdoors, maintaining a healthy herd of horses, and living where a trip to the doctor can mean being in a car for a two hour round trip requires conscientious diets. Most ranches, like Red Horse Mountain Ranch, can easily accommodate vegan, gluten-free, or other dietary needs. These menu items are usually part of the daily menu now on the ranch.

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The Tough Part: Costs. A family will need to have a budget to use an all-inclusive ranch as their destination. However, there are advantages to never needing to cook or worry about menus or dietary concerns. Attempting to coordinate outdoor adventures in fifteen different directions is a big task; and finding a coordinated time to meet back up for meals is almost impossible. There are definitely benefits of having the ranch handle all these tasks and giving every family member time to focus on family. These additional benefits are hard to quantify when deciding on costs. Advance planning will give you the advantage of the best pricing and best dates to fit your family needs. For example, Red Horse Mountain Ranch released a new family reunion program allowing families to book the entire ranch 12-18 months in advance at a reduced rate. This unique program gives the family full control of the ranch and at the same time allows the ranch to budget their season as well. Another great tool is to visit the Dude Ranchers’ Association website and fill out and use the search for ranches feature.This provides you a quick and easy way to make contact and determine which ranch best fits your family’s desires; and it all happens with a single click.

Large scale resorts, cruise liners, or hotels just don’t offer the level of privacy a ranch can offer and these days it’s an important criteria. When we’re looking for reunion spots, we definitely give consideration to giving the kids a chance to roam and play. Ranches definitely offer this ability. Ranches may not be affordable every year for your family but it is one of those family reunion destinations you should consider. The Dude Ranchers’ Association has a varied mix of ranches and there’s more than likely a few that would fit your family’s needs.

Singles Week

Cory Inouye Ranch News, Ranch News & Stories 0 Comments

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is well known for it’s famous Kid’s program, summer family vacations, and Girl’s Getaway Week. But in 2017 we’re kicking off the summer season with our 1st annual “Single’s Week” in May. Now there’s no guarantee you’ll meet the love of your life. But you’ll be glad you ditched that dating Web site, hopped on a plane, and had the best time tucked away in Idaho at an award winning ranch.

If you’re tired of the old typical “singles vacation” which tends to be a group of friends and it just turns into a booze fest or if your solo vacation in the past was a lot of reading and watching happy couples giggling in the sand and surf, we’re promising this week to be nothing like that at all.

Red Horse is pulling the out the stops and offering this unique stay at on of our lowest rates for an all-inclusive week. this will be a no -hassle stay. 6-nights at the ranch will just barely be enough time to get most of our adventures in. You’ll be given your own horse and saddle for the week and have a chance for numerous types of western riding opportunities each day. Accommodations, meals, guided adventures, evening entertainment, cocktails, and other Amenities are all included. Along with the full schedule of beginner to advanced western horseback riding, the ranch also has a sporting clays range, 2 zips lines, a high element challenge course, downhill mountain biking, kayak tours, bike tours, fishing trips, and more. The all inclusive rates include a private cabin or suite, chef prepared meals, cocktail and appetizer hour, guest laundry services, daily housekeeping service, snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Many single travelers find the ranch environment perfect for both ‘alone time’ as well as for meeting new friends. Many single travelers, women in particular, are often worried about the safety of traveling alone. Dude ranch vacations offer a totally safe environment for single travelers, yet with all the freedom and access to a remote wilderness which typical resorts can’t offer. The unique welcoming and inclusive environment at Red Horse is perfectly suited to travelers wishing to take a western ranch vacation on their own.

We’ve made it easy, whether you’re looking to get away with friends or planning to make new friends once you get here. It’ll be a week full of healthy outdoor adventures, well-crafted chef prepared meals, clean and cozy accommodations, and plenty of relaxation (should you choose to!).

So, if you find yourself single or unattached, take a leave of absence from for a month. Tell the local barkeep you won’t be a regular for a few days and give Red Horse a try. Definitely check out our facebook, blog, and other websites offering reviews of the ranch – you’ll here from some of our other solo travelers that have visited the ranch.

Save the Dates! May 22nd through May 28th, 2017!!

For more information call Andi at Red Horse Mountain Ranch, (888) 689-9680 or send a message with the little button at the bottom right!

Multi generational family vacations at the ranch

Red Horse Mountain Ranch wins 2015 World’s Best Ranch for all Ages

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For Immediate Release announces Red Horse Mountain Ranch as esteemed Award Winner in their inaugural Ranch Vacation Awards of Excellence, 2015!

The Ranch Vacation Awards of Excellence, 2015 were chosen from hundreds of online reviews written for the traveller, by the traveller and feature 10 categories; each category has been divided into a number of awards to celebrate everything the discerning guest, family or traveller requires for their perfect ranch vacation.

As the winner of the ‘Best Ranch For All Age Ranges Award’ in the ‘Family Friendly’ category, Red Horse Mountain Ranch has created the perfect dude ranch vacation for all ages, from small children, right up to octogenarians.

Guests to the ranch have commented:
“What a wonderful week my granddaughter and I had last week at RHM Ranch!”
“I brought my husband for Couples Week. Another amazing experience.”
“We vacationed with two adults, a 17-year-old and a 4-year-old. This is the first vacation where EVERYONE had a GREAT time!”

Designed to celebrate all aspects of a dude, guest or working ranch vacation, the Ranch Vacation Awards of Excellence recognize ranches’ ability to deliver to their guests exceptional service, stunning locations and accommodations, outstanding food and wine, and life-changing experiences amongst other attributes.

To see all the winning awards, please visit

As Red Horse Mountain Ranch reaches past it’s first decade of providing vacations, we look back and remember all the amazing support and friends we’ve made. It’s humbling to receive such a distinction among such a group of wonderful ranches and people who make all this happen. I think the takeaway from this award for everyone is the clock is ticking and you need to get your family to a ranch! Don’t wait, this is a vacation and memory you can’t afford to miss out on!

The ranch is quietly gearing up for the 2016 season, you can already feel the hooves pounding and the excitement stirring. We’re looking forward to what is on the horizon and the Summer of ’16 may be our best ever.

Running the herd in at Red Horse Mountain Ranch

One of the Best jobs for the 2016 Summer. The race is on!

Cory Inouye Ranch News 0 Comments

All you wanting a job for the summer in the mountains of Idaho it’s time to get yourselves to the website and fill out the application now! Wranglers, Kitchen crew, housekeepers, servers, ranch hands, and kids program counselors, it’s time!
Mosey on over to our Ranch Jobs page to check it out.

Here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch, our staff members work hard, but we also have a blast. Our staff members are diverse, talented, and experienced; and come from all over the country and Idaho. If you have worked a seasonal position or a full-time position at a seasonal establishment, then you know a staff becomes a family and there are great opportunities for new friendships and the fulfilling work opportunities at a dude ranch.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is among the top guest ranches in the country and our knowledgeable staff are a huge part of the formula. We are looking for service-oriented folks who love to take the extra step to make a guest’s vacation special. If you are genuinely enthusiastic and friendly and care about the team around you, our ranch may be a perfect fit for you this coming summer. Each employee will work about 5 and a half days a week, with most of the other time off to go hiking, fishing, and explore the area. There are always groups headed off to do something outdoors or just go hang out at Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The ranch is well located in the region for a trip over to Montana, fly-fishing some of the nearby rivers, whitewater rafting, camping, mountain biking some great trails, and hiking in Glacier National Park on your day off. Hanging out on the ranch is a blessing itself, and some choose to take advantage of the peacefulness. Staff should come prepared to be active.

Our summer season begins in mid-May and runs until mid-October. We begin accepting applications for summer positions after January 1 of each year. After reviewing all applications, the best applicants are contacted for a teleconference interview with the ranch. We usually begin these calls in February.Every position requires a certain level of skills, experience, and knowledge. But determination and work ethic are just as important. At the beginning of every season, we have an intense training program for each staff member to give you the necessary tools to excel at your summer job on our ranch. A team of highly motivated people that love to work hard and play hard is quite a recipe for an amazing summer in Idaho. If you feel you can meet the basic requirements, we welcome your application. Fill out the form completely. Give careful consideration to the dates of availability that you list.

How to Apply:

  • Find the summer position that you are interested in on our jobs page.
  • Make sure the position is open & Available.
  • Register for an account
  • Fill out the application.
  • Include your resume.
  • Interviews for positions usually begin in February, however, the earlier your information comes in the better.

Other Ranch Job Opportunities

If we’re not the right fit for you, definitely check out these  websites for other summer ranch jobs!

Dude Ranchers’ Association Employment Page
Each year our 100+ member ranches hire many seasonal employees, and some year round employees, for such positions as wranglers, cooks, wait staff, housekeepers, maintenance workers, children’s counselors and office workers. Most seasonal employees are hired by the Southern ranches for the months of September through May and by the Northern ranches for the months of May through October. Many northern ranches have last minute openings during the months of May and June. Compensation varies from ranch to ranch and position to position but usually includes salary, room and board, a share of the seasonal tip pool and use of the facilities and horses when off duty. Frequently the ranches have more applicants than positions, especially for positions related to the horses. Jobs on dude ranches typically involve hard work and long hours as well as participation in evening guest activities such as line dances, hayrides and staff talent shows. Good people skills and an ability to live and work well with others are required. The more flexible you are in the type of position you would like, the more likely you are to be successful.

Coolworks “Ranch Jobs”
Wranglers are at the heart of Guest Ranch Jobs, but there’s so much more. You could be part of a guest service team which includes meal service, housekeeping, chuckwagon cookouts, children’s activities, gardening. You can’t beat the scenery of these beautiful spots where hiking, fishing and riding are right outside your bunkhouse or cabin.

Gene Kilgore’s is the premier dude ranch job listing service. Renowned for exploring ranches around the world and bringing ranch vacations to millions of people worldwide, Kilgore founded Dude Ranch Jobs to help ranch job seekers find the right ranch to make their dreams come true.

A sampling of job positions you will find on our site include:

  • Ranch management
  • Wranglers
  • Chefs
  • Counselors for youth programs
  • Maintenance
  • Naturalists and guides

And while all of these ranch jobs require hard work and skill, employees are extremely lucky and thankful to be working in some of the most beautiful locations and with teams of exceptional folk.

Meet Our Wranglers Justin and Kelsea

Ashley Farmer Ranch News

Justin is a local boy and his love for the outdoors started at age four when he began riding horse and shooting guns. He served in the National Guard 6 years with 3 years of active duty and has just graduated college with a degree in education. He hopes to get a job teaching and continue to come back to Red Horse for the summers to help take care of our wonderful guests. His favorite activity to guide is the all day ride which takes you up to a lofty spot that helps you see beautiful Idaho and even Washington for miles. He also loves to take people out to the sporting clays range and help them become comfortable with handling guns. He enjoys his job because he works along side really great staff and he gets to show off the area he grew up in to our guests.He started working for Red Horse in 2010. If you ever had the joy of working side by side with him at the barn, you know there is never a dull moment with him around. He is great with people, has a wonderful sense of humor and is an expert at making people feel welcomed and comfortable. He and Kelsey met in 2014 when she came to work here for the summer. When I asked him his favorite memory at Red Horse, he quickly responded “Meeting Kelsea!”

And for a good reason! Kelsea is a great gal! She loves what she does and does it with excellence. Shehas been working with horses since she was 3 years old (one more year than Justin, so she’s better…) She started off riding English and was in the jumping circuit for over 6 years, but now has her quarter horse and loves western style riding. She loves Idaho andand working here because of the wonderful atmosphere and people she gets to meet. Plus, it is a pretty cool job.. she gets to take guests out on our face paced loping rides through the Idaho mountains!This is Kelsea’s second year here and the two of them together make agreat team as they take out guests on their outdoor adventures.

Both Justin and Kelsea have a passion for the outdoors and for first class hospitality. They will take superbcare of you on your ranch vacation and so will the rest of our amazing staff. If you are reading this on Facebook, leave a comment for or about Justin or Kelsea and we will relay the message to them!

Unique Family Reunions

Ashley Farmer Ranch News

  • When you get a bunch of people together for a reunion you have a lot of personalities and interests to satisfy. Here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch, our staff love helping families have unforgettable reunions. We have something for everyone and pride ourselves on being professionals in this business. Families who come here for a reunion have many options to keep themselves as busy or as “un” busy ask they want. Each day offers various guided adventures. From our main feature of horseback riding, to sporting clays, archery, kayaking, zip-lines, and fishing, everyone will find something to do. Each member of the family is assigned their own horse for the week and our guides make sure you are not only safe, but that you go home with new exciting experiences and a camera full of memories.

    Barn manager Tyler Cress has this to say about why he loves to see families come to Red Horse Mountain Ranch for their reunions. “My guides are awesome. They are passionate about what they do and strive to make each guest have an unforgettable vacation. I think having a family reunion at our ranch is a great idea because everyone in your family will be very well cared for and walk away with life long memories. That’s our goal and we work hard to make that happen.”

    Check out our website and Facebook for more photos and information on our ranch. You can also give us a call at 208.689.9680 and we can chat with you about how to make your next family reunion very special.

Time Lapse Video on the Challenge Course

Cory Inouye Ranch News 0 Comments

It was a fun day at the challenge course! This video was taken from the zip line platform. You have to see all the kids going up the climbing wall! Great Job! At the ranch, the challenge course is offered on Monday afternoon. The kids do the Flying Squirrel, climbing wall, Leap of Faith, Cat Walk, and of course, the Zip Line. Parents have the option of going too!

It’s so much fun watching the kids overcome and grow from the encouragement by the parents and the staff. It’s another great adventure in a safe environment. The equipment is provided for everyone but you could sure bring your climbing shoes if they’ll fit in your luggage, but they are not needed. Comfortable clothing and sneakers (or a good pair of cowboy boots) are just fine. Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen are great additions for sure! It’s also a good way to get the kids ready for the big MEGA ZIP which happens on Friday!

Become a Local on Your Vacation

Ashley Farmer Ranch News 0 Comments

  • Here at Red Horse we love inviting people from all over the world to come stay at our beautiful ranch nestled in theIdaho mountains. Likewise, people love visiting us…. over and over and over again! So much so, that they can’t help but start to become a “local.”
    This week, we would like to welcome back the Esposito family. They have been coming to Red Horse Mountain Ranch since 2008 for their family vacation and it is always exciting to see them pull up every year. We have had the privilege of creating some wonderful memories with their family and to watch them grow as riders, mountain bikers, archers, and professional relaxers!! They have become good friends of the staff here and we always look forward to their annual return. We also know, if we treat them really well, they will send us coffee as a gift when they get back home!!

    So, if you are looking to cut out the chase of finding a vacation that you don’t feel so “touristy”, a dude ranch vacation at Red Horse Mountain Ranch is your answer. You will get to know the area better, see familiar faces that are excited to see you, and get the actual “feel” of what it is like to live in this amazing part of our world.That’s why folks decide to come back to Red Horse Mountain every year. Not only do they start to become a “local” but they know they can expect a great vacation with something new to learn and try every year.


The "Sweet 6" enjoying a little friendly competition at the sporting clays range.

Cory Inouye Ranch News

We had a “blast” with the “Sweet 6” this week! Here they were enjoying having the range all to themselves. This summer, the sporting clays range is open almost every afternoon. For you shooters or those wanting to try shotgun sports for the first time, the Red Horse Mountain Ranch sporting clays range is a perfect setting for it during your ranch vacation.

Sporting Clays were developed in England as a method for preparing for the hunt, but today is a great past time in the U.S. and also can be a very competitive sport. Our range has a total of 5 stations, giving the shooter all kinds of possible targets that mimic what you’d see in the field. Action packed and exciting, it is a sure bet for an enjoyable outing.

You’ll be given instruction and will be participating in a safely controlled environment. Shooters will be provided with 20 or 12 gauge shotguns, in semi-auto, over and under, or pump configurations. Our Sporting Clay course has made good use of thick brush, steep terrain and other natural features to make the shooting both field like and realistic. Our Sporting Clays course will have everything to fit your needs, including shells, different shotguns, shooting glasses, ear protection, vests, pouches, and of course a guide and trapper. Eye and ear protection is a must!

Kids under 12 years old

The Ranch Manager, Rob Farmer, may provide instruction to children under the age of 12 provided that a parent and Rob first talk about what skills are needed beforehand. Our goal would be a simple introduction to shotgunning (along with particular safety importance) and to have a positive experience for the child. If you are interested, please contact Rob or your guide prior to setting up your activity.

Rob and Ashley Farmer with Baby Lane

Help Red Horse Welcome our New Ranch Manager Family.

Cory Inouye Ranch News

  • I have been chomping at the bit to get this out to everyone for quite sometime and I can’t be more happy.

    I am pleased to announce the promotion of Rob Farmer to the position of Ranch Manager. As Ranch Manager, Rob will take on my responsibilities for the Ranch’s daily operations and oversee guest services, food and beverage operations, housekeeping, and activities. Some of you remember Rob and his wife Ashley first coming to the ranch many years ago. Time does fly, and it’s been almost 8 years since their first summer. The ranch is so excited to have him join us in a leadership role and help us move the ranch forward once again. Rob and I have been closely working together since November of last year in getting him ready to take over daily operations.

    I first met Rob as a college grad looking for a summer job. I was actually trying to hire Ashley and as a condition of employment (she made it seem to be the case), she was adamant that I needed to hire Rob. I agreed without knowing too much about him. They both showed up as scheduled and not long after we met, I knew these two would be important to Red Horse for the future. Rob has put in years of care for the ranch and our guests. Rob and Ashley have a passion for Red Horse. They were married on the ranch a few years back and I’ll never forget both of them riding off on top of a new fly fishing raft & trailer as their big wedding gift. Needless to say, Red Horse is their home and we’re sure glad to have them. They are both excellent fly fishing guides. Rob knows what it takes to truly take care of people. He’s been someone I’ve leaned on for many years keeping the ranch running, along with a number of others. Rob also serves the local community as a volunteer EMT/fireman. He is grounded in family, fun, and doing things the right way.

    The Farmer Family has recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Lane, whom you all will be able to meet during this season. She just learned to roll over so it shouldn’t be long until she’s able to follow the footsteps of both parents and cast a fly. Ashley will be helping around the ranch as well when Baby Lane says it’s okay.

    Rob and Ashley have hearts of gold, steady patience, a willingness to learn, and are a family I trust with the ranch. They have been positive influences on the ranch for some time now and I consider both dear friends. I’ll still work with Rob and focus on a long term strategy for the ranch and keeping focus on business ends. You’ll still see me around taking out the fishing trips, up at the challenge course, and around the ranch fitting in where I’m needed. For the last decade or so I’ve spent so much energy on the ranch and making Red Horse what it is, it’s about time my family and I have a summer together. Believe it or not, I’m planning a summer family vacation. Something I have not said for decades!

    I know you’ll all love this summer at the ranch as much as I will. We have a few new things up our sleeves but mainly it’s going to be the same great ranch vacation we’ve all expected from Red Horse. Many of the great faces you remember will still be around and we’ve been lucky enough to have added some new faces you’ll love as well.

    Please help me in welcoming Rob and his family ( as the Ranch Manager with us. We can’t wait to show you how amazing this summer is going to be! Looking forward to seeing everyone! Cory

Red Horse Mountain Ranch Featured on Discover Ranches

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Discover Ranches takes you to the heart of ranches and ranch vacations, exploring the stories behind the guardians of timeless landscapes, supporters of local communities, creators of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, producers of cattle, and cultivators of award-winning food. The new international travel series features on Discover Outdoor Life, an on-line network dedicated to the outdoor and Discover Ranches was created by long-time rancher and Top50 Ranches Business owner Jody Dahl, and television producer Kerry Lambert (Food Network, Discovery Channel, The Cooking Channel, PBS).

In this episode, join Discover Ranches as they take a behind the scenes to see how Red Horse Mountain Ranch prepares its wranglers for riders of all ages and levels. Imagine the work it takes to coordinate 5000 riders of all ages in one summer season. That might seem like a challenge, but Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, makes it all look easy.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is known for its all inclusive ranch vacations, including a famous kids program for ages 3 and up. While most ranches offer pre-schoolers led rides around an arena, Red Horse actually takes them on the trails. The wranglers are the key with special skill sets and enthusiasm that goes unmatched.In addition to their riding program, the ranch offers quite a variety of activities such as zip lines, rope courses, kayaking, boat tours, yoga, climbing, biking, and much, much more.

The series’ first season will include the following ranches: The Ranch at Rock Creek, The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch, Brush Creek Ranch, Rowse’s 1+1 Ranch, Deep Canyon Guest Ranch, Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa, Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, Chico Basin Ranch, and Texas Ranch Life.

Discover Ranches sponsors include DeBruycker Charolais Ranch, Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, Top50 Ranches, Back in the Saddle, Ameripride, Ranch & Reata magazine, and Ubiquitas Design. For more information, visit Discoveroutdoorlife.comand meet some of the other ranches featured in 2015!



A Winter Day at Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Cory Inouye Ranch News 1 Comment

We’re always asked, “what goes on during the winter at the ranch?” Besides our repairs, projects, and new improvements, one of our most important items is caring for the 100+ animals living on the ranch. Go along with Kyle and Claire as they feed 1800 – 2000 lbs of hay to our 90 horses. Oh, and we’re thankful for all the hard work they did this winter taking care of our herd.

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Chasing a record fish

Cory Inouye Ranch News

The Northern Pike is a ferocious fellow. Last season the fishing trips were plagued with bent out hooks, shredded fishing lines, baits ripped from the rods, and a few decent sized Northern Pike brought to the boat. Those big ones (most likely the females) tore us up. Apparently the males are smaller and watch the brood close to shore during spring. The females are the larger of the pike.
Rarely a day came when we didn’t find the pike lurking along the shores.Chasing these “gators” on Lake Coeur d’Alene takes a bit of perseverance, but having the right gear for the job is a large part of the check list; so welearned.It took us some time to get dialed in. Finding their routine and how they move is one thing; keeping on top of it all season is quite another thing entirely.

I come from the world of fly fishing for trout; fish the “Ranch” on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake above Ashton, Idaho and you’ll quickly learn what it means to have a Phd in fly fishing. I’ve heard stories of trout circling an angler’s fly, waiting for the currents to take it under, only to see whether the offering is real or fake. I rarely pursued the trout on the “Ranch,” but the hunt always intrigued me. My time was more spent chasing trout through runs, riffles, and rapids from a drift boat. Box Canyon, Lower Mesa, and the Canyon of the South Fork I dearly still love.

IMG_0220The Northern Pike is essentially the opposite of this and it took me a while to understand the fish. In freshwater, there are few rivals to its aggressive behavior. A large pike will not only clear it’s habitat of other pike if food is scarce, but it waits for nothing and feeds charismatically on meals it’s own size. With a strike at 40 miles per hour, your gear better be ready if its a large pike your chasing. They’ll fight hard, wrap themselves in vegetation or structure, and make any angler struggle to bring in their catch. Once landed you’ll have to be careful; their mouths are like sticking your hand into a screaming table saw or blender.

The largest pike on record came from New York State in the 46lb category with a length nearing 5 feet. I’m sure Minnesota or Wisconsin folks will soon be commenting their pike have the record size; which I don’t doubt. Canada is a league all their own. The Idaho state record was recently stripped away from Lake Coeur d’Alene and now belongs to Kim Fleming whom landed a 40lb 2 oz. behemoth on a small spinner on the twin lakes just north of us. It’s length was 51″. On that day in May, Kim was fishing with 6 lb test line. I’m just guessing but I doubt Kim was out on the boat chasing the Idaho State record. I’d a love to see the battle and I guarantee there was yelling, screaming, and a few moments where the fish was more than close to getting away and becoming just a fishing story.

Too many times last season we had the rods just ripped from the boat only to never see the quarry. Too many times we had the fish shear the line within seconds of the catch. Too many times we had 30lb test line shred or leaders in the 60lb test sliced through. Every trip out we learned something new.Now that our gear is set we’re keeping tabs on Mr. Flemings record.

IMG_2207But really, just having the chance to be out there and fishing is worthy of rising up in the morning before breakfast. Lake Coeur d’Alene, the river, and the Chain Lakes are breathtaking at sunup.It’s absolutely a privilege to share this with our guests. And once or twice every summer there are those few times when no one wants to brave the early hours since they’re on vacation; I still find myself on the boat watching the day break and hoping for that run-in with infamous, “Walter”. This coming year we’ll take our photos and measure the fish.And as always, we’ll release the fish back to the lake for another day. We may or may not get the record publicly since it’ll swim away and that’s ok. Most importantly, I just can’t wait to see that kid’s eyes light up when he knows he’s chased a record fish, caught it, and let it go.

Have Special Food Preferences? No Need To Worry Here At RHMR!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

  • Here at Red Horse Mountain, our excellent kitchen staff is dedicated to serving their best dishes, whether it is a classic ranch barbeque, or an eloquent dish for our five-course dinner, the goal is to make every single guest satisfied.

    We consider and realize that people have all types of food preferences and dietary needs, and for this reason we make sure that before each of our guests arrive, we have a detailed list of their requirements, so they can enjoy every meal to their liking! Whether gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, soy free, an allergy,or a simple like or dislike, each guest can be served a special dish to fit their diet, or we will have a variety of options on our buffet. After all, who wants to go to a dude ranch, or on any vacation for that matter, and not be able to enjoy the food?! Our kitchen staff and servers will make sure that you do, regardless of any dietary restrictions.

    While we try to serve home-style food, we also like to put a bit of elegance into it, and this is something we take pride in. Lauren, our pastry chef (see past ranch news for her bio), puts a lot of work into catering to certain dietary needs. She works with our other dedicated chefs to make sure our delectable spread of food has something for everyone. It should also be mentioned that Lauren’s delicious gluten free deserts can win over even those without specific preferences!

Here is a TripAdvisor review from one of our returning guests!

This is our second trip here, and we loved it so much again, that we booked our third trip already for next year! Two of us are gluten free, dairy free, soy free. And the chefs were amazing at keeping our sons diet free of cross contamination, while providing homemade breads, scones, cookies, muffins, and desserts with EVERY meal! The food was AMAZINGLY delicious at every meal. The 5 course wine pairing meal for the adults was delicious! And the kids were off at their campfire cookout with the kids program having a blast! The chefs at every meal would check in with me, to see when my son was ready for his meal as they cooked it separate to ensure it had no contamination and was something he would eat. They were so amazing and accommodating.

Past Red Horse Mountain Guest

Horses 101: Annual Vet Checks

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Well, this past week we completed our annual vet check, and we were grateful to have all of our winter staff members there to help! While Jeannie works full time with the horses throughout the winter, we also had our part time wrangler Andrea, our maintenance guys: Jim, Rob, and Matt; our chef Lauren, our office manager Jody, and finally our ranch manager Cory up at Challenge Course Pasture helping to catch each and every horse for their annual worming, vaccination, and routine check. Here’s Jeannie and Andi helping out.

When you have a herd of 80+ horses, vet checks are extremely important! Vetting each individual horse is crucial, especially with a busy summer season approaching, as a healthy horse means a happy horse; and of course a content horse means happy guests and staff members! You may wonder, what are some key aspects that you look for when checking the health of 80 horses? This is Jody, Dr. Walker, Lauren, and Toni, Doc’s Vet Technician.

Teeth! If you aren’t well acquainted with horse biology, then you might not know that just like humans, teeth are extremely important to the health of a horse, and their teeth need maintaining much like a human needs a dentist. A horse’s front teeth cut their food, mainly grass or hay, while their molars do the grinding, this should sound familiar, except for the whole eating grass and hay bit. Here’s Rob and Magic.

This being the case, the teeth of a horse must be aligned well in order to properly digest their food. Here at Red Horse we feed our herd roughly a 70/30 mix of grass/alfalfa, generally a mild feed that allows them to get the nutrients they need. When a horse has trouble digesting their hay because of teeth alignment issues, this can lead to health problems such as colic, which can be potentially fatal to a horse. For this reason we keep a close eye on their health on a regular basis, and this also makes our extensive annual vet checks that much more important. Here’s Jim and Fancy.

If a horses teeth arent aligned and they are having health issues as a result, their teeth need to be ‘floated’, which basically means smoothing out their teeth with a file. While a horse will have its set of adult teeth by age 5, the growth of their teeth is continuous, which generally causes the alignment issues. Any signs of abnormal eating behavior or discomfort are good indicators that they need some attention! Here at Red Horse we consistently check each individual horse for mouth issues and float their teeth as needed. Preventing health problems keeps our horses happy!

Thinking About A Road Trip To RHMR? Check Out These Worthwhile Detours For Your Journey

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Mountains, beautiful freshwater rivers, massive lakes, lush green forests; and some of the best wildlife in North America: does Idaho come to mind? It should! Here at Red Horse we know how lucky we are to be located in the middle of this beautiful northwest landscape, and we want to share this with our readers. For those of us who are lucky enough to call Red Horse Mountain Ranch home, or for those fortunate guests who have shared time here with us, we know what an amazing place this is, and it wouldn’t be the same if we weren’t located here in the Idaho Pandhandle.

It is always so enjoyable to see the awe on our guest’s faces when they arrive here at the ranch, and this expression is seen from their first day, to their last day with us. Many times our guests have commented that when they imagined Idaho, they certainly underestimated its’ beauty. If you have the chance to visit us here at Red Horse and are planning on making a road trip of your vacation, see below for some great travel ideas to make the most out of your journey to Red Horse Mountain!


View of the Coeur d’Alene National Forest near Red Horse Mountain

#1: Lake Coeur d’ Alene: 49.81 square miles of beautiful blue water surrounded by green mountains, Lake CDA supports endless activities and wildlife viewing. Boating, jetskiing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, scenic hikes, and some of the best fishing in the region; these are just a few of the attractions on Lake Coeur d’Alene. While many of these activities are also offered through our all-inclusive ranch vacations, if you have a few extra days its a great place to spend some time!


Lake Coeur d’Alene

#2: Lake Pend Oreille, Farragut State Park: Spend an entire day or a few hours at Farragut State Park, on the shores of the 5th deepest lake in the United States! Farragut State Park is just 18 miles from I-90, and it is a great place to take the kids for a swim or a hike on your way to Red Horse Mountain. Kayaking is also popular on Lake Pend Oreille, as this is a great way to take in the breathtaking scenery while getting a bit of exercise!


View from the top of Schweitzer Mountain

#3: Sand Point, ID: Check out this picturesque ski resort town, eat at a great restaurant on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, or do a little shopping with your extra travel time. Sandpoint sits just a couple of hours north of Red Horse Mountain and just an hour north of Coeur d’Alene.

#4: Schweitzer Mountain Resort: Although this is a top rated resort for winter skiing and snowboarding, it is also a great place to visit in the summer. The Schweitzer Village is a great place to stop for a bite to eat or shop, but you can also take the ski lift to the top of the mountain and go for a short hike or simply enjoy the amazing view!


Schweitzer Mountain looking down at Lake Pend Oreille

#5 Glacier National Park: If you are travelling by car from the Midwest or eastern United States, Glacier National Park is just over 5 hours to the northeast of Red Horse Mountain Ranch. Experience one of the most beautiful parks in the U.S.; you may even get to see bears, mountain goats, moose, and a number of other magnificent animals that make their home in the region. If you are allowed the extra travel time on your vacation, this is definitely worth the drive!


#6 Leavenworth, WA: Driving to Red Horse Mountain Ranch from Seattle? Stop at this quaint Bavarian style town at the base of the Cascades. There are a number of activities to choose from: Shopping, fine dining, wine tasting, summer festivals, and almost any outdoor adventure you can think of from hiking to river rafting!

#7 Silver Valley, ID: Silver Valley is composed of about a 40 mile span along I-90, and if you are traveling this route there are a bunch of worthwhile stops to fill a few hours of your travel time! Check out an underground mine tour or one of the many interesting museums; as well Silver Mountain Resort, which offers a number of outdoor activities, shopping, and dining. Whether you have a few hours or an extra day or two on your way to Red Horse Mountain, Silver Valley offers several historically worthy destinations with the spirit of the West!

Wallace, Silver Valley, photo courtesy: Karin Leperi

Wallace, Silver Valley, photo courtesy: Karin Leperi

#8: Columbia River Valley Gorge: Another great route to Red Horse if you are heading here from Oregon, California, or even the Seattle area. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area is a hot-spot for salmon fishing, and has been inhabited for nearly 13,000 years. Carving its way through the beautiful Cascades, this route comprises amazing mountain scenery, from temperate rainforest to grassland; as well as the abundant wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for a longer, more scenic route on your way east to Red Horse, you wont be disappointed with the Columbia River Valley., Columbia River Valley Gorge

#9 Yellowstone National Park: Established in 1872 and perhaps the most famous of national parks, Yellowstone exhibits the beautiful wilderness and geology of the northwest. Mainly located in Wyoming, but also extending into Montana and Idaho, this is a great and popular detour for those Red Horse guests making the road trip out to the ranch from almost anywhere in eastern half of the United States.

Thanks for checking out the Ranch News, and hopefully this was another helpful post for those opting to make the most of their trip to Red Horse Mountain!

Multi-Generational Vacations At Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Dude ranches are an amazing place for a family to grow closer, especially when it comes to family reunions or a parent-child vacation, but sometimes this can be hard to organize as people lead busy lives! Family members can enjoy time here together even if a full-scale reunion isn’t possible. In today’s hectic world, people of all ages have jam-packed schedules of work, school, sports, and anything else that may get in the way of some peaceful relaxation in the outdoors with loved ones. Multi-generational vacations at Red Horse Mountain Ranch are a great way for family members to share some quality time together.

blog2Here at Red Horse it is a joy to see this, as many of our guests, new and returning, spend the week strengthening bonds, friendships, and relationships. This can be hard to do to in day-to day life, especially if your loved ones live a distance away. One of the greatest things about our ranch is that there is something great for all ages, so parents, grandparents, young adults, teenagers, and children always end the week not wanting to leave. It is a great place to take a grandchild, niece, or nephew, or for a father-son/mother-daughter trip (and vis versa of course). Anyways, it is quite possible that the word ‘bored’ has never been spoken on the ranch no matter the age group!
All meals are eaten family style in our rustic dining room, and this is one of the many wonderful aspects of a ranch that people take home with them, especially for those who may not have the chance to do this with their daily schedules. It seems as though sitting down for a meal as a family can be a rarity at times! Although it may seem simple, we value this part of a dude ranch a great deal (and the food!), as it creates such a common place for people to catch up with relatives or friends, and for our guests to become closer as well.

Thanks for reading! Here are a few reasons from TripAdvisor as to why people enjoyed their multi-generational vacations:


Littlecowboys“I cannot think of enough superlatives to describe our experience. My daughter (a teenager, mind you) still refers to this as her best vacation ever. Horseback riding, skeet shooting, mountain biking, and archery, topped off with fantastic food and amazing staff. From the time we got picked up at the airport, to the cook to each of the ranch hands, we were treated with respect, kindness and just the right amount of familiarity.” Guest, 2012, LA

“We traveled with my in-laws and our three daughters. AGES 13, 10 & 7. Let me start off by saying we have been VERY blessed in our travels over the years. We have been EVERYWHERE from Hawaii-to Europe, The Caribbean to California, Beach vacations and Mountain trips. This was the ONLY place that entertained an entire family.” Jim Breuer, guest 2012

“The best part of all these activities is that we participated together in more than half of them. At breakfast, lunch and dinner, we sat together every single day. Families become that much closer when they all sit down at mealtime. This is something we hardly ever do nowadays.” – Former Governor of Puerto Rico, who spent the week here with his sons and teenage grandsons.

Red Horse Mountain Staff: Meet Sarah Dunbar, Wrangler and Guide

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Sarah has been here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch for several years as a seasonal and year-round wrangler, and she has a unique bond with horses. When guests come to the ranch and head out on trail rides, they expect knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides, and that’s what they’ll get with our wranglers! Sarah has a great way of sharing her horse knowledge, and this not only spurs fun and great conversations, but it also makes a few horse-shy guests feel at ease. She has been working with horses for over 11 years, and her career began at age 16 by learning pole bending, relay racing, and barrel racing; she also spent time as a horsemanship instructor and trail guide.

A couple of years later, Sarah got her personal horse, Hawk, and the two have been bonding ever since. Shortly after her newfound friendship with Hawk began, she continued trail guiding in Stehekin, WA, before finding her way to beautiful northern Idaho, to apprentice with Kathi (she and her son Danny are the RHM farriers); and now we are lucky to have her as a wrangler! Sarah not only guides trail rides, but she teaches arena lessons, and guides many other activities such as hiking, kayaking, and challenge course.

What are some of the things you have learned from your experience regarding horsemanship?

An important point in learning natural horsemanship for me was when I realized how it changed the way I think when interacting with a horse. There is no right or wrong way. I just love how it refocuses my intent. For example, instead of trying to “make” the horse do something, I like to think of creative and fun ways to get the horse to “want” to do something, such as crossing a creek. Also, I find it a lot less stressful to think of giving a shot or paste wormer as doing these things “for” the horse rather than “to” the horse, and by helping them get comfortable with me by gently poking their neck, or having my fingers in their mouth first. Horses can sense your intention while your approaching them. Hawk and I learn a lot from trial and error, but mostly from just spending ALL my free time with him. I trailer him to every job I go to, and if the job doesn’t allow my horse, I wont take it.

What is your favorite part about working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch?

My favorite part of Red Horse is the variety of activities. Working at the ranch has seriously brought me out of my shell. Horses used to be the ONLY thing I did. Challenge Course, I believe, comes second to the horses. That is something I never thought I could do before Red Horse. It’s so fun to see people come around and get past their fear the same way I did when I began learning “the ropes‚Äù, and to see them beaming with joy afterwards! Time flies when I get to be up there because I enjoy it!

What advice would you give to a first-time ranch goer, or a guest that hasn’t had much horse experience?

My advice to someone just getting into horses, or who is riding for the first time, would be don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you aren’t sure of something whether it’s about riding or horse behavior, ask. You should be comfortable and relaxed. Any horse that is allowed to carry a beginner rider should be quite capable of taking pretty good care of that person. And don’t be afraid of wearing chaps to stay dry and warm, or a helmet for safety.

The guests always enjoy your morning hikes and come back to share things they learned from you along the way, what is your favorite aspect of hiking here at Red Horse?

I used to be that person that never hiked because “I RIDE HORSES!”. But I’m addicted to it now. I mean, what’s better than getting paid to walk around in the woods, take pictures of the scenery and share the local flora with friends? The adrenaline rush of hiking up a good mountain is just as good as, if not better than a cup of coffee at 7:30am. What’s super cool is when the return guests come back and point out a plant or flower that they learned from one of my hikes the previous year!

What are some of the key points that you include in your horseback lessons here at the ranch?

Horseback lessons can be quite satisfying to me to watch a principle sink in and click. The majority of lessons I teach are beginner lessons. Though, I really enjoy the more advanced ones too. In my lessons I just like to see that horse and rider understand each other. That the basic start, turn, speed up, slow down, and stop are quiet and not jerky. I like to see the rider relaxed but not riding like a “sack of potatoes”, because a horse doesn’t like that and it leaves them sore. Also, it is important that the horse and rider match each other in skill level and personality=horseanality.

Thanks Sarah for sharing your horse knowledge and insight regarding your work here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch!

Horses 101: Ten Horsemanship Tips For A First-Time Ranch Goer

Cory Inouye Ranch News

When our guests arrive at the tack barn for their first ride of the week on Monday mornings, they are always excited to meet their assigned horse! While some of our guests may already be experienced and advanced, it is a first time for many, and some might be a little unsure about their experience with horses. We always pair each individual rider with a specific horse, one that will make the most comfortable experience out on the trails. It is always important to put aside shyness and let your wranglers know if you are a bit uneasy around horses, as it will make it easier for them to help! There are a few things about horsemanship that can make a new riders experience here at Red Horse Mountain much more enjoyable, and gaining more knowledge can also help to build a better relationship between you and your horse throughout the week. These tips are meant as a guide, but your stay at Red Horse will for the most part be guided by your wranglers!

Tip #1: One of the most important things to know and understand is that horses have a unique way of seeing the world. Their vision is crucial to understanding how to handle them, and respecting their sensitive eyesight can help a great deal. When approaching your horse for the first time, pet them on their neck or back first, they will appreciate this!

Horses2Tip#2: When maneuvering around a standing horse, either stay close enough to let them know your presence, such as keeping a gentle hand on them, or keep a good distance, some horses can be particular about their personal space, just like humans.

Tip #3: Don’t worry and relax! As far as the horse you might be paired with here at Red Horse, it isn’t their first rodeo! Although you are in charge, they know the routine, so have confidence in this magnificent animal.

Tip #4: When horseback riding on one of our beautiful scenic routes, keep your eyes on the trail (specifically for trotting or cantering). When driving a car, you keep your eyes on the road, and the same goes with horses! In addition, horses can sense nervous glances, so if they know you are confident, they will be too. Horses are quite keen on detecting body language.

Horse5Tip #5: Balance! Keep your center of gravity, well‚Ķcentered! Good posture in the saddle, as well as making sure you are not unintentionally leaning form one side to the other can make a big difference in your comfort. And again, your horse knows what they are doing!

Tip#6: This relates a bit to #5, but keep your seat bones in the saddle, if you let yourself slide around, balance can be a bit difficult. When going up a steep slope, shift your center of gravity forward, when going down a slope, do the opposite. After your first day of riding, you’ll have the hang of it!

Tip #7: We use Neck Reining here at Red Horse, which is a type of directional steering that involves the weight of the rein and slight pressure, and is used in both western and English riding. It basically involves simply holding the rein on one side of the horse, depending on the desired direction; this can be done with one hand. Your horse will simply turn away from the pressure of the rein. Direct Reining, on the other hand, is more of a pull, and it not normally necessary for well-trained horses, so resist the urge to tug on the reins!

Horses3Tip #8: Jeannie, one of our lead wranglers, had some advice for this one:

‚ÄúIf your butt hurts, your stirrups are too long. If your knees hurt, your stirrups are too short. If your butt and your knees hurt, they should be just right!‚Äù Essentially, if something doesn’t feel right, just let your wranglers know, it’s usually an easy fix! (our morning yoga and stretching can always help too)

Tip#9: While horses are very sensitive to your body language, there are things that you can pick up on about theirs as well. Some horses are just determined to be first, but try to keep a horse length between you and the horse in front of you. This also ties in with their ears: if a horse is uncomfortable or irritated about something, they will put their ears back. Most likely it is the horse in front or behind yours that is following too closely, again an easy fix.

Tip #10: Perhaps most important, have fun and enjoy being out in the wilderness with these amazing animals! Also, don’t be afraid to ask the kitchen staff for an apple or a couple of carrots for your loyal horse.

Thanks for reading about how your horseback riding experience at Red Horse Mountain Ranch can be more enjoyable, our wranglers and horses are excited to meet you!

Red Horse Mountain: The History Of A Dude Ranch

Cory Inouye Ranch News

This post is dedicated to the rich history of Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch, as it represents over 100 years of transformation that made Red Horse what it is today! While thousands of people embark on all-inclusive dude ranch vacations every year, its possible that many forget to ponder how most ranches were founded: by brave and adventurous settlers who were looking for adventure, a new life out west, and of course the timeless necessity to make a living. When it comes to our region and the historical western expansion, the hardy wilderness of northern Idaho perhaps prolonged settlement in our area while people flooded the rest of the west.

For this reason, homesteaders didn’t venture to these parts until the late 1800’s. Why then, you ask? Gold of course! Equally important was silver; but also timber, furs, and any other commodity one might find when they come to a region of pristine forests, lakes, and diverse geology. When settlers arrived in the area, they were met by the Coeur d’ Alene Tribe, or ‚Äúsharpen hearts‚Äù, named so by their clever and knowledgeable trading abilities. They are considered the original settlers, as they had been surviving in the area for thousands of years. While these early encounters comprise another fascinating piece of history, lets get back to Red Horse Mountain!

The true origins of our ranch began with the Red Horse Gold Mine, at the foot of Red Horse Mountain. Previously, our valley was the perfect location for Native American tribes to make winter camps, whether for the season, or just traveling through. It is also said that in these early mining times, our valley provided the perfect hideout for horse thieves, as they could hide out in the valley and keep watch on the surrounding peaks. While the boom of the mine didn’t last, its remnants still exist today.


Miners at the Red Horse Gold Mine

Red Horse Mountain Gold Mine not only brought prospectors, but also homesteaders that were looking for a new life amid this amazing terrain. John Nederhood was one such homesteader, and he made his home here in the Red Horse valley in 1904 with his wife, Mirtle.For those who have been to our ranch, it is a wonder to think what it must have been like in the early 1900’s to make the arduous trip to this location, and to find, upon arrival, such a beautiful place!


John Nederhood, wife Mirtle, and child Maude

While it was originally the homestead of the Nederhood family, Red Horse became active as a ranch in the 1920s. Since then, the name and use of our ranch has transformed several times. It was previously owned by Lloyd Jones, and was part of his Bar-be-que Ranch, one of the first dude ranches in the region. With its secluded and unspoiled landscape, our location was the perfect place for Timber Ridge Ranch, a cattle ranch that was also a Christian dude ranch for those looking to gain some perspective in the wilderness. Timber Ridge was eventually purchased by a couple that searched for years looking for the perfect location for a dude ranch, a place where they could share their love of nature. They picked a good spot! In 1992, they named it Hidden Creek, and spent a year building new rustic cabins and getting the place ready to become a guest ranch. (wow, was that really 20 years ago?) Red Horse Mountain Ranch took over in 2005, and we are still representing the spirit and values of the west, as well as the appreciation of unspoiled wilderness.

Thanks for reading about the brief history of Red Horse Mountain, as it is always part of a true western experience! Belowis a picture of the old barn, one of the orignial ranch structures. (You can also see it as it is today in the thumbnail above)


Early 1900’s, original barn


2013, ‘The Old Barn’

Tubbs Hill Nature Park, Coeur D’Alene: A Fun Stop On Your Way To Red Horse Mountain!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Looking for something to do on your way to Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch? The scenic city of Coeur D’ Alene has a lot to offer, and if you are heading to Red Horse, it’s right on your way! So if you have time to do some exploring en route to the ranch, and are up for a beautiful leisure hike, check out Tubbs Hill. Located on the peninsula adjacent to the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Tubbs Hill Nature Park is referred to as an ‚Äòurban wilderness’, as this natural setting has been preserved despite its close location to downtown CDA. 

At Tubbs Hill Nature Park there are 135 acres that support a number of trails that can give you a taste of Idaho wilderness in just an hour or two. You can even opt for a short 20-30 walk and experience the beauty of Tubbs. Meander on these trails through a majestic green forest, immense rock outcroppings and caves, and even make your way down to the water where there are several beaches where you can go for a swim or simply enjoy the view of Lake Coeur D’Alene. It is also a popular place for locals to jump off the rocks and cool off on a hot summer day, and you may want to join! Tubbs Hill is also known for its diverse plant life, particularly gorgeous wildflowers, and there is excellent bird watching as well. Over the past century, there have been attempts to buy the land for commercial development, but thanks to the passion of those who thought it should be preserved, we can still enjoy it as a natural wonder today.

Tubbs Hill, 1890, North Idaho Museum

Tubbs Hill, 1890, North Idaho Museum

If you have more than a couple hours, don’t worry, because the historic main street in CDA and a 16.5 acre beach and city park are right next to the peninsula. Sherman Avenue, the central street, has an abundance of restaurants, cafes, and unique shops to venture into! The Coeur D’ Alene Beach and City Park are right next door, a popular place for travelers and locals alike, and a great place to spend the day in the sun with your family to enjoy the beauty of northern Idaho.



Thanks for reading about Tubbs Hill Nature Park, you can check out the historic details at, we hope you get to visit this great place on your way to Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch!

Historic Harrison, A Great Place To Visit Near Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Harrison, 1910, Crane Historical Society

Harrison, 1910, Crane Historical Society

If you haven’t been lucky enough to venture to Red Horse Mountain Ranch, or Harrison, ID, then you don’t know what your missing! The quaint town of Harrison has a rich history that can still be seen today. The sense of hard work and community from which it was founded on is still represented in the culture of the locals and the 20 historical buildings that remain, eight of which are on the National Historic Register. The town of Harrison is a wonderful reminder of the western frontier spirit, as it was established by brave settlers who persevered through floods, fires, and of course the rugged and breathtaking wilderness of northern Idaho!

Harrison is located on Lake Coeur d’ Alene and adjacent to the CDA River, and was officially incorporated in the early 1890’s; settlers quickly prospered from the resources of the area. Today, much of the Coeur d’Alene region still remains largely wilderness; it is truly important to remember the
first settlers that were able to make permanent homes here, and it is also quite a miraculous feat! It didn’t take long for the town to become a major transportation hot spot that fed the logging and mining industries after gold and silver were discovered in Silver Valley, a nearby mining region. It took only 12 years for it to grow to 2,000 residents, a significant population for northern Idaho in the 1800’s. After becoming the largest city on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, and also having survived a devastating fire in 1917, Harrison settled down and eventually molded into the laid-back town it is today.

Harrison marina, photo by Dave Cope

One of the greatest things about Harrison is the sense of community that has been built on over 100 years of culture and tradition. Community events such as the Fourth of July, the Old Timers Picnic, or the Annual Classic Car Show, still bring local residents and travelers together in this unique setting. While it remains a peaceful and picturesque destination, it shouldn’t be overlooked that there are many exciting outdoor opportunities. It seems as though the passion for adventure from its’ original settlers has survived!

Harrison is a great stop for motorcyclists as well! photo by Steve Prueher

Harrison is a great stop for motorcyclists as well! photo by Steve Prueher

Once a hub for transportation, Harrison now has a reputation for its’ water sports, access to the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and also as a great stop for boaters. The beauty of Lake Coeur d’ Alene can be enjoyed in countless ways: kayaking, jet skiing, boating, tubing, canoeing, fishing, paddle-boarding, and biking (not to mention the delicious ice cream from the Harrison Creamery!). Red Horse Mountain Ranch also offers a guided trip along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes; the spectacular bike trail that spans 72 miles and offers a glimpse at some majestic northwest wildlife and scenery you can’t find anywhere else. Several types of bicycles can be rented at Harrison’s Pedal Pushers, whether you are an avid biker, or simply looking for some outdoor fun on a beautiful summer day.

Thanks for learning about Harrison, as it is truly a piece of history that means a lot to Red Horse, and for all those who have ventured to these parts. Check out the City of Harrison and Chamber of Commerce websites for details about fun things to do while visiting. We hope that you can make the trip to this notable town, and of course Red Horse Mountain Ranch!

It’s Time To Add New Horses To RHMR! Learn About How We Pick Our Trail Horses

Cory Inouye Ranch News

DSCF5975Here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch we are celebrating the New Year and looking forward to the upcoming season, and it’s time to start introducing some new horses to the ranch! Over the next few months we will be searching the northwest for the perfect trail horses that will fitright in with our herd here at the ranch. Choosing a horse requires extensive knowledge, intuition, and riding experience.

While to some, it may seem that a trail horse might require less training than say, an arena horse, but this is not the case! Trail horses need excellent balance and athleticism as trails have all types of obstacles and rough surfaces that our wranglers and guests will encounter. This is western wilderness, after all, and ya never know what’s going to be around the next corner.DSCF5554

Our ranch is nestled in a valley surrounded by beautiful green mountains, with segments of quite steep and rocky trails, and many creek beds that require crossing. Our horses need to be ready and capable of traversing this terrain in a safe manner, and therefore we must be mindful about the horses we choose. Dan Aadland, author of The Complete Trail Horse, summed up our ideal horse when he wrote:

“The complete trail horse is the ultimate equine generalist. He is, in every respect, what mankind from ancient times until today has sought as the saddle horse; horseback transportation that is tough, enduring, and comfortable.”

DSCF6068Comfortable is the key word, and finding the right horse also means that our wranglers and guests are going to have a blast on the trail! Here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch, we buy a variety of horses that are ideal for trail riding, from Quarters, Paints, Appaloosas, to Arabians. So, what does finding the right horse involve, and what kind of questions do you ask when buying a horse? A great deal of research is the start to finding the right pick, as the horse market is extensive and diverse. The age-range of each specific horse we look at is also important, as we purchase older horses for our young cowboys and girls, as well as younger horses that adults and more experienced riders will be comfortable with. After finding a horse that seems like the right fit there are many questions to be asked about the prospect, from general questions such as why the horse is being sold, the owners history with horses, to specific questions about Kids Program at Red Horse Mountain Ranchhooves, shoes, and eyesight.

There are countless pieces of information that tell about a horse’s health history, eating habits, temperament, experience, breeding; when any one of these questions reveals a red flag about the horses health or temperament, then it may not be a fit for Red Horse. Oh, and perhaps most important, they must be sure-footed! When the perfect horse is found, our staff brings them back to the ranch where they can begin to assimilate with the herd. It is truly an exciting process, and we can’t wait to meet our new additions, and for them to meet our guests this summer, happy trails!

Meet Andi Bordelon, An Area Local And Wrangler Here At RHMR

Cory Inouye Ranch News


Andi and her black lab, Bohdi

Andi has been a wrangler here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch for the past two years, going on three, and she has some great reasons as to why she loves this place! Andi has spent most of her life around horses and found her passion for these magnificent animals at a young age. She started 4H and got her first horse at the age of 9, and has been hooked ever since! She has done horse shows, trained several horses, and competed in barrel racing and other timed events before finding her calling here at Red Horse, a perfect fit as trail riding has always been her favorite.

Here at RHMR, it is important to us that all of our wranglers are passionate about what they do to make our guests feel welcome, and to have a blast doing it! Andi is a perfect example of this as she lives and breaths ranch life! She isn’t just here in the summer guiding trail rides, singing and playing her guitar, and guiding our many outdoor activities, but she lives on the ranch in the winter and helps take care of our herd and purchase new horses, something that takes a lot of horse knowledge and experience. In addition, as a local, she knows and appreciates how amazing this place is and the joy it brings to all those that venture here. Read more below about Andi’s experiences in northern Idaho and about her job at Red Horse Mountain!

How long have you lived in the Coeur d’Alene area? What do you love most about it?

—Ive lived in CDA for 16 years now, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love the four seasons, love the lakes, trees, everything that makes the backdrop for the area. It’s super hard to not take it for granted.

What interested you in working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch?

—Betty, a RHMR housekeeper came out to look at a horse I had for sale. When I asked what he would be used for if she boughthim, she told me all about the ranch. I was down at college in MT when I applied and took the job immediately. I was excited to move back home.

What is your favorite aspect of working at the ranch?

—There’s a lot! Of course, I love the horses. The herd is so cool…to know each and every one of the horses is pretty special. I like to have conversations with them all the time. But always, the guests. It’s fun to see returning families and the never-ending smiles. When people arehaving fun, it’s the best. There’s no way you can’t have fun when they are.

Whether it is guiding a hike, kayaking, archery, etc., what is your favorite activity outside of riding?

—I really enjoy hiking and the water sports. Like I said, they are all pretty fun when you see that the guests are lovin it.

What is the most rewarding part about working with horses and taking the guests out on the trails?261905_229609787073574_5458339_n

–It’s everyday that I see someone’s reaction to a horse sneeze, or answer a question about why they rest their foot. I forget sometimes that my lifestyle is quite possibly far from theirs, and it’s just rewarding to see that people are having fun and making a connection with this huge intimidating animal. Seeing them progress throughout the week is awesome.

What would you say is an important thing to know about horses for a less experienced rider when coming to a dude ranch?

—Confidence. It’s okay to not know what to do! Your horse does, so just some confidence in the saddle and a little kick for encouragement isall they need. (Maybe a few wide stance squats before the vacation too…it may help with a sore butt at the end of the first ride)

As you know, a favorite activity at the ranch is the evening campires and listening to you,Tom Lamb, and our other musical staff members play amazing music. How long have you been singing and playing guitar and what do you enjoy most about playing music for the guests here at Red Horse?

—About 4 years. It was a Christmas gift, so I just picked it up and have been plucking on it ever since! Its no surprisethat I am still quite nervous playing in front of people. This season, people were SO gracious sitting around thatcampfire listening. I couldn’t havedone it without Tom and Gina.

Bohdi on the Gator, at work with mom!

Bohdi on the Gator, at work with mom!

With a herd of around 80 horses, is it possible to pick a favorite?

—My personal horse, Majik, is my favorite of course. I’ve had him for 13 years now! Ranch owned favorite horse….Remington.He was new tothe ranch when I was new, and he was the first horse I rode in the whole herd. It’s been love at first site from then on.

Favorite ranch food(s)?

—Ana, a kid’s counselor last summer, called me Food Monster Andi. That should pretty much explain my love for food here at Red Horse.

A big thanks to Andi for giving her insight into the life of a wrangler here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch! Check back for more staff bios!

Springston Bridge: A Piece of Harrison History Near Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Cory Inouye Ranch News

While Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch remains to this day an excellent all-inclusive vacation destination in its beautiful mountain setting, there is a great deal of history involving the surrounding area! There will be more to come on the interesting history of the ranch itself, but this focuses on the picturesque Springston Bridge near Red Horse that to this day is the remaining representation of a booming lumber town. At the location of the bridge there was a town previously known as Anderson. Just a few miles from Harrison and nestled at the base of Anderson Mountain, it was located on the Coeur d’ Alene River adjacent to Anderson Lake, one of many lakes that surround Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

For all of our guests that opted for the afternoon pontoon ride down the river to experience the amazing scenery, wildlife, and ice cream from the Harrison Creamery, they know it well! The bridge is also a popular place for boaters and those brave enough to cool off in the chilly river on a hot summer day.

The old Springston Bridge with adjacent float houses, common back then. Photo courtesy of John D. Pugh's 'Springston Idaho 1900-2003', Below a modern float house on the Coeur d' Alene River

The old Springston Bridge with adjacent float houses, common back then. Photo courtesy of John D. Pugh’s ‘Springston Idaho 1900-2003′, Below a modern float house on the Coeur d’ Alene River

To all those who have had the privilege of visiting or working at our ranch, they have surely ventured down the BlueLake Road route to our valleythat passes the historic Springston Bridge, with a scenic view of the Coeur D’Alene River. Springston was founded in 1900 during the lumber and gold mining boom under the Springston Lumber Company, and later the Russel and Pugh Lumber Company. This small town has left its footprints near Harrison that can still be seen today.

One of our guests having fun on the bike trail!

One of our guests having fun on the bike trail!

The railroad that once passed through it now exists as a trailhead to the gorgeous 73-mile Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes. This well-kept bike trail is a popular activity for our guests as they get the chance to bike along the river and view the protected wildlife of northern Idaho, particularly magnificent birds of prey and moose!

In addition, the oldwooden hull of the ‚ÄòGolden Star’, one of the company’s stealthy tugboats, can still be seen on the banks of the river next to Springston Bridge. Adventurous settlers made this their home during the peak of the Springston Lumber company, creating homesteads around Harrison and even living on float houses!

The quaint town of Harrison near Red Horse Mountain Ranch and the Springston Bridge remain as rich historical reminders that today’s amazing dude ranch destinations DSCF5943were founded on true stories of homesteading by adventurous settlers with a passion for the Wild West. Arguably the very heart and sole of a dude ranch! Thanks for appreciatingthe history of the area that is home to Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch, and stay tuned for more about the founding of Red Horse!

Get A Glimpse At Our Kids Program From One Of Our Wranglers: Ana!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

One of the best things about a dude ranch vacation is that kids from all over the country and the world get to come and be little cowboys and cowgirls for a week at Red Horse Mountain Ranch. Our Kids Program here at Red Horse is dedicated to making it the most exciting week possible for the lucky kids vacationing here. Not only do they get to experience horseback riding on our beautiful trails, but they get a chance to try out our climbing wall, kayaking, fishing, pottery barn, our Mega Zip, and much more! The kids have a blast under the watch of our wranglers, playing games and making friends that last beyond their vacation. Ana Baggiano, one of our Kid’s Wranglers, had a blast this summer as a part of the Kids Program.

Ana, originally from Charlottesville, VA, earned a degree in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the College of Wooster in Ohio. Before arriving at Red Horse Mountain Ranch, she worked as a children’s ski instructor at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado. Prior to working as a ski instructor, Ana worked as an environmental educator at Casper Mountain Science school through the Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps, where she helped educate young kids about nature and the ecology of Casper Mountain. Ana also spent several years as a summer camp counselor, and needless to say she found a perfect niche here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch! Check out her interview for a closer look at our Kids Program and what it takes to be a kids wrangler here at Red Horse.

What do you love most about working with kids?

Aside from getting paid to play, I think what I love most about working with kids is learning something new every single day. The kids I work with inspire me, they teach me new things, and help me see the world from new and different perspectives.

What was your favorite activity with the kids?

Though Thursday night Wine Dinners were long days for me, some of my fondest memories in the Kids Program were those Kids’ Night Outs. Friendship bracelets are definitely one of my fortes, and as silly as it sounds, teaching the kids how to make them was one of my favorite activities. Seeing a child or teen put down their cell phone to make a bracelet for their new ranch friend and engage in stories and talent shows around the campfire was a very cool experience for me.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working the kids program at red horse?

I kind of mentioned this earlier, but putting aside technology to connect with nature and animals was the most rewarding aspect of working in the Kids Program at Red Horse. By the end of the week, the kids would be swimming in the pond, connecting with their horse, or running around outside with their new ranch friends.

Was it hard to leave the kids at the end of the week?

Yes, there were some kids who I honestly think fell in love with Red Horse, and saying goodbye to them as their eyes welled up with tears was really difficult. There were also some children I think I really kind of connected with, and saying goodbye to them after only six days together seemed almost cruel. Red Horse is much more than a vacation for most of our guests, adults and children a like, and I like to think that all of our guests’ take away something positive, something that they will carry with themselves for years to come. Well, at least a fond memory that will last them until their return to the ranch :).

What was your favorite nightly activity?

What can I say, I’m a karaoke queen…the microphone just seems to somehow fall into my hands. Just call me Ana “Eminem” Baggiano.

Do you have a favorite horse?

Hands down, Poco is my favorite. He is such a handsome man! As a kid’s wrangler, we never go past a trot and Poco’s got the smoothest trot of them all. He may not be the fastest horse but I love him just the way he is!

As always, what is your favorite food at RHMR?

Mashed potatoes are one of my absolute favorite foods so I obviously loved when Steve made them with the herb roasted chicken…om nom nom! Lauren’s chocolate chip muffins and snickerdoodles are two more of my weaknesses… really, anything Lauren makes. Mmm, and I love Steve’s crabcakes, steelhead with crispy shallots, cliantro lime shrimp– the list goes on and on.

Thanks to Ana for her incite into what our Kids Program is like for our wranglers and kids here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch!

Horses 101: Raising Baby Kahlua!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

A continuation from Horses 101, this post is all about appreciating horses, and here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch we feel that learning more about them is another way to make your experience at a dude ranch the best it can be! Learning about all aspects of horse care can make any rider appreciate their horse that much more. Just before our 2012 season, we were given the amazing gift of a baby horse named Kahlua. Kahlua was a big hit all summer, not only did she excite the kids but she also captivated the adults that fell in love with her and her mother. As our guests and staff made their way to the tack barn every day for their rides, they got to walk past the pair and say hello, and although Kahlua was a little shy at first, she came around quite quickly as an outgoing little filly!

While Kahlua provided a lot of joy for our guests this summer at Red Horse Mountain Ranch, it is important to know that taking care of a yearling requires a lot of effort, and our staff worked hard to make Kahlua assimilate well to her new home! Just like humans, socialization is a crucial part of a little filly or colts development. Kahlua spent the summer and fall in a pen with her mother, learning how to behave like a horse! Having other horses surrounding her in the adjacent 553671_433035886730962_618577880_npens also helped her to observe other horses interacting and made her comfortable in the corral. While being around other horses is essential for behavioral development, spending time with humans is just as important! Our staff spent a great deal of time getting to know Kahlua and getting her used to being handled by people, taking her for walks and short runs in the pasture with her mom, and simply spending time in the pen with her, it also helped that she was so popular with our guests. Exercise is extremely important for a rapidly growing horse!

Another aspect of horse socialization involves getting the horse accustomed to having its hooves handled and trimmed at an early age, especially with their rapid growth. That’s why we had our farriers spend time with Kahlua as well, and although she was a bit reluctant, they began to give her regular trimmings and help make her comfortable with this routine. This is also important for later in life when regular shoeing and trimming is required, and helps them feel a bit more comfortable if there are vetting needs that calls for the handling of their hooves or legs.

539730_433025446732006_326898226_nGetting baby Kahlua accustomed to wearing a halter was also a major part of getting her ready for ranch life. A properly fitted halter for such a young horse is extremely important, as it is their first introduction to wearing one and being handled in this manner by their owners. A horse that has not been halter broken at a young age may be quite difficult to train if introduced at an older age, however baby Kahlua proved to be quite cooperative! All of these interactions build bonds that also help in the weening process and to make it less traumatic for the foal.

While raising a new filly or colt may require a lot work, time, and love, it is extremely rewarding to see them grow and become the social animal that they were meant to be! Kahlua is now spending her first winter enjoying the snow and socializing with some of our older horses, still learning, but not quite ready to join the herd. Thanks to Kahlua and her mom Bailey for allowing many to observe and enjoy this great experience, and we look forward to being able to continue to watch her grow!

Kahlua taking a rest on a snowy day at the ranch this December, shes quite a bit bigger!

Kahlua taking a rest on a snowy day at the ranch this December, shes quite a bit bigger!

Get a Taste of Our 5-Course Wine Dinner Here at Red Horse Mountain

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Imagine an event packed week of riding, activities such as kayaking, hiking, or fishing, and nights full of fun at musical campfires and singing at the saloon. Here at Red Horse Mountain this jam-packed week is topped off with a gourmet wine dinner, adding an elegant twist to an adventurous week at one of the top dude ranches in the west. At Red Horse Mountain you will find yourself getting closer to your family and loved ones as you sit down together for every meal, and our end of the week wine dinner is the perfect way to end the week! It also gives the adults a chance to enjoy some wine and courses that are served beautifully plated, while the kids have a blast playing games at campfire meadow and enjoying their own meal of homemade mac & cheese and chicken tenders. So, what does a 5-course dinner at a dude ranch consist of?

On the menu…

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Amaretto Creme Fraiche and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Fennel Salad with Mixed Greens, Orange Segments, Dried Cranberries, and Orange Vinaigrette550701_432412830126601_1363271703_n

Pan Seared Steelhead Trout served over Wilted Spinach with Brown Butter Sauce and Crispy Shallots

Thyme Roasted Beef Shoulder Tender with Fingerling Potatoes, Broccolini, and Huckleberry Demi Glace

Last but not least, Tiramisu!

This is a delicious example of our wine dinner menu, but chefs Steve and Lauren also love to switch it up! Oh, and we can’t forget about the wine! After enjoying an hour or so of wine tasting paired with gourmet cheeses, your meal begins with a glass of Champaign that will be waiting for you at our carefully set tables. For each course, individually brought out to your setting, you can enjoy a wine specifically paired for the menu. To top it off, your meal is also served with Lauren’s delicious homemade bread (a staff favorite!).

Here are a few thoughts from our chefs Lauren and Steve about 5-Course:

Wine night was great because everyone just got together in a fine dining setting, let loose, and enjoyed great wines, food, and 381329_10151163511303905_1287049299_nstories. The vibe on wine night, from happy hour right on to the end, was just awesome to be a part of. It was so humbling when the guests would invite Lauren, Laura, and I to the dining room after wine dinner and give us a standing ovation. -Steve

We’ve had several seasonal chefs over the years; the wine dinner is really our night to share our passion for food. The chef has a lot of creative freedom with the menu and I love to see what they come up with, week after week. Each chef’s style is different; I love to see how they decide to plate and present each dish and to taste how all the flavors come together and how the food pairs with the wine we have chosen.Food is communal; it brings people together. I grew up in a very tight-knit extended family. We were so close because we all (grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) came together for family meals on a regular basis. When the family is gathered around the table, we become involved in each other’s lives and our relationships are strengthened. -Lauren

Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch: A Unique Environmental Experience

Cory Inouye Ranch News

While there are many dude ranches around the country, RHMR offers guests a chance to take a break from the busyness of society by spending time out in the wilderness! It is always important for families and loved ones, especially children, to experience the outdoors away from video games and laptops. Technology is something that can keep people from really enjoying a vacation, and here at Red Horse it is something that allows our guests to be out in nature and focus on being with their families or significant other. Many people are surprised to see that we have no cell phone service! Although it is possible to catch a text or two up at our 63-foot rock-climbing wall, you can plan on taking a break from the obligation of your cell phone, and this is one of the many satisfying aspects of venturing down a new path! While our cell service may be limited, make sure to check out our amenities to learn what else we have to offer.

DSC01739Environmental tourism as well as Agritourism are on the rise, and Red Horse Mountain Ranch is an excellent location for those looking for perhaps something more meaningful than the traditional family vacation! Here at Red Horse we greatly appreciate our guests that come here to explore northern Idaho and recognize the value of nature away from the city. Previously Hidden Creek Ranch, Red Horse was founded on environmental principles and conservation, and for years we have upheld this philosophy. By cooperating with the BLM and the National Forest Service, the beauty of our valley and the surrounding mountains has remained for future generations!

In our cabins you can find environmentally friendly soap, shampoo, and lotion dispensers that eliminate a large amount of plastic use from disposable bottles. Our kitchen is outfitted with Enviro-Solutions dishwashing


equipment, a necessity as 50 guests and 30+ staff run through quite a bit of dishes! It has also received the 2012 Award of Excellence from The Panhandle Health District Environmental Health Division, and putting an importance on public health always coincides with the health of our environment. Unfinished food is composted onsite (the bears tend to enjoy this as well!), and garbage materials are separated and recycled. Not only do we compost and recycle, but all horse pens are picked and manure is transported and spread out into our several beautiful pastures, eliminating the need to bring extra fertilizer for the grass that feeds our herd!

DSCF5491Red Horse Mountain Ranch is a traditionally rustic, yet classy way to spend a week riding and bringing out your adventurous side, and this experience is made possible by the beauty of our environment and landscape. Many guests walk away from their stay here with a new appreciation for the outdoor lifestyle. As an Environmental Studies major who has spent time living in Wisconsin, Alaska, and Colorado, and of course northern Idaho, I can vouch that you will truly find Red Horse one of the most beautiful places in the west!

Find Out Why Our Chef, Steve Gallant, Loves Red Horse Mountain Ranch, And Try Out One Of His Delicious Recipes!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

When guests come to Red Horse Mountain Ranch for the first time, they may expect the typical and basic home-style meal, but for those who have experienced the food at Red Horse, they know this is not the case! Comfort food with a classy edge is what our guests find here, and it can only come from a dedicated and experienced kitchen staff. Steve Gallant, our dinner and all-around chef, made this season an amazing one for the pallets of our guests! Steve is never satisfied unless the quality and taste of his food is the best it can be, and this definitely showed in the feedback he received from our guests. One of the greatest aspects of Red Horse Mountain staff members is that they are not just here for a job, they become personally involved in spending time with the guests and making them feel at home and welcome, even if they spend hours in the kitchen preparing the meals! Here are a few things about Steve along with one of his delicious recipes!

What made you decide to enroll in culinary school? What was your favorite thing about it? 

I have always enjoyed cooking ever since I was a little kid. I used to pretend I was on a cooking show when I was just making a hot dog or something simple like that. Then, one day I randomly applied for an entry level kitchen prep job and absolutely fell in love with it. I worked in that kitchen for a couple years before deciding to go to Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas. My favorite thing about it was learning from about 20 different chefs in one school. Each one had a few different skills up their sleeves. Las Vegas itself was pretty neat too!

580958_440263876008163_2082315105_nWhat’s your favorite thing to cook? Specifically at Red Horse?

I love cooking any kind of meat dish. Whether it is braised, grilled, roasted, stewed, etc. My favorite thing to cook on the ranch was probably the ribs. I got to experiment with different rubs and different ways to cook them. I finally almost perfected my way of cooking them when I started smoking them at the end of the season. Next time I cook them I am going to get creative with different types of BBQ sauces as well. I also loved cooking scallops because scallops are awesome.

What do you like most about cooking for others?

This is probably a simple answer but, I love their reaction to the food. Such as the way their face looks when they are describing it. I want nothing more than smiling faces when people are eating my food and I was lucky enough to get a lot of them this summer at the ranch. It was so humbling when the guests would invite Lauren, Laura, and I to the dining room after wine dinner and give us a standing ovation.

What is your favorite food of all time?

I love any kind of seafood, especially shellfish. As I mentioned before, scallops are awesome! I also love bacon. A perfectly made B.L.T. is quite possibly the best sandwich in the history of sandwiches.

561088_3422580928035_178632630_nWhat is the best part about working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch?

The best part about working at the ranch was the guests and the staff. They were all amazing to be around and get to know. I love meeting new people and this was definitely the place to do that. I also really enjoyed working in the kitchen because Lauren was so cool about letting us be creative with our dishes. As long as it tasted great, we could pretty much make whatever we wanted! The most fun part of working at the ranch was evening activities with the guests and staff. Karaoke night and wine dinner night were my favorites. Karaoke was just a blast all season.

What made you choose Red Horse Mountain Ranch?

I have always been an outdoorsy person, even in the suburbs of Philadelphia growing up. I loved being in the mountains and being in the amazing scenery that came along with them. I was also always drawn to the specific scenery of the Pacific Northwest. I applied for the position and jumped at the chance when Lauren hired me. I couldn’t have been happier with how last summer at the ranch went!

For all those ranch food fans out there, here is one of Steve’s recipes from this summer that was a delicious and elegant favorite!

Pan Seared Halibut with a Rustic Roasted Tomato “Sauce”

This recipe is pretty simple, and if you can’t get halibut you can use any type of white fish you want.181337_432412796793271_2051553272_n

Ingredients for the fish:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter

4 5oz Halibut filets

salt and pepper to taste


Heat a saute pan over medium heat. While the pan is heating up, salt and pepper the fish filets to your liking. Add the olive oil and butter to the hot pan. The butter and oil should sizzle, but not smoke! Add the halibut filets, presentation side (the nicer side) down in the butter and oil first. Cook on this side for a 3-4 minutes until a nice crust is formed. Flip the filets over in the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low to finish cooking another 4 minutes or more, depending on thickness. As they are finishing cooking, you can add a little more butter to the pan and a few sprigs of thyme to the butter and baste the fish with a spoon until it is done.

Ingredients for the Rustic Tomato “Sauce”:

2 Packages of fresh grape tomatoes (halved)

1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme (finely chopped)

1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano (finely chopped)

1/2 Tablespoon fresh garlic (finely chopped)

2 Teaspoons granulated sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 Cup dry white wine


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the tomatoes, oil, herbs, sugar, and salt and pepper in a bowl and put the mix on a baking sheet. Cook the mixture in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to get some brown coloring. When the tomatoes are roasted, add them to a sauce pan on the stove with the white wine over medium heat. The tomatoes will continue to cook and reduce with the wine creating the sauce. If the sauce is too acidic, add more sugar. If the sauce is too sweet for your liking, add a touch of lemon juice. Spoon the finished sauce over the cooked halibut filets. I would also add some fresh basil on top of the sauce for a garnish. A nice rice pilaf and asparagus would go great with this dish. If you wanted to pair a wine with this dish, I would suggest a crisp Chardonnay. Happy Cooking!

Steve getting ready to prepare some fresh halibut for wine dinner!

Steve getting ready to prepare some fresh halibut for wine dinner!

Explore Your Way To Red Horse Mountain Ranch on Northern Idaho’s Scenic Byways!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

One of the greatest things about visiting Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch is that there are many things to do in the surrounding area for families or travelers that want to further explore Idaho. While many of our guests arrive on a shuttle from the airport, many also choose to rent a car and spend time in nearby Coeur d’ Alene to explore the city and do some sightseeing. The most common drive to Red Horse Mountain is a beautiful one on Idaho-97 via Interstate 90, and its beauty, among other aspects, is why it was designated as the Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway!

Scenic byways are significant to a respective area in that they are established when it’s recognized that it has six elements that call for the preservation of a region. This includes scenic quality, natural quality, historic quality, archeological quality, cultural quality, and recreational quality. The route along the Coeur d’ Alene Lake named a scenic byway exemplifies each of these! Drive along a beautiful wooded and winding road that still allows an amazing view of Lake Coeur d’Alene and expand your views about northern Idaho on your way to one of it’s best kept secrets, Red Horse Mountain Ranch, you wont be disappointed.

Along the 35.8 miles of the Coeur d’ Alene Scenic Byway, there are 8 stops that include everything from a historic interpretive site, scenic viewing areas, a 73- mile long bike/hiking trail, wildlife viewing areas, to scenic hiking and recreation areas. Beauty Bay, one of the recreation areas, has some of the best views of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The Thompson Lake Wildlife Refuge, just minutes from Red Horse Mountain Ranch, provides an excellent setting for bird watching. It is a habitat for raptors, such as the bald eagle, shorebirds, songbirds, upland birds, waterbirds, and waterfowl. Here you can also view one of the largest populations of osprey in the northwest! The route continues on to the historic town of Harrison, a popular stop for ranch guests and a great place to rent bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, boats, or learn about the rich historyof the area.

The Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway ends at the junction of Idaho 3 and 97, where it meets up with the White Pine Scenic Byway. Another great route to the ranch beginning at the junction of I-90, this scenic byway contains equally interesting and beautiful stops, including the biggest stand of white pine in the country! Also in the area is the St. Joe River Scenic Byway, another different but picturesque view of northern Idaho. Make the most of your vacation at Red Horse Mountain Ranch by exploring this beautiful region! For more details on the stops along the Coeur d’ Alene and White Pine Scenic Byways, check out, a great interactive and informational site.

Meet Lauren, Our Pastry Chef Here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Lauren, our full-time pastry chef, spends an extensive amount of time at the ranch making sure our guests have the most delicious muffins, scones, desserts, and bread- all made from scratch! From 6 am until dinner, she is in the bakery of our kitchen making sure everything is perfect and fitting to the taste of our guests. One of the most appreciated aspects of our kitchen at Red Horse Mountain Ranch is that we cater to all food preferences, whether it is gluten or diary free, vegetarian, or individual allergies, Lauren can bake an exceptional dessert, bread, or whatever is needed! Our guests always appreciate the personal attention they gain if there is a need for particular dietary needs.

Lauren’s bread, desserts, and other baked goods are always a favorite! Delectable pastries and bread can only come from a passionate pastry chef, and as an all-inclusive dude ranch this is definitely a well-valued asset for us, and especially for our guests! We always recognize and value the thanks and compliments that our guests give when they stop by the kitchen after a favorite dessert, bread, or meal is tasted.

Check out some of Lauren’s personal answers on being a pastry chef at Red Horse:

What interested you in working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch? The variety of the menu and the opportunity to bake everything for each meal fresh and from scratch.

As a chef, what is your favorite food to cook? I typically stick to baking during the guest season, but sometimes I’ll make one of the courses for our wine dinner (in addition to the dessert course.) I really like to make pot roast. It makes the kitchen smell like my grandma’s house.

What is your favorite thing to bake at the ranch? I love to bake bread. My favorite bread is Ciabatta; the dough couldn’t be simpler‚ just flour, water, yeast, and salt, but the end result is unlike any other bread.

What is the most rewarding part about being a pastry chef at Red Horse? The most rewarding thing about being a pastry chef at Red Horse is knowing that my food is helping to bring families closer together and to create new friendships when they gather around the table for each meal.

Most difficult aspect? Dishes! Getting dried-on dough out of a mixing bowl takes a lot of elbow grease and a lot of precious time. Thank goodness for our kitchen assistants! Whether they’re washing dishes or helping to prep the next meal, the kitchen assistants make the chefs’ jobs and my job much easier.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of tasting Lauren’s baked goods: here is a recipe that can bring a bit of Red Horse Mountain Ranch to your home., especially for the holiday season, enjoy!! More to come on Lauren’s chef skills and ranch food!

Staff at Red Horse Mountain Ranch: Brenda Kalkauski, Celebrating 17 years at Red Horse!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

At Red Horse Mountain Ranch, one of the biggest reasons why this place is so amazing is the wonderful staff. Whether it is the returning staff or the lucky employees that get a chance to spend a summer here, it is always an atmosphere that speaks family. For the guests who have been here for one season or several, the staff has proven to be one of the main reasons they return. Brenda Kalkauski, one of our head housekeepers and servers, has been here for 17 years. For the first time this summer, her one-year-old granddaughter had the chance to visit and get to see her at home here! A long time northern Idaho resident, she understands and appreciates why people love and value this place.

Brenda with Steve, our dinner chef, 2012

Over the years, Red Horse Mountain Ranch has grown and seen changes, and when I asked Brenda what she loved most about this, she said “For me, I get to meet a lot more people and guests and get involved with what everyone is doing, and I keep relationships with the seasonal employees.” Brenda loves working at the ranch much for the same reason guests love coming here! She is always up for a good conversation and you can usually find her keeping busy around the lodge with housekeeping, serving, or helping out in the kitchen. Here are a few other fun questions about her job:

What is your favorite part about being a housekeeper? “Laundry and serving, because I get to meet the guests and talk to them at meals. I also like washing dishes and hanging out and talking to the kitchen staff.”

What is your favorite thing about working at the ranch? “I go to work at 5 a.m., so for the guests who are on a different time zone a few hours ahead, a lot of the time we are the only people in the lodge besides the kitchen staff. It is nice to see those guests every morning and get to know them.”

Favorite food at the ranch? “I love shrimp! Steve’s food was the best.”

How is it seeing the returning guests each year? “It is nice to see returning faces, I always talk to Judy and Shawn. Red Horse Mountain is open and more of a family. I like to visit with and get to know the returning staff too.”

Brenda’s adorable pup, Molly

Other favorites about Red Horse Mountain? “I got my dog Molly, a cocker-poodle mix, from Jody (our office manager who also breeds dogs). Molly is over a year old now. I have been working for Cory for going on 7 years and I really enjoy it.”

Oh and can’t forget, Brenda’s favorite color is purple! A big thanks to Brenda for giving many dedicated and enjoyable years at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch. More to come on our amazing staff members!

Wildlife Viewing at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch

Cory Inouye Ranch News

If you aren’t familiar with northern Idaho, or if you haven’t yet had the chance to visit Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch, then you might not know about the amazing wildlife up here. Red Horse is surrounded by the Coeur d’ Alene National Forest. One of three forests that comprise the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, the CDA National Forest is 726, 362 acres, and we are lucky enough to be located here!

Near Harrison, Idaho, we get the chance to see an abundance of animals, and it’s always fun when our guests get the opportunity to see them too! One of the top reasons why people love this place is the beauty of the landscape, and a beautiful landscape is full of important flora and fauna that make Red Horse Mountain Ranch a unique destination. Moose, who prefer a habitat of mixed forests with open wetlands, lakes, and marshes, find the area around our ranch a perfect place to make a home. Whether it is a crisp early morning or twilight, either is the best time to go moose watching, especially in the summer.

Another amazing aspect of the wildlife of up here are the birds. Red Horse Mountain Ranch is surrounded by several lakes that provide an excellent setting for bird watching, particularly the magnificent Osprey, otherwise known as the seahawk. The Osprey is extremely unique in that they almost solely feed on live fish, and have the ability to dive at high speeds into the water. You can often see them perched up on a tree or pole with a recent catch! Our kayaking and Coeur d’alene bike trip are adventures that provide the perfect venue for observing this magnificent bird of prey. Among the Osprey, you can also get a chance to see Heron, Cranes, Sandpipers, Hawks, and Bald Eagles: and many others!

We can’t forget about the bears! The bear is an animal that many people are excited to see when they come to Red Horse Mountain Ranch for a family vacation. In the summer and early fall, black bears can be spotted at the ranch with their cubs. Our 2012 season was a great one for bear watching, as a mother with three cubs was spotted several times! It is possible to be relaxing on our lodge porch during cocktail hour, looking out onto the valley and the corral, and spot a black bear making its way across the valley. For those who have already had the chance to see a bear, it is just as exciting for them as the first timers! Deer, elk, coyotes, and bobcats are also among the wildlife that can be spotted here. Come check out the wilderness that we get to share with our guests!

Adventures At Red Horse Mountain Ranch: Learn About Our Mega Zip and Challenge Course!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

What do you expect from a dude ranch vacation? Family ranch vacations are definitely about the riding and taking a unique trip beyond the typical beach or cruise vacation, but Red Horse offers much more than riding! Here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch our Challenge Course and Mega Zip offer an amazing experience that people inquiring about ranch destinations might not expect from a dude ranch, and these activities often end up being the favorites of the week for many!

The Mega Zip, which was a new addition for our 2012 season, has been a huge hit! Everyone always has a blast down at the fishing pond on Mega Zip day. Even for guests who have experienced a zip-line before, most have not had the chance to end it with an exhilarating water landing! For those who decide not to participate, it is just as fun to hang out and watch the kids, family members, and friends descend down a 1,100 ft zip-line, dropping a total of 100 feet. The weight range for our Mega Zip ranges a minimum of 60 lb and max of 240 lb.

People are always amazed and feel truly fulfilled when they try out something new at our adventurous Mega Zip and Challenge Course. That’s why for many it turns out to be more than just another ranch activity. Families with members of all ages get to see each other push the envelope and experience our Challenge Course options, such as our 63-foot rock wall or jumping to catch a trapeze from a 30-foot platform! Not only do family members, couples, and friends get to encourage each other, but friendships made between guests often become stronger as well.

It is also extremely rewarding for our staff members to help guests push their boundaries! Our staff members are nationally certified through the Association of Challenge Course Technology, and go through training before each season. In addition to being challenge course certified, our staff, from wranglers to housekeepers, go through a rigorous weeklong course with instructors from the National Outdoor Leadership Program (NOLS). At the end of the course, Red Horse Mountain staff members receive an Advanced Wilderness First Responder Certification. This makes our staff exceptionally well prepared and knowledgeable when it comes to safety, and it also builds teamwork that they can pass on to our guests at challenge course!

For more details on these activities, check out the Adventures link on our website. More info on the NOLS course can be found at

Red Horse Mountain Ranch: The Perfect Place for All-Inclusive Family Reunions!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is the perfect place for a family reunion! Whether your family get-together is a group of 10 or less, or 20+, there will be a place for you at Red Horse. Our Hilltop cabin can easily fit a group of 10-12, while our diverse selection of cabins near the lodge can fit any combination of families as well.

Check out our wide spread of activities that can be a blast for all ages! There is always something exciting going on from a morning horseback ride or fly fishing trip, to an afternoon of kayaking or sporting clays- and finish the day off with our delicious ranch dinners and some live music and a campfire. One of the greatest things about a dude ranch vacation, especially at Red Horse Mountain, is mealtime! For all meals you can sit down and take time to eat with family, especially a family reunion vacation where you get to visit with those you don’t get to see too often. Long work days and contrasting schedules can make it hard for families to spend enough time together, but not at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch.

“The best part of all these activities is that we participated together in more than half of them. At Breakfast, lunch and dinner, we sat together every single day. Families become that much closer when they all sit down at mealtime.”

Our full itinerary of activities can be found via our activities link on the website, but there truly is something for everyone. Our beautiful location nestled in a valley also provides a great setting simply for relaxing without the noise and busyness of a city. Everyone from the grandchildren to the grandparents will have a blast!

Horses 101: A Few Things to Know About Horses For Your Dude Ranch Experience!

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch we put a great deal of work into making sure our horses are happy and healthy, after all, what would a dude ranch be without its wonderful equines? Many people come to the ranch with a wide base of horse knowledge, but many guests that come here for vacation are here to learn and experience a dude ranch for the first time, and understanding horses can make riding them more enjoyable!

Horses are a unique animal, just like humans, and require extensive care. There are a few important things to know about taking care of horses at a dude ranch. First, they eat a ton of hay! Literally, here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch our horses consume 320 + tons of hay per year. In general, the average 1,000 lb horse will consume around 20 lbs of hay per day, however just like humans, caloric intake also depends on outside temps and exercise. It is also important to understand that each individual horse has its own distinctive personality, and this plays an important role in training, as well as matching them to the right rider.

The little cowboys and cowgirls that come to the ranch are always excited to collect a horse shoe near the ferrying shed, but why so many shoes? Over 400 years ago, horses were brought to North America, and many ended up roaming the plains in wild herds. This toughened up their hooves naturally, so there was no need for horseshoes. Today, horses at ranches walk mostly on soft ground for feeding and grazing, so when they go out for that fun trail ride they need some protection for their hooves in case they step on sharp rocks or other tough surfaces- just like we wouldn’t go for a hike barefoot! For this reason, we have the ferrier come for a visit every 5-8 weeks to make sure our horses can hit the trails safely!

Horse vision is another important thing to understand, did you know that horses have among the largest eyes of all land-mammals? Horses have ‚Äòmonocular vision’, which means they can see separately on each side of their body with their right and left eyes. This enables them to have excellent peripheral vision and detect slight movements in a circular range as they turn their heads. This amazing peripheral capability is offset by the fact that the eyes are located on either side of the head, making it more difficult for them to focus on the movement they have sighted, which is why you may see your horses moving its head up and down in order to focus! They truly have a unique way of seeing the world, and understanding this can make riders feel more comfortable in the saddle when they come to a dude ranch to ride!

Thanks for reading and more to come on horses and our wranglers here at Red Horse Mountain Ranch!

Top Ten Reasons Why Red Horse Mountain Ranch has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Cory Inouye Ranch News

A big thanks to our guests that took the time to go online and share their experience!

# 1: Our Horses of Course! Our healthy herd of horses are one of the main reasons people love this ranch. Experienced dude ranch goers and lifelong horse owners continue to be impressed with the caliber of our horses. Each week, we specifically match the horses to each individual rider, from the advanced riders to three-year olds!

# 2: Staff A close run for number one, our wonderful staff is one of the biggest reasons guests, both new and returning, visit Red Horse Mountain Ranch. Connections are made between our staff and guests that turn into friendships that last beyond their vacation.

What a talented, kind, and thoughtful crew. Every single person, from wranglers, to housekeepers, to kitchen crew, were always on the lookout for ways to make your stay special

# 3: Diversified Activities You don’t have to be all about the riding to enjoy your time here! With all of the activities we offer, you don’t have to get on a horse to have a blast, which is why families always have an amazing time regardless of different interests!

I come from a family of three girls, 22, 24, 26, and my mother and father. We have been to seven different dude ranches and RHMR was BY FAR the best family vacation we have ever had together.

# 4: THE FOOD! Red Horse Mountain Ranch food is one of the top reasons people truly love this place. We offer options for all tastes, and our kitchen staff and servers will cater to any specific dietary needs.

# 5: Great for All Ages Red Horse Mountain Ranch definitely offers a wide array of activities, but it is also an amazingly beautiful place, and some prefer to just relax with a cup of hot coffee and a book on our lodge porch that overlooks the valley. In the summer months, our Kids Program provides amazing fun and attention to children 11 and under, they always make friends and have a blast!

We have been EVERYWHERE from Hawaii-to Europe, The Caribbean to California, Beach vacations and Mountain trips. This was the ONLY place that entertained an entire family

# 6: Return Visits One of the staff’s favorite things about working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch is seeing familiar faces return summer after summer. We have to give a shout out to our returning guests who have discovered this awesome place that keeps them coming back for more!

We just returned from our third trip to Red Horse Mountain and each year it gets better. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. The staff treats you like royalty”

# 7: The Beauty of Northern Idaho Beautiful lakes, wildlife, and the Coeur d’ alene National Forest make the location of Red Horse Mountain Ranch the perfect place for a dude ranch vacation. The staff appreciates the beauty of this place, and it’s always fun to see the awe on our guests’ faces when they come here!

Red Horse Mountain Ranch, nestled in the most beautiful section of Idaho, with it’s well maintained western style cabins and grounds, is not just a destination for a western dude ranch vacation. It’s an experience.

# 8: Ladies Week! Ladies week is a blast! Enough said!khh

My friends and I attended “Women’s Week”. We met so many wonderful women whom I admire and respect. The strength that is felt from all these wonderful women encourages you to step out of your box and try new things

# 9: Summer Camp for Adults Red Horse Mountain Ranch provides the perfect getaway and is a true vacation, away from cell phones, the sound of highways, and hectic city life. It truly is a unique experience and allows adults to relax and have fun!

# 10: Lives up to Expectations Rated among the top dude ranches in the country, we work hard to please our guests and live up to the expectations people have when they arrive, and we have fun doing it!

We’d read all the reviews here. Our expectations were exceeded hugely. What. A. Place.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch Earns 2012 TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor‘s Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“Red Horse Mountain is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Cory Inouye, Manager at Red Horse Mountain Ranch. “We strive to offer our guests a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.”

TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional businesses for consistent excellence, as reviewed by travelers on the site,” said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives highly rated establishments around the world the recognition they deserve. From exceptional accommodations in Beijing to remarkable restaurants in Boston, we want to applaud these businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 60 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor’s millions of monthly visitors.

Get Ready Ladies, Girls’ Getaway Week is Full!

Cory Inouye Ranch News, Ranch News & Stories

31 ladies. 85 horses. 7 Days.The entire ranch all to themselves.

2011 Girls’ Getaway week is going to be our best ladies week to date. Moms and daughters and friends catching up from all over the United States;West Virginia, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Washington, Idaho, Georgia, and Illinois are all represented among the gals scheduled to arrive. Most likely, awhole new group of friends will be made during our week long stay at the ranch. We’ve put together the perfect week, with a few surprises to boot.

Everyone will be arriving on Sunday, September 25th and our first wine tasting of two regional favorites will begin the week. After our candlelight dinner, we’ll be meeting up with the herd of horses, taking a tour of the ranch, and relaxing near the campfire.The Rocky Mountain elk herd will also be in full rut this week and we’ll most likely have the chance to hear the elk bugling on the ranch early in the morning or late in the evening. Ladies should expect to bring a good jacket for the evening entertainments by the campfire.

Our first full day on the ranch will begin with our Morning Yoga or a tailored fitness hike prior to breakfast. After breakfast, we’re all headed to the barn for our orientation and scenic horseback ride across a ridge overlooking the ranch. The rest of the week will be filled with numerous adventures, advanced horseback riding, horseback lessons, and our full day horseback ride to a nearby peak overlooking Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Canada. Everyone arriving alsohas an included massage from our resident massage therapist which can be scheduled on their arrival. We’ll be capping off the week with cowboy campfires, a lunch horseback ride to a nearby meadow, and a special candlelight dinner on Friday evening prepared as our final celebration to a memorable week on the ranch. The chefs will be showing off this evening so it should be a dinner to remember!

A few other suggested items to bring include a little flashlight, plenty of jeans, slick soled cowboy boots, and a pair of tennis shoes. Some ladies wear flip flops around the lodge during the evening or other comfortable shoes. Some might decide to get a little gussied up for the big Friday night celebration dinner but you sure don’t have to; jeans and cowboy boots typically top the list. We’re planning to be able to do a few kayak trips during the week so bring something that you’re able to get wet in. Remember that laundry service is provided so you’re able to pack light if needed.

The ranch is very excited about this season’s upcoming Girls’ Getaway.It’ll be a full week of great conversations, boot stompin’ evening entertainment, side-splitting laughs, and gracious hospitality. Here are some other helpful hints to make this a perfect week.

Hint #1.Be prepared to ride.From advanced to beginner horseback riders, our week is going to be filled with lots of riding. After our orientation ride on Monday, there are advanced, scenic, and all-day rides scheduled throughout the week. You’ll also able to take advantage of learning from some of the wranglers by taking a lesson. One of our past guests suggests bringing a pair of bicycle shorts to go under your jeans to save your bum. If you don’t have boots, we do have boots you can wear but slick soles are a must. You should also make sure to have a few pairs of jeans, a pair of shorts, or something you can get wet in for the kayaking trips, boat tours, and bike rides. Some ladies bring a pair of leather gloves with them to ride with. We recommend this highly. A pair of tennis shoes or running shoes are also very handy.

Hint #2. It’s Idaho weather.We have a saying in Idaho during the fall. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes. This is about the week every year where the trees begin to change color and its absolutely breathtaking. Plan on evenings being chilly, a good fleece jacket will no doubt be very useful. Rain is possible but don’t worry about that stopping the horseback riding. The barn has a number of full length slickers to fit you.

Hint #3. Dinners and meals.Our chefs are going to make it very difficult to shed pounds while you’ll be here. Daily baked breads, fresh salads and fruits, homemade desserts, and more. Some decide to get a little dressed up during our 7 Course dinner. Don’t have to though, a pair of jeans and boots are regular attire on the ranch. This will be an exciting and fun evening! For those ladies that have food likes or dislikes (and the likes are just as important), don’t forget to fill out your activity forms and tell us. Gluten free, vegetarians, etc are all welcomed!

See you in September!!!

Wranglers catching horses in the morning

Top 10 Questions (and Answers) About our Dude Ranch Vacations.

Cory Inouye Ranch News

Here are some typical questions and answers to help you decide if Red Horse Mountain Ranch fits the ranch vacation you’re looking for. You can also get more information from our FAQ page, or just hop on the phone and give the ranch a ring at (888) 689-9680.

#1. Is there a place we can do some laundry? 

Better yet, a laundry service is provided. We’d much rather you spent your time with your family or out on an adventure! During your laundry day, it will be picked up at your cabin and delivered back to your cabin by the end of the day.

#2. What percentage of your guests bring kids? 

During the summer season (Memorial Weekend through Labor Day Weekend), you can expect to have between 10-15 kids on the ranch ranging from 3-11 years of age. Earlier in June we don’t have as many children because many of the school districts are still in session. As the ranch enters the fall, we’ll have no children on the ranch since school is back in session and also because of our adult weeks (such as the Girl’s Getaway or Wine Tasting Weeks). Throughout our years in operation, many of the kids from all over the world still remain in contact with each other. It’s also been fun for us to see the kids grow up through the years! Our Kid’s Program coincides with the summer months.

#3. How old must children be for horseback riding?

Our horseback riding programs begin at age 3. Kids will be scheduled with their own horse and saddle for the entire week and will have the chance to ride some of the trails offered around the ranch which are applicable to their skill levels. Children ages 3-6 will have a wrangler walk along with them and their horse. Kids also have the chance for instruction during their horseback riding and can book a horseback lesson if their parents choose. Kids ages 3 -13 are required to wear approved horseback riding helmets which are available at the ranch, along with slick soled boots. The ranch does have a few pair of kids boots should you need to borrow some for the week.

#4. How much of the day is spent on horseback?

Horseback riding is available during the morning and afternoon, each ride being approximately 2-2 1/2 hours in length. The all day ride departs after breakfast and returns in the late afternoon. Depending on your choice of activities, you could spend most of the day in the saddle, or not; the choice is yours. The wranglers will make sure you are comfortable and properly equipped before you get on your horse. If you need a few pointers, don’t hesitate to ask your wrangler for a little help. Please remember that your safety and the horses’ safety are always kept in mind. We have a variety of riding trails, all of which leave the valley floor and climb into the surrounding mountains. Enjoy riding through pastures, along wide trails, on open hillsides, and through narrow, wooded paths.

The Advanced Horseback Ride is a combination of walking, trotting, and cantering and is offered a number of times throughout the week. This horseback ride is absolutely exhilarating and, as always,your safety is most important. Even an accomplished rider will tell you that every horse is different and it takes a little time for you to meet. We make sure you and your horse are ready to kick it up a notch before heading out on the trail. All riders wishing to do the Advanced Ride, regardless of riding experience, will be tested by our wranglers prior. Talk with your experienced wranglers to see if you could use a few pointers to advance your trail riding experience.The Advanced Rides are only available in the mornings since typical afternoon heat during the summer is too warm for the horses to do advanced riding.

#5. What instruction is available for beginners? 

We have beginning riders each week and everyone is given a horse orientation on their first full day. This prepares you for your riding experiences during the week and gives you a chance to meet your horse. Beginner riders are welcome to ask questions and get helpful tips from the wranglers throughout the week. Lessons can also be arranged in the afternoon; just speak to your wrangler and they’ll make the necessary arrangements with the barn. Beginning riders have always felt welcomed at the ranch.

#6. Do you offer supervised childcare for younger kids?

Yes. Childcare can be arranged. We do ask for a little notice prior to your arrival that you may be wanting us to arrange childcare. This is only so that we can make the necessary arrangements prior to your arrival.

#7. Is there a minimum length of stay?

Yes. As a member of the Dude Ranchers’ Association we hold to a three night minimum during the months of June, July, & August. A minimum of two nights is required during the months of September and October.

#8. Are meals included?

Yes. Three meals per day and snacks, beverages, juices, cereals, and milk are always available.

#9. Besides riding, what else is there to do?

Here’s where we’ll have to point you back to the website because the list is pretty long. Horseback riding is certainly a big part of the ranch guided adventures but there’s enough on the ranch to keep everyone going for the entire week. Mountain Biking, Sporting Clays, Archery, Challenge Course, a zip line, hiking, fly fishing, fishing trips, whitewater rafting, boat tours, bike tours, and the list goes on! Red Horse is well know for its diversity of guided adventures!

#10. What is the best way to get to the ranch? 

Most of our guests come from other regions and countries so most are flying into the Spokane International Airport (GEG) which is located about 1.5 hour drive from the ranch. With kids, bags, etc., count on a total of 2 hours. Most, if not all guests, take the shuttle service to the ranch since a rental car is not necessary through the week. If your ranch stay is part of a larger vacation, then a rental car may make sense. Booking the shuttle is very easy, just jump onto the ranch website and fill out the shuttle form. We’ll do the rest.

The ranch office is staffed throughout the week from 8 am to 4:30 PST, Monday through Saturday. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a ring at (888) 689-9680 or send us your questions to

Hope this helps! Ask you questions here and we’ll try to answer them! Or, you can email us at