Flying E Ranch
Finally, I'm a cowgirl! A friend recommended the Flying E Ranch, where she goes every year. My experience was every bit as wonderful as she has been saying it would be. The horseback riding, the food, the room, all were excellent. Hey — we won first prize for team penning, and I have a blue ribbon to prove it!

Ande and Steve Taylor were perfect hosts and made this a perfect vacation, and the staff couldn't have been better. I look forward to seeing all of them when I go back next year.
Flying E Ranch
We had sooooo much fun at the Flying E during the holidays last December. We had four generations of family members and the needs and joys of every age were not only met, but surpassed tenfold...make that infinity-fold. (I'm not sure how, but Santa even knew we were there and stopped for a visit.) My adult children and their spouses lead VERY busy lives working and raising my grandchildren. They left the stress of their hectic worlds behind and basked in the slower pace of each day, the beauty of the surroundings and the love and nurturing in every detail of experience that Ande, Steve and their staff so generously and graciously provide. The food was superb! We have a wide range of "palate preferences" in our family and each and every one of us felt the recipes and menu must have been designed especially for us. The Pina Colada Cake was a particular hit. We brought the recipe home and bake this cake often... with a piece of that cake in our mouths, we close our eyes and smile HUGELY! The memories we brought home are priceless.
Flying E Ranch
My wife and I spent two nights at the Flying E. We had wanted to try the ranch-style holiday for quite some time. The Flying E exceeded all our expectations. The riding, the meals, the rooms and especially the friendly staff made for an excellent stay. In addition there were lots of other amenities to enjoy (pool, tennis courts etc.), but we focused on the trail rides and the relaxing atmosphere. The evening happy hours (complete with beautiful sunsets) were a pleasant way to end the day.
Flying E Ranch
As I sit at the airport waiting for my flight home from the Flying E January 2010 Cowgirl Weekend, I have plenty of time to reflect on horses and dude ranches and the huge part both have played in my life. While John F. Kennedy was campaigning for man’s first trip to the moon, I was busy running my own campaign for a week at a dude ranch in the New York Catskill Mountains. As it turned out we were both successful and both events would change the world I live in forever.

Roundup Ranch Resort in the Catskill Mountains of NY was the first dude ranch I ever visited and I wish they had kept track of the number of times I visited like the Flying E does, since I would have been in the triple digits at least! My family vacationed at the RRR for 10 years and after I was married and then divorced, I started going back again. Like the Flying E, it was like I had never left and driving up the long ranch road felt like coming home. Also like the E, meals were served family style and on my first evening, I sat next to a couple that lived in the same part of NYC as I did and were about the same age. During dinner, I found out that they actually owned horses that they boarded at the RRR and visited the ranch almost every weekend. By the end of my stay, I had become friends with the lady, her name is Gloria, and I had a new dream … buy a horse and board it at RRR!

My dream became a reality and at 25 years old I bought my first horse. Gloria and I became best friends and spent countless hours riding together on the trails, in the arena and in horsemanship clinics. Two years and countless boyfriends went by quickly and one weekend I said to Gloria “If I could just meet a guy who liked horses and wanted to live up here by the ranch, I would be very happy”. Well, the following weekend, like magic, he appeared at the RRR barn. Turned out, he had worked as a wrangler at the RRR during college (I remembered him but he did not remember me) and the head wrangler introduced me to him. After we talked for a few hours, I found out he was in the process of getting divorced, so I gave him my business card and told him to call me after his marriage was dissolved. A few months went by and he called! That was almost 27 years ago. We had a horseback wedding at RRR with about 75 mounted guests and naturally Gloria was my maid of honor.

Shortly after our wedding my husband Tom and I moved from the NYC area to upstate NY so we could be closer to the RRR and our horses. Unfortunately, the RRR fell on hard times and eventually closed. We moved our horses to our backyard and Gloria moved her horse to a local stable. Gloria and I remained friends but did not get to ride together like we had in the past. We all sorely missed the RRR

A few years went by and I went on a business trip to Scottsdale. Tom came along so we took a few extra days and toured the state. On the way back from the Grand Canyon, we drove through a quaint little town that had horse manure covering Main Street (there must have been a parade earlier that day) … WOW I thought, this is my kind of place! Then we passed a billboard advertising “Wickenburg, the Dude Ranch Capital of the West”. I grabbed a scrap of paper, wrote Wickenburg on it and stuffed it into my wallet.

About a month later I was at Gloria’s house and her husband (who was a big golfer) had a book of the 50 best golf resorts in the USA. I was thumbing through the book and one of the courses caught my attention since it had horses in the picture. The resort was in Wickenburg AZ. The light bulb went off in my then blonde head and I got excited … the 4 of us should take a trip to this Golf/Dude Ranch in Wickenburg, which we did for the following February. The first ride we took was across the road to Robbers Roost. It was a magical place and the wrangler told us we were riding on Flying E Ranch property. All the best rides we took over the next week were all on E land so the following year Tom and I decided to go to the E instead. We have been going back ever since, each time stretching our vacations a little longer. The Flying E quickly replaced RRR as our home away from home … only thing missing was Gloria!

Meanwhile, in the spring of 2001, Gloria took a trip to a dude ranch in Utah. She fell in love with the state and once again a dude ranch changed my life! That fall the two of us made a cross country trip from NY to Utah, where she now resides. It was a bitter sweet trip, since I knew that my best friend and riding buddy would now be over 2500 miles away.

Lucky for us, Ande started Cowgirl Weekends at the Flying E three years ago. I have participated in all 5 of the weekends the ranch has hosted to date and I have met so many wonderful women. Each one of the weekends is a little different. The group in February has grown into a sell- out crowd and we all keep in touch throughout the year by email.

This January Cowgirl Weekend was extra special for me for several reasons. Three years ago I had the pleasure of meeting a lady at the Flying E named Lucille. I have been lucky enough to have spent 3 vacations with her at the E. What makes her so special is that she is 95 years young and still riding daily! Even though my retirement piggy bank is not fat enough for me to afford to take the vacations she does for the next 40 years, she is certainly an inspiration to all us cowgirls! The other cool thing that happened is that Gloria, her sister Angela and her friend Roseanne all came to Cowgirl Weekend. Roseanne and Gloria started riding together in Brooklyn NY back in the 1970’s and had not seen each other in over 15 years! What a great time we all had together, riding, eating, laughing, hot tubing, catching up on all our lives and meeting more Cowgirls to add to our list of dude ranch friends.

One thing is for sure, I love my life and I can thank horses and dude ranches for making me so very happy!
Flying E Ranch
Great ranch experience. We've been bringing our children and grandchildren back to this beautiful ranch for many years. Andrea and her staff are absolutely superb, working hard to give every guest an optimal experience.

We love the authentic Western ambiance and hearty meals. The kitchen will work with your dietary preferences, even if you're vegetarian or a picky eater.

The horseback riding operation, supervised by expert wrangler Aaron, is exceptional. Each ride is geared to the ability and preferences of the riders.

Beginners are helped to feel comfortable in the saddle and experienced riders can lope through the breathtaking desert scenery.

This ranch is one of the true treasures of the American West. We feel privileged to have enjoyed it for years.
Flying E Ranch
Just got home from cowgirl weekend and I wish I lived closer because I would go more often! The horses are fabulous and very well taken care of. Aaron really seemed to care about matching the right horse with the right rider but was also so willing to let you switch horses if you wanted. Norm was awesome sharing his knowledge of plants and animals and Johnny did his best to entertain us on the ride.

Each day included a new fabulous adventure - including team penning, lunch cookout in a driving rain storm (ever had lunch in a cave?) It was awesome!), cowboy poetry and songs, a full rainbow and the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets! And I haven't even started on the food! Be sure to try the Amish sugar cookies!

Can't wait to go back with more family and friends - as the kids used to say - this place is THE BOMB!
Flying E Ranch
A little slice of heaven. 26 years ago we came to this place on a whim based on my wife's desire to ride, and an article in the Los Angeles Times travel section. We have been back every year since and would never miss a year. The staff is beyond friendly, and dedicated to serving their guests with a smile, even though we usually arrive near the end of their busy season. We have never had a bad experience. And if you can't find something to do at the ranch - riding, pool/jacuzzi, food (oh, the food!), cocktail parties, games, group activities, entertainment, etc - then there are multiple nearby golf options and the friendly town of Wickenburg to explore. We have made numerous lifetime friendships at the ranch and been to Canada and four different states to see members of our ranch well as them coming to our home in California. In summary, the perfect place to unwind, play and get away from it all in a terrific environment.
Flying E Ranch
For winter vacation, our family of four (with two young kids ages 5-8) spent three nights at the Flying E Ranch. We have never stayed at a dude ranch before, so this was going to be a new experience for all of us. We did a lot of research, and finally we decided that Flying E would offer us what our family was looking for in a relaxing getaway. Not knowing exactly what to expect, or whether any of us would find the dude ranch experience enjoyable, I have to say that having just now returned from Flying E, we are so glad we went as it exceeded every single expectation any of us had for a ranch vacation.

Normally for my reviews, I note the negative aspects, or at least areas that could be improved upon by the property owner/management. I can honestly tell you there is not one thing negative to say about the Flying E Ranch. They really do everything right. The only suggestion I would give to readers of this review is to book as early as possible, especially for peak holiday travel periods and for dates of special events at the ranch.

So now, let me run down the (long) list of things we were impressed by at the Flying E:

- Actually, our first positive impression began a few months prior to our arrival. It was when we called to inquire about availability. Amanda in the Front Office was not only professional and helpful, but just delightful on the phone. She took her time to answer all of our questions (remember, this is our first dude ranch vacation and we had lots of questions) despite multiple phone calls. The whole booking process was easy and quick.

- We flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, and the drive to Flying E Ranch in Wickenburg was pretty easy (GPS directions worked well) and took just under an hour and a half. As soon as we walked into the Office, we were warmly welcomed by Amanda, who handed us just one form for signature and that was it. She then took us on a tour of the Ranch grounds and led us to our guest room. Amanda was as nice in person as she had been on the phone.

- Our room, though not fancy, was impeccably clean, well furnished, and thoughtfully decorated. The bed was really comfortable, as good as one from any four or five-star hotel I've stayed at. A window in the room offered expansive views of the desert landscapes, as well as horses in the field which for our kids were simply magical.

- Since we arrived before lunch time, we were invited to lunch. We headed for the dining room when the bell rang at 12:30 (the bell rings whenever breakfast/lunch/dinner is ready). The food tasted homemade, was plentiful, and really really good. All of the kitchen staff were extremely friendly and accommodating. Even at our first meal, we were addressed to by each staff on a first name basis. I have no idea how everyone remembered the names of 30+ guests, but they did. One of us is vegetarian, and the kitchen prepared a separate vegetarian dish at each meal. All in all, we enjoyed ten meals there and were not once disappointed.

- During lunch each day, the head wrangler Aaron checked in with us to see who's riding that afternoon. Likewise, at dinner, he checked in to see if we're riding the next morning. Overall, the riding at Flying E was fabulous. They match your skill level with the right horse. Our 5 year old was too young for the trail ride (must be 6 or over), but was offered a "pony ride" around the corral. The scenery here was spectacular. All of the wranglers were friendly to all of the guests. There's a supply room with boots and hats in all sizes for you to borrow, in case you don't bring your own. We particularly enjoyed having Debbie and Tom lead a few of our rides. They were super personable and took the time to tell us what we were seeing on the rides.

- We happened to be there on New Year's Eve. They planned a special "casino night" for all of the guests. It was done in a "family-friendly" fashion, where even the children were able to play in all of the table games. The wranglers took the role as dealers, and we got a chance to interact with them in a different setting. They were genuinely friendly and cared about every guest's experience there. I could tell the entire ranch staff took pride in what they do - to make sure the guests are having the best time possible. At 10 o'clock (midnight in NYC), bubblies were offered and everyone young and old walked away that night with a bag of party favors. It was the best NYE party our family ever celebrated together (as a family, with young ones). We were so impressed the Flying E managed to throw a party that was fun and family-friendly.

If you're still reading this, you've noticed I've written a long review. The reason I'm spending the time to write this really is to duly acknowledge and recognize an exceptionally well run ranch. I want to thank Ande (manager) and her entire staff for our pleasant stay, and hope others will get the opportunity to enjoy staying there in the future.

Would we go back to Flying E Ranch again? Absolutely, without a doubt!
Flying E Ranch
We just returned from an amazing vacation at the ranch. My mom, daughter and myself had the best vacation ever. The staff is truly amazing and Andrea and Steve do a fantastic job and treat all of their guest like family. If you are looking for a dude ranch experience look no further. You will not be disappointed. The wranglers are very kind, and we had great trail rides with all of them. Aaron, Tom, Deb, Norm and Johnny provided great experiences for my daughter (9). The food is AMAZING, and the staff in the kitchen will help you with anything you need. We hope to visit again! Thanks for a great vacation!
Flying E Ranch
My husband and I just came back from a trip to the E Ranch. We wanted a true dude ranch experience and after some research we settled for the E Ranch. Reviews are impressive, but this place does exceed your expectations!

E Ranch staff are attentive, friendly and fun, making you feeling at home from the very beginning. Being a foreigner (Spanish) is not a problem at all.

Riding there is great. If you are concerned, no previous riding experience is no problem at all. The wranglers (Aaron, Norm, Johnny, and also Tom and Debbie and the vaquero Ben) will choose the best horse for you (one whose name you will never forget) and you can even do team penning (sort-of!).

And after your rides you can enjoy true American hospitality. Service is impeccable, food delicious (oh, how I miss those lovely chocolate cookies!)

If we can make it (the ranch is a long, long way from Bilbao where we live), we will certainly return next year.
Flying E Ranch
My husband and I just returned from our second trip to the Flying E Ranch. This time the desert was just past full bloom and we thoroughly enjoyed its peaceful beauty. The wranglers, Norm, Aaron and Johnny, were wonderful with the horses and guided us over different trails through the desert each day. We enjoyed fabulous breakfasts, lunches and dinners with the other guests at the ranch, making many new friends. Andrea and Steve Taylor, owners of the ranch, are warm and welcoming, making sure to spend time with each and every guest. The Flying E is a great getaway from our normal busy, scheduled lives. Take your family or spouse and enjoy a vacation you will treasure for a lifetime.

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