Top50 Ranches

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Lowdown

  • Established

    1952. Guest ranch since 2008
  • Owner

    Valenzuela family
  • Tel

    520.955.2577
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    Summer: $185 - $250
    Winter: $185 - $250
  • Minimum Stay

    Summer: 3 days
    Winter: 3 days
  • Maximum Guests

    14
  • Works with travel agents?

    Yes
  • Great For

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Solitude, Diverse scenery

Rancho Los Baños, meaning "Ranch of the Springs" in Spanish, is a 30,000 acre adventure guest ranch, authentic, genuine cattle ranch and wilderness conservation area located at the foothills of the Sierra Madres, the Mexican Rockies, just 55 miles south of the southeast Arizona town of Douglas in beautiful, safe, secure northeast Sonora, Mexico. We are a real, genuine ranch for real, genuine people.

We are also a scenic nature travel destination and pristine wilderness area enveloped by some of the most unique, inspiring, diverse and spectacular desert landscapes anywhere, our scenery oftentimes compared to that of a National Park. At the ranch, guests stay inside 30,000 acres of exclusive, serene, remote, quiet and protected wilderness. Active guests with a love of the outdoors, of discovering new cultures and places, and of respecting nature have a wonderful stay with us. If you seek an active adventure travel destination, our ranch might be the place for you.

Not to be outdone, our rest and relaxation are unmatched, as you reenergize and rejuvenate surrounded by pristine and beautiful natural surroundings, as more and more scientific studies are showing. Indeed, at our off-the-grid ranch, you will escape the wired world and enter the natural world.

While we are located in spectacular northeast Sonora, Mexico, we are so close to southeast Arizona that we would like you to consider our ranch for a possible stay. Our offices are located in Tucson, and we personally pick you up and offer roundtrip transportation from Tucson or Douglas to the Rancho, so you can leave the driving to us and the sightseeing to you.

If you love riding, there is no comparision in Mexico or the Southwest. We offer a land, a vastness, seclusion and scenery that is incomparable, a level above any guest/working/dude ranch in Arizona, and more scenic, unique, exotic, pristine and spectacular as well.

Offering high desert terrain and vistas not seen in the US Southwest, our diverse, high desert landscapes offer scenery, diversity and vegetation that make our ranch truly unique and exotic.

Offering a freedom seldom experienced in traditional guest ranches, you will ride as it has always been meant to, surrounded by complete beauty, with little restraints, few rules, no fences, with great horses, in amazing diversity, and in sheer vastness that is breathtaking. At Los Banos, our riding program offers quality over quantity, putting people over profit.

Combined with great all-inclusive packages, accommodations and service, unbeatable rates, Mexican hospitality and cuisine that is second to none, close proximity to the United States, staying in pristine and serene land, with a natural scenery that is spectacular to see, together with world-class horseback riding and hiking, Rancho Los Baños is sure to make your stay an exciting, fun-filled, relaxing and memorable one.

Good time to go

Good time to go is from August through May, from opening to closing. We are an ideal stay year-round. Springtime for wildflowers and great temperatures, green summer for monsoon storms, late summer for green desert and lush vegetation, Fall for near perfect temperatures, November for our yearly roundup, Winter for great daytime temperatures and weather.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 6 and over

Children 0-6 vist us free of charge. Kids 7-10 visit us for a half rate. Those 11 and up visit us paying normal rates. We are a terrific option for those families needing to escape the wired world of screens, phones and tablets as we are a great off-grid, remote and wilderness guest ranch. As we like to say, "Escape the wired world and enter the wild world."

Children of all ages are welcomed at the ranch to join in with their parents in activities and adventures. We have hosted children as young as 9 months [and she had a wonderful time!]. Most children join in with their parents in our many adventures. Of course, adventures can be and are tailored to children in a group, making sure they are suitable to the various physical and mental abilities and limitations of our young guests.

Pre-teens and teenagers, especially, flourish at the ranch. The personal development seen over the course of their stay is very apparent, as they escape the wired world and enter the natural world. Our collection of activities offers fun, entertaining, relaxing, thrilling and challenging adventures that our pre-teen and teen guests absorb fully. Many of them thrive while at the ranch, evolving with each day of their stay. Our ranch is a great opportunity for children to discover mental and physical abilities, and learn a little about themselves in the process. The adventures at the ranch takes them away from their element for a few days, opening their eyes to the outdoors, to being active in nature, and to the beauty of the natural world. With so many kids today wired to TV, video games, cell phones, music, the Internet and more, the ranch offers the opportunity to escape this wired world for a few days. After decompressing and disengaging from their gadgets, our kid guests discover a world beyond the wired, to a world of the wild.

Children under the age of 10 can also have a great time at the ranch. However, the level of fun they have, in our experience, is determined on a kid by kid basis, as well as a group or parental basis. In our experience, the overall fun and entertainment of our kid guests really comes down to the parents and the group they are with. If you are active, your child will be active, and entertained as well. If they are used to the outdoors, or are used to being active, the ranch will be fun. A lot depends on the individual child as well, as each brings their own personality along with them.

Environmental & Social Practices

Environment

We run solar energy in our lodges, practice "Leave No Trace Behind" methods while hiking, and do our best to minimize our footprint on the natural environment.

Community

Ecotourism: We return a percentage of our profits to the local villages where some of our employees work. We also hire people from these locations, offering them very decent wages.

Ranch History

The Valenzuela family, cattle ranching pioneers from the northeast of Sonora dating back to the early 20th century, has owned and operated the ranch continuously since the early 1950's, now three generations strong, as always protecting its wildlife and preserving its natural beauty. Having emigrated originally from Andalucia, southern Spain, in the mid 1600's, settling in northeast Sonora, the Valenzuelas' have a great understanding of this part of the world.

The new generation is American raised and educated, at one time having called Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, Phoenix and Barcelona, Spain home. They are both bilingual and bicultural, having previously worked as marketing executives, business managers, in human resources, education and the law. Over the years, the Valenzuelas' have successfully managed the ranch through thick and thin, drought and abundance, helping make the ranch one of the most successful ranching enterprises in Sonora. The family's deep seated belief in living with nature and not at its expense has helped preserve this enchanting land much the same way as it has been for thousands of years.

Our Team consists of a collection of family, old and new school vaqueros, and European, Canadian, South American and American wranglers, guides/hosts and personnel that, together, help make your stay with us a memorable, relaxing and thrilling experience. We are a tight-knit group that strives to provide great hospitality and top-notch service.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    family style, meals roll with days activities, everyone eats together
  • Alcohol

    BYOB, wine provided with dinner
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, patio, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef, organic produce, locally grown produce, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

Our all inclusive rates and packages offer three great, home-cooked meals a day, including fresh, mesquite fire cooked Mexican food, both northern and southern Mexican dishes, combined with tasty home-made pastries and other such delights. All snacks and drinks are also provided.

We dine family style in either our dining area or at our outdoor palapa, overlooking vistas that are scenic and spectacular. When on hiking adventures, we carry snacks with us inside the canyons, to be eaten in intimate, private and fantastic settings.

Guests are encouraged to bring your own alcohol, as well as favorite foods and snacks as well. Alcohol in moderation served during special events, compliments of the ranch. Our meals are a constant guest favorite, made with pride and lots of love, without cutting corners, full of quality and quantity. Tasty, plentiful and delicious, our meals, from breakfast to dinner, will not disappoint.

We do cater to vegetarians, vegans, glutten free and religious/philosophical tastes.

Guest Favourites

  • Carnitas with flour tortillas, beans, rice
  • Chicken fajitas, fresh guacamole
  • Tamales, quesadillas and beans, enchiladas

Lowdown

  • Address

    420 Camino El Cajon
    Sonora
    Sonora
    Mexico
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    3,200-7,500 ft
  • Private Land

    20,000-40,000 acres

Nearest Town - Douglas, AZ

Douglas, AZ has a population of 15,000 (approx), and is situated 55 miles / 3 hours 30 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Douglas, AZ include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, bank, atm, gas station.

For shopping Douglas, AZ offers: small hometown necessity shops.

Ranch shuttle

$30

Nearest Airports

Tucson International Airport, Douglas, Arizona

Distance

55 miles / 3 hours 30 mins

Airlines

Delta, United, Northwest, Alaska, US Airways, American Airlines, Southwest

Ranch shuttle

Included in Rate

Rental car

4x4 recommended

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Ability, Pace of Ride, Rides tailored to guest requests, Rides dictated by ranch work, Families ride together
  • Max riders per ride

    5
  • Wranglers per ride

    1
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot
  • Guest Horses

    35
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Geldings, Mares, Mexican Criollo, Quarter Horse
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 4 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours

The Setting

Private Land (20,000-40,000 acres)

At Rancho Los Baños you will find a diverse array of desert flora and fauna, with habitats and elevations ranging between 3,200 in our Canyonlands and 7,450 feet above sea level at the top of El Pinito mountain. Here you will see spectacular views that go on for miles, as well as a combination of vegetation unique in the world, to be found nowhere else. The ranch’s many diverse sections, whether in our high country or our Canyonlands, will each offer something different and exotic, combined with a land that is as rugged and wild, and unique, as anywhere on the planet.


Our Riding

Guided rides

With one of our cowboys, or vaqueros, acting as guide, you will traverse miles of back country trails, through some of the most scenic and pristine country around.

Weight limit for riding

Up to 225 lbs

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed, We recommend a good level of physical fitness, Riders should be confident without a wrangler by their side

Hours in the saddle

Two tiers of Riding tours: 2-3 hours per day considered Short Rides. 4-6 hours/day, our full day back country rides, are our Long Rides, designed for Intermediate and Advanced Riders.


Why our riding stands out

  • 30,000 acres of scenic, unique, unspoiled privately owned wilderness
  • Remote, rugged, diverse, vertical and wild country. Sheer vastness.
  • No nose to tail rides but rather freedom, intimacy, privacy and tranquility

Sample Riding Itinerary

With 30,000 unspoiled and protected acres of wilderness as your week-long personal playground, backcountry horseback riding at northeast Sonora's Rancho Los Baños offers almost unlimited hours of thrilling, challenging, yet fun-filled adventure riding in remote, rugged and secluded isolation, surrounded by sierras, hills, canyons and unsurpassed, unspoiled nature. Indeed, the sheer vastness of the ranch will inspire you, while the landscapes and scenery that makes us unique will thrill you.

Discover a world-class riding ranch, quickly gaining worldwide recognition for our outstanding riding trails, our scenery, our back country and adventures. To ride at the ranch is to ride at one of the best riding ranches anywhere in the world. Indeed, those who know riding, and have been to the ranch, continue to return, year after year, having fallen in love with riding at the ranch. It is safe to say that no other ranch in Arizona, Mexico or the Southwest offers the scenery, pristineness, vastness, landscapes and freedom experienced at our ranch.

At the ranch, besides our many scenic nature trails, you can also ride to numerous historical attractions. Our guests visit a 17th century abandoned Jesuit gold mine [at 6,000 feet of elevation with views that go for miles], by the name of San Jose, where many Native American slaves perished. Deep inside a scrub oak, canopy-filled canyon at the foot of 7,500 ft El Pinito Mountain, guests also visit the remains of a 19th century bandit hiding camp where both American and Mexican outlaws went to lay low. After all, the Wild West did not end at the border.

You can also ride to 2,000 year old pre-Colombian dwellings full of pictographs, deep inside El Cajon Canyon, or visit a 20 mile long lake, and its dam, built during the Great Depression by the architects and engineers that also built Hoover Dam [the dam is a smaller replica of Hoover]. Guests also visit the ruins of an early 20th century homestead, with a genuine Model T Ford skeleton gathering rust. 

At Cuatro Cabezas Cliffs, you will ride up to the top, with spectacular 360 degree views. Here, you can ride to magnificent views of famous El Tigre, a nearby Sierra Madre mountain that acted as Geronimo's [famous Apache chief] Last Stronghold. Indeed, to ride at the ranch is to ride in what was once prime Apache country, where the fierce warriors once rode, camped and lived. At the ranch, after all, you are riding, breathing and living through history.

Besides riding through history, you will also ride through a diversity seldom seen at a guest ranch. You will explore pristine wilderness and diverse habitats and have chance encounters with our wildlife, including mountain lion. Guests ride to our high country, passing through vertical sierras, to locations such as Los Toros, “The Bulls,” a mountainous region so remote and secluded few humans have ever seen. Indeed, so remote is this region, that ferrel cattle roam its mountains, seldom, if ever, having seen a single human being.

You will also ride to “El Sordo,” “The Deaf Man,” high country so named for the incredible, omnipresent silence and quietness one encounters when there. Down in our Canyonlands, you will ride through stunning, wet, box canyons full of life, with cliff walls hundreds of feet high. You will ride through rock formations, formed over eons, that are beautiful manifestations of nature as it artistically carves its way through time.

Throughout the ranch, you will explore habitats that are varied, diverse and exotic. You will see regions full of desert palm trees, organ pipe cacti, ocotillo forests, sycamore canopies and much more. You will ride through hills covered in knee-high, golden-colored grass, and see a vast collection of high country vegetation. With a riding elevation between 3,200 to 6,000 feet, your entire conception of what a desert is will be radically altered.

With no signs of civilization, you will immerse yourself in our high desert environments, whether riding inside box canyons, river beds, vertical and rocky sierras, high elevation terrains, ravines, cliffs, mesas and/or rolling foothills dressed in golden grass. With elevation range between 3,200 and 6,000 feet above sea level, you can select our high country or canyonlands riding trails. With our old and new school genuine Mexican cowboys as your guides, along with our European cowgirls, riding at Rancho Los Baños will become an unforgettable experience, whether you are an experienced rider or an eager beginner.

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    Summer: $185 - $250
    Winter: $185 - $250
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

    $185 - $250
  • Minimum Stay

    3 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Sat, Sun, Any day is fine
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Any day is fine
  • Packages available

    4 night, 5 night, 6 night, 1 week, 8 night, 9 night, 10 night, 2 week

Los Banos Ranch can cater for up to 14 guests. See below for details and indicative rates.

Cabin | Cabana de los Apaches

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $175 - $245
Winter: $175 - $245

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

Our modern cabin will become your home away from home, offering homey comfort and relaxation. Offering privacy in a very comfortable and clean setting, with solar energy, with hot water and fully functioning restrooms, our cabin will welcome you with open arms. When relaxing or eating outside, you will enjoy our 360 degree views from our covered, wrap-around porch that are something out of a Western movie.

Rooms

1

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, seating area, wood fireplace

Cabin | Cabana de los Penascos

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $175 - $245
Winter: $175 - $245

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

Rooms

1

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

seating area, wood fireplace

Entertainment

tv, dvd, cable / satellite tv

Cabin | Cabana de los Vaqueros

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $175 - $245
Winter: $175 - $245

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

Spacious cabin with bathroom and three bedrooms. All are large bedrooms that can accommodate up to four guests each, if necessary. Ideal for 4-6 guests, with capacity for 8. Twin beds, bunk beds, queens can be set up as well. Nice porch area, very private and intimate. Newly renovated offering solar light and hot water for showers. Well appointed.

Rooms

3

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

seating area, wood fireplace

Entertainment

tv, dvd

Cabin | Cabana de los Caballos

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $175 - $245
Winter: $175 - $245

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

Spacious cabin with three rooms and large living area. Solar lighting/electricity, comfortable queen and/or twin/bunk beds. Ideal for 4 to 8 guests. Wonderful views of cliffs and surrounding hills/mountains. Very private, quiet and serene. Large private bath with hot water. Well appointed. Newly built.

Rooms

3

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

seating area

Entertainment

tv, dvd

Cabin | Cabana del Puma

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $175 - $245
Winter: $175 - $245

Minimum Stay

No minimum

Description

Our modern one bedroom [easily accommodates up to four guests in two queen beds] cabin will become your home away from home, offering homey comfort and relaxation. Offering privacy in a very comfortable and clean setting, with solar energy, with hot water and a fully functioning restroom, our cabin will welcome you with open arms. When relaxing or eating outside, you will enjoy our 360 degree views from our covered porch that is something out of a Western movie.

Rooms

1

Bathrooms

Private bathroom


Booking Policy

A deposit of 50% of the total price of your package is needed to secure a reservation. This amount is due within five days of confirming, via email or telephone, your intent to visit the ranch. The five day grace period is a soft reservation.This soft reservation will expire within five days unless the 50% deposit is received by us in the time allotted.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, Riding

Extras

Tax

7.5%

Gratuity

Honor system, 15% if giving tip

Lowdown

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy hats
  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi, telephone.
  • Cell Networks

    AT&T, verizon. Telcel.

Onsite

Outdoor Activities

climbing, mountain biking, campouts, bird watching, hiking, trekking, canyoneering, bouldering, jeeping, ecotours, wildlife spotting, stargazing, horseback riding, petroglyph tours

Water based Activities

hot springs, lake water sports, river floating, whitewater rafting-adventure, lake and river kayaking


Fishing & Wildlife

Fish in untouched rivers and lakes.

Fishing on offer

spin, fly, river, lake, equipment available, guided non-inclusive, unguided, BYO equipment

Wildlife

puma (mountain lion), jaguar, black bear, ocelot, bobcat, ring-tail cat, Coue's deer, Gould's turkey, coatimundi, javelina, badger, porcupine, skunk, ground squirrel, coyote, fox, Gila Monster, hundreds of insects, plant life, hundreds of birds, both endemic and local


Additional Services

Weddings

We can cater for groups of up to 30. Please contact us for a beautiful destination wedding.


Top50 says

Highs

  • Ideal for backcountry horseback riding, the landscape is pristine and unspoiled. The diversity in this land and plant life makes it an exotic ranch vacation
  • You will not see a sign of civilization for miles. The ranch is a wilderness area that, located in the US or Canada, would be considered a national park, with comparisons to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Big Bend and Kenya/Tanzania
  • Set on an actual working ranch, guests are welcome to participate when there is cattle work
  • You have the chance to embrace Mexican culture, food and hospitality at its finest

Lows

  • If you're looking for luxury or pampering this ranch isn't for you, but your stay can be as relaxing or as active as you wish

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

Ed's Unique Adventure

Phenominal experience for me...loved the horses and the sweet dogs as well as the affectionate cats....they were particularly great lap-warmers at meal times. I loved the hiatus from the modern amenities of home..to be warmed and fed with the heat from wood fires was delight to the soul and gut. The staff including the vaqueros, the multi-talented chef and Manola and the volunteers were beyond accommodating and I so enjoyed learning about their lives. In short I had a fabulous time and I would certainly repeat that adventure. Thanks! It was an enriching chapter in my life that I won't soon forget

4 stars

You can find more reviews for Los Banos Ranch on TripAdvisor