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Lowdown

  • Established

    1940. Guest ranch since 1991
  • Owner

    Roley and Janice Schoonover
  • Manager

    Same as owners
  • Tel

    2082639066
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    Summer: $275 - $350
    Winter: $125 - $220
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $200
  • Minimum Stay

    Summer: 1 day
    Winter: No minimum stay
  • Maximum Guests

    20
  • Works with travel agents?

    Yes
  • Great For

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

    Dude Ranch Association

At Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, experience the spirit of the West on an all-inclusive guest ranch adventure vacation. The warm Western hospitality, country gourmet dining, ranch-raised and -trained horses, and the beauty of Idaho’s wilderness will make your guest ranch stay not just a vacation, but an authentic Western experience with memories that will last a lifetime.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 6 and over

A hands-on experience with their horse is the centerpiece of this program. Before arriving at the ranch, children will receive our ranch’s horsemanship manual to help expand their learning. The program starts on Sunday evening and is concluded on Thursday evening with a horse show, complete with trophies and ribbons.

Children will be responsible for their own horse and equipment, and very morning they will help prepare their horse for the day’s activities, all the while learning valuable horse husbandry skills and equipment care.

Activities

hiking, biking, outdoor play area, cookouts

Games

scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, horseshoes, pool table, Basketball court

Riding based activities

animal care, horse care, pony rides, arena riding, trail riding, gymkhana

Environmental & Social Practices

Community

USA Today describes Sandpoint Idaho as “Norman Rockwell-meets-Ansel Adams”. Sunset magazine recently voted Sandpoint as ‘Best Small Town in the West’. Sandpoint has also been featured in National Geographic Adventure and Outside magazine.

The reality is that the only way to get a full grasp of the natural beauty of Northern Idaho is from a breathtaking scenic vista, atop a Western Pleasure horse. Sandpoint sits on the shores of the spectacular Lake Pend Oreille, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States. At 43 miles in length, Lake Pend Oreille is the fifth deepest lake (1,158ft at its greatest depth) in the United States, with 111 miles of shoreline. Its pristine waters are a major factor in the community of Sandpoint’s, ranking high as a premier tourist destination.

The community of Sandpoint (at an elevation of just over 2,000ft) serves as the county seat of Bonner County (population 40,699 in 2013). For more than a century, its economy depended heavily on the lumber industry. Beginning in the late 1980s, the tourism industry began to grow rapidly in response to increasing awareness of the region’s four-season climate.

With an annual average rainfall of 33.5in and annual snowfall of 71.in, residents experience few sub-zero days in the winter, while summer days rarely exceed 90°. The average year-round temperature is 47° and there are close to 125 frost-free days each year. The humidity level is comparatively low, the nights are generally comfortable and summertime typically offers weeks of blue sky and sunny days. This is, of course, to the delight of boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, hiking and horseback riding enthusiasts!

Resting at the base of the Selkirk Mountains in North Idaho’s Panhandle region, the community of Sandpoint can be found 60 miles south of the Canadian border and 75 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington.

Conservation

The 1100 acres of Idaho forest that make up the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch have been carefully managed since Riley Wood moved to northern Idaho from Colorado in 1941.

In 2008 and 2009, the 640 acres that make up our Section 31 were placed into a conservation easement program to protect it from development and division, and to ensure the continued management of the timber and wildlife resources. Timber management is systematically harvesting mature trees, thinning overgrowth and eradicating diseased timber in order to maintain a healthy forest. After the timber is thinned and harvested, the clean-up process must begin.

The timber slash (debris left after a logging operation) must be piled, burned, re-piled and re-burned. The remaining ash piles need to be leveled, and the potential grazing areas re-seeded for cattle and wildlife to graze. This process results in a healthy, beautiful forest, and vibrant forest grassland on which domestic stock and wildlife can thrive. We believe that this process is critical to responsible forestland ownership.

Ranch History

The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch operates on the 75 year-old family ranch, and has come to be what it is today through hard work and family dedication. Before the guest ranching operation began in 1991, it was known as the Wood V-X Cattle Ranch.

Without the hard work and pioneer spirit of Janice’s parents, Jim and Virginia Wood, this guest ranch would never have become a reality. Janice’s father Jim, designed and participated in every aspect of the log lodge’s construction in 1996.

Most of the Panhandle of Idaho, including the Gold Creek area, was owned and logged in the early 1900s by Humbird Lumber Company. Rails were laid for narrow gauge steam engine locomotives to transport the logs out to be milled. Today many of those same railroad grades make up the trails and roads used on the ranch. You will also find old apple trees, still bearing fruit, which grew where the loggers threw out their apple cores. After logging operations in an area were completed, they pulled the rails and burned the area. Today, huge burnt stumps are all that remain of the hand-cut logs.

In 1939, Janice’s grandfather (Riley Wood) lived and farmed in Colorado on a leased farm. Riley read about cut-over land for sale in northern Idaho that could be worked into fine ranch land. He and his wife Gladys traveled here that summer and were shown land on Gold Creek. They fell in love with the area, went home, gathered the family, sold the livestock and equipment, and started their journey to Gold Creek in north Idaho. They arrived on February 14, 1940 in three feet of snow, under a bright moon at 10pm at the door of a very small, one-bedroom house.

In 1957, Janice’s father (Jim Wood) purchased the 960 acres from his father, Riley, and continued to expand and work the ranch. In 1978, a second ranch, located six miles north of Sandpoint, was purchased. Jim and his youngest son, Leonard, ran about 400 head of cow calf pairs, using the lower ranch as the calving grounds and Gold Creek Ranch for summer pastures.

This ranch is a direct reflection of what one man with the help of a supporting wife can accomplish through a lifetime of hard work and dedication. I believe it is through this same spirit that our forefathers came to this land some 100 years ago.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style, Health oriented
  • Meals served

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

    available for purchase
  • Enjoy dining in

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

    ranch-raised beef, farm fresh eggs, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

We specialize in hearty ranch meals which are served either buffet or family style in the great room of the lodge. The meals are prepared using only the finest ingredients to satisfy your entire family, and we’re especially proud of our beef products that are raised naturally on grain and grass on the ranch.

Guest Favourites

  • Ranch raised steak dinner cook out
  • Locally raised and processed country style baked ham
  • Dutch Oven Dinner Cook Out

Lowdown

  • Address

    1413 Upper Gold Creek Rd
    Sandpoint
    Idaho
    83864
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    2700 ft
  • Private Land

    1000-5000 acres
  • Public Land

    5000-10000

Nearest Town - Sandpoint, Idaho

Sandpoint, Idaho has a population of 7,365 (approx), and is situated 16 miles / 30 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Sandpoint, Idaho include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum.

For shopping Sandpoint, Idaho offers: small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops, malls, western wear.

Rental car

Required

Nearest Airports

Spokane International, Spokane, Washington

Distance

90 miles / 2 hours

Airlines

Delta, United, Horizon, Northwest, Alaska, Southwest


Private Air Travel

Nearest location(s)

Sandpoint, Idaho

Travel by

Airplane

Distance

16 miles

Rental car

Required

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Beginner
  • Rides are grouped by

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

    12
  • Wranglers per ride

    1
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

    30
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Appaloosas, Draft, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings, Mares
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours
    Evening - 1 hour

The Setting

Private Land (1000-5000 acres)

Public Land (5000-10000 acres)


Our Riding

Scheduled rides

Morning rides depart at 10 and afternoon rides depart at 2. Rides vary from open meadows to timbered trails, with valleys and vistas. One of the most unique rides we offer is our day ride, where we ride to Grouse Creek Falls for lunch and swimming. We also afffer some cattle work and arena games.

Guided rides

Rides are all guided with a 1-6 wrangler-to-guest ratio

Good to know

Loping rides must qualify first in arena

Weight limit for riding

225-250 lbs

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight

Hours in the saddle

We also offer a day ride to Grouse Creek Falls, which is a 6-7 hour day.


Why our riding stands out

  • Small group sizes
  • tailored to guest requests
  • Educational and hands on

Sample Riding Itinerary

MONDAY:
8:30am – Wranglers run the horses up from the meadow
9am – Breakfast
10am – Meet at barn for riding orientation and instructions. A short trail ride to follow
12:30pm – Lunch
2pm – Afternoon ride (about two hours)
5pm – Wranglers run horses back to meadow
6:30pm – Dinner
7:30pm – Archery practice
Skeet shooting
Cruise on the lake

TUESDAY:
8:30am – Wranglers run the horses up from the meadow
9am – Breakfast
10am – Meet at barn for morning ride (about two hours)
12:30pm – Lunch
2pm – Afternoon ride. A fast ride and a slow ride are offered. Wranglers must approve those going on fast ride. Ride may be a little shorter because of dinner cruise.
or
Skeet shooting. Skeet is a recreational and competitive activity, using shotguns, where participants attempt to shoot clay disks flung into the air at high speed. Minimum age to participate is 12years
5pm – Wranglers run horses back to meadow
4:30pm – Meet in lodge parking lot to caravan to town
5:15pm – Board the Shawnodese on Lake Pend Orielle for a dinner cruise. (Available June 14-August 30)
9pm – Return to ranch
Lounging at the falls

WEDNESDAY:
8:30am – Wranglers run the horses up from the meadow
9am – Breakfast
9am – Make sack lunches for ride
10am – Meet at barn for all day ride. Ride to Grouse Creek Falls. You may want to bring a swimsuit, watershoes and towel (ask for towels at the lodge) as the trip home in wet jeans can be long! There is a half-mile, moderate hike into Grouse Creek Falls
4:30pm – return to lodge
5pm – Wranglers run horses back to meadow
6:30pm – Dutch Oven Dinner. Served outside at fire pit
7:30pm – Music around the campfire
Wagon ride

THURSDAY:
8:30am – Wranglers run the horses up from the meadow
9am – Breakfast
10am – Cattle sorting. This is a competitive team event. Bring your game face!
12:30pm – Lunch
2pm – Afternoon ride
6:30pm – Dinner
8pm – Wranglers run horses back to meadow
Time TBA – Evening wagon rides
Grilling steak over a fire

FRIDAY:
9am – Breakfast
10am – Non-horse activity TBA
12:30pm – Lunch
12:30pm – Wranglers run the horses up from the meadow
2pm – Day ride – a shorter ride is available upon request
6pm – Dinner on the trail
7:30pm – Ride back to the lodge
8pm – Wranglers run horses back to meadow
Cattle drive

SATURDAY:
9am – Breakfast
11am – Check out
No goodbyes here, just “Until next time!”
 

Riding Lessons

Details

basic riding lessons

Given by

wrangler, horse trainer, ranch owner or manager

Location

in the arena

Natural Horsemanship Clinic

Clinician

Vickie Fuller

Details

Clinics occur yearly, Included in package, Clinics occur in the arena

Cost

$1350.00

Focuses on

Basic horsemanship with a great foundation to pursue other disciplines

Cattle work - pasture gathers

When

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Frequency

Weekly

No. of yearlings

10

No. of cow/calf pairs

60

Interaction

Guests participate

Arena Work

Riding lessons are also available

Type

indoor arena, outdoor arena

Activities

sorting, roping from the ground, barrels, pole bending, gymkhana

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    Summer: $275 - $350
    Winter: $125 - $220
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $200
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

    $175 - $250
  • Minimum Stay

    Summer: 1 day
    Winter: No minimum stay
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Summer: Mon, Tues, Weds, Sun
    Winter: Any day is fine
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Summer: Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    Winter: Any day is fine
  • Packages available

    6 night, 1 week

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch can cater for up to 20 guests. Accommodation includes Cabins and Lodges. See below for details and indicative rates.

Cabin | Settler

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $300 - $325
Winter: $180

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

If you are looking for the privacy of a western vacation, but also the convenience of being closest to the lodge you may consider the Settler cabin. This cozy log cabin has a friendly country décor. Sleeping arrangements include a private bedroom on the main floor with a queen sized bed. Upstairs is an open half loft with a queen bed and two twins. The cabin has a kitchenette with all the basics for light cooking, kitchen table, and living room area with a free standing wood stove.

Rooms

2

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, wood fireplace

Entertainment

hot tub

Cabin | Wrangler

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $300 - $325
Winter: $180

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

Step back into the days of the old west when you enter the Wrangler Cabin. This spacious yet cozy cabin is nestled in the trees for extra privacy. Sleeping arrangements include a private bedroom on the main floor with a queen sized bed. Upstairs is an open half loft with a queen bed and two twins. This cabin has a private bath, a kitchenette with all the basics for light cooking, kitchen table, and living room area with a free standing wood stove.

Rooms

2

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, wood fireplace

Entertainment

hot tub

Cabin | Hunter

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $300 - $325
Winter: $180

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

The Hunter Log Cabin offers the most seclusion of the four cabins at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch with its end of the road location. It is not unusual to watch a doe and fawn grazing outside of this cozy cabin. You may even catch a glimpse of a black bear or coyote in the woods surrounding the Hunter Log Cabin. As the name of this cabin hints, you will experience a sportsman feeling when you enter the cabin. A deer antler chandelier and various animal mounts make this cabin a genuine North Idaho destination. Sleeping arrangements include a pri

Rooms

2

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, wood fireplace

Entertainment

hot tub

Cabin | Meadowview

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $325 - $350
Winter: $220

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

The Meadowview Cabin offers a private tucked away feeling with a stunning view of the Meadow where you can watch cattle and horses grazing, and maybe even watch deer, elk, and moose pass through the valley. This is the perfect cabin for a honey moon or a place to celebrate an anniversary or special occasion. It’s open floor plan with your own river rock fireplace will make you feel right at home. But, if you should decide to bring the kids there is a lower level with two full size beds and half bath. The horsey touches throughout this cabin mak

Rooms

2

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, wood fireplace

Entertainment

hot tub

Lodge | lodge rooms

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $300 - $325
Winter: $125 - $135

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

The beauty and seclusion of North Idaho are at your fingertips while staying at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. Lodge amenities include: The Great Room for dining and meeting space, the upstairs loft for relaxing, the recreation room, outdoor hot tub, and six lodge rooms all with private baths

Rooms

6

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, air conditioning, wood fireplace

Entertainment

tv, dvd, vhs, cable / satellite tv, hot tub


Booking Policy

25% deposit holds your reservation. No refund available from 60 days you before ranch stay.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, Riding

Extras

Tax

8 %

Lowdown

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy boots, Riding helmets, Saddle bags
  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi.
  • Cell Networks

    AT&T, verizon.
  • Business Services

    Conference center.

Onsite

Shopping

Ranch gift shop

Outdoor Activities

mountain biking, sporting clays, wagon rides, bird watching, Hiking, basketball court, archery

Water based Activities

hot tub, whitewater rafting-adventure, Natural water swimming in Grouse Creek Falls

Winter Activities

cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, down hill skiing, snowshoeing, Sleigh rides


Fishing & Wildlife

Fishing charters can be arranged with off-site fishing outfitters in Lake Pend Oreille or other local streams, lakes and rivers

Fishing on offer

guided non-inclusive

Wildlife

Deer, elk, bear, coyotes, moose, wild turkey


Local Attractions

Silverwood Theme Park

Silverwood is the Northwest’s largest theme park, featuring over 200 acres and more than 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions.

Distance

45 miles / 1 hour

Rental car

Required


Action Water Sports

Action Water Sports offers lessons, lake tours and rentals in two convenient locations, Sandpoint and Hope, Idaho. Rentals include ski and pontoon boats, jet skis, stand-up paddle boards and kayaks.

Distance

16 miles / 30 mins

Rental car

Required


Sandpoint City Beach

May we say, modestly, that Sandpoint’s City Beach is simply one of the finest city parks anywhere? With magnificent views down Lake Pend Oreille, enjoy swimming and beach lounging, play volleyball on one of the three sand courts, tennis on the pair of recently upgraded courts, pickup basketball, kids playground, or launch your boat at the public ramp. An easy stroll away from downtown, off Bridge Street.

Distance

16 miles / 30 mins

Rental car

Required

Top50 says

Highs

  • Authentic hospitality: Guests have commented on how welcome and at home they feel. Being family owned and operated means the family is involved in the daily operation of the ranch. There are no corporate holdings or off-ranch owners, just a true, family-owned and operated facility.
  • Great food: The ranch’s chef Shelley provides guests with cooked-from-scratch homemade meals, using locally-grown products whenever possible.
  • Excellent trails and horses: Guests are provided with quality horses and trails that offer a variety of terrain, without having to experience the nail-biting side of the mountains.
  • A smaller guest size: Having fewer guests allows the ranch to customize their guests’ experience – the ranch is happy to accommodate those special requests.

Lows

  • From mid June to early August it’s a very popular family ranch, so it may not suit anyone looking for a child-free vacation at that time.
  • Having very few guests means that it’s not ideal if you are looking to meet lots of new people on your vacation
  • Although the ranch offers beautiful, well-kept log lodging options, it is not considered to be a ‘resort ranch’.

Visitor Reviews

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

Comfortable cabins

Great atmosphere, cozy cabins. Great place to unplug and relax!!! Beautiful scenery, nice lodge and amenities. Highly recommended. Great for families or couples escape! Trail ride is great, many other activities available

5 stars

You can find more reviews for Western Pleasure Guest Ranch on TripAdvisor