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Riding on the Range: Running-R Guest Ranch,
Situated near Bandera, Texas, the Running-R Ranch provides over 40 miles of horseback riding trails, with direct access to the 5,500 acre Hill Country Natural Area next door. The beautiful scenery at the sprawling 250 acre ranch is the setting for a cowboy or cowgirl's dream vacation, with inspiring vistas, canyons, and unique Texas views. The ranch staff are friendly and offer the most comprehensive riding programs in the area.
There are daily rides which range from one to five hours, with the rides longer than one hour venturing into the Natural Area next to the ranch. Day visits are welcome, with advance notice, and some riders bring their own horses for their extended stay. Modern, covered stalls are provided for the horses. For our morning ride, we were led by Vince Dennis, one of three talented wranglers at the ranch. As he guided us along the trail, we shared our favorite John Wayne movies as he pointed out some of the unique aspects of the area and wildlife that he has seen.
Being a rather chilly morning, it took us awhile to get warmed up in the saddle. As the sun came out later on, we wish that we had taken a longer ride. We took a liking to our horses, Quixote and Shadow. Each of the horses have their own personalities, and most can be bribed with an apple or two. Horseback rides can be geared for the beginner to the advanced. Individual riding lessons are available within an arena area.
Guests come to visit from around the world to the sprawling ranch. A large German group came to stay the day after our visit. The busiest time of the year is during Spring Break, where reservations up to a year in advance are needed.
The rustic cabins can accommodate from two to six people, and include air conditioning/heating, refrigerator, private bathroom, and porch. The natural wood furniture and walls add to the ranch's appeal.
Breakfast is served first thing in the morning in the Round-Up Room at 8:30 a.m. by the talented cook Beverly Hays. Our tastey meal consisted of generous portions of eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, and coffee.
After our fun ride, we walked around to explore some of the scenery. Our lunch (served daily at 1:00 p.m.) for the day consisted of fried chicken with all the fixings, topped off by a Valentine's Day cake.
After a day of horseback riding, guests can enjoy a game of pool or watch TV or videos in the Round-Up Room, or relax in the swimmng pool before heading to nearby Bandera for shopping and an evening meal (for John Wayne fans, be sure to visit the Old Spanish Trail Restaurant for the food and continuous Western movies played). The Pioneer Museum is not to be missed, and contains many unique items and details about this historic frontier town. For the rugged and super fit, a 100k ultramarathon is held in Bandera.
Stays at the Running-R are based on double occupancy, which includes breakfast and lunch, with 2 hours of horseback riding. Additional horseback riding is available for an extra $20 per hour.
We would like to thank the Running-R Ranch staff for their hospitality and for assisting with our feature.
Running-R Guest Ranch
9059 Bandera Creek Road
Bandera, TX 78003
(Click twice on below video to watch with music)
Running-R Guest Ranch
"Oh give me land, lots of land
Under starry skies above.
Don't fence me In.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love.
Don't fence me in."
- Cole Porter song