When Romance Won the West

Ranch of the Gentlemen on Horseback, Fine Dining and Gold Sparkled Mountains

by J. Adam Burch and Stacey Lane


There are green lawns, plush flower gardens, and deluxe accommodations hidden in arid desert foothills where the sunsets cast shadows from the peaks of Vulture Mountain. The song of nature may compel you and a local wrangler might recount the old stories of Vulture Mine and Vulture City- an 1862 ghost town you can still tour today. There was a romance forged there; a new life for those who could pioneer treacherous wilderness littered with the remains of those who could not, with gold.

Building began in 1863 on the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River and Wickenburg, Arizona is a closer look at the other stories of history, mystery and romance surrounding the Phoenix Valley.

The charge for California gold having been led with picks, shovels, and the single action Colt, prospectors like Henry Wickenburg discovered what had been passed in the rush. Recognized for having established the Vulture Mine in 1863; the highest gold producing mine in Arizona gold history, dedication and devotion to finding gold still left Henry penniless when he turned a hogleg on himself in 1905.


The true spirit of the Old West lives on, and the agreeable climate and stunning vistas around Wickenburg made tourism a natural choice.  Dallas Grant and his partners capitalized on the romantic image of the early gold-miners and ranchers with a dream of a new life when they opened the dude ranch resort, Ranchos de los Caballeros in 1948 right outside the town of Wickenburg.

For a weary Wall Street golfer, a busy corporate executive, or the independent woman looking for a raw, authentic Arizona laced with fine dining and gold sparkled mountains, Rancho de los Caballeros has the allure. Ranch of the Gentlemen on Horseback; family owned since 1948, the cowboys’ dream; to build the ranch that would withstand the test of time, became real and another western romance was built in the silhouette of the Vulture Mountain Range. Open for a new season of multi-cultured fun and southwestern intrigue, Rancho de los Caballeros makes it’s own history while the vintage handcrafted furnishings reflect its southwest charm.


The Ranch staff has refined the art of combining hospitality and adventure.  Dr. George Terranova and his family visited the ranch this year early October and were ecstatic to participate in the many activities the ranch has to offer.  “I have done more trap shooting in the past four days, than all of October last year,” Dr. Terranova said. Rancho de los Caballeros provides a unique style of fun for people of all ages.  Both Dr. George Terranova and his son, Dr. Lucas Terranova, took a shot at experiencing the Old West.  The rest of his family were also engaged with yoga, horseback riding, spa treatments and enjoying the delicious meals.


The Caballeros Kid’s Program has been running since it opened and offers children Southwestern activities geared accordingly.    “The fantastic kid counselors in the child care allows you to go off and not have to worry,” Dr. Lucas Terranova shared.

Notable staff member, Daryll Crandall, paid particular attention to detail.  “The only thing you take from life are your experiences,” Mr. Crandall said.   He further ensures that you will  have an opportunity to fire away while experiencing the Trap and Skeet Shooting. “This activity promotes an understanding of the sporting and safety of guns.  We are educating guests and having a great time while doing it,” Mr. Crandall added.

Today travelers can breakfast and lunch freshly detailed cuisine, presented at the guests leisure while the dining room is open. Take no offense gentlemen, but after shedding those wrangler-style jeans, the attire suited formally for dining on Chef’s evening specials includes jacket or western vest.food

A host of activities await you throughout your stay; providing you leave the room, and whether a morning swim before hitting the greens, or a call of cool in the afternoon, the pool always pleases. While on horseback the skeet shooting can be heard in the distance and the trail steers you back out of wilderness to the hot-stone massage you scheduled earlier.

Set on 20,000 acres, the ranch affords guests opportunities to experience enticements of the desert from October through May each year.  For sixty-eight seasons the family-owned ranch has refined the method of a great stay. Weddings, banquet, conferences and parties seating up to 200 for dining, catered with full service saloon, ensures you have it all.

Take heart little lady, there is real western romance that is written in the history of the ranch, perhaps a story among the gentlemen on horseback is written in yours.


Rancho de los Caballeros is located 7 miles from downtown Wickenburg at 1551 South Vulture Mine Road.  Bookings can be made by calling 928-684-5485 or 800-684-5030 – and tell them the Black Canyon Bullet sent you.   Go ahead – give it a shot!

J. Adam Burch and Stacey Lane
can be found at; (602) 367-6748, [email protected]
The Black Canyon Bullet;