Posted By Visit Mesa Team
January 30, 2020
Saguaro Lake Ranch
Mesa, Arizona promises a winter escape unlike any other in the Southwest.
Western tradition and attractions share a storied history of a distant era and authentic Sonoran Desert beauty with canyon lands and mountains surrounding the city can be explored all year long. One of the more treasured experiences this time of year is at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch, located northeast of Mesa nestled where the lake meets the Salt River.
Visitors will step back in time as they enter the lodge dating back to 1927. The ranch still exudes the same charm and character as recounted by Zane Grey in his writings about this genuine place. In total, the ranch is a collection of 20 rustic cottages that originally housed workers building Arizona’s dams, providing flood control and irrigation to Greater Phoenix. Each one is uniquely appointed and includes all the must-haves of travel – just don’t plan on seeing any televisions or clocks and don’t ask about wi-fi. Rather, guests visit for a different kind of connection when heading to the ranch.
Guests can soak up genuine cowboy life with horseback riding and incredible hikes only accessible to guests into the ranch’s nearby desert trails. All paths lead to lakeside cliffs that surround the property. During the river flow, guests can kayak straight from the river bank or gear up and enjoy fly fishing within a short walking distance.
During the fall and winters Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch hosts their Saturday Night Cowboy Cookouts open to the public and a great way to experience the ranch. These popular dinners feature steaks straight off the grill and are followed up with s’mores around the campfire under an expansive, sparkling sky. The ranch’s unique location and low light pollution offer some of the best night sky viewing in Mesa.
When touring the grounds of the ranch, be prepared to see wild horses that roam throughout this area of the Tonto National Forest and the adjacent reservation. The wild Mustang herd is admired by locals and visitors are sure to see them on the cactus-studded paths that leads guests across the river.
Learn more about our southwestern stays and attractions by downloading our Visitors Guide.