Sophisticated Ranch Retreat

Enjoy a stylish all-inclusive experience at Tanque Verde Ranch

Article by Kelley Lamm and Robin Jefferson

Photography by Kelley Lamm, Gordon Montgomery and provided

Originally published in Ahwatukee City Lifestyle

Nestled among the Rincon Mountains in Tucson, Ariz., lies “the last luxurious outpost of the Old West” – Tanque Verde Ranch, an old-time cattle and guest ranch.

Gordon Montgomery and Kelley Lamm recently experienced Tanque Verde Ranch for the first time. “Our time spent at this remarkable destination exceeded all expectations and left an indelible mark on our memories,” affirms Lamm.

The ranch consists of more than 60,000 acres of desert, deep-rooted in American history, that passed hands through various ranchers and cattlemen since 1868, until Jim Converse built lodging accommodations and began to welcome guests to the property in 1928.

"Tanque Verde Ranch is not only a dude-ranch vacation destination but also a long-living story with an abundance of truthful tales waiting to unfold and for someone to blow the dust off,” says General Manager Terry Hanley. “The Arizona desert 15 decades ago was filled with ambushing Indians, greedy gangsters and deadly trails. Tanque Verde Ranch lived through it, and did some building along the way."

Now owned by Cote Family Destinations, guests of Tanque Verde Ranch can experience the ranch's rich 150-plus-year American history—an authentic Wild West experience—including more than 200 horses for lessons and rides on miles of horse trails, wound through desert and mountain scenery. “We had the privilege of exploring the breathtaking trails of Tucson alongside the legendary ranch wrangler, Joe Valdez,” Lamm says. “His expertise and passion for the land made every step of the journey an exhilarating experience. From the rugged terrain to the awe-inspiring vistas, we discovered the true essence of the Southwest.”

Lamm shares that Tanque Verde Ranch is an awesome experience for all of the senses—not only for its spectacular sights but unique and delectable tastes. She adds that a highlight of the stay was the unforgettable cookout at Cottonwood Grove.

"The rustic setting, combined with the flavors of a well-prepared meal, created a culinary experience that delighted our taste buds and warmed our hearts,” she said. “The attention to detail and the quality of the ingredients truly showcased the ranch's commitment to excellence.

“The following morning, we embarked on a sensational ride to a blueberry pancake breakfast, which left us in awe of the breathtaking surroundings, while savoring the delicious pancakes was a feast for the senses. The dedication of the staff to provide such an unforgettable start to the day was evident in every bite.”

Guests also can enjoy more than 30 fun activities, including mountain biking, fishing, hiking, axe throwing, archery, swimming, nature seminars and Jeep adventures. The ranch also offers more than 25 team-building activities and 17 event spaces.

Tennis and basketball courts sit among the towering saguaro and ocotillo as well as two swimming pools and 69 choices of comfortable and inviting accommodations featuring traditional adobe walls and Santa Fe-style architecture. And Western wear isn’t just in vogue for cowboys and cowgirls. The accommodations are stylishly appointed in Western wear of their own, featuring textiles, art and more that combine the spirit of the Old West and modern amenities.

Lamm says Tanque Verde Ranch uniquely allows for the simultaneous experience of an old-time ranching adventure and a sophisticated poolside gathering. “The fusion of the cowboy and cowgirl lifestyle seamlessly transitions into a relaxing afternoon by the pool,” she explains. “This unique blend of adventure and relaxation allows guests to immerse themselves in the true spirit of the ranch. Whether you prefer saddling up for a ride or lounging poolside, there is something for everyone.”

Tanque Verde Ranch’s professional wedding planning staff can assist couples with all of the details for a dream Western wedding with a picture-perfect scenic backdrop of rolling mountains and gorgeous desert landscape and a variety of indoor and outdoor venues to accommodate up to 350 guests. 

Numerous spa services at the ranch include massages, body treatments and facials. And off-site activities include skiing, golfing, cave exploring and mountain climbing, among others.

Tanque Verde Ranch has received some 15-plus awards including being named the “No. 1 Top Resort in the Southwest” in Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards in 2021.

Lamm and Montgomery couldn’t agree more. “[Tanque Verde Ranch] is an idyllic destination suitable for families, solo travelers and couples alike. The diverse array of activities, coupled with the outstanding food and impeccable service, make it a true gem among travel destinations,” Lamm says.

TanqueVerdeRanch.com | 800.234.3833

...Guests of Tanque Verde Ranch can experience the ranch's rich 150-plus-year American history—an authentic Wild West experience...

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