My friends and I always say that the trick to living in Las Vegas (or New York City or Los Angeles…) is getting out of town for weekend getaways like Ojai, South Beach or Napa. But one of my most memorable getaways in the past few months was an even quicker trip, to Grand Canyon Ranch — we left at 4 pm and arrived home early enough the next morning to make it to work almost on time. But it felt like we’d gone to the other side of the world and back. That’s one of the most magical parts about living in Las Vegas — as you fly away the scenery goes from razzle dazzle to miles of nothingness is a blink of an eye. The part of this trip I was most excited about — my very first helicopter ride! My friend and coworker Tiffany had invited me on the overnight to get to see the ranch, as our company has some exciting things planned with them. I couldn’t wait! We both went straight from the office, in high heels and dresses. Our fellow passengers, all in appropriate tourist wear, looked at us like we were nuts. We’ll know for next time!
After an awesome flight through the Grand Canyon, we landed at the famed Grand Canyon Ranch, near the Canyon’s West Rim. We were picked up in a covered wagon (with a woman driver!) and rode in with the ranch’s owner, the charismatic Nigel Turner, here with Tiffany. Nigel, a British jet-setter with an impressive roster of celebrity friends, fell in love with the Southwest, a passion he pours into this property. He was an amazing host. After just 15 minutes with him, we couldn’t have been more excited for our night! Between the covered wagons, miles of untouched land and smiling happy people, I couldn’t have felt farther from Las Vegas, even though our flight had been less than an hour.
After an ice-cold beer, the first thing we did was change into sportier attire to get ready for sunset horseback ride through the Joshua Tree forest. Admittedly, I was scared to death, having not ridden a horse since I was a teenager. But I had nothing to worry about. These horses were pros at handling inexperienced rider like me. At sunset, we were treated to a concert by the ranch’s entertainer, Casey, shown here, as we admired wild buffalo, which you can see behind the fence, and toasted with champagne. Also pictured: Boot, who helped me conquer my horse-riding fear. After we returned, we ate an amazing meal and stayed around the table for hours, talking to Nigel and drinking delicious wine. We finished the night singing around the campfire with Casey, the open sky filled with stars.
Grand Canyon Ranch feels like a million miles from Las Vegas.
This beautiful horse came galloping up to tell me, “good morning.”
After a hearty breakfast, we couldn’t have been sadder to be on our way home — even worse, we were headed straight to work. I felt like begging to stay for another week! The Grand Canyon Ranch staff couldn’t have been a happier group of people, so in love with where they got to work every day. It was contagious.
After flying back over the desert, the pilot telling us of all the John Wayne westerns shot there and real-life adventures of legends like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the lights of Vegas first come into view.
I could have written a series of posts on the thousands of years worth of history of the ranch at Grand Canyon Ranch alone. I urge you to read more about it, starting here.
For more information and to book a trip, click here.