Our first vacation at Three Bars Ranch was hands down our favorite trip we have ever taken as a family. We reveal why this all-inclusive Canadian dude ranch is one of the best in Canada.
After our first family vacation at this all-inclusive Canadian dude ranch in BC, we were hooked! The horses, the landscape of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the food, the accommodations and most of the all, the owners and staff made it unforgettable.
Here are our top ten reasons why you should visit Three Bars Ranch in BC.
I put this list in alphabetical order because we loved these reasons equally and each one of them played a big role during our vacation.
1. The Activities
The activities available at Three Bars Ranch are endless. There are so many options that you will likely not be able to do them all but you will certainly have fun trying. Some of the activities include:
- Trap Shooting Range
- River Rafting
- Mountain Biking
- Fly Fishing
- Fire Engine Games
2. The Amenities
The main lodge is the focal point of the ranch, with private cabins arranged around it. Inside the lodge, you will find reception, dining room, saloon, lounge, store, fitness & business center and laundry facilities.
In addition, you will also find these amenities to complement your stay:
- Indoor Pool and Outdoor Hot Tub
- Tennis courts
- Pool Table
- Ping Pong
- BBQ and Outdoor Dining Patio
- Boot Rental
3. The Food
One of the best parts of a vacation at Three Bars Ranch is that it is an all-inclusive experience, so you don’t have to cook! The meals prepared by the in-house chef are so delicious you will likely be going for seconds throughout the week. The foods are varied so you won’t be eating the same thing twice.
And one of the best perks of dining at Three Bars Ranch is that the staff remembers the little things that you enjoy. On my first morning, I asked for decaf coffee. Every morning afterward, there was a fresh pot of decaf waiting for me without having to ask.
If you have any food allergies, they will be taken care of without worry.
My son has an anaphylactic nut allergy and our table setting always indicated that our family was nut-free. Owner Jenna Beckley and the in-house chef were both on top of my son’s allergy, discussing it with me at our first meal and throughout the week if any food ingredient was in question.
The food portions were perfect and filling and each day after lunch, we were sent away with a bag of snacks, usually the most divine cookies, in case we got hungry before dinner. More often than not, we were so full and so active that we didn’t eat all of the snacks provided, but they sure came in handy on our road trip home!
4. The Horses
There really is something magical about being paired up with a horse for your entire week on the ranch. On your first day of riding, you will meet the horse that owners Jenna and Tyler Beckley have chosen for you based on the information that you send prior to arrival.
There are over 80 guest horses at Three Bars Ranch and they have all been chosen for their temperament. It is incredible how much training has gone into these horses and even first-time riders will feel at ease within minutes of their first ride.
Guests will often be surprised at how much they enjoy riding and will end up riding more than they anticipated. There are so many activities to do at this Canadian dude ranch but something about that first ride every morning soothes the soul and leaves you wanting more.
5. The Landscape
Imagine waking up in the morning to a stunning view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The lodge overlooks the valley where the Rocky Mountain Range takes center stage and behind Three Bars Ranch sits the Purcell Range.
This all-inclusive Canadian dude ranch is situated between St. Mary’s River to the north and Perry Creek to the south. It sits on over 1000 acres as well as 1000’s of acres of crown land, including jaw-dropping hoodoos and the most magical sunrises you have ever seen.
6. No Screen Time
No screen time, it’s what every parent dreams of. My kids didn’t ask for their iPads or to watch tv all week. We were kept busy throughout the week and when we did have downtime, my boys would often be found playing with the Beckley’s children, swimming in the pool or exploring the ranch.
7. The Owners and Staff
Owners Jenna and Tyler Beckley operate the guest ranch and are excellent hosts. Jenna Beckley takes care of guests, oversees the kitchen and is an experienced Wrangler. She takes the time to get to know her guests throughout the week and she is so incredible with kids!
Some of my favorite moments on the ranch came from watching the interactions my children had with Jenna. We were so lucky to have Jenna as our wrangler for a ride one morning and, it was hands down our favorite ride of the week.
Tyler Beckley is more reserved than Jenna, but that is part of what makes these owners so great at what they do. Tyler takes care of all the bookings and organizes what activities guests will do each day. During each meal, Tyler comes around and discusses what your family would like to do and offers suggestions depending on the day. He’s your personal concierge at Three Bars Ranch.
If you ask my kids which activity they loved the most, it was the river rafting day, where they also had water gun fights. My sons had so much fun trying to spray Tyler with water, but he took it in stride and squirted them right back and they squealed with delight every single time.
The wranglers that come to work on the ranch are the ones you interact with the most and who will accompany your family to the activities. They are fun, incredibly experienced riders and my boys looked forward to seeing them each day.
The Wranglers at this all-inclusive Canadian dude ranch do an amazing job, whether on horseback or guiding guests through activities. My sons still talk about the wranglers, especially Billy, who came from Australia.
8. The Quality Family Time
Above all else that we experienced at Three Bars Ranch, the one thing that stood out to me the most was the incredible, uninterrupted quality time I shared with my family.
There was no cooking, cleaning or decisions to make other than what activity we would be doing that day. There were no demands for screen time and the limited wifi meant that when we were together, we were actually together.
I cannot think of any other vacation we have been on as a family where we truly connected each and every day and lived in the moment as much as we did at this Canadian dude ranch.
9. The Ranch Accommodations
When you arrive at Three Bars Ranch, the beautiful log cabins and main lodge are in full view. The attention to detail is impeccable and every attempt to make life on the ranch luxurious for guests has been taken.
The building of the guest facilities was overseen by the original owners, Jeff and April Beckley. Logs were purchased locally, doors and windows were handcrafted in Cranbrook and custom log furniture was made at the ranch in the woodworking shop.
The guest cabins are spacious, the beds are incredibly comfortable and the family cabins allow parents to have a little space from their kids and vice versa. The engineering of the cabins is quite amazing. Even in the middle of summer, with the hot, hot temperatures, the cabins remain cool, which results in a very pleasant night’s sleep.
The new Black Series cabins, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the valley and the Rocky Mountains take ranch life to the next level. They feature a private deck complete with a hot tub and are a recent addition to this all-inclusive Canadian dude ranch.
10. The Trails
With over 35,000 acres available, there are so many trails to ride that you won’t do the same one twice. Our absolute favorite trail was the Wales Trail, which took us down to the river. It was so incredibly peaceful and lovely and there were many spots for us to trot, which my boys loved doing.
Our very first trail ride of the week took us through the forest along the hoodoos, where we saw a herd of elk. It was a magical ride.
On one trail ride, we came across a herd of cattle and our wrangler that day let us help her round them up and herd them into a different area. It was so much fun and my boys were squealing with laughter and cheers of delight doing it. It was an experience far different than anything we have ever encountered.
Honorable Mention – The Ranch Dogs!
Because everything we mentioned so far just isn’t enough, there are three additional reasons to fall in love with Three Bars Ranch……the ranch dogs!
Cupcake (bulldog), Finnegan (wiener dog) and Marley (yellow lab) are just the absolute sweetest dogs. Cupcake always seemed to appear around meal times and Marley always knew when guests were returning from rides to solicit tummy scratches.
The ranch dogs are just another small touch that makes you fall in love with this all-inclusive Canadian dude ranch. You need to experience Three Bars Ranch yourself, and you will be forever grateful that you did.
Added Bonus – Plug in your EV
There is no Tesla charger or EV charger at Three Bars Ranch, but if you have an adapter, you are able to plug in your vehicle right in the parking lot, so it is fully charged and ready to go when you leave.
We have had experiences at other guest ranches, but none have compared to Three Bars Guest Ranch.
If you are planning a family vacation, hopefully, this has inspired you to consider an all-inclusive Canadian dude ranch vacation. It was a gift for all of us in more ways than one, and we cannot wait until we return again in the future.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.