Top Hotel Room: Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson

Tanque Verde Ranch is a working dude ranch set against the foothills of the Rincon Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. It has breathtaking desert landscapes and riding a horse along the rocky trails is a typical way to spend a day. When you finish up with all the day's activities (this is an all-inclusive ranch, so you can enjoy as many activities as you can pack into the day), one of the best parts about staying at Tanque Verde is getting back to a comfortable room.

Tanque Verde Ranch room exterior

Tanque Verde Ranch Guest Casitas

I stayed in one of the Sonoran suites in a casita overlooking the desert. The room was large, with a fireplace, two queen beds, overstuffed chairs, high ceilings, and a large bathroom with a wonderful whirlpool tub. It was easy, especially after enjoying the desserts served up in the dining room, to climb into bed and fall fast asleep by the light of the fireplace.

Dog House Saloon Tanque Verde Ranch

Dog House Saloon at Tanque Verde Ranch. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

I particularly loved the patio out back. One late afternoon while I was getting ready for dinner, I watched a deer wander up toward the building, cross my patio, then head down into the wash. That night, walking down to the main lodge, a large owl perched on a telephone pole overhead, outlined against the full moon. No, I'm not making this up. Throughout the day, bunnies scampered past on the grass or across the trails. It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by such natural beauty. Top that off with some gorgeous horses, and I was right at home — and remembering what it is I love about Arizona.

I didn't spend a lot of time in the room at Tanque Verde since there was always so much to do. I enjoyed a spa treatment, took a morning trail ride where we enjoyed pancakes cooked outdoors, had barbecue dinner in the Cottonwood Grove, watched the cowboys wrangle up some calves, went for a hike…the list goes on.

Tanque Verde Trail Riders

Trail rides at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. Photo courtesy Tanque Verde Ranch.

My stay at Tanque Verde Ranch was such a mix of fun and relaxation. Days spent riding and hiking and being active were offset by luxurious times of sitting around the camp fire, sipping margaritas at The Dog House Saloon, or enjoying a meal at the restaurant. All of that made my stay special. However, it was always nice to head back up the hill toward my casita, get ready for bed, and take a few minutes to sit and enjoy those millions of stars over the Rincon Mountains.

Front Lawn of Tanque Verde Ranch

Front Lawn of Tanque Verde Ranch. Photo courtesy Tanque Verde Ranch

Tanque Verde Ranch
14301 E. Speedway
Tucson, AZ 85748

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Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

Founder and publisher Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. She has wandered through the jungles of Thailand, explored the mysteries of the Great Pyramids, and shared the night with a leopard in Zambia. She sailed in the Mediterranean, sipped her way through Burgundy canals and Champagne caves. She followed Rembrandt’s footsteps through Amsterdam. Susan found her center on the red rocks of Sedona and soaked up an exquisite sunset over the Indian Ocean in Bali. Susan is always looking for wow moments around the world or across the street to share with adventure lovers everywhere. She has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Susan is an award-winning travel writer and member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan's work still regularly appears in print and online. Susan is an award-winning travel writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan has worked as an ambassador for Travelocity and is currently a travel ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online in a variety of publications. These include various AAA publications, Postcards for Travel Leaders,,,, So Scottsdale, Uptown, Green Living AZ, Life Refined, Modern Luxury,, WHERE Arizona, WHERE Traveler Phoenix + Scottsdale, and more.

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