By Mo Edwards
March 10, 2021

At Rockin’ R Ranch you can experience the pleasures of cowboy life without the occupational hazards of actually being a cowboy. Leave the back-breaking work to the ranch hands while you barrel race, line-dance, and trail-ride into the sunset. The ranch is hard at work raising hundreds of cattle and offering guests the most authentic Old West vacation money can buy. Bring your whole family — and we mean everybody. There are enough horses, beds and cornbread for everyone.

Where the Heck is this Place?

Your authentic ranch experience begins in beautiful Antimony, a tiny town in the high-mountain desert of south-central Utah. It’s so remote that there are no remotes. Not one of the 41 rooms have T.V. and connecting to the WIFI is like drinking from a canteen full of sand. What a blessing! Here’s a true chance to get away from modern life’s bullshiz and into some actual sweet-smelling manure.

A Day in the Life

Wake up at the crack of dawn to round up the horses with the wranglers, or sleep in till the eggs and hashbrowns are ready like a person on vacation. Eat well because there’s about to be a stampede — of fun. The all-knowing scheduler will direct you to any number of activities: archery, trail-rides, skeet shooting, tubing, arena sports, lunch, rock-climbing, western line-dancing (sometimes with a live band), wagon-rides, dinner, and campfire s’mores. Wear your most comfortable cowboy boots and most revealing chaps.

Horsin' Around: Rockin’ R’s main attraction is a whole herd of Quarters, Paints, and Palaminos available for trail rides and snuggling. Knowledgeable wranglers will pick out a pony that suits your pace, then teach you how to saddle and ride. Trot around the arena for a bit to get your bearings. When you’re ready, try prodding your horse into “racing” around a barrel. The idea is to go very fast, but these docile horses are content to stop and smell the hay bales, which will come as a great relief to anybody wary of rodeo sports.

Once you get your stirrups steady, head out on a scenic trail ride with a kindly guide. A one-hour ride winds through the juniper and sage-covered hills above the ranch with beautiful views of green pastures and a winding creek. A three-hour trail ride takes you up colorful Antimony canyon to “Cowboy Rock,” a boulder shaped liked the Stetson-wearing head of Butch Cassidy, honest to goodness.

After all the ridin’ and ropin’ is done for the day, watch your new best bud gallop full-speed to pasture for the night. Question is: Why didn’t he run like that around the barrel?

Shoot for the Stars: Skeet shooting at Rockin’ R is a blast. Helpful employees will give you thorough instructions on how to safely operate a shotgun and then lob a ceramic disc into the air just for you. You have one job — pick it off before it smashes to the ground in a million biodegradable pieces. Pull!

If guns aren’t in your repertoire, try Archery. It’s quieter and just as satisfying to hit the bullseye (or whatever). Energetic employees are standing by to help you find stray arrows.

Tube Time Take your chaps off for just a minute to ride an inflatable tube down the river. The water flows cool and clear and is perfect for a hot, sweaty ranch hand to accidentally bathe.

Rock Climbing: Not a cowboy activity per se, but still a great thing to do while in Utah. Nice and easy routes with nice and easy rappels.

Dinner, Dancing, Dessert At this point, you’re so hungry you could eat your new best bud, but he’s in the pasture right now with his actual best buds. Lucky for you, Rockin’ R meals are hearty helpings of meat and potatoes that really hit the spot.

But just when you think you can put your dogs up and relax, the country music starts. Hightail it over to line dancing lessons to boot scoot and boogie your brains out. You might get a little lost in the steps, but probably not as confounded as a group of French tourists trying to electric slide out the door.

One last thing before bed: s’mores. They taste even better when someone else has done all the work of making the fire and gathering the ingredients. The s’mores boss will even roast your mallow for you. Gimme s’more dat.

Rockin’ R Ranch is all about letting guests try new things, even if those new things are actually old, traditional things. Ranching hasn’t changed much in a hundred years (cows are still very, very dumb) and Rockin’ R hopes to keep it that way. Enjoy your stay!