Flying U Guest Ranch
By Taylor Ormiston
The Flying U Guest Ranch, one of North America’s only unsupervised riding ranches, is a horse lovers’ dream. Over 100 horses graze on the expansive Cariboo pastures that extend from the large barn, which was constructed 150 years ago. The barn stands central to the hustle and bustle of the stockyard, paying homage to the region’s rich history.
Unsupervised Riding on Endless Trail Systems
Horses are led in groups as the wranglers saddle all types of stock, and 80 horse-and-rider pairs exit the Flying U gates onto 40,000 of acres of trail systems. There, riders follow aspen- and birch-lined trails to meadows and lakes untouched by civilization. This is the tradition of the Flying U.
Horses are expertly paired to match riders’ skill levels and temperaments. Trails range from easy one-hour meanders to full day, medium-difficulty climbs leading to expansive vantage points. Riders canter through vast meadows before stopping to enjoy the serenity with a delicious packed lunch, fresh from our kitchen. Then they learn to float behind their horse as they are propelled through the emerald waters of Green Lake. Enthusiastic and talented wranglers take guests swimming on horseback twice weekly — a fast favourite among guests at the ranch.
Gymkhanas: In a relaxed environment, riders of all skill levels compete in events such as barrel racing and stake races against some of the province’s most promising professionals. Friendly practices ensure that even the greenest riders can hold their own during the well-attended event.
Clinics: The Flying U combines new age horsemanship philosophy with the traditions of ranching, for clinics such as Ranch Roping, Equine Communication Patters, Basic and Advanced Equine First Aid, and Equine Assisted Learning. And Education School Programs offer riders of various levels and disciplines exciting and unique vacation options.
The Flying U is proud of its vast equine network and the range of knowledge applied in daily horse care. The ranch is also committed to expanding and sharing this knowledge with guests through continued education.
The Flying U Village
The full heritage village bustles with the sounds of people unwinding from the demands of the city. One group enjoys the sleepy summer sun from the porch of the authentic 1800s-era themed saloon, while another plays horseshoes on the lawn with the tantalizing cooking smell of suppertime’s ribs wafting from the kitchen. Eighty-year-old cabins surround the expansive lawn, juxtaposing the large lodge. The town boasts 44 buildings and several common areas, including a modernized movie theatre, saloon, and games room.
Flying U’s powerboat launches daily, taking guests for rides, skis, and tubes over the crystal clear waters of Green Lake. Guests enjoy complimentary canoe and kayak rentals to explore the shores in a more relaxed fashion.
Whatever your pleasure – whether it’s speed propelled by horse or motor, or a slower pace to enjoy a region unaffected by modern expectations – the Flying U has the package to realize your most specific vacation aspirations.
The Cariboo: BC’s Best Kept Secret
Each year, thousands of people flock to the Cariboo region to enjoy unparalleled landscapes and world class hospitality. Each season offers a distinct reason to visit the ranch and a setting of unparalleled landscapes. Families spanning multi-generations check into the Flying U for their annual holiday. The ranch has earned its place in the hearts of guests as one of the most relaxed, unpretentious, and wholesome vacation options available nationwide. In this new era of expansion, the Flying U makes preserving these values its highest priority.
With the recent acquisition of Marmot Ridge Golf Course, the Flying U Guest Ranch now offers vacation packages sure to excite even the not-so-equine inclined. Play a round of golf before enjoying a meal at The Cariboo’s premier restaurant, Prospector’s Roadhouse. From there, your complimentary shuttle will deliver you back to the ranch for a night of live entertainment or old fashioned square dancing called in real-time by Cariboo legend, Dave Abbs.
Customized Special Events
The Flying U Guest Ranch hosts groups ranging in size from 20 guests for intimate team-building retreats, to 200 guests weekend-long wedding extravaganzas. Specialized staff work to ensure attention is paid to every detail.
The Flying U is also available for exclusive buyouts and custom events during the spring and fall including corporate retreats, weddings, school and youth programs, and special events of all types. Work with a designated event coordinator to create a custom experience your guests will remember for a lifetime.
Book now and experience what 150 years has brought to Canada’s best-loved guest ranch – the Flying U.
This information was contributed by the Flying U Guest Ranch.