British Columbia’s Cariboo Country is a lot like a Canadian version of the Wild West. It was settled in the mid 1800s by miners in search of gold, then by ranchers, who brought huge herds of cattle to the stark terrain: semi-arid foothills, canyons, sagebrush. In many parts of the Cariboo, little has changed in the last hundred years or so. Ranching remains a way of life and many people learn to ride a horse before they learn to ride a bike. I had a chance to explore the Cariboo – and check in on three guest ranches where city slickers can mount up – for British Columbia Magazine.
By Remy Scalza for British Columbia Magazine
I’ve come to British Columbia’s Cariboo country to find my inner cowboy. But I’m not afraid to admit: I’m terrified.
The Cariboo, a wild, sparsely settled hinterland stretching from the banks of the churning Fraser River to the peaks of the Cariboo Mountains, is home to more than two dozen guest ranches. Options range from working farms to luxury retreats where time can be spent in the saddle—and in the spa.
Horses, of course, are the common denominator. The daily rhythm at all self-respecting dude ranches revolves around riding—long, scenic romps through rolling grasslands, pine and aspen forests, and granite-walled gorges.
This is where things are about to get interesting for me. I’m not really a horse person. My prior experience adds up to a handful of pony rides as a kid at backyard birthday parties. But all that’s about to change.
Click here to read the full story on the British Columbia Magazine website (subscription required).