Posted by: Lori Reinhold
When you’re visiting the scenic Sedona area, you can’t pass up an opportunity to learn to ride horseback, and luckily for you, there are lots of spots just a few minutes away from the Alma de Sedona Inn that offer incredible horseback riding experiences – and more! Our favorite in the region is the M Diamond Ranch. Learn more about this great riding destination.
About M Diamond Ranch
With nearly 110 years of history, the M Diamond Ranch is an authentic historic destination that highlights some of the aspects of ranch life in the American Southwest. The ranch was first homesteaded in 1908, and has remained an actively worked cattle ranch ever since.
Now owned by Peggy and Larry Ingham, who took on the ranch in 2000, the ranch has expanded its offerings to make it a more appealing destination for guests from all across the country. Covering roughly 35,000 acres in Arizona’s Verde Valley, the Inghams have worked to keep the land preserved and protected, allowing native wildlife habitats to remain unchanged. The ranch also received the Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife’s Habitat Stewardship Award in recognition of the work they’ve done to remove invasive species and restore the native grasses, while also improving access and quality of water on the property.
Riding at the Ranch
As the only horseback outfitter/guide ranch with a permit from the Sedona Red Rock Ranger District, issued by the Forest Service, M Diamond Ranch offers a wide array of activities for visitors to enjoy, including unique tours of the ranch grounds on horseback.
The M Diamond Ranch is one of our favorite spots for horseback riding, and they offer way more than just a chance to get in the saddle. Guests can choose from their one-, two- or three-hour horseback riding sessions. For beginners, the one-hour trail ride is perfect, and provides a leisurely climb with breathtaking views of Sedona’s Red Rocks. The two-hour backcountry trail ride is perfect for more experienced riders, ages 12 and older, and brings guests to a more remote part of the ranch. The three-hour canyon ride is an opportunity to see some incredible wildlife, and is great for more experienced riders who love to spend the afternoon on horseback.
Looking for a truly stellar experience? Book a sunset ride and have the wonderful setting sun add even more brilliant strokes of red, orange and yellow to your evening ride. These dusk-time trips are some of the best times to see the native wildlife, and are generally intimate rides with six riders or fewer. Guests can book a sunset ride from January through May and September through December, and are offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday, with exact start times changing along with the seasons.
If you’re hungry after that long trail ride, the M Diamond Ranch’s Cowboy Cookout offers up some delicious food and some live country music – the perfect way to wrap up the day! The Inghams brought the dinnertime cookouts to the ranch early in the 2000s, and offer it as an option for guests joining them for horseback rides Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It’s a wonderful way to wrap up a day in the Arizona backcountry, with a full belly and under a sky full of stars.
Guests can also experience true ranching life up close at M Diamond Ranch. A proud member of the Working Ranch Cowboy Association – and the only such ranch in the area – M Diamond Ranch is popular with ecotourists who are looking to experience rural life and the natural environment of scenic Arizona. Trail rides offer much more than just a simple horseback ride. Instead, guests will learn what it was like as an Old West cowboy who worked on the ranch and lived off the land. Rides will cover education and emphasis on the importance of nature, showing riders not only rancher traditions and land management, but also the importance of different aspects of the land, the wildlife and the local plants.
The Alma de Sedona Inn has a full-service complimentary concierge service ready to help you make reservations and arrange transportation to M Diamond Ranch. Whether you’re looking for an activity-packed day for the whole family, or a quiet afternoon of horseback riding down an idyllic trail, your wish is our command, and we can take care of all the arrangements for you. Check out our seasonal specials and room packages online now, or call us today at 928-282-2737 to learn more or schedule your visit.