By Melissa Wynn

This month’s road trip takes us back to the ranch and out to a little piece of heaven, 40 miles west of Red Bluff, known as “R” Wild Horse Ranch.

I arrived early on a Sunday afternoon with my niece, Allyson, and nephew, Darin, in tow and eager to explore.  After a quick check-in at the General Store (open to the public) and dropping our bags at our cabin we were off to meet Charli Hand for a prearranged tour of the spectacular 22 square miles that comprise “R” Wild Horse Ranch. Charli is a bubbly, charming lady and a prime example of the family atmosphere that permeates every acre of this outdoor adventure wonderland. She took the time to drive us around to get acquainted with the layout and to introduce us to all the main attractions.

The highlight of the tour for me was, hands down, the stable area and covered arena. Owners at “R” Wild delight in the free use of over 50 horses kept in this area for our enjoyment. I couldn’t wait to saddle up so Charli graciously arranged a trail ride for us the following morning. This was done by a friendly drive by conversation with another ranch owner/wrangler. No major formalities here; my kind of place.

In another area, kids of all ages were buzzing about on every kind of ATV and motorized toy you can imagine. I thought Darin would wiggle right out of his seat when we learned that the ranch has over 900 acres dedicated to miles of tracks and trails just for these sports. Boys will be boys.

Allyson was most impressed by the community recreation center; the social hub of the “R” Wild family.  Activities abound here. How about a dip in the heated pool or hot tub? Perhaps the pool tables, foosball , board or video games are more for you. Basketballs hoops and tennis courts are on the menu of fun as well. Live music dances, hayrides and bingo are all thrown in there somewhere now and then just to mix it up. We spent our entire first evening at the happening recreation center and each made new friends. No strangers at “R” Wild Horse Ranch.

For those looking for some relaxation, a separate lodge just for adults, with its own heated pool, sits atop a hill with a breathtaking, sweeping view from the huge patio that reaches its peak at sunset. This area also houses the 20 room motel for those wanting more modern accommodations. These rooms and are available to owners and their guests for an unbelievable $20 per night.

As if that were not enough, Charli next took us to meet Jerry of Adrenaline Adventures, another owner, that is the go-to guy for a guided hunt for everything from Quail and Black Tail Deer to Wild Boar and Black Bear. Of course “R” Wild has shooting and archery ranges for target practice and even skeet shooting for those that prefer a non-living, moving target. They thought of everything.

Adding to the experience for lovers of the outdoors, Beegum Creek runs through the ranch and this where the kids and I opted to enjoy the picnic dinner that we’d  brought along, just us and the dragonflies. The road in was a little rough for my small car but no real worries. When I left through the gate, Brian, from security, assured me that he would be along to make sure we made it out safely before dark. What a caring staff! Beegum Creek is great for fishing or splashing around in one of the swimming holes. More fishing is available in the always-stocked Tom Sawyer Pond in yet another gorgeous area of this gated outdoor paradise.

Long after dark, wet from our late night dip in the pool, we returned to our simple cabin (twin beds for five and a half-bath). We read awhile from the books we borrowed from the rec center. We soon drifted off to dreamland to the melody of the frog and cricket song; a soothing end to our fun filled day.

Early the next morning we met with Bernadette at the stables for our unforgettable trail ride. The staff carefully chose the gentlest mounts for Darin and Ally since they are beginners and at the ranch safety is priority number one. Four thousand acres of “R” Wild Horse Ranch are dedicated to unrivaled equestrian adventure. Bernadette chose a route that graced us with outstanding views, narrow trails, hills to climb and creek beds to cross just to ensure that we got a taste of each terrain there is to choose from. I wished it would never end.

“R” Wild Horse Ranch has something for everyone that loves to play outside.  I thought the price to become an owner with a deeded interest was simply unbelievable. For a down payment of $2500 and $985 in annual fees, one can become an owner and part of the “R” Wild family. Unlike a timeshare that allows you to visit a few weeks a year, “R” Wild is yours and you are free to visit as often you like, whenever you like. Ownership allows you (and your guests for $20 per night) to enjoy all the amenities including the horses, shower houses, community kitchens, playground and so much more. Owners are also welcome to store their RVs, horse trailers, ATV ect. free of charge in a security monitored fenced in area. I was informed on the tour that “With 156 RV sites with full hook ups, 148 cabins, the motel and campgrounds availability has never been an issue”.  For the most economical way,  “R” Wild Horse Ranch is certainly my personal top pick of the summer,  enjoy it all in Northern California. We had a blast.

Interested in owning a little piece of heaven? Local realtor® Charli Hand can further help you at 1-866-726-2494 where you can even schedule a tour that includes a complimentary 1 night/2 day stay. See for yourself how much “R” Wild Horse Ranch offers for so little. Visit their website at The ranch is located at at 6700 Hwy 36. approximately 40 miles west of Red Bluff.