RedBuck Ranch is located at 30212 N. 154th Street in Scottsdale. For more information, call 480-471-0011 or visit redbuckranch.com.
© Jeff Kida
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Private QuartersThere are a lot of things to like about RedBuck Ranch in Scottsdale: the food, the atmosphere, the hospitality. Even better, it's limited to one set of guests at a time. Talk about privacy.
By Lauren Proper
Scottsdale After Billie "The Kid" Shepherd had her first country dance with Johnny "Wild" West, she couldn't get the bearded cowboy out of her head. He told the enthusiastic city woman about himself and also about two horses, Red and Buck — "an aging sorrel" and "a beautiful buckskin with tiger eyes," according to Shepherd's essay, "The Story of RedBuck Ranch."
Shepherd, who grew up in England on military bases with her family, first learned about Arizona in 1960 from a copy of Arizona Highways. Although it arrived with stacks of other mail, the magazine stood out, and after thumbing through it, Shepherd's father decided to move to Arizona when he retired.
West's story was a little different. He grew up in Chandler on a dairy farm, and his dancing skills were almost legendary — he was once Arizona's Dance Fever winner.
A year after their first dance, Billie and Johnny were sleeping in a horse trailer while they built the ranch of their dreams. Then, they decided to share that dream with others.
Although they wanted their guests to get the same awe-inspiring feelings they do from the beautiful property, they wanted to keep it intimate. So, the Hideout is open to only one couple at a time. It's a place where people can experience Arizona in a very private way. And there's something for everyone, from golfers to honeymooners to locals looking for a weekend getaway.
"Guests can do as much or as little as they want," Shepherd says, adding that they'll arrange for just about anything a guest could possibly think of. "As long as it's legal, we'll do it."
Some of the common activities include horseback riding, Jeep tours, hiking, golfing, bird-watching and day trips around the Valley of the Sun. For those who prefer to stay on the ranch, there's plenty to do. Or not do.
There's a golf challenge with three sand traps, and a beautiful pool and spa with a Western-style cabana nicknamed "The Relaxation Station." Then, of course, there's the appropriately named Hideout. Shepherd says many guests who visit RedBuck never leave the property, choosing instead to enjoy the Hideout's private patio with fireplace, full kitchen, flat-screen TV and bathroom. Seriously, the bathroom. It's something special, thanks to a massive window next to the red tub that provides for romantic baths with mountain views as far as the eye can see.
Guests can choose from four different packages during their stay, each of which includes one big ol' country breakfast on a day of the guests' choosing. Like Shepherd and West, the Hideout at RedBuck Ranch is a kind of convergence. A place where the mountains meet the sky, where the Wild West meets contemporary high-class desert living. Best of all, there's the serenity of getting away from it all without leaving the city limits.