Local

January 24, 2014

Western Destinations: fun for the whole family

Guests are invited to get off their feet and enjoy a barbecue in Old West Town.

Need to get some fresh air with the family? Need to find the perfect place to host a company outing? Then Western Destinations is the location for you.

Located 40 miles north of Phoenix at Canyon Creek Ranch, Western Destinations offers a “true western experience” through a variety of activities on their land in the Agua Fria National Monument. These activities range from skeet shooting to horseback riding and much more.

The average experience usually starts with a wagon ride from the meeting area to Old Town, an area made to look like a classic Wild West town. Guests meet in the saloon, where drinks are freely available, before splitting up into two groups. One group is led on a horseback ride (children under the age of 6 are given a pony instead) and the others take a jeep tour.

On the jeep tour, which I had opted for, the guides bring the guests off the beaten path to educate them on the surrounding environment, particularly about local cacti. The guides clearly have a great time doing this and are very welcoming of guest participation.

The Yellow Bird Dancers take their performance up a notch with the rings of power dance.

When the guests return to Old Town, they are offered a very filling lunch of burgers or mesquite chicken, with plenty of side items. On this particular day, they were entertained afterward with a performance by the Yellow Bird Dancers, a Native American family-owned group who have performed around the world.

Skeet shooting is next, which is safely led by the staff and is open for all ages; even a 4-year-old girl was allowed two chances to fire. To end the day, the group is allowed to wander around Old Town and take part in other activities, consisting of bow-and-arrow and .22 pistol shooting, tomahawk throwing and gold panhandling. Other things available in Old Town are a chapel (which can function for weddings or vow renewals) and a “hotel” that can be used for meetings.

The cost of a day at Western Destinations depends on the particular package the customer is looking for. There is also a 20-percent military discount.

For more information or to make reservations, which are required, call 623-374-5245, or email westerndestinations.com.
 

Western Destination wranglers assist and supervise guests of all ages in skeet shooting.

 

A private group arrives in Old West Town to start a day of activities.

 

A musician with the Yellow Bird dancers invites visiting children to get in on the action with traditional instruments.




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