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.
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.