If you are heading down Tombstone way in Arizona and have any kind of curiosity about America’s Wild West, you may want to consider staying at the Tombstone Monument Ranch just outside that famous gun slinger’s town.
Tombstone Monument ranch is actually a four-star hotel with first-rate accommodation inside the buildings of what looks like a street from the set of a thousand Western movies.
The hotel rooms are easily four to five star with air conditioning, mini bar, satellite TV and both a bath and shower in very spacious bathrooms. There is a restaurant and Wild West saloon on site where you can go for an evening drink before your cowboy cuisine. Bed and breakfast and half board are both options at the hotel.
Staying on the ranch
Tombstone Monument Ranch is a real ranch and you can saddle up and ride through the dramatic surrounding countryside if you want to – even beginners are welcome. Otherwise, you can just hang out on your porch, wander over to the restaurant for some vitals and then roll into the Trappman saloon for shot of hard liquor in the evening.
The saloon is pretty impressive and has been fitted out with bespoke wooden furniture handcrafted in Germany where apparently the Wild West is still very popular! While you are there, maybe try a game of Faro, a French gambling card game played between a banker and several players. The game was all the rage in Tombstone during its 19th-century heyday.
The hotel rooms are extremely well equipped and quite luxurious. You can choose to stay in the Post Office, the Courthouse, the Mining Office, the Newspaper office, the jail or even Kitty’s Bordello!
It gets hot out here in Arizona and there is a small pool and Jacuzzi too to cool your heels in should you wish to do so. You can even try your hand at archery and see if you can head the Apaches off at the pass in the barn on the site.
A Wild West town
The hotel opened in 2010 and has stunning mountain views. The staff there are also building up the horse-related activities to give those would-be cowboys more of a challenge. You can try team penning and there was even talk of having their own rodeo there!
If you decide to head into the nearby town of Tombstone, you can see what is left of a real Wild West town - a lot of it got burnt down during drunken conflicts way back then. Whiskey makes a fine fire lighter.
The world-famous gunfight at the OK corral between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday versus a band of outlaws is re-enacted three times a day in the middle of town and it is definitely worth a visit. You can be sure the good guys always win. The nearby Dragoon mountains which majestically dominate the horizon are also worth exploring – this is real Apache country.
Riding at Tombstone
The landscape behind the hotel is pretty stunning here too with the green ‘Three Brothers’ hills close to the ranch looking like the backdrop to many a famous Western movie. You walk your horse through the rocky mountain trails and then lope (canter) if you want to along the sandy ‘wash’ or river beds which become full when the rains come in the summer. Of note is the Schieffelin Monument which looks like a big pile of stones. Ed Schieffelin, a prospecting miner, founded the town of Tombstone and he is supposed to be buried here standing up, watching over the land that made him rich when he discovered huge silver deposits, turning Tombstone into a frontier town where everyone came to seek their fortune in the mines.
A special place to stay
Tombstone Monument Ranch is quite a special place to stay in and you can imagine what life might have been like back in the days of the old West. The landscape is still much the same but you can enjoy it from the comfort of a four-star hotel and it is a unique way to experience a part of America’s history.