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Multigenerational Vacations

Multigenerational Family Vacations at Three Bars Guest


Multigenerational family vacations are on the rise and so are family adventure vacations. A multigenerational vacation at Three Bars Guest Ranch offers a great combination of both types of trips. As the adventure ranch of the Canadian Rockies, Three Bars Guest Ranch has hosted many multigenerational family vacations. It’s an excellent choice for families of all ages.

Readers have enjoyed our Q&A blog posts with Tyler Beckley, Three Bars’ Ranch Manager and Owner. We took some time with Tyler to find out more about why multigenerational vacations at Three Bars Guest Ranch work so well.

  1. Why is Three Bars Guest Ranch a top choice for multigenerational vacations?

We see a lot of families and multigenerational groups visiting Three Bars Guest Ranch because the elders in the family visited a guest ranch when they were kids. They want the next generation to share the same type of guest ranch experience that they had.

Fifty years ago over 75% of the population grew up on a farm or ranch – or they had strong ties to a rural lifestyle. Today, less than 1% of the population is involved in ranching or agriculture of any kind. The gap between today’s population and nature is becoming larger and larger. The older generations are concerned about that. They want their kids to have the strong connections and experiences with nature that they remember having.

The experiences guests have at Three Bars Guest Ranch give older generations and younger ones common ground. Grandparents and grandchildren can talk about the first time they went horseback riding, the first time they caught a fish, and much more. These kinds of shared experiences help to bridge the gap between the generations and create strong bonds.

  1. Offering flexibility, variety and activities for all ages and interests is very important for successful multigenerational vacations. How does Three Bars Guest Ranch meet this need?

That’s actually one of Three Bars’ biggest assets. Part of what makes a great vacation is doing things you love and enjoy. A dude ranch vacation often involves doing some things on your own and other things together. At Three Bars Guest Ranch, family members get the chance to have fun both together and apart. They get to have “me” time and “family” time. We take care of all the planning.

This kind of vacation experience also creates some interested splits. Maybe a dad and his daughter don’t usually do things alone together, but they both really want to go river rafting while the other family members ride or do something different. As part of their Three Bars family riding vacation, family members have the chance to do just that.

It’s also important to remember the guest ranch setting. Even when people go off and do things without the family, they’re only gone for a short while. Then everyone comes back together for meals and group activities. Sharing stories and experiences at the end of a day are an important part of the dude ranch experience.

  1. Do families and multigenerational groups have specific goals when they come to the ranch?

I think the goals people have when they book a family riding vacation are often different than when they leave. I would say the biggest goal that multigenerational families have is to spend time quality time together. They also want to share experiences and make great family memories.

To me, spending quality time as a family involves doing things together that you will be able to talk about for years. Sometimes though, we have to facilitate a certain process for that to happen. A mom telling dad to stop reading his emails, or a dad telling his son to stop playing his video game does not create that experience. We have to create an atmosphere where all of those things happen naturally – without anyone noticing. The experience can then be shared by engaged members. It doesn’t happen automatically, but it definitely happens.

  1. How do multigenerational vacationers measure the success of their trip?

Guests come to Three Bars Guest Ranch for the first time because they like the amenities, or our activity program, or something else about our riding vacations catches their eye. They come back to Three Bars for a different reason, though. I believe my older guests crave that connection with the younger generations – and there’s a need to get to a place where that connection can be made. It’s not on Facebook. I now realize that many of my older guests know that this connection is possible – they have almost waited for it to happen. It is a very cool process to watch. Guest ranch vacations here are special that way.

I measure the success of our program not by our ability to take technology away from our guests – we don’t do that, but by our ability to create an environment that it is not needed. I can tell you from firsthand experience that when a 14 year-old girl leaves her phone in her room to go explore, her parents and grandparents know that their vacation has been a success.




Learning Is Fun at Three Bars Guest Ranch

Learning Is Fun at Three Bars Guest Ranch

Hands-on, immersive learning opportunities are very popular with vacationers right now, and what could me more fun than an active riding vacation at Three Bars Guest Ranch? Three Bars offers horseback riding for all levels of riders from first-time beginners to experts. In addition, the ranch also includes a wide variety of fun additional activities such as fly fishing, shooting, mountain biking and archery as part of its multi-sport vacation experience.

We talked with Tyler Beckley, Ranch Manager and Owner, to find out about the customized approach to learning experiences at Three Bars Guest Ranch.

  1. Do many guests choose a ranch vacation because they want to learn something in particular, like riding?

Everyone has a different reason for choosing a guest ranch vacation, but learning is a big part of it. Learning to ride a horse is one of the major reasons why people visit Three Bars Guest Ranch, particularly because of our excellent horseback riding program. Three Bars is well known for having a world-class horseback riding program for all levels of riders, so our riding vacations are exceptional. This is due to a combination of great horses, certified wranglers, and the experience of the Beckley Family. Safety is always our #1 concern. The best way for us to keep our guests safe is to make them better riders. It doesn’t matter whether guests are young, old, big or small – learning to ride is a fun, interactive way for couples and families to bond together. We tailor our learning experience to the rider.

  1. Are there any other skills that vacationers want to learn when they come to a ranch?

Everything! At Three Bars Guest Ranch, we are all about learning. We don’t just take our guests out on horseback riding tours; we teach them how to ride properly. Our Three Bars team takes a teaching approach to everything we do. We don’t just take our guests on an excursion to go riding or shooting, fishing, gold panning, or to shoot archery. We teach them how to do those things just like we would do them ourselves – all in a very safe environment.

Since we’re the adventure ranch of the Canadian Rockies, a vacation at Three Bars Ranch is full of firsts. There’s the first time guests go riding, the first time they catch a fish, the first time they shoot a gun … the list goes on and on. I cannot tell you how many emails we get from families telling us about their kids going home and continuing one or more of their new activities there. Many guests also visit Banff and Glacier National Park on the way to or from Three Bars Ranch. There’s a lot to experience and learn there, too.

  1. What factors are important when planning a riding-oriented learning vacation?

With all guests, especially families and multigenerational groups, safety is the most important thing. You always want to work with a reputable guest ranch property. Often the differences between guest ranches are in the small details. There are different aspects that will make a particular guest ranch the perfect fit for someone. From the outside, all guest ranches may seem like they are the same – but they definitely are not. There are huge variations in accommodations, meals, pricing, activities and horseback riding programs. It is important to know exactly what the property offers and what its true strengths are.

I always recommend choosing a guest ranch with lots of variety in their program. Each person is different. Not everyone is going to want to ride every day, all day. It is important to have a wide variety of options for each guest to do – and at their individual level. It’s only a great vacation if you are doing things you enjoy. That’s one of Three Bars’ strengths. At Three Bars Guest Ranch, there are numerous activities for everyone and many different things to learn.

  1. Do you find that learning something together gives families something special to bond over and share?

Yes, absolutely. That’s particularly true of learning something new, because it puts everyone on the same playing field. Family riding vacations are popular and learning to ride a horse is a great equalizer for families. How long is that kid going to remember that he could trot faster than his dad? Learning to do something together is a powerful thing and it creates great experiences. Experiences like those create lifelong memories, and here at Three Bars, we facilitate outstanding experiences for every guest. Creating the best customized vacation experience for each guest is what Three Bars is all about.




Learning How to Ride a Horse – Three Bars Guest Ranch

Learning How to Ride a Horse at Three Bars  Guest Ranch

Tyler Blue ShirtNot everyone that books a Guest Ranch vacation comes from a horse related background, that is why we are here to help you learn how to ride a horse. There are often guests that have never had the opportunity to pat a horse, let alone climb up into the saddle. Here at Three Bars we are happy to help, we teach a lot of people how to ride. Three Bars looks at many factors when choosing the appropriate horse for each rider.

Tyler Beckley, Ranch Manager and Owner, takes us through some of the steps that helps make that lifelong connection between Horse and Rider happen at Three Bars..


First riding lesson at three bars ranchQ: What information do you take into consideration when selecting a horse for your beginner riders?

Our guests provide information to us at the time of making a reservation. This information includes: Age, Physical Stature, Riding Ability and Confidence. We also take the opportunity to talk to each of our guests upon arrival. These conversations allow us to gain insight into specific concerns each person has about the riding experience. All of these factors give us the opportunity to select the perfect horse for each riding individual. Luckily we have over 100 horses on the property to choose from.



begginer learning how to ride a horseQ: What makes your riding program at Three Bars different from those at other ranches for beginner riders?

Safety is paramount at Three Bars. We want to ensure a safe, positive experience for all riders, not just our beginners. This begins with the horse! The horses here at Three Bars are hand selected by the Beckley Family. We are very fortunate to have some of the best tail horses anywhere.  The second component is the Wrangling/Guide staff. Each Wrangler is trained to provide lessons, both in the arena and out on the trail. By providing our guests with riding techniques, we feel we are able to  solidify or possibly improve a riders technique. A unique feature Three Bars has is that we are able to send many rides out at a time that cater to very specific needs. Each ride consists of no more than 6 guests max and a qualified wrangler. Our Guest to Wrangler ratio is what allows us to tailor each ride to suit the needs of our Guests. On any given morning, we take up to 9 rides out. These rides vary from a short 1 hour ride for those that request it, walking rides, trotting rides, fast rides (trotting and loping), lesson rides, adult only rides, kid’s rides and everything in between. We also run a full lesson program to help you learn how to ride better.



horse back lesson ride to riverQ: What are the actual trails like?

We have a lot of diversity in our terrain right on the ranch, and in the forested land that surrounds us. We have the ability to ride on the flat, through the water, climb the mountain located behind the ranch and any combination in between. As we have many trails and 60,000 acres, there is somewhere new to explore every day. The scenery is unique and breathtaking.



family learns to ride a horse Q: Why do you select a horse for each rider for the duration of their stay?

We believe building a strong partnership between horse and rider allows our guests to have a positive experience when riding at the Ranch. Many of our return guests will request the same horse that they had the previous trip as the bond they created is such a memorable one. That being said, if our guests at any time would like to switch horses, we will do everything we can to accommodate that request.