Summer at the Castle Rock Ranch is full of activity. From caring for the ranch animals and horseback riding, to tubing on the Coeur D’Alene River, everyday is full of adventure.
Enjoy trail rides along the beautiful Coeur D’Alene River, or on one of the many trails through the National Forest bordering the ranch. Our reliable horses are mild-mannered enough for the most novice riders and provide a safe opportunity to learn to ride. They are also well-trained enough to be fun for riders with experience.
Learn to saddle, groom, feed and care for horses. There are two riding activity periods during the day and morning and evening chores also include opportunities to feed and interact with the horses.
Depending on your skill and comfort level, you will have the opportunity to choose from:
Enjoy stunning scenery and views along trails in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, where opportunities to see wildlife abound. The forest is full of Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees, in addition to unique basalt rock formations, after which the ranch is named.
Our 40 acres of hay and cattle pastures have a circumference of over a mile and provide another scenic and fun place for riders. Saddle up your pony and enjoy chasing the cows to their next grazing site when it’s time to rotate them to a new pasture. Or just listen to the soothing sound of the river as you ride alongside it.
ROUND PEN RIDING
This is a great way to get introduced to horses in a safe and enclosed environment, or to simply work on equitation skills.
Our staff creates a safe setting for horseback riding while allowing the freedom to learn from and connect with the horses. To review our staff’s history, please see the ‘staff’ page.
On warm summer afternoons, we fill up the inner tubes and walk through the pasture for a dip in the river. From there we launch off on a river adventure where we float to our favorite swimming hole. Learn to skip stones, have fun chasing frogs and just enjoy the summer sun and the cool river water.
Animal Care/ Ranch Chores
Every morning and evening, you can participate in tending to and feeding the animals. Learn to milk a goat, and how to feed and care for horses, pigs, chickens, geese and more!
Each animal at the Castle Rock Ranch has its own distinct personality, from the big horses and cows, all the way down to the tiny chicks and ducklings, and they all like a little extra human attention every now and then. Certain animals might need special attention so sometimes we bathe and groom the horses, lead the goats to a new spot to graze, or just spend a little time scratching the piglets behind their ears.
Kitchen Crafts and Cooking
The garden is an integral part of the camp because it provides delicious food for everyone. There’s always lettuce to be planted and vegetables, fruit, and herbs to harvest.
Every morning there are delicious raspberries and blueberries to be harvested for breakfast – many don’t make it back to the kitchen! During summer the garden is in full swing, providing fresh produce for the camp kitchen, where everyone who wants to gets the opportunity to participate in the full farm to table experience, by getting a chance to learn how to use what we grew. Learn to make goat cheese from the goat we milk in the morning, then use the fresh cheese to make pizza for dinner! You can make different types of pesto from our herbs, and some days you have the opportunity to make raspberry jam from our fresh-picked, homegrown raspberries, but no matter what’s ready to be harvested, the garden activity is always rewarding, fun, and most importantly, delicious.
Sometimes there are special camp projects, like planting cedar trees along the river to help restore the wetland habitat, and planting more fruit trees closer to the ranch house and garden. We also cut hay every July and campers have the option to help if interested, and get to participate in the very important task of thistle eradication.
Shoshone County is famous for its steep terrain and the amazing hiking that affords. The National Forest surrounding the ranch is full of Douglas Fir, Ponderosa pine and unique basalt rock formations, after which the ranch was named.
The diversity of wildlife also makes for interesting hiking in the area. You may see elk, deer, moose and many different species of birds: grouse, owls, Bald Eagles and quail.
Other Camp Activities : DIY and Arts and Crafts
This activity stretches beyond the limits of traditional arts and crafts and adopts a ‘Do It Yourself’ attitude while still letting you get in touch with your artistic side. Last summer, we made a pizza oven by hand (or maybe I should say by foot). We harvested the clay from high up on a hillside nearby, then gathered some sand from the river to make the perfect mud for a pizza oven. We mixed the sand and clay with water, and stomped and squished it with our feet to make the perfect consistency for mud fighting – er, pizza-oven making.
The best part about this project was that when it was finished, we got to make pizza with delicious toppings from the ranch – homemade goat cheese, and vegetables from the garden!