Silvies Valley Ranch recently invited the kids and I out to check out their upscale working ranch. Silvies Valley Ranch is a luxury destination with gourmet food, incredible spa, extravagant log cabins, and all kinds of activities. If you’ve ever desired an experience at a luxury dude ranch in Oregon, this is it.
The ranch is located in Seneca bordering Eastern Oregon. From Portland, Oregon the ranch is about a 5 hour drive east. From Boise, Idaho it’s a 3 hour and 20 minute drive west. If you have your own airplane, you can just fly directly to the ranch. They have their own runway. Sadly, the kids and I do not have our own airplane so we took a road trip over Mt. Hood, through Central Oregon over to Silvies.
You Should Experience Silvies Valley Ranch At Least Once In Your Lifetime And Here’s Why!
After spending the weekend here I cannot recommend it highly enough. From start to finish we had a wonderful experience. The website promises 1st class and they more than deliver it. The experience is not all-inclusive, but they offer packages that make it close to all-inclusive.
The ranch resort was a winter wonderland during our stay. Although they offer plenty of other activities throughout the year like cattle drives, fly fishing, and horseback riding, this is going to focus mainly on their winter offerings, since this is what we were able to participate in first hand.
I’ll kick off my review with guns. Why? Because it was our favorite activity.
Silvies offers three gun range adventures. We did the Pistolero Range aka the pistol range.
Noah and Eden are experienced with guns, but Jonah and I were not. Having never shot a gun, I went into the situation pretty nervous. Shooting was the activity my kids were most excited about, so there was no backing out.
At the range they educated us on each of the pistols we were going to shoot. They have four pistols you can shoot. They walk beginners through everything, which I loved. Now all four of us are experienced shooters! 🎉
I must say, I was a bit disturbed to see what an excellent shot Noah and Eden both are!
Near the pistol range they have an area where you can throw knives, stars, and axes. This was super fun and apparently Jonah should be a ninja, because he can sink a Star into a log like a pro. Who knew! 🤷🏻♀️The rest of us never even came close.
According to my friend Patti, hot tubbing is not a real word. But I consider hot tubbing to be one of my most favorite things to do! Each of the cabins have a hot tub on the back porch. Now we all excel at something. Noah and Eden are a perfect shot, Jonah’s a star throwing master, and I am an expert at sitting in a hot tub enjoying a glass of wine.
Rocking Heart Spa
I’m also an expert at hitting the spa and lucky for me this dude ranch has one!
The Rocking Heart Spa is a 17,000 square foot spa with 7 treatments rooms with heated beds. Treatments include massages, facials, pedicures, and manicures.
When you check in they have products and swimsuits available for purchase. The men’s and women’s locker rooms have a Jacuzzi and a sauna. They run various specials all the time, including lodging specials that include spa treatments.
I was treated to a facial by an expert esthetician. She uses the Hungarian facial method and it was invigorating.
While I was being pampered in the spa the kids were off trying out more kid activities including swimming and rock climbing adjacent to the spa. Noah also went and worked out in the gym, also found at the spa.
In the swimming pool area there is wall for indoor rock climbing. There are four sections, each with three ways up to the top. They range in difficulty. All three of my kids enjoyed the rock climbing wall and apparently tried every climb.
The fitness center is seriously well equipped. Noah appreciated all the weightlifting equipment and I enjoyed the treadmill. Okay, that’s a lie. I didn’t work out at all, but I did step in there to take this photo.
They’ve got an indoor 1/2 size Olympic lap pool that is heated with a hot tub just outside.
Silvies dude ranch has 34 rooms and cabins. You can stay in a room with one bed, two beds, or get a log cabin with up to two bedrooms.
During our stay we stayed in a luxury log cabin with two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, living room, sitting area with sweeping views, dining area (which I forgot to take a picture of), kitchenette, and hot tub on the patio.
Let me tell you what. If you have three kids like I do, you have a great appreciation for 2.5 bathrooms!
The bedrooms are gorgeous, both have a queen bed. Both rooms have a bathroom with a separate shower and separate shower. The bathroom had q-tips and all the expected toiletries. There were TV’s in the toilet area.
There’s a sitting area that looks directly out over the lake. Obviously, we couldn’t see the lake. All we saw was snow. In the winter when the lake is completely frozen you can go ice fishing.
The living room has a massive tv and fireplace. We sat around in here playing games, until Noah got mad and quit. He hates losing, especially to Jonah! They have games you can check out from the lodge. They also have a poker set already in the room in case you feel like playing a round of Texas Hold’em.
The kitchenette boasts a substantial minibar, full of sodas, spirits, wine, and snacks. I gotta say I loved having a fully stocked wine fridge! Nothing like winding down the day with a soak in the hot tub with a glass of wine.
If you do not need an entire cabin they you can stay in a ranch house room. The ranch house rooms come with either two king beds or one king bed. These rooms feature the same kitchenette amenities in them, except for the stocked wine fridge. One big difference is some of them have a bathtub!
Educational Ranch Tours
They offer tours where they will take you around the ranch and educate you on the history of the ranch, cows, hay, and much more. You can see the kids learning about how they put shoes on a horse in the above photo.
Silvies Valley Ranch was originally homesteaded in 1883. This area was opened up for settlement after the Native Americans were defeated in the Bannock War or 1878. Various families moved in and at one time the area was up to 70 families. They use the names of some of those original families to name the roads and buildings.
At one time there were 4,000 head of buffalo, making it the largest domestic run buffalo operation in the country. They also had elk, zebras, and horses.
Today Silvies Valley Ranch is one of the largest ranches in Oregon, owned by the Campbell family since 2006. They have 4,500 cows and 3,000 American goats. They grow wild meadow hay, which is made up of 20 species of grass. Throughout the ranch there are 100 species of wild flower. Just imagine how that must look in the spring!
We stopped by some of the streams and learned about the beaver damns they are putting in to mimic what actually beavers would do and restore the land back to the way is is suppose to be.
Helping with Baby Goats
Depending on when you visit the ranch you can participate in the “Kidding Experience”.
During dude ranch vacation kidding season was in full swing. This meant we got to play with baby goats, hold them, and even bottle feed them.
We were even there just in time to watch a mama goat giving birth too! Now, chances are high that if you want to watch a goat give birth you will be able to during kidding season. They’ve got a lot of goats giving birth during this time. My kids were not totally grossed out, but you’ll have to decide if this is something your own children will want to see.
For those of you that remember the llama incident last summer and were commenting about it when you saw me with the goats. Well, I am happy to report that I didn’t scream, cry, or run away from the goats. I could see my kids eyeballing me the whole time. They were just waiting for me to crack.
They offer a lot of activities and we by no means had the time to try them all. Some of the winter activities you can enjoy are snow bikes, cross country skiing (bring your own equipment), ice fishing, and snowshoeing.
If you are into snowmobiles, this is a great place to stay. Nearby is the Malheur National Forest, home to hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails, 3 Sno-Parks, and warming huts.
There’s no shortage of snow on the ranch during the winter months. They have two Clydesdale horses, named Ozzy and Arnold, that will pull you along for a sleigh ride. Considering hitting the bar for a nice hot drink to take with you on the sleigh.
Every meal we had during our three days at Silvies was fantastic and gigantic. Chef Damon Jones is a genius in my opinion, and his a rotating menu of western-inspired fare, including Silvies Valley Ranch Certified Organic “Heritage Naked Beef” and chevon is marvellous.
During breakfast we were wowed by a one pound cinnamon roll. It turns out that a one pound cinnamon roll is much bigger than one might expect.
I ended up getting the steak rancheros twice. I usually like to try more things, but it was just too good not to have again! The morning after our first multi-course dinner, I was trying to be healthier so I opted for the oatmeal. Even the oatmeal was impressive!
Chef Damon Jones will dazzle you with his creations during your stay at Silvies, especially during dinner.
Oddly enough my favorite parts of our dinners was not the food. The food was fantastic, but there were little touches that I loved.
First, they host a cocktail time right before dinner. At the end of the cocktail hour they let a guest ring a dinner bell to signal that it’s time to sit down and eat. Jonah rang the bell both nights.
Second, was the knife selection. Before we had steak they brought out a platter of beautiful knives and we each got to select which knife we wanted to use to cut our steak. In all the places we’ve been and all the different kinds of meals we’ve enjoyed we have never been given the option to pick out our own knife.
Heavily Stocked Bar
I was stunned when I first saw the bar at Silvies, it’s magnificent. I certainly wasn’t expecting them to have such an extensive selection of scotch.
The signature cocktail is delicious, it’s called the “Horseshoe nail cocktail”. It is a mix of Drambuie and rye whisky, garnished with a crabapple from the ranch’s only fruit tree
Not only does the bar have almost anything you could even want to drink they have over 220 bottles of wine to choose from, all of which you can order by the glass! How amazing is that!
Family Time Off the Grid
When you are out at Silvies Valley Ranch you are off the grid unless you are in a building. This means that any time you are out and about doing activities you have no Internet and no phone service. Parents desiring uninterrupted quality time with their kids will love this!
When they told me I would have no service I thought for sure I would. I have T-Mobile and my phone literally works everywhere, well at least it did until we were here! Two of my kids have Sprint and their phones did not work out there either. If you need something they give you a hand held two way radio to use aka a walkie talkie.
I saved golf for last, because obviously we were not out golfing, but considering that two of their brand new courses were ranked #3 & #4 best new courses last year I had to mention them. For those of you that love to golf I have two words for you: Reversible course! Silvies is home to the only 18 hole reversible golf courses in the United States, the Hankins course and Craddock course.
In addition to the reversible course they have two other courses. The Chief Egan par 3 is great for families. For those that don’t golf, but enjoy hitting golf balls like us, there’s a driving range. For those that need a challenge they have McVeigh’s Gauntlet, a 7-hole challenge course carved into a razor back.
To help you around the course they have goat caddies. These professionally trained American goats are saddled with a custom-designed goat caddie backpack that carries drinks, golf balls, tees, and a few clubs.
I could keep going on and on about this stay. It was that good, but instead I’ll wrap up with a video overview and a suggested packing list.
Winter Ranch Packing List
During our ranch stay I found myself wishing I had packed certain things. Packing for a stay at a ranch is different than your regular packing list. For example, make sure no one wears white shoes. Instead, wear shoes that can get dirty, like snow boots or rain boots.
- Snow boots: They get a lot of snow. I prefer to walk around in snow boots, so there’s less chance I might slip.
- Rain boots: When you are taking a tour or participating in the kidding experience you will want shoes that can’t be ruined.
- Swimsuit: for the pool, hot tub, and possibly the spa.
- Board games: I recommend bringing at least two board games with you. There is a poker set in the room, but you might want to have something a little easier to play like Triominos.
- Clothes that can get dirty: When you are holding goats our touring the ranch you may get dirty, so dress accordingly!
- Sleds: They get a lot of snow and your kids will have fun sledding somewhere on the property. Just make sure you ask where to sled in order to avoid water.
All in all, our ranch stay was fabulous. If you are looking for a farm or ranch vacation for your family, you should seriously consider staying here. I can only imagine that that the summer experience is just as glorious as the winter.
Learn more about the ranch: https://silvies.us
Disclosure: We were Silvies guest for the weekend.