It is a beautifully designed ranch house with an equally stunning view of the mountains of Banff National Park. Set on 480 acres of foothills between Calgary and Banff/Canmore, the ranch sleeps 10 people. This is our hiking and skiing basecamp.
THE RANCH HISTORY:
According to the Cochrane Historical Society, our ranch was first created in 1889 and was known back then as 'The Ripley.' The first family that owned it raised Galloway and Hereford Cattle in the valley and had built a house, a stable and lime kiln by what they called 'Ripley Creek', now known as Baymar Creek, which empties into Ghost River. Old First Nations trails cross our ranch as well as old and current wildlife trails. When the Palliser expedition came from the north in 1858 to go through the Banff area, they crossed Deadman's Hill, which essentially is the hill or ridge that our house and our cabin are situated. It was called Deadman's Hill because of a First Nation story of a major battle along the Ghost River (Formerly Deadman's River).
You will not find another ranch house designed like this. It has massive log beams holding up the roof and floor to ceiling windows on the south and west sides.
The ranch house itself is actually two buildings (main house and the guest house) connected with a large outdoor covered patio space that we call the breezeway.
The main house is a fully open space with logs arranged to form 2 adjacent hexagons, 12 inch thick cement walls that encase floor-to-ceiling windows across the south and west sides of the structure. It has a large wood-burning fireplace in addition to the in-floor heating to create a cozy space when you relax on the couches or the murphy bed. The kitchen is fully functional, with the centre-piece of it being a 15 foot long island. The main house bathroom is stunning with a huge bathtub and shower area and tile throughout.
The guest house contains 4 bedrooms with a total of 3 queen-sized beds and 3 single beds. It has warm cork flooring, its own 1/2 bath and high ceilings. It is much more utilitarian and simple than the main house.
Around the house you will find a rundle stone patio on the southwest side with a firepit and seating around it. Between the two buildings is the 800 square foot breezeway, with a 16 foot long handcrafted wood table with benches (created using timber from the property).
Guests will have access to the ranch house and the land. There is a log cabin on the property, but it is not available for use.
Interaction with guests:
Feel free to ask us any questions that you may have regarding your upcoming stay and suggestions on what to do in the surrounding area.
The ranch and the area that it is located is the foothills of alberta, the land just before the start of the rocky mountains. The ranch house sits on the top of a ridge about 25 km west of the mountains, which can be seen from the house and many other vantage points across the property.
The area is pristine wilderness and ranch lands, with thick forest foothills covering most of the area except for the bottom of the valley where native grasses are predominant.
There is a significant amount of wildlife that call this area home. This includes black bears, grizzly bears, deer, wolves, cougars, elk, moose, coyotes, badgers, hawks, bald eagles etc.
Just 2 km hike to the north of the ranch house is the ghost river and to the south about 10 km is ghost lake, which is a reservoir with inflow from the bow and ghost rivers.
On a clear day you can see downtown Calgary to the east and if you look to the west you will see a wide swath of mountains, including devil's head and devil's gap, which is the valley leading to Lake Minnewanka of Banff National Park.
our ranch is a rural property so having a vehicle to get to and from the ranch is a must. If you come in the winter, having a vehicle such as an SUV is a very good idea since the drive way is a 2 km long gravel road that is snow plowed, but requires good ground clearance and good tires.
Other things to note:
ATV's, snowmobiles, motorbikes or any off-road vehicles are not allowed to be used at the ranch. It is protected land under the Nature Conservancy of Canada.