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Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076

Western Casita on 62 acres in heart of Sonoran Desert, 20 minutes to Scottsdale

Bedrooms 1
Space 950 sq. ft.
Property type studio
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

62 Acre Ranch/Exclusive Eco Equine Boarding Facility on Tonto National Forest

Rio Rancho Verde offers an amazingly unique Arizona experience. This exclusive horse ranch/boarding facility is nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, only 20 - 25 minutes from Scottsdale. Our property sits on the border of the Tonto National Forest, and is the perfect authentic Western adventure. Enjoy an upscale ranch experience and discover the inner operations of an exclusive horse boarding facility, just a short distance from Scottsdale. We offer several different boarding packages and programs, starting with a basic stall rental for your horse, to our "hands on" barn experience to the most popular option, which also includes a stay at our beautiful Western casita. You can experience the" behind the scenes" day to day operations of ranch management and barn maintenance, help us feed the horses carrots from the garden, take a roping lesson from our on-site expert (no cows involved!), sign up for manure management or rent a trusty steed at the stables down the road. We also offer a practice course, with obstacles, for both horses and riders to hone their skills on the trails. We're the perfect destination for hiking, biking and exploring right out of our back gate - or just relax and refresh while enjoying a glass of wine as you watch the spectacular sunsets on the ridge overlooking the mountain peaks and desert vistas. We're secluded and surrounded by the most amazing mountain views, saguaro cactus and Sonoran Desert scenery and offer a relaxing alternative to the fast pace of city life. The premier package includes horse boarding, and a stay in a tastefully decorated chic Western Casita/Bunkhouse. The designer décor offers a combination of upscale Southwestern and Western furnishings and accessories with all the amenities. Over 800 square feet of open floor plan, complete with fireplace, full kitchen and bathroom, washer/dryer, big screen TV, AC and heat, dining area (seats 6) and a private courtyard that faces the Scottsdale Sonoran Preserve. Enjoy cocktails as you watch the sun set and turn the skies crimson, take your morning coffee down to the barn and help us grain the horses or enjoy the sky full of stars over dinner on your own private patio. Walk out the back gate to miles and miles of trails, we're a short ride/hike to the Scottsdale Sonoran Preserve to the west and directly on the Tonto National Forest to the east. The night skies are filled with stars and you're sure to hear a coyote or two howling in the distance. Take a side trip to the Verde River (9 miles) and keep an eye out for the wild horses that call this area home. There's a stable down the road where you can rent horses, and we have bikes you can borrow. We're committed to an Eco-Ranch lifestyle and are committed to sustainability, being mindful of the ecology in which we live and embracing the environment that surrounds us. We have an organic garden on site and you're welcome to help yourselves to the vegetables we grow. Reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose! It's an amazing beautiful site, far enough out that you'll feel like you're in the middle of nowhere but only 25 minutes from Scottsdale and fine dining, galleries, shops and nightlife. Come join us at Rio Rancho Verde! If the bunkhouse is not available please see our other listings at VRBO 766813 or VRBO 763667.

Carmela Lizzo
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english, un poquito espanol
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 18, 2018

About Carmela Lizzo

My husband and I love living in the desert and enjoy sharing this incredible space with our guests. We've made some amazing friends who return year after year and who love to ride their horses with us to discover new trails and places. We're both avid horseback riders, Joe's a roper, and we also like mountain biking and hiking on the trails outside our gates. We have an organic garden on site, we compost and are big on reduce, reuse, recycle and re-purpose! We like being sustainable, we're on a well so we're always mindful of water consumption, and the veggies in our garden could feed an army! We enjoy meeting new people and thrive on the incredible feedback that we get from our guests!

Carmela Lizzo purchased this studio in 1990

Why Carmela Lizzo chose Rio Verde Foothills

We wanted to live as far out in the desert as we possibly could, but still have the conveniences of town. We specifically looked in the Rio Verde Foothills area because we wanted to live on the national forest and have neighbors who were close enough to become friends with but far enough away to give us our space. (we have awesome neighbors!!). When you see how beautiful our land is you'll know immediately that it's a very special place. We're incredibly blessed and grateful to call this home.

What makes this studio unique

It's serene and peaceful, the views are incredible, we get visited by the local wildlife, the scenery is spectacular - it's amazing! My daughter, when she comes to visit, says: "this is what quiet sounds like", and it's so true.


Rio Verde Foothills Studio Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • studio
  • floor 1
Building Type:
  • building
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 950 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: Noon
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • pets considered ...
  • Events Allowed
  • not suitable for children ...
  • smoking allowed ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • Beautifully decorated bathroom with tile shower.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
  • This is a casita/bunkhouse/studio that has a king size bed (all one very large room) with a kitchen, fireplace, washer/dryer, big screen TV, kitchen and private bathroom with shower. We can add an additional 2 portable beds if needed for a nominal cost.
  • Books
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Senior Adults Only Community ...
  • limited accessibility ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Massage
  • Private Chef
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • miniature golf
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • swimming
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
  • wind-surfing
We have something for everyone! Just let us know what you need and we'll take care of it. We can furnish the bunkhouse with groceries, birthday cakes, special anniversary gifts, amenities that are above and beyond, etc. We also have a masseuse and facial person within 3 miles of the house that our guests love to visit! We're always available for questions and feedback to help make your stay more enjoyable!


5/5 -
(5 traveler reviews)

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Western Casita on 62 acres in heart of Sonoran Desert, 20 minutes to Scottsdale
average rating of 5.0 based on 5 reviews

The desert setting was beautiful. Don't know when I've seen so many stars at night.

  • 5 of 5

Carmella and Joe were friendly and helpful with suggestions for activities. Our casita was very comfortable. Great setting

  • Submitted: Mar 17, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: It was truly a pleasure having you out to Rio Rancho Verde, we're delighted you enjoyed your stay. Please come and see us again!
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Torrance, CA

Incredible space!!

  • 5 of 5

What luck we ended up at Carmela and Jon’s place. After having 2 prior bookings for the weekend cancel last minute during one of the busiest times in Scottsdale (spring training) we were left with few options. I found this location and promptly emailed asking if my dogs would be welcome. Carmela replied quickly with a yes and I booked it. I am so glad I did. They have a beautiful ranch and were lovely hosts. The space itself is a converted garage, but it is tastefully decorated, totally functional and very comfortable. Plenty of space for my hubby and I with our 2 large dogs. The patio is great, with a very nice view. We enjoyed sitting outside and taking in the view for morning coffee and wine in the evening.

It’s far out of town, but really, it is so beautiful out there that I found it to be totally worth the drive time to old town Scottsdale. In fact, I’d like to go back to just spend a long weekend to just hang at the ranch. There is tons of open space just outside their ranch gates, so perfect for the dogs. They have horses on the property and I had a great time doing a little roping with Jon. They have a beautiful organic garden that guests can access. I really can’t say enough good things about this property, other than it is probably one of my very best HomeAway finds. Definitely recommend this place!

  • Submitted: Mar 12, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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I struggle with a review because I want to keep this gem to myself

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our stay, the location and property was beautiful, very well located to great hiking. While drives into town for shopping and baseball spring training games took time you just had to plan accordingly. Carmella and Joe were great hosts, full of wonderful advice and suggestions.

  • Submitted: Mar 28, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for the wonderful review! We truly enjoyed having you out to Rio Rancho Verde and hope to see you again soon!
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The Perfect Western Getaway!

  • 5 of 5

RRV far exceeded our expectations, a truly gorgeous ranch experience. My husband and I stayed for 3 nights but we sure will stay longer next time. The Casita had everything we needed for a comfortable, enjoyable stay. The charming hospitality of our hosts Carmela & Joe made us feel so welcome and we loved meeting some of the return guests (and their horses and dogs!) Joe was kind enough to give Bryan a roping lesson, I'm going to give it a go, too. It was a short drive into town to meet my family for a great dinner (so many good restaurants) but otherwise we were content to leave the car parked and simply enjoyed the beauty surrounding us. Our hosts provided great tips and maps of the area. We brought our mountain bikes and every day we found new trails to explore in the Preserve and Tonto NF. We can't wait to return! C&B from Long Beach

  • Submitted: Jan 25, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We so enjoyed having both of you here at the ranch, part of the gratification of being a host is being able to meet people like you and Brian. We truly believe that we are only custodians of this beautiful space and that we were meant to share it with people like you. It truly was a pleasure meeting you and we so hope to have you back again!
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1 0
Minneapolis, MN

Great match to what we were looking for!!!

  • 5 of 5

On short notice, we were lucky to match our dates for a short get-a-way from the cold and snow. We were looking for a quiet, close to nature place with hiking nearby. That's exactly what we got (and more) at Rio Rancho Verde. The weather we got was less than desirable but between the warm and cozy casita and the heater on the patio we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves. That's not to say we didn't get out hiking. We got in 2 hikes a day for 4 days and didn't begin to cover the many trails in the area. The property is beautiful and the scenery outstanding. Carmela and Joe were wonderful, attentive and responsive hosts. We also met several of their repeat guests who were very friendly and helpful.

  • Submitted: Jan 21, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Barpub
14 Miles
Rare Earth Wine Bar
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Tonto Verde
Nearest Restaurant
10 Miles
Pinnacle Grill
Car: necessary

You can rent a bike, horse, ATV or just hike right off or down the road from our property. We're near the resort communities of Carefree and Cavecreek, which offer a Western atmosphere complete with a bar that hosts bull riding! There's an incredible variety of festivals, rodeos, museums, shopping and dining all nearby. Plenty of golf courses, hiking trails and restaurants. You can also raft the nearby Verde River, or rent paddleboards for a day at one of the many lakes near the ranch.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $75
Pet Fee $50
Damage Deposit $100

There will be a $100 dog deposit that is fully refundable if there are no damages. There is a $75 cleaning fee.

Internet upgrade:
Fee is $10 per stay (not per night)

Payment is due upon acceptance of reservation

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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