Kohl's Ranch Beckons Locals To Escape

COVER STORY

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Nestled beneath a canopy of ponderosa pines about a 20-minute drive up Highway 260 from Payson is the quiet getaway of Kohl's Ranch.

"It is so much quieter here since the highway moved. You cannot hear the traffic at all," Kohl's resident manager Greg Hart said.

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A putting green invites all ages to try their hand at golf at Kohl's Ranch.

"We only have one (guest access) computer, no Wi-Fi and cell phones don't work out here," he added.

The main sounds heard from the deck Jacuzzis for guests staying in Christopher Creek Silver or Tonto Creek Gold cabins are the gentle murmurs of Tonto Creek and the wind, as it rustles through the pines.

Lodging options include these one- and two-bedroom cabins that are more than 650 square feet; regular rooms in the Lodge; cabins without outside hot tubs; or The Horton House.

ILX built The Horton House in 2002 on the site of the old cowboy bar, however, a special piece of historic architectural was saved: the bar itself.

"Over the years, people used pocketknives and keys to carve their names into the surface of the bar. It is completely carved with names over other names. We preserved it to make the make main kitchen bar in Horton House," Hart said.

The Lodge is open to both overnight and timeshare guests. Room rates start at $125.

Guests enjoy a variety of amenities:

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Late spring through early autumn is the highlight of the wedding season at Kohl's Ranch Lodge. There is a pavilion that can accommodate 80 guests. A wedding arch stands on the lawn near the cheerful burbling of Tonto Creek and its small waterfalls. This cute wedding chapel really masks a storage room.

  • heated outdoor swimming pool
  • volleyball, basketball and tennis courts
  • 9-hole putting green
  • pet-friendly rooms and a pet hostel
  • s'mores pit in the evening
  • outdoor grills creek-side

The Zane Grey Steakhouse and Saloon is open to everyone for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Saturday evening there is live music in the bar.

Chef Kevin DeWitt won a Taste of Rim Country in 2006.

Hart said he was proud to work with a chef of DeWitt's skills and creativity, though he was skeptical when DeWitt added a pastrami sandwich with avocado to the menu. "It is really tasty," Hart said.

Barbecued ribs are the specialty of the house.

Consider a 20-minute hayride before or after a meal.

The ride is $5 per person and takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Kohl's also welcomes weddings, family reunions and small charity events.

Need more information?

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In addition to half-day and one- to three-hour horseback rides, the stables at Kohl's Ranch now offer overnight trips.

Contact the Lodge at (928) 478-4211 or visit them Online at www.ilxresorts.com/resort/ kohls_ranch_lodge.

Kohl's Ranch Stables

(928) 478-0030

In addition to half-day and one- to three-hour horseback rides, the stables at Kohl's Ranch now offer overnight trips.

"We pack up to Horton Springs and spend the night," Lance Weaver, stable owner said.

The ride to Horton Springs, across streams and through beautiful ponderosa pine trees, takes a few hours.

KRS provides a cowboy-cooked meal of beef or chicken and a hearty breakfast the next morning.

Adventurers get a new sleeping bag and pillow that is theirs to keep after the trip.

"The overnight trips will continue until it gets too cold at night, probably a little into September," Weaver said.

The trip is $250 per person plus tax.

Horseback rides are $30 per hour plus tax.

Both rides and the trip are open to anyone, not just guests at Kohl's Ranch Lodge.

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