Saddle Up

“It’s not the trip, it’s the experience,” Bob Walton of Desert Wonder Tours said. Because on his tours, regardless of the destination, he makes sure guests have a fabulous time.
Walton started his business out of Kingman three years ago, “to share his appreciation of the desert and the attractions here with visitors around the world.” He is a Kingman native with ancestry dating back to the late 1800s, around the time the town was founded. He grew up exploring the Mojave Desert and he still traverses the area in wonder and awe.
This passion for his homeland pours into his tours, where he shares area history and details as he transports guests to the next exciting location. Visitors, as well as locals, will gain a wealth of knowledge before they even reach their destination. That’s why a trip with Desert Wonder Tours is the ultimate “experience.”
The destinations surely won’t disappoint either, as he takes travelers to a Western guest ranch, historic mining town, vineyards, underground caverns or even the Grand Canyon.
A real treat for visitors is the horseback riding tour at Grand Canyon Western Ranch. Bob will pick up at any Laughlin resort, or from a determined meeting point, and transport guests to the ranch near Grand Canyon West Rim. His shuttles are sanitized before every tour and he provides masks and sanitizer for guests.
The trip includes a scenic drive through a Joshua Tree forest before reaching the guest ranch. Upon arrival, guests will be fitted with a trail horse and given simple instruction for the ride. No prior riding experience is necessary — these horses know the trails and are well tempered. Helmets are offered, but not required.
A ranch guide will lead your troupe on a leisurely walk through the desert, over sand hills and gullies, past Joshua Trees and wildflowers. A rare sight for this area, guests will get to ride past the ranch’s small herd of buffalo. You can’t help but feel like a cowboy saddled up on your noble steed watching the buffalo roam.
It’s a great way to slow time down for a moment, take a breath of fresh air and appreciate the Western way of life. For those who are not able to ride a horse, they also offer wagon trail rides.
As you meander back to the ranch, Cowboy Dave will be waiting to greet your group for lunch. A menu of fresh, cowboy-sized sandwiches and salads are served up with a sarsaparilla inside the ranch house as Cowboy Dave entertains with his Western jokes, singing and harmonica. After lunch, Bob provides a smooth ride back to town.
Any of Desert Wonder Tours’ trips can be customized to fit your schedule and needs. Book online at desertwondertours.com or call 928-716-2046 to discuss options.

MORE TOURS

Grand Canyon West/Western Ranch Tour: Grand Canyon West Rim is approximately 4,000 feet above the canyon floor where the Colorado River runs through. The first stop is Hualapai Ranch, then on to scenic Eagle Point where you have the option to walk out on the glass Skywalk bridge, then the last stop at Guano Point. Next, the van heads to nearby Grand Canyon Western Ranch for lunch with the singing cowboy in a Western restaurant. Heading back to town, you’ll take a short trip through the Joshua Tree forest for pictures.

Historic Oatman Mining Town & Route 66 Museum Tour: First stop is the Powerhouse Visitors Center/Arizona Route 66 Museum in Kingman. Modern day explorers will discover a variety of information, including vehicles, photographs and artifacts gathered over the history of “The Mother Road.” Next, travel on Route 66 to Cool Springs camp and service station, built in the mid-1920s. Enjoy beautiful scenic views of Sitgreaves Pass — first mapped out by Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves in 1851 while on an expedition to see if the Colorado and other rivers could be navigated by steamboat. Then, experience an exciting drive through winding roads in the Black Mountains to arrive at the historic mining town of Oatman in time for their “high noon” shootout and lunch (not included). Spend a fascinating afternoon in the antique shops and interacting with roaming burros.

Grand Canyon Caverns, Route 66 Museum & Winery Tour: Your adventure begins with a stop at the Kingman Powerhouse Visitors Center/Route 66 & Electric Vehicle Museums. The Route 66/Electric Vehicle Museum depicts the historical evolution of travel along the 35th parallel that became Route 66. Next the journey continues through Peach Springs and the Hualapai Indian reservation, arriving at Grand Canyon Caverns for your tour 200 feet below the earth, followed by lunch at the Caverns Grill. The final leg of the tour finishes at Stetson Winery & Event Center for wine tasting (not included), beautiful mountain views, outdoor patio and fireplace, and rows of vines all in the middle of the desert.

Route 66 Museum & Wine Tasting/Brewery Tour: This trip also begins with a stop at the Kingman Powerhouse Visitors Center/Route 66 & Electric Vehicle Museums. Next, wine tasting & hors d’oeuvres await you at Stetson Winery. Then visit the nearby Little Old Wine Drinkers Winery dedicated to the philosophy of “from earth to bottle,” meaning the owners are involved in all processes of their desert grapes from growing, to fermenting, to processing and bottling. Finally, on to Black Bridge Brewery in downtown Kingman for lunch and handcrafted brews. e