THE HOMESTEAD HOUSE: 3 Bedrooms, sleeps up to 8. Enjoy a 350 s.f. master bedroom with a separate entry, full size bed, additional small bed in a cozy alcove. Second bedroom with twin beds. One semi-private bedroom adjacent to the living room, with single bed. Living room includes a full size sofa-bed. 1 full bath with double sinks. Fully equipped kitchen including dishes, some staples, etc. Towels, linens and other amenities are included. Private laundry room. For those who travel with their horse, accommodations for the 4-legged kind may also be arranged. Call for details. (The Homestead is the larger of the 2 guest houses that are offered by Open Cross Ranch. To see information about the other house, see separate VRBO listing: The Canelo House)
THE REAL DEAL
The historic Open Cross Ranch is an authentic, working cattle ranch in the Canelo Hills near Sonoita. Enjoy the most stunning views and excellent accommodations. The Ranch was first homesteaded in 1918. Most recently the original house and two private guest houses have been updated and renovated by owners - husband and wife, Mac & Billie Donaldson. They reside in the main house, and the Homestead and Canelo Houses are available to travelers. With unrivaled panoramic views and spacious areas, the western setting also provides a rich backdrop for events, including weddings and receptions.
HOME SWEET HOME
Each house is tastefully appointed with details that make a house a home, such as linens, cookware, dinnerware and more. Each quality item has been personally chosen by Billie Donaldson. Other luxuries include a modern laundry room in each house, and beautifully appointed kitchens. Your comfort and privacy are important at the Ranch. Once you arrive, it becomes your private home to come and go as you please; a 100% self-serve stay. Billie’s complimentary welcome basket will be waiting for you. She might include fresh eggs from her hen house, seasonal goodies, or other local offerings.
HORSES WELCOME AT OPEN CROSS RANCH
If you want to vacation with your horse(s), call for details. Private rides are sometimes available with the owner, schedule permitting; a great way to see the working side of the Ranch.
A GREAT ESCAPE
The Open Cross motto is, “unplug and unwind”. Be prepared to leave city life behind. This countryside property provides private nature walks, hikes, horseback riding, and mountain biking right outside your door. The dark nighttime skies are a stargazer’s paradise, and the landscape is pure inspiration for artists and photographers. Riding stables are just a stone’s throw, and a mere 4 1/2 miles off of Hwy 83, you’ll find yourself in the heart of some of Arizona’s best wine country. The immediate area offers wine tastings and tours at a dozen vineyards and wineries, many of which are recipients of some of the most prestigious wine awards and accolades. “Foodies” might also appreciate local organic produce, Farmers’ Markets, and plentiful homemade goods. A quick jaunt to nearby Sonoita and other towns, reveals a wonderful selection of restaurants, shopping, historic attractions, museums and other recreation. Throughout the year escape to events such as the Sonoita Rodeo, horse races, food events, county fairs and other community activities. Fishing and water sport enthusiasts enjoy nearby lakes - Parker Canyon and Patagonia.
FOR NATURE LOVERS
This Madera oak woodland receives the majority of rainfall from July through September, bringing rolling green pastures and abundant wildlife activity. Every changing season is celebrated here. The higher elevation of 5,100 ft. makes for cooler, greener summers than many of the surrounding cities and towns, while fall and winter are comparatively mild, with a short-lived snowfall now and then. Each season brings unique sights of native fauna and colorful landscapes specific to these wooded grasslands.
BEHIND THE SCENES.
Open Cross Ranch is a USDA Forest permit in the Canelo Hills of Santa Cruz County. This year-round cow and calf operation has crossbred cows with Angus and Hereford bulls. Calves are born from April–July and are weaned in the fall. Because of the difficult terrain of these limestone hills, working cattle by traditional horseback is necessary. Owner Mac Donaldson oversees the day to day operations that keep this part of the Ranch's history alive and kick'n. It is a beautiful family affair.
Note: Google Maps and GPS systems may not show accurate street names in this area. Acquire a detailed map to the Ranch at www.opencrossaz.com
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The Donaldsons have been ranching in Southern Arizona for four generations and have a strong tie to the land.
Mac & Billie are hands-on, making your every experience at the Ranch enjoyable and memorable.
Open Cross Ranch abides to personal ethics of conservation and sustainability. The original homestead property of 1918 is a prime example of western heritage and hospitality.
The Homestead House is full of everything you need to make yourself comfortable at home. Provisions include linens, kitchenware, and more. The decor is charming western chic with unique rustic touches. It provides a perfect home base for the many activities in the area. The Ranch is private yet convenient to nearby Sonoita, and is in the heart of Arizona Wine Country with a dozen vineyards and wineries, riding stables and more. The property is vast and provides beautiful wilderness for exploration and activities. Horses are welcome at the Ranch. Call for details if you are traveling with your horse(s). Schedule permitting, the owners may sometimes offer private rides; a great way to see behind the scenes of a working cattle ranch. The spacious property is perfect for retreats, family reunions, and events.
When a group of friends wanted to getaway to have fun together, we headed to Sonoita and the Open Cross Ranch with Billie and Mac Donaldson. We easily found our way through ranch grassland and vineyards to the manicured compound of houses and corrals. Mac arrived with his horse in tow after riding the ranch, asked if we needed anything and he went off to feed the horses. We raced around the house to discover who would sleep where. The 5 of us each had our own very comfortable bed. The roomy bathroom with tub, shower and double sinks easily held all of our personal supplies. Extra shampoo, etc... is there if you forget something. The kitchen was well equipped, so we set out our spread of food, grilled steaks, giggled under the tree in the front yard until Billie and Mac joined us to watch the sunset up the hill under the ramada. Family style eating at the large dining table easily accommodated our dinner, breakfast and lunch. Whatever we forgot to bring, we found one of what we needed. Billie thinks of everything. She gave us a basket of eggs and butter, coffees, teas, bottled water and fruit drinks. We live within an hour's drive of Sonoita, so we stayed at the ranch the entire time. We hiked the hills, watched the birds, read the books collected on the shelves and perused the movie and game collection. The shower water was hot and plentiful with piles of fluffy towels and soap. We enjoyed the quiet, the comfort, the views and the decor in the house. Sunrise over the mountains was beautiful, as we sipped coffee and listened to the birds wake up. The Yoga Seesters will be going again, and stay longer. The Homestead house was a perfect fit for our group with private bedrooms, yet central gathering in the living room, kitchen, dining room or outside under the tree or ramada. Even though there are great restaurants in Sonoita, we could not drag ourselves away from the ranch and we cooked all our meals on the grill or in the oven. We waved at the guests in the smaller house, but our paths never crossed. Billie and Mac shared their stories with us and we shared ours. Check out was just like ladies do at lunch, separate checks! Our hosts easily accommodated our request and we checked out waving goodbye, we will return! Thank you for the memories. The Yoga Seesters.....
We stayed at Open Cross Ranch in the Homestead House for a bachelorette weekend. There were 8 girls total, and it was perfect. We enjoyed the wineries during the day, and then used the very well-stocked kitchen to make a big, delicious dinner. We ate outside under the stars (and the great built in ramada with beautiful lighting), and then Mac came out and lit us a fire. We stayed up late, enjoying the adorable house and playing games. The next day we enjoyed the delicious eggs Billie had left for us. Overall, the property was beautiful, the house was perfect, and Mac & Billie were great hosts. I highly recommend staying here.
Wow. My sister found Open Ranch while searching for a place to accommodate a group of ladies for my bachelorette party. What a find!
We stayed in the larger of the two guesthouses - 8 of us slept incredibly comfortably, could have fit 9 or 10. The house was so much fun to be in, lots of little details in the decorating. The bathroom was a blast - converted buckets acted as sinks and the bathtub was recessed into the floor.
The place was super clean. The couple who runs it were helpful and gave us a little background info on the ranch and how they came to run it.
Friendly horses. Beautiful sunsets. Peace and quiet. Perfect for an afternoon of wine-tasting.
My friends and I all plan on coming down again. I want to spend more time and do more hiking in the hills surrounding the place.
I was stunned by the beauty of the ranch, the surrounding mountains and the cozy Canelo House. My sister, girl friend and I went to the area to see Kartchner Caverns, and visit the wineries. We spent two nights at the house. The house was straight from a magazine, and had every amenity you could possibly need or want, plus some. Billie had decorated the house so perfect, that we decided to go shopping in Tubac so we could attempt to duplicate some of the unique finds she had discovered, in our own homes. We made a game of trying to find something that Billie didn't think of. We couldn't find a thing missing. In fact, there were many extras, like the hiking trails, the firepit outside, the ping pong table, horseshoes, games, books and DVDs.
Billie and Mac are such wonderful hosts. They checked on us regularly, brought us lanterns for our evening fireside chats, started fires in the firepit, drew maps of shortcuts to Tubac, and shared with us their very interesting lives. They treated us like royalty!
I would definitely recommend visiting this ranch as it's a great way for a city person to experience the beauty and grace of nature, in first class style.
Thank you Billie and Mac! We hope to be back soon.
Pam, Kathy and Marion.
A group of 7 girls (ages 24-42) had the most fantastic getaway to the Donaldson's ranch and would highly recommend staying here. We toured the Sonoita wineries and returned to what felt like home. Billie was fantastic to work with and extremely accommodating. The whole experience from booking to our departure was very amazing and unbelievably simple. We forgot a few small items behind and Billie even mailed them back to us right away with a kind note. If you are considering staying here, whether with family or friends, we would recommend the Donaldson ranch!
We had such a great time at Open Cross Ranch with 6 of my girlfriends. Our gateway weekend to Sonoita Wineries was absolutely amazing. The accommodation of the cabin, the location, the owners were absolutely high class!!!
I can't think of anything that was missing in cabin, from kitchen tools to individuals hand made bathroom soaps and little personal things you may forget to grab when you go on a trip:)
Billie was so kind that she even mailed my socks to me:) That just shows can much they care about their guests!
We definitely coming back here again!
Thank you for everything!!!
This is the best location to stay and enjoy Arizona's wine country. Wine tours and wine tastings are an every day thing at a dozen wineries and vineyards within minutes of the Ranch. Enjoy new area restaurants and seasonal events, away from the hustle and bustle of city life; an ultimate relaxing country experience. Open Cross Ranch features on-property trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. The extraordinary scenery and abundant wildlife is favored by photographers and artists, and the starry nighttime skies are spectacular. There a 2 area lakes for fishing, swimming, and boating.
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