• Established

  • Owner

    Rick and Diana Nash
  • Manager

    The Lorta Family
  • Tel

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $302 - $425
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $219 - $255
  • Minimum Stay

    4 days
  • Maximum Guests

  • Works with travel agents?

  • Great For

    Peace & quiet, Solitude, Diverse scenery
  • Memberships

    DRA, Arizona DRA, DRA Horse Safety Program

The crackle of a campfire. The creak of a leather saddle. Rugged vistas without end. Welcome to Circle Z Ranch, a vacation experience that will envelop you in a time and place when days were spent on horseback and nights under a blaze of stars.

Our all-inclusive Arizona dude ranch vacations are memorable experiences for guests of all ages and horseback riding abilities. Our historic ranch is nestled in Southern Arizona’s Sky Islands, known for its vast grasslands and vaulting mountain ranges. Guided by expert wranglers, you will explore trails across thousands of acres so scenic they’ve been the setting for many Western movies. Back at the ranch you can partake in other outdoor activities or join guests, fireside, in our rustic lodge. Meals are cooked from scratch using locally grown ingredients. This is ranch life at its best. An experience that keeps guests coming back time and time again.

Good time to go

Ranch is open late October - mid April

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 6 and over

Children love the freedoms they will find at the Circle Z Ranch, from supervised kid rides and playing horse games, as well as time at our pool, game room and running on our huge lawns. Children need to be 6 years old to ride out on the trail. Children younger than 6 are allowed to groom our pony and also be on a lead line around the paddock. Children 17 and under are required to wear helmets. All of our kid rides have 2 wranglers. Other than for out on the rides, we do not offer nanny service or supervised "off-riding" time.

Minimum age children can ride

6 and over


hiking, picnics, outdoor play area, cookouts


board games, horseshoes, soccer, ping pong, pool table

Environmental & Social Practices


We are conservation oriented, with a recycling program and buying locally as much as possible.


Participate in and contribute to the local fair, the Sonoita horse races, and several youth activites in the small community of Patagonia. We are members of the Patagonia Area Business Association.


Our property is in conservation easement with the Arizona Land and Water Trust.

Ranch History

The Circle Z is Arizona's original Dude Ranch, established in 1925 by the Zinsmeister family. Owned and operated by the Nash family since 1976, our down to earth style is reflected in our friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Rick and Diana Nash are the third generation owners of the ranch, and are committed to it’s success and adherence to our traditions. Throughout your stay, you will also be hosted by the Lorta family, who have been helping to care for the ranch for forty years. George and Jennie Lorta, along with their son Miko and wife Yessenia, keep the ranch running smoothly. Whether traveling alone, with family or with friends, you will quickly be part of our Circle Z family.


  • Enjoy

  • Meals served

    buffet style, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, patio, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, Gluten free

We are BYOB so guests are welcome to bring their own refreshments for cocktail hour and dinner.

We serve 3 buffet style meals every day, and have 3 different cookouts during the week. We like to keep our menu varied, offering varieties of salads, sides and main entrees for guests to choose from . We are also happy to accomodate special dietary needs of our guests.

Our menus have been developed over the years to please the most discerning palates, and we take pride in offering the freshest and tastiest of ingredients cooked to perfection.

Guest Favourites

  • Mexican Day of Friday, where we create authentic Mexican fare. We begin the day with Huevos Rancheros, Chile Relleno's, for breakfast. Dinner varies from Enchiladas to Chicken Mole and all the delicious sides of Mexican Rice and Beans.
  • Monday Night Steak night, where we cook rib-eyes over the outdoor grill and serve with corn on the cob, ranch beans, twice baked potatoes, jalapeno corn bread and caesar salad. Topped off with an apple cobbler hot from the oven.

Your Chef, Chris

We have 3 Chefs that create breakfast, lunch and dinner for our guests, plus do all of the baking. We cook completely from scratch and use lots of fresh ingredients to create tasty, healthy meals.

Sample Menu

  • Appetizers

  • Bruschetta
  • Salmon with Capers served on melba toast
  • Min Chimichangas
  • Entrées

  • Veal Parmiggon
  • Oven Roasted pork Loin with Plum sauce
  • Herb Crusted Chicken
  • Beef Teriaki served over rice or lo-mein
  • Desserts

  • Chocolate Mouse
  • Cheesecake
  • Apple Cobler


  • Address

    1476 AZ Highway 82
    Z 85624
  • Remote Location

  • Elevation

    4050 ft
  • Private Land

    5000-10000 acres
  • Public Land


Nearest Town - Patagonia

Patagonia has a population of 5000 (approx), and is situated 4.6 miles / 15 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Patagonia include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum.

For shopping Patagonia offers: small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops, western wear.

Ranch shuttle

105 per reservation, per trip

Nearest Airports

Tucson International Airport, Tucson, AZ


60 miles miles / 1 hour


Delta, United, Alaska, American Airlines, South West

Ranch shuttle

Yes, $105 per trip

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix


170 miles miles / 3 hours

Ranch shuttle



  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride, Rides tailored to guest requests, Families ride together, Children ride together
  • Max riders per ride

  • Wranglers per ride

  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings, Mares
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours

The Setting

Private Land (5000-10000 acres)

The Ranch owns over 7000 acres of terrain for horseback riding and all activities.

Public Land (40,000-50,000

We are surrounded by State and Federal Land and have leases for trails through these properties.

Our Riding

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed, We recommend a good level of physical fitness

Why our riding stands out

  • Our riding trails: We have over 100 miles of riding Trails that lead in all directions from the ranch. We traverse through very diverse landscapes, from riparian to desert scrub and up into the mountains and grasslands of Southern Arizona.
  • We have over 100 head of horses, many that are bred and trained here at the ranch. Our horses are well cared for, know their jobs, and interact happily with the guests. We try to keep guests with the same horse through out their stay.
  • We have a spacious covered arena where we give our guest orientation as well as horsemanship and horseback riding lessons, for those interested. We take safety very seriously and believe the better prepared the rider, the better the results when out on the trail.

Sample Riding Itinerary

Monday:9 am New guest orientation followed by trail ride.
             2 pm Trail Ride

Tuesday: 8:30 Lessons followed by trail ride
                2 pm Trail Ride or Horse Games at Creek Ranch
Wednesday: 9 am Picnic ride with cook out lunch followed by roping demonstration. Return to ranch 2:30-3:30
Thursday: 8:30 Lessons, followd by either and All-Day ride or a morning ride
                 2 pm afternoon ride for those not doing all-day ride
Friday: 9 am Trailer ride to the San Rafael Valley.
Saturday: 9 am Chuck wagon cook out ride. Return to ranch between 2:30-3:30

Riding Lessons


lessons come with package, basic riding lessons

Given by

wrangler, ranch owner or manager


on the trail, in the arena

Arena Work

We have two arenas, one covered where our lessons take place and one open where we keep cattle for team penning and Gymkhana games.


outdoor arena


penning, roping from the ground, barrels, pole bending, gymkhana, rodeo


  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $302 - $425
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $219 - $255
  • Minimum Stay

    4 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Weds, Sun
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Thurs, Sun
  • Style of accommodation

    Western rustic chic
  • Packages available

    4 night, 1 week

Circle Z Ranch can cater for up to 45 guests. Accommodation includes Rooms and Houses. See below for details and indicative rates.

Room | Cottage 1

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $354 - $413
Winter: $354 - $413

Minimum Stay

4 nights


Cottage One houses two, one bedroom suites with king beds, private baths and living room with spacious porches.




Private bathroom


fridge, hair dryer, seating area, air conditioning

House | Cottage 2

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $361 - $421
Winter: $361 - $421

Minimum Stay

4 nights


This two bedroom, two bath accomodation is perfect for families or friends traveling together. It offers 2 large porches, a beautiful living room, 2 private baths and king sized beds. Centrally located and very private!



Room | Cottage 3

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $302 - $353
Winter: $302 - $353

Minimum Stay

4 nights


Cottage 3 is our most economic, with 2 separate units that have king beds with shared bathrooms. Two large porches open up to lush lawns. Great for families and friends traveling together




Shared bathroom


fridge, hair dryer

Room | Cottage Azteca

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $302 - $413
Winter: $302 - $413

Minimum Stay

4 nights


Cottage Azteca has several room configurations, including: 2 separate standard rooms with queen sized beds and private baths; 1 unit with 2 bedrooms and adjoining bathroom; and one suite with king sized bed and separate sitting area.



House | Cottage 5

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $361 - $421
Winter: $361 - $421

Minimum Stay

4 nights


This three bedroom, 2 bath house is perfect for families, with a large living room space and 2 large porches. This house is private and inviting.




Private bathroom, Shared bathroom


fridge, hair dryer

House | Hill House

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $364 - $425
Winter: $364 - $425

Minimum Stay

4 nights


Hill House is our ultimate accomodation, with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a large living room with a fireplace and 2 large porches.




Private bathroom


fridge, hair dryer, seating area, wood fireplace

Room | Casa Rosa

Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $335 - $391
Winter: $335 - $391

Minimum Stay

4 nights


Casa Rosa houses 8 private, king size rooms. Each room can sleep 2, with private baths and private entrances.



Booking Policy

Rates are per person

Rates include Tax and Service Charge

Check in time is 4-6 pm and check out time is 10 am.

Sunday to Thursday stay includes Thursday morning ride and lunch, with a 2 pm check out time

Transportation to and from the Tucson Airport is available upon request for $105 per trip, per reservation for up to 6 guests and must be booked a minimum of 2 weeks in advance

Large families or groups, please contact the office for rates

We require a 25% deposit when booking your reservation

We have a 90 day cancellation policy

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, tax, gratuity, Riding, Horse back riding lessons cookouts nature walks astronomy night yoga



Separate charge to be arranged by guest


  • You can borrow

    Cowboy hats, Cowboy boots, Riding helmets, Saddle bags, Rain coats
  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi, Wireless located in the Cantina, not in the cottages. Recommend guests bring own hotspot if they want internet in their rooms. .
  • Cell Networks

    AT&T, verizon.
  • Business Services

    Executive business center , printers, common computer.


Outdoor Activities

tennis, Yoga, bird watching, World Class bird watchin area

Water based Activities

outdoor pool


relaxation massage

Fishing & Wildlife


Deer, coati, javalina, fox, bobcat, lots of birds.

Local Attractions

Karchner Caverns

These world renowned living caverns are a must see! A short drive from the ranch, you will be guide through this unique living cavern.


45 miles miles / 45 mins

Rental car



Arizona's Original Mining town, where reinactments of the Shootout at the OK corrals takes place daily, plus other interesting and historic sites.


70 miles miles / 1 hour 15 mins

Rental car


Wine Country

A short distance from the ranch, the Sonoita and Elgin vineyards make for a fun afternoon of wine tasting and vineyard tours.


20 miles / 30 mins

Rental car



  • A charming ranch, with lots of personal attention and warmth
  • Guests can enjoy excellent riding and bird watching
  • They have a long history hosting families, couples and singles
  • There are many repeat guests who savor the Arizona landscapes and caring hospitality
  • This part of Arizona is famous for brilliant stargazing


  • As there are many return guests who book up to a a year in advance, you may have to reserve your spot well ahead – they get very busy! 

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

The Other Patagonia

How rare to enjoy miles and miles of trails through a pristine landscape on home-schooled, sure footed horses and with experienced wranglers as guides. I cannot imagine a better riding experience. Everyone on staff is warm and professional, establishing a tone that is friendly and sociable and makes enjoying the other guests easy and fun. The rooms are good size, attractive and comfortable. The Circle Z quickly earns a place in your heart and many guests return year after year. We definitely hope to come back

5 stars

You can find more reviews for Circle Z Ranch on TripAdvisor