About Sprucedale Ranch

Our Story




Meet the Wiltbank Family

Owners Since 1942

Sprucedale Ranch was homesteaded by Hiram and Maryette Thompson around the year 1906. Over the course of fifteen years they built a cabin and two log barns, and dug a well as they farmed and raised livestock. In 1921 they sold the property to another ranching family, Ernest and Bertha Patterson. Shortly afterward, some fishermen stopped by looking for shelter from the monsoon. The Patterson’s offered the men a small storage shed, and, unbeknownst to them, introduced the first “guests” of Sprucedale Guest Ranch.

Slowly the Pattersons added three new cabins as their guests increased. Twenty years passed, and none of the Patterson children were interested in continuing the family business, so Hiram and Maryette approached their neighbors, Walter and Faye Wiltbank, concerning the purchase of Sprucedale. Walter and Faye were hesitant at first. Herding people seemed a far stretch from herding cattle, but they eventually agreed on a price and bought the ranch in 1941.

Over the next forty years Walter and Faye raised four children (Margine, Bud, Emer, and Ellis), countless livestock, and seven more cabins as they worked to improve their new business of raising city folks in the ways of the country. Then in 1981 Sprucedale passed to Emer and Esther who expanded the tradition to seven children and added six more cabins—working even harder to increase and improve the experience that was becoming Sprucedale. With this grand heritage, the ranch passed once again from father to son in 2004, and is now operated by Whitney, his wife Janae, and their five children. Unable to stay away, Whitney’s brothers and sisters continue to help run the family business as often as they can. Even for the Wiltbanks, Sprucedale is a place where family comes together.


Sprucedale Ranch

A Little Slice of Heaven in Arizona

Sprucedale is located deep in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest; 14 miles from Big Lake, and 12 miles from highway 191. Homesteaded on over 80 acres of private land, the Ranch consists of a large main lodge, 13 guest cabins, workers quarters, barns, corrals, a playground, a dance porch, and a frog pond; all tucked in a beautiful green valley surrounded by pines and split by the curved banks of Beaver Creek—a meandering stream of clear water full of crawdads and minnows.

The rustic cabins are historical and full of character. All have bathrooms, and most consist of two other rooms, three beds, a table and chairs, and a wood stove. They sleep from three to seven adults. The beds and bedding are recently upgraded to provide a comfortable night’s rest, and each cabin has a front porch with an amazing view.

Everything about Sprucedale from horse rides, games, activities, and meals are centered around having fun together and enjoying a stress-free vacation.


47 Acres | 13 Cabins | Daily Activities Horseback Riding | Horse & Cattle Drives Hunting • Fishing • Hiking & more!


The Trail of Sprucedale Ranch

Our History



1907

The Thompson family completed land improvements that consisted of one log cabin and barn.

1921

Within the first few years of ownership the Pattersons began operating as a guest ranch called Sprucedale. They built four rental cabins before Mr. Patterson became ill.

1941

Walter and Fay continue working cattle and add nine more cabins to sustain the increasing amount of “dude” vacationers.

1981

Emer and Esther added four additional cabins and many more ranch activities.

2004

The ranch was managed by Lil’ Emer and Aleesa Wiltbank from 2004-2006. Lil’ Emer is Emer and Esther’s third son.

2007

Tiffany Willis is Emer and Esther’s youngest child.

2009

Whiteny and Janau have been managing the family business from 2009 to today. Whitney is the youngest Wiltbank son. With help from his siblings this working cattle and horse ranch has become an authentic, prominent Guest Ranch in North America.

“Enjoy three country-cooked meals, more stars than black sky at night, lightning storms, porch comfort, log cabin comfort, cowboy style horse rides, cattle round-ups, pure isolation, and the love of the Wiltbank host family. Life-impacting.”

– tnavm
Trip Advisor

“Sprucedale Guest Ranch is a great place to go and unwind, let kids play in the dirt (as opposed to being on screens all day), see wildlife, ride horses, meet great people, and recharge your batteries. Unexpected benefits include seeing the stars, breathing clean air, and you can actually hear the wind when it blows. You won’t regret one minute at SGR, but you will regret not going sooner!”

-Steve G.
Facebook

“Great place to unplug and enjoy true good old-fashioned family time. Great rustic cabins and home cooked meals! Kids love it and adults can let their kids be kids and not worry about a thing!!!”

-Erica L.
Facebook

“This is an AMAZING place with AMAZING people!! I HIGHLY recommend Sprucedale Guest Ranch!! The food, accommodations, staff and overall experience is ABSOLUTELY TREMENDOUS!!”

– Missy M.
Facebook

“I used to visit Sprucedale yearly when I was a kid. I have been twice in the last three years, and it is even better now than I remember. This year I got several species of trout and saw a herd of over 100 elk just minutes from my cabin. So much to do and such incredible scenery to take in that you hardly notice the fact that you are unplugged from the rest of the world. The staff is so nice and helpful and the food gets better every year. If you are looking for a vacation for you and your kids, this is the place.”

-Evan R.
TripAdvisor

Sprucedale is located deep in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest; 14 miles from Big Lake, and 12 miles from highway 191. Homesteaded on over 80 acres of private land, the Ranch consists of a large main lodge, 13 guest cabins, workers quarters, barns, corrals, a playground, a dance porch, and a frog pond; all tucked in a beautiful green valley surrounded by pines and split by the curved banks of Beaver Creek—a meandering stream of clear water full of crawdads and minnows.

The rustic cabins are historical and full of character. All have bathrooms, and most consist of two other rooms, three beds, a table and chairs, and a wood stove. They sleep from three to seven adults. The beds and bedding are recently upgraded to provide a comfortable night’s rest, and each cabin has a front porch with an amazing view.
Everything about Sprucedale from horse rides, games, activities, and meals are centered around having fun together and enjoying a stress-free vacation.

-Peter K.
Google Review