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Gallery and reviews

saguaro sunset

“Sunsets, Sunrises, wind whistling through cactus....a coyote calling in the distance. Neighs of horses in the morning.....absolutely amazing. We did not want to leave. Thank you so much for giving other people a chance to stay at this truly spectacular spot on our earth. It filled our spirits.”

Wild horses at the Verde River

"..We were lucky to spot the wild horses down at the river and enjoyed several beautiful hikes in the area. Carmela and her husband were very friendly and helpful.."

Hike the Sonoran desert preserve

"This place is one-of-a-kind. If you want to get away and enjoy the natural beauty and AZ life, this is the place..

Four Peaks wilderness area

"..a walk in the desert every morning is the perfect way to start our day. Between them, Joe and Carmela pretty much know everything about anything you would want to know....

Luxury travel trailer

"What a find!..I cannot describe the beauty of the sunrise that greeted me each morning from inside the trailer. The windows are so large and the trailer is perfectly positioned.."

Trail ride to Window Rock

"This place is an absolute horse lovers dream! The scenery is incredible..We rode a different area every day for a week and hated to leave since there were so many more we didn't get to..."

Amazing desert sunset

"Sunsets and sunrises are postcard perfect. It is quiet and removed from city life and surrounded by beautiful desert..."

Scenic horseback riding

"The riding right off the property is terrific. They have an incredible facility. Super clean, with awesome views. Have been twice, would definitely go again!". . .

"Absolutely beautiful facility with nice stalls and comfortable area for us! Hosts were very helpful and informative. Picture perfect location.". . .

Sonoran Preserve before the storm

"Sunrise and sunset is magical! Great hiking trails are right out your door. If I could give 6 stars I would!"

Trail riding in the wilderness

"..The riding is you are open to all options on how challenging or easy you want to make it..."

Wild horses at Verde river

"Wonderful experience! Carmela was a great host providing everything needed for our stay - her suggestions for local activities and adventures were also greatly appreciated."

Trailer parking and hookups

"...The ranch is immaculate; Joe and Carm are friendly, with helpful.. rest assured you horses will be comfortable and safe!"

Luxury open air barn

"The barn, totally designed and lovingly built by the owners, is amazing, the horse equivalent of The Hyatt!"

Cowboy Bunhouse/Casita

The bunk house is charming and right near the horses, the views are breathtaking and the whole desert experience is fabulous....

Memorial stone

"This place is heaven on earth. If you like the outdoors, clean summer nights and the desert this is the place for you. Carmela and Joe made us feel at home ..we ended up extending our stay."

open air horse motel

"Fantastic horse motel. Your horse (s) will be treated wonderfully..."

Full moon over the desert

"...You can ride or hike right out from the ranch into the Tonto Wilderness and at night the heavens put on a star show like no other!

Four Peaks with wild horse

"Words can't capture the views! We were able to roll out of bed & start our morning hike into the Tonto National Forest from the property.."

"Beautiful place, great accommodations for the horses and the best desert riding you'll find anywhere.. I didn't want to leave. .."

Entrance at Sunset

"The setting of Rio Rancho Verde is so perfect. You are surrounded by the quiet beauty of the Sonoran desert and the majesty of the mountains and Saguaros.."


Highly recommend! If you are looking for great hospitality and a wonderful place to stay, this is it! Carmela’s ranch gives easy access to nearby attractions but is also located away from the hustle & bustle of downtown Scottsdale and surrounding cities. Lots of nearby trails to explore. Carmela is incredibly responsive to whatever you might need or if you are looking for some local travel advice. We hope to be back!

Grace the camp dog host

"Carmela and their dog Grace was easily a favorite part of our morning routine. This is the perfect spot for anyone looking to get out of the city and enjoy the beauty of the desert.."

Organic vegetable garden

'..loved all the fresh vegetables we had access to from their garden. We would love to visit again someday!"

Trailer and RV parking and hookups

"I can highly recommend Rio Rancho Verde!.. both horse and human accommodations were comfortable, clean and just right!.. Plenty of trailer/rig parking. Can't wait to return.". . . .

Organic vegetable garden

"Fresh organic veggies available for the taking was an added perk to complete an already perfect stay..."

Tonto National Forest out back

"The property/stable is next to the national forest, We could not have asked for more... and the price was right! A must if you need to stable your horse(s) in Scottsdale.". . .

Mountain biking trails

"..GORGEOUS!! A place to truly get away from it all. Quiet, clean, well appointed..."

"Ok need to come stay here.. if I could give 10 stars I's the most magical scenery but still close enough to town. You will not regret staying here. Promise. "

Cowboy Bunhouse/Casita

"Joe and Carmella are true blue hosts. I adore and admire them. The property and bunkhouse were perfect. We loved just hanging out on the porch, meeting the others who stayed at the ranch and being around the animals"

Amazing desert sunsets

"...I can't tell you how amazing the sunsets are here. Pictures don't do it justice...."

trail riding in the Tonto National

"..excellent access to some of the best riding in Arizona. Highly recommended.".

Barn in spring bloom

The ranch itself is huge, very well done (the barn is nicer than most houses!) and the location is phenomenal. We will definitely be back!". . .

Beautiful landscaping

Carmela and Joe were excellent hosts and Rio Rancho was even more beautiful that the pictures suggested! Carmela's directions were spot on and our stay was peaceful. My wife and I were taking a weekend getaway with our mini Schnauzer and this place fit the bill.

poppies in the desert

"The view of the desert is stunning. The location is perfect--far enough away from the city to feel secluded, but close enough to get groceries .. I would absolutely stay here again and encourage anyone looking for a warm getaway to stay here!"

Remote horseback riding

"..The riding was phenomenal and the views - just beautiful. Fantastic experience!"

Grace and horse

"We’d set out on morning walks accompanied by Grace-the-dog, passing by the guests who were boarding their horses at the ranch. (They were pajama’d and enjoying outdoor coffee & breakfast.) We hiked in the Tonto several times, where the views are spectacular and the quality of light, amazing.

Rainbow and saguaro

"I was simply overwhelmed how beautiful the location is. Quiet and remote but easily accessible to shopping..I loved my stay!"

Horseback riding through boulders

"...Carmela and Joe were so welcoming and helpful....their knowledge of the area is extensive"

Roping practice

"..I had a great time doing a little roping with Joe. They have a beautiful organic garden that guests can access. I really can’t say enough good things about this property..Definitely recommend this place!"

Trail riding Tonto National Forest

"What an incredible find! I can't believe this is 20 minutes from Scottsdale - the views are spectacular, the riding is breathtaking and there's more places to explore than we could ride in a month in both the National Forest and Granite Mountain Preserve, right outside the back gate.

Michelin Man Saguaro

"It’s far out of town, but really, it is so beautiful out there that I’d like to go back to spend a long weekend to just hang at the ranch. There is tons of open space just outside their ranch gates, so perfect for the dogs..."

Remote horseback riding

".....Retreating into the wilderness, just my horse and I, was one of the most powerfully meditative moments I have ever experienced in my life....."

"The property has obviously been built and tended with evident love..."

Cowboy Boots

"This is an amazing and peaceful experience. The property is beautiful. Spotless accommodations. Carmela is a warm and welcoming host who also respects guest privacy. Did not want the trip to end. Would love to come back again."

Horse Wash rack

"We have been staying at Rio Rancho Verde every year for the past 6 years, while we exhibit at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. It is our relaxing “get away” after we spend each day in our booth at the show.


"Awesome place! The pictures can't capture the beauty of it all. was truly a 5-star experience! "

Boarding packages at horse hotel AZ

"...we loved pulling carrots from Carmela's garden & watching the horses eat their breakfast..."

trail riding in the Tonto National

"... miles and miles available to ride literally out the back gate."


This is a beautiful ranch home literally right next to the Tonto National Forest. It's an amazing place to relax and just be with nature. The surrounding area is well taken care of and is great for exploring.

Super moon over the desert

"The sky is so clear, the sky full of stars seemed like it was at our fingertips.."

"..We really enjoyed the horses and beautiful hikes in the area. Carmela and her husband were very friendly and helpful. Look forward to return visits."

desert sunrise

Sunsets and sunrises are postcard perfect. It is quiet and removed from city life and surrounded by beautiful desert. The owners are the nicest people!

Saguaro in bloom

"..but nothing can truly prepare you for what it's like to wake up, walk outside your door and be met by that vista, and the majesty of 200 year old + saguaro cactus, some so close you could touch them.."

Trail riding Tonto

"..Spent a wonderful weekend at Rio Rancho Verde. Carmela and her husband were very welcoming and shared info about the area and gave some tips on restaurants and nearby trails...."

Joe and horses

"..The ranch is immaculate; Joe and Carm are friendly, with helpful info on all you can do. You can leave for a day of shopping in Scottsdale and rest assured you horses will be comfortable and safe!".

rainbox best

The only thing more amazing than the view were the host. We received great info on restaurants and local entertainment. Pictures do not do this place justice! We will be returning.

" What an amazing property. Right at the edge of a national forest, you get to wake up with the sun over incredible desert views, stately saguaros, with wonderful hiking and horseback riding literally right outside your door!"

trail riding in the Tonto National

"Rio Rancho Verde was a dream come true...It is off the beaten path with many great riding options"

Tonto National Forest out back

"Rio Ranch Verde is set in the most exquisite Arizona landscape -- breathtaking!! The architectural design is AMAZING (eat your heart out Architectural Digest!); and accommodations are artistically unique & creative, luxurious and well-appointed...."heaven on on earth"! We'll definitely return... THANK YOU, CARMELA and JOE!!!"

trail riding in the Tonto National

"We have stayed at Rio Verde every year for many years and love it. The hosts are knowledgeable and friendly and the accommodations for both horses and us are great..... experience!". . .

desert sunset

"This is a beautiful ranch home literally right next to the Tonto National Forest. It's an amazing place to relax and just be with nature. The surrounding area is well taken care of and is great for exploring. I can't tell you how amazing the sunsets are here. "

Tonto National Forest out back

"The property/stable is next to the national forest, We could not have asked for more... and the price was right! A must if you want to board your horse(s) in Scottsdale.". . .

"Amazing location and perfect hosts. Everything was fantastic about our stay.. The chance to be in Scottsdale but in the desert and away from the bright city lights and hustle and bustle was great. We felt right at home. Loved it."

Four Peaks wilderness area

"One word - paradise.. I think what we appreciated most was having the opportunity to experience and learn about a lifestyle that is so unique and wonderful, but so different than our own. We will want to go back again and again!"

Welcome to Rio Rancho Verde

"...Carmela and Joe are terrific hosts and they make sure you are well taken care of and you feel like living at home. The ranch is so beautiful and you can explore many so many different within minutes.."

Tonto National Forest out back

"What a wonderful place for an adult mini vacation! Get away from the world for a few days.... The drive to the ranch is lovely and we enjoy the wide open vistas over The Tonto National Forest...."

desert in bloom

"The ranch is spectacular with lovely and well maintained landscaping, located very close to great hiking in some beautiful country. Both Carmela and Joe were perfect hosts. You couldn't ask for better."

Michelin Man saguaro cactus

"The stars, the birds, the cacti, the coyotes... if you love nature, this is the place for you.

round pen enhanced

"Say hello to the horses in the morning and good night to the call of the coyotes in the evening. You will NEVER be able to experience Arizona like this on any kind of hotel stay"

Welcome to Rio Rancho Verde

"The owners were friendly, accommodating, knew a lot about the area and went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable."

saguaro cactus

"Carmela and Joe were perfect hosts for us. They made sure we had everything we needed yet gave us an appropriate amount of space. The accommodations were fantastic and the location and scenery were to die for. We'd love to return! "

horses me and joe edited

"The quiet, vastness and loveliness of the desert here is restorative. We came for the space, sunsets, birdsong, and desert walks: it was all wonderful.

Organic vegetable garden

"Carmela showed us how to recycle, compost, encouraged us to save on water and electricity which I appreciate. Their goal is to run an eco-friendly ranch and they've done a great job practicing sustainability"

keep your eyes peeled for wildlife!

..we saw cardinals, quail, hawks, buzzards, hummingbirds, woodpeckers..Driving in we saw chipmunks and desert squirrels. The sunsets and sunrises are something to behold.."

amazing hiking right out the back..

"Absolutely beautiful. The setting, the accommodations and the landscaping were obviously created with a loving hand. Carmela and Joe couldn't have been more helpful. I would love to go back someday."

trail riding in the Tonto National

"..We have been all over the world and this was some of the best riding we have ever experienced.."

Chasing the dummy

"Cowboy Heaven is the only way to describe this place.."

Sunset Saguaro

"Rio Rancho Verde is an excellent get-a-way destination. Miles of beautiful desert, comfortable accommodations, and an endless sky of stars.."

"this is what quiet sounds like"
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