The mission of Aravaipa Canyon Ranch is to provide a quiet, contemplative retreat in a pristine, secluded and natural environment.

The Ranch is open to all interested in the pursuit and process of renewal, personal spiritual transformation and healing.

The ultimate "Ranch" experience is that guests return to their homes and places of service renewed, healed and transformed, with a recommitment to purpose, resulting in mindful, meaningful and compassionate action intended to heal and transform our world.

Dave Rychener


Friends of Aravaipa Canyon Ranch,

This is a first. . .a letter from me, David!  I guess its about time after 16 years of Aravaipa Canyon Ranch operations.  

First, I want to express my gratitude to those of you who have supported the Ranch by your presence. We’ve been “blessed by the best of guests”. I’ve frequently marveled at how the right folks have found their way to the Ranch.  And, as many of you have shared with me, the land has rewarded you for your presence.

Secondly, I want to share some new developments:

  1. I am pleased to introduce Simon and Stephanie, our latest Ranch Managers.  I hope you take the opportunity to get to know them.  Over the years, managers have brought their own offerings/personalities to the Ranch, and S & S are no exception.  They bring yet another energy/personality and set of skills to the Ranch.  Welcome, Simon and Stephanie.  Ask them to tell their story of how they found us.  
  2. We continue to defend our water rights, as I’ve shared with some of you.  As most of you are aware, the waters of the West are besieged by various groups with differing values about who owns the water and how the waters are to be used.  As part of the Gila watershed, the Aravaipa is no exception.  We are in the process of legally defending water rights, not so we can consume (or sell) them, but so the land and wildlife will have these waters for years to come and the Aravaipa will continue to flourish.  As you might imagine, this may become legally very expensive, but, as stewards, we believe it is our duty to defend nature and its inhabitants that may not be able to lobby for themselves.
  3. Pinal County has discovered us.  Although we’ve been operating legally for years as a retreat center, they are now wanting us to apply for a different zoning permit in order to continue as a retreat center.  They are also wanting some changes that coincide with current building safety.  You will notice some of these changes over the next year.  It remains to be seen how much these changes will cost, especially all the current zoning permit fees. 
  4. I’m a little more than a year away from retiring from my work with the VHA.  The up side is that I get to spend more time at the Ranch and hopefully be able to build my ‘retirement’ home there.  The downside is that I’ll be living off a ‘retirement’ salary.  I don’t anticipate that being a hardship, but it will have implications for the Ranch.
  5. I’m pleased to have been able to provide additional financial to support  the Ranch Center over the years.  Its been my gift and I’ve done it willingly.  It has meant that I’ve never had to  increase our daily rates since we started in 2003.  However, I anticipate some of this changing with retirement.  
  6. To that end, we are implementing a modest increase in rates this year.  You can find the new rates on our website or by contacting Stephanie and Simon. I certainly hope this will not impact your ability to continue your visits and retreats at the Ranch.  Many of you will be happy to contribute to the sustainment of the Ranch via this increase.  Others may find it a challenge financially.  
  7. As I’ve shared with many of you over the years, I hope that finances will not be what keeps you away.   That is still a value of mine.  I’m always open to negotiating rates on a case-by-case basis if this increase creates a hardship for your group (or some of your group members).
  8. One financial challenge for the Ranch has been cancellations. We probably lose 15-20% of our income due to cancellations.  Most of you are aware that its very difficult to put a retreat together with less than 90 days notice, so cancellation dates often go unfilled.  To that end, we are enacting a deposit system that will hopefully alleviate some our cancellation concerns.  Like this increase in rates, let us know if this creates a hardship for you and we’ll do our best to consider the deposit on a case-by-case basis.  

Again, my sincere appreciation for all of your support over the years.  When I started this endeavor in 2002, I had no idea the power of this land and the incredible experiences that lie in store for guests.  I continue to be in awe of this place, and I am humbled and honored to be the holder/protector/caretaker of this special place.  . . and to be friends with the wonderful folks who have blessed this land with their presence.   David