In 1915 W.W. Moore and Frank Asher leased 92,000 acres of land from the government on a parcel that reached 8 miles north to what is now Bartlett Dam in the Tonto National Forest. That ranch became the Box Bar Ranch, a working cattle ranch, with lush grazing land fronting the Verde River.
In 1969 a group of investors from the Minneapolis area were advised that 1000 acres of the Box Bar Ranch were up for sale. In 1970 the Page Land and Cattle Company as sellers agreed to sell the land to what would become the Rio Verde Development Company, and the Box Bar Ranch buildings were moved upstream. Some of the original buildings, including 90 year old mesquite rail fences, still exist on the Rio Verde Property.
The Rio Verde Saddle Club:
In 1976 the Ranch began to be used for horseback riding groups. In 1979 the Rio Verde Saddle Club was formed. The club facilities are leased from Rio Verde Services, and include a fourteen-stall barn, pens, exercise paddocks, tack and feed storage and a riding arena. The horses are tended to by experienced wranglers who maintain the property. Members must be residential property owners in Rio or Tonto Verde.
There are many miles of trails in the Tonto National Forest and nearby parks. The Verde River is one of only 3 rivers in Arizona with continual water flow, and can be crossed by horse to the east side of the river for additional wild west trail riding.
Cookouts at the Ranch:
The Ranch site offers picnic tables under a canopy of mesquite trees on the bank overlooking the Verde River. The Ranch can be rented for special occasions such as weddings and catered meals through the Rio Verde Utilities office.