Horsemen Lodge, Flagstaff, Arizona
by Janet Van Bibber
Flagstaff was one of our overnight stops during our 11-day motorhome trip from southern California to Durango, Colorado. My husband Ray and I were off on an adventure with plans to hook up with my brother Rod, sister Roxanne and their significant others halfway through our journey.
We travel in a Safari Trek, an iconic motorhome and the originator of the “Happi-Jac drop from the ceiling” bed. Back in the early ’90s, Trek’s advertising sales pitch claimed: ” Trek is a small coach that lives like a big one.” We find this to be true. At under 30-feet in length, our Trek is super-easy to maneuver, short-campsite friendly, and rarely feels cramped, even with our two dogs underfoot.
When we made our reservation at J&H RV Park outside of Flagstaff we asked about nearby restaurants and Horsemen Lodge was one of the recommendations. On the Horsemen Lodge website we read “… a Meet & Greet every Friday and Saturday during dinner hours! … cowgirls on horseback greeting you …” This is right up our alley. We’ve owned horses for many years, love to ride and enjoy the romance of the American West.
Horsemen Lodge is technically within walking distance of the campground. However, since there are no sidewalks along highway US-89 you may want to drive. We arrived for an early dinner and settled in comfortably at the U-shaped bar. When I think of cowboy hangouts, this is what I picture. Tongue-and-groove knotty pine walls and ceiling, original southwestern artwork and cowboy memorabilia, and an impressive bison head-mount hanging above the stone fireplace. Clearly, Horsemen Lodge is right out of central casting with one BIG exception–Horsemen Lodge really is a cowboy hangout. The Lodge opened in 1975 and to this day serves the needs of the nearby CO Bar ranch. The CO Bar was started in 1886 by the five Babbitt brothers; now, five generations later the CO-family of ranches are famous for their cattle, horses, and stewardship of the land. You can read more about the CO Bar ranch and family here.
The food and service at Horseman Lodge didn’t disappoint, either. Throughout the course of the evening, we chatted with locals, many of whom have patronized the Horsemen Lodge for years and were personally greeted by the staff. That’s a good sign when the staff and customers are on a first name basis.
Ray ordered the bone-in ribeye with a side of sauteed spinach. The steak was seasoned with peppercorn, roasted garlic, and something the chef calls Horsemen Java, which I’m not entirely sure what that is. Ray says it was one of the best steaks he ever ate, quite a compliment from someone who really likes beef!
I opted for the crab cakes. I know, I know…seafood in cow country!!! But the Horseman Lodge has an extensive seafood menu and the crab cakes sounded amazing. Which they were! Jumbo lump blue crab, chipotle cream sauce, with a touch of cilantro, lime, and arugula. The crab cakes were enough for two people and the sides of yummy homemade cornbread and the signature mac & cheese were equally outstanding. Hardworking cowboys work up a big appetite and Horsemen lodge aims to fill that void.
While at the bar, we visited with another RVing couple who were staying at nearby Greer’s Pine Shadows RV campground. They seemed to enjoy Horsemen Lodge as much as we did.
We would definitely visit Horseman Lodge again when in the Flagstaff area. Food was delicious, service and fellow patrons friendly, and the place was cowboy cool.
8500 NORTH U.S. 89, FLAGSTAFF, AZ 86004