Ride Off Into The West, And A National Park, From A Dude Ranch

It’s after a soft, pattering rain, with the clouds clearing and the sun streaming through, that the essence of the Western landscape rises up. The pungent scent of sagebrush is wicked up by the moist air, mingling with the sweet aroma of pine. And whether you’re astride your horse, or relaxing on the ranch-house porch with a steaming cup of coffee, the early fall view of snow-dusted peaks with valleys below glimmering with the gold of aspen leaves seems crisper, almost magnified. Dude ranches have been showcasing these landscapes, and their associated experiences, for generations of families, many who come back year after year after year to relive the experience. And why not? These typically week-long vacations revolve around trail rides that literally carry you into these marvelous settings. And that day in the saddle is followed by a hearty meal that might feature Citrus Roasted Half Chicken, Porcini Mushroom Risotto,... Read More

The National Dude Ranchers' Association Celebrates 92 Years

More than 50 member ranches from across the Western United States and Canada, as well as many associate members and vendors, are expected to ride into Denver, Co., to attend the 92nd annual convention of the Dude Ranchers' Association (DRA) on January 17-20, 2018. The DRA was founded in Cody in 1926 and has since grown to more than 100 members. This year is a special year as we will be joining The Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association (CDGRA) to welcome all of our other members to the beautiful state of Colorado. Guest and dude ranches have played a significant role in Western history for more than 120years. High demand for a nostalgic frontier experience offered first at Wyoming ranches, and then other ranches throughout the region, led to the founding of the DRA in Cody, Wyoming. This conference will include a trade show of 38 vendors and will feature keynote... Read More

Dude Ranch Short Stays - 3 Night Ranch Vacations

Dude Ranch Vacations are famous for the traditional week long experiences for trail riding and western lifestyle activities, but with travelers having less time to stay many ranches offer dude ranch short stays of 3 nights. On these short stays you’ll get to experience all the highlighted activities, view the spectacular scenery and refresh your mind in the wide open spaces. While some ranches offer these short stays during the off-season, other ranches offer flexible packages every week they are open. Find some great dude ranch short stays listed below. For the complete list of ranches select “3 nights” on the Search by Activity and Amenity page.  You can also read about spectacular discounts during the shoulder season.   Colorado Dude Ranch Short Stays Badger Creek Ranch, Colorado - 3 night minimum short stay, open June through October Elk River Guest Ranch, Colorado - 3 to 5 night stays are available upon request, open June... Read More

Wyoming Family Reunions at a Dude Ranch

Wyoming has a lot to offer for a family reunion, especially at a member dude or guest ranch of the Dude Ranchers' Association. With two world famous national parks, mountain ranges with panoramic vistas and every type of outdoor activity, Wyoming epitomizes the Western adventure vacation. On a dude ranch family reunion you can experience all this in a schedule (or lack thereof) for all ages of your family. From groups of 10 - 100 we have you covered with an all-inclusive, all planned vacation. Take a look at the ranches below for some of the best Western family reunion experiences in Wyoming. For an extensive list in a variety of states we have you covered as well.    Wyoming Dude Ranch Family Reunions   A Truly Unique Family Reunion Location   Flat Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming Capacity: 14 Dates open: May 26 - October 2 Getting to Flat Creek will be the first adventure. If you... Read More

Tips for Dude Ranches with Young Kids

When I was I child, my family vacationed several summers at a dude ranch. I made many happy memories and hoped some day to replicate those experiences with my own kids. At ages 8 and 4, my kids are still pretty young and I must admit that dude ranch vacations were not really on my radar for them just yet. I thought my kids were too little for a ranch trip to be a fit for a least a few more years.   Dude Ranch with Kids - White Stallion Ranch Western Building When the opportunity arose to pay a visit to White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, however, we jumped at the chance. So what if it was a little too soon? We are always up for an adventure.   This article was orginally posted on Trips with Tykes    ... Read More

The 9 Best Dude & Guest Ranches for an Arizona Ranch Vacation

Without question Arizona is a beautiful state and a wonderful destination for a dude & guest ranch vacation during the winter months, and all year long. The state is known for some of the most colorful characters in American history. Here, you can walk (or horseback ride) in the footsteps of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Pancho Villa, Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. With a personal guide for the many outdoor activities Arizona ranch vacations offer you’ll get an in-depth lesson on the particular area of each dude ranch. With a variety of geographical features you might ride in the mountains, deserts and grass lands. With 27 National Parks in Arizona the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and the Saguaro National Park will be just the start to explore the state of Arizona. Here are the 9 Best Dude & Guest Ranches for an Arizona Ranch Vacation and the top... Read More

Two Ranches Make the 10Best USA Today Best Cross-Country Ski Resorts

Whereas it used to be a time to simply kick back and relax, many of today’s travelers are using vacations as a time to continue normal health and fitness routines, or perhaps even try something new. Two of the ranches in the Dude Ranchers Association have been nominated for the USA Today 10Best cross-country ski resorts.  Both these ranches have world class trails, accommodations and amazing food. Latigo Ranch in Kremmling, Colorado has 50 kilometers of groomed trails & 200 miles of backcountry powder for a cross-country ski resort. Guests, who have skied all over the state, proclaim that Latigo Ranch offers some of the finest cross-country skiing available in Colorado. The ranch machine grooms 50 kilometers of trail, covering varied terrain from flat beginning track to challenging advanced. The entire cross country ski track is groomed for both classic and skate skiing. For backcountry or telemark aficionados, Latigo is surrounded... Read More

5 Reasons to Go on a Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

With winter just around the corner now is the prime time to plan your snowy getaway on a dude ranch. If you are unsure about a winter dude ranch vacation here are five reasons (and five great ranches) why this may be the best time for you to go. 1. Winter Sports Winter snow sports offer some of the most beautiful and pristine views of the mountains. Ranches will offer a variety of activities you can participate in - cross country skiing, downhill skiing, show shoeing, sledding, snow mobiling, and yes, even horseback riding!   At the Seven Devil’s Lodge in Idaho you can experience miles and miles of backcountry, very far from the nearest road. They offer guided snow mobile tours on terrain for beginners and for those who are more advanced. The Lodge will even provide an entry level to intermediate snowmobile riding clinic! With 5,500 square feet the lodge has five... Read More

5 Tips to Help You Be Prepared for Horseback Riding in the Winter

At C Lazy U Ranch, the preeminent activity is, of course, horseback riding. Every day, guests are encouraged to mount their trusted steeds and explore our expansive ranch with the help of our experienced wranglers — even when it gets a little chilly out. Colorado winters aren’t known for being particularly severe, but there can be a lot of snow. If you’re used to riding horses in mild, sunny weather (or you’re not used to riding at all, then here are some tips), horseback riding in the winter on mountainous terrain might sound a little challenging. But if you come to the stables prepared, you’re guaranteed to have a good time on the snowy trails!     1. Dress for the weather. Those who aren’t familiar with horseback riding may not know that it can be a pretty strenuous activity, especially when riding at a gallop. While you’re riding, you’re using muscles to balance yourself,... Read More