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

10 Great Dude Ranch Vacations for Families

 
Are you planning your next family ranch vacation? The Dude Ranchers’ Association has only the best of ranch experiences offering phenomenal kids programs, healthy food, horseback riding and more outdoor adventures than you can imagine. Here are 10 of North America’s best family ranch vacations on dude and guest ranches. Each has its own unique style and offerings allowing you to pick the right ranch for your family vacation. All are family friendly ranches and have a full schedule of activities for your family.   Wyoming Family Ranch Vacations The Red Rock Ranch, Kelly, Wyoming Dates Open: June through September The Red Rock Ranch is a family owned authentic western dude ranch with polished amenities. Children will love the freedom of just being kids in the wide open spaces of Wyoming. There is no TV or video games, but they will be busy with horseback riding, caring for their own specially chosen horses, volleyball,... Read More

Ranch Activities - So Much to Do, So Little Time

 
A Western ranch vacation is your one stop shop for a vacation where you and your travel companions (young or old) can safely scatter into the mountains on your adventure of choice. Horseback riding, hiking, fishing, etc. And by "etc." we mean there are so many ranch activities you will be hard pressed to get all the exploring and experiencing done in just one week. While you’re there you'll get into the rhythm of the western way of life specific to each family operation.  You’ll certainly get to "get Local” at these ranches. But, it's not roughing it like you might imagine. It's living it. It's an experience that is high class, polished and refined. There is so much to do in a week that every minute will seem important to get the most of the experience. Time flows from one adventure to the next, with only as much, or as little... Read More

Surprising Places You’ll Find Dude Ranches

 
Do you think a dude ranch vacation is limited to cowboy country? Think again! Although most people associate dude ranches with Colorado and Wyoming, some of the best dude ranches for families are located in some surprising places! Read on to learn about ranch adventures in some surprising places – and how your family can enjoy a dude ranch experience, no matter where you are! Some of the best dude ranch experiences come in unexpected places. Try some out-of-the-way ranches for an excellent adventure of your very own! Photo courtesy of The Dude Ranchers Association.   Blame Hollywood. Thanks to the cowboy westerns we’ve seen on the big screen, many of us think that dude ranches are strictly found in states like Wyoming and Colorado. Of course, those states do boast some great ranches, but why limit yourself? You can find some of the best dude ranches for families almost anywhere in the... Read More

6 Things to Know Before Booking a Dude Ranch Stay

 
A common misconception when it comes to a dude ranch vacation is that it is a working vacation, as in you are paying to work as a ranch hand. Not so, my friends. In fact, a dude ranch vacation is one of the most relaxing vacations you can take. Take it from me and my family -- who now have experienced three dude ranch vacations -- and look forward to our next!  Your dude ranch stay will move at a pace that best suits the guest, and in this fast-paced world, it is  a gift to be able to take advantage of such a schedule.   You won’t be roughing it….unless you really want to.     Take a look at one of the cabin’s at Rawah Guest Ranch Photo Credit: Allison Taylor   With three dude ranch vacations under our belts, I can safely say that my family’s experiences were the farthest thing from being... Read More

Can You Have a Luxury Dude Ranch Vacation? Yes!

 
Dude ranch vacations don't typically conjure up visions of luxury. Instead, images of horses, log cabins, bunk beds and cowboys come to mind. But, with the new crop of dude ranches, all that has changed. Many now offer first class accommodations and food and make getting there half the fun. It is all about picking the right one for you. When you put luxury and dude ranch together consider location, accommodations, dining, and activities, and the choice should be easy!     My family loves being in the outdoors on vacation, but we also love to be pampered, fed well, and have nice thread count sheets to jump into at the end of the day. Little did we think we could find all that at a dude ranch, but we did and on more than one occasion. The luxury came in not only through the experience at the dude ranch, but in the... Read More