Working cattle ranch vacations with the Dude Ranchers’ Association offer guests a taste of what life is like on a real cattle ranch. Here, you’ll be a cowboy yourself for the week - riding horses, checking cattle, participating in cattle drives. You'll be sleeping in comfortable bunk house cabins after a traditional day of ranch life. Day to day activities is in part dependent on the season and what needs to be done at that moment to care for the livestock. You'll need to ask your host about the work and riding agenda during your stay.

Working cattle ranches tend to accommodate smaller guest numbers (less than 20 people) to ensure individually tailored experiences. You will get to know each rancher personally and learn about the history of the ranch, cattle production local to the area and so much more. Take a look at the experiences offered by the ranches below. They are five of the best working cattle ranches across the West.


5 of the Best Working Cattle Ranch Vacations


bonanza-cattle-lodge Working Cattle Ranch Vacations


Bonanza Creek Ranch, Montana

If you want to go to a ranch with a history with wild herds of buffalo and roaming Native Americans you'll be amazed at the stories of  a homestead from 1877 in South Central Montana. This ranch is now known as the Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch and welcomes guests all summer to take part in riding, cattle work and genuine western hospitality. The ranch features specailty weeks tailored to your interests. They offer adult only weeks, intermediate and advanced rider weeks, weeks for families, and life coaching cowgirl retreats.



Focus Ranch  Kids Cattle Drive Working Cattle Ranch Vacations


Focus Ranch, Wyoming

On the border of Wyoming and Colorado lies Focus Ranch, a working cattle ranch vacation for the entire family. Grandparents, aunts and uncles love bringing kids to experience life on the ranch for uncomplicated fun with a little added education. Riding at the ranch generates the most enthusiasm and is characterized as cross country rather than riding on a trail. Every 5 to 10 days the ranch moves 1,300 head of cattle to a new pasture and you and your family are invited to help with the work.




Klondike Ranch, Wyoming

Sleep under the stars on a cattle drive and an overnight campout in the Big Horn Mountains at the Klondike Ranch. At 15 miles from camp you'll get to ride in the mountains searching for cattle as a real cowboy. Here, you may arrive a stranger but you'll leave as family. 




McGarry Ranches, Idaho

You'll want your best pair of wrangler jeans and most comfortable cowboy boots to be equipped for 55,000 acres at McGarry Ranches on the Rocky Mountain Range in Southeastern Idaho. The ranch's lifelong cowboy Theron McGarry will get you saddled up and ready to ride on the day to day cattle operations. As a fourth generation rancher, you'll have a professional guide to calving, doctoring, branding, gathering and the bi-annual cattle drive between the mountains and the ranch.




McGinnis Meadows Ranch, Montana

Experience a well-rounded horseback riding program centered on what the horses can do with cattle at the McGinnis Meadows Ranch in the Northwest corner of Montana. With about 15 guests per week, your hosts will get to know you, work with you individually and tailor each day to you. You'll leave this ranch a better rider and wanting "more."


For more information on the best working cattle ranch vacations visit our blog category - Cattle Drives & Cattle Work


Working Cattle Ranch Vacations



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