It may seem too early to start thinking about holiday gifts and it probably is if you are just going to give “stuff” again this year. Here at the Dude Ranchers’ Association, we think the best holiday gifts don’t support designer logos nor do they come from big box stores. We feel one of the true meanings of the holidays is families spending time together, away from the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded shopping malls and there is no better place to spend time with your family than on a dude ranch holiday vacation.

This year we challenge you all to think outside the pretty wrapped boxes and consider giving you and your loved ones the gift of time spent together. The members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association have long believed that family time is the most important time and what better time of year for that then the holiday season.

DRA-member ranches in Arizona offer trail rides under the warm desert sun, as well as hiking, mountain biking, tennis and swimming. Northern ranches from Colorado to Canada entertain families with guided snowmobile tours, horse-drawn sleigh rides, access to superb downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice-skating and maybe even a little ski jorning. There is something to make everyone happy.

Below are several dude and guest ranch options to consider for your dude ranch holiday vacation!

It may seem too early to start thinking about holiday gifts but if you plan on giving more than just

Western Pleasure Ranch - Idaho

As a blanket of white transforms, the Western Pleasure Ranch into a winter wonderland, you and your family can enjoy scenic horse-drawn sleigh rides powered by one of their many draft teams. You will feel like a child again as they jingle through a 2-mile loop trail of dense forests in the foothills of the Cabinet Mountains with amazing views of the Selkirk Mountain Ranch. With a wide variety of horse-drawn sleighs, including a five-passenger, three twelve passengers and a two-passenger, they have the right size sleigh to accommodate your family, friends and even that special someone for the romantic two passenger sleigh. 

dude ranch holiday vacation

Circle Z Ranch - Arizona

At Circle Z Ranch their Thanksgiving festivities are legendary! They have been hosting families with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for more than 50 years. With amazing fall weather as a backdrop, your horseback rides will be a Thanksgiving memory your family will not soon forget. During the Christmas holiday season, it has been said that you will get to meet Santa Clause as he has been known to show up at the ranch in a horse-drawn sleigh, something the kiddos will talk about for years to come. 

dude ranch holiday vacation

The Home Ranch – Colorado 

The beautiful Elk River Valley is known for its legendary snowfalls of powdery magnificent snow. When you stay at this ranch you can ski it all Backcountry, Classic, Skate, Steamboat, Telemark and never get behind the wheel of a car. With some of the best Nordic skiing in the world at your doorstep, deluxe cowboy chic accommodations, and exceptional cuisine this is one of the best winter getaways the beautiful state of Colorado has to offer. On top of all that during your Christmas holiday, a live Christmas tree will be provided in your room for you and your family to decorate and just think no un-decorating when you get back home.

dude ranch holiday vacation

Lone Mountain Ranch – Montana 

Spending the Holidays at Lone Mountain Ranch near Big Sky ski resort in Montana sounds like heaven to us. What’s so great about this ranch…Nordic skiing over 85Km of trails, snowboarding, candlelit dinners in their historic North Fork Cabin, moonlight skiing just to mention a few. Add in gingerbread house making and a quick ski with Santa and you and your family will have had the very merriest of holidays.

dude ranch holiday vacation

C Lazy U Ranch – Colorado 

If going away for the Thanksgiving holiday seems a little odd since it is such a family-focused holiday know that taking a memorable family trip to C Lazy U Ranch during the holidays doesn’t have to mean forsaking traditions. The ranch hosts a Thanksgiving getaway that will quickly become the “new” family tradition. This ranch allows families to “power down” while still having fun in a family-friendly setting that harkens back to simpler days. With unique activities like daily horseback riding, winter sports, games and bonding time between your family and other guests this Thanksgiving at C Lazy U will be one for the books.

dude ranch holiday vacation

Rich Ranch – Montana 

Snowmobile the Rocky Mountains and discover the scenic backwoods that this great state has to offer. This is an all service vacation spot that includes meals, lodging and use of ranch amenities and guide service to 1500+ miles of groomed mountain snowmobile trails right out your cabin door. You will enjoy awesome scenery abundant wildlife and no crowds. You will stay in cedar/log cabins with private baths, propane fireplaces and all the amenities you could want. This is such a great place to unwind and reconnect after a full day of play in the fresh Montana air.

dude ranch holiday vacation

As you can, see best of all, a DRA dude ranch offers families something one can’t find in a shopping mall; precious time spent together making memories to last a lifetime! Book now before they all fill up. For more information contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association at info2@duderanch.org or 307-587-2339.