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Ranches by Experience

5 Great Working Cattle Ranch Vacations in the West

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 are 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


Kara Creek Ranch three cowboys sitting on horses in field with dog

Kara Creek Ranch – Wyoming

An authentic “old west” style cattle ranch is what you will find at the Kara Creek Ranch in Wyoming. Here you will experience what it was like to live on the prairie and in the desert while moving cattle and putting many miles in the saddle. This cattle ranch will provide you the true cowboy experience and here you will learn what all it really takes to make a ranch run smoothly. Of course, it is up to you how involved you want to be, but to get the most out of this experience you won’t want to miss a thing! Stories, memories, and bucket list items are created on this working cattle ranch and if it is something you have always wanted to do, do not miss your chance!


Klondike Ranch, Wyoming

Klondike Ranch is located at the base of the Big Horn Mountains in north-central Wyoming. You will find a very authentic experience by joining the cattle drives during the summer months moving cattle from pasture to pasture.  After our calving season, we trail the cows and calves to the mountain at the end of June and back home at the end of September.


Music Meadows Ranch, Colorado

At Music Meadows Ranch your vacation you will focus on true horsemanship and authentic ranching practices using only well-trained and carefully matched horses for our guests. Offering our stays to only one family or group at a time allows us to curate each vacation, achieving individual goals.  Whether a raw beginner or a veteran horseman, we help establish clear communication between horse and rider for an amazing  ‘open range’ riding experience.


Hidden Hollow Hideaway gal pushing cattle on horseback down two track dirt road

Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle and Guest Ranch

If you already have dreamed to experience the Wild West on a working cattle ranch, then your dream can come true at Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle and Guest Ranch. The terrain here is wild, and yet beautiful. You’ll get truly understand the meaning of big sky country at this ranch. Experience the Western lifestyle by being a part of the “crew” and learn the cowboy way all while enjoying a fantastic vacation.



McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest 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.” The memories you will make will never be forgotten, you will get to truly experience the Western and cowboy way of life at this ranch.


Working Cattle Ranch Vacations

The Dude Ranchers’ Association’s member ranches include working cattle ranches among many others. Use our Find A Ranch tool to search by area and narrow down by many other filters. If you have questions about our ranches, contact us today!


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