When you see the great pictures, big smiles and memories being made by people on a fantastic horse oriented, dude or guest ranch vacation, have you ever thought, why would they take a trip like that? How did they even find a vacation destination like a dude ranch? What made them decide to go to a dude ranch on vacation? Well, there are a lot of different reasons as to why people visit a dude ranch, but below are the seven main reasons people choose a ranch vacation!
Horseback riding is the central theme on ranch vacations and the quality of horses and trail rides available would be a dream to the equestrian in your travel group. From a couple of hours to all-day rides, the length of the trail ride is always customizable, as well as the speed in which you ride. Do you like to go fast or slow? For a long or short while? There will be a ride that matches what you would like to do. At Sprucedale Ranch their rides are grouped by age, so that the beginner riders, teenagers and adults will get to ride together in their own group. This ranch offers two rides a day, and for the special occasion, once a week you get to ride off into the setting sun. Imagine yourself in the Arizona countryside on horseback and you’ll understand why dude ranch vacations are one of the most picturesque destinations for adventure travel.
If you have never seen the Teton Mountain Range in Wyoming before, one of the best places to see it is from one of the boats at the Triangle X Ranch. You can experience a fantastic float trip down the Snake River which lies in the shadows of these extraordinary mountains, or you can enjoy a guided fishing trip. The guides will be sure to show you all of the great fishing holes and the scenery along the way. There are a couple of different packages offered by the ranch for their float trips. There is a 10-mile float trip or a dinner float trip with beautiful scenery and a meal. That sounds like a pretty great deal! The guided fishing trips will leave you daydreaming of time in the mountains after you return home. There are streams and rivers to be fished all around the property and you will even have the opportunity to fish in Grand Teton National Park and/or Yellowstone National Park if you would like. At the Triangle X Ranch, you will enjoy some of the finest trout fishing in the West!
While the horses at Colorado Trails Ranch in Durango, Colorado catch most of their guest’s attention, the hiking around the ranch is something to catch guest’s attention as well. The ranch property borders the two million acre San Juan National Forest and the places to explore are endless here! Colorado Trails Ranch sits in a breathtaking valley with ridges and mountains sweeping up to create an incredible panoramic view. The property around the ranch will give you a great understanding of why people moved out West and claimed this untouched land as their own; the beauty is indescribable. The ranch offers guided hikes or you can hike out on your own, the freedom is yours! Climb to the mountain tops and see the Rocky Mountains from your point of view…literally!
The Absaroka Ranch, at the headwaters of Wyoming’s Wind River and at the base of the spectacular Absaroka mountain range is a location you will find solitude and beauty on a scale very few places can match. The pack trips that Absaroka Ranch provides include top-notch amenities in the backcountry of the Shoshone National Forest. Their camp is a place anyone wanting to get away from the “real world” would want to be. It truly is unique and holds a beauty you will not understand until you see it for yourself! The 4 ½ hour horseback ride begins right from the ranch and offers amazing views and challenging terrain. The scenery is unforgettable and the memories created will be too. 3 to 6-night stays are offered for a pack trip so you get to choose how long you want to escape reality! While on your trip you will get to enjoy crystal clear lakes and small stream fishing, incredible 360-degree views while on horseback rides, delicious camp cooking and even a shower tent with on-demand hot water! How about that for top-notch service! Tents, cots, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and wood stoves are all provided on the trip so you do not have to worry about a thing!
Cast a line into some of the most spectacular streams, rivers and bodies of water that the West has to offer. With a variety of species of fish to target, most ranches have a serious fishing program that any angler would enjoy. Take for example the Majestic Dude Ranch in Mancos, Colorado. Every week the ranch owner teaches a fly fishing class for the beginners in your group and the next day has a fly fishing trip. The “Bear Creek Horseback Ride” is an all-day ride, which includes several hours of fly fishing in an unbeatable setting.
Catching a trout at the Spotted Horse Ranch
Spotted Horse Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is also known for its fantastic fishing program. It has an Orvis Fly Shop for anglers to gear up and a variety of casting lessons, fishing spots on the ranch and guided fishing trips on three different local rivers. Whether you fish every day or have never cast a line, dude ranches offer fishing as a way to engage the entire group in a beautiful outdoor setting.
Excellent food is the standard on every ranch experience. Gathering around the table for a well-prepared meal completes every outdoor adventure. After a full day of being outdoors in the mountains, you’ll want delightful meals. At the C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado, they are serious about exceeding the expectations. With fine wines and an extensive alcohol selection, pairing your meal with your beverage of choice is a fundecision to make. You’ll enjoy your family-style dinner in the lodge for most meals, and then for Friday mornings during the summer you’ll have a “Woodsie Breakfast” outside for a traditional cowboy experience.
Family time is definitely a priority while you are on vacation. You get to spend an extended period of time with the people in your life that matter the most. From the moment you pack your bags and head to the airport, every moment that is spent together has the potential to make lasting memories that you will cherish forever. When you visit a dude ranch every moment is filled with family activities that all ages will enjoy. For example, at the Bar Lazy J Ranch in Parshall, Colorado each day begins with feeding the animals in the petting zoo and the kid’s counselors and wranglers make sure each moment is filled with something for each age group to be actively engaged in the western lifestyle experience.
Evening Wagon Ride at the Bar Lazy J Ranch