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Dude Ranches Come With Multi-Sports Family Adventures

There’s a new term popping up for the action-packed modern family vacation. It’s known as the “multi-sports adventure,” and it calls for multi planning as well. Long before anyone lifts a paddle or laces-up hiking boots they must first create an itinerary calling for frequent stops, hiring a local outfitter, and arranging for suitable food and shelter along the adventure. Linking together the components of the multi-sports adventure can get complicated. But, it doesn’t have to be. There’s one vacation category where sports loving families can simply park the car, unpack their bags and settle in for a week of jam-packed action. It’s the Western dude ranch, a place where folks don’t have to think about what comes next because all the details are in place to let the good times roll! Sure, the horse and riding are paramount to any Western dude...
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Dude Ranches Help Families Know Their Kids

Folks who are seeking to reconnect with their kids or who are seeking to strengthen family bonds are turning to a special type of vacation that fosters close family ties, a dude ranch vacation. Like previous generations, today’s families are learning about the wonderful hidden value of the simpler, caring way of life found on a dude ranch. They are learning that dude ranches are extra friendly places for kids and families to re-discover each other. Out on the ranch folks are cut off from their usual distractions of TV, phones, computers and electronic games. No car pools, no housework, no evening business meetings. Removed from their usual activities, families find new ways to relate. We have repeatedly seen families doing such novel things as taking an evening walk and talking to each other or playing old-time children’s games on the lawn in front...
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Dude Ranches and Kids - A Great Combination!

Making memories as a family is what a vacation should be all about. At an all inclusive dude or guest ranch vacation that is exactly what will happen. There is no standing in lines waiting for that 30 second ride the rides at a dude ranch vacation can last anywhere from 1 hour to all day. With the many different kids/teen programs you and your children are guaranteed a vacation that will be talked about for years to come....
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Boy Surprised With Dude Ranch Trip

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind., (WANE) - Seven-year-old Drew Sigler got the surprise of his life Thursday. After being kept in the back room of his family's Columbia City home part of the morning, Drew walked into the living room to find it full of family and friends.He also found an important call waiting for him. It was Jerry Helmicki, owner of the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Parshall, Colorado with a message that Drew had won a week-long vacation to the resort in August."I'm very, very, very, very, very happy!" Drew told NewsChannel 15. READ MORE...Drew Sigler and his family will be staying at the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Parshall, Colorado. Click here for more information on the Bar Lazy J Guest RanchArticle appeared on the Fort Wayne Indiana news website of www.wane.com. Written by Janice Allen....
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Destination Dude Ranch: Adventure Vacations for Families

 By: Tammy Tucker There are countless people who have planned a destination vacation, gotten excited, only to end up disappointed, angry and frustrated at the outcomes. Many of the resort type packages offered are bare minimum activity plans, meaning you have to fill your stay with things to do. If you want to spend the day out hiking, you plan the path, the trails and any of the stops. If you decide to travel to a popular destination, it can mean hours of long waits, crowded places, and over priced food. There are easier options to bring you and your family closer. Dude ranch adventure vacations are the way to go for families seeking the thrill of an amusement park, without the crowds. Our guest ranch has every part of your perfect holiday, all rolled into one great place. Start your adventure the minute you arrive. Pulling into our dude ranch parking...
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Wyoming Dude Ranch Vacations

This article was published on the USA Today Travel Tips by by Jennn Fusion, Demand Media.  Its worth reading.... Wyoming dude ranch vacations date back to the 1880s when people visited city slicker friends who had retreated to wilderness horse and cattle ranches. The railroads brought weary travelers through Wyoming, prompting entrepreneurs to charge room and board. Dude ranch vacations offer "get away from it all" relaxation in a unique setting. At first glance, they appear expensive, but prices include meals, accommodations, horse riding and entertainment -- making it easier for families to budget. Click here to  read the rest of the article and see the top picks......
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The Reunion Planner's Location of the Month...

A Dude Ranch made the The Reunion Planners website "Location of the Month." Here is the article...check it out! Hey Dude! Dudes don't just belong at the beach anymore, how about having your next reunion at a Dude Ranch! If you are unfamiliar with a dude ranch, it is a holiday resort with a western atmosphere and offers activities centered on wilderness with modern amenities. Whether you are 8 or 80 Dude Ranches provide something for everyone. Adhering to our three favorite reunion-must haves: food, fun and function, Dude Ranches excel in these areas plus they'll also bring entertaining ingenuity to the typical hotel/restaurant luncheon or dinner event.  Read More......
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Great American Ranches - Equitrekking's Travel TV Show

Emmy winning Equitrekking's travel TV show takes a special look at Great American Ranches. Host and equestrian travel expert Darley Newman rides at various dude and guest ranches in Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Quebec, Texas, Maui and the Big Island to see how their geography and history influence their present workings. The show features interviews with Ken Neal from T Cross Ranch and Jan and Gene Roberts from Wilderness Trails, and was also filmed at Colorado Cattle Company and Rancho de la Osa, and profiles a history of Eatons Ranch. The Equitrekking special includes tips from Darley on how to prepare for your dude ranch vacation, including packing tips.Interviewing ranch owners and cowboys who have chosen to hold fast to their traditions and Western culture, viewers learn what it’s like to run a ranch in America, while also riding through some of the beautiful wild terrain where these ranches lie.  Click to watch promo...
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Top 10 Dude Ranch Vacations

Janna Graber wrote this great piece for AOL Travel and was kind enough to allow us to share it with you. Horseback riding, gorgeous scenery, downtime and tasty meals are all part of a dude ranch vacation. There are no TVs, phones or other distractions at most ranches, but ah heck, you won't miss them anyway. You'll be too busy having fun. Ranches vary in style, size and amenities, but generally fall into one of three categories: dude ranches, which focus on riding; working cattle ranches, where guests work alongside ranch hands; and resort dude ranches, which offer an array of upscale amenities in addition to riding. Dude ranches can be found all over the U.S. and Canada; most are in the west. The Dude Ranchers Association lists more than 100 member ranches, but here are some of our favorites:  Read More... ...
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A Memorable Place to Book a Family Reunion

Wyoming Office of Tourism LeisureGroupTravel.com April 2011 by: Heather Lee Look no further than Wyoming’s dude ranches for a memorable family reunion. The opportunities are endless. Featuring abundant grasslands, spectacular mountains, canyons and deserts, Wyoming’s natural beauty is picture-perfect and world-renowned. The state is home to two national parks and two national monuments that draw tourists by the millions. Yellowstone National Park is known around the world for its hot springs, geyser activity and glacial ice forms. Grand Teton National Park boasts the jagged Teton Range Mountains with some peaks soaring over a mile and a half. Devils Tower National Monument is a stump-shaped rock formation that rises 1,280 feet. Fossil Butte National Monument features brightly colored fossil beds at the base of a bluff that rises more than 7,500 feet above sea level. Along with these noted landmarks are countless national forests and rivers that provide settings for the dude ranches in...
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Spring showers bring much beauty in Montana

I saw this on the Laughing Water Ranch blog and wanted to share it with you.  This is just one example of the amazing experiences to be found at Dude Ranchers' Association ranches this summer...enjoy! Posted On : 2011-04-27 This season has definitely brought a lot of rain showers to many across the nation.  Although it has brought some unfortunate disasters to parts of the country, we also can see soon how it helps bring the ecosystem around to full circle.  Many new colors will start showing all over Montana mountains and valleys with lush green grasses, a variety of beautiful flowers and new needles coming about on many trees. If you have always wanted to experience Montana for what it has, then you really need to plan your vacation this summer to Laughing Water Ranch.  We will get you on the back of a horse and...
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Tracks, trails and tails in Colorado

Easier.com 9th May 2011 For over a hundred years Colorado has been welcoming visitors to experience one of the oldest western traditions of ranching. This legacy has been passed down from generation to generation with carefully cherished rituals that are shared with privileged visitors to the state. Over the years the ranching holiday experience has evolved depending on your requirements; the authentic experiences can start with a 5am wakeup call with a hard morning’s work herding up the cattle, doctoring and branding; or alternatively enjoy a restful lie in before hitting the spa and tucking into the gourmet fresh lunch buffet produced by the onsite chef.   Read More...
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Arizona's Tanque Verde Ranch offers activities for whole family

By Sharyn Alden, Special to the Journal Sentinel May 13, 2011 What's on your wish list for a terrific family vacation? Chances are it includes perfect weather, plenty of activities for all ages, great food, a picture-postcard setting, and probably interesting educational opportunities. If that's your idea of a great family retreat, I've got a place for you: the distinctive Tanque Verde Ranch in the foothills of Arizona's Rincon and Catalina Mountains. The ranch has been named one of the top 10 family destinations in North America by The Travel Channel as well as the best family getaway for spring breaks by Travel and Leisure magazine. The 1868 ranch on 640 acres with 175 horses, mostly quarter horses, has been owned by the Cote family since 1957. Jim Converse transformed the ranch into a dude ranch in the 1920s. The Cote family offers the traditional ...
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Family Dude Ranches in Colorado

Colorado dude ranches offer many different styles of family vacations ranging from rustic to luxurious. While the classic dude ranch vacation has always revolved around cattle drives and bunkhouse accommodations, many modern dude ranches also offer family-oriented activities, gourmet meals and lavish accommodations. Most dude ranches are only open during summer, though a handful of Colorado's dude ranch proprietors offer big-game hunting expeditions during winter for more-adventurous families. Northern Colorado The Wind River Christian Dude Ranch (windriverranch.com) welcomes families to embrace their spiritual heritage while experiencing Colorado's frontier lifestyle. This large, 80-year-old resort is close to Rocky Mountain National Park and offers an abundance of outdoor activities to explore the breathtaking countryside. Wind River offers all-inclusive resort pricing for six-day stays complete with all meals and activities that range from golf to fishing. Core programs at the ranch revolve...
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Cowboy Vacation

Ranches in the Dude Ranchers' Association offer all-inclusive vacations that are perfect for everyone, from the littlest rancher to Grandpa and Grandma. Horseback riding, hiking, petting zoos, swimming holes, rodeos, fishing, games, skeet shooting, archery, art classes, cooking classes and more await your discovery on your next Dude Ranch Vacation. Horses, Hats, History and Hospitality - they're the foundation of every ranch. There is a little cowboy in all of us... come find yours...   http://youtu.be/hFd29mp9GrE...
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Children need nature. Nature needs children.

Great article from the The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds about how being outdoors helps children in all areas of their life’s. The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment.  After reading I thought what better way to do just that than spending a week on a dude ranch.  So what are you waiting for grab your kids and saddle up…..   Over the last decade, a large amount of research has been carried out into the diverse benefits for children of contact with nature and outdoor experiences. These benefits include positive impacts on education, physical health, emotional wellbeing and personal and social skills, including the development of responsible citizens. This summary report draws together the main findings and recommendations from this rich evidence. As well as academic research from a number of countries, the research includes official reports from national schools inspectorates, which...
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Ranch Histories - White Stallion Ranch

Another great Arizona ranch compliments of the Arizona Dude Ranch Association. White Stallion Ranch was originally built in the early 1900's and like most guest ranches, began its life as a cattle ranch. In 1940, Max Zimmerman of Chicago decided to move West and become part of the guest ranch industry in Tucson, which had over 100 ranches at the time. Max named the ranch MZ Bar Ranch and constructed 6 buildings for guests - complete with kitchenettes. The ranch changed hands again in 1948, when a governess to the Dupont family bought it and continued the ranch operation as well as providing housing for air Force personnel and their families. In 1958, Drew and Marge Towne bought the ranch and decided to rename it The Black Stallion after their favorite horse story. They quickly realized that the initials "BS" would be unacceptable, and thus, White Stallion Ranch was born! In...
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Saddle up! - Group Adventure Travel

March 28, 2012 Looking for a unique, authentic way to enjoy the best of Arizona? Consider a visit to a dude ranch. At one of the nine ranches affiliated with Arizona Dude Ranch Association, it is possible to savor the real western lifestyle, where the world moves at a more relaxed pace and where horseback riding is an everyday treat. A girlfriends getaway, an intergenerational adventure or any other group outing can be enjoyed. The ranches are as diverse as the state, “ranging from the more traditional smaller, remote ranches, where horseback riding and ranching are the primary focus, to our larger resort-style guest ranches, with all the amenities,” said Lacy Gambee, a spokesperson for the association. Circle Z Ranch  Circle Z, located 60 miles southeast of Tucson, is a guest ranch operated continuously since 1926. Here, guests ride ranch-bred horses through the foothills of the historic Santa Rita Mountains. As a quiet, family-oriented ranch, the emphasis...
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The Horse We Shared at the Colorado Dude Ranch

Posted on May 7, 2012 via rainbowtroutranch.com A TRIBUTE TO CD, The Horse We Shared By Andrea Hansell      Our family first came to Rainbow Trout Ranch in July of 1997.   Before we arrived, I spent a good deal of time discussing horse choices with Jane on the phone.  I had enough riding experience to want a horse with some spunk, but being afraid of heights, I also wanted a horse that I could absolutely rely on to be cautious and sure-footed on steep trails.   Jane decided that the best horse for me was CD, short for Coupe DeVille.   On my first ride out, I immediately fell in love with this handsome dark brown horse with the white socks and forehead  blaze. Andrea with CD in 1997 When I was feeling comfortable in the flat meadows and on the logging road, CD let me be totally in charge, and responded to my slightest nudge of...
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Dude Ranch Family Vacations

 Written by Diana Lambdin Meyer www.familyvacationcritic.com Few vacations are more all-American than one that involves riding horses in the great open spaces of the American West. But if an adult-acquired fear of actually riding a horse compromises your willingness to fulfill your children's vacation dreams of being a cowboy or cowgirl for a week, do not fear. There's plenty for mom and dad and the entire family to do at many dude ranches other than ride horse. Think swimming holes or swimming pools, hikes in the woods, fishing, square dances, star gazing, bird watching, or just sitting in a lawn chair reading a good book. Dude ranches, which are often called guest ranches, are as diverse as the clientele they serve and the individuals who operate them. Many are located in some of the most intriguing parts of the country adjacent to national parks, along historic pioneer trails and near charming little communities...
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10 Great Dude Ranches for Families

Saddle up at one of these dude ranches for families by:  www.travelsavvymom.com Of all the many trips I’ve taken with my family, I get the most questions about our horse back riding vacations.  It turns out I’m not the only one who with a cowgirl fantasy. When I planned our first dude ranch vacation, I used the Dude Rancher’s Association website (full disclosure: they are now an advertiser of ours). Using their search tool, I was able to browse their 100 member properties by amenity and then compare them side by side.  Here are ten that stood out: Averill’s Flathead Lake Ranch Where: Big Fork, Montana Rates: $342-464 Open: May-October Is there any image more iconic than kids jumping in a lake?  When you’re not jumping in the lake, you can sail, canoe, water ski, paddle board, kayak, and fish in it too.  Plus, all the usual horse-y fun. You’ll feel like you’ve walked onto the...
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Ride Horses Off Into the Sunset at These Great Family-Friendly Dude Ranches

I came across this great article from May 2010 issue of Travel & Leisure Magazine  and wanted to share it with you! From May 2010 By Lee Magill It’s a little past dawn as you and your family lead horses through a still-damp Colorado meadow, the awakening sun turning distant mountains a gorgeous shade of purple. The Continental Divide appears, and soon you arrive at a dramatic overlook, the Western wilderness stretched out before you. You dismount to find breakfast sizzling over a charcoal fire, and chow down in awestruck wonder. Riding horses at a dude ranch is one of the West’s iconic experiences, and the Latigo Ranch in Kremmling, CO, has been saddling up families for the past 82 years. But Latigo’s hardly the only one. Dude ranches exist all over America, offering the opportunity to combine a trip into the great outdoors with some quality family time. Dude, of course, is the...
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Hosting Guests Helps Ranchers Endure Lean Times

Fount this article at Capital Press and thought you might enjoy it! By JOHN O'CONNELL Capital Press When cattle and sheep prices dipped eight years ago, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, rancher Ken Andrus and his family supplemented their income by opening their home to visitors. The customers still come from throughout the world to ride horses and experience the open space and cowboy life at the Andrus Guest Ranch. Andrus, the Republican chair of Idaho's House Agricultural Affairs Committee, enjoys the stable revenue the side business generates and the opportunity to employ his children on the ranch, which he runs with his brother. They raise 350 head of cattle and another 350 head of registered Suffolk sheep. They also offer two-hour trail rides for $50 each, a bed and breakfast for $100 per person and a six-day guest ranch experience for $800 per adult, with reduced rates for children. "Compared to the ranch it's minimal," Andrus...
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Colorado with kids: sleds, bikes, horses, fun

This is a great article about a family's trip from Pennsylvania to Colorado.  Especially loved the part about Drowsy Water Ranch which I have highlighted below.  To read the entire article please click on the following link: http://blog.pennlive.com/life/2012/08/colorado_with_kids_sleds_bikes.html Howdy, Colorado! The heart of our trip was three days at the Drowsy Water Ranch, where we donned cowboy boots, learned to ride horses and began to say howdy to everyone we met. Grand County has several dude ranches, but Drowsy Water was a no-brainer. It’s rustic and has been run for 36 years by the hands-on Fosha family, whose passion is horses. “Our goal is that everyone who comes here is a little better rider when they leave,” Ken Fosha told me. The ranch has 120 of the magnificent animals, well-fed, well-trained, groomed and pastured every night. Each horse has a name, and each guest (50 maximum) has a horse carefully chosen to match that person’s...
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High Lonesome Ranch Review - A Colorado Dude Ranch that is the West at its Best

Splash Magazine published a great review of The High Lonesome Ranch so I wanted to share it with you.  Hope you enjoy it! By Andrea Gross; photos by Irv Green With well over thirty dude ranches in Colorado, you wouldn’t think that there was a need for another one. But in May of 2012, High Lonesome Ranch, a luxury getaway for fly fishermen and big game hunters, began welcoming wannabe cowboys as well. The property, which is situated on the west slope of the Rockies, consists of 300 square miles of leased and permitted land. As such it is bigger than 25 of the nations 58 national parks. Paul Vahidiek Jr., a Houston attorney who began buying some of the property in 1994, is determined that this land—a mix of high mesas covered with sparse vegetation and deep valleys filled with greenery—be preserved and protected from rampant development. Opening the ranch to guests...
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Start a New Holiday Tradition at Smith Fork Ranch

Come relax at Smith Fork Ranch in front of the fireplace in the lodge or your cabin by the river. Enjoy our chef's special holiday cuisine and our award-winning wine list. Activities to satisfy your sense of adventure and holiday events to bring your family closer together. All of this and we take care of the holiday clean up!   Smith Fork Ranch is a private luxury destination nestled in the Colorado Rocky Mountains amidst thousands of acres of the West Elk Wilderness and the Gunnison National Forest. SFR offers unique western adventures, gracious hospitality, superb farm to table cuisine and an extensive bar & wine cellar.This 1930s-40s vintage ranch has been beautifully restored and updated, carefully retaining the character of its glory days. SFR has a maximum occupancy of 28. The Guest Lodge which is the original ranch house, has five bedrooms all with private baths, a living room and sitting room (with...
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Enjoy Every Opportunity for Family Fun at White Stallion Ranch

Michelle McCoy is a blogger for Trekaroo.  Michelle was kind enough to share her latest blog about her family's wonderful trip to White Stallion Ranch with us and I wanted to make sure to pass it on for you to enjoy as well. Going on an all-inclusive guest ranch vacation is now at the top of my family’s list of All-Time Fun Vacations! For the kids, they were absolutely thrilled to eat cookies out of the bottomless jar, drink lemonade, ride horses, swim in the pool, play air-hockey, and shoot pool in the game room all day long. For us parents, there was nothing better than feeling the freedom to enjoy all those things with our kids. There was no worry about where we were going to eat next, what we were going to do with our time, and how we would get there. I so enjoyed playing a game of...
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Dude Ranches for Family Vacations - Spring Break

Family Travel Magazine wrote a great article about Dude Ranches being a great option for Spring Break.  Enjoy the article and know that there is a ranch for every occasion! While many of our spring break picks have involved beaches and warm weather, there are lots of other spring break ideas that may work better for your family.  One of the family vacations that I’m hoping to do one year is a dude ranch family vacation.  Most of them are located in gorgeous areas of the United States, and include lots of different activities including horseback riding, fishing, whitewater rafting, yoga, and cooking classes.  Events, meals, and activities are generally included in the cost of your spring break dude ranch family vacation! If you are interested in trying out one of the more than 100 dude ranches for your family vacation, the Dude Ranchers’ Association is where you want to start.  Ranches...
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Making Memories at a Dude Ranch

If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and create some memories that will last forever a Dude Ranch Vacation is just what you are looking for.  Bryan Tighe of  Budgetyourtravel.com wrote a great blog about just that. Below is a snippet but you can see full blog article at http://www.budgetyourtrip.com/blog/2014/02/making-memories-at-a-dude-ranch/ Enjoy. What a Dude Ranch is All About The pace at all dude ranches can be as leisurely or as active as you would like it to be. While unlimited Horseback riding is a main focus of many ranches, the other activities travelers can experience are endless. Hiking in National Parks and forests, white water rafting, and world class fly fishing on private rivers are just a few of the adventurous and nature-oriented activities offered. Overnight hiking and camping trips, trap shooting, and golf are even available. Yes, golf! There really is something for everyone. It’s...
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Dude Ranch - The Cure for Nature Deficit Disorder

Richard Louv, child advocate and writer of the bestselling books The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods, has coined the term Nature-Deficit Disorder. He explains a growing body of research indicating the lack of nature in today's online generation. This term parallels the lack of nature to the growing trends of childhood obesity, attention disorders and depression. He explains, "Direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults"(richardlouv.com). At a dude ranch your are guaranteed to get your nature fix and spend the majority of your vacation outdoors in some of the most beautiful locations West of the Mississippi. With three square meals a day planned out carefully by a professional chef, you won't have to worry about feeding your children fast food on the road. Once you know your kids are eating right, what kind...
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Dude Ranches Come With Multi-Sport Family Adventures So You Don’t Have to Create Your Own!

There’s a new term popping up for the action-packed modern family vacation. It’s known as the “multi-sport adventure,” and it calls for multi planning as well. Long before anyone lifts a paddle or laces-up hiking boots they must first create an itinerary calling for frequent stops, hiring a local outfitter, and arranging for suitable food and shelter along the adventure. Linking together the components of the multi-sports adventure can get complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s one vacation category where sports loving families can simply park the car, unpack their bags and settle in for a week of jam-packed action. It’s the Western dude ranch, a place where folks don’t have to think about what comes next. All the details are in place to let the good times roll! Sure, horses and riding are paramount to any Western dude ranch experience, but in addition to riding (or sometimes in...
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5 Ranch Activities to Connect with Your Family

There is much to be said about children getting too much screen time in today’s tech-saturated world. But, look around most playgrounds and you will see that parents are guilty too. Too often, we’re reaching for our phones rather than connect with what’s truly important – strengthening family bonds and making memories that will carry well into the future. In fact, making time for your family to connect does more than provide a fleeting moment of happiness: it can make you healthier. Studies have indicated frequent family dinners lead to higher levels of emotional well-being and satisfaction. The only requirement? Keep your phones turned off. As the original all-inclusive destination for families, a dude ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to connect as a family. Families can challenge and revive their bodies, minds and spirits in the most breathtaking areas in the U.S. Listed below are the top 5 ranch...
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Plan Your Dude Ranch Family Reunion

When asking yourself how to plan your dude ranch family reunion it may be helpful to follow this question guide. The ranches listed here are great examples of places to take your family for your next family reunion. They are all accredited members of the Dude Ranchers' Association. As such they are held to the highest industry standards and are kept accountable to provide unforgettable destination vacations. Find your ranch today. Let us help. A Sylvan Dale Ranch Reunion When would you like to go? Planning ahead is essential. We recommend that the larger size the group the farther in advance you should book your stay. Ranches fill up quick during their peak season. Are you planning a vacation during the spring time? Then you should probably start looking the summer before and asking about availability.  You can do this for multiple ranch at once using our Saddle Bag Feature. Where would...
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Staycation in Colorado This Summer at Your Local Dude Ranch

Have you already explored many local Colorado locations by hiking, mountain climbing, bouldering or cycling? What about by horseback riding? Journey into the old west, to a time before chacos and mountain bikes. A time when wagon wheels and horses were your means of transportation. A dude ranch vacation is themed in Western tradition. Don't worry, they won't make you wear a dress to ride, and suspenders are optional. The only requirements are cowboy boots and a desire to explore a new piece of country by a living means of transportation (horses). The below ranches are all located within driving distance from your downtown or suburban life in Colorado, and offer a spectacular new perspective on the state you call home. Trail riding in the National Parks and National Forests of the Rocky Mountains will be just the start of your historical dude ranch adventure. Your stay will also include fine...
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Splash into Summer with a Dude Ranch for Teenagers

When the kids are little you try to make sure the parents have their space, but as teenagers, they would like some activities geared towards them. Plan a dude ranch vacation next summer where everyone has an equally great time. Each family member, regardless of age can experience a little bit of freedom and a chance to do something unique at the ranch. There is plenty of flexibility at a dude ranch to appreciate things individually, as a family or with new friends you meet along your stay. As an all - inclusive destination you might find yourself doing any number of outdoorsy activities, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting, zip lining, fishing, etc. There are so many things to do! Careful, time flies when you are having fun, so be sure to book your stay long enough to enjoy everything! Swim Your Horse Sweet Grass Ranch, Big Timber, Montana...
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5 Extraordinary Dude Ranches for Families

There’s one vacation category where extraordinary families can simply park the car, unpack their bags and settle in for a week of jam-packed action. It’s the Western dude ranch, a place where folks don’t have to think about what comes next because all the details are in place to let the good times roll!  Sure, the horse and riding are paramount to any Western dude ranch experience. The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the first to confirm riding is at the heart of any ranch getaway. But, according to DRA Executive Director, Colleen Hodson, there are folks who wouldn’t dream of hopping on a saddle that choose a DRA Western dude ranch for active family vacations. In addition to riding or sometimes in place of riding, guests ride the rapids, paddle a canoe, play golf or tennis, hike in the wilderness, cycle the back roads and mountain trails, go caving, hot...
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Family Bonding – Dude Ranch Style

There is much to be said about children getting too much screen time in today’s tech-saturated world. But look around most playgrounds and you will see that parents are just as guilty. Too often, we’re reaching for our phones rather than focusing on what’s truly important – strengthening family bonds and making memories that will carry us well into the future. As the original all-inclusive destination for families, a ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to bond and spend time as a family sans technology, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Try a warm family getaway that breaks the spring break cliché of crowds and beaches or, a special trip designed to include the extended family. Dude ranches can accommodate and entertain family members of all ages. This vacation promising a one-of-a-kind vacation with opportunities for the young and young at heart, and everyone in between. Families can challenge and...
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Dude Ranches Guarantee an Unforgettable Family Vacation Experience

Dude ranches are the original, all-inclusive destination for families. Located in some of the most breathtaking areas of the U.S. (and Canada), dude ranches can handle any request, from horseback riding and fly fishing to yoga and cooking classes to zip lining and hiking. The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) can help you plan the perfect family vacation to one of its 100+ accredited guest ranches. The term ‘dude ranch’ typically brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, a la the popular 1991 comedy, “City Slickers.” While dude ranches still evoke those same memories and are rooted in American tradition, they are much, much more. There is a broad spectrum of guest ranches across North America, ranging from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches. From valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest, you can find DRA-accredited ranches throughout the Western U.S. in...
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Pass the #TravelSauce While Vacation Planning During the Holidays

Take the time this holiday season – when bellies are full, spirits are high and good will is in abundance – to sit with family and pass the #travelsauce, by planning next year’s perfect family vacation to a dude ranch. This Thanksgiving and through Christmas is the designated time every year for family's to come together and share not only a meal, but also experiences from the past year and hopes for the year to come. Take this opportunity and seize the moment to plan your family's next Western adventure vacation at a dude ranch. Here's the perfect way to "pitch" a week at a ranch to the family: There's plenty of room Whether your are traveling with your nuclear family of kids and parents or as an extended family reunion a dude ranch is set up to accommodate families of upwards of 200 people. Reservation specialists can help you book...
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Family Travel and Dude Ranches

One of the most meaningful comments we’ve read about family travel and dude ranches is this: Dude ranches reconnect adults to a simple and innocent part of their childhood and introduce their children to these same experiences. At dude ranches, everyone can discover magic. Photo courtesy of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch There’s something uplifting and joyful about that. Like when parents momentarily forget themselves and regress with their kids – revisiting beloved animated cartoons from their youth, or unabashedly belting out favorite ballads from bygone (to their kids) times. Now picture horses and corrals, Stetson hats and western boots, cookouts and wide open landscapes straight out of cowboy movies and novels. Your heart goes pitter-patter, just a little bit. Or a lot. Because in today’s era of quick-paced modernization, invasive technology and growing detachment from nature (and one another), the ranch appeal is arguably more potent — for all generations — than...
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Secrets to the Best Family Reunion

Family reunion planning can be tricky. Just picking a reunion destination spot can take time. I myself come from a large family and we’re lucky to have several amazing planners who handle our family reunions. Planning can be stressful and trying to find a perfect location which everyone will enjoy is a daunting task. Working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch for over a decade, I’ve come to know many of the challenges with family reunion planning. However, it is a small price to pay for some of life’s most enduring memories. Sadly, I think ranches are not normally on a family’s radar as a destination spot. There are definitely some true advantages in picking a ranch for a family reunion. A ranch can streamline your family planning, control your budget, reconnect your family, and make sure each member has an amazing time. There are also a few ways to help...
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Ranch Vacation for your Rodeo loving, Barrel Racing Children

Your children have gone absolutely horse crazy and all you hear about is horseback riding camps and more riding lessons. So, how can you compromise on a family vacation and have lots of horsing around and barrel racing for your children and moderate amounts of all types of adventure  recreation for the rest of your family? Well, a dude ranch vacation of course! For your barrel racing enthusiasts there will be some type of barrel racing throughout the week with authentic cowgirl staff. You might have the arena set up to "turn and burn" with some ladies (and gentleman) who have competed in the barrel racing world. For mom and dad, you might dabble in all the experiences offered on horseback - some riding at different speeds, some team penning, some specialty rides, etc. You might take a all day picnic ride with the whole family where your interests in...
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