Can You Have a Luxury Dude Ranch Vacation? Yes!

Dude ranch vacations don't typically conjure up visions of luxury. Instead, images of horses, log cabins, bunk beds and cowboys come to mind. But, with the new crop of dude ranches, all that has changed. Many now offer first class accommodations and food and make getting there half the fun. It is all about picking the right one for you. When you put luxury and dude ranch together consider location, accommodations, dining, and activities, and the choice should be easy!     My family loves being in the outdoors on vacation, but we also love to be pampered, fed well, and have nice thread count sheets to jump into at the end of the day. Little did we think we could find all that at a dude ranch, but we did and on more than one occasion. The luxury came in not only through the experience at the dude ranch, but in the... Read More

10 Awe-Inspiring Panoramas That Define Rustic Luxury

 Let’s face it: there are few places in the world as beautiful as Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. And there are few places better to enjoy the spectacular sights here than Smith Fork Ranch, where we’ve perfected the “rustic luxury” approach to an all inclusive guest ranch vacation. We could tell you what we mean by “rustic luxury” … but it’s probably easier to show you.   Smith Fork Ranch — where the rainbow ends?   “Rustic Luxury” — historic buildings, lovingly restored with a painstaking eye for detail.   Smith Fork Ranch’s equestrian program offers the perfect way to explore. Whether you’re an avid rider or a beginner, Smith Fork Ranch offers authentic horseback riding adventures for all skill levels, always with your maximum enjoyment and safety in mind.   Our guests love Smith Fork Ranch … and we’re pretty sure our herd does, too.   Not only is Smith Fork Ranch’s cuisine world-class (much of it locally sourced), but you get to... Read More

Destination - California Ranch

With 163,696 square miles and 8,436 miles of coast California is home to more than just Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It is home to far more acres of recreation and history than you can imagine. Take yourself and your family into a secret corner for a vacation experience on a ranch. The Dude Ranchers' Association recommends four guest ranches of the highest quality spread out along the state of California. California Starting from the Northwestern corner of the state in the Klamath National Forest there is the Marble Mountain Ranch. This ranch specializes in what they call the 'Saddle and Paddle Program' where you can have equal parts horseback riding through the mountains and extensive white water rafting down the Klamath River. Oh, and you can get your NRA Basic Pistol Certification while you're there. Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch lies in the Northeast of Sacramento away from all the crowds. Greenhorn is sandwiched... Read More

Relax in the Spa at these Dude Ranch Locations

Western dude ranches are typically located in rural areas far from the events of today. For over a century weary city-dwellers have been seeking to escape the pressures of urban life and to find spiritual relief in the beauty and simplicity of the American West. Returning to nature and a 100 year old, simple, honest ranch way of life seems to wash away those unsavory layers of stress that have become an accepted part of modern life. A natural process of unwinding starts when guests first set foot on a dude ranch. It helps them to slow down and to begin discovering the wonders around them and even within themselves. At the below ranches you can find that true spa treatment to care for yourself. You have the option to adventure out on horseback or other dude ranch activities or hideout in these serious spa locations. Lost Creek Ranch Soak in the... Read More

The Comfort of Luxury at the Finest of Dude Ranches

The Dude Ranchers' Association offers you and yours luxury vacation opportunities fit for a king. I mean, our Past President Teddy Roosevelt loved his dude ranches and we would like to connect you to the finest of them all. The alluring nature of these vacation destinations couples very nicely with the culture and hospitality of the American West. You will ride horses, see the beautiful countryside and fill your soul with the warmth and kindness of your cowboy hosts.  These ranches are spick-and-span. So take out your white gloves for a quality inspection. You won't be disappointed.   Stay in Hand Built Cabins from the 1920's   Welcome to the CM Ranch, Hunter and Mollie Sullivan's gorgeous home and historic dude ranch, specializing in summer vacations since 1927. The logs for the ranch buildings were cut in the upper Jakey’s Fork canyon in the 1920’s, and hauled to the ranch by teams of... Read More

Luxury and Kids Go Together at Resort Guest Ranches

Resort-style guest ranches combine the adventure of dude ranch vacations with the luxury of all-inclusive resorts for your kids and yourself. The Dude Ranchers Association has over 100 member ranches across the western U.S. and Canada with many hosting special programs and activities for kids. Below are a few ranches that do Luxury and kids like no other destination vacation spot. At Colorado’s Tumbling River Ranch kids from age 3 to teen find adventure and independence. Kids are split into groups by age and spend their days going on scavenger hunts, hay rides, camp outs, horseback rides, hikes, and more. Teens love hanging out with the college-aged counselors while rock climbing, rafting, fly fishing, playing capture the flag, and going on an overnight pack trip.     From morning until bedtime, Montana’s Mountain Sky Guest Ranch offers a variety of fun children’s activities that will entertain and delight all ages - like... Read More

Destinations that are Perfect for Reviving Your Mind, Body and Spirit

While the term ‘dude ranch’ usually brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, dude ranches are actually all this and much more – especially when it comes to wellness experiences. In keeping with the belief that wellness starts from within, many DRA-accredited ranches offer a variety of rejuvenating activities and services in a lush oasis environment to give you “whole body” relief from the stress of modern life. Imagine enjoying a spa escape or a yoga class in some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. As the original all-inclusive vacation, dude ranches offer value and numerous advantages over other all-inclusive vacation options including no planning once you arrive, flexibility to customize your itinerary, and no additional costs once you arrive to your destination. There are more than 100 DRA-accredited dude ranches in... Read More

Luxury Dude Ranch Vacations

Interested in "roughing it" in style? Don't want to sacrifice comfort while communing with nature? Here's what to expect on a luxury dude ranch vacation. by Darley Newman of If camping out under the stars isn't your thing, but you like to ride horses or want a very comfortable ranch vacation, a luxury dude ranch vacation might be a good fit for you. After researching upscale ranch holidays across the United States and Canada, I came up with answers to some common questions travelers may have about what type of vacation they'll experience at one of these luxury ranches and some fun photos from ranches that you might want to choose. One of the biggest modern luxuries for riders who visit Home Ranch in Colorado is the million acres of Rocky Mountain Wilderness. What are the accommodations like at a luxury dude ranch? As in with any upscale vacation, accommodations vary, but... Read More

Ranch Histories - Tanque Verde Ranch

Another great bit of information thanks to the Arizona Dude Ranch Association. Tanque Verde Ranch - The rich and colorful history of this Arizona dude ranch begins with the Pima Indians. The "Tanque Verde" Ranch is named for the "green pool" and seasonal river that the Indians used as a source of water. They left behind numerous mortar stones and other artifacts as testimony to their passage. In 1868 the land surrounding the tanks was purchased by Emilio Carrillo, a Mexican hacendado (the owner of a large estate) from Santa Cruz. After Carrillo's death in 1908, Jim Converse owned the ranch and began inviting eastern dudes to participate in everyday ranch activities. He further extended the business in both the production of cattle and the involvement of tourists until 1955. In 1957, Brownie Cote purchased the property. He expanded on the existing operation and developed the property into a successful combination of classic... Read More

Horses or Golf? Why Not Both!

Do you Love Horses?  Do you Love Golf?  Well…at Rancho de los Caballeros you have the opportunity to enjoy both in the beautiful Arizona desert! The Ranch Experience  at Rancho de los Caballeros For those who want to experience much of what the Ranch has to offer, but still want to have time to savor the peace and quiet of the desert, this package includes some time on a horse, at the spa and on the links. Package includes: Luxurious casita accommodations Breakfast, lunch & dinner daily Unlimited green fees with cart Unlimited scheduled horseback rides (there are two scheduled rides per day except Sundays, as per Horses Union!) One (1) spa treatment per day (from limited spa menu) Access to all scheduled ranch activities (tennis, nature hike or lecture, bird-watching tour, Hassayampa River Preserve tour) Extra person, extra nights and single rates are available. Package pricing does not include 8.3% tax and 15% gratuity. For reservations,... Read More

Choosing a Guest Ranch Like the Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Choosing a guest ranch for an upcoming vacation has some important considerations to research before you decide. Accommodations at a Guest Ranch If you are planning a vacation, one crucial thing is getting good accommodations. The choice mostly depends on what you want in your vacation. Various types of guest ranch accommodations are available. If privacy is what you are seeking, you can choose a guest ranch that offers private cabins otherwise you can choose lodge accommodations to get along more easily with other guests. At Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, you have the option of both. Activities at a Guest Ranch There are plenty of activities available at a guest ranch vacation. If a real cowboy experience is what you are looking for then a working ranch would be ideal. If your Preference is horseback riding, skiing, river rafting or skeet shooting; you can choose a guest ranch that... Read More

Ailing Florida girl experiences her dream on Colorado guest ranch

A dude ranch in Granby is making "Dreams Come True" this weekend for an 11-year-old Florida girl with a life-threatening illness. Given her choice, Morgan Blackwell picked riding horseback in the Colorado snow for her dream-come- true. She browsed online and liked what she saw at The C Lazy U Guest Ranch & Resort.... Read More

Drowsy Water Ranch Honored As Best All Inclusive Resort in the World

Granby, Colorado – January 20, 2010 – Drowsy Water Ranch was chosen as the #1 All Inclusive Resort in the World by TripAdvisor® in its 2010 Travelers’ Choice® awards.Now in its eighth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travelers. Unlike any other hotel awards programs in the world, TripAdvisor® Travelers' Choice® winners are based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions about hotels on™ and content from across the web. “Inspired by the millions of trusted traveler reviews and opinions on, the Travelers’ Choice awards have once again highlighted the finest hotels in the world,” said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “From remarkable bargains to the trendiest hotels, travelers worldwide are recognizing more than 700 hotels for their outstanding service, value and quality.”For reviews on the... Read More