Kick Off Your Boots for an Authentic Dude Ranch Vacation!

The coffee is hot and breakfast is served—the perfect wake up call. You pull up your boots and meet your guide for the day. As you make your way outside, the air is crisp and cool. You slip a saddle on your horse, and head out onto the trail. Your guide points out mountain ranges in the distance and identifies bird species in nearby trees. As lunch approaches, you pull off at a spectacular viewpoint, then enjoy your packed lunch. The ride back to the ranch is effortless and relaxing. When you return, you kick back on your front porch and read the next chapter of your gripping novel. A group of kids are having their first experience on horseback in the distance, giggling as they trot along. You have the option of activities for the afternoon including tennis, pickleball, swimming, mountain biking, or rafting. As the sun begins to set,... Read More

The 9 Best Dude & Guest Ranches for an Arizona Ranch Vacation

Without question Arizona is a beautiful state and a wonderful destination for a dude & guest ranch vacation during the winter months, and all year long. The state is known for some of the most colorful characters in American history. Here, you can walk (or horseback ride) in the footsteps of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Pancho Villa, Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. With a personal guide for the many outdoor activities Arizona ranch vacations offer you’ll get an in-depth lesson on the particular area of each dude ranch. With a variety of geographical features you might ride in the mountains, deserts and grass lands. With 27 National Parks in Arizona the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and the Saguaro National Park will be just the start to explore the state of Arizona. Here are the 9 Best Dude & Guest Ranches for an Arizona Ranch Vacation and the top... Read More

Ranch Activities - So Much to Do, So Little Time

A Western ranch vacation is your one stop shop for a vacation where you and your travel companions (young or old) can safely scatter into the mountains on your adventure of choice. Horseback riding, hiking, fishing, etc. And by "etc." we mean there are so many ranch activities you will be hard pressed to get all the exploring and experiencing done in just one week. While you’re there you'll get into the rhythm of the western way of life specific to each family operation.  You’ll certainly get to "get Local” at these ranches. But, it's not roughing it like you might imagine. It's living it. It's an experience that is high class, polished and refined. There is so much to do in a week that every minute will seem important to get the most of the experience. Time flows from one adventure to the next, with only as much, or as little... Read More

The Great American Family Holiday – on a Dude Ranch

Clint the donkey gets a hug at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Ride ‘em cowboy! Sure there can be plenty of time in the saddle when you take the kids on a dude ranch vacation. But these days, there’s plenty else to do. In fact, ranch goers acknowledge, they often spend less time riding than they expected because of so many other activities and so much land to explore. That’s especially true for multi-generational groups who find guest ranches ideal for family reunions. They are all-inclusive so there is no bickering—and no surprises—with the final bill. No one has to get groceries, cook or clean up. And there are activities for all ages. How about mountain biking? Organized kids’ activities often include everything from riding to soccer, sack races, art projects and talent shows. Programs like at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, means the adults get some time... Read More

Stop Working and Start Vacationing at a Dude Ranch

Stop working and start vacationing. Under many state laws vacation pay accrues as it is earned, and cannot be forfeited.  Why would you want to forfeit your vacation time anyway, or even just let it pile up in your work account. Get out there and use that time and money for memories and experiences. You'll come back to work with stories to tell and refreshed from time away. We, at the Dude Ranchers' Association, think a ranch vacation in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado are some pretty great states to get going on using your vacation time. Some options are to fly into Bozeman, MT, Jackson Hole, WY or Steamboat Springs, CO or take some extra vacation time and make a road trip out of it. Take a look at the ranches below and the information about traveling to them from your airport. Want more information? We have it here in the office at 307.587.2339,... Read More

10 Best Things about a Ranch Vacation

There are many great things about a ranch vacation, so Sue Murphy of the Elk Mountain Ranch has compiled a list of the top 10 best things about a ranch vacation: 1. Enjoying the beauty of your surroundings You have the opportunity to spend time outdoors, enjoying the beauty of Colorado, with breathtaking views of the Collegiate Peaks, whether on a trail ride or hiking in the San Isabel National Forest. 2. Slowing down and relaxing Time moves differently here. You can take the time for some R&R, read a good book, enjoy the hot tub, play a board game or spend the day at the hot springs. There are simple pleasures in activities that we may have forgotten about in our busy day to day lives. Take a moment for yourself, breathe and take it all in. 3. Disconnecting and having great conversations The remote nature of a ranch vacation gives you... Read More

Last Minute Ranch Vacation Packages for this Summer

Found some time off for this summer? Check out these dude ranch packages available at dude ranches in the west for a last minute ranch vacation.   Photo by 7D Ranch 63 Ranch Lvingston, Montana The 63 Ranch history dates from 1863 (hence the name), and in 1982 it was the first dude ranch in Montana declared a National Historic Site. This Livingston, Montana dude ranch sits at 5,600 feet elevation below Elephant Head Mountain, 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, 12 miles outside of Livingston. Making its home in some of the prettiest country in the west, the Ranch adjoins the two-million acre Gallatin National Forest, straddles Mission Creek Canyon, meets the craggy peaks of the Absaroka Mountains and the rolling across grassy hills, rimrock ridges and sagebrush benches above the Yellowstone River. The backdrop is breathtaking. View Rates & Book your vacation with the 63 Ranch   7D Ranch Cody, Wyoming Wyoming’s premiere family guest... Read More

Straight from the Horse's Mouth about Ranch Vacations

Enjoy a taste of the authentic American West where horses, hats, history, honesty, hospitality and heart abound. With over 100 carefully chosen member ranches, the Dude Ranchers' Association (DRA) has one to match your dream vacation – perfectly, all while protecting lands, parks, forests and wildlife. Our Dude, Resort and Working Ranches are in the most picturesque regions of the USA and Canada near historic sites and national parks for a photographer’s heyday! Each has its own unique history, incredible horseback riding tailored to the rider’s age and ability, and exciting outdoor adventures like white water rafting, paradise fishing on scenic rivers, fun hay rides, hikes, golfing. Blue skies, starry nights and the sounds of silence are also included in your dude ranch vacation. Lounge in a hammock until the dinner bell rings and then breathe pure clean air as you rediscover the brightest shining stars peeking out from the... Read More

Five Reasons to Take Your Family on a Dude Ranch Vacation

Everything They Want, Everything You Need! Horseback riding and high-end luxury. Cookouts and craft wine. Zip-lining and line dancing. Rodeos and rafting. On a dude ranch vacation, you can have it all… and more. Indulge in the finest cuisine, pamper your senses, or satisfy your sense of adventure. Whatever you’re seeking, you’ll find it here on a dude ranch vacation. 1. Focus on the Family Your teenager’s a thrill seeker. Your little one wants to explore. And you’re caught between craving some peace and quiet, and some quality family bonding time. Dude ranches pride themselves on their ability to provide all of it: plenty of activities for all skill levels, opportunities to get close to nature, and chances to slow down, team up, and enjoy time together as a family.     2. Delicious Food Home to cowboy barbecues, farm-to-table fresh cuisine, and elegant wine selections, dude ranches offer an impressive culinary... Read More

Cinq raisons d’emmener votre famille en vacance à un Dude Ranch

Tout ce qu’ils veulent, tout ce dont vous avez besoin Équitation et luxe. Cuisine en plein air et vin artisanal. La tyrolienne et la danse en ligne. Le rodéo et le rafting. En vacances à un Dude Ranch, vous pouvez tout faire … et plus encore. Laissez-vous tenter par la meilleure cuisine, choyer vos sens, ou satisfaites votre envie d’aventure. Quoi que vous cherchiez, vous le trouverez ici.    1. Focus sur la Famille Votre adolescent est un chercheur de sensations fortes. Votre petit veut explorer. Et vous hésitez entre votre désir de paix et de tranquillité et un moment de cohésion familiale de qualité. Les Dude Ranch sont fiers de leur capacité à satisfaire toutes ces envies : beaucoup d’activités pour tous les niveaux de compétences, des opportunités de se rapprocher de la nature et des moments plus calmes, retrouver l’esprit d’équipe et profiter de moments en famille.           2.Gastronomie Délicieuse Spécialiste des... Read More

Fünf Gründe warum ein Urlaub mit Ihrer Familie auf einer Dude Ranch eine großartige Idee ist

Alles was sie wollen, alles was Sie brauchen Reiten und Luxus. Im Freien zubereitetes Essen und Wein von lokalen Weingütern. Seilrutsche (auch Flying Fox genannt) und Line Dance. Rodeos und Rafting. Im Urlaub auf einer Dude Ranch können Sie all das haben … und mehr. Genießen Sie die feinste Küche, verwöhnen Sie Ihre Sinne, oder befriedigen Sie Ihren Sinn für Abenteuer. Was auch immer Sie suchen, Sie werden es hier finden. Fokus auf die Familie Ihr Teenager sucht den Nervenkitzel. Ihr(e) Kleine(r) will auf Erkundungstour gehen. Und Sie sind gefangen zwischen der Sehnsucht nach Ruhe und Frieden, sowie auch etwas Zeit zusammen als Familie. Dude Ranches sind stolz auf ihre Möglichkeit all das zu bieten: viele Aktivitäten für alle Schwierigkeitsgrade, Möglichkeiten mit der Natur in Kontakt zu kommen, sowie auch Chancen mal runter und zusammen zu kommen, um Zeit als Familie zu verbringen.       Köstliches Essen Als Heimat des Cowboy-Barbecue,... Read More

Tutto quello che la tua famiglia vuole, tutto ciò di cui hai bisogno tu

Cinque motivi per portare la tua famiglia in vacanza in un Dude Ranch   Equitazione ed esclusività. Cucinare all’aperto e vino biologico. Il gioco della teleferica e la line dance. Rodei e rafting. In vacanza in uno dei Dude Ranch, puoi avere tutto … ed ancora di più. Lasciatevi prendere dalla più raffinata cucina, per coccolare i vostri sensi o soddisfare il vostro senso di avventura. Qualunque cosa stai cercando, qui la troverai   Focus sulla Famigila I tuoi figli sono in cerca di avventura. Il piccolino vuole esplorare. E tu sei preso/a tra desiderio di pace e tranquillità, e un po’ di tempo di qualità con la tua famiglia. I Dude Ranch sono orgogliosi della loro capacità di offrirti tutto: attività per diversi livelli di abilità, possibilità di avvicinarsi alla natura, la possibilità di rilassarsi, riunirsi e godere del tempo insieme.     Cibo Delizioso Qua è la casa dei barbecue stile cowboy,... Read More

Dude Ranchers’ Association Welcomes Four New Accredited Ranches

Newest members all receive seal of approval for upholding the highest standards in the Dude Ranch industry. We added four new ranches to our impressive list of accredited ranches: The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in California, Creek Ranch in New Mexico, Badger Creek Cattle and Guest Ranch in Colorado, and Rancho De La Osa in Arizona. All four ranches went through a rigorous inspection and approval process and were found to meet the highest standards in the dude ranch industry. We represent a broad spectrum of guest ranches across North America, ranging from luxury ranches with five-star cuisine and spas to no-frills working ranches and are proud to have the below ranches as part of our membership.  These ranches combine the highest hospitality standards with the charm and unparalleled spirit of the Wild West.   Newest Dude Ranchers' Association Members   The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort  – Santa Barbara, Calif. The Alisal... Read More

Pet & Dog Friendly Ranch Vacations

A ranch is your next adventure vacation and there is no way your "best friend" can stay with your neighbor or at a boarding facility for a week or more. So, take your dog with you to dog friendly ranch vacations! If your dog is fit for long distance mountain traveling, doesn't chase anything but toys and stays off the furniture, he or she may be a great fit on a dude ranch. Even if your have an older dog whose running days are drifting away, he or she can relax at the ranch while you're trail riding and join you later for an afternoon of fishing or a stroll around the ranch property. Ranch vacations are famous for their hospitality and the ranches listed below would love to treat you and your pet like family. However, ranches consider pets on a case by case basis and would like the opportunity... Read More

Available Ranch Vacations for the Great American Eclipse

The first total eclipse to span the United States in nearly four decades – The Great American Eclipse – will take place on August 21, 2017. The center of the eclipse path – where the moon completely blocks out the sun, creating a few minutes of night in the middle of the day – will pass over Northwestern Wyoming and Central Idaho. The most dramatic scenery for the eclipse can be found here. Countless visitors will no doubt flock to the area to try and find a prime viewing spot. The BEST destination for eclipse viewers is one of the area’s dude ranches. Why? Ranches are located in some of the most tranquil, untouched areas of the country. Away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, you’re that much closer to nature. And there is a very good chance for clear skies in Wyoming & Idaho in August. Here... Read More

Experience Luxury the Wild West Way!

When most people envision a dude ranch, they picture hard work, cattle and rustic cabins. But many dude ranches actually offer plush amenities, top-of-the-line spas, world-class golf courses, five-star cuisine and more. If you’re seeking to experience a luxury dude ranch in a breathtaking setting, check out these four member ranches where you can have it all. Red Reflet Guest Ranch, Wyoming Red Reflet Guest Ranch identifies itself as “a ranch for the senses,” and there’s no question why. The staff has mastered the art of luxury hospitality while showcasing the best recreational activities and most breathtaking scenery in Wyoming. The location of this dude ranch truly is unlike any other – guests wake up in their own luxury cabins surrounded by the Chugwater formation sandstone cliffs and contrasting snow-capped peaks of Bighorn National Forest. Whether you’re looking to relax or go on the Wild West adventure of a lifetime, Red... Read More

Mother May I... Go on a Ranch Vacation for Mother's Day?

Mom stands facing away from a line of kids. She then chooses a child and announces, "Brian, you may take 3 giant baby steps forward." The child responds, "Mother may I?" Mom then states, "Yes" or "No," depending on her whim, and the child complies. If, however, the child forgets to ask "Mother may I?" he goes back to the starting line. First one to touch Mother wins, or in this case, first one to take Mother on a ranch vacation wins.   There are a lot of games to play on a ranch vacation for this special holiday, "Mother May I" included. Without a TV or cell phone you'll get lots of time to play on horseback, in the water or all over the mountain side with adventure activities. The recommended prescription is a full week of a lively Mother's Day Celebration either the 14th through the 20th of May, or any ole' week that... Read More

Put Your Vacation Days to Use in 2017

Did you know more than half of American workers end the year with unused vacation time? In fact, in 2015, Americans wasted a total of 658 million vacation days – more wasted days than ever before. Whether it’s work stress, financial stress or the fear of leaving someone else to our tasks, there’s always something holding back working people from well-deserved breaks. But most people don’t realize the power of a plan. When you plan vacations in advance, you can make sure to maximize vacation time without feeling pressured at the last minute when you realize you never broke free from the office. Here are five DRA-certified dude ranches that have a variety of activities to offer anyone who needs an adventurous vacation that is off the beaten path! Kick back Western style. The Spotted Horse Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyo. is perfect for anyone who wants to dive into the... Read More

Down at the Ranch

In an age of digital overload, polarized politics, and the overwhelming rush of modern life, there are dude ranch vacations to recharge, rejuvenate, reconnect and embrace a more simple time. There’s a dude ranch waiting for you out there, and more than likely it’s close to a national park if you want the best of both worlds (ranch and park worlds, that is). Whether it’s the high mountain range or vast desert valleys, grab your boots and hat and spend the morning in the saddle, the afternoon with a drink by the pool, and a quiet evening of reflection in front of a raging fire. You’ll be tired, but it’s a good tired, by the time the sun sets behind the wild hills. These are all-inclusive vacations, from small outfits to large spreads, with plenty to do: hiking, fishing, swimming, white-water rafting, rodeos, western dances, and even campfire sing-a-longs. And of... Read More

Love Letters to the Ranch

When did you last write a love letter?  Was it to a cute boy in second grade?  That one girl across the street in fifth grade?  Maybe is was to your husband or to your wife.  Here at Drowsy Water, we get a lot of love letters.  They float into the mailbox occasionally and we save them for ages, keeping them in a special envelope and bringing them out to read when we're feeling sentimental. Sure, Ken is a great singer when you put him next to a fire under the stars, but the letters aren't to him.  Randy Sue can sure tell her flowers while simultaneously hiking up a mountainside and cooking a turkey, but the letters aren't to her for her super-powers either.  Nope, Justin and Ryan, sorry to break it to you, but you aren't that cute and Peyton and Chase, thankfully, you're still too young.... Read More

DRA celebrates 91st convention and welcomes new members

Many member ranches from across the Western U.S. and Canada, along with associate members and vendors, are expected to attend the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s (DRA) 91st convention at Tanque Verde Ranch on Jan. 18-21, 2017. The DRA is also proud to welcome three new members to its existing roster of ranches: Bull Hill Guest Ranch in Kettle Falls, Wash.; Horses N Courage in Judith Gap, Mont.; and Rankin Ranch in Caliente, Calif. Each year, convention attendees come together to exchange ideas about how to continue exceeding the highest standards within the dude ranching industry; promoting the Western ranch vacation experience; and preserving parks, forest and wildlife. Panels and breakout sessions will discuss topics related to various aspects of the dude ranching and hospitality industries, such as new vendor introductions, marketing initiatives and operations.  This year’s keynote speaker is Ron Marks, author of the best selling book entitled, “Managing for Sales Results.”... Read More

Low Altitude Ranch Vacations Out West

For many travelers staying at a low altitude is a must. Fortunately, at the Dude Ranchers' Association there are many member ranches located below 5,000'.  The ranches in New Mexico and Arizona are all nearly sea level destinations.  You can find out more information on these ranches on our website with an interactive map. Although there are many low altitude ranches in the North Western US they are not grouped together for an easy search.  That's where this list comes in handy.  Below the ranches are listed by state and linked to their profile page for more information. This list should get you started on selecting your next low altitude adventure vacation. As you narrow your search please consider the time of year the ranch is open, the type of activities offered and your preferred level of luxury. At the Dude Ranchers' Association we are always here (during MST business hours)... Read More

Western Dancing Found on these Dude Ranches

What dude ranch experience would be complete without a little bit of western dancing? Western dancing is a fun, evening dude ranch activity that the whole family can enjoy. At these ranches odd numbers and resistant teens are no challenge. There are female and male wranglers waiting to sweep your teenagers off their feet (only in the literal sense). They have been trained in the ways of western dancing. Some ranches offer a variety of styles for your dancing entertainment. You might find some combinations of line dancing, square dancing, the country swing, the polka or just some silly kicking up of the heels. Even if you have two left feet, it doesn’t matter. The ‘callers’ or dance instructors will help you learn the steps at a fun pace. Any kind of dancing you participate in or learn is energetic, full of laughs and a great way to make memories... Read More

Travelers can Practice Healthy Lifestyles or Explore New Ones at DRA Member Ranches

Travelers committed to practicing their own version of a healthy lifestyle can do so at a number of traditional Western dude ranches. Many ranches cater to modern guests with spa services and treatments, yet some are going further by adopting holistic menu plans or adding spiritual elements to their activity menus. Guests can find a ranch compatible with their own lifestyle through The Dude Rancher’s Association, or DRA. The organization provides details of each of its’ more than 100 members in the Western US and Canada, details like those associated with The Echo Valley Ranch & Spa in British Columbia’s spectacular Cariboo Country where healthy living is the mantra. Ingredients used by the Executive Master Chef are hand-picked. Mushrooms, local berries and vegetables from the organic garden go into every dish. The entire staff follows a diet based on particular blood types outlined in a popular book authored by a renowned... Read More

Bring Your Own Horse to these Dramatic Dude Ranch Spaces

Updated 4/24/2018 Do you take your four legged, 1,000 pound equine family member on vacation with you?  Why not make your next trip to a nationally accredited dude ranch where you can bring your own horse?  Members of the Dude Ranchers' Association invite you and your horse to experience the 'Original Western Vacation.' Be sure to bring the proper ‘foot wear’ for your horse (you’ll most likely be in the mountains) and the proper vet papers, especially if you are crossing state lines. But, most importantly, make sure your trusty steed can is in shape and can handle the extra hours under the saddle. With the comfort of having your own with you these dude ranch locations will inspire you with the beauty of the American West.  Ranches offer three types of experiences you can look for; spectacular trails, informative clinics and true cowboy cattle work. Take your pick of these... Read More

Live your Western Vacation Dream in Wyoming

Think all inclusive holidays are an invention of the big tour operators? Then think again. The Dude Ranch Association (DRA) has been leading the way for years. There is a broad spectrum of DRA-accredited 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 US, as well as in California, Arkansas and Canada. If ever a state lends itself to this type of vacation, it's Wyoming. This is where the Rocky Mountains meet the High Plains, true cowboy country, with few people and vast, open spaces. It is a land that inspires dreams of riding horseback across the plains and Wyoming luxury Dude Ranch vacations help guests realize that dream. Yellowstone National Park The bulk of Yellowstone National Park is in Northwest Wyoming and the Grand... Read More

Small Dude Ranches Offer Big Experiences

This summer make some memories you won't soon forget down at a small dude ranch.  Here you will find one of the most intimate vacation settings in Western America.  Please note, small does not mean they are short on experiences or activities. It means they only host a handful guests in order to offer you a very personal and tailored horseback riding vacation.  In the list of small dude ranches below you will find your perfect cowboy place, great for making genuine connections with the land, horses and your hosts. Earn Your Spurs at this Cowboy Ranch Lonesome Spur Ranch, Capacity - 10 Lonesome Spur is a 5th generation working ranch where they host usually up to 10 guests per week trying to earn their spurs as a cowboy or cowgirl. Whether you are moving cattle in the mountains, team penning, sorting or simply riding the range, you will find out what it... Read More

Find Your Frontier

Find you frontier at this classic Wyoming Dude Ranch, the T Cross Ranch, with a timeless magic. The T Cross Dude Ranch lies inside the Shoshone National Forest at an elevation of 7,800 feet. Surrounded by an untouched country of pine forests and open meadows, trout-rich streams and small lakes, with endless vistas rising well over 11,000 feet - it is scenically magical. Through the T Cross gate you will discover a pristine wilderness. In the backyard, the Washakie Wilderness Area of Wyoming covers 704,274 acres, adjoining the southeastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park and the Teton Wilderness in one huge chunk of very wild country. From atop well-trained horses, guests discover rugged mountain trails revealing a myriad of wildlife seen only in the greater Yellowstone area. Most guests, however, remember the T Cross for its familiar atmosphere that blends the color of the West and the relaxing comforts of... Read More

Vacation of a Lifetime at a Dude Ranch

A Dude Ranch Vacation is all about YOU, the guest. All member ranches of The Dude Ranchers’ Association are committed to making sure you have the vacation of a life time.  With our warm Western Hospitality, outstanding horses, great food,  inviting accommodations and our spectacular locations, we guarantee a vacation you and your loved ones will not soon forget. Dude ranches are ideal places for kids, families and couples to re-discover each other, without the typical distractions of this fast paced world we live in. Families spend time together enjoying horseback riding, hiking, fishing, river rafting, working cattle, children’s programs, evening programs and much more.              Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest while horseback riding at White Stallion Ranch or golfing at the world class golf course at Rancho de los Caballeros.                Whether you are... Read More

Go White Water Rafting at this Colorado Dude Ranch

Rafting or white water rafting is the challenging recreational outdoor activity of using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid-1970s For the first time, Rainbow Trout Ranch, a dude ranch located deep in the southern Colorado Rockies, is offering whitewater rafting included in their rates. The Rainbow Trout Ranch has been in operation for over eighty years, the last twenty under the ownership of the Van Berkum family. Summer guests are mainly families looking for a western vacation in the spectacular scenery of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The ranch rates are based on a per person/per week scale and have always included all meals, accommodations and ranch activities such as... Read More

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... Read More

Dude Ranches: Beyond the Stables

  Anyone that’s been on a dude ranch vacation or retreat knows how much fun they have to offer.  From arena games to family rides to pony rides for the kids, there’s truly something out there for everyone.  Still, with all of the fun horse-riding activities and “ranch” related things to do, it’s sometimes easy to forget how many other great activities are offered on America’s Guest Ranches.  Here is a list of five activities offered on various DRA Dude Ranches that you may not have known existed, but should make sure not to miss…  Western Dancing – While you’re out on the ranch, why not delve into a little dancing?  There’s nothing like a sunset hoedown, and there are 51 different DRA certified ranches that offer such shindigs!  Next time you’re out on a guest ranch vacation, throw on your dancing shoes and a cowboy hat and let the... Read More

A Week On An Authentic Wyoming Ranch - Reading, Writing and Riding

By:  Janet Rodgers, Contributor to Forbes Magazine April 9, 2012 Hankerin’ for a creative, outdoor adventure this summer right here in the U.S.? The historic landmark Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Wyoming (2 ½ hours from Denver) beckons.  Authentic ranch is framed by the Snowy Range Mountains, pasturelands with real cattle, and cabins dotting the shore along the Little Laramie River. The Vee Bar, located near Laramie Wyoming, is a family-friendly vacation destination that is sure to please the horse loving cowboy or cowgirl in you. A variety of activities, ranging from horseback riding to river tubing, will suit each member of your group. Experience true western hospitality! Open to those at any level of writing and riding skills, Page Lambert, award-winning author and writing coach, and Sheri Griffith, legendary sportswoman/adventurer, invite you for one unique week, June 2 – June 7, 2012.  “Through the Eyes of the Horse –... Read More

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... 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

Ranch Histories - Rancho de los Caballeros

Another bit of history from the Arizona Dude Ranch Association...enjoy! Rancho de los Caballeros is a historic ranch resort and golf club situated on 20,000 acres of spectacular Sonoran desert. The Ranch first opened its doors in 1948 and has been owned and operated by the Gant Family since the beginning, and it continues to honor the grand tradition of the Spanish caballeros, the “gentleman on horseback,” who explored and settled the Southwest. The Ranch has a rich history that has made it what it is today, and though it has evolved over the years, The Ranch has retained the same personal service and charm since its opening. The Ranch’s original construction consisted of 40 main guest rooms, main living room, dining room, saloon and office, swimming pool, one tennis court, barns, corrals, staff quarters and the Gant family home. An airstrip was built in 1951 to accommodate the private planes of... Read More

Ranch Histories - Circle Z Ranch

Found this great bit of information on the Arizona Dude Ranch Association's site...thought I would share the history with you! Circle Z Ranch The Circle Z Ranch, which started as a sheep-herding operation in the 1880's, was developed as a dude ranch in 1925 when the Zinsmeister family of Germany purchased the 5,000-acre spread from the Sanford family who had homesteaded the property. It was the golden age of dude ranching and the Dude Rancher's Association was just forming. The facilities were opened in 1926 with a capacity of 24 guests. Over the next few years, it was increased to accommodate 70. The average length of stay for a guest then was one month and some families remained the entire season. Private railway cars of some guests remained in town on a siding by the Patagonia station. By 1929, the annual Fourth of July picnic and barbecue at the Circle Z was... Read More

Go West, Young (or Old) Man

I enjoyed this article so much that I wanted to share it.  by Ron Loretti of The Skinnie Magazine   A little change of pace this time: I took a break from profiling active and former military men and women and headed west. I drove my car across the country and back, stopping to play cowboy a bit along the way. My two favorite western states are Oregon and Wyoming, for different reasons. Oregon: My daughter, Leslie, lives there, and 28 months ago she and her husband, Eddie, became the proud parents of little Rudy, our only grandson. What makes this exceptional is the fact that Leslie was slightly on the long side of 40 and never thought she would become a momma. But she did, and Rudy is now a new joy added to our family tree. Understandably, we now visit Oregon as often as possible, in spite of... Read More

Homegrown Hospitality

Guests and employees of 85-year-old Triangle X Ranch keep coming back. By Findley Merritt, Jackson Hole, Wyo. June 29, 2011 This is the 35th year Jim Luebbers and Agnes Bourne have come to Triangle X Ranch. They nestle together on a log bench surrounding a campfire, awaiting the clang of the wrought-iron triangle that signals dinner is ready.   As a sliver of dimming light illuminates their faces, Bourne’s eyes shift from the wranglers to her granddaughter playing with an insect on a blade of grass nearby, towering Tetons behind her. “This is what it’s about,” she says, pointing. “The magic of a place like this.” For 85 years, folks like Luebbers and Bourne have come to Triangle X to get a taste of that magic, feeling nature’s uninhibited pulse flowing through them. While other ranches have shuddered at the first wisp of a hard economic wind, Triangle X has remained steadfast, cultivating a devoted... Read More

Tracks, trails and tails in Colorado 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... Read More

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... Read More

Thank You To Our Veterans

This Veteran's Day, we salute and honor those who have so bravely served this country yesterday, today and tomorrow.  America is founded on the principle of freedom, justice, and liberty for all. Our nation's soldiers serve every day to protect our country and its ideals.  This Veteran's Day, take a moment or two to remember the freedoms we have because of their sacrifice.  This quote says it best...“For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”Thank... Read More

How to get all the Wranglers to spend their Saturday Night Playing Horseopoly with your Five-Year Old

This blog article came from Serena the "Sassy Chicago Mama"  that vacationed at the Covered Wagon Ranch this summer with her family. With her permission I am sharing it with you...enjoy...  First of all, yes, there is a version of monopoly called “Horseopoly.” And no, you don’t need to rush out and buy it. Not only is it confusing, but the horses on the box look slightly demented and creepy. But when you are staying on a Dude Ranch in Montana and your 5-year-old son finds it in the game closet, you clearly need to play it.What was surprising to me was that he somehow “wrangled” all the professional wranglers into playing it with him.For those who don’t know what a wrangler is, let me explain–they are these fantastic people who spend their lives working outside and doing anything and everything that is needed for the horses. Which can consist of:a)... Read More

Colorado Dude Ranches Let Guests Experience The Old West

Thought I would share this great article with you that was on the written by Melanie Pahl.  This is the first in a series on the guest ranches of Colorado. Ever wanted to try your hand at cattle herding or feel what it’s like to ride the open range as the cowboys used to do in early Western movies? There are guest ranches all over Colorado that are still functioning as they have for decades and the owners are willing to share this western way of life.  READ MORE...... Read More

Mothers Day Special at the Three Bars Ranch

The Three Bars Ranch posted this on their blog...just thought I would let you all know of this great special.  Still looking for that perfect Mothers Day gift? Book any summer package before May 9th and Mom’s stay is free. Yes, mom comes free! All moms love family trips, this year show mom how special she is by booking a family trip to Three Bars and as a special bonus to mom she travels free! Visit us online for all the special details! ... Read More

10 Surprising Things to Do at a Dude Ranch

Does “dude ranch” conjure images of office workers doffing their Dockers in favor of denim? Do you envision time in the saddle, or sleeping under the stars, and think it might be fun for a day or two … but you’re not sure about an entire vacation?There’s good news for travelers who would like a taste of the dude ranch experience blended with a heaping serving of other vacation-type activities. Today’s dude ranches cater to a diverse crowd – from families to couples to singles – with activities, attractions and services that travel far beyond the trail.“While dude ranches still provide that one-of-a-kind ‘cowboy-style’ vacation you can’t find anywhere else, many have also expanded their offerings to appeal to the diverse and discriminating tastes of today’s traveler,” says Colleen Hodson of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, an organization that represents more than 100 dude ranches. So if you’re considering a dude... Read More

Live the American Dream Vacation at the West’s Best Dude Ranches

At the more than 100 dude ranches that make up The Dude Ranchers’ Association, guests are sure to find the All-American Western vacation they have been dreaming of—days spent in the saddle, enjoying stunning scenery and breathing fresh country air, and evenings enjoying tasty down-home cooking and ranch entertainment. Today, as it did over a century ago, the western dude ranch experience offers relief for both the body and spirit of those seeking refuge from the pressures and routine of modern life. Dude ranch vacations are based on a lifestyle that stretches back more than a century. By the end of the 1800s, most of the American West had been explored and the stories of its natural wonders had spread throughout the Eastern portion of the country as well as Europe. Lured by the promise of awesome beauty, a spirit of romance and adventure, and the honest simplicity of... Read More

A Ranch to Match Your Dreams

Imagine yourself taking the best vacation of your life at a dude ranch. The cool, fresh mountain air, the open spaces, the feel of a steady horse beneath you as you top the next rise... the flash of color from the dark pool as the monster trout rises to your offering...luxuriating in the warmth of the setting sun as you wait for the dinner bell's call ... shared time with family and friends.The Dude Ranchers' Association, which was formed in 1926, has over 100 member ranches that offer all inclusive dude ranch vacation packages. Each of the DRA ranches are uniquely different and range from rustic to ritzy with everything in between. Since every ranch is a direct reflection of the family operating it, there are no two ranches alike. For first time guests, we've created a list of basic questions addressing the question..."How do you choose the ranch to... Read More