Dude and guest ranches are ever – popular as family vacation destinations, but members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association recognize that adults also value time to themselves. When the kids get back on the bus it’s time for parents to get back in the saddle for a classic Western getaway. From the latter part of August through October, dude ranches are a couples’ best bet to rekindle romance and replenish the spirit. And the price is right too! The height of summer finds most ranches filled to capacity with families. In fall couples have their pick of dude ranches with September being traditionally a time for adults only. No need to break the bank for airfare, car rentals or a dozen tanks of gas, since for many American’s and Canadians, a ranch is found within less than a day’s drive. And with rates including meals, riding, activities, and accommodations, it becomes an even more attractive getaway. Spectacular dude ranch scenery is at an all-time high in autumn when aspens sport yellow cloaks and icy mountain streams swirl with fat trout. These are the conditions found at Northern California’s Hunewill Ranch. Just East of Yosemite National Park. The only traffic passing Waunita Hot Springs Ranch is an elk or two. Perched high in the Colorado Rockies, surrounded by Gunnison National Forest, time is measured only by shadows cast by the sun. Add to the remote location an immense swimming pool, bathhouse and hot tub fed by natural hot springs. Cares and worries melt away. “An outpost of unpretentious comfort” is how folks describe the Spotted Horse Ranch in NW Wyoming. An Orvis affiliate, and host to a trout fishing school, The Spotted Horse draws riders and angler from all over the world. Sixteen miles from the Western resort town of Jackson Hole, it’s far enough away from the action that guests can enjoy solitude, but get a taste of city amenities like art galleries, fine shopping and sizzling nightlife. Western Pleasure Ranch in Sandpoint, Idaho offers a five-day Adult Horsemanship Week Sept. 7-12, this is their tenth year. Leave the kids at home and enjoy five nights of grown up fun! Allow the beauty of North Idaho to rejuvenate you as you trail ride through open meadows, quiet forests, and slow moving creeks. Cowboy up with team cattle sorting, cattle drives, arena games or, if you wish, private and semi private lessons in the arena. Take a morning to enjoy a relaxing spa treatment or try your hand at skeet shooting. Evening activities may include archery, wagon rides, a scenic boat cruise on Lake Pend Oreille, or old fashioned cowboy music around the campfire. Here adults develop solid, fundamental skills that focus on both the rider and the horse. Wyoming’s diverse terrain is the focus during the month of September at the Lazy L & B Ranch in Wind River country. The week of Sept 7th is set aside for adults who are looking for a true western experience in the land of Jim Bridger and the mountain men, the Arapahoe and Shoshone Indians, Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, Chief Washakie, and Buffalo Bill. Guests can ride for miles through some of the most varied terrain imaginable: cottonwood river bottoms, tall rangeland grasses, colorful bad-land country, mountain meadows or alpine country where herds of elk, deer or moose may be seen. Other activities include excellent fishing, hiking, swimming in the solar heated ranch pool, riflery, and more.