Quiet, relaxing and rejuvenating vacations are highly sought after, especially with the crazy, busy world that surrounds us. Vacations, in reality, can be a bit overwhelming though, the planning and amount of people at the vacation destinations can be a lot to handle! You shouldn’t have to “handle” anything when you go on vacation, that is why small, intimate dude ranches are the perfect destinations for a quiet, relaxing and rejuvenating vacation.
Small, intimate dude ranches offer an ideal setting for guests to truly relax and escape from the real world for a bit. The Dude Ranchers’ Association represents over 100 fantastic ranches and several of them have a small capacity and create a family-like environment that you will fall in love with. A handful of these small ranches let you disconnect to the level of not having cell phone service or internet, it may sound a little crazy but once you experience being totally disconnected, you will appreciate the vacation and ranch even more! Continue reading to learn about a few small, intimate DRA ranches that would make the ideal destination for your next vacation.
At the end of the road and at the base of the Wind River Mountain Range is where you will find the Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. The Allen family has been around the Lander area for six generations and they know the true meaning of Western hospitality. With only five guest cabins on the ranch, all built by hand by the Allen’s, you truly become part of the family and experience the intimacy the ranch offers. Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch is the highest and most remote dude ranch in Wyoming, here you will be able to escape reality and get back to your roots with no cell phone or internet service. Beautiful horseback rides through the Wind River Mountains and incredible fly-fishing opportunities await you. If you are looking for a ranch that is “off the grid”, Allen’s Diamond 4 is the place for you!
At McGarry Ranches in Idaho, you will find the real cowboys of the West! This working cattle ranch will offer you the experience of working alongside the cowboys in all of the day-to-day work and chores that take place on a working ranch. This ranch is located about 90 miles west of Jackson Hole, WY, far enough away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough to enjoy the famous tourist town either on your way to the ranch or after your stay. When you are at the ranch, you will feel like you are in a different world! With a capacity of only 10 people, this is the epidemy of a small, intimate dude ranch. The ranch crew is made up almost entirely of McGarry family members so you will definitely feel like part of the family here. Quaint cabins, delicious food, hard working horses and a lot of cattle await you at McGarry Ranches.
Take a trip to Canada and explore the beauty of the Campbell Hills Guest Ranch and British Columbia! This ranch is a great location for a quiet and relaxing getaway with well-trained horses, delicious food, and wonderful hosts added in! Located among open meadows and timbered mountains are the ranch’s beautiful cabins that provide a wonderful sense of serenity when sitting on the porch. Horses and Natural Horsemanship practices are the center of this ranch but activities such as hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, archery, and more are available. Campbell Hills can only accommodate 20 guests, so again you will feel like family here. The owners do their best to ensure that everyone makes themselves feel at home so they have no worries or stress while on vacation. This ranch provides an intimate atmosphere that everyone will enjoy.
Badger Creek Ranch in Colorado is a true working cattle ranch, working alongside the cowboys of this operation will give you a whole new outlook on the Western way of life. Even though this is a working ranch, they completely understand and take pride in remembering that you are on vacation! You can choose to ride with the cowboys every day checking fence, moving cattle or doctoring and sorting cattle or you can decide to take a day off from the saddle and experience the incredible nearby fly fishing opportunities, go mountain biking or just relax with a good book and the sounds of Colorado’s Badger Creek Basin. Throughout your day you will enjoy home cooked meals and fantastic company. This ranch can only host eight guests at a time, so whether you are on vacation with a group of friends and family or if you decide to go by yourself, you will leave with lasting memories and friendships!
In 1917 Medicine Bow Lodge opened as a guest ranch and ever since it has been providing memorable vacations for all its’ guests! The history runs deep in this ranch and the owners, Tim and Debbie Bishop, do a fantastic job of keeping this history alive. With the ability to host just 15 guests, the ranch is the definition of small and intimate. The horseback riding, hospitality and accommodations are family oriented, and this ranch ensures an environment that will help you disconnect from the world and reconnect with the people and amazing things that surround you. The scenery is incredible, wildlife is abundant and activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking and more are offered for guests. Medicine Bow Lodge and Adventure Guest Ranch will leave you feeling refreshed and with memories that will last a lifetime!
Rawah Ranch was started in 1948 to provide their guests with an original Western experience that was tailored to fulfill their guests dreams of coming West. Over 70 years later, they are still fulfilling those dreams for their guests! Rawah is an ideal vacation destination for families, couples or even solo travelers to disconnect from their busy everyday lives and reconnect with their roots and the world around them. Beautiful and well-trained horses, award-winning fly-fishing and top-notch food are just a few of the incredible things you will experience at this ranch. They can host up to 30 guests and they always do their best to meet their guests’ needs and make a personal connection. If you are looking for an incredible intimate ranch in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, don’t overlook Rawah Ranch!
For more information on small, intimate dude ranches or to learn about other types of ranches, visit duderanch.org or contact a ranch vacation expert at the Dude Ranchers’ Association.