While traveling alone may sound like a scary or uninviting idea, don’t completely rule it out yet, there are some pretty incredible destinations for solo travelers, like a dude or guest ranch. Dude and guest ranches are the ideal all-inclusive vacation for those looking for some much-needed alone time, a new and exciting adventure, or even for those who may be searching for new friends. There are many advantages to dude and guest ranch destinations for solo travelers, keep reading to learn about why a ranch vacation surpasses the rest.
You will instantly feel like part of the family as there is great camaraderie amongst guests and staff. It instantly becomes your home away from home! Many guest ranches only accommodate up to 30 or 40 guests per week, which not only allows the staff to know your name but also results in you getting to know most of the other guests. Meals are often served family-style so there are always guests to chat with throughout the day, making sure you never feel like you are on the “outskirts” if traveling alone. Horseback riding will bring you closer with other guests too; getting to visit with people on your rides and share beautiful landscape and memories together will be something you always remember.
There is never a dull moment at a dude ranch. There are activities to keep you busy from sunup to sundown such as horseback riding, fly fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing, cattle roping, ATV-riding and much more. Plus, these activities are usually done in groups so you won’t encounter any “couples only” activities or events if you don’t want to. If you are looking for a little time by yourself though, relaxing at your cabin or room and reading a good book is also an option too. The beauty of a dude ranch is that you get to choose your own schedule, your vacation can be as active or as quiet as you like!
Many dude and guest ranches report fewer “couples” visiting now than in the past. As a result, many of these ranches host adult-only weeks in the Fall. Activities during these weeks range from wine and cheese tastings, guided hikes, cooking classes, country dance instruction, cookouts, themed cocktail receptions, fly-fishing clinics and much more. These weeks offer a great environment for solo travelers because mostly everyone is there for a relaxing getaway with no families and the opportunity to meet new people and bond.
Dude ranches are a great place to spend time alone to revive your body, spirit and mind in some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Whether it’s a rejuvenating day at the spa, an adventurous hike or a relaxing day reading a book under the sun, you are sure to have plenty of quality alone time. Many ranches will even allow you to completely “unplug” by being out of cell phone and internet service. You may be surprised at how good this could be for you once you get the chance to do so, especially in today’s world.
Finding the right ranch for a solo traveler might be a little overwhelming because there really is a lot to choose from. Let the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) help you plan the perfect solo vacation. Whether you are looking for an authentic cowboy experience or a luxury resort, the DRA can customize the trip of your dreams. There are currently 100+ DRA-accredited guest ranches in the Western United States and Canada, all of which uphold the highest quality of services within the industry. Take a look below at some fantastic DRA ranches suited for solo travelers and to find more you can visit duderanch.org.
This premier destination in Washington state combines all the wild and untouched beauty of the mountains, meadows, forests, river, lakes and streams with the warm and comfortable amenities of home. Forget all the turbulence of daily life and begin an adventure of a lifetime. Experience trail rides or cattle drives with breathtaking panoramas or go off-trail and explore uncharted territory for a truly unforgettable experience.
Experience the thrill of a Western ranch in one of the most beautiful atmospheres of the Old West. Guests become a part of the family and they take great lengths to ensure you are comfortable, well-fed, taken care of and get as much riding in as you can handle. The folks here enjoy welcoming their guests into their way of life and believe it is their duty to make your stay here as memorable and enjoyable as it should be.
Located in central Oregon, this historic pioneer ranch is a great getaway destination. The original ranch buildings, over a century old, have been preserved and renovated for hosting ranch guests and the main ranch house has been updated to include five ensuite guest rooms. The original ranch “store” (once a stage stop) is now the guest cottage. Guest activities like trail rides, cattle drives, fly-fishing for rainbow trout and bass are ever-popular on the ranch. The memories you make here will be remembered for a lifetime.
Rankin Eranch has been a working cattle ranch for 156 years and they know you will enjoy their tasty Rankin Ranch beef during your stay. The guest ranch celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and continues to attract guests from around the world. Rankin Ranch is one of the oldest and largest family-owned ranches in California. Six generations of Rankins have lived and worked on the 31,000-acre cattle ranch and they truly enjoy the opportunity to share their lifestyle with their guests.
Rimrock Ranch is nestled on the banks of Canyon Creek, 24 miles west of Cody and 27 miles east of the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. This ranch has been family owned and operated since 1955 and the tradition lives on. With spectacular views, cozy cabins and family-style meals, you will feel right at home with the Fales family.
Ride in the beautiful Arizona desert with friendly wranglers who have made this dude ranch their home for years. Slow scenic rides amongst the cactus landscape, as well as trotting and loping rides in the desert washes, are offered so every riding level can be accommodated. This guest ranch borders over 360,000 acres of natural western desert beauty at the foot of the Mohave and Hualapai mountains. You can be assured of breathtaking views and constant sunny days.
Just a short ride up the mountain from The Broadmoor, a distinctively Colorado experience awaits at The Ranch at Emerald Valley. Surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, indulge in a private escape in one of ten beautifully appointed one, two- or three-bedroom cabins featuring wood-burning fireplaces, rich furnishings, and modern amenities. The intimate environment of this luxury ranch will leave you wanting to come back!
Nestled in the Cholame Valley, the V6 Ranch envelops 20,000 acres of the most diverse and alluring country in the heart of central California. This beautiful ranch offers activities to tickle the fancy of any person that seeks peace and quiet. The clean air and warm nights are ideal for laying out under the stars. The ranch offers trail rides, cattle drives, horse camping and over 50 scenic miles of trails to explore with maps and trail markers to show the way. The ranch also offers hiking, photography, over 200 varieties of wildflowers, wildlife, and bird watching. The ranch will leave you will new friends, experiences and memories to last forever.