Dude Ranches are the Perfect Venue for a Destination Wedding!

If you are thinking about a destination wedding, make sure to add dude ranches as a potential venue! For most people, a destination wedding means jet setting to a white sandy beach, with crystal clear waters and ocean sunsets. But for someone looking for something different than the typical beach destination wedding, a dude ranch might just be the perfect venue. A dude ranch wedding will truly be one of a kind, with western flare and rustic charm, it’ll satisfy all of your Pinterest wedding board dreams!  There is a long list of reasons to have your perfect wedding at a dude ranch, the incredible scenery, all-inclusive packages, being able to have family and friends stay in a central location are just a few. A destination wedding can be planned with ease and less stress at a dude ranch. The folks at the ranch are prepared to make your special day one you will never forget and keep your guests talking about it for years to come!

A destination wedding is usually a white sandy beach and crystal clear water. For someone looking for something different a dude ranch is the perfect venue!

Continuing reading to learn more about dude ranches that make the perfect venue for a destination wedding!

 

4UR Ranch – Colorado

The 4UR Ranch in Colorado offers fall weddings and the scenery in the fall is hard to beat. With yellowing aspen trees, crisp air, blue skies and a spectacular mountain setting, this ranch will have a gorgeous back drop in all directions. The ranch can accommodate 50-60 overnight guests and there are options to have an indoor or outdoor service and/or reception. The ranch can accomodate up to 60 people for indoor weddings and take a few more for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. Do not worry about only being able to accommodate 50-60 people overnight, the ranch has contacts in the nearby towns that will have places for your other guests to stay. Have your closest family and friends stay on the ranch in their beautiful cabins and truly soak in the magic that 4UR has to offer.

destination wedding

4UR Ranch - Colorado

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort – California

Escape to the enchanted Sycamore Grove at the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort in California for a destination wedding that will be talked about and remembered forever. Planning a wedding at this ranch will probably be one of the easiest things you will do! The ranch wedding experts will make sure every detail is perfect, you and your wedding planner will have a great time making all of your rustic chic wedding dreams come true. They will ensure that the menu, wine, flowers, photography, cake, table linens, spa services and much more are exactly what you are looking for. You can count on this ranch to make the wedding of your dreams become a reality! 

destination wedding

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort - California

Bar W Guest Ranch – Montana

The mountains of Montana are waiting to be the most picturesque backdrop for your destination wedding. And the folks at Bar W Guest Ranch located just outside of Whitefish, MT are waiting to make your wedding day something to brag about. The Bar W staff is available to make sure your destination wedding event is seamless; they will provide the location and the staff; whatever the wedding party needs they will do their absolute best to provide. Their large luscious green lawn, private pond and elegant main lodge will create a very romantic setting for the I do’s and first kiss as husband and wife. With the ability to host 400 people you can make your wedding as big or small as you would like. The ranch can provide lodging for 20 people on property and there are additional overnight accommodations just a few miles away.

destination wedding

Bar W Guest Ranch - Montana

Eatons’ Ranch – Wyoming

Let the staff at Eatons’ Ranch in Wyoming take care of all of the details for your Wyoming destination wedding experience! The ranch can provide indoor ceremonies and receptions up to 100 people and can provide outdoor space that can accommodate 100+. This ranch provides a fantastic all-inclusive package for weddings and has great cabins to host your closest wedding guests, the ranch can accomodate around 100 overnight guests. Not only is Eatons’ Ranch a great venue for a destination wedding but it is a great venue for families and friends to come together during special events to create everlasting memories. Eatons’ Ranch has been a family business for over 140 years and they are dedicated to providing top notch hospitality and memories that will be passed down through generations.

destination wedding

Eatons' Ranch - Wyoming

Rawah Ranch – Colorado

Make the commitment of a lifetime in one of Colorado’s most incredible destination wedding locations. The Rawah Ranch is a wonderful place to plan the perfect destination wedding and tie the knot! The folks at the ranch will make the planning easy; everything can be taken care of at the ranch: catering, rentals, photography, lodging, activities and more.  Have your guests come a day early and experience the great activities the ranch has to offer like horseback riding, fly-fishing or skeet shooting. The ranch can host 27 overnight guests but not too worry, there are other lodging accommodations close by and the ranch can host 150 guests for ceremonies and receptions. Everyone will be able to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the ranch even if they are not staying on property.

destination wedding

Rawah Ranch - Colorado

Tanque Verde Ranch – Arizona

Want to have your destination wedding somewhere a little warmer? Or somewhere with a cactus backdrop? Sneak away to the Tanque Verde Ranch in Arizona, a desert oasis which serves as a fantastic wedding venue for those looking to add a bit of south western flare to their special day. Tanque Verde Ranch has a variety of different indoor and outdoor venues available and they can accommodate up to 200 people overnight and for ceremonies and receptions. The ranch has expert staff that will put you in touch with their preferred wedding planners to ensure that your day is nothing less than incredibly magical. Your wedding party, including all of your guests, will have the chance to bond and create everlasting memories while exploring the desert on horseback, foot or mountain bikes.

destination wedding

Tanque Verde Ranch - Arizona

Lost Creek Ranch – Wyoming

If you have never seen the Teton Mountain Range before, you will definitely want to look them up! Why you might ask? The answer being because it is an incredible mountain range that makes up one of the most phenomenal backdrops in the West. At the Lost Creek Ranch in Wyoming you will find the Teton Mountain Range is right out their front door. The ranch can accomodate 60 overnight guests and up to 400 people for ceremonies and receptions. They have great locations throughout the ranch for a wedding ceremony and reception where little decoration is really needed. The landscape, flora and fauna and surrounding scenery provide a substantial amount of natural decorations. The ranch atmosphere along with the spa amenities on the ranch will provide a relaxing setting and makes the perfect honeymoon destination as well. Experience the ranch with all of your loved ones for your big day and then stay a while with your new significant other to really enjoy all the property has to offer.

destination wedding

Lost Creek Ranch - Wyoming

For more dude ranches that make the perfect venue for a destination wedding, take a look here! There are over 100  Dude Ranchers’ Association member ranches all over the Western United States and Canada that are waiting to host your special day! Contact the DRA office today to find out more information!

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Great Dude Ranches for Families

The ultimate family vacation has grown exponentially in terms of options and accommodations — and dude ranch vacations are no exception. In fact, there are very few resorts that emulate the offerings of the dude ranch community. “Activity options have skyrocketed. From ropes courses and ziplines to rock climbing, cooking classes, and more, some dude ranches now have more than 100 activities,” says Colleen Hudson, Executive Director of The Dude Ranchers’ Association.

The diversity and abundance of activities for families, along with stunning resort locations near national parks and public lands, solidify the Western dude ranch as one of the best family vacation experiences on the planet. 

Great Dude Ranches for Families 

 

1. The Home Ranch – Clark, CO

Best For: Cuisine and Cooking

The Home Ranch does many things exceptionally well, including innovative cuisine and cocktails, luxury accommodations and extraordinary programming. Nestled in Clark, Colorado, a 30-minute drive from Steamboat Springs, the ranch is one of the few Rocky Mountain dude ranches that offers four-season activities and family options for children ages 6 and over. Bonus: All meals, lodging, local transportation, fishing gear, guide services, and on-ranch activities and adventures are included in the price of your stay.

dude ranches

2. Rainbow Trout Ranch – Antonito, CO

Best For: Authentic High Mountain Experience

We love the focus on disconnecting from technology at the Rainbow Trout Ranch. None of the 16 log cabins onsite offer TVs, and the Wi-Fi isn’t strong — and that’s on purpose. They do offer cozy fireplaces, though, and some of the cabins can sleep up to eight guests. The ranch is nestled on 600 acres at 9,000 feet and surrounded by national forest lands, providing abundant terrain for riding and spectacular views. Fly-fishers enjoy the ranch’s private 1.5-mile stretch of the Conejos River, ripe with supreme-size rainbow trout. Aside from delicious meals, accommodations, and onsite activities galore, a weekly whitewater rafting trip is included in the cost of your stay.

dude ranches

3. White Stallion Ranch – Tucson, AZ

Best For: Evening Entertainment

White Stallion is one of the two largest dude ranches in the nation; yet it remains family-owned and family-focused. The True family actually has a trifecta of ranches under their Arizona chaps (White Stallion, Tombstone Monument and Ranch de la Osa). But it’s their home base and incredible Tucson property that is one of the best family dude ranches in the world! The horse program is stellar, with various riding options, educational opportunities, family-specific rides, a weekly ranch rodeo and more. The resort also does a great job with nightly entertainment, with options such as astronomy classes with telescopes, country and western line dancing and lessons, and water color lessons with the resident artist, Ute Vaughn. And if you like shopping, you’ll be glad to know this dude ranch has one of the largest onsite gift shops of any dude ranch in the nation.

dude ranches

4. Circle Z Ranch – Patagonia, AZ

Best For: Old West Experience

If your family wants an authentic Western experience, complete with Hollywood-esque desert moonscapes, rolling hills of cacti with Southwest accommodations, fabulous cuisine, and an even better atmosphere, Circle Z Ranch is for you. Open late-October through early-May each year, Circle Z is the oldest continually operating guest ranch in the state of Arizona.

Originally a sheep ranch, Circle Z was transformed into a dude ranch in the 1920s.  Numerous generations of families have connected here ever since. Movie buffs — study up on “Broken Lance” with Spencer Tracy, “Monte Walsh” with Lee Marvin, “El Dorado” with John Wayne, and the final episode of “Gunsmoke” — all were filmed on this property.

dude ranches

5. Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch – Martinsdale, MT

Best For: Riding in the Wide Open Country  

This dude ranch is not for the wee ones; the focus is riding and cattle work. Bonanza Creek has a maximum allowance of 12 guests at a time, but usually averages around eight people — making this one of the most intimate guest dude ranches in the nation. There are 40 guest horses on the ranch, who welcome families into their lifestyle and incredible landscape.

Guests are matched with their horses for the half-week to week-long stay. Each stay includes lodging, three meals a day, horseback riding, herding cattle, team penning, hiking, private lake fishing, wildlife watching, a breakfast ride and cookout, campfires, and wagon rides with a team of horses.

dude ranches

6. Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort – Solvang, CA

Best For: Wine Country and Activities

Easily accessible from Santa Barbara, California, Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is a family-owned working dude ranch. The 10,500-acre ranch is consistently awarded as best luxury dude ranch for numerous reasons.

The upscale ranch offers 73 cottages, all with working, wood burning fireplaces, and all without phones or televisions. Horseback riders can access 50-plus miles of riding trails; a 100-acre, spring-fed lake; two 18-hole championship golf courses; tennis courts; a pool; and spa.

dude ranches

7. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch – Sandpoint, ID

Best For: Off-Season Vacations

Many dude ranches in colder climates close for the season come late autumn. And while Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in northern Idaho certainly welcomes visitors year-round, it’s their off-season that’s a standout. Families will be charmed by the four hand-hewn log cabins at the ranch, each one authentically decorated and super cozy. Or, guests can choose Grandma or Grandpa’s room on the main level of the lodge, or a suite on the second level.

The ranch is located on 1,100 acres in the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountain ranges. The spectacular and changing scenery of the seasons varies the activities — enjoy horseback rides in the fall (ages 8 and up), fat bike rides in the winter, and skiing and snowmobiling in the spring! What’s also unique is the cabins can be booked without meals — a rarity at dude ranches.

dude ranches

8. Paradise Guest Ranch – Buffalo, WY

Best for: Water Activities

Come summer, it’s the child in all of us who yearns to be by water. At Paradise Guest Ranch, families can participate in an extensive fly-fishing program – either on French Creek or one of the stocked, nearby trout ponds. There’s also an onsite swimming pool.

dude ranches

9. Bar W Guest Ranch – Whitefish, MT

Best For: On-Trend Vacations

The Bar W Guest Ranch, outside of Glacier National Park, recognizes the needs of millennial families. Their traditional summer offerings have exploded in recent years, with new activities and adventures for all ages. Trail rides, wagon rides and a cultural kids’ program keep families busy on the ranch. The resort is also popular for its glamping in canvas tents with wood floors and luxurious bedding. And the resort’s location in Whitefish means you’re close to cute shops and kid-friendly restaurants and breweries.

dude ranches

10. Medicine Bow Lodge Adventure Guest Ranch – Saratoga, WY

Best For: Best-Kept Riding Secret  

The Medicine Bow Lodge Adventure Guest Ranch is nestled into the Snowy Range, about 20 miles from Saratoga, Wyoming, and two hours from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Operating since 1917, the resort was most recently purchased by new owners in 2002, who truly enhanced the horsemanship of the ranch and riding possibilities. The maximum guest count is 15.

Families will especially love the summer program, with all-day rides, breakfast rides, overnight pack trips, sunset trip rides, fish and ride scenic trips (one of the only ones in the nation!) and other options. Guests can also participate in horse grooming and feeding, or just watch or photograph.

dude ranches

11. Triangle C Dude Ranch, Dubois, WY

Best For: Getting a True Sense of Working Cattle

Featuring an 8,000-square-foot, rustic log remodeled to include a full-service spa, home theatre, library, pool and fine dining, Triangle C Dude Ranch provides a home-away-from-home while enjoying the ranch. But, forget the luxury and enjoy the ranch’s Pack Trips that provide a true sense of the working cattle in the Rockies. Following wranglers on trails on horseback, days end at campsites where you’ll gather around the fire for dinner. Back at the resort, kids may prefer the programs geared for ages 2 to 12, including nature-based crafts, sleeping in a tepee and learning the ropes in a junior wrangler program.

dude ranches

12. Three Bars Guest Ranch – British Columbia, Canada

Best For: Private Cabins and Communal Meals

Three Bars Guest Ranch, a family-owned and operated dude ranch, is located in British Columbia, just a stone’s throw from Montana and Banff National Park. Families will enjoy private cabins and daily meals in a communal setting, where guests enjoy week-long visits together and fast become friends before the trip comes to an end. Daily horseback rides for all levels are available, as well as guided and non-guided hikes, mountain biking, river rafting and more. Each night, guests gather for drinks and dinner with the staff and enjoy games and entertainment as the stars come out and bonfires glow.

dude ranches

13. Drowsy Water Ranch – Granby, CO

Best For: Young Children

Less than two hours outside of Denver, Drowsy Water Ranch has been in business since the 1920’s. About 100 head of horses, primarily quarter horses and paints, make their home at the Drowsy Water. Nine individual cabins snuggled beside the creek offer lodging for families.

The 700-acre Drowsy Water Ranch welcomes children of all ages, even infants. The children’s program is unstructured, but comprehensive. Children ages 5 and under in the Buckaroos program are led on smaller horses in a pen. For children ages 6 to 13 in the Range Riders program, rides are held twice a day. The kids are allowed to walk, lope and trot according to trail conditions and their comfort level on the horses.

dude ranches

 

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The ultimate family vacation has grown exponentially in terms of options and accommodations  — and dude ranch vacations are no exception; families love dude ranches!

 

Read the full article by Julie Bielenberg here

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