5 Reasons Why Dude Ranches are the Best Destination Vacation in 2020

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

It is no secret that 2020 has turned the travel industry, and the world for that matter, upside down. Any kind of plans, especially for a vacation, more than likely changed more than once! As people are starting to get more and more interested in traveling again, finding the best destination that provides everything they are looking for and is taking the extra recommended precautions can be difficult. One industry that has seemed to “take the bull by the horns”, if you will, has been the dude ranch industry. When COVID-19 became a global pandemic in March, Dude Ranchers’ Association member dude ranches immediately starting working to find ways to still give their guests an authentic Western experience that was safe and inviting for all travelers. If you are wondering why DRA dude ranches are the best destination vacation in 2020, see the top five reasons below!

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

Individual Cabins/Accommodations

Each dude ranch is different, but almost all of the DRA member ranches have individual cabins for each group of guests. Whether you have a family of five or are a solo traveler you will find cozy rustic-chic accommodations fit for any size group. In these cabins, you will find comfortable beds, individual bathrooms, beautiful western themed decorations, and more. Your cabin will be your home away from home for your stay; settling in and letting the stresses of the world melt away won’t be a problem. Kick back, relax, and make peace in knowing you do not have to share accommodations with anyone besides your group on your dude ranch vacation. Some ranches do have lodge rooms with their own bathrooms and lounging space if you do not want to share common areas with other folks. 

Budget-Friendly – All-Inclusive

Dude ranch vacations really are perfect for any traveler and that means even the travelers on a budget. Since DRA member ranches are all-inclusive (meals, lodging, and most activities) they are much more affordable, and much easier to plan, than a day-to-day vacation that is five to seven days long. DRA member ranches range in prices and are reasonably priced for everything that is included in the stay. Three meals a day, activities all day long (if you choose to do guided activities that can be an additional fee), and beautiful accommodations to come home to at the end of the day are built into the price. Plus, the memories and friends you make at a dude ranch are lifelong and priceless! 

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

Top-Notch, Carefully Prepared Meals 

Great food is a guarantee at a dude ranch! Some ranches even have their own farm-to-table programs and serve some of the cleanest, healthiest, and most delicious food you will ever find at an all-inclusive destination. In addition, top-notch chefs prepare all meals carefully and great precaution, even more so this year. DRA member ranches want their guests to feel safe and comfortable, always, and through all of the uncertainties, one thing that is for certain is that dude ranches are providing their guest meals in the safest and cleanest environment possible. Extra sanitization, taking staff members temperatures before entering any food preparation areas, no buffet lines, families, and groups sitting together at the same table all week, and more precautions have been implemented. If you want to know the details of what extra steps a ranch is taking during these times, visit their websites or give them a call. They are happy to answer any questions folks have. 

Scenery and the Great Outdoors 

Breathtaking scenery and the great outdoors are just outside your cabin door at a dude ranch. Many folks have said that dude ranches were social distancing before it was even a “thing”, which is true! Being outside gives people a large space to spread out, but still enjoy each other’s company and all that nature has to offer. At a dude ranch, almost every activity available is offered outside. Whether you are on a horse or fishing the stunning stream that flows through the ranch, you will find plenty of wide-open spaces and social distancing on your dude ranch vacation. Did you know that if you are on a trail ride, the next closest person either in front or behind you is at least six feet away? While you are on a trail ride you will be surrounded by some of the world’s most incredible landscapes and scenery. Many DRA member ranches are in very close proximity to national parks as well, you can get the beauty of a national park without all of the crowds or lines! Is there anything better than that? No matter what ranch you choose to visit, the views will be amazing and the air crisp and clean. 

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

Rent out the Ranch

Still not sure about embarking on a destination vacation? Grab your best friends and their families and head out on a dude ranch vacation where you can have the ranch to yourselves! Many folks are concerned about coming into contact with people they do not know this year, but if you and your close family friends travel together that issue is eliminated. Several ranches are running specials this year for renting out the entire ranch. Special pricing could be applied and splitting the cost between the families could be the best way to vacation this year. Experience a vacation like never before at a dude ranch that is all yours for the week. Ride horses with your closest friends, watch the kids create even stronger friendships to take home and relax knowing that you are in a safe and clean environment. 

The list of reasons why dude ranches are the perfect vacation destination, especially in 2020, could go on for a while, but for now, we will leave it to these five great reasons! You can see all of the DRA member dude ranches here, and if you need help in finding the best ranch for your 2020 vacation, or any future vacation, contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association today! 307-587-2339 | info@duderanch.org 

5 Reasons Why Dude Ranches are the Best Destination Vacation in 2020Best Destination Vacation in 2020Best Destination Vacation in 2020

The Best Dude Ranch Spas

    Best Dude Ranch Spas

     Vacations are supposed to be relaxing. However, research shows that it takes a few days for a person to TRULY begin to relax on a vacation. But a day at the spa on a dude ranch definitely can’t hurt in speeding up the process of de-stressing! Here are some lush dude ranch spas that will leave you feeling recharged and renewed during your vacation:

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort | Solvang, CA

Best Dude Ranch Spa

     Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort has a top-notch spa center. Offering nine different massages that will cater to everyone from the mommies-to-be to the cowboy and cowgirls before and after their rides. Along with their broad range of massages, Alisal also offers three different facial treatments: an antiaging facial, vitamin-C infused and a customized rejuvenating facial. Whether you schedule a whole spa day or slip in after a long day of riding, Alisal’s spa center will SURELY relax you during your dude ranch vacation!

C Lazy U Ranch | Granby, CO

Best Dude Ranch Spa

     C Lazy U Ranch’s massages and facials are to-die-for! In addition to these, they offer a detoxifying and toning body wrap. This peaceful treatment begins with an exfoliation followed by a cocoon-like body wrap that will immerse your body in nutrients to detoxify and brighten your skin. C Lazy U also offers a decadent body scrub treatment that is the perfect solution after a dusty trail ride. This scrub will leave your skin looking supple, refreshed and deeply moisturized! And last, but certainly not least, C Lazy U offers copper tub soaks that every cowboy and cowgirl will enjoy. Soak away any stress while enjoying views of the Continental Divide. (Pro tip: Order a bottle of wine or champagne in advance for ultimate relaxation!)

Lost Creek Ranch | Moose, WY

Best Dude Ranch Spa

     Want to relax in the beauty and solitude of the Grand Tetons? Lost Creek Ranch is the place to do it! Nothing beats a rejuvenating mineral bath and facial after your first day in the saddle. After your cozy, peaceful bath, melt away your worries and tired muscles with an open-air massage (you didn’t come this far to be inside!). Once you’ve concluded your spa treatment, grab a light snack and some fruit and enjoy the mountain views by the pool. Lost Creek is any weary traveler’s dream come true!

Rancho de los Caballeros | Wickenburg, AZ

Best Dude Ranch Spa

     Rancho de los Caballeros offers a seemingly endless menu of spa options: bath soaks, body scrubs, wraps, massages, manicures, pedicures, and even hair and makeup services! This ranch has one of the most diverse facial menus with services designed specifically for the needs of dry, sun-damaged skin (you are in Arizona after all). A must-have treatment with immediate results you will be able to see and feel is the oxygenating facial. This revolutionary treatment improves circulation and eliminates toxins leaving the skin absolutely illuminated. Rancho de los Caballeros hasn’t forgotten about the cowboys that need to be pampered! Their spa also offers a grooming facial that includes a customized treatment along with grooming of the eyebrows, ears and nose. This will be a perfect Arizona retreat!

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch | Tucson, AZ

Best Dude Ranch Spa

     Relieve your mind, relax your muscles and reduce your stress at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. Their massages include a therapeutic “Ranchers Dream Aroma Touch Therapy” massage which uses eight therapeutic grade essential oils to reduce and eliminate your daily stresses. This treatment also enhances your immune system, reduces inflammation and will create balance in your body. Follow this with one of their lavish body wraps and facials that will replenish your skin and leave you revitalized and hydrated. Tanque Verde Guest Ranch’s spa will surely help you wind down after an adventurous day in the desert.

The Broadmoor's Ranch at Emerald Valley | Colorado Springs, CO

Best Dude Ranch Spa

     The Spa at the Broadmoor boasts an infinite list of spa treatments and services: hydrotherapies, facials, massages, body treatments, waxing services, and hair and makeup services. We’ve narrowed it down to their three decadent packages: The “Queen Bee” package beings with a divine honey-based wrap with an agave nectar massage. This package is followed by a manicure and pedicure. Your second option is the “Wine Down” package. This begins with a 30-minute sugar scrub, succeeded by a 50-minute Swedish massage with olavie wine therapy oil, and ends with a signature manicure and pedicure. The third package is the “B.F.F.” This well-rounded package opens with a 50-minute massage, followed by a 50-minute custom facial, and concludes with a pedicure. No matter which package you select, you will certainly be left rejuvenated and restored. 

     The services offered in dude ranch spas are good for the body, mind, and soul. Massages can not only help ease altitude discomfort but also help in boosting your immune system after traveling. Facials and body treatments will nourish your skin after riding in the sun all day and are a great treat for yourself to help you destress. No matter which dude ranch spa you visit, it will truly be a pampering experience you never knew you needed! For more information on dude ranches with spas contact a dude ranch specialist at the Dude Ranchers’ Association today! Email us at info@duderanch.org or give us a call 307-587-2339! We represent over 95 dude and guest ranches in the Western United States and Canada, we will help you find the ranch of your dreams!

Best Dude Ranch Spas  Best Dude Ranch Spas  Best Dude Ranch Spas

Your All-Inclusive Vacation Plans Changed. Now What?

All-Inclusive Vacation

     2020 has been a wild year…and we’re not even halfway through it yet. Cruise lines are no longer operating, Disney is shut down, and there’s talk of keeping beach resorts closed. What happens when your vacation destination cancels on you? You have all your vacation days just waiting to be used and you love your annual family vacations - and the all-inclusive ones make it so much easier on you. Your family needs to get outdoors because being stuck inside doing one more online class, trying to teach this “new” math to your kids just might push you over the edge. So, what can you do? What’s a good (or better) alternative? The answer: a dude ranch.

All-Inclusive Vacation

     Now hear me out! Some people don’t know what to think when they think of a “dude ranch.” The Dude Ranchers’ Association member ranches are all, for the most part, all-inclusive. This means meals, lodging, and most activities are all included in the weekly rate. We say “most activities” as spa services, alcohol, and some guided activities may not be covered. However, your all-day horseback ride, shooting sports, and *ehem* children’s programs are! That’s right - a lot of our ranches offer children’s programs for kids ages 3-17. The “kid wranglers” will keep the kids entertained and having fun while the adults can have fun on their own adventure. If you’d prefer hanging out as a whole family, that’s an option too! Go river rafting, explore the petting zoo, and splash around in the pool! The options for activities are almost endless at a dude ranch. To read more about dude ranch activities check out our Dude Ranch Activities blog.

All-Inclusive Vacation

     If you’re wanting more of a romantic adventure experience, dude ranches cater to that as well! What’s dreamier than cowboys, rodeos, and wide-open spaces with mountain views? (We’ve all seen the show Yellowstone at this point). Grab your hunny and your cowboy boots and head out West. Spend the day soaking in a copper tub in the mountains of Colorado or exploring the Arizona desert by horseback or in an ATV. Rekindle the romance by going on a horseback picnic lunch and taking in the breathtaking views. There’s nothing like an adventure and experiencing new places to reignite the romance that four-plus weeks in quarantine may have dimmed. 

All-Inclusive Vacation

     Lodging accommodations differ at each ranch, but they all have the same comfy and homey feeling when you walk in the door. Some ranches have a more rustic, western-chic decor and some have an adobe design and structure. DRA member ranches offer lodge rooms or private cabins for their guests, a few ranches even offer glamping tents and converted wagons. Relax and recharge in comfortable beds and beautiful bathrooms and enjoy a glass of wine with your envious views from your room or cabin. You are sure to feel right at home and get a good night’s sleep after a day full of adventures!

All-Inclusive Vacation

     Dude ranches are known for making people feel like they’re in a whole other world and helping them forget their worries. If you wanted to relax and find some peace of mind laying on a beach, we assure you, there’s nothing more awe-inspiring than riding through a green valley with the mountains stretched out above you. Become more grounded by taking a once in a lifetime yoga class with views that your friends will never believe. Let your mind become quiet as you listen to the trickling river while you fly-fish with the birds chirping above you. Learn a new skill besides horseback riding and take one of the amazing gourmet cooking classes some of our ranches offer or learn how to rope! 

     Still not convinced an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation is for you? Take into account that if you were to choose a destination vacation that is not all-inclusive you have quite a long list of planning to do. You would need to budget and plan for at least three meals a day, lodging accommodations for each night, activities that are diverse enough to please everyone in your group and the list goes on. Save yourself the headache and time and honestly consider an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation, it may be the best vacation you ever take! The hardest part of booking a dude ranch all-inclusive vacation is deciding which ranch to go to! Don’t worry, if you are having a hard time choosing between all of the great options, contact the ranch experts at the Dude Ranchers’ Association at info@duderanch.org or 307-587-2339 to make the process of choosing a destination much easier.

All-Inclusive Vacation All-Inclusive Vacation All-Inclusive Vacation

Unique Spring Break Adventure Destinations

Spring Break Adventure Destination

Spring is coming! That’s right, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and winter is going to come to an end…eventually! With the spring season comes spring break! Now, you could go the basic route and go to the beach and be surrounded by tons and tons of people while you fight for your spot in the sand OR you could spend your spring break at an all-inclusive dude ranch where things will be catered to you, you will find your peace and quiet AND your adventure! Keep scrolling on down to see some unique spring break adventure destinations for you, your friends, and your family!

Rancho de la Osa

unique spring break adventure destinations

Rancho De La Osa is a sportsman's paradise surrounded by 120,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, high in the Sonoran Desert along the Mexican Border. The ranch offers an unparalleled experience with exceptional food and wine, unmatched hospitality, and enough activities to keep you and your friends and family busy day and night. They offer horseback riding for all skill levels through the ranch's many sandy washes, over rocky terrain and past incredible rock formations. Explore the high desert grasslands, take a guided off-road tour to visit the U.S.-Mexico border or take a nearby ghost tour in an off-road vehicle, test your shooting and archery skills, or lounge by the pool and relax! If you want ADVENTURE for your spring break, this ranch may be one for you!

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is located in warm, sunny, southeastern New Mexico. They don't have set schedules; flexibility is the word there and YOU are the focus while you are at Burnt Well. Horseback riding, cattle work, cattle drives, and archery shooting sports will keep you busy during your days here. There is no nose to tail riding at Burnt Well! Their riding is in open pastures unless you opt for a mountain trail ride for your day trip. Go to Burnt Well, get dirty and have some fun, then kick your boots off and relax!

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Near the pristine Buffalo National River Wilderness near Jasper, Arkansas, your spring break includes wonderful food, lots of riding and rock climbing, and comfortable, rustic log cabins with spectacular views of rolling meadows and high cliffs. Other activities include campfires, hiking, elk viewing, cookouts, shooting, Via Ferrata, zip-lining, river swimming, petting zoo, cook-outs, fishing pond, lodge games and more. The ranch has a pool and a hot-tub too! Enjoy canoeing down Buffalo National River. Rock climbing is popular year-round, scale large cliffs and peer at breathtaking terrain that seems endless. After a full day of activities, you can relax on your porch, hit the hot tub, or just snuggle in and let your mind be at peace.

V6 Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

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. They’re conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, just a four-hour drive from either city, they offer the delight of bygone days in a world where fast is the average speed. This beautiful ranch offers activities to tickle the fancy of any person that seeks peace and quiet this spring. The clean air and warm nights are ideal for laying out under the stars. They offer trail rides, cattle drives, and horse camping with 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.

Elkhorn Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Fifty-one miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona, in its own valley where mountains and desert meet, lies the Elkhorn Ranch. Riding is the main interest with gentle or loping rides through the desert and more vigorous trips along the many mountain trails. There are 70 head of horses and the right horse can remain with each guest throughout the visit. We can’t forget to mention the roomy accommodations and good food. This spring break, go enjoy the sunshine, wintering birds, tennis and swimming! The company you endure at this ranch will be fantastic too! 

Kay El Bar Guest Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is a historic guest ranch in the heart of the Wild West on the outskirts of Wickenburg, Arizona. Activities at the ranch center around the riding program, with rides twice a day except for Sunday when they have one long morning ride and a trail-side cookout. The wranglers love introducing children (minimum age 7) and adult first-time riders to the joys of riding the trail on a trusty mount. Experienced riders find many delights in riding the Arizona hills. When you’re not riding, you can enjoy the ranch pool, whirlpool spa, evening group activities, hiking, and exploring the western town of Wickenburg. Local golf courses also welcome spring break visitors!

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Opening in March, Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is a small ranch located in the mountains in southwest New Mexico. Activities to be enjoyed include seeing 1,000-year-old archaeological sites near the ranch, campfires at night, fantastic stargazing, hiking, roping lessons, photography, and swimming in the creek. Horseback riding here takes you through open meadows and tall ponderosa forests (often with elk and other wildlife!), up high hills where the views go on forever across the 3.3 million-acre Gila National Forest, and down into deep canyons with sheer cliffs and crystal-clear streams. The trails start at their back door and we have millions of acres to discover!

Rancho de los Caballeros

unique spring break adventure destinations

Do you dream of desert landscapes and a margarita in your hand lounging by the pool? Then saddle up and make a perfect spring break getaway to the warm heart of the Old Southwest! Rancho de los Caballeros is the kind of place where everyone knows your name and your favorite horse. Go ride the rugged trails, tee off at the golf courses or luxuriate in a spa treatment featuring local desert ingredients. Savor cookout feasts with old friends and old wines, or make new friends over fresh local fare in the nostalgic main lodge. At Rancho de los Caballeros there's always something to do, including doing nothing, preferably by the pool because it’s spring break after all! At Rancho de los Caballeros, you'll feel right at home on the range.

Circle Z Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Circle Z Ranch is located on thousands of acres and offers some of the most scenic horseback riding in Southern Arizona. They offer all-inclusive ranch vacations; three delicious meals a day, horseback riding, tennis, game room, outdoor pool, hiking, campfires, cookouts, nature walks and guided stargazing. You will explore lush riparian areas, beautiful canyons, high mountain tops and grass valleys. Experience the best of the Sky Islands of Arizona this spring break!

Tombstone Monument Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Tombstone Monument Ranch is Tombstone's only dude ranch and is styled as an Old West Town with 18 uniquely designed rooms, all high-end and individually furnished. You can ride miles of trails where historic cowboys rode in the Tombstone hills, along old, abandoned railroad grades, in and out of dry gulches and washes, and along old dirt roads. Burst through the swing doors and step back in time in the Old Western-style saloon and enjoy fun evening entertainment after a hearty dinner. Really get to know the West's most iconic town - Tombstone. Situated only three miles away from the ranch, the town boasts more history of cowboys, Indians, silver mining, and gunfights than any other destination in the West! The nearby turquoise mines are a big attraction too!

White Stallion Ranch

unique spring break adventure destinations

Welcome to the White Stallion Ranch, where the pavement ends and the West begins. The easiest ranch to get to in Arizona, just 1.5 hours from the Phoenix airport and 35 minutes from the Tucson airport, with over 300 days of sunshine every year. In addition to a riding program that offers you up to 6 hours a day in the saddle, their most popular riding event is team cattle penning. Young and old alike find this the most exhilarating activity on horseback and they offer it three times a week. For the non-riders, their shooting range, fat-tire e-bikes, rock climbing, hiking, tennis court, sports court, petting zoo, game room, movie theater, pool, hot tub, exercise room and spa offer a wide variety of activities for all ages. Go join the White Stallion Ranch family this spring!

No matter where you choose to go, you can be sure that your spring break at a dude ranch will be one you will not soon forget! If you need help finding the right dude ranch for your spring break vacation, contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association! With almost 100 years of experience and over 95 ranches to choose from, we will find the right ranch for you! 

info@duderanch.org ~ 307-587-2339

Unique Spring Break Adventure Destinations Unique Spring Break Adventure Destinations  Unique Spring Break Adventure Destinations  Unique Spring Break Adventure Destinations

10 Awe-Inspiring Panoramas That Define Rustic Luxury

 Let’s face it: there are few places in the world as beautiful as Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. And there are few places better to enjoy the spectacular sights here than Smith Fork Ranch, where we’ve perfected the “rustic luxury” approach to an all inclusive guest ranch vacation. We could tell you what we mean by “rustic luxury” … but it’s probably easier to show you.

 

Smith Fork Ranch Panoramas That Define Rustic Luxury

Smith Fork Ranch — where the rainbow ends?

 

Smith Fork Ranch Panoramas

“Rustic Luxury” — historic buildings, lovingly restored with a painstaking eye for detail.

 

Smith Fork Panoramas That Define Rustic Luxury

Smith Fork Ranch’s equestrian program offers the perfect way to explore. Whether you’re an avid rider or a beginner, Smith Fork Ranch offers authentic horseback riding adventures for all skill levels, always with your maximum enjoyment and safety in mind.

 

Smith Fork Horse Panoramas That Define Rustic Luxury

Our guests love Smith Fork Ranch … and we’re pretty sure our herd does, too.

 

Smith Fork Ranch Luxury Panoramas

Not only is Smith Fork Ranch’s cuisine world-class (much of it locally sourced), but you get to enjoy it with views like these. And did we mention our extensive, Wine Spectator award-winning wine cellar?

 

Smith Fork Ranch Vacation Wine And Dine

A picnic is not just a picnic at Smith Fork Ranch.

 

Smith Fork Shooting Ranch

Smith Fork’s shooting range is a popular activity. But it’s hard to keep your eye on those clay pigeons with these views of the West Elk Mountains…

 

Smith Fork Ranch View

If you want to put a little more “rustic” in your “luxury,” Smith Fork Overnight Safaris are offered.

 

Smith Fork Ranch Fly Fishing Panorama of Rustic Luxury

Say hello to fly fishing paradise. Smith Fork Ranch is home to three private miles of the Smith Fork of the Gunnison River, six stocked trout ponds, and a mountain stream.

 

Smith Fork Ranch Camping Glamping all inclusive guest ranch vacation

Sunsets happen every night. But with colors like these, they never get old.

 


This blog was originally written and posted on www.smithforkranch.com. For some more great views of luxury ranches, take a look at the  Rancho de los Caballeros, Triangle X Ranch and CM Ranch. And give the Dude Ranchers' Association a call for your next ranch vacation. 307.587.2339



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Family Bonding – Dude Ranch Style

There is much to be said about children getting too much screen time in today’s tech-saturated world. But look around most playgrounds and you will see that parents are just as guilty. Too often, we’re reaching for our phones rather than focusing on what’s truly important – strengthening family bonds and making memories that will carry us well into the future.

As the original all-inclusive destination for families, a ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to bond and spend time as a family sans technology, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Try a warm family getaway that breaks the spring break cliché of crowds and beaches or, a special trip designed to include the extended family. Dude ranches can accommodate and entertain family members of all ages. This vacation promising a one-of-a-kind vacation with opportunities for the young and young at heart, and everyone in between. Families can challenge and revive their bodies, minds and spirits in the most breathtaking areas in the US. You'll experience outdoor adventures such as; rock climbing, cattle roping, horseback riding, zip lines, ATV riding and whitewater rafting.

Take a gander at just some of these dude ranch options from the Dude Ranchers’ Association. They’re sure to leave the kids clamoring to tell you all they’ve done for the day over dinner, served family-style, of course.

 

Family Wagon Ride at Rainbow Trout Ranch Colorado

Imagine horseback riding with your family through meadows dotted with wildflowers, while the Rocky Mountains tower around you. If you and your family are in need of reconnecting, to each other and to the land, then you’ve found the right place. Rainbow Trout Ranch is rustic with all the modern amenities you’ll ever need. It caters to children of all ages. Located near several historic Spanish land grants in Antonito, Colo., Rainbow Trout is surrounded by the spectacular San Juan Mountains. Ride horses, catch some trout, hike to an overlook with your kids, and relax. Let the land and each other remind you of the important things in life. Kids ages six and older – “Cowpokes” – are given their own horse for the week. “Buckaroos” – children ages three to five – are led on short rides by ranch counselors.

A Bar A Kids Ride at a Family Dude Ranch in Wyoming

On horseback, on foot, or in vehicles – expedition guests at A Bar A Guest Ranch experience a privately guided, customized, small-group adventure. Located along the banks of the North Platte River in the heart of southern Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Mountains, A Bar A Guest Ranch is one of the oldest and largest ranches in the country.  Located on nearly 100,000 acres surrounded by National Forest and Wilderness Area for guests to explore. The ranch is a paradise for children, with riding, fishing, soccer, arts and crafts, music and drama, swimming, tennis, and educational games such as cork boat and sack races. Teenagers enjoy inner tubing down the river before joining their parents for dinner cooked outside over an open fire.

Drowsy Water Family Dude Ranch

Drowsy Water Ranch, situated 90 miles west of Denver, Colo., has programs for children, from infants to teenagers, with plenty of activities for parents and grandparents alike. Capture the fun and your children’s hearts when you help them lasso a steerhead. Ditch your tablets for outdoor group activities, such as; obstacle courses, zip lining, swimming, hiking, archery and rafting. Afterward, head to the main lodge to enjoy playing cards, browsing in the library or just visiting with new friends while drinking lemonade.  

Colorado Trails Family Dude Ranch Vacation

Who needs a video game when you can focus on capturing the real thing in person! Colorado Trails Ranch provides an all-inclusive family vacation adventure in the San Juan Mountains. Families will enjoy a one-of-a-kind fishing vacation with access to some of the finest trout fishing around. You’ll find more choice spots than you can fish in a week, with specialists trained at introducing beginners to the sport. Whether you’re a fishing fan or not, no one in your family will be bored on this vacation. Here, kids and adults can enjoy their own level of adventure. Counselors see to the kids’ needs. The parents can go off exploring by foot or horseback. From whitewater rafting to swimming in the heated pool – there’s enough tech-free adventure to suite everyone’s tastes.

The Dude Ranchers' Association - Search for family bonding

With more than 100 accredited ranches, the Dude Ranchers’ Association can help you find the perfect ranch for your family bonding vacation. Several accredited ranches offer customized packages tailored to families in search of a hassle-free family getaway. No matter which ranch you choose, a dude ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to kick-back, spend time with friends and family and create memories that will last a lifetime.

 

As the original all-inclusive destination for families, a ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to bond and spend time as a family sans technology, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Try a warm family getaway that breaks the spring break cliché of crowds and beaches or, a special trip designed to include the extended family. Dude ranches can accommodate and entertain family members of all ages.

Culinary Chic at Dude and Guest Ranches

With food tourism being one of the fastest growing sectors in travel and one of the biggest travel trends of 2013, I want to talk about a vacation many foodies may not consider, but would be pleasantly surprised with a dude or guest ranch vacation.   You are probably thinking “culinary chic at a dude ranch?”  And I am here to tell you yes, as a stay at a DRA guest ranch is sure to take your taste buds on a culinary adventure. Below is a list of  the “Top 5 Culinary Facts You Wouldn’t Expect at a Dude Ranch,” as well as a few highlighted ranches where you are sure to experience flavorful, savory cuisine crafted using fresh, high-quality ingredients morning, noon and night.   

1). Renowned Chefs When some people think of a dude ranch vacation they picture a guy named Cookie whipping up bacon and beans in the sagebrush. In reality, guest ranches are home to many award winning and experienced chef’s such as Chef Mike Rosenberg at Zapata Ranch who has been a  personal chef to the Carnegie family, catered JFK Jr.'s wedding, owned his own restaurant and brings over 40 years of experience to the table.  

2). Farm to table Many DRA dude ranches grow, raise and serve their own produce and meats and items that cannot be reaped from their own land are sourced locally. Take High Lonesome Ranch which in many instances raises the meat right on the ranch. Their eggs are fresh from their chickens and ranch’s signature Black Angus beef graces the menu when the timing and aging process is complete. As for produce, the ranch’s gardens and orchards enjoy ideal conditions for growing apricots, apples, peaches, pears and plums as well as an abundance of vegetables like corn, peppers, lettuces, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, carrots, radishes, pumpkins and onions.

3). Recognized Globally Besides having a wide breadth of talented and innovated chefs, the creations they serve have been praised globally such as The Home Ranch which is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux and has been recognized by Bon Apetit, Gourmet, Food and Wine, among others.    

4). Exceptional Wine Lists A culinary exploration wouldn’t be complete without wine pairings and dude ranches have you covered there too. Smith Fork Ranch has won the Wine Spectator’s Award for Excellence two years in a row and has assembled an eclectic wine mix. Ranging from wines from their private cellar, specific vintages from wineries they admire and wines from the premiere growing regions of France, Italy, Australia and America's West Coast.    

5). Cooking Classes/Workshops Besides enjoying delicious food, many dude ranches encourage you to learn about the food as well. At Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, one of the best seats in the house is at the kitchen counter where their Master Chef provides ranch resort guests with cooking demonstrations, tips and techniques.  There is also the opportunity to explore the concepts of Eating Right for Your Blood Type - a healthful way of eating that promotes overall good health including good digestion, cholesterol counts, weight loss and more.  

 

Lone Mountain Culinary Food Steak

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