Unplug and Reconnect with Family, Friends and Nature at these dude ranches!

This year’s buzzwords of mindfulness, disconnect and nature / forest therapy are helping raise awareness of the dependence on screen time and social media. However, does that mean anyone is doing anything about it, especially on a vacation? Dude ranch stays have been implementing these beliefs since their inception—obviously ahead of the trend and technology. How do they do it? Easily. With no cell phone reception on trails, or in many ranch buildings, connecting with the outside world can be easily sidetracked when simply not available. Forget cable television or trying to stream a movie off a ranch generator, some places turn that option off at 9 pm. Time to look at the stars (not Hollywood) or possibly, a ranch book. Fear not, there is never a safety risk by being disconnected from phone and iPad. There is always a landline for use and radios throughout all dude ranches, but you won’t need them, only to order up supper or to have the hot tub turned up. Disconnecting without the anxiety of outcome eases the strain of taking technology out of travel. Why do you need this form of nature therapy?  Simply put, it is good for the soul!

Dude Ranchers' Association Dude Ranches

 

Badger Creek Ranch, Colorado 

This is one of the most remote ranches in Colorado. A rental car from Denver or Colorado Springs Airport is the easiest transportation. Located in the Badger Creek Basin with barely a tree on the property is a working cattle ranch that has the DRA’s lowest guest count capacity. Maxing out at eight guests, preferably seven, the ranch provides a slice of the Wild West that is authentic and isolated, yet community-oriented. 

Guests can receive cell service in the main ranch house where meals are served and song commences in the evening. Once you leave the quarters, it’s signal silence. At 9,000 feet, you won’t need your cell phone, just the trusty guidance and leads of the two couples that co-own this rarity. 

After an epic cattle drive in the Colorado sun, sneak off to the secret river a stone’s throw from the ranch, loaded with trout, waterfalls (in average to good run-off years) and incredible stream activity. There is also a buffalo jump where Native Americans chased the herds over the edge to trap, consume and utilize their precious materials. They certainly made it work with no cell phones, so you will have no challenge. 

At night, enjoy the stars, song, hot tub and home cooking. You will be so exhausted you won’t even be able to keep your light on to read a magazine or finish a cookie. Disconnected and exhausted makes for a true night’s sleep.

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Badger Creek Ranch - Canyon City, CO.

Rancho de la Osa, Arizona

This place is remote; it’s barely in America. Rancho de la Osa is a 20-minute horseback ride to the border of Arizona and Mexico, the country. Even with all of the talk about “the wall” most people don’t realize that you can’t really talk by the wall, meaning, no cell phone reception. Take a ride out to the border and test it for yourself, you can take great selfies and landscape shots, but don’t bet on any connection to send those photos until you return home.

Upon returning to the ranch after a ride to remoteness you will be comforted in original adobe/southwest buildings, including the main house that in 1916 Pancho Villa raided and attempted to overtake, a cannon ball from the attack is embedded in the adobe wall of the Hacienda, which is on display today. The walls to these buildings are thick, don’t expect noise, or cell phone bands to get through the barricades. 

Well, one exception to this rule. In the office of the main adobe there is continuous WiFi for guests and a landline to use. However, you’ll be too busy exploring the obscurity and rarity of this nearly 600-acre ranch bordering 120,000 acres of the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge that you won’t have much time but to grab a picture and move along. Surely you can rest your feet by the heated outdoor pool, but you’ll be preoccupied on a horse, on guided off-road tours to ruins and other Southwest natural landmarks, cruising through the desert on a fat electric bike, sport shooting, hiking, bird spotting and more. 

Elk Mountain Ranch, Colorado

Located at the highest elevation of any dude ranch in the state is Elk Mountain Ranch in Buena Vista. At 9,600 feet, any sort of play will be more strenuous and tiring, making texting and typing a bit more challenging. Come evening as the generators for the ranch are switched to off, don’t expect anything but stars, silence and sound sleeping as no electricity or cellar range is coming anywhere near your cabin or lodge room.

Elk Mountain Ranch has alternative plans for keeping you occupied. They’ve got the daily horse program and children’s program, but come time to get out of the saddle, there is also a rec room with a pool table, foosball, air hockey, board games, a library and there’s an outdoor volleyball and basketball court. Not enough activities to wear you out, there’s more. Campfires, s’mores, hayrides, hiking, white water rafting, hot springs visits, rodeos and more.

“We have adults that started coming for the September season a decade ago and now come back each year with folks they met during the adults-only week where they unplugged. It gives people the communality of shared experiences and conversing when the day is done that drives the friendships,” explains Tom Murphy, co-owner of the ranch.

dude ranches

Elk Mountain Ranch - Buena Vista, CO.

Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, Wyoming 

Most people have never heard of Lander, Wyoming it’s fathomable because it’s located in the least populated state in the nation and the town of Lander has a population of less than 8,000 residents. However, the town has food, entertainment and cell phone coverage. Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch on the other hand, is far from society and offers different amenities for the traveler. It’s the highest altitude ranch in Wyoming at 9,300 feet and truly the most remote. 

The maximum guest capacity remains at eight, and for good reason, this place is still a bit secretive after many decades, and it’s not from lack of beloved guests. It’s the extra journey to get to the disconnect. The ranch is nestled into Dickinson Park. Riders and visitors have range of 100,000 acres to roam, and so do cell phones. They roam once they leave ranch property. 

Specialty weeks such as Wyoming hunting, youth camp adventure and guided pack trips will take you even further into the rugged Popo Agie Wilderness area that borders the ranch where guests are unplugged from technology and completely in awe of the mountain lakes formed from glacier and pristine forests that follow visitors to their log cabin porches nightly. 

The ranch only has four guest cabins, well-kept and stocked for a Wild West adventure. This is a family owned and operated ranch, meals are served family style, so no cell phone coverage bodes well with this format as it would be rude to text under the table. The Allen family is not disconnected from traveler needs, rather trendsetting for sublime solitude.  

It’s this uniqueness and unplugged nature that has guests from England, Texas, California and more returning to the respite and reprieve of modern technology. Forget television, you’ve got catching up to do with old friends. 

Creek Ranch, New Mexico

There’s something about a boutique ranch that truly invites disconnection. Creek Ranch in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, has a maximum guest capacity of 12, and feels and operates much more like a working ranch than a Club Med on horseback. The 8,200 acres of desert arroyos, canyons, tumbleweeds, flora and fauna are stunning, but it’s the authentic location and purpose of the operation that put you out of touch with instant satisfaction of technology and enjoyment of journey and teamwork. 

The most popular activity is obviously horseback, not spa, theatre or video games. Actually, there is no television! You can watch items on your own devices in the main house if need be where you can receive WiFi, but forget accessing anything else once you leave the main gathering spot, that includes your email, text message and other modern-era communication methods; it’s all about the disconnect.

Instead, you’ll be roping steers, cattle sorting and traversing desert terrain on your trusty steed. When not riding you can, fish the nearby Pecos River or relax at the ranch located on the Carrizo Creek bed. The hot tub is always warm and the New Mexico stars come nightfall are some of the most impressive in the nation, you won’t need to check in on the Hollywood ones. 

Accommodations are authentic southwestern with comfy beds, remodeled bathrooms, serious attention to detail in each guest room and air conditioning, critical in the desert. All food is provided, you won’t go hungry wandering through the desert, but you will go unplugged. 

dude ranches

Creek Ranch - Santa Rosa, NM.

Cherokee Park Ranch, Colorado

Cherokee Park Ranch is located in Livermore, Colorado, not too far from major towns such as Fort Collins or even Denver. Don’t worry, it gets visitors off the grid quickly with loss of cell phone reception once you drive the dirt road to a late 1880’s stagecoach stop between Fort Collins, Colorado, and Laramie, Wyoming. Now, it’s one of the most family-friendly and awarded ranches in Colorado. However, don’t plan on using your cell phone. There is no reception within two miles of the ranch, unless you mount up on horseback and go for a ride with vista spots that also provide cell phone access. But, no need. Be mindful if you need to make a phone call. There’s an old-fashioned hand-held telephone to be used by anyone on the ranch. Selfies from modern day phones seem to capture this moment quite often! 

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You may feel like you need to be connected to your electronic devices, but you don't! See why dude ranches are the perfect

The Dude Ranchers’ Association Welcomes 5 New Members

The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the premier membership-based organization for dude ranches and has welcomed five new ranches in 2018: V6 Ranch, Kay El Bar Ranch, Parade Rest Guest Ranch, Campbell Hills Guest Ranch and Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. As a non-profit association, membership is not a pay to play process but a mark of the highest quality. Acceptance requires a rigorous two-year application process and distinguishes a ranch as one that guests can trust to provide excellent customer care and a horseback riding vacation of a lifetime. 

Guests looking to experience something new and exciting can look into the unique and individual offerings of each of these new members. Each of these ranches are located in a different Western state, from Arizona up to British Columbia and offers their own dude ranch niche experience. 

 

dude ranches

V6 Ranch, California

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. Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ranch is just a four-hour drive from either city. The V6 Ranch offers the delight of bygone days in a world where fast is the average speed.

About V6 Ranch

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, and horse camping. The V6 Ranch offers over 50 scenic miles of trails to explore with maps and trail markers to show the way. They also offers hiking, photography, over 200 varieties of wildflowers, wildlife and bird watching.

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Kay El Bar Ranch, Arizona

The Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is a historic dude ranch listed on the National and State Historical landmark registers and is located in the Old West town of Wickenburg, AZ. Nestled in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains on the banks of the Hassaymapa River, Kay El Bar is a desert oasis ranch where warm hospitality has been a tradition since 1926. The ranch offers an authentic and casual western vacation experience suitable for guests of all ages. Special occasion groups and team retreats are welcome. Their America Plan rate includes lodging, all meals, horseback riding and use of all ranch facilities.

About Kay El Bar Ranch

Kay El Bar is a winter ranch, open from November until May. The climate includes bi-seasonal rainfall, making it one of the lushest deserts, with giant cacti, short trees and a great variety of shrubbery and animal life. There are thousands of acres of desert hills and canyons to explore on horseback. The charming adobe ranch was built in the late 1800s, and, like all the early dude ranches, began as a working cattle outfit. The building's adobe walls are built of sun-dried brick 12 to 18 inches thick; each brick was made by hand by the Maricopa Indians who lived on the nearby reservation. The ranch is completely up to date in its comforts, including modern bathrooms, a pool, and a whirlpool spa.

Activities at the ranch center around the riding program, with rides twice a day except for Sunday when there is long morning ride and a trail-side cookout. The wranglers love introducing children (minimum age 7) and adult first-time riders to the pleasures of riding the trail on a trusty mount. Experienced riders find many delights in riding the Arizona hills. Non-riders and younger children can enjoy the ranch pool, spa, evening group activities, hiking, and exploring the western town of Wickenburg. Local golf courses welcome visitors.

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Parade Rest Guest Ranch, Montana

Parade Rest Guest Ranch is a true Montana dude ranch offering that memorable Montana guest ranch experience, located just 15 minutes from the west entrance, it is the closest of all the Montana guest ranches to Yellowstone National Park. Their all-inclusive vacation packages combine log cabin lodging, all your meals, unlimited horseback trail rides, world-class fly-fishing and an unforgettable outdoor mountain cookout.

About Parade Rest Ranch 

The ranch has 15 log cabins of various sizes, beds, bedrooms and bathrooms are spread across the ranch.  Some sit next to the Grayling Creek which runs thru the ranch which is a great fly-fishing stream. The sound of the creek is a favorite to many. Other cabins sit on a lower bluff overlooking the horses, ranch creek, Hebgen lake, Gallatin Mountain Range and awesome sunrises and sunsets. Parade Rest Ranch is a great place to call home while in the Yellowstone area.

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Campbell Hills Guest Ranch, British Columbia Canada

Ride a horse on the alpine meadows, observe unique birds in their natural habitat and discover the many hidden fishing spots right in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia. Campbell Hills Guest Ranch offers exceptional horseback riding in mountainous terrain.

About Campbell Hills Guest Ranch

When guests arrive at the ranch worries drift away as they settle into perfect harmony with the rhythms of nature. British Columbia is known for its beautiful landscape, relaxed atmosphere, and high-quality living, and this guest ranch is no exception.  The ranch uses a technique called natural horsemanship, which is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse's natural instincts and methods of communication. Here the horses are ridden without bits in their mouths and without metal shoes on the trails.

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Allen’s Diamond 4, Wyoming

Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch is located in the rugged Wind River Mountain Range and is Wyoming's highest wilderness guest ranch offering log cabins, mountain trail riding, fly fishing, wilderness pack trips, and hunting in the Shoshone National Forest. The ranch has access to the Wind Rivers from the Dickinson Park Trailhead, the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie and Worthen Meadows.

About Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch

The Wind River Mountain Range boasts the largest active glaciers in the lower 48 states, hundreds of alpine lakes teeming with wild trout, abundant wildlife and world class fly fishing and mountain climbing. The unique setting of the Diamond 4 Ranch in Dickinson Park gives you access to 100,000 spectacular acres. Guests saddle up and join a real western adventure! There is something for everyone - families, groups and individuals are welcome.

The ranch owner Jim Allen carries on the family tradition of hosting visitors in the spectacular Wind River Mountain Range like his grandfather did in the 1920's. Jim & his wife Mary love packing in the "Winds" and are dedicated to using the land wisely with minimum impact camping practices. The Diamond 4 Ranch gets its name from the Allen's horse brand which has a history from the days of the open range. 

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The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the premier membership-based organization for dude ranches and has welcomed five new ranches in 2018. As a non-profit association, membership is not a pay to play process but a mark of the highest quality. Acceptance requires a rigorous two-year application process and distinguishes a ranch as one that guests can trust to provide excellent customer care and a horseback riding vacation of a lifetime.

Northwest Wyoming Dude Ranch Vacations

The beauty and wonder of Wyoming is undeniable: with mountains lakes, forests and prairies, the state has a lot going for it. That’s just the start of a naturally awesome place. Wyoming is also home to Yellowstone National Park in the Northwest corner. When you find yourself planning your next trip to the greater Yellowstone area or Jackson Hole in Northwest Wyoming here are some truly special hidden dude ranch vacations that are worth the trip alone. 

Although Wyoming ranches focus on horseback riding, guests can experience a wide range of activities which include; hiking, fishing, shooting, archery, rafting, and camping. Whether you are looking for a family adventure vacation, a family reunion location, a corporate retreat getaway, or a unique wedding destination, these ranches are what you have been looking for.

 

 

R Lazy S Ranch

 

Good Old Fashioned Hospitality, Excellent Food and Casual Living at Its Best

The R Lazy S Ranch specializes in the real meaning of vacation: You can be as active or inactive as you please at this Jackson Hole dude ranch. Go horseback riding for an hour or two, all day, or take an afternoon riding lesson. Fish in America’s top trout streams, take a scenic or whitewater river float trip, or see an authentic Western Rodeo.

Life at this dude ranch goes back to simpler times. The R Lazy S Ranch provides good, old fashioned hospitality, excellent food, and casual living at its best.

 

 

CM Kids HIgh FIve smaller

 

A Family Friendly Atmosphere with a Unique Charm

The CM Ranch is a friendly, casual establishment with various generations and age ranges attending. The ranch is run much like it was back in 1927 – passionate management hosting an array of lovely guests that have set out to partake in simple pleasures and commune with the wilderness.

Your host's love for the outdoors and quality time with friends and family is, without a doubt, infectious. The beautiful environment, activities, and infrastructure provided allow all of our out-of-towners to build fond, long-lasting memories. It is truly an unforgettable homeland.

 

Lost Creek Ranch View

 

The Best of a Western Guest Ranch and World-Class Resort

Lost Creek Ranch combines the best of a western guest ranch with a world-class resort. Every aspect of the buildings, log cabins, corrals, spa, and other facilities ensures your comfort, safety and enjoyment. The most important and noticeable feature of our Wyoming dude ranch lies not in its structures but in its people. The ranch is dedicated to personal service and with over 50 years of great service Lost Creek Ranch is committed to bridging the gap between today and the way things used to be.

 

Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch trail Mountains

 

Visit the Wind River Mountain Range and the Largest Active Glaciers in the Lower 48

Allens Diamond 4 Ranch is located in the rugged Wind River Mountain Range and is Wyoming's highest wilderness guest ranch offering log cabins, mountain trail riding, fly fishing, wilderness pack trips, and hunting. As the ranch's backdrop the Wind River Mountain Range boasts the largest active glaciers in the lower 48 states, hundreds of alpine lakes teeming with wild trout, abundant wildlife and world class fly fishing and mountain climbing. The unique setting of the Diamond 4 Ranch in Dickinson Park gives you access to 100,000 spectacular acres. Saddle up and join them for a real western adventure!

 

 

Absaroka Pasture Aspen Fall Horses smaller

 

A Place for Solitude and Beauty on a Grand Scale

Here in the West, very few places remain that offer both solitude and beauty on a grand scale. The Absaroka Ranch, located at the headwaters of Wyoming's Wind River and at the base of the spectacular Absaroka mountain range, is such a place.

The ranch welcomes all people and families looking for a true western experience. With the Absaroka Mountain Range as the backdrop there are endless opportunities to enjoy beautiful scenery, see unique wildlife and make meaningful memories.

 

Triangle C Horses Gather

 

Enjoy Family, Friends and Horsemanship

Triangle C Ranch is the perfect place to enjoy family, friends and horsemanship all while being surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain views in the world. Chris and Barbara Cox, along with their dedicated staff, share a passion to educate and motivate all ages through their horsemanship journey right here at Triangle C Ranch. Chris has implemented a safe and effective Horsemanship Program for every skill level and is offering several 3 and 6 day horsemanship clinics during the summer months.

 

For the complete list of Wyoming Ranch Vacations visit us here.

Northwest Wyoming Dude Ranch Vacations

When you find yourself planning your next trip to the greater Yellowstone area or Jackson Hole in Northwest Wyoming here are some truly special hidden dude ranch vacations that are worth the trip alone. Whether you are looking for a family adventure vacation, a family reunion location, a corporate retreat getaway, or a unique wedding destination, these ranches are what you have been looking for.

Small Dude Ranches Offer Big Experiences

Make some memories you won't soon forget at one of these small dude ranches. Here you will find one of the most exclusive vacation settings in Western America. Please note, small does not mean they are short on experiences or activities. It means they only host a handful guests in order to offer you a very personal and tailored horseback riding vacation. In the list of dude ranches below you will find your perfect cowboy place, great for making genuine connections with the land, horses and your hosts.

 

Greenhorn Creek California Dude Ranch

'Grandma's House' - An Historic Pioneer Ranch

Long Hollow Ranch, Capacity - 16

Long Hollow Ranch is a historic pioneer ranch in central Oregon that serves as a Bed & Breakfast for guests looking to stay a few days. The original ranch buildings are over a century old and have been preserved and renovated for hosting ranch guests.  Guests are treated to a delicious homemade breakfast and great company each morning. The original ranch 'store' (once a stage stop) is now a guest cottage.  All guest areas are decorated in a manner designed to evoke the feeling of 'Grandma's house.'  This place is the perfect way to 'get away from it all' and find peace and perspective as you experience a simpler way of life on a cattle ranch. Call for reservations at 541.923.1901.  

Flat Creek Ranch Lake Small Dude Ranches

Your Own Private Wilderness in the Tetons

Flat Creek Ranch, Capacity - 14

For decades Jackson Hole’s Flat Creek Ranch has carried a mystique inspired by its raucous history, its remoteness and its epic wild beauty. Now this jewel cloaked in the National Forest can become your own private wilderness. Getting here is your first adventure: a 15-mile route across the National Elk Refuge and into the mountains over a rigorous jeep track. At the end of the road you reach a true haven. Come to hike, to ride, to fish, to experience the back country. Come to meet an array of wildlife from bald eagles to moose and deer, scores of ducks, owls and visiting osprey. Scan the cliffs above the ranch for mountain sheep. Fish for trout in our acclaimed stream and private lake. Call for reservations at 307.733.0603.  

Seven Devils Small Dude Ranches

 

Dramatic Location Near Hells Canyon

Seven Devils Lodge, Capacity 8

Located in central Idaho, just south of the Seven Devils mountain range, the Seven Devils Lodge lies in a unique area, neighboring jutting canyons, high desert, and soaring mountains. The Lodge is just nine miles, as the crow flies, from Hells Canyon, known as the deepest canyon in North America. One of the few guest ranches in the state operating on as actual working cattle ranch, Seven Devils Lodge sits on the historic OX Ranch. Unique enough to be the subject of the popular book, A Wild Cowboy, the OX Ranch is rich in history and western culture. 

 

Allen's Diamond 4 Small Dude Ranches

Cowboy up on this Working Ranch

Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch, Capacity 8

Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch is located in the rugged Wind River Mountain Range and is Wyoming's highest wilderness guest ranch offering log cabins, mountain trail riding, fly fishing, wilderness pack trips, and hunting in Shoshone National Forest. We access the Wind Rivers from the Dickinson Park Trailhead, the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie and Worthen Meadows.

Small Dude Ranches Offer Big Experiences

Make some memories you won't soon forget at one of these small dude ranches. Here you will find one of the most exclusive vacation settings in Western America. Please note, small does not mean they are short on experiences or activities. It means they only host a handful guests in order to offer you a very personal horseback riding vacation. In the list of dude ranches below you will find your perfect cowboy place, great for making genuine connections with the land, horses and your hosts.

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