10 Luxury Dude Ranches for Your Next Vacation

Luxury Dude Ranches

Are you looking for a fun and entertaining vacation, but also want a relaxing and luxurious getaway at the same time? Luxury dude ranches are the vacation you have been searching for! These ranches offer a great atmosphere of adventure and relaxation all at the same time. Want to bring the kids along? Most luxury dude ranches have a great kid’s programs where the children can interact with other children their age and make memories to last a lifetime while the adults can also have their alone time to relax. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and prefer an adult-only getaway, it’s best to book in the shoulder seasons or during a specialty week. Whatever experience you’re looking for; these DRA approved luxury dude ranches will fit the bill of a fantastic vacation for the whole family. 


Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort - Solvang, California

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country is a 10,000-acre, working cattle ranch and full-service resort: The Alisal Guest Ranch. The rows of sycamores along the ranch driveway welcome you into your warm and inviting cabin. After a satisfying breakfast, go for a trail ride through the stunning rolling hills where you’ll pass cows grazing in the fields or play a round of golf on one of the two 18-hole courses on the property. The spa and pool will be waiting for you once you return to the ranch in the afternoon. Finish your day off by enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail in the bar and one of the best dinners you will ever have!

Luxury Dude Ranches


C Lazy U Ranch - Granby, Colorado

C Lazy Guest Ranch prides itself on its personalized 5-star service, professional horsemanship programs, first-class amenities, enriching children's programs, gourmet dining, and luxury accommodations (as they should!). Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s notorious Rocky Mountains, they offer the picturesque luxury ranch experience that people dream of.  As a year-round ranch, they are the perfect destination for both summer and winter getaways offering limitless activities from cross-country skiing to Orvis endorsed fly-fishing. Whether you’re looking for a family adventure or a romantic getaway, C Lazy U will be sure to impress!

Luxury Dude Ranches


Red Reflet Guest Ranch - Ten Sleep, Wyoming

Red Reflet Guest Ranch is the definition of luxury. Guest’s chalets include a full kitchen, hot tub, and steam showers. Spend your day working cattle, fishing on private streams, and exploring the 25,000-acre property on an ATV. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you will be one of the few people to experience Red Reflet’s gourmet dining -- many of the kitchen’s ingredients come straight from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens! Don’t miss out on the exclusive cooking classes offered by the ranch’s 5-star chef so you can recreate these delectable meals at home!

Luxury Dude Ranches


Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch - Emigrant, Montana

Do you want a working ranch experience with world-class luxuries? Hubbard’s Six Quarter Circle Ranch in Montana may be the place for you. Guests actively participate in ranch work, whether it's pushing cattle to higher greener pastures, throwing salt, or fixing fence. But don’t worry, it’s not all work; many people brag about Hubbard’s famed massages that you won’t want to miss out on! And after a long day of work, every cowboy and cowgirl deserves a good beer in the bar while a juicy filet mignon steak with all the trimmings is prepared in the kitchen.

Luxury Dude Ranches


Rancho de los Caballeros - Wickenburg, Arizona

Want to escape somewhere warm and sunny this year? Let Rancho de los Caballeros spoil you with their upscale amenities and endless activities on your next Arizona getaway. This ranch is the ideal Southwest retreat with 20,000-acres of open range to explore by horseback and a full spa and salon to enjoy after a long morning in the sun. Adventure through the desert by ATV, tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course (while the “mini ranchers” play at the Kids Club), or spend a much-needed day doing nothing by the heated pool, preferably with a margarita in hand! 

Luxury Dude Ranches


The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley - Colorado Springs, Colorado

You may not get much more luxurious than The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. Just a short ride up the mountain from the ever-famous Broadmoor sits the beautiful Ranch at Emerald Valley, a distinct western experience. This ranch is certainly in the high-end rustic retreat category. So, if you are in search of an extremely highly-rated luxury dude ranch for a romantic getaway or family vacation, don’t miss this ranch. Here, you can experience a variety of high-class activities along with a full-service spa. Your vacation here will be the perfect mix of western charm and a top-quality resort. An abundance of activities and great memories await you and your chosen travel partners at The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley.

Luxury Dude Ranches


Lost Creek Ranch - Moose, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole are known for their extravagance. Placed between these two locations and equally as magnificent is Lost Creek Ranch. Offering open-air massages with views of the Tetons, the spa at Lost Creek is one that will surely put your city’s spa to shame. Float the infamous Snake River, hike and horseback ride in the Tetons, or take a tour of Yellowstone -- all once-in-a-lifetime experiences you won’t want to miss out on! At the end of the day, settle down in your own cozy, log cabin where you will drift to sleep in the comforts of home listening to the cool mountain breeze or crackling fireplace.

Luxury Dude Ranches


Lone Mountain Ranch - Big Sky, Montana

Lone Mountain Ranch sits at the base of the mountains in Big Sky, Montana just north of Yellowstone. The ranch welcomes families of all ages to join in on their western way of life. The Lone Mountain dining options will surely impress you with their high-quality Rocky Mountain cuisine including Kobe beef, elk, and vegetarian selections. Experience a long refreshing hike into the surrounding Gallatin Mountains, a horseback ride up to the mountain tops and gaze over the stunning canyons, or take advantage of their guided canoe trips. Whatever your definition of relaxation and rejuvenation may be, the luxury of Lone Mountain Ranch will help you escape reality and help you to truly enjoy your vacation and time away.

Luxury Dude Ranches


4UR Ranch - Creede, Colorado

Can you imagine a place more luxurious than a vacation with a natural hot spring right on site? The 4UR Ranch in Colorado is home to two historical natural hot springs that supply the warm water for their hot tub and other pools. The ranch was constructed around these natural wonders to make sure no damage was made and to preserve history. The healing waters provide serene relaxation and many people believe the waters are a natural healer. The ranch has much more to offer than just their top-notch spa; they have horseback rides, incredible cuisine for all ages, great fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and more! Take a wonderful family vacation this year and have luxury meet you at the door at the 4UR Ranch. 

Luxury Dude Ranches


Mountain Sky Guest Ranch - Emigrant, Montana

Located 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park, is Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, a prime luxury dude ranch destination for both families and couples. There is something for everyone to do here. Whether you are an avid horseback rider, enjoy fly-fishing or archery, want to play a round of golf at the on-site golf course, or spend an incredible day in Yellowstone, you will not run out of activities on this vacation! Their truly impressive kids’ program will ensure that kids of all ages also enjoy the vacation of a lifetime. You won’t worry about a thing while at Mountain Sky; book the trip, pack your bags, and prepare yourself for a vacation filled with excitement, relaxation, and memories no one will soon forget! 

Luxury Dude Ranches

 

Do you know which one you want to visit yet? If not, let us know! Our ranch vacation specialists will help you pick the best ranch to fit your next vacation. 307-587-2339 info@duderanch.org 

Interested in including the Dude Ranchers’ Association in an article? Contact us today! 307-587-2339 info2@duderanch.org

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Where are the Best Dude Ranches?

Best Dude Ranches

     There are hundreds of dude ranches across the globe. How could you possibly filter through them all and narrow the options down to the best dude ranches? Scrap the ones that aren’t all-inclusive -the ones that are going to charge you for every activity and meal separately. Keep the ones that have a genuine, friendly Western welcome with staff, food, accommodations, facilities and activities to authenticate it. You would still need to sort through the, again, HUNDREDS of ranches. So, the Dude Ranchers’ Association did the leg work to make it easy for you! The DRA has 95+ approved member ranches. These ranches go through a rigorous 2-year long application process to ensure that they are of the highest standard in the dude ranching industry. They are all all-inclusive (i.e. meals, lodging, and most activities), have a main focus on horseback riding, and offer a vacation experience like no other destination!

Let’s explore the best dude ranches by state and province!

Arizona

Best Dude Ranches

     Arizona is home to some of the most colorful characters in American history: Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Pancho Villa, Billy the Kid, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Staying at an Arizona ranch puts you right in the middle of that rich history. Explore nearby gold mines, ghost towns, and hideouts, even Skeleton Canyon where Geronimo finally surrendered. Your Arizona ranches provide an authentic ranch experience. Guests may ride over grasslands, through Saguaro studded desert and along mountain trails morning, afternoon, and into the sunset. Sunsets in Arizona are not to be missed – they are the most dramatic and breathtaking in the country. A sunny day in the saddle, a brilliant sunset with a margarita on the patio and a hearty home-cooked dinner will make your Arizona dude ranch day complete!

Arkansas

Best Dude Ranches

     Typical Arkansas vacation ranch activities include horseback riding, caving, and rock climbing. Searching for Native American arrowheads is also popular, as is exploring National Parks and Wilderness Areas. Unlike many states, mechanized vehicles are not allowed in any Arkansas Wilderness Area, and a lovely quiet pervades. Guests of Arkansas Dude Ranches ride horses, canoe, and hike through this wilderness, sometimes feeling as if they were the first to ever do so. Arkansas has a long tradition of welcoming guests to the state. People have traveled to Hot Springs and the surrounding area for over a century to soak themselves in the restorative thermal waters. Try a different type of restorative therapy - lots of fresh air and activity at an Arkansas dude ranch.

British Columbia

Best Dude Ranches

     British Columbia is a remarkable place. It stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, Washington state to the Yukon and Alaska. Some of the wildest, most rugged mountains on the continent are found here; indeed, the Coast Range has been dubbed the Himalayas of the west. Tall, rocky peaks tumble down into valleys that rival the Grand Canyon in depth, width, and magnificence. Those who journey here are richly rewarded. Consider a dude ranch vacation in British Columbia, one of the most striking parts of the world!

California

Best Dude Ranches

     California conjures images of sun-kissed beaches, foggy San Francisco Bay, and giant redwood forests. The diversity of the state is unmatched by any other in the nation. Luxury dude ranch vacations in the state of California may include fly fishing, river rafting, and panning for gold. Guests may explore the land on bikes, watch birds, or rock climb. In addition, California vacation ranches offer their guests an authentic ranch experience. Guests may ride over grasslands and along mountain trails morning, afternoon, and at sunset. They may even participate in cattle round-ups and cattle drives, just like true cowboys. 

Colorado

Best Dude Ranches

     Colorado is known for its natural beauty. Much of Western Colorado is covered by the Rocky Mountains, where more than 50 mountain peaks reach over 14,000 feet. The eastern third of the state is the start of the high plains. Evergreen and aspen forests, deep canyons, and sand dunes - all are found in the state. Colorado dude ranch vacations are as varied as the ranches. Some focus on horseback riding, with trail riding and rodeo taking center stage. Some are all about luxury - the food, the lodging, the spa. Most offer a variety of activities for all ages: hiking, rafting, biking, skiing, riding, and fishing. All Colorado Dude Ranches specialize in creating unforgettable vacations full of fresh air, activity, and friends.

Idaho

Best Dude Ranches

     Idaho is comprised of rugged and beautiful terrain that stretches from British Columbia to Nevada and Wyoming. The Rocky Mountains cover much of the eastern border of the state, while Hell's Canyon, the deepest canyon in the country, is found along the Oregon and Washington border. Idaho is a lovely spot for a dude ranch vacation, for the wilderness beckons. Ride through grasslands and along forested trails. Head into the mountains, follow a stream bed, and spend a week as a cowboy. Everywhere there is fresh air and a beautiful natural setting, perfect for a luxury ranch vacation.

Montana

Best Dude Ranches

     Variously known as "The Big Sky State" and "The Last Best Place", Montana is truly a state of vast open spaces, incredible wilderness, and stunning scenery. It seems the proper place for a dude ranch vacation; and Montana dude ranches do take advantage of their spectacular surroundings, leading guests into national parks, through the Rocky Mountains, and across the prairie lands. Some dude ranches in Montana offer guests the opportunity to drive cattle like a real cowboy. Others specialize in sharing the wonders of fly fishing on pristine rivers and mountain streams. Some shower guests in luxury, spa packages and gourmet meals; others make you feel like a part of the family, with homestyle meals and marshmallow roasts around fire pits. Whatever your idea of the perfect dude ranch vacation, you will surely find it in Montana!

New Mexico

Best Dude Ranches

     There is much to see in New Mexico, from the wondrous Carlsbad Caverns to the Black Range Mountains and the brilliant gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument. Guests of New Mexico dude ranches have a unique opportunity to explore the land and gain insight into the culture. They offer guests a chance to experience the cowboy life, with a bit more luxury if desired. Become a ranch hand and participate in rugged cattle drives, or ride along miles of fence looking for breaks in need of repair. After a day in the saddle, revel in simple luxuries such as soaking sore muscles in a hot tub or stretching out by a fire under a vast canopy of stars. Now that's a vacation!

Oregon

Best Dude Ranches

     Oregon is breathtaking, plain and simple. Western Oregon is cool and green, while Eastern Oregon is dry and vast. Mountains stand in the middle, running north to Washington state and south to California. A stay at a luxury Oregon dude ranch allows guests time and leisure to explore some of the natural beauty of this state. It stands to reason that vacations at Oregon dude ranches include a wide variety of outdoor recreation. Go horseback riding on forested trails and through grassland. Experience the thrill of fly fishing on a private stretch of water, with mountains tall in the distance. Hike into one of Oregon's many wilderness areas or along a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, or rock climb up a sheer cliff. There is whitewater rafting spring through fall, and skiing in the winter.

Washington

Best Dude Ranches

     The diverse natural beauty of the state encourages outdoor recreation. There are four volcanos in the Cascades which range in elevation from 8,300 feet to over 14,400. The Olympic Peninsula, west of Puget Sound, is home to the Olympic National Park, Hoh Rain Forest, and long stretches of wild, wind-swept Pacific beaches. Eastern Washington boasts sunshine, world-class wineries, and vast open spaces. Time spent at a Washington dude ranch will inevitably include outdoor recreation. Imagine horseback riding through grassland ringed by mountains or deep into evergreen forests. Additional activities may include angling in lakes or rivers, tubing down a river, biking or hiking. A dude ranch vacation in Washington is an ideal way to reconnect with nature, bond with family, and make new friends!

Wyoming

Best Dude Ranches

     The Rocky Mountains meet the High Plains in the state of Wyoming. This is true cowboy country with few people and vast, open spaces. The bulk of Yellowstone National Park is in Northwest Wyoming. Many Wyoming dude ranches include excursions into Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. Hundreds of trails traverse the parks, providing access to deep backcountry areas, remote lakes, and scenic overlooks. Moose, elk, and bear inhabit this stunning area and are frequently spotted during guided excursions. These ranches may be rustic or luxurious. Guests may ride all day and herd cattle or soak in a hot tub and enjoy a massage. Activities may range from horseback rides through the mountains to fly-fishing to river rafting. Wyoming dude ranches strive to create the perfect vacation for guests.

     Whether your perfect dude ranch is in Arkansas, Washington, or somewhere in between, we’re sure that it will be one of our DRA approved ranches! There is a little cowboy in all of us. Come find yours today! 

Need help narrowing down the options further? Contact one of our dude ranch experts! info@duderanch.org • 308-587-2339

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What is a Dude Ranch?

What is a dude ranch? Dude ranches are the original Western vacation! Back in the late 19th century, ranches allowed visitors from the East Coast and Midwest to escape the crowds of their suburban lives to experience the unique rejuvenation of spirit that ranches had become known for. Ranches quickly became a “home away from home” as returning guests became lifelong friends with the staff and guests. It’s a quality that still exists today, as dude ranch vacations continue to provide that special brand of western hospitality that nourishes body and soul.

For dude ranches who are members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, this is an all-inclusive immersive vacation that includes lodging, meals, horseback riding, fishing, hiking and more. With almost 100 members in the DRA the experience is unique at every ranch with a specialty in horseback riding over unique terrain, cattle work and/or luxury amenities. From small, intimate ranches to large resort-style ranches there is a ranch to fit every budget and dream vacation. Take a look at the sampling of ranches below to get a better understanding of what is a dude ranch. 

What Is a Dude Ranch

Lazy L&B Ranch, Wyoming

Snapshot: Lazy L&B Ranch is located in Dubois, WY, nestled in a lush green cottonwood river bottom, surrounded by 80,000 acres of wildlife habitat, high alpine country, desert painted plateaus, sand wash canyons, and dramatic rugger river gorges. 

Capacity: 35           Dates Open: May 31 - September 12

Activities: Lazy L&B Ranch has rides on some of the most diverse terrain imaginable and every ride is completely different. Aside from the riding program, kids love the petting zoo and treehouse. Square dancing in Dubois is a hoot and you're also welcome to participate in the local rodeo. You can do as much or as little as you want. The folks at the ranch are there to make your vacation what you want it to be!

Click here to view all ranches in Wyoming.

What Is a Dude Ranch

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, Arizona

Snapshot: Located in the heart of cowboy country, the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch family is dedicated to providing you with one of the best dude ranch vacations you can find. They create a special, friendly atmosphere where you can get a glimpse into the old west while enjoying the beautiful NW Arizona desert.

Capacity: 42            Dates Open: January 1 - December 31

Activities: Besides horseback riding Stagecoach Trails offers free mountain bikes that you can use to ride out in the desert. You can relax by the swimming pool and hot tub or just soak in the sun on their lounge chairs. For more active folks you can rent one of the ATV's for a ride out to the gold mines of the bygone days, or head out to the shooting range for some cowboy action shooting with the wranglers.

Click here to view all ranches in Arizona.

What Is a Dude Ranch

Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch, Montana

Snapshot: Once guests drive into the Upper Ruby Valley and see the mountains surrounding Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch, it is clear they are about to indulge in a true Montana vacation. You will be greeted with a warm welcome and the western hospitality that will make you feel at home. Their spacious and modern lodge offers guests a panoramic view of the mountains surrounding the lodge through their floor to ceiling windows.

Capacity: 24            Dates Open: June 1 - December 1

Activities: Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch’s activities can suit any type of outdoor enthusiast. With miles of horseback riding, fly fishing on the beautiful Ruby River, and incredible hiking opportunities, summer days are filled with lots of time outdoors enjoying the great Big Sky. After a busy day of activities, you can relax on the front deck of your cabin while enjoying the natural surroundings.  

Click here to view all ranches in Montana.

What Is a Dude Ranch

Colorado Trails Guest Ranch, Colorado 

Snapshot: Family fun abounds at Colorado Trails Ranch located in the beautiful San Juan Mountains just outside of historic Durango, Colorado. With its comprehensive Western riding and children's programs, plus some of the best fly-fishing in Colorado, the ranch offers and an array of activities for the entire family. The vacation is perfect for both singles and couples as well!

Capacity: 55            Dates Open: June 21 - September 13

Activities: Colorado Trails Guest Ranch’s horseback riding caters to all levels. They offer instruction for beginner to advanced riders. Rides are grouped by ability and type of ride desired with a maximum of 6 riders to a guide. Their fly-fishing program is also for everyone with over two miles of private river nearby plus several stocked ponds. They offer riflery, archery, trap shooting, full children/teen's programs for three separate age groups, each with their own counselor, plus hiking, swimming, rafting, relaxing and evening programs.

Click here to view all ranches in Colorado.

What Is a Dude Ranch 

Greenhorn Ranch, California

Snapshot: Greenhorn Ranch is located in beautiful Plumas County, "The Friendliest County in California" between the historical towns of Graeagle and Quincy, just 70 miles from the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. The ranch is also just miles from the scenic Feather River Canyon and the most rugged trans-sierra railroad line in California. This is truly a recreational paradise for people who love horseback riding, fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, fresh mountain air, blue skies, spectacular views, starry nights and unconditional relaxation!

Capacity: 60            Dates Open: June 1 - October 31

Activities: Greenhorn Ranch boasts one of the largest activities lists of any dude ranch around. While horseback riding is their main activity, you can also enjoy fishing in one of two fully stocked trout ponds, swimming in the heated pool, dancing, karaoke, horse-drawn wagon rides, rodeo games, archery, skeet shooting, cookouts on the trail, golf at premier local golf courses, and access to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in California. 

Click here to view all ranches in California.

Still want to learn more? Contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association and they will help you find the perfect ranch for your dream vacation! A dude ranch vacation is really the vacation that will keep you coming back!

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Canceled Your International Travel Plans? 5 Reasons Why THIS Vacation Is the Best Alternative.

Travel Plans

It’s no surprise that people are canceling their international travel plans and cruises due to fear of sickness. The sheer idea of sitting on a flight with recycled air for 6+ hours is enough to make your head spin. But what are you going to do about your big annual family vacation? Is there somewhere else you can go? Something else you could do? You need somewhere with fresh air, wide-open spaces that are all around good for your physical and mental health! Your family needs a dude ranch vacation and here are 5 reasons why:

#1 Being outdoors can help boost your immune system

Travel Plans

Being close to nature has some diverse and significant health benefits. In addition to getting your good ole’ vitamin D outside, scientists also believe that breathing in natural chemicals put off by plants can increase our white blood cell levels and help us fight off infections and diseases such as obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. These natural scents can also provide aromatherapy that can make you feel calmer and more relaxed! 

#2 Wide Open Spaces

Travel Plans

Nothing beats getting out of the madness of the hazy city and humid, crowded beaches and out into the peace and quiet. Not only will you be away from swarms of people, but you’ll be taking in soul-cleansing, mountain air that will make you feel revived. Let’s not forget that these vast spaces allow for some of the best horseback riding experiences in the world!

#3 Natural Exercise

Travel Plans

Whether you look forward to your daily exercise or not, you’ll inevitably get your workout in on a dude ranch. From holding yourself upright on your horse to casting your fly out into the river to holding your bow up while practicing archery - you’ll more than likely get some exercise. Oh, and we can’t forget the refreshing yoga classes and wild rock climbing that some dude ranches have! These activities are also great ways to turn your exercise time into family time.

#4 Bonding Over New Experiences

Travel Plans

Dude ranches openly welcome families of all types and invite them to come learn and experience the legendary Western way of life. Learn how to rope, experience a real western rodeo, get involved in a real cattle drive, and then hop on the river and go rafting. The adventures are truly endless on a dude ranch and will keep your family reminiscing for years to come (or until your next visit!).

#5 You Can Make a Road Trip Out of It

Travel Plans

We have over 95 ranches west of the Mississippi River, so you are most likely less than a 24 drive from one of our dude ranches! So, if you don’t feel like taking a chance on a short flight, you can always hop in the car and make a road trip out of it! There are plenty of sites to see along the way. From ever-changing landscapes to national parks and monuments, check them all off your family’s bucket list this summer while making your way to your new favorite vacation!

So, since you’re canceling that stuffy 8-hour flight overseas this summer, consider taking a dude ranch vacation this year! We guarantee it’ll be an experience your family will never forget. Let us know if you need help sifting through 95+ DRA approved ranches; our DRA ranch experts are here to help you! Contact us today DudeRanch.org 307-587-2339.

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The Newest Millennial Travel Trend

The Newest Millennial Travel Trend

The Newest Millennial Travel Trend

The hospitality world literally idolizes millennial travelers and their trends. They have changed the standards of accommodations and amenities. This generation expects different activity, cuisine, and service. However, dude ranches have always offered many of the confusing or even cryptic components of millennial travel. Let's dig deeper into the good-time of an Instagramable dude ranch...

Experience 

Millennials crave authentic, experiential travel over packaged or conventional travel. Nothing is more authentic than Western Dude Ranches and the nearly 100 different options of ranches in the DRA portfolio that offer everything from working ranches to luxury-based stays across the country and Canada.

Newest Millennial Travel Trend

Brand names are still important; however, access to unique, obscure, or even, first-ever sports and adventures are more on par with millennial travel trends than a more traditional three-night hotel stay. A bonus, many ranches such as White Stallion in Tucson, Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Eaton’s in Wyoming and Lost Valley Ranch near Denver, have an onsite concierge to not only assist with ranch activity, but nearby reservations and bookings, something that is still desirable in off-the-grid areas, or those not listed on the internet. 

Productivity 

Millennials are not about wasting their vacation time and like to go full speed, and the DRA certainly offers up all these longings. Truthfully, it’s hard not to be productive on a ranch, even if that means relaxing. Dude ranches provide guests with a dozen or more activities daily, making for multiple adventure-days. This embodies a millennial attitude; why do one activity when you can have the option to do three? And, what if the three activities change daily? Think of all the adventures to be accomplished in a week! 

Newest Millennial Travel Trend

Horseback ride in the morning, hike in the afternoon, and snag a trout come sunset, that’s a typical day at many Rocky Mountain ranches. Come winter in Idaho and Montana, imagine a fresh snowfall horseback ride after a gourmet breakfast, followed by ski journing, then lunch by the fire before afternoon sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing or sleigh rides, and the sun hasn’t even set! 

Cuisine

Dude ranches have an adventure in every imaginable form, but many still have a reputation of pork and beans when it comes to food. Get out the silverware and set the table, because over two dozen of the ranches have won food and beverage awards. 

Rawah Ranch, close to the border of Colorado and Wyoming, hosted one of the top millennial “athleisure” brands in the world for their version of The Last Supper. In planning their schedule, the Chicago-based organizer inquired if they could ask attendees about what their dream last meal would be. Then, the ranch’s chef would prepare each meal to specification, served with an intricate explanation. “That’s the thing at Rawah, there are no limitations on requests from fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to seasoned Cornish hen for BBQ night. 

Newest Millennial Travel Trend

Latigo Ranch, another Colorado Ranch outside of Kremmling, has a family legacy of dessert. Spencer, the owner's son, works his craft in the kitchen. “His desserts—they’ve become the stuff of legend in the last decade. Coffee crème caramel with a shortbread cookie, Vanilla-bourbon crème brûlée, served in a martini-chiller over shards of caramelized sugar, with a fresh, warm, house-made, yeast doughnut drizzled in Spencer’s own salted caramel sauce, and milk chocolate mousse in a sugar sphere. World-traveled guests have raved over its perfection.” Hannah, his wife adds, “Latigo is service. Our food is artistry. And the taste is out of this world.”

White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, offers a patio utopia with and outdoor pizza oven and Tandoor—a cylindrical clay oven where heat is made by charcoal or wood to create a radiant cooking method—incredibly on-trend with the desire to know and see how your food is being prepared and cooked. Dinner is often served alfresco throughout the week featuring foods such as classic BBQ, brisket, pork tenderloin, steak, ribs, chuck roast, and locally-sourced vegetables. Steamship leg of pork, corn on the grill, produce skewers, wild rice, this is just a sampling of the gorgeously presented ranch food underneath the Tucson stars.

Online Impact with Authenticity 

The Newest Millennial Travel Trend

You don’t exist unless you have a website, well, that was 2014. Now, you need to have a social media presence and following to really attract the millennial traveler. With multi-generational ownership, millennials, of who have been raised on the ranches, are taking to social media and the authentic content has followings long after guests leave the ranch.

Cherokee Park Ranch (@cherokeeparkranch) has true rugged, seasonal images from the multiple generations that own and maintain the Colorado ranch. The millennial behind the campaign, Caree Prince (@careeoke), has her own following nearly 17K strong and loaded with Western wear, life, and landscape, authentic to her home daily activity, and it’s ragingly popular and constantly loaded with comments.

Triangle X Ranch, a historic ranch, in pristine Jackson Hole, runs five generations deep, and that’s their strategy. The engagement numbers on their Instagram (@trianglexranch) are some of the highest of all the dude ranches in the world! Nighttime skies, sunsets, and horses rack up hundreds of likes for each post. 

The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch (@thehideoutshellwy), east of Cody, Wyoming, also does a millennial-worthy job on their Instagram with sincere landscape from winter rides through feet of snow to cowboy sunrises and sunsets with the herd. Their remote location is the star of the photos with backdrops of dreams. 

The DRA member ranches will provide working, traditional, and luxury dude ranch vacations for all types of travelers and guests. Different activity, cuisine, and service will set the new standard for millennial adventure travel. For more information or assistance in selecting the right dude ranch for you, contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association! With almost 100 years of experience and over 95 ranches to choose from, we will help find the right ranch for you! 

The Newest Millennial Travel Trend

info@duderanch.org ~ 307-587-2339

The Newest Millennial Travel Trend   The Newest Millennial Travel Trend

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

Top 10 Ranches for "Foodies"

Ranch visitors all have different “non-negotiables” when it comes to finding the perfect dude ranch for them. More and more often we see “amazing food” on this list. So, we decided to put together a list of the DRA ranches that offer mouth-watering gourmet food! Here are our Top 10 Ranches for "Foodies":

 

Red Reflet Guest Ranch | Ten Sleep, WY

Ranches for Foodies

Next to their ATV adventures, mealtime is always memorable at the Red Reflet Ranch. A great deal of effort is taken to make every meal tasty, healthful and unique. Ranch meals include produce from their greenhouse, garden, and orchard. Their beef is ranch-raised, the lamb is locally raised and both are processed in their butcher shop and aged to be savory and tender. Worried about missing the ranch food once you get home? Don’t fret! They offer cooking classes with their excellent Chef Toby Bauer!

 

Latigo Ranch | Kremmling, CO

Ranches for Foodies

The Latigo Ranch kitchen uses the finest ingredients, sustainably and locally sourced whenever possible, their chefs strive to make dishes that are creative, satisfying, wholesome, and elegant. The day begins with an array of breakfast opportunities; everything from fresh fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola, to pancakes, waffles, eggs any style, and their house-smoked bacon (which has been known to receive applause). You’ll then be off to fill your day with archery and shooting sports or maybe some rock climbing! Evening meals may consist of Bison flank steak roulade, a brace of quail with a fine sherry glaze, or ask about their AMAZING vegetarian options. And knowing that kids' tastes are often different, they work to see that they are happy as well.

 

Rancho de los Caballeros | Wickenburg, AZ

Ranches for Foodies

The chef and culinary team at Rancho de los Caballeros create three delicious meals daily. Breakfast is a full buffet with everything from homemade biscuits to made-to-order omelets. After a round of golf help yourself to the lunch buffet with poolside dining available. The gourmet dinner menu, which changes every evening, includes a choice of two soups or salads, five delectable entrees, including, but most definitely not limited to: grilled swordfish, 12-ounce ribeye, and pork chops. Then, after a beautiful desert sunset, swing by their bonfire cookout to grill, sing, and be merry!

 

Flat Creek Ranch | Jackson, WY

Ranches for Foodies

From traditional to decadent, Flat Creek Ranch’s kitchen is supplied by local, organic meat and produce whenever possible, including fresh greens from our garden. The daily menus reflect seasonal bounty at the hand of an experienced and imaginative chef. The day starts with coffee delivered to your cabin followed by a gourmet breakfast with seasonal fruit, homemade granola and yogurt, fresh-squeezed orange juice and something special and piping hot from the kitchen. You’ll be all fueled up and ready for a day of fly-fishing! After you get back to the ranch, duck confit, osso bucco with local beef, and stuffed pork chop are a few of the entrees you may enjoy with your 4-course dinner awaiting you. Beer and wine are always included!

 

High Lonesome Ranch | DeBeque, CO

Ranches for Foodies

The culinary structure at The High Lonesome Ranch is very unique. Their dining program is based on the needs and desires of the guests staying with them at the time. Menus can range from classical preparations to family-style. When you've concluded your daily horseback riding, cattle work, or fly-fishing you'll be very pleased to meet their Executive Chef, and in the morning their Breakfast Chef will become one of your favorite people. Local farm-to-table cuisine, ranch-grown produce, and their own HLR Angus beef raised and aged on the ranch will delight you at every meal.

 

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort | Solvang, CA

Ranches for Foodies

Alisal Guest Ranch’s menu changes daily because they use the freshest ingredients from local farms and ranches. Their meals are prepared for a hearty appetite. Their breakfasts are cooked just how you like it and gourmet dinners are prepared with farm-fresh ingredients. Join them at the Chuckwagon Grill for some delicious entrees including quinoa and arugula salad, a half-pound fresh Angus burger, and Chuck Wagon Nachos. They specialize in their famous BBQ's held three times a week during the summer. 

 

4UR Ranch | Creede, Co

Ranches for Foodies

We’ll start off by saying, 4UR Ranch knows how to start their guests’ mornings off right: 6:30 am coffee delivered to your porch! After this, most meals at the 4UR take place in the lodge dining room at liberally scheduled times, so you’ll have plenty of time to soak in the hot springs! Dining at the 4UR is an event, not just another meal. They use local organic vegetables and produce. Dinner specials include Colorado Rack of Lamb, Ahi Tuna, Elk Tenderloin, Seared Salmon, Alaskan Halibut, Beef Tenderloin, Buffalo Ribs, and many other wonderful dishes. Important note: They have a bottomless cookie jar in the lodge and at the pool!

 

Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch | Emigrant, MT

Ranches for Foodies

There is never a shortage of food at Hubbard’s Lodge. Join them for hearty breakfasts with house-made baked goods, fresh fruit, and made to order omelets, eggs, pancakes, waffles, and more. After a long day hiking on the trail (and a nice hot bath), wander on down to the lodge where dinner is prepared and includes dishes such as roasted pork tenderloin or walleye with a lemon caper sauce, and accompaniments such as butternut squash, chipotle pepper soup, or southwestern Caesar salad. Mouthwatering desserts are prepared daily by their pastry chef. You'll always receive personal, friendly service from a great staff.

 

A Bar A Ranch | Encampment, WY

Ranches for Foodies

A day of yoga, fishing, and horseback riding in the mountain air promotes a healthy appetite. Dining at the A Bar A is one of the things that guests say is a favorite part of their ranch experience. Their chef's creative menus are prepared with high-quality ingredients, including organic produce and natural meats. The ranch's wine cellar holds a large selection of fine wines.

 

Tanque Verde Ranch | Tucson, AZ

Ranches for Foodies

By the end of your long day of mountain biking adventures at Tanque Verde Ranch, you’ll be anxiously awaiting over the dinner cuisine which may include seafood cioppino served with three types of fresh, pan-seared seafood or a 6 oz house-cut beef tenderloin. Besides the three gourmet meals served each day in the dining room, several indoor and outdoor specialty dining events are held each week. Consume the mouth-watering cuisine while also taking in the authentic dude ranch atmosphere of Tanque Verde Ranch! Nothing hits the spot better than a savory meal and refreshing drink after an invigorating day on the ranch. 

 

Whether you consider yourself a “foodie” or someone who just likes to enjoy GOOD food (myself) these dude ranches are a must-visit! If you’d like more information on dude ranches or need help selecting the best ranch-fit for you please contact us at info@duderanch.org or at 307-587-2339.

Top 10 Ranches for

A Day on a Dude Ranch

Dude ranch vacations are becoming ever popular for every type of traveler, multigenerational family reunions, couples, solo adventurists and even corporate groups. Dude ranches are a great destination to be as active or relaxing as one pleases; the ability to choose your own schedule and enjoy a way of life you may not be familiar with is relaxing in itself. Depending on the ranch, the list of activities could be quite simple or endless, but what does a day on a dude ranch entail? The folks at the Dude Ranchers’ Association can help you out in answering that question, continue reading to learn more! 

A Day on a Dude Ranch

Trail Ride at a dude ranch

Lone Mountain Ranch - Montana

Your stay at a dude ranch will start off with your arrival, being greeted by friendly faces and checking in. A tour around the ranch and help with your luggage is usually first on the list. After you have some time to settle in, you will probably hear a dinner bell ringing indicating it is time to start vacation off on the right foot, with great food! You will join other guests in the dining room where introductions will be made and the fun begins. Most ranches do not have riding available on the day guests arrive, but there are some that do, so when you are planning your trip, just be sure to ask. 

The next day will be a full day of activities! Most guests will probably choose to head on down to the corral to see the horses and get fitted for stirrups so you are comfortable in the saddle. You will then get the opportunity to hear an orientation speech about safety precautions around the corral and some basic riding instruction for the beginners in the group. Even if you have riding experience, it is necessary and important to listen to the horse safety orientation speech because each horse is different and so is each ranch. These orientations cover much more than basic instruction of riding, each ranch has specific guidelines for riders and they want to ensure every one is as safe as possible and can enjoy their vacation! Once you have heard the speech, you will be on your way, riding through the beautiful landscapes and fresh mountain air these dude ranches lie in. You may be thinking, "what about the kids?" Don’t you worry, many ranches have fantastic kids’ programs and counselors to keep them busy while the adults are away. Obviously, if they are old enough to ride, that is probably where they will spend much of their time, but for the younger kiddos or maybe the ones not so interested in riding, there will be something to keep them busy and making memories! 

kids high fiving at a dude ranch

CM Ranch - Wyoming

After your morning ride, you will head into lunch where, again, there will be great food awaiting you! After a satisfying lunch, you may be ready for a nap, to go lay by the pool, try your hand at fishing or head back out on the trails. This is where the autonomy of a dude ranch shines through, the choice is completely up to you on how you spend your vacation! Each ranch has its own list of activities for guests to participate in, so when you are starting your search for a ranch, be sure the activities you want to enjoy are available. If you do not know where to start on making a list of activities you want to try, contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association and they will be able to help! 

outdoor picnic at a dude ranch

Black Mountain Ranch - Colorado

By afternoon, everyone is off on their next adventure of the day! Horseback riding, fly-fishing, hiking, swimming, kids’ club or reading a good book might be the adventure. Once that adventure comes to an end for the day, it will be time for, you guessed it, another fantastic meal! Some ranches do host cocktail hours before dinner so guests can mingle and share stories of the day. This is a great time for the kids to get together and play while the adults have some time to decompress. Other ranches do not have the ability to host these cocktail hours, but guests are welcome to bring beverages of their choice and enjoy them before and during dinner. 

wine at a dude ranch

Triangle C Ranch - Wyoming

After dinner, many ranches have events scheduled for guests to enjoy. These events may include dancing, campfire sing-a-longs and s’ mores, a rodeo, hay rides, games and more! These events make the best of memories, especially if you have never participated before. Usually, the staff members of the ranch get involved too and make it even more fun! If you choose to visit a dude ranch for five to seven days, you may find that there is a scheduled event most nights; if this is something that interests you, be sure to ask before booking your stay. 

square dancing at a dude ranch

Wind River Ranch - Colorado

Evening festivities will wrap up and you will be ready to head to your comfortable lodge room, cabin or maybe even a glamping tent. A good night’s sleep will be no problem after all of the excitement from the day. Before you know it, you will wake up and it will start all over again with meals, activities, great company and memories to last a lifetime. 

cabin at a dude ranch

Marble Mountain Ranch - California

The Dude Ranchers’ Association currently has almost 100 member ranches spread throughout the Western United States and Canada that ensure you will receive a genuine Western experience combined with the lodging industry’s highest standards of hospitality.  Finding a ranch where you can check all of the activities off of your bucket list can be very easy. Contact the folks at the DRA and they will help you find the perfect ranch for your destination vacation! 

307-587-2339 ~ info@duderanch.org

 

Save this Pin for Later!

ude ranch vacations are becoming ever popular for every type of traveler, multigenerational family reunions, couples, solo adventurists and even corporate groups. Dude ranches are a great destination to be as active or relaxing as one pleases; the ability to choose your own schedule and enjoy a way of life you may not be familiar with is relaxing in itself. Depending on the ranch, the list of activities could be quite simple or endless, but what does a day on a dude ranch entail?

Reviving your Mind, Body and Spirit at a Dude Ranch

While the term dude ranch usually brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, dude ranches are actually all this and much more – especially when it comes to wellness experiences. In keeping with the belief that wellness starts from within, many DRA-accredited ranches offer a variety of rejuvenating activities and services in a lush oasis environment to give you “whole body” relief from the stress of modern life. Imagine enjoying a spa escape or time in the great outdoors with a small group, giving you the opportunity to decompress and to actually contemplate all the things that you just do not have time to on a day to day basis. How freeing will it be to breathe the fresh mountain air, hike to the top of a bluff to view a morning sunset, to actually have time to read a book or to just sit a listen to Mother Nature?  We at the Dude Ranchers’ Association think spending time alone with your thoughts is just as important as any exercise program. Below you will see that there are some real opportunities to revive your mind, body, and spirit while experiencing some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest.

As the original all-inclusive vacation, dude ranches offer value and numerous advantages over other all-inclusive vacation options including no planning once you arrive, flexibility to customize your itinerary, and no additional costs once you arrive at your destination. There are more than 95 DRA-accredited dude ranches in North America (two in Canada), all of which uphold the highest quality of services within the industry. No matter what type of getaway you’re in search of, there is the perfect dude ranch out there for you. Please see below for a sampling of DRA-accredited ranches that feature unique wellness experiences.

Greenhorn Ranch

Greenhorn Ranch in California believes lost is the time when we gathered for a shared purpose when we communed under the stars and truly connected. Interruptions are far too easy in a normal setting. Escape to a place beneath the stars where cell phone service is shoddy, WiFi works when you need it, and the campfire is always warm and crackling under the starlit sky. Relax, enjoy the stay and relish the much-anticipated time together.  Their 3-day wellness retreat starts September 26th – 29th. There will be seminars on relieving stress through your camera with David Herman, learn how to cook delicious meals in just 90 minutes with Pamela Salzman. Learn to manage your stress with healthy food and herbs. Tina Quinn reminds you that “The most important things in life are the ones you can’t see”.  

You will also get the opportunity to learn why Winston Churchill often said: “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man”. 

dude ranch

A Bar A Ranch

Sometimes all a person needs to revive your mind, body, and spirit is to get outside in the woods.  At A Bar A Ranch in Wyoming, they offer what they call an “Expedition” which are custom Western adventures. Up to six guests stay in luxurious cabins or tents, taking full advantage of their 100,000-acre property. Days are spent riding, fishing, hiking, and exploring.  The A Bar A Ranch sits along the banks of the North Platte River in the heart of the beautiful Medicine Bow Mountains. 

The A Bar A Classic Expedition is perfect for families or friends seeking a private experience on a classic guest and cattle ranch. Ride to your luxurious cabin on horseback taking in the amazing Wyoming scenery. Your Expedition Guide will take care of everything for you, they will also be your gourmet cooks. A Bar A expeditions give you the chance to design the vacation that is just perfect for you. 

dude ranch

Rancho de los Caballeros

If you are looking for a more traditional wellness experience look no further than the Spa at Los Caballeros at Rancho de los Caballeros Ranch in Arizona. The resort spa offers classic services and signature treatments you won’t find anywhere else, such as their desert baths, scrubs, and wraps. Whether you’re looking to enrich your skin or touch up your pedicure, Spa Caballeros has a wonderful treatment for you. End an action-filled day by unwinding with an enriching facial, hot stone massage, or aromatic bath in our claw-foot tubs. Parents can share a spa day with their daughters by booking nail treatments together. 

The ranch is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert’s hiking trails and beautiful blooming cacti, their 20,000-acre ranch resort does not waste any space. You will not only get to enjoy the amazing horseback riding but can also experience their acclaimed 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and heated pool.

dude ranch

Majestic Dude Ranch

Majestic Dude Ranch in Colorado sets aside a week in May and the month of September specifically for adults. They realize that the non-stop programming their summer session offers isn’t for everyone. Learn to relax, take a deep breath and heal from the inside out.  Enjoy cooking classes, wine and cheese tastings or just sitting on your porch taking in the peace and quiet the ranch has to offer. There is nothing better for the soul and mind than a little quiet time alone.

The amenities at this ranch are pretty nice. They offer Tempur-Pedic mattresses in every room so you’ll rest easy after a long day of activities. Diffusers stocked with soothing oils in each room make coming back to your cabin an even more relaxing experience. No one ever goes hungry at Majestic – that’s their commitment. Their mission is to provide hearty, yet healthy meals for all guests. Their chefs cater to all dietary restrictions, allergies, and tastes. If you still feel the need to work out they offer, for their especially active guests, unlimited gym access. With a treadmill, free weights, an assisted pull-up bar, and several machines, there’s plenty to keep you fit and on your gym schedule.

dude ranch

We know it can be hard in this stress-filled busy world we live in to take time for yourself, but we feel it is one of the most important things you can do for a healthy mind, body, and spirit!

www.duderanch.org ~ info2@duderanch.org ~ 307-587-2339 

While the term dude ranch usually brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, dude ranches are actually all this and much more!

Unique Fitness Adventures on a Dude Ranch Anytime of Year

When planning a dude ranch vacation, you might think about horseback riding through picturesque mountain panoramas, testing out fly fishing on mirror like rivers or relaxing by a crackling campfire; it usually does not cross your mind about staying on track with your workout routine. You don’t want to lose a whole week of workouts, but what are you going to do to stay in shape at a dude ranch? There is an array of unique dude ranch fitness adventures to participate in during your vacation. 

Horseback riding offers physical activity, but you may be eager for more challenging tasks. You may need to actually “feel the burn” while participating in an activity to get a sense of a good workout. No matter what type of weather conditions, there are outside adventures to keep you active any time of year. Here are 9 unique dude ranch adventures to keep you in shape during your vacation. 

Unique Dude Ranch Fitness Adventures

 

Mountain Biking – Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, Arizona

With all of the activities available on a dude ranch it is hard to pick just a few to participate in. Plus, you want to get the most out of your week-long vacation, but it is tough to do all the activities you want in such a short amount of time. If you are looking to explore the desert terrain of Arizona in a different way there are options! For a more fitness tailored adventure you could try mountain biking. Stagecoach Trails has fat tire mountain bikes available for you to use for a quieter exploration of the cactus filled trails. Ride through the desert and get a good workout by peddling through sandy trails, you might even get to see some wildlife, like a roadrunner being chased by a coyote! 

fitness adventures

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch - Yucca, AZ 

Snowshoeing – Campbell Hills Guest Ranch, British Columbia 

If you have never walked through deep, wet snow you may not know how much of a workout it can really be. Sometimes vacations have snowy days, and you will still want to get outside to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. At Campbell Hills Guest Ranch there are many winter activities available, but snowshoeing may be the best physical workout of them all. You can snowshoe many different trails at the ranch and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. It is very peaceful to get outside, enjoy the cool fresh air and take in all of the stunning landscapes and mountains around you. 

fitness adventures

Campbell Hills Guest Ranch - Kamloops, BC

Paddle Boarding – Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana 

Trying to balance on a board, paddle and enjoy everything around you can sometimes be a true challenge. Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge in Montana has many water activities to offer that are fun and refreshing. The ranch is located directly on the shores of Flathead Lake which is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. This lake is also one of the cleanest freshwater lakes in the world and stretches almost 30 miles in length! Paddle boarding on Flathead Lake is one of the tougher physical activities for your body. It requires many muscles to all be used at the same time which can be difficult, if your body is not up for that challenge, no worries you can just go for a swim! It is a great fitness activity for those vacation-goers who are looking for a fun adventure on the water all while getting a good workout, and maybe even a tan! 

fitness adventures

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge - Bigfork, MT

Hiking – Rancho de la Osa, Arizona

Hiking is one of the best fitness activities one can do to stay in shape while on vacation. Many of the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s member ranches have miles of trails for you to hike either with a guide or on your own. Rancho de la Osa in Arizona is a perfect place for hikers, by walking a few yards from your room you will find some of the same trails forged by legendary figures like Pancho Villa. You can walk on red clay trails towards the famous Baboquivari Mountain or you can tour the Buenos Aires wildlife refuge. While out on these hikes you may experience giant jackrabbits or hike along old western ghost towns that still feature intact buildings. No matter where your hiking adventure takes you, a good workout and a great time is sure to be had!   

fitness adventures

Rancho de la Osa - Sasabe, AZ 

Cross Country Skiing – Triangle X Ranch, Wyoming

Whatever your outdoor challenge or your outdoor dream, you will find it at the Triangle X Ranch in Wyoming. This ranch has many fitness activities to offer year-round, but in the winter time one of the best workouts is cross country skiing. A challenging tour through the flats of the Snake River Valley is like no other winter wonderland. The chances of running into wildlife are very high, and seeing the Grand Teton Mountains the with snow on the peaks is a memory you will never forget. Triangle X also extends other winter and snow activities that allow for a great workout for any level. 

fitness adventures

Triangle X Ranch - Moose, WY

Rock Climbing – Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Colorado 

It is always exciting to try new things, and new workouts are wonderful. Rock climbing at the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch in Colorado is a great way to mix things up while on vacation. Like many other non-typical adventures, rock climbing may not seem like much of a workout when participating, it is usually the day after the adventure that you feel all those muscles you used become sore. The rock climbing program at Sundance Trail is described as an introduction to climbing. Through this program you will learn how to tie knots, conduct proper belay and movement techniques, communicate, understand the terminology used during rock climbing, participate in a bouldering introduction as well as learn about outdoor safety. The ranch provides special shoes, ropes, helmets and all other technical gear. If you want to try a new fitness adventure rock climbing might just be your niche! 

fitness adventures

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch - Red Feather Lakes, CO 

Kayaking – Wind River Christian Guest Ranch, Colorado 

Located just 10 minutes from the Wind River Christian Guest Ranch in Colorado lies Lake Estes, a body of water that provides some of the best views of Rocky Mountain National Park. What better way to take in the beauty of the mountains and all the surrounding scenery than by a kayak? Not only will the adventure be beautiful, but you can also make it either an easy or hard fitness activity while on your vacation. The kayaking adventure is included in the weekly rate stay at the ranch so there is no extra cost to participate, a great activity for the whole family. The staff from the ranch will provide transportation down to the marina where you will prepare for the adventure by picking out which type of kayak they prefer, one person or two, grabbing life jackets and going through a brief training session so you can have the best time possible on the lake. Kayaking is a great fitness activity that will have your arms and core limp by the time you get back to shore, good news is there is a nice hot tub waiting for you back at the ranch! 

fitness adventures

Wind River Christian Guest Ranch - Estes Park, CO 

Yoga – 7D Ranch, Wyoming

If you are looking to relax your mind and body while on a dude ranch vacation, finding a ranch with a yoga class is a great idea. The 7D Ranch in Wyoming offers yoga classes multiple times a week and by request. The classes are for any level and are a great way to stretch out those muscles after a long day in the saddle. Yoga presents many benefits for the body and mind; one class may just help bring that sense of relaxation you have been looking for. You do not even have to worry about bringing your own equipment, the ranch has mats and other necessary equipment available. The classes can be tailored to many different levels as well; so, whether you are an avid yogi with much experience or just a beginner who has never set foot on a yoga mat, there is a class for you. 

fitness adventures

7D Ranch - Cody, WY

Snowmobiling – Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch, Idaho

Riding a big snowmobile through the powdery snow and trees does not seem all that hard right? Why would snowmobiling be considered a fitness activity you may ask? Until you try snowmobiling for the first time you will never quite understand how many muscles and how much effort it takes to maneuver a machine like that through the snow. Snowmobiling is another fitness activity that offers great adventure and each person can go at their own level. At Seven Devils Lodge and Guest Ranch in Idaho guided snowmobiling tours are offered for any level rider. D.R. Bledsoe is a great instructor/coach and will teach riders how to safely ride the machines all while having a great time. Snowmobiling is much like riding a horse in the dude ranch world, the folks at the ranch will ask you your experience level and how comfortable you are with the machine and then adjust the program accordingly. They walk though the process of riding the machine and will ride with you until you feel comfortable on your own. If you are looking for a fun adventure and an out of the ordinary fitness activity, look no further than the Seven Devils Ranch. 

fitness adventures

Seven Devils Lodge and Guest Ranch - Council, ID

 

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No matter the weather conditions, there are outside adventures to keep you active. Here are 9 dude ranch fitness adventures to consider during vacation.

The Dude Ranchers’ Association’s Best Outdoor Meals

From Arbuckle and bear sign (cattle-range lingo for coffee and doughnuts) over an open flame to pizza ovens and prickly pear margaritas on patios under the stars, these are the top dude ranches with the best outdoor meals and dining experiences for late summer and early autumn. Nature’s bounty is at its finest this time of year. Breakfast rides with fresh confections, four-course lunch atop a mesa and evening cuisine fireside, the DRA has some of the most intimate and exquisite land in the West with access to local food and secret dishes. Fork’s up! 

Home Ranch, Clark, Colorado

Gardens and Greenhouses Galore

Nestled in the Elk River Valley is Home Ranch, definitively one of the most idyllic settings for an outdoor brick oven rolling out over a dozen varieties of stone-fired pizzas. The Home Ranch, a Relais & Chateaux property, 30 minutes from Steamboat Springs, focuses on cuisine year-round; however, their weekly offering in summer and fall of crispy pizzas loaded from the ranch’s gardens and greenhouse is as fresh and farm to fork as one can get. The sound of horses dining on their hay in the background and views of Home Ranch’s stunning barn and cabins are worthy of a Travel + Leisure cover.

The afterclaps (unexpected event after the event is supposed to be over) are the wranglers driving the herd out for the day as you finish your cocktail and dessert. The ranch’s massive greenhouse is also open for tours throughout the evening with resident gardeners and the head Master Gardener.

best outdoor meals

Endulge in flatbread pizza cooked in a brick oven with homegrown ingredients at The Home Ranch in Colorado.

Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, Colorado

Breakfast Bliss

This ranch takes food as serious as their scenery. Surrounded by 50,000 acres of the Medicine Bow—Routt National Forest, the George family has the lay of the land to devise splendid surprises come mealtime. It’s a family business for the George’s with the owner’s son and wife running the kitchen. A crowd pleaser begins when guests are escorted to the main lodge in Latigo’s covered wagon to sally forth into a picturesque aspen glade where the kitchen crew has grilled steaks, fish, and veggies to go along with a full buffet of classic dude ranch side dishes—corn on the cob, baked beans (acclaimed by some guests to be the best in the world), sweet potato biscuits, and more. Dessert, as always, is greatly anticipated. There’s a choice between rhubarb pie and peanut butter pie, consumed while eagerly awaiting the announcement of prizes from the team penning earlier that afternoon.

There’s still the weekend! On Saturday breakfast is served at a point overlooking an impossibly expansive view of the mountains. When guests arrive via horseback, they’ll find pancakes grilled by the ranch’s owner, Randy, along with eggs, bacon, sausage, all freshly cooked and served by Hannah George along with fruit, juices, coffee, tea, and homemade banana bread. Perched on the rocks with a 360˚ view of absolute wild beauty, it’s the perfect end to a spectacular week and one of the best breakfast rides in the West. 

best outdoor meals

Ribeye steak, one of many delicious meals to enjoy at Latigo Ranch in Colorado.

White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Patio Utopia with Prickly Pear Margs  

With the baking hot summer that has swept through the country in 2018, autumn will bring much relief and the opportune time to try Russell True’s latest baby, White Stallion Ranch’s outdoor pizza oven and Tandoor—a cylindrical clay oven where heat is made by charcoal or wood to create radiant cooking methods.  

Dinner is served alfresco throughout the week featuring foods such as classic BBQ, brisket, pork tenderloin, steak, ribs, chuck roast and locally-sourced vegetables. 

Steamship leg of pork, corn on the grill, produce skewers, wild rice, this is just a sampling of the gorgeously presented ranch food underneath the Tucson stars.

Guests enjoy some of the best dude ranch evening entertainment in the world while finishing their wine, local craft brew or one of the ranch’s legendary margaritas, the prickly pear. Crème Brule, blueberry pie, and pineapple upside down cake have become the ranch’s legacy desserts. Each outside evening, there is a local cowboy strumming the guitar. To keep things going past dusk, lights are strung throughout the outdoor eating area and entertainment space with lighted cactus as an extra quirk. 

best outdoor meals

A warm and welcoming outdoor dining area at the White Stallion Ranch in Arizona. 

Covered Wagon Ranch, Gateway, Montana

Chef’s Special

Located a stone’s throw from Yellowstone National Park, Covered Wagon Ranch takes advantage of its location and access to quieter parts of the Park. The ranch encourages guests to take a lunch ride almost daily! Sure, lunch is always available in the main lodge, but riders know best—take the chef’s special and giddy up. With nearly a dozen trails the ranch rides weaving in and out of Yellowstone, there’s a really good chance you can wind up having the chef’s special, with a moose (it happened to us!). Each night the chef surveys his crowd and crafts a special sandwich that is available for pick-up before the daily ride. Guests always have the choice of nearly 20 items, but there’s a reason for the chef’s special.

After a gently ascending two-hour ride into the Yellowstone, our family found a quiet meadow to let the horses rest and for us to enjoy the special sandwich. Not five minutes after dismount did a giant bull moose stand up from his resting spot in the meadow and curiously circle around the meadow to get a good view of us as we kept a safe distance. Our kids knew what was up, the moose wanted the chef’s special! Three generations eating the best sandwiches while enjoying secret spots in Yellowstone with a moose overseeing the feast. Apparently, your chance of spotting a moose drastically increases if you order up the special. 

best outdoor meals

Trail rides lead to beautiful destinations at the Covered Wagon Ranch in Montana. 

Sidebar: Snacking, Sweets and Soaking

Tombstone Monument Ranch in its historic namesake town of Arizona offers a slow ride labeled  “Beer and Cheetos” for obvious reasons. This is the ultimate afternoon snack. Take a flat, scenic ride to the ranch’s Beer and Cheetos site where there is shade and bathrooms. Enjoy a cold, refreshing beer delightfully accompanied by some empty calorie, salty and delicious snack foods. Followed by a slow, scenic ride back to the ranch in time for social hour. Note, this is an adult-only ride.

Wait, what about tequila connoisseurs? No problem, the “Tequila and Cheese” ride takes guests along the same route, but instead offers up a little more sophistication with a unique selection of wines and assorted cheeses, crackers and bread. Again, this is an adult-only ride. 

best outdoor meals

A great selection of food is always avaliable at Tombstone Monument Ranch in Arizona. 

Friday is the outdoor meal extravaganza with Long Hollow Ranch in central Oregon. Early autumn offers the essential time for a morning ride to be followed by a picnic lunch along the way. It gets a little more enticing; the ranch then puts on a fun demonstration with cattle before dinner. After-dinner dessert is then served at the hot tub or fire pit, depending on weather conditions. Desserts and cocktails vary, but the scenery is always guaranteed. best outdoor meals

Snow capped mountains make for some gorgeous scenery at Long Hollow Ranch in Oregon.

If you want to keep with the hot springs theme, Bar Lazy J in Grand County, Colorado offers a half-day hot springs ride on Fridays. Guests eat lunch at one of the ranch’s favorite scenic spots—the top of Byers Canyon—before working the group into the town of Hot Sulphur Springs. There, a trailer and your previously packed bag will be waiting along with a free pass into the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort to soak in the 22 naturally heated pools. Once frequented by the Ute Indians, the skin-benefiting minerals present in the water are intense and awesome. The ranch takes the horses home while guests soak and send a van for pick up later.

best outdoor meals

Ride through some beautiful scenery to the hotsprings at Bar Lazy J Ranch in Colorado. 

 

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From Arbuckle and bear sign over an open flame to pizza ovens and prickly pear margaritas on patios under the stars, these are the top dude ranches with the best outdoor meals and dining experiences for late summer and early autumn. Nature’s bounty is at its finest this time of year. Breakfast rides with fresh confections, four-course lunch atop a mesa and evening cuisine fireside, the DRA has some of the most intimate and exquisite land in the West with access to local food and secret dishes.

This Summer's Best Fishing Trip: Colorado Fly Fishing

C Lazy U Ranch Fly Fishing

For so many anglers, both amateur and pro, there’s nothing quite like Colorado in the summertime. Colorado fly fishing is some of the best to be had. For a fly fishing vacation with exclusive access to private territory and trained guides, C Lazy U is ready with an Orvis-certified experience for all skill levels – even the kids!

Fly fishing 101

While fly fishing has a reputation of taking a lifetime to master, first-timers are often charmed by its intuitiveness. After some practice, the cast begins to feel even more natural than casting with a spinning reel. So what is fly fishing, and how exactly does it differ from standard “spin” fishing? The main difference is what you’re actually casting out. When fishing with a spinning reel, you cast out a weighted lure. The lure propels the light fishing line forward, then it lands with a small splash and sinks. Fly fishing, on the other hand, is a more covert approach. The fly angler uses a weighed line, casting out the weight of the line itself. The advantage? You can fish with microscopic bait (“flies”) attached, launching them great distances without startling fish with the splash and sink of a lure. Yes, this does take a little more finesse than chucking out a lure into the water, but once you graduate to fly fishing you’ll likely be hooked.

“Spin” fishing versus fly fishing in Colorado

Lucky for anglers who like a little bit of both, Colorado is home to premier mountain lakes and rivers that lend themselves beautifully to all versions of the sport. Colorado’s waters are full of trophy-sized fish, from wild salmon to northern pike to a healthy variety of trout. In fact, the Centennial State is one of the top trout destinations in the world – with cutthroats, browns, “brookeis” and rainbows to be reeled in ad infinitum. Colorado boasts a whopping twelve fisheries that have gained Gold Medeal Trout Water designation from the US Department of Natural Resources, based on density of quality specs. So which approach is best for catching and releasing your own trophy fish in Colorado? The expert guides at C Lazy U are a little partial to fly fishing, just because our private stretch of the Colorado River headwaters is set up so beautifully for it. Conditions are perfect for learning or fine-tuning fly fishing skills. On a Colorado fly fishing vacation at the lodge you’ll find:

  • Wide open spaces. One of the biggest differences between fly fishing and “spin” fishing is the amount of space needed for a successful cast. If you’re in too-cramped quarters, you’ll end of spending most of the day untangling your line from tree branches. On a private fishing excursion, you’ll have the elbow room needed to really hone your skills.
  • Familiarity. One of the trickiest parts of fly fishing is being familiar with the river and all its structures. This makes it a little more challenging to pick up on a fishing vacation to Colorado or any terra incognita. Luckily, the passionate fishing guides at C Lazy U have been angling at the nearby fishing holes for years and are ready to share their tips on where to start.
  • Patience. Even more so than “spin” fishing, fly fishing requires Zen-like patience. Success and gratification is less instantaneous, more elusive. Again, here’s where a private excursion with an expert guide really delivers. Infinitely patient, they will take as much time as needed to impart their own knowledge as you move along the learning curve of fly fishing.
  • The right gear. In general, gearing up for fly fishing costs a bit more than outfitting yourself for plain old “spin” fishing. In addition to finding the right flies, anglers need to upgrade their rod, reel, leaders, tippets, and waders. Where to start? C Lazy U can take the guesswork out of this – our fishing opportunities include everything you’ll need for a first-time fly fishing experience. This gives newbies a good sense of what to start adding to their own gear collections.

Check out how passionate and dedicated the C Lazy U fishing guides are!

How big is big? Trophy fish in Colorado

One important thing to know about fly fishing in Colorado: permits are required. In order to maintain a healthy fish stock and keep populations strong, catch and release policies govern how many fish per day you can take home, and what constitutes a trophy fish that must be released. Here are some guidelines for what you can keep for the grill and what you’ll need to release after the photos have been snapped. Check with your guide about the limits on number of non-trophy permitted to take home each day. And if you’re lucky enough to reel in any of these trophies – be sure to kiss it goodbye!

  • Cutthroat Trout: Trophies are 20” or larger. In Colorado, these beauties rarely grow larger than 12”, but the record size was a 33-incher caught by angler Rob Peckham in 2005.
  • Rainbow Trout: Trophies are 24” or larger. Average size for this spec ranges between 12 and 16 inches, but the pros regularly reel in monsters of 26 inches and bigger!
  • Brook Trout (a.ka. “brookies): Trophies are 16” or larger. You’re likely to pull in a brookie of 12-14 inches and weighing in at around half a pound. The record in Colorado for brook trout dates back to 1947, when George Knorr hooked a spec weighing in at over seven pounds.

What is Orvis Endorsement?

C Lazy U is proud of its hard-earned Orvis Endorsement as a fly fishing lodge. This means that we meet Orvis’ high standards in the areas of great service, great fishing, and highly experienced professional staff. Orvis also rates us on our ability to cater to all levels, from beginner to expert. Orvis keeps us on our toes, continually reviewing our qualifications and checking in with guests for their critiques. That means that when you plan a summer fishing trip to Colorado at C Lazy U, it’ll definitely be worth the experience! Originally posted on the C Lazy U Ranch Blog. Video edited in part by Maddie Brenneman   Save Save Save Save

Perfect Winter Holiday ~ Arizona & New Mexico Dude Ranches

Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and the Painted Desert. There are high ponderosa pine forest, rolling grasslands, and stark desert landscapes. In New Mexico there is the wondrous Carlsbad Caverns, the Black Range Mountains and the brilliant gypsum of the White Sands National Monument. Between the Cottonwoods, the Oak trees and the many various grasses, sage and vines the brilliant colors of autumn will take your breath away.

Flying E Trail Arizona Dude Ranch

Flying E Ranch

The Dude and Guest ranches of Arizona and New Mexico take advantage of their spectacular surroundings; horseback riding outings explore the canyons and forested ridges. What a great cure for the winter blues this year, so for the perfect winter holiday grab your family and friends and head to one of these truly amazing family friendly dude and guest ranches.

Geronimo Trail New Mexico Dude Ranch

Geronimo Trail Ranch

Geronimo Trail Ranch is all about Real "Old West" adventure! A Small family ranch with a relaxed and personal atmosphere, located in the breathtaking untouched Gila National Forest of SW New Mexico. Geronimo Trail Ranch features Pithouses, Cliff Dwellings and rock art of the early Mimbres.

Get your real Cowboy on at Burnt Well Guest Ranch, located in warm, sunny, southeastern New Mexico. Guests have said "This is John Wayne country!" "I can't believe how far you can see sometimes 50-60 miles!!"

Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest at White Stallion Ranch. You will experience the aura of a real Western ranch combined with present-day comforts and conveniences.

Or step back in time at the Circle Z Ranch were guests have ridden their ranch-bred horses on 165 miles of trails through the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains and along the ever flowing Sonoita Creek for over 83 years. They are recognized worldwide for birding.

Fifty-one miles southwest of Tucson, in its own valley where mountains and desert meet, lies the Elkhorn Ranch. Since 1945, three generations of the Miller family have owned and operated this ranch, offering exceptional riding and comfortable living for thirty-two guests. Riding is the main interest with gentle or loping rides through the desert and more vigorous trips along the many mountain trails. Saddle up and make a perfect getaway to the warm heart of the Old Southwest!

Rancho de los Caballeros is the resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast offering full resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. It's the kind of place where everyone knows your name. With 20,000 acres to ride and roam there is seldom a day without sunshine.

The Flying E Dude Ranch is a working cattle ranch and the ideal place to take a step back in time.

Located just east of Tucson, Tanque Verde Ranch Resort is one of the premier, all-inclusive dude ranch resorts in the country. You will find the perfect blend of western adventure, solitude and luxury amenities to make your next getaway unforgettable.

Rancho de los Caballeros Arizona Dude Ranch

Rancho de los Caballeros


 

Snow Free Spring Break Dude Ranch Vacation

The spring break push for vacation venues is here, but Mother Nature shipped most all of the West Coast snow to Boston! What to do if the family doesn’t want to spend Easter holiday skiing on rocks at Tahoe or boarding over mud at Mammoth? Consider swapping your snow boots for cowboy boots and visit one of the Dude Ranch Association ranches that are open during Spring break.

Try looking at an Arizona ranch or any lower elevation mountain dude ranch – Like Rancho de Los Caballeros, Flying E Ranch or California's Marble Mountain Ranch! Spring in Arizona offers some spectacular desert trail riding. The cooler spring climate makes time on the Arizona trails comfortable. Most visitors to the sunshine state consider the Spring season to be one of the most beautiful while the cactus and wildflowers are in full bloom. At Rancho de Los Caballeros you could spend your afternoons exploring the desert on a Jeep or ATV tour or riding horseback through the colorful high Sonoran Desert. While the kids are swimming or on scavenger hikes, Mom and Dad can relax at the spa or play a round of golf at the Los Caballeros Golf Course, which was named one of Golfweek's "Best Courses to Play."

Rancho de Los Caballeros

At the Flying E, a dude and working cattle ranch, the casual and relaxed atmosphere is as natural as our gorgeous sunsets. The calendar may say winter, but that has a whole new meaning in Arizona. Winters are warm and dry, averaging temperatures in the mid-70s. The nights are cool and refreshing, illuminated by a canopy of brilliant stars. Clean air, warm sun, good horses, breathtaking scenery and genuine cowboys as your guides will fill your hearts with memories to treasure for the rest of your life.

Flying E

Marble Mountain's low elevation mountain trails are open for spectacular horseback trail riding and their covered arena is running full swing with barrel racing and other thrilling riding challenges. The spring river flows on California’s Klamath River are ideal for rafting and kayaking and the covered shooting stations at the shotgun trap course are ready for action. The “saddle and paddle” vacation is in Northern California, and is another viable alternative to a vacation venue that has been diminished by disappointing snow levels.

Marble Mountain Rafting

So, if you can wrap your mind around an Arizona riding adventure, or a California raft-n-ride vacation, pack away the snow boots for the season. Visit an Arizona dude ranch or come explore a piece of Northern California that most people don’t even know exists. When the fog burns off the forest floor with the morning sun, you will discover a lush and verdant Klamath National Forest, abundant wildlife, and legend hospitality from your hosts in either California or the Sunshine state.

Head West for Your Next Meeting or Convention

Tired of holding corporate meetings and conventions at run-of-the-mill hotels and banquet halls? Make your next annual meeting an unforgettable experience complete with adventure and good old-fashioned Western hospitality at a dude or guest ranch.

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch

The Dude Ranchers' Association just concluded our 89th Annual Convention at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.  Made complete by the type of star treatment that is typical of Western hospitality. From pickup service at the airport, to personally assisted check-in, bag delivery and homemade cuisine, every guest was treated to feel right at home. The DRA is able to help meeting planners and groups plan the perfect meeting, convention or retreat at one of our 100+ accredited, all-encompassing guest ranches across North America. Ranches range from rustic working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches that offer five-star cuisine and spa treatments.

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch

Tanque Verde Ranch is one of America's old time cattle and guest ranches, nestled amongst the Rincon Mountains and adjacent to Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest in Arizona. Set amidst 60,000 acres of Tucson's most breathtaking desert landscapes, Tanque Verde Ranch offers a variety of unique activities to enhance travelers’ ranch vacations. Guests can choose from horseback riding, guided hiking and biking, swimming, dancing and fishing, or relaxing with a full host of spa treatments.

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch

True to the spirit of authentic Western hospitality, the convention's programming included plenty of opportunities for fun. There was live musical entertainment from the 2 Lazy 2 Ranch band and a 9-hole scramble golf tournament.  To top it all off there was Steve Shaw's Famous Pigeon Rolling Contest, featuring a special breed of pigeons that roll and somersault through the air, all for the benefit of the Dude Ranchers' Association Educational Trust. Consider trading in banquet hall food and sterile walls for five-star cuisine, or maybe a hearty cookout under the stars. Whatever the size of your group there is the perfect ranch location to meet all your needs.

Tanque Verde Ranch      

Love is in the Air

Love is in the air! Well, maybe not quite yet, but Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it. Make this year truly special by surprising your significant other with a planned romantic getaway and giving the gift of shared memories that he or she will treasure for years to come. The below ranchers, offer effortless planning with all-inclusive vacations located in some of the most awe-inspiring areas of the Western U.S. and Canada.

Savor an Adults-Only Romantic Retreat. Fall in love all over again at Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado. Couples can enjoy a mix of relaxing time in the hot tub or private cabin with shared adventures out on the trail. Amenities at this luxury resort ranch include fine dining, plush accommodations and personal service. With a secluded setting 25 miles outside of Steamboat Springs, the ranch’s intimate setting will rekindle the romance in your relationship in no time. Winter adult only times are Jan. 3 through Feb. 12, 2015.

Vista Verde Dude Ranch Snow Trail Ride

Play a Round (or Two) of Award-Winning Golf. Located in Wickenburg, Arizona (just 75 miles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport), Rancho de los Caballeros is a historic dude ranch that offers the ultimate dude ranch resort experience. Think peaceful horseback rides through the desert, soothing hot stone massages, lounging by the pool and laidback games of golf. Couples that like to bond on the greens will appreciate that the course is a Golf Digest top-five rated course and a top 100 course nationally.

Go Off the Grid to the Ultimate Winter Playground. Active couples can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding and skiing in Wyoming at Triangle X Ranch and Triangle C Ranch. Centrally located in Grand Teton National Park, Triangle X offers secluded, quiet and comfortable lodging in cozy cabins highlighted with four-star dining. After a full day, return to the comfortable lodge and relax Western-style with a warm fire and a large outdoor jacuzzi. Triangle C is nestled in the Rocky Mountains between Jackson Hole and Dubois. Explore 600 miles of groomed trails in Wyoming’s abundant fresh powder, or opt for a luxurious snow-coach tour of Yellowstone.

Rancho de los Caballeros Golf Course

Get Up Close and Personal with Nature. Nestled on the banks of Wyoming’s Buffalo Fork River, Turpin Meadow Ranch offers endless views of the Teton Range. Completely restored in 2013, the ranch’s 80-year old cabins now have luxurious bathrooms, gas-lit fireplaces and locally crafted furniture. This winter, stay three nights in a refined Cabin, Chalet or Lodge Room with breakfast each morning and incredible wildlife watching from your front porch, and Jackson Hole Wildlife Eco Tour Adventures into Grand Teton National Park.

Elope to a Quiet B&B. Bed and Breakfast season at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch in Colorado runs from late September until mid-May. Enjoy home cooked, Western-style meals, lodging (with all the amenities you expect but without the big resort atmosphere) and horseback riding on the trails of Roosevelt National Forest in a gracious, quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Many couples have found this to be the perfect destination for a low key, simple elopement wedding – the ranch will even help you plan it! The winter season is also pet-friendly at Sundance Trail, just in case your special day wouldn’t be complete without your four-legged family member.

Latigo Dude Ranch Skiing

Ski to Your Hearts Content. Drink in the views, inhale the crisp mountain air and revel in some of Colorado’s most spectacular scenery during a dreamy Nordic ranch winter getaway to Latigo Ranch. Activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing, along with tempting amenities like a hot tub, historic log lodge (which offers a panoramic view of 100 miles of the Continental Divide) and complete food service. Rental equipment is available on-site, and you can also ski just for the day. You can also find great on-snow Fat Biking fun on the ranch’s groomed mountain trails.


 

Vacation of a Lifetime at a Dude Ranch

A Dude Ranch Vacation is all about YOU, the guest. All member ranches of The Dude Ranchers’ Association are committed to making sure you have the vacation of a life time.  With our warm Western Hospitality, outstanding horses, great food,  inviting accommodations and our spectacular locations, we guarantee a vacation you and your loved ones will not soon forget. Dude ranches are ideal places for kids, families and couples to re-discover each other, without the typical distractions of this fast paced world we live in. Families spend time together enjoying horseback riding, hiking, fishing, river rafting, working cattle, children’s programs, evening programs and much more.              Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest while horseback riding at White Stallion Ranch or golfing at the world class golf course at Rancho de los Caballeros.                Whether you are a seasoned angler or simply want to give it a try,  stake out some private shoreline for amazing fly-fishing in Wyoming at Red Rock Ranch or Paradise Ranch.                In Montana, Glamping or “Glamorous Camping” has come of age at the Bar W Ranch and there isn’t a more fitting place to explore the wilderness of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem than at Lone Mountain Ranch.                Looking for a little more adventure while learning how the “real cowboys” made a living?  Check out The Hideout Ranch and the Red Reflet Ranch during their cattle weeks.                For some spectacular views of Teton National Park, you can’t beat Moose Head Ranch located at the base of the Tetons. Ride the high meadows of Goosewing Ranch and The Gros Ventre River Ranch while gazing at the spectacular views of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.                At Eatons’ Ranch in Wyoming and the Latigo Ranch in Colorado, they honor their heritage by providing a traditional dude ranch experience. Both ranches are family owned and operated offering great food, amazing horseback riding and, of course, true Western Hospitality. So what are you waiting for, come experience the Original all-inclusive Western Vacation at its Best!!

This year, give the gift of shared adventure to your other half

The season of love is fast approaching and couples will begin to ask themselves two questions: Is it time to get engaged? And what am I going to get my other half for the holidays or Valentine’s Day? While the traditional gift ideas of jewelry, roses and candy may make for a touching token of love, we challenge you to think outside the box and consider some stats.

According to The Knot, 39 percent of couples get engaged during the “season of love,” the time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Regardless of whether you’re ready to propose – or to be proposed to – statistics like this put pressure on men and women to find the perfect gift to stand out from the crowd. According to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association, the gift of travel may be the perfect solution as 63 percent of couples think a getaway is more likely to spark romance than gifts of any size, and 7 percent think simply traveling inspires romance.

 This year, give the gift of shared adventure to your other half. Imagine a rustic romantic getaway, complete with horseback riding, outdoor adventure and bonding – the perfect backdrop for an epic proposal. Or a passionate weekend for foodies filled with delectable gourmet dishes and carefully selected wine pairings that the two of you can indulge to your heart's content. When it comes to love, a vacation at a dude ranch resort has all the ingredients necessary to make your love swoon with delight.

 Vista-Verde-Drive-Cattle

Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado - Winter Romance- Whisk away your sweetheart to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a romantic winter wonderland.  Ask for the Valentine’s Day romance package, and we’ll start your Valentine’s Day off with breakfast in bed, followed by a day of as much outside activity as you desire.  In the afternoon, we’ll treat you to a private sleigh ride complete with hot toddies to keep you toasty warm.  Following that, the chefs will delight your taste buds with their Valentine’s Day aphrodisiac dinner.   The rest is up to you to enjoy the serene setting, the cozy cabin and the bubbling hot tub with views of snow covered meadows and mountains.

Red Reflet Ranch, Wyoming - Back by popular demand - Valentine’s Dining at the Red Reflet Ranch, Ten Sleep, Wyoming.  Dine in the Main Lodge and relax by the crackling fire while you enjoy spectacular views overlooking the Chugwater Formation of the Canyon.  Extraordinary dining experience and six-course meal prepared by Executive Chef Matthew Cariveau.  Overnight accommodations available in our luxuriously appointed chalets.  Offering Valentine’s Dining on two nights: Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15.  Now taking reservations.  $40 per person.  Make plans early – this will sell out!  Click here for online reservations.

Vee Bar Ranch, Wyoming - Winter Getaway Package - This package could be called the Deluxe Escape Package.  The package is designed for winter enthusiasts!  This is the perfect package for guests who want to experience everything.  The Vee Bar staff will make sure that you get the most out of your vacation while exploring the Vee Bar, the Snowy Range Mountains, and local attractions.  Guests will need their own transportation to and from the activities off property.  A three-night minimum stay is required to purchase this package.  See our Winter Getaway Package Sample Schedule for activity and meal details.

 

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Top 8 Reasons to Take Your Family to a Guest Ranch for the Holidays

 By: PJ Wirchansky Did you know that Guest Ranches offer similar amenities and benefits to all-inclusive resorts and hotels? Whether your family is looking for a working dude ranch, luxury ranch, or spending the holidays at a Guest Ranch, there is likely a ranch that fits your needs. As the holiday season approaches, many families are looking for different and unique ways to spend time with their loved ones. Here are the top 8 reasons to take your family to a Guest Ranch this holiday season.

You know the price up front. Most Guest Ranches are all-inclusive so you know the price before your arrival. Typically holiday ranch packages include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks throughout the day. Most ranches include holiday festivities such as tree trimming, a kid’s holiday program, sleigh rides, cookie decorating, visits from Santa, and caroling with crew and other guests. Knowing what is included in your package gives you peace of mind for your holiday budget.

It’s not always about the horses. When people think of a Guest Ranch, horses are often the first thing that comes to mind. Some ranches do offer trail riding during the winter; however, many Guest Ranches do not offer winter horseback riding. With that being said, there are so many other activities for everyone to enjoy. Some of the winter activities offered at ranches include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, ice skating, dog sledding, and nearby downhill skiing. There is always something for all ages and skill levels to enjoy.  

Holiday Children’s Programs. There are many Guest Ranches that offer a children’s program during the holiday season. This gives kids the opportunity to meet other children from around the world, interact with counselors and learn new things about the ranch. Children will often take part in activities such as cookie decorating, visiting with Santa, reindeer tracking, sledding, building igloos, cross country skiing, learning about wildlife and so much more.    

Family Time. We all know that family time can be limited in our everyday lives. Parents are working, children are in school, and grandparents live in different states. Holidays always seem to bring families together from all over the country and what better way to enjoy this Christmas then at a cozy, inviting Guest Ranch. This gives families a chance to reconnect with one another, spend time away from their busy lives, and appreciate each other’s company.

Connect with Nature. Whether you live in a metropolitan area of the northeast, in a warm, humid southern city, or live along the west coast, there is a Guest Ranch for you. Are you looking for beautiful majestic mountains, a white Christmas, and pristine snow-laden forests? Spending time away from your home town can be a great way to disconnect, and experience the natural world. Many guests do not spend much time in their cabins, but rather enjoy the fresh air and the wonderful offerings a Ranch provides.

Unplug from technology. So often in today’s world, technology is a way of life. Many guest ranches do not have television, phones or internet service (unless you really need it J). This gives families a chance to unplug from technology and enjoy spending the holiday season with their loved ones without distractions.

Meet other families. One great thing about traveling to a Guest Ranch is the opportunity to meet families from all over the world. Ranches will host guests from New York, California, Georgia, as well as England and Australia. Many guests coming from another part of the world want to experience the holiday season and meet other families from the United States. Learning about different cultures can be so rewarding and often times, families will make lifelong friends.    

Great food. Who doesn’t love great food? Guest ranches are known for providing guests with wonderful, hearty food and the holiday season is no exception. Many Guest Ranches have a fabulous Christmas Eve Dinner, a huge holiday spread for Christmas Brunch, and another Christmas Dinner. Don’t worry!  You will be able to burn off those delicious holiday calories with the many activities that Guest Ranches offer.        

Flying E Dude Ranch Wickenburg, Arizona Phone: +1 888-684-2650 With 20,000 acres to ride and roam there is seldom a day without sunshine. The Flying E Dude Ranch is a working cattle ranch and the ideal place to take a step back in time.Enjoy delicious home cooked meals, great horses and a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day.Open Nov 1 to April 30.  

Elkhorn Ranch Tucson, Arizona Phone: +1 520-822-1040 Sunny winter season Sonoran Desert guest ranch in scenic Baboquivari Mountains southwest of Tucson, Arizona. Family owned and operated since 1946. Comfortable living and excellent horseback riding for singles, couples and families of all ages and abilities. Adventure, relaxation, friendship.

Circle Z Ranch Patagonia, Arizona Phone: +1 888-854-2525 Join us at Circle Z Ranch for an old-time ranch adventure! From the moment you arrive you feel a sense of stepping back in time.      

Vee Bar Guest Ranch Laramie, Wyoming Phone: +1 800-483-3227 The Vee Bar, located near Laramie Wyoming, is a family-friendly vacation destination that is sure to please the horse loving cowboy or cowgirl in you. A variety of activities, ranging from horseback riding to river tubing, will suit each member of your group. Experience true western hospitality!  

Vista Verde Ranch Steamboat Springs, Colorado Phone: +1 800-526-7433 Located just north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Vista Verde Ranch offers a luxurious ranch vacation with a top notch riding program, but also so many other activities that it is much more than just a riding ranch. Adventures await both summer and winter.     Latigo Ranch Kremmling, Colorado Phone: +1 800-227-9655 Latigo was voted Colorado's Best Dude Ranch by "Colorado's Best: The Essential Guide to Favorite Places". Why? Latigo guests rave about Latigo's caring staff, solid horse program, fun activities, sumptious meals, and majestic scenery. It's a family vacation filled with memories to last a lifetime.  

Lone Mountain Ranch Big Sky, Montana Phone: +1 800-514-4644 Endless recreational possibilities at this historic ranch offering horseback riding , hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, fly fishing and Outdoor Youth Adventures just 18 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Cozy, comfortable log cabins with western furnishings.    

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Beat the Winter Blues with a Getaway to a Southwestern Dude Ranch

Dreaming of warmth, sunshine and adventure? Leave the cold and dreary weather at home and embark on the original all-inclusive vacation at a   Southwestern dude ranch located in Arizona or New Mexico  There is a broad spectrum of DRA-accredited guest ranches across North America, ranging from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches. From valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest, you can find DRA-accredited ranches throughout the Western U.S., as well as in California, Arkansas and Canada. Flying E Barn Gather

If you’re dreaming of a warm vacation destination this season, the DRA can help plan the perfect winter escape to a Southwestern dude ranch where activities include horseback riding, swimming, fishing, nature walks, whitewater rafting and much more. If you’re looking for a luxury dude ranch experience, Arizona’s dude ranches might be the perfect fit. The breathtaking backdrop of extraordinary landscapes like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and The Painted Desert is just the start to a memorable vacation.

Tanque Verde Ranch, located just east of Tucson, is one of the premier all-inclusive dude ranch resorts in the country. You will find the perfect blend of Western adventure, solitude and luxury amenities to make your vacation unforgettable. Or escape to the warm heart of the Southwest at Rancho de los Caballeros.  This resort has the soul of a bed and breakfast offering full resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. Additional ranches in Arizona that offer a wide range of activities and amenities include Circle Z Ranch, Elkhorn Ranch,  Ranch, Flying E Dude Ranch and White Stallion Ranch     

To experience the true cowboy life, select one of New Mexico’s dude ranches where evidence of the American Old West is visible at every turn. Explore the outlaw trails of Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid on horseback or head into the canyons that sheltered the great Apache warrior Geronimo in the 1800s. Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is perfect for an “Old West” family adventure. This ranch is located in the untouched Gila National Forest of Southwestern New Mexico and offers a relaxed and personal atmosphere. New Mexico is also home to Burnt Well Ranch, a small family owned cattle and sheep ranch located in Southeastern New Mexico. Burnt Well Ranch is another great ranch to visit in the winter due to its mild winter temperatures ranging in the 60’s. As you can see there are plenty of options so let us help you find the perfect ranch for your winter getawy.  

Vacationing at an Eco-Friendly Dude Ranch

 

As more people are becoming aware of environmental issues, vacationing green is a growing travel trend. Families are seeking vacation options that offer activities that respect the earth, and experiences that create cherished memories and a renewed connection to nature.

Dude Ranches are the original Eco-friendly Tourism destinations and a great way to bring your family closer on your next vacation. People come to enjoy the outdoors, have an adventure and relax in nature. After they leave, they often have a renewed appreciation for the environment.

Successful ranching depends on a positive relationship with the earth, therefore all ranchers know that they need to treat it with care. This relationship influences a visitor’s experience at a dude ranch and often brings them a deeper appreciation for the environment in which they live.

For example, Rocking Z Ranch in Montana uses a stationary diesel motor that is powered by recycled vegetable oil to pump water for irrigation. This worked so well, the ranch took the idea one step further by using the vegetable oil to make biodiesel after taking out the fatty acids. They use this to run the tractors, loaders, an excavator, dozer and diesel pickup during the summer months.Rocking-Z-Bareback-Jumping

Another great example is the White Stallion Ranch which went solar. On January 3, 2011 construction began and on Tuesday March 22, 2001 the first solar panels began to operate. We have three separate sites where the electricity comes from solar panels into the meters for the ranch; the well, staff area and our main lodge buildings plus west side rooms. This is the largest amount of solar power that we are allowed to install and use based on the program that we entered. When last checked, one of the meters (the one for the main lodge)  had delivered 5,360 KWH, bought 104 KWH and sold back 7 KWH. The system is designed to power 35% to 40% of the electricity for the ranch, a very exciting prospect indeed.

Recycling is another aspect that dude ranches are embracing. Keep in mind, with some ranches being far from major cities where a recycling program might exist, it’s a bit harder than simply putting items in a bin and putting it at the end of the driveway every week. Wilderness Trails Ranch in Colorado collects bottles, cans, plastic and paper from the approximately 45 guests and 35 staff that stay at the ranch each week and loads a large trailer to take into town 30 miles away.

A ranch offers activities for the whole family. Maybe your daughter loves horses and has always dreamed of lopping across a grassy meadow, or your son wants to learn how to rope a steer. While your wife enjoys sometime in the spa, why not try some fly fishing? Then you better rest up so you can all go whitewater rafting the next day.

So if you are looking for a vacation that will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime and a closer relationship with Mother Nature then a vacation at a Dude Ranch might be just the ticket for you and your family.  For more information about vacations where your family can embrace the great outdoors visit www.duderanch.org.  

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Experience the Beauty of Fall at a Dude Ranch

Don’t just walk through the leaves, ride through the leaves as dude ranches are the original all-inclusive destination for fall travel, and it’s never too early to start planning your getaway. Imagine horseback riding under a canopy of technicolor fall foliage ranging from glorious reds, bright yellows, and vivid oranges.  Some of the nation’s best leaves can only be seen when you get off the major highways and head out to the winding country roads. Choose from guest ranches in Arizona or Colorado where fall changes the Aspen leaves or book a getaway to a dude ranch located near or within a National Park such as Triangle X Ranch located in Grand Teton National Park or Horseshoe Canyon Ranch which borders Buffalo River National Park in the Ozark region of Arkansas.

As the air cools down and the days get shorter on a dude ranch, fall fishing, hiking, and of course, horseback riding  are popular outdoor activities among guests to enjoy and take in the beautiful colors of fall. Many ranches also offer fall photography workshops to help guests capture the natural beauty of the autumn season. For those dude ranches that are actual working ranches, fall means cattle drives, and guests are often invited to join these memorable and one-of-a-kind drives.

Triangle X Ranch Sunset Creek fall

 While many people tout the benefits of “all-inclusive vacations,” few realize the variety of choices out there and that not all are created equal. Guest ranch getaways offer numerous advantages such as no planning once you arrive, flexibility to customize your itinerary and no hidden fees. In addition, dude ranches are the ideal all-inclusive destination for families of all types and sizes, especially multi-generational families with a wide variety of interests and abilities.

 The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) can help travelers and travel agents choose the perfect guest ranch for their fall getaway from its more than 100 DRA-accredited guest ranches in North American (two in Canada). Ranging from luxury resort-style ranches to working ranches, all of these dude ranches uphold the highest quality of services within the industry.

 

Dudes Flock to Guest Ranches

The Santa Barbara Independent By Barney Brantingham

The Old West still lives at dude ranches sprinkled through the saguaro-studded deserts of Arizona. Actually, they’re known as “guest ranches” these days and are magnets for Europeans who hanker for a dusty taste of the cowboy life, strong cowboy coffee, and getting astride a horse. I found tourists from England, Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, and thereabouts on a recent visit to horse country at the White Stallion Ranch and Tanque Verde Ranch, both near Tucson. The High Chaparral TV series (1967-1971) is still being shown in Europe, spurring interest to see the country where it was filmed. “I’m not disappointed,” said Ann Reid of Stratford-on-Avon, daintily digging into scrambled eggs while on a breakfast ride at the White Stallion. (READ MORE)

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A Dude Ranch Vacation is a Lot More Fun Than You Might Believe

Tumbling River Ranch Teens Barrel RacingChicago Parent By Andrea Guthmann Monday, June 10, 2013 This isn't my first rodeo. Well, actually it is. Maybe that's why I'm having so much fun living out my cowgirl fantasy on our family's dude ranch vacation! Prime rib, Caesar salad, shrimp and a dessert table? Whatever happened to franks-n-beans? Apparently, they're long gone, like much of what I expected to find at a dude ranch. Thankfully, some of the iconic images are still here. There's a lot of horseback riding, as well as an occasional old-fashioned chuckwagon cookout, complete with a country-western crooner and cowboy doing incredible rope tricks. But you'll also get to indulge in spa treatments, a luxurious pool, wine tastings and cooking lessons.  (read more)

Cowgirl Getaway Weeks!

 Whether it’s mother-daughter time, a sisters’ get-together, or just friends catching up, Cowgirl Getaway Weeks are one of the best ways to escape while grabbing that much needed "girlfriend" time.  Kick your boots off and let your daily worries and stress fade away in the comfort of good company, generous hospitality, great horseback riding and much, much more. Listed below are just a few of the great ranches that offer weeks where you can focus on "girl time".   Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Emigrant, Montana Phone: +1 800-548-3392 Just 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park, we have spent over 80 years perfecting our rustic elegance on nearly 9,000 acres of beautiful rugged countryside in the heart of Montana's Paradise Valley. We invite you to explore the vacation of a lifetime here at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch.   Bar W Guest Ranch Whitefish, Montana Phone: +1 866-828-2900 The Bar W is open year round and treats you with true Western hospitality - from the moment you arrive until long after you have left. Beautiful vistas and rolling ridges adorn the Montana countryside of this cozy dude ranch. Located on Spencer Lake between two pine covered ridges, families, adults, singles and groups alike, have 3,000 acres to explore and 3.5 miles down the road from this serene wilderness is the vibrant resort town of Whitefish, offering up the finest in shopping, dining, theater, and nightlife. Friendly staff, scrumptious food, great riding and wonderful accommodations await you at the Bar W   Red Horse Mountain Ranch Harrison, Idaho Phone: +1 888-689-9680 Located on 300,000 acres, the ranch is 1.5 hour drive from the Spokane International Airport, near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Full service, all-inclusive vacation is available from June through October. Booking now for 2013 Summer. 15% off All rates until January 1st, 2013!     White Stallion Ranch Tucson, Arizona Phone: +1 888-977-2624 Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest. You will experience the aura of a real Western ranch combined with present-day comforts and conveniences. Varied riding program, guided hikes, full bar & excellent food. 41 rooms, heated pool, fitness center, gift shop & meeting room.     Smith Fork Ranch Crawford, Colorado Phone: +1 855-539-1492 Smith Fork Ranch is a private luxury destination nestled in the Colorado Rocky Mountains amidst thousands of acres of the West Elk Wilderness and the Gunnison National Forest. SFR offers unique western adventures, gracious hospitality, superb farm to table cuisine and an award winning wine list.     Wilderness Trails Ranch Durango, Colorado Phone: +1 800-527-2624 Reconnect, Relax, Recharge! Experience the Best of the West with an exclusive vacation with Wilderness Trails, the Durango-Silverton Train, & famous Strater Hotel in Durango, Colorado -a "Top 10 Town of the West"! World-class riding, hiking, fishing, dining, kids programs, adults-only weeks, & more

Dude Ranches and National Parks

Moosehead-Kids-Lake-Swimming_edited-1In honor of National Parks Week, I wanted to share with you a great summer vacation idea located nearby some of most visited national parks in America, according to a recent study released by the National Park Service: a dude ranch vacation. As ecotourism is becoming more popular than ever, the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s dude and guest ranches have been the pioneers of green living and green vacations for decades. At a guest ranch you can reconnect with nature in some of the most tranquil, pristine areas of the country and learn to “live off the land” with fishing trips, bird watching, hikes, wildlife viewing and more. Below, please find a sample of DRA-accredited ranches located right in the heart of or near some of the country’s top national parks.

  • Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the 20 largest national parks in the United States. There are two DRA ranches located within an easy drive of the park, which is known for its abundance of wildlife and more than 700 miles of hiking trails. A day trip to Glacier National Park from Averill’s Flathead Lake Ranch and Bar W Guest Ranch is highly recommended.
  • Several DRA-accredited guest ranches are either located in or bordered by national parks. Both Moose Head Ranch and Triangle X Ranch are located completely within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park, a location that attracts nearly four million visitors per year to northwestern Wyoming. White Stallion Ranch borders Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, while Tanque Verde Ranch – the largest DRA-accredited ranch in terms of acreage – is less than a 10-mile drive. The Buffalo National River – America’s First National River – runs through Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, which borders Buffalo River National Park in the Ozark region of Arkansas.
  • Many dude and guest ranches are located within an easy day trip from national parks. Located in the north-central region of Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a short, scenic drive away from not one but four DRA-accredited ranches: Drowsy Water Ranch, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch and C Lazy U Ranch. Pikes Peak – a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains – is within an hour drive of Tarryall River Ranch. Dude ranch guests can drive to the top, take the Pikes Peak Cog Rail (the world’s highest cog railroad), or enjoy a panoramic view of Pikes Peak from one of Tarryall’s trail rides.

Enjoy Every Opportunity for Family Fun at White Stallion Ranch

Michelle McCoy is a blogger for Trekaroo.  Michelle was kind enough to share her latest blog about her family's wonderful trip to White Stallion Ranch with us and I wanted to make sure to pass it on for you to enjoy as well. Going on an all-inclusive guest ranch vacation is now at the top of my family’s list of All-Time Fun Vacations! For the kids, they were absolutely thrilled to eat cookies out of the bottomless jar, drink lemonade, ride horses, swim in the pool, play air-hockey, and shoot pool in the game room all day long. For us parents, there was nothing better than feeling the freedom to enjoy all those things with our kids. There was no worry about where we were going to eat next, what we were going to do with our time, and how we would get there. I so enjoyed playing a game of chess with my boys while hanging out in the cozy lodge waiting for dinner that I knew would be spectacularly delicious. White Stallion Ranch did everything with excellence. The food was amazing and healthy. The horses were well cared for and the wranglers were gentle and helpful. Our kids were never bored and had an abundance of fun things to enjoy. The True family has established a guest ranch with a personal touch that made every guest we talked to feel welcomed and happy. We can’t wait to go back!  (Read More)

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Arizona Dude & Guest Ranches...A Great Place to get Away this Winter!

Now that the snow has started to fall, I am sure many of you are like me and have started to think about some fun in the sun.  Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the snowy winter weather we have here in Wyoming because it brings with it skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling and for some of my friends even ice climbing up frozen waterfalls.  But even the hardiest of us die hard winter sports enthusiasts dream of sitting by a pool or playing a round of golf (while wearing shorts) after a nice day of riding an exceptional horse in the scenic and warm desert.  Lucky for me, I will be in Arizona this coming January enjoying the fun in the sun, recharging my battery so I can come back home and enjoy the winter sports I love so much. ArizonaGuide.com recently wrote an article that enforces the reality of this warm winter dream. The article states, "After a long day in the saddle, even the most grizzled of wranglers would enjoy a soothing massage, delicious food and wine, and a starlit soak in a hot tub. Besides offering traditional trail rides, cookouts and hikes, many of Arizona’s fabled guest ranches are pampering guests with gourmet meals, wine tastings, spa services and more." So...before the winter blues take hold, start planning your trip to one of our great Dude Ranchers' Association ranches in the desert this winter!  You will have something grand to look forward to and when you get back home you will have memories to sustain you through to Spring!Elkhorn AZ Trail Family Reunion

 
 
Tanque Verde Ranch
Tucson, Arizona - Phone: +1 800-234-3833 Located just east of Tucson, Tanque Verde Ranch Resort is one of the premier, all-inclusive dude ranch resorts in the country. You will find the perfect blend of western adventure, solitude and luxury amenities to make your next getaway unforgettable.
 
 
 
Elkhorn Ranch
Tucson, Arizona - Phone: +1 520-822-1040 Sunny winter season Sonoran Desert guest ranch in scenic Baboquivari Mountains southwest of Tucson, Arizona. Family owned and operated since 1946. Comfortable living and excellent horseback riding for singles, couples and families of all ages and abilities. Adventure, relaxation, friendship.
 
 
 
Circle Z Ranch
Patagonia, Arizona - Phone: +1 888-854-2525 Join us at Circle Z Ranch for an old-time ranch adventure! From the moment you arrive you feel a sense of stepping back in time.
 
 
 
Flying E Dude Ranch
Wickenburg, Arizona - Phone: +1 888-684-2650 With 20,000 acres to ride and roam there is seldom a day without sunshine. The Flying E Dude Ranch is a working cattle ranch and the ideal place to take a step back in time.Enjoy delicious home cooked meals, great horses and a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day.Open Nov 1 to April 30.
 
 
 
Rancho De Los Caballeros
Wickenburg, Arizona - Phone: +1 800-684-5030 Saddle up and make a perfect getaway to the warm heart of the Old Southwest! Rancho de los Caballeros is the resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast offering full resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. It's the kind of place where everyone knows your name.
 
 
 
Hidden Meadow Ranch
Greer, Arizona - Phone: +1 866-333-4080 Celebrate the seasons at this pristine quest ranch surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest in Arizona's White Mountains.
 
 
 
White Stallion Ranch
Tucson, Arizona - Phone: +1 888-977-2624 Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest. You will experience the aura of a real Western ranch combined with present-day comforts and conveniences. Varied riding program, guided hikes, full bar & excellent food. 41 rooms, heated pool, fitness center, gift shop & meeting room.
 
 
 
Rancho De La Osa Guest Ranch
Sasabe, Arizona - Phone: +1 800-872-6240 Rancho De La Osa is a special place that rejuvenates the spirit and invigorates the soul. The gracious lifestyle of the old Southwest is captured in the 1800's era Hacienda and territorial-style guest quarters. Enjoy the serenity, friendly horses, fine wine, and delectable Southwest cuisine.
 

Luxury Dude Ranch Vacations

Interested in "roughing it" in style? Don't want to sacrifice comfort while communing with nature? Here's what to expect on a luxury dude ranch vacation.

by Darley Newman of www.equitrekking.com If camping out under the stars isn't your thing, but you like to ride horses or want a very comfortable ranch vacation, a luxury dude ranch vacation might be a good fit for you. After researching upscale ranch holidays across the United States and Canada, I came up with answers to some common questions travelers may have about what type of vacation they'll experience at one of these luxury ranches and some fun photos from ranches that you might want to choose.

Home Ranch, Colorado One of the biggest modern luxuries for riders who visit Home Ranch in Colorado is the million acres of Rocky Mountain Wilderness.

What are the accommodations like at a luxury dude ranch? As in with any upscale vacation, accommodations vary, but many luxury dude ranches offer beautiful Western decor. You may recline on handmade log furniture. You may be staying in your own cabin, an elegantly furnished log structure or entire ranch style home with grand stone fireplaces, a hot tub and fully stocked bar.

Siwash Lake RanchAt BC's Siwash Lake Ranch, suites and luxury tents have plush linens, private baths, balconies and beautiful lake and wilderness views.

Other ranches help you feel closer to nature in plush tents–– tents that you won't be pitching yourself. Many are constructed on wooden floors and have en suite bathrooms, art decorating the walls, and even electricity.

Home Ranch accommodations Adobe-style log beams, Native American rugs, and king beds with down comforters decorate rooms at Home Ranch

How much does a luxury ranch vacation cost? Riding vacations in general can be economical, which surprises many people when they think about how expensive it is to keep a horse! Ranch vacations average from around $1000 or $2000 per person for an all-inclusive week to around $3500. Considering that this includes all riding, meals, accommodations and sometimes transportation, this can be a good deal. Another advantage of many ranch and riding vacations is that you can know your budget well ahead of time. Luxury ranch vacations that I came across ranged from $250 a night per person double occupancy to $7,500 and more. The sky is the limit, as are the perks! What are some fun perks those prices include on luxury dude ranch holidays? Your vacation package may include private guides for hiking, fly-fishing or horse riding, golf, gourmet meals, dinner shows, fitness centers, indoor riding arenas, hot tubs, personal chefs, spa time and private cabins with fully stocked bars.

Rancho de los Caballeros Rancho de los Caballeros in Arizona offers Home Sweet Home Milk Baths, brown sugar scrubs and peppermint essential oil body wraps. 

For instance at Home Ranch in Colorado, food is a major focus. Dinner may consist of pan-seared quail stuffed with dates and prosciutto topped with a demi-glace and Maytag bleu cheese crumbles over soft polenta with manchego cheese and asparagus or crispy seared Alaskan halibut with braised spinach, wild rice pilaf and glazed baby carrots. Is your mouth watering yet? At Vista Verde Ranch, a Colorado luxury ranch resort, an Executive Chef hosts a hands-on cooking classes and wine tastings. House wines, beer and a variety of sodas are included in your stay.

Vista Verde Ranch Vista Verde Ranch hosts formal multi-course dinners to delight ranch "foodies."

For more information on Dude Ranch vacations please visit www.duderanch.org or call The Dude Ranchers' Association at 866-399-2339.

Saddle up! - Group Adventure Travel

March 28, 2012 Looking for a unique, authentic way to enjoy the best of Arizona? Consider a visit to a dude ranch. At one of the nine ranches affiliated with Arizona Dude Ranch Association, it is possible to savor the real western lifestyle, where the world moves at a more relaxed pace and where horseback riding is an everyday treat. A girlfriends getaway, an intergenerational adventure or any other group outing can be enjoyed. The ranches are as diverse as the state, “ranging from the more traditional smaller, remote ranches, where horseback riding and ranching are the primary focus, to our larger resort-style guest ranches, with all the amenities,” said Lacy Gambee, a spokesperson for the association.

Circle Z Ranch  Circle Z, located 60 miles southeast of Tucson, is a guest ranch operated continuously since 1926. Here, guests ride ranch-bred horses through the foothills of the historic Santa Rita Mountains. As a quiet, family-oriented ranch, the emphasis is on riding and down-home hospitality. The ranch has 27 rooms and is open from October through May. The Circle Z is known for excellent horses and great variety of trails, but also recognized worldwide for birding throughout the ranch and on the adjacent Patagonia Nature Preserve. (888) 854-2525, www.circlez.com

Elkhorn Ranch  The Elkhorn Ranch lies 50 miles southwest of Tucson in its own mesquite-covered valley, where the mountains and open desert meet. Since 1945, the Miller family has operated the ranch with exceptional riding and comfortable living for 32 guests in 20 cabins. Visitors enjoy wildlife and wintering birds, lazy hours in the sun, tennis, swimming and shuffleboard from November through April. (520) 822-1040, www.elkhornranch.com

Flying E Ranch   High on a mesa in the Hassayampa Valley, 60 miles northwest of Phoenix, the Flying E Ranch offers a personal approach to the dude ranch experience with a strong family feeling between guests and staff. Since 1946, the Flying E Ranch in Wickenburg has specialized in authentic Western hospitality, with great horses for every rider, ranch-style home cooked meals and a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day. The 17-room ranch is in operation from November through May. (888) 684-2650, www.flyingeranch.comFlying E Barn Gather

Hidden Meadow   This luxurious guest ranch is surrounded by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in eastern Arizona’s White Mountains. Guests enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, archery and horseback riding on the hundreds of miles of national forest trails surrounding the ranch. The 12-cabin ranch is open year-round.(866) 333-4080, www.hiddenmeadow.com

Rancho De La Osa  Rancho De La Osa is a 300-year-old ranch property and one of the last great haciendas in the U.S. Established as a guest ranch in 1924, visitors enjoy innovative Southwest cuisine and scenic trail rides, while surrounded by history that has been lovingly preserved in the beautiful buildings set in the Sonoran Desert. The ranch, located 65 miles southwest of Tucson, has 18 rooms and is open year-round. As the ranch borders the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, there are abundant opportunities for viewing birds and wildlife — on foot or on horseback. (800) 872-6240, www.ranchodelaosa.com

Rancho de los Caballeros   This ranch, with 79 rooms, is located in Wickenburg. It’s open from October through May. Tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course, enjoy a scenic trail ride, play tennis or relax in the spa. (800) 684-5030, www.sunc.com

Sprucedale Guest Ranch  Sprucedale Ranch is nestled high in the pine country of northeastern Arizona at an elevation of 7,600 feet. It has been in the Wiltbank family since 1941, and it is a haven for people to ride horses, relax and reconnect with nature. In addition to horseback riding, there are activities for all ages — cow milking, gymkhana rodeos, colt leading, branding, western dance lessons, cookouts, fishing and hiking trails. The 14-cabin ranch is open from May through October. (928) 333-4984, www.sprucedaleranch.com

Tanque Verde Ranch  A historic working ranch and a Mobil 4 Star Resort, Tanque Verde Ranch combines the adventurous lifestyle of the Old West with the comfort and amenities of a world-class resort. Located on 640 acres in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson, Tanque Verde Ranch offers horseback riding lessons, trail rides, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, swimming, fishing and La Sonora Spa. The 74-room ranch is open year-round. (800) 234-3833, www.tvgr.com

White Stallion Ranch  The White Stallion Ranch sits on 3,000 acres of the beautiful Sonoran desert, adjoining Saguaro National Park, north of Tucson. The varied riding program includes walk rides, lope rides, breakfast rides, mountain rides, all-day rides and team cattle penning (a horse and cattle game done in the arena). Saturdays typically offer an exhibition rodeo with steer wrestling, team roping, and barrel racing. White Stallion Ranch, a 41-room property, is open year-round. (888) 977-2624,  www.whitestallion.com

 

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