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

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

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

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

Individual Cabins/Accommodations

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

Budget-Friendly – All-Inclusive

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

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

Top-Notch, Carefully Prepared Meals 

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

Scenery and the Great Outdoors 

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

Best Destination Vacation in 2020

Rent out the Ranch

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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?

7 Things You May Not Know About Dude Ranches

Three Bars Guest Ranch - Things to know about dude ranches

What comes to mind when you think of dude ranches? Putting on cowboy boots and saddling up your steed for a trail ride? You’re halfway there. Now picture this: indulging in a luxurious spa treatment and eating a gourmet cuisine after an action-packed day of whitewater rafting and archery. While dude ranches (also known as guest ranches) are known for providing guests with authentic, one-of-a-kind Western adventures, many have also expanded their offerings to cater to a diverse crowd of travelers – from families to couples to singles – with activities, attractions and services that extend far beyond the trail. Read on for seven surprising things you may not know about a ranch vacation.

 

Surprising Things You May Not Know About Dude Ranches

 

Dude Ranches Span The Country

Accredited DRA ranches are located in numerous states from Montana and Wyoming down to New Mexico and Arkansas. Many are located in some of the most scenic areas of the country, each offering a unique guest experience.

Find ranches by state

 

Dude Ranches Pamper You

Just because you’re on vacation at a ranch and not a five-star hotel, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice luxury amenities.

Find resort ranches

 

Dude Ranches Indulge Your Taste Buds

Gourmet farm-to-table cuisine is an important part of the culture at the Flat Creek Ranch where they use local and organic meat whenever possible. They also include fresh vegetables form their garden.

Find ranches by culinary experiences

Flat Creek Guest Ranch Dining

Dude Ranches Teach Yoga

The “Experience Yoga and Horses Retreat” at The Home Ranch, led by two fabled Cowgirl Yoginis, prioritizes health and wellness through gentle and soothing yoga, restorative horseback riding, fine wine and relaxation – serving as the perfect girls getaway.

Find ranches that offer yoga

 

Dude Ranches Host Weddings

With picturesque mountain views and luxurious accommodations, a dude ranch is the perfect spot to say “I do.”  Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch offers romantic nuptials atop the breathtaking Rocky Mountains.

Find ranches that host weddings

 

Dude Ranches Test Your Limits

Outdoor and adventure enthusiasts will feel right at home on a dude ranch with a variety of high-endurance activities to choose from. Three Bars Guest Ranch offers weekly whitewater rafting tours, along with fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, archery and ATV tours.

Find adventure ranches

 

Dude Ranches Welcome Children

Kids can come too! Programs catering to young children and teens are available at Rainbow Trout Ranch. Children ages three and older are supervised by qualified counselors during daytime activities such as riding, nature study and Western crafts. Teens are given more independence and can embark on day trips to an abandoned gold mine or the Colorado Gator Farm.

Find ranches for family vacations with kids

Rainbow Trout Ranch Children's Program - Things to know about dude ranches

 

7 Things You May Not Know About Dude Ranches

 

What comes to mind when you think of dude ranches? Putting on cowboy boots and saddling up your steed for a trail ride? You’re halfway there. While dude ranches (also known as guest ranches) are known for providing guests with authentic Western adventures, many have also expanded their offerings to cater to a diverse crowd of travelers with activities, attractions and services that extend far beyond the trail. Read on for seven surprising things you may not know about a ranch vacation.

5 Ways a Dude Ranch Vacation Can Heal You

The U.S. Travel Association reports a strong correlation between leisure and a person’s overall well-being and even attributes annual vacations to improved health. With that in mind, it makes sense that a trip solely planned around healing would yield powerful restorative results. While the term ‘dude ranch’ usually brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, dude ranches are surprisingly perfect destinations for reviving your mind, body and spirit. Below, please find an overview to help you discover the healing power of dude ranches on your next vacation. In keeping with the belief that wellness starts from within, many DRA-accredited ranches offer a variety of rejuvenating activities and programs specifically designed to heal what ails you.

Yogi in the Rockies: Now in its ninth season, the “Experience Yoga and Horses Retreat” at The Home Ranch, led by two fabled Cowgirl Yoginis, is the ultimate girlfriend getaway. The retreat invites adventuresome cowgirls of all ages to a legendary all-inclusive week of restorative horseback riding, soothing yoga, fine dining, wine pairing and relaxation. With a million acres of Rocky Mountain Wilderness at your doorstep, you’re sure to have the most memorable experiences of your life.

Change you’re Pace: C Lazy U Ranch, a premier luxury guest ranch getaway located on 8,500 acres in Grand County, Colo. and easily accessible from Denver, recently launched its Outlaw Fitness and Wellness program. Guests can enjoy 60-minute yoga classes, personal training sessions and fitness activities that incorporate the ranch’s natural surroundings, as well as area activities such as hiking and mountain biking. The wellness sessions are designed to rejuvenate mind, body and spirit as guests retreat from everyday life, and complement the traditional ranch stay through stretching and guided fitness regimens.

Step into Zen: Smith Fork Ranch is the perfect destination for not only fun and adventure, but also relaxation and wellness. After an arduous hike or an exhilarating mountain bike or horseback ride, indulge in various selections at The Spa at Smith Fork Ranch, including healing massages, renewing facials or soothing foot treatments. Enjoy massages in one of their tranquil rooms or creek-side at the ranch’s Massage Outpost, situated among the serene beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Trained and attentive staff melt your pains away and take care of all the details, so all you have to do is relax.

Practice Your Balance: If there was one phrase to capture Echo Valley Ranch & Spa’s wellness philosophy, it would be “Sabai Sabai,” a Thai term used to describe balanced harmony of mental, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing. Everything at this destination wellness resort and luxury spa in British Columbia sets the stage for the perfect wellness retreat. The water you drink is even taken from one of the five natural springs located on the ranch! Echo Valley also offers two types of spa experiences: a Thai-style spa offering a range of authentic Thai therapies and a Western-style spa offering contemporary aesthetic services.

Harmonize with Horses: 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 Tucson, Az., Tanque Verde Ranch offers a unique opportunity to enhance your ranch vacation. Harmony with Horses will provide you with extensive horsemanship skills, improved riding ability, better self-understanding, and one of the most unique vacation experiences amidst 60,000 acres of Tucson's most breathtaking desert landscapes.

Vista-Verde-Yoga-2


 

Hunger Games Adventures at Dude Ranches

 Countless fans will flock to movie theaters across the country starting tomorrow to cheer on Katniss and her admirable and enviable archery skills as biggest movie of the fall, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,  opens nationwide. And while some fans might not know of the outcome of the epic Quarter Quell yet, one thing is certain: the second installment is sure to leave fans across the country wanting more.

 Experience a bit of the “Hunger Games” yourself (minus the gut-wrenching battles) by visiting a dude ranch to try your hand at archery, along with many other Hunger Game-inspired skills such as fishing, zip lining, skeet shooting and navigating the wilderness.

 With 95 ranches in North America (two in Canada), we are positive that there is a ranch that will fit all your needs.  Below is a sampling of ranches perfect for those in search of a Hunger Games-inspired experience.

 Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Idaho, Adventure for the Whole Family!Red Horse Lake Activities Kayak

Whether it’s riding horseback to breathtaking vistas, conquering the climbing wall, practicing your aim at the shooting range, or simply relaxing in the tranquility of a Rocky Mountain dude ranch, you decide how to spend your week at Red Horse Mountain Ranch. Red Horse Mountain Ranch offers a Western dude ranch vacation experience with a wide variety of seasonal activities…View ranch website.

 

Black Mountain Ranch, Colorado

Rather than a rigid itinerary we strive to offer our activities in the most flexible way possible.  Click here if you want to see exactly what Colorado Dude Ranch Vacations are like.  We want you to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it, and whom you want to do it with.  We encourage families to ride together but also offer kid's programs and activities.  Teens will never be bored here and singles will find this is a great place to hang out and make new friends.  View ranch website.

Wilderness Trails Ranch, Colorado We pride ourselves in creating perfect Colorado dude ranch vacations and AdvenTours (adventure tours) for our guests. Whether you are seeking adventure or R&R, we can customize a vacation for you, and we have something for everyone - from our exceptional horseback riding program, unsurpassed wilderness and lake access, phenomenal fishing, award-winning Never Bored Kids Program, incredible mountain biking opportunities, overland tours, indulgent spa treatments, taste-bud tantalizing cuisine, specialty events and more! View ranch website.

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Arkansas

In addition to our scheduled activities other things to try include campfires, hiking, cave trips, elk viewing, cookouts, skeet shooting and .22 target shooting, a petting zoo, fishing pond, archery, disc golf, wagon rides, games in the lodge and barn and more. There’s no need to leave the ranch if you need a quick dip. Cool off in the pool in the summer, or relax those muscles in the hot tub and let your cares melt away. Spend some time alone: Several cool springs, cascading streams, and quiet pools await you on hikes and nature walks. The rock outcroppings and caves along the bluffs are there to be explored and arrowheads are waiting to be found. View ranch website.   Save

Western Dude Ranches Appeal to Worldwide Travelers

There are some folks that drive across their home state or province to visit a dude ranch.  Others make a trans-Atlantic journey and don’t speak the same language as their hosts. Colleen Hodson, Executive Director of the Dude Ranchers’ Association says Western dude ranches (found throughout the plains, deserts and mountains of the US and Canada,) have mass appeal. 

DRA Brown Tag -1In fact, it seems they cross cultural barriers.  “I would say about 10 to 20 percent of our dude ranch guests are European, with folks from The UK and Germany representing the largest share,” notes Hodson. What is the tremendous lure of the Western dude ranch?  For starters, there’s the call to adventure, exhilarating freedom instilled by the wilderness, definite experience of place, sociability and camaraderie. 

 For more than a century, these are a few of the elements that have enticed visitors from around the globe and keep them coming back year after year. The opening of dude ranches in the American and Canadian West to paying guests has a long and illustrious history.  Media reports on the Western adventures of Teddy Roosevelt followed by the “Western” movie and prime time television shows like “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza” fueled the public’s fascination in the US and abroad with ranching and cowboys. 

In 1926 the Dude Ranchers’ Association was formed to represent the interests of the rapidly growing industry. Today the organization remains strong.  More than 100 ranches in the Western US and Canada are members of the DRA, as it’s often called. Each DRA member ranch has its own distinct character and charm. Before selecting a ranch visitors are encouraged to contact the DRA for suggestions of ranches matched best with their own style and preferences.  

There are several factors to consider including the classification of the ranch into one of three broad and sometimes overlapping categories.

Types of Western Ranches

First is the traditional Dude Ranch, centered on the horse and horse related activities.  Guests can ride to their hearts content and try their hand at wrangling, barrel-racing and may even perform in the weekly ranch rodeo. People who prefer this category of ranch tend to love horses and other rugged outdoor activities. 

 

The Resort Dude ranch includes riding as an activity along with many other pursuits and a variety of onsite facilities in addition to the stables.  These ranches are generally larger, able to accommodate more guests at one time and often appeal to the traveler who opts for a vacation with more luxuries. 

Finally, there’s the Working Dude Ranch.  These ranches are working cattle or sheep operations, with the riding adventure dictated by the work schedule surrounding the livestock.  Visitors of these ranches are immersed in the life of a working cowboy. The decision upon which ranch to visit is a personal one.  But it’s highly recommended the ranch selected is a DRA member.  This guarantees visitors from near and far that it  meets the highest industry standards in quality, safety, and authenticity.  (Not all ranches that apply for DRA membership qualify.  In fact 30% do not meet the strict standards!)   

Ranches accepted for membership are on probation for two years.  Every DRA ranch is inspected on a regular basis to ensure high DRA standards are maintained. No matter how far folks travel to reach their DRA ranch vacation destination and no matter what language they speak they can be reassured knowing a quality vacation experience awaits them.

 

 

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.

 

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