If you’re tired of the same old vacations and getaway plans, it is worth knowing that the Dude Ranchers’ Association offers much more interesting options. This Association is composed of over 100 ranches that provide top-notch services and accommodation conditions so that you will truly experience life on a ranch without compromising anything. In case you are still looking for better vacation options, it is definitely worth checking out what the Dude Ranchers’ Association has to offer. In other words, here is how to get to some great DRA dude ranches and a few ideas on what to do once you get there.
Take a Trip to a DRA Dude Ranch
1. Fly into Reno, NV:
Once you reach the airport in Reno, the Greenhorn Ranch is just an hour and a half away from the city, by car.
Things to do:
• Plumas County Museum
Stop by the Plumas County Museum and submerge yourself in a time when the railroad industry was flourishing. This is not an average railroad museum, as many say that the entire place is alive, due to the impressive number of exhibits and interesting collections. It is worth mentioning that you will see much more than just railroad-related items. There are other objects from the area’s history that have been restored and displayed for the public at this museum.
• Keep an eye on the local festivals
The best part about visiting Quincy is that there are events going on here throughout the year. The city is known for the number of celebration and festivals that take place in the area, which manages to attract an impressive number of visitors every year. A good tip would be to visit Quincy during the summer or fall season if you really want to be part of local festivals. If you like music, for instance, the High Sierra Musical Festival that takes place in the summer would be a great choice.
A bit further away, at just two and a half hours away from Reno, you will find the Hunewill Ranch, another great ranch that is worth visiting while in the area.
Things to do:
• Don’t miss a trip to Yosemite National Park
Considering that Yosemite National Park is just an hour away from the Hunewill Guest Ranch, it is a place you definitely need to visit. This park is a wonder of nature that has so much to offer. If you don’t live in the area and you came here just for your vacation at the ranch, make sure to write down a visit to this park on your to-do list. You will definitely not regret making this choice.
• Check out the local hot springs
The area around Bridgeport is simply blessed with numerous natural treasures. The Travertine Hot Springs are among them and they are also the hot springs with very easy access for visitors. So, you don’t have to be a trekking expert or deposit too much effort to see these springs. You have absolutely no reason not to get out there and enjoy both the springs and the stunning views of the surrounding area.
2. Fly into Denver, CO:
To get to this ranch, you can either choose to drive for about two and a half hours or you can take the train. The trip on the train will take four hours, but it will be quite relaxing and fun experience.
Things to do:
• Take the train through Colorado
One of the best ways to see an area is to take the train if there’s a railroad in the area. Traveling by train is extremely comfortable and relaxing because you don’t have to worry about the traffic. At the same time, you have all the time to enjoy the views and see a lot on your way.
• Experience the Hot Sulfur Springs Wildlife Area
You have probably seen hot springs before, but did you have the chance to check out a sulfur hot spring? If you are in Parshall, Colorado, there is a spring like this in the State Wildlife Area. There is no entrance fee into the area and it is available throughout the year. So, no matter when you get the chance to visit, it is worth seeing. The ranch will also take you for a spectacular horseback ride to the springs for an afternoon of soaking.
Getting to this particular ranch will also take two and a half hours by car and four hours by train. So, it is up to you what you choose to visit.
Things to do:
• Take the train and enjoy a gorgeous area
Forget about driving, at least during your vacation, and do things differently this time. Taking the train is not just convenient and relaxing, but will also give you the chance to see the beauty of the area comprised between Denver and Granby.
• Go over the stunning Ute Pass
Are you passionate about breathtaking views or have photography as a hobby? Then you must go through the Ute Pass. There are more than enough beautiful scenes as you will pass by, but the real reward is to get to the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Make sure to stop here because the views are simply unforgettable.
If you want to get to this ranch, a trip by car will take three hours, while the train will take you there in four hours.
Things to do:
• Explore the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway
There’s nothing better than a walk in a scenic area. If you choose the Latigo Ranch in Kremmling, Colorado, you have the Colorado River nearby. Luckily, there is a scenic byway along its shorelines, so you can enjoy an unforgettable and relaxing walk.
• Take a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park
A getaway in a national park, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, can do a lot of good. Simply being away from technology and a fast-paced lifestyle, enjoying nature and tranquility can recharge your batteries like no other method. And the Rocky Mountain National Park really has a lot to offer, so don’t miss it while you’re here.
3. Fly into Tucson, AZ:
It takes just an hour and a half to get from Tucson to Rancho de la Osa, so you will reach your destination in no time.
Things to do:
• Enjoy the beauty provided by the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Wildlife refuges can be considered real-life museums. They hold some of the biggest creations and treasures nature has to offer, so if you have the chance to visit such a refuge, do not miss it. Whether you choose to visit the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge or take the time to enjoy a ride through it, you will see beautiful things all around.
• Experience the incredible Sonoran Desert
Did it ever occur to you that a desert can be mesmerizing? Well, the Sonoran Desert is definitely one of those deserts. Home to the Saguaro Cactus, which is incredible when in bloom, this desert attracts many people due to its warm winters and unique terrain.
An hour and a half drive will take you down the road to the Elkhorn Ranch outside of Tucson, so this is another ranch that is easy to reach and enjoy if you are willing to try something new.
Things to do:
• Take a trip around the old part of Tucson
The old part of Tucson was used in a large number of films, so don’t be surprised if some areas will appear to be familiar. Whether it is because of the movies or simply because it is charming, you should take the time to check this part of the town out.
• Check out the Pima Air & Space Museum
If you want to get out of the western sphere a little, you can visit this museum dedicated to aircraft and everything else that revolves around them. This museum is one of a kind.
• Relax at the Saguaro National Park
The Saguaro National Park got its name from the fact that it is home to an impressive number of Saguaro Cacti. This type of cactus is representative for the area, but seeing a field of Saguaro cacti in one single place can be an impressive view.
Only an hour and a half away from the city of Tucson, you can also find the Tombstone Monument Ranch, a sanctuary of tranquility and peace where you can replenish yourself with positive energy.
Things to do:
• Visit the famous Bisbee, AZ
Don’t be discouraged by the fact that Bisbee is a small city. There are more than enough options when it comes to having fun and staying busy over here. From birdwatching to checking out the local pubs and restaurants, the list is quite versatile and entertaining. Bisbee is also home to one of the largest and most famous turquoise mines as well!
• Have some fun at the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park
This is a place where the entire family can have a lot of fun. Also, it is pet-friendly as well, so don’t leave your four-legged companion behind. The entire park is made to reflect the authentic old western culture, so you can take this adventure as a history lesson as well, not just pure entertainment.
• Check out a real underground mine
If you’re curious to see what a real mine looks like and how people worked in such a place, you need to visit the Goodenough Silver Mine. This was one of the most important and among the first of its kind in the old west, so it is definitely a piece of history you shouldn’t miss.
4. Fly into Cody, WY:
It takes just 45 minutes on the road to get from Cody to the Rimrock Ranch. So, you will be able to begin your vacation in no time.
A bit further away, one hour away to be more specific, you will find the Crossed Sabres Ranch. Once you get there, you will enjoy the beauty of the wilderness in a comfortable and elegant manner.
Even if you have to drive for one hour and a half up to the 7D Ranch, it is worth taking the trip if you want to find a tranquil place surrounded by a lot of beauty. Comfort and intimacy are at home at this family-owned ranch.
It takes just one hour and another 20 to 25 minutes to get from Cody to the Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch. After you will finish this short trip, your most amazing vacation can begin.
Things to do:
• Don’t miss visiting Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the country. So, if you’re in the area, make sure you pay it a visit as well. But, do keep in mind that it is very large, so go there with a plan in mind or with some must-see objectives. Many of the ranches in the area will take you on an all-day tour of the park and the road from Cody, Wyoming to the East Entrance of Yellowstone was deemed the ‘most scenic 52 miles in the world’ by Teddy Roosevelt.
• Visit the historical Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum
A great way to experience the west is to check out the incredible Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum. This paired with your stay at a ranch will definitely give you the western experience you are looking for.
• Experience the Cody Night Rodeo
What’s a trip to the west without a good old-fashioned rodeo night? The rodeo show is available every night, starting the 1st of June and until the 31st of August. Join in and experience an authentic western rodeo.
• Give yourself the chance to see the Wild Mustangs roaming at the McCullough Peaks
There aren’t many places out in the world where wild horses can still be seen. But, at the McCullough Peaks, you can still see Wild Mustangs roaming free and undisturbed by humans. This is one of the things you should not miss in this lifetime for sure. The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch will even take you on a horseback ride amongst the Wild Mustangs if you wish!
This article was written in collaboration with Luxury Travelers Guide.