13 Best Dude Ranches for Families

The ultimate family vacation has grown exponentially in terms of options and accommodations — and dude ranch vacations are no exception. In fact, there are very few resorts that emulate the offerings of the dude ranch community. “Activity options have skyrocketed. From ropes courses and ziplines to rock climbing, cooking classes, and more, some dude ranches now have more than 100 activities,” says Colleen Hudson, Executive Director of The Dude Ranchers’ Association.

The diversity and abundance of activities for families, along with stunning resort locations near national parks and public lands, solidify the Western dude ranch as one of the best family vacation experiences on the planet. These are the best of the best.

13 Best Dude Ranches for Families 

 

1. The Home Ranch – Clark, CO

Best For: Cuisine and Cooking

The Home Ranch does many things exceptionally well, including innovative cuisine and cocktails, luxury accommodations and extraordinary programming. Nestled in Clark, Colorado, a 30-minute drive from Steamboat Springs, the ranch is one of the few Rocky Mountain dude ranches that offers four-season activities and family options for children ages 6 and over. Bonus: All meals, lodging, local transportation, fishing gear, guide services, and on-ranch activities and adventures are included in the price of your stay.

dude ranches

2. Rainbow Trout Ranch – Antonito, CO

Best For: Authentic High Mountain Experience

We love the focus on disconnecting from technology at the Rainbow Trout Ranch. None of the 16 log cabins onsite offer TVs, and the Wi-Fi isn’t strong — and that’s on purpose. They do offer cozy fireplaces, though, and some of the cabins can sleep up to eight guests. The ranch is nestled on 600 acres at 9,000 feet and surrounded by national forest lands, providing abundant terrain for riding and spectacular views. Fly-fishers enjoy the ranch’s private 1.5-mile stretch of the Conejos River, ripe with supreme-size rainbow trout. Aside from delicious meals, accommodations, and onsite activities galore, a weekly whitewater rafting trip is included in the cost of your stay.

dude ranches

3. White Stallion Ranch – Tucson, AZ

Best For: Evening Entertainment

White Stallion is one of the two largest dude ranches in the nation; yet it remains family-owned and family-focused. The True family actually has a trifecta of ranches under their Arizona chaps (White Stallion, Tombstone Monument and Ranch de la Osa). But it’s their home base and incredible Tucson property that is one of the best family dude ranches in the world! The horse program is stellar, with various riding options, educational opportunities, family-specific rides, a weekly ranch rodeo and more. The resort also does a great job with nightly entertainment, with options such as astronomy classes with telescopes, country and western line dancing and lessons, and water color lessons with the resident artist, Ute Vaughn. And if you like shopping, you’ll be glad to know this dude ranch has one of the largest onsite gift shops of any dude ranch in the nation.

dude ranches

4. Circle Z Ranch – Patagonia, AZ

Best For: Old West Experience

If your family wants an authentic Western experience, complete with Hollywood-esque desert moonscapes, rolling hills of cacti with Southwest accommodations, fabulous cuisine, and an even better atmosphere, Circle Z Ranch is for you. Open late-October through early-May each year, Circle Z is the oldest continually operating guest ranch in the state of Arizona.

Originally a sheep ranch, Circle Z was transformed into a dude ranch in the 1920s.  Numerous generations of families have connected here ever since. Movie buffs — study up on “Broken Lance” with Spencer Tracy, “Monte Walsh” with Lee Marvin, “El Dorado” with John Wayne, and the final episode of “Gunsmoke” — all were filmed on this property.

dude ranches

5. Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch – Martinsdale, MT

Best For: Riding in the Wide Open Country  

This dude ranch is not for the wee ones; the focus is riding and cattle work. Bonanza Creek has a maximum allowance of 12 guests at a time, but usually averages around eight people — making this one of the most intimate guest dude ranches in the nation. There are 40 guest horses on the ranch, who welcome families into their lifestyle and incredible landscape.

Guests are matched with their horses for the half-week to week-long stay. Each stay includes lodging, three meals a day, horseback riding, herding cattle, team penning, hiking, private lake fishing, wildlife watching, a breakfast ride and cookout, campfires, and wagon rides with a team of horses.

dude ranches

6. Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort – Solvang, CA

Best For: Wine Country and Activities

Easily accessible from Santa Barbara, California, Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is a family-owned working dude ranch. The 10,500-acre ranch is consistently awarded as best luxury dude ranch for numerous reasons.

The upscale ranch offers 73 cottages, all with working, wood burning fireplaces, and all without phones or televisions. Horseback riders can access 50-plus miles of riding trails; a 100-acre, spring-fed lake; two 18-hole championship golf courses; tennis courts; a pool; and spa.

dude ranches

7. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch – Sandpoint, ID

Best For: Off-Season Vacations

Many dude ranches in colder climates close for the season come late autumn. And while Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in northern Idaho certainly welcomes visitors year-round, it’s their off-season that’s a standout. Families will be charmed by the four hand-hewn log cabins at the ranch, each one authentically decorated and super cozy. Or, guests can choose Grandma or Grandpa’s room on the main level of the lodge, or a suite on the second level.

The ranch is located on 1,100 acres in the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountain ranges. The spectacular and changing scenery of the seasons varies the activities — enjoy horseback rides in the fall (ages 8 and up), fat bike rides in the winter, and skiing and snowmobiling in the spring! What’s also unique is the cabins can be booked without meals — a rarity at dude ranches.

dude ranches

8. Paradise Guest Ranch – Buffalo, WY

Best for: Water Activities

Come summer, it’s the child in all of us who yearns to be by water. At Paradise Guest Ranch, families can participate in an extensive fly-fishing program – either on French Creek or one of the stocked, nearby trout ponds. There’s also an onsite swimming pool.

dude ranches

9. Bar W Guest Ranch – Whitefish, MT

Best For: On-Trend Vacations

The Bar W Guest Ranch, outside of Glacier National Park, recognizes the needs of millennial families. Their traditional summer offerings have exploded in recent years, with new activities and adventures for all ages. Trail rides, wagon rides and a cultural kids’ program keep families busy on the ranch. The resort is also popular for its glamping in canvas tents with wood floors and luxurious bedding. And the resort’s location in Whitefish means you’re close to cute shops and kid-friendly restaurants and breweries.

dude ranches

10. Medicine Bow Lodge Adventure Guest Ranch – Saratoga, WY

Best For: Best-Kept Riding Secret  

The Medicine Bow Lodge Adventure Guest Ranch is nestled into the Snowy Range, about 20 miles from Saratoga, Wyoming, and two hours from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Operating since 1917, the resort was most recently purchased by new owners in 2002, who truly enhanced the horsemanship of the ranch and riding possibilities. The maximum guest count is 15.

Families will especially love the summer program, with all-day rides, breakfast rides, overnight pack trips, sunset trip rides, fish and ride scenic trips (one of the only ones in the nation!) and other options. Guests can also participate in horse grooming and feeding, or just watch or photograph.

dude ranches

11. Triangle C Dude Ranch, Dubois, WY

Best For: Getting a True Sense of Working Cattle

Featuring an 8,000-square-foot, rustic log remodeled to include a full-service spa, home theatre, library, pool and fine dining, Triangle C Dude Ranch provides a home-away-from-home while enjoying the ranch. But, forget the luxury and enjoy the ranch’s Pack Trips that provide a true sense of the working cattle in the Rockies. Following wranglers on trails on horseback, days end at campsites where you’ll gather around the fire for dinner. Back at the resort, kids may prefer the programs geared for ages 2 to 12, including nature-based crafts, sleeping in a tepee and learning the ropes in a junior wrangler program.

dude ranches

12. Three Bars Guest Ranch – British Columbia, Canada

Best For: Private Cabins and Communal Meals

Three Bars Guest Ranch, a family-owned and operated dude ranch, is located in British Columbia, just a stone’s throw from Montana and Banff National Park. Families will enjoy private cabins and daily meals in a communal setting, where guests enjoy week-long visits together and fast become friends before the trip comes to an end. Daily horseback rides for all levels are available, as well as guided and non-guided hikes, mountain biking, river rafting and more. Each night, guests gather for drinks and dinner with the staff and enjoy games and entertainment as the stars come out and bonfires glow.

dude ranches

13. Drowsy Water Ranch – Granby, CO

Best For: Young Children

Less than two hours outside of Denver, Drowsy Water Ranch has been in business since the 1920’s. About 100 head of horses, primarily quarter horses and paints, make their home at the Drowsy Water. Nine individual cabins snuggled beside the creek offer lodging for families.

The 700-acre Drowsy Water Ranch welcomes children of all ages, even infants. The children’s program is unstructured, but comprehensive. Children ages 5 and under in the Buckaroos program are led on smaller horses in a pen. For children ages 6 to 13 in the Range Riders program, rides are held twice a day. The kids are allowed to walk, lope and trot according to trail conditions and their comfort level on the horses.

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The ultimate family vacation has grown exponentially in terms of options and accommodations  — and dude ranch vacations are no exception; families love dude ranches!

 

Read the full article by Julie Bielenberg here

Take the Time to Enjoy an Exciting Road Trip to Glacier National Park

While it is okay to visit cities and landmarks, we should all take the time to see the wonders of nature, as they are always more spectacular than we imagine. The best part about being in the outdoors, one way or another, is that we can forget about our busy city life and unwind in a calm and pure environment. Besides this, we get the chance to spoil our senses with the incredible beauties this planet has to offer, gorgeous natural monuments that took ages to complete and have been here long before the first human ever existed. So, if you need a relaxing and exciting escapade at the same time, do not hesitate to take a road trip to Glacier National Park and see some of its most important places. Continue reading for all the information you need to get organized and make this trip an experience you will never forget.

Glacier National Park

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch - Sandpoint, ID 

Where is Glacier National Park located?

Glacier National Park stretches over Flathead County and Glacier County in Montana, United States of America, near the Canadian border. So, it is very close to British Columbia and Alberta in Canada. It covers an impressive area, of 4,000 square kilometers, incorporating a part of the Rocky Mountains. Called the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem,” this park is home to a wide range of landscapes, plant species, and wildlife. So, taking a trip to visit it will be anything but boring. Depending on the things you want to see and the activities you would like to enjoy, you’ll have to choose the best time of the year for your experience.

Glacier National Park

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch - Sandpoint, ID 

The best time to visit Glacier National Park

Summer is the busiest season for Glacier National Park, as it is easier to walk on the paths of the park when there is no snow. Still, it is worth mentioning that you can visit the park throughout the entire year, as its gates will be open regardless of the season. But, during the cold season, the weather can be rather difficult, so you need to be prepared to face it if you want to visit the park when snowfall occurs. If you don’t mind the cold and the snow, which can occur in the park rather early in autumn, you will be able to enjoy nature’s beauty without the crowds of visitors that are specific to the months of summer. During winter, you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing, all while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Of course, summer has its own charm in the park and there are routes that are best to enjoy in the warm season only, due to accessibility issues when the weather goes bad.

Glacier National Park

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch - Libby, MT 

Some of the most interesting objectives of the park that are a must-see:

Glacier National Park

The road to the Sun either driving or taking a cruise

Going-to-the-Sun Road is actually a road around Glacier National Park that is famous for its scenic views. So, if you want to make the most of your visit to this park, you need to take the trip on this road. It doesn’t matter if you choose to drive on it yourself or become a passenger on one of the shuttles that cruise on this road. Just do remember that the best period to visit the Going-to-the-Sun Road is between the end of June or start of July through October. This is due to the fact that the weather may make this road inaccessible. The road is open all year round in the park, but if you have the misfortune to reach the park on bad weather, you may not have the chance to take this particular trip. What will you get if you choose this road? You will enjoy 50 miles of breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and even wildlife.

Glacier National Park

Hiking the trail of the Cedars

In case you are looking for a relaxing hike that won’t put too much strain on you from a physical point of view, you need to walk the Trail of the Cedars. This is a trail that goes on a loop, so you can start it from either end, as it will be mesmerizing no matter how you choose to visit it. Because it is one of the most popular trails in Glacier National Park and it enjoys a large number of visitors in the summer months, finding a parking spot can be a real challenge during the peak season. Also, it is worth mentioning that the tail is wheelchair-accessible as well, making outdoor adventures pleasant even for those with physical disabilities.

Glacier National Park

Waterfall hike to Apikuni Fall

A hike that ends with the view of a waterfall is always worth taking. So, if you want to enjoy going through the forests of Glacier National Park, see its rocky peaks in the background, and get to discover a charming waterfall, you need to walk this hike. But, an aspect that you need to remember is that the parking space at the start of this hike is rather limited. Only 12 cars can be accommodated by the dedicated parking area, so if you decide to visit the park during the busiest time of the year parking can become an issue. A tip would be to start your day as early as possible in the park, as it will help you avoid crowded roads and lack of space in parking lots.

Glacier National Park

Scenic rafting trips

It is worth mentioning that Glacier National Park is a suitable destination even for those that are in search of adventures and adrenaline. So, if you are a person that belongs to this group of visitors, don’t hesitate to take a rafting trip while you’re in the park. Don’t worry if you are a novice in this area, as these trips are always guided and assisted by experienced and trained professionals. In fact, all rafting companies in the park have permits for their activity from the US Forest Service. Plus, both Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest manage the rafting areas in the park, for best experiences. Where can one enjoy rafting trips in Glacier National Park? The Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead River in the park are the best areas where you can have such an experience and where the rafting companies will take you for a memorable adventure.

Glacier National Park

Now that you have valuable tips about how to enjoy a trip to Glacier National Park, all you need to do is set the details of such an escapade in the outdoors. Sometimes, we need to let go of hotels and vacations that offer everything with minimum effort. We need to step out of our daily routine and do something different, generate memories that will make our lives interesting and fulfilling. So, pack your bags and hit the road to this park for an incredible outdoor adventure.

If you are concerned about quality and wish to find the best services, The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) is an organization of ranches that meet certain quality standards, a DRA dude ranch will never disappoint you. So, have a look at the short list below and decide which ranch suits you best. Please check out all of our ranches located near National Parks HERE.

Montana Ranches:

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

Glacier National Park

Email: info@flatheadlakelodge.com

Phone: +1 406-837-4391

Location: Big Fork, Montana

Closest Airport: Kalispell

Bar W Guest Ranch

Glacier National Park

Email: info@thebarw.com

Phone: +1 866-828-2900 +1 406-863-9099

Location: Whitefish, Montana

Closest Airport: Kalispell

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch

Glacier National Park

Email: info@mmgranch.net

Phone: +1 866-764-5569 +1 406-293-5000

Location: Libby, Montana

Closest Airport: Kalispell

Idaho Ranch:

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch 

Glacier National Park

Email: stay@westernpleasureranch.com

Phone: +1 888-863-9066 +1 208-263-9066

Location: Sandpoint, Idaho

Closest Airport: Spokane, Washington

British Columbia (Canada) Ranch:

Three Bars Guest Ranch

Glacier National Park

Email: info@threebarsranch.com

Phone: +1 877-426-5230 +1 250-426-5230

Location: Cranbrook, British Columbia

Closest Airport: Cranbrook

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Here are some valuable tips about how to enjoy a trip to Glacier National Park. If you are concerned about quality and wish to find the best services, The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) is an organization of ranches that meet certain quality standards, a DRA dude ranch will never disappoint you.

http://www.luxurytravelersguide.com/

The Wildest Trail Rides of 2018

The National Dude Ranch Association (DRA) has over 10,000 trail rides throughout the Western United States and Canada. Travel across National Forest, BLM, private acreage and hundreds of miles of waterways that traverse high and low altitude, valley and mountain, desert and coast, with the wranglers of the DRA. However, of all these options, which is truly the wildest in 2018?

Border Ride—THE WILDEST TRAIL RIDE

Rancho de la Osa, Sasbe, Arizona

It’s both scenery and the current political state of the country that makes this trail ride at the remarkable ranch, quite possibly, the wildest ride in the West! Rancho de la Osa houses Arizona’s oldest continually used building, constructed in an Indian village around 1720 by Jesuit missionaries.

In 1812, the ranch was part of the Ortiz Brothers Spanish land grant and with Mexican independence from Spain, the ranch became part of Mexico. In 1916, Pancho Villa raided and attempted to take Rancho de la Osa and a cannon ball from the attack was found embedded in the adobe wall of the Hacienda, which is on display today.

Once you’ve taken in the enormous breadth of Rancho de la Osa’s history, saddle up and choose the Ranch’s U.S.—Mexico Border ride. Yes, you read that correctly, guests of all riding abilities can see and even touch The Wall.

Start on horseback through wooded mesquite trails and low sandy washes. Next, the wranglers will take you past the Ranch’s cemetery, dating from the early 1800s. From here, the horses leave the ranch, cross into La Mirador Ranch and continue to the border with Mexico, about a 20-minute ride. You travel directly to the fence separating the countries. There, wranglers can describe the scenery that unfolds. They can explain the reason for the black jugs piled feet high in some places, the blankets, clothes and more.

After all questions are answered, and there are many, wranglers will continue on with the ride reemerging at the ranch. For those who are curious, the wall ends abruptly in the desert. Draw your own conclusions, but history and reality is present, evident and relevant!

Click here to see other Arizona Dude Ranches

trail rides

 

The Other Border Ride

Bar W Guest Ranch, Whitefish, Montana

For the second wildest ride, the DRA is going to take you to our northern border with Canada. At Bar W Ranch, there is a full-day horseback trail ride that will take guests to an extremely wild site. Throughout the day the terrain changes, and riders can walk, trot, or lope through open meadows and lush forests before exploring Lake Koocanusa. Riders think they’ve entered a postcard with a majestic mountain backdrop and long sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. Lake Koocanusa signifies the cooperation between two friendly neighbors, “Koocanusa” is an abbreviation of KOOtenai River and the first three letters of CANada and USA.

The “wildest” part of this ride is traveling along the three-wire fence separating the two neighbors, USA and Canada. The fence can be seen for miles stretching in a straight line across rolling hills before disappearing into the distance. A small stone obelisk distinguishes the border and makes for a prime photo opportunity for guests who dare to put a leg on each side and claim being in two countries at once. 

Click here to see other Montana Dude Ranches

trail rides

 

Get Lost in the Lower 48’s Largest Protected Wilderness

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, Winston, New Mexico

The Gila National Forest expands over 3.3 million acres, is the largest federally protected landmass in the lower 48, and is also the first wilderness area designated in the United States.  

The terrain is wild, and the history won’t disappoint either. In one canyon alone, Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch takes riders through 1,000 years of history from Mimbres to Apaches to Basque and tin miners. Aptly named Dwelling Canyon, this location has been a geologically unique stopping place for years marked with pictographs, cliff dwellings, Basque structures, and mining equipment. Sitting in a cave that demonstrates humanity for thousands of years, now that’s wild. 

The ranch will also take you on trail rides through Taylor Creek Canyon, Beaver Canyon, Whitewater Canyon, Hoyt Canyon, just some of the spectacular canyons that are truly awe-inspiring and jaw dropping. Gaze up at canyon walls as you ride through creeks fed by warm spring waters.

Click here to see other New Mexico Dude Ranches

trail rides

 

Private Elk Pastures

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, Flathead Lake, Montana

Horseback ride through a 500-acre Montana elk preserve. Guests are led into the ranch’s private elk preserve where they will be able to view mature bull and cow elk in their natural habitat. Depending on time of year riders view the Lodge’s heard in full velvet or mature growth. In the fall guests can watch from a distance as the bull elk spar with each other testing their strength for the rut. 

Click here to see other Montana Dude Ranches

trail rides

 

Moose in Moose, WY

Gros Ventre River Ranch, Moose, Wyoming

Grab a cup of cowboy coffee and a glance at one of America’s largest mammals along this wild breakfast ride. Gros Ventre River Ranch in Moose, WY, has riders leave by 7 am from the barn to get the best in at dawn when wildlife are active before bedding down for the day. Exciting sightings include moose, elk and eagles. The Jackson Hole area is notorious for iconic wildlife and this particular ride allows guests to see the ranch’s valley during a serene time when most are still sleeping.

The final destination is a picnic spot by the Gros Ventre River. There, breakfast is prepared in cast iron pots over the fire. The menu includes biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, fruit tea, juice, hot chocolate, and, of course, more cowboy coffee. 

Click here to see other Wyoming Dude Ranches

trail rides

 

Wild Horses

Lazy L&B Ranch, Dubois, Wyoming

There are few spots left in America where you can view wild horses. Luckily, the horses on staff at Lazy L & B Ranch know where to find them. The ranch offers a three-hour round trip ride where wranglers will bring you atop a mesa behind the ranch. The view is spectacular, and more often than not, guests will have the opportunity to see at least one of the herds of wild horses that inhabit the area. It’s remarkable to be on horse and take in the noises and sights of their wild cousins.

trail rides

 

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The National Dude Ranch Association (DRA) has over 10,000 trail rides throughout the Western United States and Canada. Travel across National Forest, BLM, private acreage and hundreds of miles of waterways that traverse high and low altitude, valley and mountain, desert and coast, with the wranglers of the DRA. However, of all these options, which is truly the wildest in 2018?

 

Lodging Near Glacier National Park at a Dude Ranch

You are about to embark on one of the most quintessential National Park trips that North America has to offer, Glacier National Park. With the itinerary planned for a sunrise trip on the road to the sun and the best places to stop in the park to stop and "smell the roses" you are ready for the experience of a lifetime. But, are you looking for something a little more than a stuffy hotel room on the first floor with kids running overhead and a continental breakfast that leaves something to be desired?  

At a dude ranch you can book your own peaceful cabin for the week and escape the crowds for an outdoor adventure on a ranch that pairs oh - so - nicely with a trip to Glacier National Park. Ranging from luxury resorts to intimate working cattle ranches pick out your very own local and immersive experience for your family at one of these well appointed dude ranches within a four hour drive of Glacier National Park.  

Here are the top dude ranches for lodging near Glacier National Park

 

Rocking Z Ranch

Wolf Creek, Montana ~ 4 Hours from Glacier National Park 

Enjoy great riding as a beginner or long time rider at Rocking Z Guest Ranch. You'll learn Parelli Natural Horsemanship, enjoy delicious ranch style meals and spacious home-style rooms. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

Rocking Z Ranch Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Loping across the meadow at Rocking Z Ranch

 

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge

Big Fork, Montana ~ 30 Minutes from Glacier National Park 

Located on the shores of Flathead Lake, Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge is a resort style ranch for the ultimate family vacation with unlimited horse and water recreation. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

 

Averills Activities

There's a lot more than horseback riding at Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

 

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Sandpoint, Idaho ~ 4 Hours from Glacier National Park 

Experience the spirit of the west at the all inclusive adventure vacation at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. The warm hospitality, country gourmet dining and the beauty of Idaho's wilderness will make your stay not just a vacation but a true western experience. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

 

Western Pleasure Idaho Dude Ranch Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Interior of a cabin at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

 

JJJ Wilderness Ranch

Augusta, Montana ~ 1.5 Hours from Glacier National Park 

Located centrally between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park the JJJ Wilderness Ranch has outstanding horseback riding, fly fishing, and a fantastic kids program. Discover breathtaking experiences by day and relaxed western hospitality at night. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

JJJ Wilderness Ranch - Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Kids love horseback riding at the JJJ Wilderness Ranch

 

Three Bars Guest Ranch

Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada ~ 2.5 hours from Glacier National Park 

As the adventure ranch of the Canadian Rockies Three Bars Guest Ranch is a working cattle ranch, but provides all comforts and full amenities of a true dude ranch. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

 

Three Bars Rafting Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Rafting while at the Three Bars Guest Ranch

Deep Canyon Guest Ranch

Choteau, Montana ~ 2 Hours from Glacier National Park

Deep Canyon Guest Ranch is a family owned 1,200 acre ranch with over 55 years in the guest ranch business at the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Pack a lunch in the saddlebags for a guided mountain top experience. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

 

Deep Canyon Ranch Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Hiking to the overlook at the Deep Canyon Guest Ranch 

Hidden Hollow Hideaway

Townsend, Montana ~ 4 Hours from Glacier National Park 

As a small working cattle ranch nestled in the foothills of the Montana Big Belt Mountains Hidden Hollow Hideaway offers a tailored experience caring for cattle, viewing the local wildlife and witnessing the history of days long gone. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

 

Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle Drive

Participate in cattle work at the Hidden Hollow Hideaway Ranch

 

Bar W Guest Ranch

Whitefish, Montana ~ 40 Minutes from Glacier National Park

Families, adults, singles and groups alike have thousands of acres to explore at the Bar W Guest Ranch. Friendly staff, scrumptious food, great riding and wonderful accommodations await you here.  

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Bar W Trail Ride Credit Danny Nestor Butts

Bring your friends - the more the merrier at Bar W Guest Ranch

Rich Ranch

Seeley Lake, Montana ~ 2 Hours from Glacier National Park 

The lodge and cabins of Rich Ranch are nestled in the trees overlooking a tranquil meadow with an awesome view of the Rocky Mountains. Three generations of the Rich family live and work on the ranch and welcome you into their home.

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

 

Rich Ranch Pack Trip Mountains - Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Pack trips at Rich Ranch are extraordinary lodging near Glacier National Park 

 

 

Lodging Near Glacier National Park at a Dude Ranch

At a dude ranch you can book your own peaceful cabin for the week and escape the crowds for an outdoor adventure on a ranch that pairs oh - so - nicely with a trip to Glacier National Park. Ranging from luxury resorts to intimate working cattle ranches pick out your very own local and immersive experience for your family at one of these well appointed dude ranches within a four hour drive of Glacier National Park.

 

Read more stories about dude ranches near our national parks

 

 

Ride Off Into The West, And A National Park, From A Dude Ranch

It’s after a soft, pattering rain, with the clouds clearing and the sun streaming through, that the essence of the Western landscape rises up. The pungent scent of sagebrush is wicked up by the moist air, mingling with the sweet aroma of pine. And whether you’re astride your horse, or relaxing on the ranch-house porch with a steaming cup of coffee, the early fall view of snow-dusted peaks with valleys below glimmering with the gold of aspen leaves seems crisper, almost magnified.

Dude ranches have been showcasing these landscapes, and their associated experiences, for generations of families, many who come back year after year after year to relive the experience. And why not? These typically week-long vacations revolve around trail rides that literally carry you into these marvelous settings. And that day in the saddle is followed by a hearty meal that might feature Citrus Roasted Half Chicken, Porcini Mushroom Risotto, or a classic Buffalo Tenderloin. At day’s end, you’ll settle into a soft, warm bed in a cabin that’s rooted in the setting.

With some ranches closing in on a century of welcoming guests, it’s not a lie to say the industry literally grew up with the National Park System. So intertwined are the two that there’s almost a symbiotic relationship between them. True, most dude ranch vacations feature all-inclusive ranch stays. But there are ranches out there that relish and promote their proximity to national parks, places such as the Lone Mountain Ranch that is just 18 miles from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, or the White Stallion Ranch that sidles up to Saguaro National Park in Arizona.

When considering a dude ranch vacation, be sure to look for the establishment’s endorsement from the Dude Ranchers’ Association. This organization, which arose from a meeting in 1926 in a Bozeman, Montana, hotel room between cattle ranching and railroad interests, doesn’t take membership lightly. Rather, ranches are evaluated for two years on everything from their lodgings to how they care for their horses before they’re granted membership. Today, only about 100 ranches sprinkled through the Western United States and one Canadian province have qualified for that distinction.

Here’s a look at three dude ranches that can connect you with a national park when you want the best of both experiences -- ranch life and a sampling of America’s best places.

 

White Stallion National Park Trip
   
White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
9251 West Twin Peaks Road
Tucson, Arizona  85743
888-977-2624

This southern Arizona ranch spans 3,000 acres, but can seem larger thanks to the access it has to Saguaro National Park and its 91,439 acres right next door. All-day horseback rides at the White Stallion Ranch can include treks into the national park. You also can ride up into the surrounding mountains studded with the region’s iconic saguaro cacti or, if you have the skills, take a faster ride that features loping and cantering through the Sonoran Desert. Recall the day’s activities around the evening buffet dinner grilled outside, and relax afterwards by studying the night sky or listening to a cowboy singer.

 

Gros Ventre River Ranch National Park

Gros Ventre River Ranch, Moose, Wyoming
18 Gros Ventre Road
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
307-733-4138

Towering over your stay at the Gros Ventre River Ranch are the crags of Grand Teton National Park. Not surprisingly, the park can play a supporting role in your vacation at the ranch. You can take time to climb the Grand Teton itself, or play white-water cowboy on the rapids of the Snake River that flows through the park. Daily trail rides offer great photo opts with the bison and moose that call this landscape home. Family style dinners back at the lodge allow you to make new friends while comparing your day’s adventures.



Bar Family Father Daughter

Bar W Guest Ranch, Whitefish, Montana
2875 Highway 93 West
Whitefish, Montana 59937
866-828-2900

There is a place in northern Montana where days are spent on trail rides or sharpening skills barrel racing or maybe simply fishing. Visitors to the Bar W Guest Ranch also have access to mountain bike trails and relaxing on evening wagon rides that culminate with a cookout. For some, helping with a cattle drive might be on your schedule. For all, rides high up into the mountains and through the pine forests are daily adventures. The 3,000-acre ranch is not far from the Canadian border...and it’s also less than an hour from Glacier National Park.
Whether you’re anxious to get back on a horse, or want to slip your foot into a stirrup for the first time, a dude ranch vacation surrounds you with landscapes so magnificent in their beauty that we protect many of them as national parks.   

 

Most dude ranch vacations feature all-inclusive ranch stays. But there are ranches out there that relish & promote their proximity to a national park.

5 Reasons to Go on a Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

With winter just around the corner now is the prime time to plan your snowy getaway on a dude ranch. If you are unsure about a winter dude ranch vacation here are five reasons (and five great ranches) why this may be the best time for you to go.


1. Winter Sports


Winter snow sports offer some of the most beautiful and pristine views of the mountains. Ranches will offer a variety of activities you can participate in - cross country skiing, downhill skiing, show shoeing, sledding, snow mobiling, and yes, even horseback riding!

 

Seven Devils Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

At the Seven Devil’s Lodge in Idaho you can experience miles and miles of backcountry, very far from the nearest road. They offer guided snow mobile tours on terrain for beginners and for those who are more advanced. The Lodge will even provide an entry level to intermediate snowmobile riding clinic! With 5,500 square feet the lodge has five spacious bedroom suites and a maximum capacity of eight. You’ll have a personalized winter dude ranch vacation at the Seven Devils Lodge, where outdoor winter sports are their specialty.


2. Seasonal Deals


Winter travel can mean seasonal deals. Whenever you are booking be sure to ask about special winter deals. After the holidays, during the off season you could potential save a lot of money.

 

 Vee Bar Ranch Lodge Winter Snow

At the Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Wyoming you’ll receive these seasonal deals during their off season. The nightly rate less expensive than the summer rates and you can choose a package deal with the local ski hill. The cozy, comfortable cabins have decks and chairs right next to the Little Laramie River just outside your room. You’ll enjoy horseback riding, hiking/snow shoe excursions and a wagon ride through the Vee Bar Meadows at this winter dude ranch.


3. Cozy Lodge Rooms and Cabins


After a long day in the snow, bundled up in winter gear what is cozier than a cabin with a fire going and a cup of hot chocolate? You’ll be surrounded by western décor and top of the line furnishings to boot!

 

Home Sledding


Join the Home Ranch in Colorado this season and revel in exquisite holiday dining and festivities or just relax and watch the snow fall from the comfort of our lodge or your own snug cabin. Walk out your front door and enjoy almost every winter activity imaginable at this winter dude ranch: 20 miles of Nordic skiing, sledding, tubing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides. It's a perfect holiday setting for every taste and generation.


4. Wine & Dine


With short days you’ll enjoy long evenings indoors with fine wine and fine dining.

 

Triangle X Ranch Winter Dude Ranch Vacation Starts in the Hot Tub


You’ll really enjoy Triangle X Ranch’s four star dining set with the back drop of the snow covered Teton Mountains. This authentic working dude ranch offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, photography and wildlife viewing right out your front door. After a full day, return to the comfortable lodge and relax western style with a warm fire and a large outdoor Jacuzzi.

5. Less Crowds


While low temperatures and lots of snow deter lots of travelers, this works in your favor when traveling in the colder months, as you’ll spend less on flights and travel expenses.

 

Bar W Sleigh Ride Snow
Experience the winter season and beauty of the great outdoors from the comfort of a sleigh at the Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana. Enjoy the magic of a sleigh drawn by gentle draft horses while snuggling up under blankets with loved ones. This is perfect for that romantic getaway or just spending time with family and friends. Each sleigh ride winds through open fields and woodlands, giving you the chance to take in the beauty of the land. The Bar W is located at the base of Spencer Mountain providing an optimal view of snow covered ridges, Spencer Lake, and Montana’s expansive beauty.  Not only that, this winter dude ranch is close to all sorts of snow sport providers.

 

More about a Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

Read more about winter dude ranch vacations options here. Be sure to pin the below as a reminder!

 

5 Reasons for a Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

 

 

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The Great American Family Holiday – on a Dude Ranch

Sylvan Dale Ranch Great American Family Holiday Clint the donkey gets a hug at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch.

Ride ‘em cowboy! Sure there can be plenty of time in the saddle when you take the kids on a dude ranch vacation. But these days, there’s plenty else to do. In fact, ranch goers acknowledge, they often spend less time riding than they expected because of so many other activities and so much land to explore. That’s especially true for multi-generational groups who find guest ranches ideal for family reunions. They are all-inclusive so there is no bickering—and no surprises—with the final bill. No one has to get groceries, cook or clean up. And there are activities for all ages. How about mountain biking? Organized kids’ activities often include everything from riding to soccer, sack races, art projects and talent shows. Programs like at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, means the adults get some time to catch up and parents don’t have to worry about their children’s whereabouts. The closeness of the cabins, dining room and other facilities makes it easy for parents to keep an eye on them, and means the property is more convenient to navigate for older guests. You might not have realized dude ranches today offer so many options:

A visit to a National Park – Many dude ranches are located near some of the country’s most popular national parks. White Stallion Ranch borders Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, while Rimrock Ranch is only miles outside the East entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Medicine Bow Lodge & Guest Ranch is located in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming; while many guests at Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana head to Glacier National Park for a day.

Bar W Dude Ranch Vacation

Picnic at the Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana

A hike in the wilderness. Most dude ranches are off the tourist grid on lots of land, ideal for exploring on foot. The Diamond D Ranch, nestled in the Frank Church Wilderness Area of Idaho, offers excursions into the wild and fishing in the Salmon River Mountains, among many other activities.

Diamond D Ranch Fishing

Indulge in a massage Many ranches now offer spa treatments, like White Stallion Ranch  in Tucson, AZ and Vista Verde Ranch just outside of Steamboat, CO.

Take a yoga class. Many ranches that offer spa services also provide yoga classes and training. Before a long day in the saddle, guests can have a relaxing limbering-up session with certified trainers.

Try some new wines. Gourmet cuisine and wine paring are gaining popularity at dude ranches. At Smith Fork Ranch, favorites from their private cellar and wineries they especially like are among the choices, including some Colorado wines.

Go tubing or white water rafting. Three Bars Guest Ranch in the Canadian Rockies offers weekly white water rafting tours on the unspoiled  Mary’s River.  Put in only a 10 minute drive from the ranch.

Give shooting sports a try at Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Idaho, there is instruction in a safely controlled environment. There are 5 stations, each providing their own unique targets.

Ride a Zip Line The Bar Lazy J Ranch has one of Colorado’s longest and fastest zip lines and is the only one that crosses the Colorado River. The zip line starts on a steep bluff overlooking the Colorado River dropping 82 feet in elevation as it crosses the river, through the trees and across a pasture to the landing platform. You will be zipping along at speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour. This activity is for guests ages 13 and up.

Go fishing Rainbow Trout Ranch near several historic Spanish land grants in Antonito, Colo.,encourages guests to go trout fishing; Try your hand at fly fishing at 4UR Ranch in Mineral County, Colo.

Do si do with the wranglers or sing your favorite western songs around the campfire at ranches including – Mountain Sky Guest Ranch sits on over 10,000 operational acres of unspoiled wilderness in the heart of Yellowstone Country in Emigrant, Mont Got your cowboy hat?

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Pet & Dog Friendly Ranch Vacations

Dog Friendly Ranch VacationsA ranch is your next adventure vacation and there is no way your "best friend" can stay with your neighbor or at a boarding facility for a week or more. So, take your dog with you to dog friendly ranch vacations! If your dog is fit for long distance mountain traveling, doesn't chase anything but toys and stays off the furniture, he or she may be a great fit on a dude ranch. Even if you have an older dog whose running days are drifting away, he or she can relax at the ranch while you're trail riding and join you later for an afternoon of fishing or a stroll around the ranch property.

Ranch vacations are famous for their hospitality and the ranches listed below would love to treat you and your pet like family. However, ranches consider pets on a case by case basis and would like the opportunity to discuss your specific animal(s) you are traveling with and if it would be a good fit for the ranch. The ranchers have to ensure a safe environment for you, the dog and other guests with allergies and therefore have a variable pet policy. Please contact the ranches individually to find out more about their dog friendly policies and requirements.

Dog Friendly Ranch Vacations

Arizona ~ Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

California ~ Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch

Colorado ~ Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Black Mountain Ranch

Idaho ~ Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Montana ~ The Bar W Guest RanchSweet Grass Ranch, Broken Arrow Lodge, Rocking Z Ranch, Covered Wagon Ranch

Washington ~ Bull Hill Guest Ranch

Wyoming ~ Klondike Ranch, Spotted Horse Ranch

 

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Family Travel and Dude Ranches

One of the most meaningful comments we’ve read about family travel and dude ranches is this: Dude ranches reconnect adults to a simple and innocent part of their childhood and introduce their children to these same experiences.

Western Pleasure Ranch Family Travel Destination

At dude ranches, everyone can discover magic. Photo courtesy of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

There’s something uplifting and joyful about that. Like when parents momentarily forget themselves and regress with their kids – revisiting beloved animated cartoons from their youth, or unabashedly belting out favorite ballads from bygone (to their kids) times. Now picture horses and corrals, Stetson hats and western boots, cookouts and wide open landscapes straight out of cowboy movies and novels. Your heart goes pitter-patter, just a little bit. Or a lot. Because in today’s era of quick-paced modernization, invasive technology and growing detachment from nature (and one another), the ranch appeal is arguably more potent — for all generations — than ever before. “Perhaps it is the allure of the Western lifestyle that people long to experience. Perhaps it is the adventure that draws guests to a ranch in the first place. Most likely, it’s a combination,” believes Kari Kilmer, Manager of Vee Bar Guest Ranch. Perhaps. Whatever the case, when on a dude ranch, “The feelings that awaken inside of you are something that most people never imagine. It’s the magic!” agrees Tammy Yurich, Activities Director of Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch.

Latigo Ranch Family Travel Destination

Living in a dream. Photo courtesy of Latigo Ranch

Exploring the Magic “Dude ranches are a perfect fit for family travel simply because the dynamic shifts,” suggests Ashley Ducharme, Marketing Coordinator of Bar W Guest Ranch. “Everyone within the family is on an authentic adventure because everyone is trying new things (archery, horseback riding, square dancing, skeet shooting and more). This equalizes the parents and the children and fosters open communication. The kids say ‘Do you know what we did today?’ and the parents respond ‘Well do you know what we did today?’” That level playing field wasn’t created by accident. It has taken a lot of work and requires diligent vigilance to maintain. All the more so as it’s increasingly difficult to find other family-focused vacation experiences that so consistently “bring families together naturally,” as Kerstin Auer, Marketing & Sales of Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, sees it, all by placing careful and balanced emphasis on providing “unique adventures and educational experiences that the whole family will enjoy,” says Janice Schoonover, Owner of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. Over the years, plenty of visitors have predictably compared their dude ranch adventures with the famous magic of other standard-bearing activity providers like Disney. How do dude ranches stand up? Incredibly well! “When you come to a dude ranch, the only lines you’ll find are the strings of horses and riders on the mountain trails. Every moment with your family will be spent finding real adventures, not being herded through fabricated ones. Without crowds of people to fight against, the buzz of this modern world will fade into serenity and wildness,” says Spencer George, son of the owners of Latigo Ranch.

Geronimo Trail Ranch Family Travel Destination

A Chance to slow down and get in touch with natures. Photo courtesy of Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

Take Things a Little Slower There really is a lot to be said for excitement without overstimulation, and activation without commercialization. “Dude ranches give families… a place to slow down from the fast pace of daily life and reconnect with each other,” observes Meris Stout, Owner of Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch. There are two important elements to this. First, “Free of television, phone calls, texts and push notifications, family members can discover the magic that has captivated ranch guests for a hundred years,” enthuses RC Townsend, Assistant General Manager of Mountain Sky Guest Ranch. Second, “Learning together through nature and animals is a powerful thing for families to share,” says Tyler Beckley, Owner of Three Bars Guest Ranch. Of course, a readiness to make family time together just that much more engaging is stoked by freedom from one another during part of each day. This is aided by the safe environment dude ranches work to create, allowing parents to relax while their kids do their own things. “Kids have freedoms on a dude ranch that most cannot experience in today’s world,” says Jeanne Ross, General Manager of Colorado Trails Guest Ranch. Doug Cole, Owner of Marble Mountain Guest Ranch concurs: “Once you arrive at a dude ranch, you are by default in a more secure environment that has a known and fixed population during the time of your stay. Kids are more enabled to ‘free range.’”

R Lazy S Ranch Family Travel

Photo courtesy of R Lazy S Ranch

Step into the Dude Ranch Mindset Predictably, “A dude ranch offers so much… by providing very unique opportunities,” says Kelly Stirn, Owner of R Lazy S Ranch. So let’s explore some them. Keep in mind, however, that “The hardest vacation to describe is one based on an experience. For those of us that live this wonderful, rewarding, down-to-earth lifestyle, it is hard to tell a family on the phone what a wonderful time they will have,” advises Kilmer of Vee Bar Guest Ranch. “They simply have to take our word for it, then try it for themselves.” Let’s do that. Let’s put ourselves briefly in dude ranchers’ shoes by reading their words and imagining how amazing a dude ranch holiday can be. Then let’s all go try it out ourselves, remembering that, as Doug Van Berkum, Owner of Rainbow Trout Ranch likes to point out, “There truly is something for EVERYONE!” To read the extended quotes from the ranchers visit the blog post here. This blog was originally written by the Family Travel Association. Visit them on the web here. Save Save Save Save Save Save

Corporate Meeting Trends for 2017

With winter in full swing, it’s now every event organizer’s "most wonderful time of the year" scheduling conferences!  If you are in charge of planning a conference or corporate meeting for your company, consider the 2017 trends shaping today’s corporate events. In regards to these trends, consider an accredited dude ranch to fit the bill. With capacities varying from ranch to ranch you might find one intimate enough for your board of directors or large enough to take the entire enterprise.

Strong WiFi Connection Even when you are planning an event in the mountains access to highly effective WiFi can be a selected option. Business travelers want to stay connected now more than ever, and many attend conferences with multiple wireless devices. A meeting space that can provide sufficient bandwidth and free, fast and reliable WiFi capabilities is one you don’t want to overlook.

Red-Reflet-Lodge-Meeting-Corporate-

Red Reflet Guest Ranch Offers WiFi in each Chalet 

Dining choices Food and beverages served throughout a meeting is instrumental to its success.  The diverse culinary offerings of a meeting space are very important. Now a days it starts with having a variety of meal options and continues with selections for those with dietary restrictions for meals and refreshment breaks.

 

Refreshing Breaks Yes, dining is important, but attendees also want to get moving.  Meeting trends are heading towards replacing traditional coffee/snack breaks with energy boosting sessions.  You might consider offering a 30 minuet yoga session or fly-fishing casting class within your day’s conference schedule. Planners and attendees want breaks that keep them energized for the day’s remaining sessions.

 

Team building activities Team building is a classic meeting trend and includes activities with unique ways to spark partnerships with colleagues. Choosing a location with a variety of scheduled team building exercises will enhance the satisfaction of attendees, especially if they have never done the activity before.

 

Entertaining Entertainment Make each event unique, so attendees will eagerly anticipate in the next one. Live entertainment not only helps you instigate conversation before your conference, but it can also help you retain attendance for future events. Recent trends in entertainment at conferences and corporate functions include added entertainment from the host and engaging themed activities with your group.

 

Increasing Demand According to the Dude Ranchers' Association annual survey of ranches reservations for ranch vacations are consistently on the rise. Though short-term bookings are still common, booking opportunities stretch into the next couple of years. For last minute events, choices can be very limited by availability, but you can contact the office for help finding a last minute location.  307.587.2339


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Girlfriend Getaway - Anything but Ordinary

Skip Vegas and plan a girlfriend getaway that’s anything but ordinary at the original all-inclusive vacation destination: the dude ranch. Enjoy spa treatments, horseback riding, mountaintop yoga classes, outdoor adventure, wine tastings and, of course, girl talk in some of the most spectacular areas in the country. No matter what type of getaway you and your girlfriends have in mind, there’s the perfect dude ranch out there for you. There are a broad spectrum of guest ranches that are perfect for girlfriend getaways, ranging from rustic working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches. Whether you’re staying in your own private cabin or in a lodge room, rest assured you’ll sleep on comfortable beds, in superbly kept rooms, with all the amenities you’ll need for a pleasant and relaxing stay. So grab you mom, your sister and or your best friends and check out these great ranches for the perfect girlfriend getaway…

Girlfriend Getaways

Skip Vegas and plan a girlfriend getaway that’s anything but ordinary at the original all-inclusive vacation destination: the dude ranch. Enjoy spa treatments, horseback riding, mountaintop yoga classes, outdoor adventure, wine tastings and, of course, girl talk in some of the most spectacular areas in the country.

Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch, Montana

  • Rancho de los Caballeros in Arizona is a historic ranch resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast. Girlfriends can ride the rugged trails, relax at the luxurious spa or pool, or play a round of golf at one of Golf Digest’s Top 100 U.S. courses. With 200,000 acres of open range, 100 saddle horses and a team full of wranglers, it will be an experience you and your girlfriends will never forget.
  • Located in Montana, Bar W Guest Ranch offers an all-inclusive package for women to “Cowgirl Up” and take over the ranch. This package combines the simple beauty of nature with the unmatched Western hospitality of the ranch for a trip that will refuel your mind, body and spirit. Activities include a horsemanship clinic, cocktail receptions, “two-stepping” and a much-needed hot tub.
  • Also located in Arizona, White Stallion Ranch offers several “Cactus Cowgirls” getaway packages each year. These getaways include a margarita welcome party, one-hour massage, guided hikes, country western dance lessons, daily riding lessons, team penning, hay ride, wine tasting ride, and even a trip to a local rodeo. Girlfriends can surround themselves with the breathtaking scenery that has brought Hollywood filmmakers to the ranch for more than 70 years.
  • For an all-inclusive vacation with the girls full of highly-praised gourmet meals, experienced hiking guides, horseback riding tours, equestrian lessons, live music and roaring campfires at night, The Home Ranch is the perfect dude ranch for you. Don’t lift a finger from when you leave the airport to when you arrive with lodging, activities and delicious meals all in one place for you to enjoy.

White Stallion Cowgirl Cactus

Photo: White Stallion Ranch

  • Another gem in Montana for an unforgettable girlfriend getaway is the Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch with their “Cowgirl Retreats.” Running from June to September, Bonanza Creek’s Cowgirl Retreats are the perfect way to bond with your girls as you travel along the countryside on horseback together. The day is started with a good hearty breakfast, followed by a spectacular ride through the countryside. After a long day on the saddle, a massage and dinner awaits you and your girlfriends, ending your day relaxed and rejuvenated for another fun-filled day riding.
  • Located east of Yellowstone National park in Shell, Wyo., The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch has state-of-the-art girlfriend getaways that guarantee a fun-filled, adventure-packed week with the girls. For an all-inclusive vacation, lodge, dine and experience all of what Wyoming has to offer with the numerous activities available at your disposal at the Hideout. Start your day learning from the in-house expert cowgirls and kick up your heels with your girls as you ride through the countryside and end your day sipping cocktails and enjoying gourmet meals with a spectacular backdrop of the Wyoming countryside.

 

Skip Vegas and plan a girlfriend getaway that’s anything but ordinary at the original all-inclusive vacation destination: the dude ranch. Enjoy spa treatments, horseback riding, mountaintop yoga classes, outdoor adventure, wine tastings and, of course, girl talk in some of the most spectacular areas in the country.

All Aboard! Amtrak Train Rides to Dude Ranches

Train travel and dude ranches go way back in their relationship. In fact, the historical Northern Pacific Railway influenced early western expansion and the beginnings of leisure travel to Western States. Early dude ranchers, as in Larry Larom and his peers, founded the Dude Ranchers' Association in 1926. From the start the organization promoted leisure travel to dude ranches via train and established industry standards. Traveling to a dude ranch today is still possible. Amtrak is now the modern train travel company. They offer trips from the East coast of the United States to the West Coast and many places in between. Are you ready to take your next adventure via train?

Northern_Pacific_Railway_North_Coast_Limited_Diner

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the West and travel via train to your next dude ranch. Parasols, lace gloves, suits and heavy trunks are not necessary. Simply purchase your ticket and head out West. Below are some tools to plan your trip using the contemporary Amtrak trains. The stations are listed by state and the dude ranches close by are linked below the city. If you would like more information please call the Dude Ranchers' Association at 307.587.2339 or email us at info@duderanch.org. The Amtrak National Route Map (PDF) and the duderanch.org Interactive Map may be helpful as well.

Amtrak Train Stations by State

Norther Pacific Railroad Train Poster

Idaho

Sandpoint, Idaho Station

Western Pleasure Ranch, Sandpoint, Idaho

Washington

Spokane, Washington Station

Red Horse Mountain, Harrison, Idaho

Colorado

Granby, Colorado Station

C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colorado

Drowsy Water Ranch, Granby, Colorado

Bar Lazy J Ranch, Parshall, Colorado

Montana

Whitefish, Montana Station

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge, Bigfork, Montana

Bar W Guest Ranch, Whitefish, Montana

Arizona

Kingman, Arizona Station

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, Yucca, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona Station

White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Benson, Arizona Station

Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch, Tombstone, Arizona


 Train Travel Stamp

Dude Ranches During the Winter: Here's Where and Why

Freshly-fallen snow, sleigh rides and skiing make these dude ranches a magical winter getaway By Lyn Mettler Travel Expert December 7, 2015 Originally Posted on 10Best.com Set in some of the most beautiful scenery in the American West and covered in blankets of snow for months, these dude ranches offer a secluded yet active winter getaway for all ages. Whether for skiing or enjoying seasonal activities like sleigh rides and snowmobiling, these ranches have it all when the weather turns cold.

 

C Lazy U Winter

C Lazy U Ranch | Granby, Colorado While the ground might be covered in white, count on plentiful sunshine and clear blue skies at C Lazy U Ranch. Take advantage of private skiing with no lift lines where the Snowcat delivers guests back up the hill or pop the kids on a tube or sled for a wild downhill ride. Other winter options include back country snowmobiling, horseback riding or snowshoeing, and there’s even ice hockey on the ranch's pond. C Lazy U also provides fine dining and luxury accommodations to refuel and recharge for the next day's adventure.

Latigo Winter

Latigo Dude Ranch | Kremmling, Colorado Located along the Continental Divide in Colorado, Latigo Dude Ranch caters to skiers during the winter months with some of the state's best snow conditions (about 18 feet every winter) and nearly 40 miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiing. Other winter activities at the ranch, which is approaching 100 years old, include snowshoeing, tubing, biking on snow or simply taking in the quiet and seclusion from the front porch of the historic log lodge with panoramic mountain vistas.

Bar W Winter Sleigh

Bar W Guest Ranch | Whitefish, Montana The Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, Montana gets up to 300 inches of snow every year. The ranch offers terrain for every level of skier, including cross-country, downhill and backcountry skiing. Kids love dog sledding, taking a sleigh ride with ranch horses Duke and Dutch, and ice skating or hockey on the ice rink. You can even try ice fishing for trout, perch and more in area lakes or joining in a square dance. End the day with down-home cooking Montana style.

Western Pleasure Winter

Western Pleasure Ranch | Sandpoint, Idaho A favorite activity of visitors to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in North Idaho is a scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride by one of the ranch’s draft teams. A two-mile loop trail takes passengers through a forest and offers snow-covered views of the nearby Selkirk Mountains. There's also snowmobiling and plenty of scenic skiing for all levels. When the day is done, cozy up by the lodge fire and then head back to one of the ranch's log cabins or lodge rooms.

Home Ranch Winter

Home Ranch | Clark, Colorado Nestled in Colorado's Elk River Valley, just north of Steamboat Springs, the Home Ranch becomes a winter wonderland when its legendary snowfalls begin each season. Considered one of the most beautiful cross-country skiing resorts in Colorado, the ranch has top-notch Nordic skiing, a world-class chef and rustic accommodations. Guests can even help feed the ranch’s herd of more than 100 horses while visiting.

Lone Mountain Winter

Lone Mountain Ranch | Big Sky, Montana Voted the No. 1 Nordic Ski Resort in North America by Cross Country Skier magazine, and located just six miles from some of the country's best skiing, Lone Mountain Ranch is a skier's paradise. Guests can also take a short shuttle ride to explore Yellowstone National Park or Gallatin National Forest by skis or snowshoes. If you're feeling daring, try out winter fly fishing too. Cap it all off with a sleigh ride under starlit skies to the North Fork cabin for a family-style prime rib dinner, lit by oil lanterns and warmed by a hundred-year-old cookstove.

Seven Devils Winter

Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch | Council, Idaho  Just south of the Seven Devils mountain range, Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch sits on 18,000 acres among canyons, high desert and mountains. A working ranch since the early 1900s, it is one of the most sought after destinations for backcountry snowmobiling ("boondocking") because of its widely varied terrain, which begins right out the front door. The lodge has six individually-themed bedroom suites and serves family-style ranch meals in the dining room.

Waunita Winter

Waunita Hot Springs Ranch | Gunnison, Colorado Set high in the Colorado Rockies at nearly 9,000 feet of elevation, Waunita Hot Springs Ranch is filled with snow-covered mountain views at every turn. Surrounded by Gunnison National Forest and 10 miles from the Continental Divide, the ranch is close to two popular ski areas and abundant terrain for snowmobiling. Most accommodations are in the main lodge, which boasts two fireplaces, a library and billiard room, as well as weekly square dancing and live Western music performances.

Vista Verde Winter

Vista Verde | Steamboat Springs, Colorado Vista Verde offers guests an upscale, all-inclusive winter experience with plenty of activities for all interests. Spend days frolicking in the snow on skies, snowshoes, by sled or tube or even by fat tire bike. Enjoy a sleigh ride led by ranch horses or take a horseback ride through softly packed snow. There are even yoga classes and private hot tubs in guest cabins to soothe aching muscles after the day's snowy adventures.

Sundance Winter

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch | Red Feather Lakes, Colorado Head out on horseback into winter's crisp morning air for a ride through Roosevelt National Forest at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch. A small horse ranch with a lodge and cabin suites for accommodations, Sundance Trail even welcomes dogs to join owners during winter months. An outdoor Jacuzzi lets guests stay warm as the snow softly falls.

What can you expect at a dude ranch in winter? When the weather turns cold, dude ranch fun is just getting started. Snow sledding, skiing, sleigh rides, and other winter activities. Plus tips for winter vacation planning.


   

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