Solo Travelers Find the Ultimate Getaway Destination at a Dude Ranch

While traveling alone may sound like a scary or uninviting idea, don’t completely rule it out yet, there are some pretty incredible destinations for solo travelers, like a dude or guest ranch. Dude and guest ranches are the ideal all-inclusive vacation for those looking for some much-needed alone time, a new and exciting adventure, or even for those who may be searching for new friends. There are many advantages to dude and guest ranch destinations for solo travelers, keep reading to learn about why a ranch vacation surpasses the rest.

While traveling alone may sound like a scary idea, don’t completely rule it out yet, there are great destinations for solo travelers, like a dude ranch!

Fun and Friendly Environment

You will instantly feel like part of the family as there is great camaraderie amongst guests and staff. It instantly becomes your home away from home! Many guest ranches only accommodate up to 30 or 40 guests per week, which not only allows the staff to know your name but also results in you getting to know most of the other guests. Meals are often served family-style so there are always guests to chat with throughout the day, making sure you never feel like you are on the “outskirts” if traveling alone. Horseback riding will bring you closer with other guests too; getting to visit with people on your rides and share beautiful landscape and memories together will be something you always remember.

Group Oriented Activities

There is never a dull moment at a dude ranch. There are activities to keep you busy from sunup to sundown such as horseback riding, fly fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing, cattle roping, ATV-riding and much more. Plus, these activities are usually done in groups so you won’t encounter any “couples only” activities or events if you don’t want to. If you are looking for a little time by yourself though, relaxing at your cabin or room and reading a good book is also an option too. The beauty of a dude ranch is that you get to choose your own schedule, your vacation can be as active or as quiet as you like!

Adult-Only and Specialty Weeks

Many dude and guest ranches report fewer “couples” visiting now than in the past. As a result, many of these ranches host adult-only weeks in the Fall. Activities during these weeks range from wine and cheese tastings, guided hikes, cooking classes, country dance instruction, cookouts, themed cocktail receptions, fly-fishing clinics and much more. These weeks offer a great environment for solo travelers because mostly everyone is there for a relaxing getaway with no families and the opportunity to meet new people and bond.

Connect with Yourself

Dude ranches are a great place to spend time alone to revive your body, spirit and mind in some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Whether it’s a rejuvenating day at the spa, an adventurous hike or a relaxing day reading a book under the sun, you are sure to have plenty of quality alone time. Many ranches will even allow you to completely “unplug” by being out of cell phone and internet service. You may be surprised at how good this could be for you once you get the chance to do so, especially in today’s world.

How to Find a Ranch for Solo Travelers

Finding the right ranch for a solo traveler might be a little overwhelming because there really is a lot to choose from. Let the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) help you plan the perfect solo vacation. Whether you are looking for an authentic cowboy experience or a luxury resort, the DRA can customize the trip of your dreams. There are currently 100+ DRA-accredited guest ranches in the Western United States and Canada, all of which uphold the highest quality of services within the industry. Take a look below at some fantastic DRA ranches suited for solo travelers and to find more you can visit www.duderanch.org.

Bull Hill Guest Ranch – Kettle Falls, Washington

solo travelers

This premier destination in Washington state combines all the wild and untouched beauty of the mountains, meadows, forests, river, lakes and streams with the warm and comfortable amenities of home. Forget all the turbulence of daily life and begin an adventure of a lifetime. Experience trail rides or cattle drives with breathtaking panoramas or go off-trail and explore uncharted territory for a truly unforgettable experience.

Klondike Ranch – Buffalo, Wyoming

solo travelers

Experience the thrill of a Western ranch in one of the most beautiful atmospheres of the Old West. Guests become a part of the family and they take great lengths to ensure you are comfortable, well-fed, taken care of and get as much riding in as you can handle. The folks here enjoy welcoming their guests into their way of life and believe it is their duty to make your stay here as memorable and enjoyable as it should be.

Long Hollow Ranch – Sisters, Oregon

solo travelers

Located in central Oregon, this historic pioneer ranch is a great getaway destination. The original ranch buildings, over a century old, have been preserved and renovated for hosting ranch guests and the main ranch house has been updated to include five ensuite guest rooms. The original ranch "store" (once a stage stop) is now the guest cottage. Guest activities like trail rides, cattle drives, fly-fishing for rainbow trout and bass are ever-popular on the ranch. The memories you make here will be remembered for a lifetime.

Rankin Ranch – Caliente, California

solo travelers

Rankin Eranch has been a working cattle ranch for 156 years and they know you will enjoy their tasty Rankin Ranch beef during your stay. The guest ranch celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and continues to attract guests from around the world. Rankin Ranch is one of the oldest and largest family-owned ranches in California. Six generations of Rankins have lived and worked on the 31,000-acre cattle ranch and they truly enjoy the opportunity to share their lifestyle with their guests.

Rimrock Ranch – Cody, Wyoming

solo travelers

Rimrock Ranch is nestled on the banks of Canyon Creek, 24 miles west of Cody and 27 miles east of the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. This ranch has been family owned and operated since 1955 and the tradition lives on. With spectacular views, cozy cabins and family-style meals, you will feel right at home with the Fales family.

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch – Yucca, Arizona

solo travelers

Ride in the beautiful Arizona desert with friendly wranglers who have made this dude ranch their home for years. Slow scenic rides amongst the cactus landscape, as well as trotting and loping rides in the desert washes, are offered so every riding level can be accommodated. This guest ranch borders over 360,000 acres of natural western desert beauty at the foot of the Mohave and Hualapai mountains. You can be assured of breathtaking views and constant sunny days.

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

solo travelers

Just a short ride up the mountain from The Broadmoor, a distinctively Colorado experience awaits at The Ranch at Emerald Valley. Surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, indulge in a private escape in one of ten beautifully appointed one, two- or three-bedroom cabins featuring wood-burning fireplaces, rich furnishings, and modern amenities. The intimate environment of this luxury ranch will leave you wanting to come back!

V6 Ranch – Parkfield, California

solo travelers

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. This beautiful ranch offers activities to tickle the fancy of any person that seeks peace and quiet. The clean air and warm nights are ideal for laying out under the stars. The ranch offers trail rides, cattle drives, horse camping and 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. The ranch will leave you will new friends, experiences and memories to last forever.

 

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Experience the Real Old West at a Working Cattle Dude Ranch

Have you ever dreamt about riding across the plains or through the desert pushing cattle, hootin’ and a hollerin’ from the back of a horse? At a working cattle dude ranch, you will get to experience what the real west used to be and how “the real cowboys” used to live. You may just do some day work around the ranch, moving a herd of cattle from one pasture to another, or you may have the choice to go on an overnight cattle drive. You could camp out under the stars, if you so please, or sleep in a wall tent, tell stories around the campfire and eat meals cooked over an open fire. 

It sounds like a fantasy doesn’t it? At these 10 dude ranches listed below, as well as others listed on the Dude Ranchers’ Association website, you will find a true cowboy and western lifestyle experience. Check several things off your bucket list at one time with a working cattle dude ranch vacation! 

Working Cattle Dude Ranch Vacation

Working Cattle Dude Ranch

Vee Bar Guest Ranch - Laramie, WY

Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle and Guest Ranch – Montana

Looking for an unplugged and refreshing vacation with a little excitement added in? Hidden Hollow Hideaway might just be your perfect destination. Ride through luscious green meadows while moving cattle, all while taking in the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains which surround you. The folks at Hidden Hollow Hideaway will make sure you are equipped with the right horse and tack to make your experience is the best it can be! While here, you will be able to improve your riding and horsemanship skills, improve your confidence and help the cowboys and cowgirls of the ranch move the cattle to new pastures. You do not need to have previous riding experience before coming to the ranch, just a willing attitude!

V6 Ranch – California 

When most people think of California they think of sunny beaches, board walks and surfing. When you visit the V6 Ranch in Parkfield, California you will have a whole different outlook on California. On a cattle drive with the folks at V6 you will experience an adventure that will awaken your spirit and bring you back to the beauty of the untamed west. The V6 Ranch has four cattle drives scheduled each year that allow guests to go on an overnight trip. Their schedule for each trip is all laid out on their website and offers great detail. This is not an adventure you want to miss out on! You will help gather and move the ranch’s herd of cattle from many locations and will have the opportunity to work with real cowboys who can teach you working knowledge of gathering, moving and sorting cattle. While on a cattle drive you will also be able to increase and improve your horseback riding skills and techniques. If you are looking for a true cowboy and western adventure, look no further than the V6 Ranch. 

Working Cattle Dude Ranch

V6 Ranch - Parkfield, CA

Sweet Grass Ranch – Montana

The Sweet Grass Ranch in Montana is a fantastic destination to satisfy your “inner cowboy and cowgirl.” Although the ranch does not move cattle every week, they do have specific weeks during their season that they have cattle drives as well as other cowboy work available for guests to participate in. Make sure to talk to the folks at the ranch well in advance to make sure that your stay will include cattle work, and if you are looking for an overnight cattle drive they have an option for that to! The overnight cattle drive usually takes place at the last week of July into the first week of August. Guests are encouraged to verify specific dates for cattle work and the overnight cattle drive when booking their vacation. You don’t want to miss out on these great experiences! 

Vee Bar Guest Ranch – Wyoming

At the Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Wyoming cattle work is a highlight of the week! While horseback riding, fly fishing and the kids’ program are loads of fun, guests really look forward to getting to live the true cowboy lifestyle, even if it is just for a day. While working cattle at the Vee Bar you will get to help the wranglers move cattle from one pasture to another, learn how to help sort off certain cattle as well as doctor any sick cattle. All of the horseback riding and cattle work at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch is adaptable to all levels of experience. You do not have to be an expert rider before you arrive at the ranch; if you think about, cowboys had to be beginner riders before they could become experts! 

Burnt Well Guest Ranch – New Mexico 

An authentic “old west” style cattle drive is what you will find at the Burnt Well Guest Ranch in New Mexico. Here you will experience what it was like to live on prairie and in the desert while moving cattle and putting many miles in the saddle. This cattle drive is the duration of a week and happens once a year in the fall. The ranch will supply you with a bedroll, cot, cowboy teepee, horse and tack. All you need to bring is a go-getter attitude, a smile and probably some clothes! Stories, memories and bucket list items are created on this cattle drive and if it is something you have always wanted to do, do not miss your chance! If you are not up for a week-long cattle drive, Burnt Well also has cattle working opportunities included in their all-inclusive packages. Relax at the ranch and enjoy family time while getting to do the several activities available. Work with real cowboys and learn the ways of the west at the Burnt Well Guest Ranch! 

Working Cattle Dude Ranch

Burnt Well Guest Ranch - Roswell, NM

Red Reflet Guest Ranch – Wyoming

Where there is cow work to be done, guests are welcome to “cowboy” the herd at the Red Reflet Ranch! At this beautiful luxury working cattle dude ranch you will find pristine lodging, Le Cordon Bleu cuisine made from a farm to table program and numerous exhilarating activities to participate in. There are many cattle activities to enjoy, moving the herd with the wranglers, branding and gathering opportunities, checking in on newborn baby calves, sorting cattle and pairing them up as needed. Here, you will get to see what a true working cattle ranch is like and be able to help the on-site cowboys with their herd management duties. The cowboys are a wealth of knowledge and are so willing to teach guests who are willing to learn! 

Bull Hill Guest Ranch – Washington

Cowboys and cowgirls will have the opportunity to participate in authentic cattle drives at the Bull Hill Guest Ranch. The cattle drives can range from a half day to a full day in the saddle and they usually take place between the months of May and October. During these months’ guests will have the chance to move cattle to spring grass areas, upper pastures for the summer and in the early fall months they are driven back to the ranch. You do not have to be a cattle expert to go on one of these cattle drives at Bull Hill, but confidence is key! Beautiful scenery, great horses and lots of fun await you on a cattle drive! 

Working Cattle Dude Ranch

Working Cattle Dude Ranch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bull Hill Guest Ranch - Kettle Falls, WA

Focus Ranch – Wyoming

At the Focus Ranch, located on the Wyoming and Colorado border, guests are invited to participate in the day-to-day operations of the ranch. Although the ranch does have other activities such as fly fishing, hiking and photography opportunities, the main focus of the ranch is horseback riding and cattle. Taking care of their horses and cattle is their main priority and the folks at the ranch truly enjoy getting to teach people and watch them learn the ways of the “real west.” There is an art to working cattle and at the Focus Ranch you will learn the ropes and get to put your skills to the test. This is the real deal! 

Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch – Montana

There are many reasons to visit Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch but great riding, trustworthy ranch horses and the thrill of moving cattle are on the top of most people’s lists! While at the ranch you will get to see beautiful mountain scenery, climb the high ridges, ride along Bonanza Creek, lope through open meadows and gather up a herd of cow/calf pairs to move from pasture to pasture. Bonanza Creek is a true working cattle ranch, the cattle along with their guests is their way of life. They value the guests who come in eager and excited to learn about the cattle ranch life and the ways of the cowboy. You will experience other activities as well as great lodging and home cooked meals. Become a Montana cowboy or cowgirl for a week at this wonderful ranch! 

Working Cattle Dude Ranch

Working Cattle Dude Ranch

 

Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch - Martinsdale, MT

Klondike Ranch – Wyoming

At the Klondike Ranch you will have the option of how much of a guest you want to be. What does that mean exactly? You can relax and let the crew at the ranch take care of you or you can dive into the hands-on work of a cattle ranch! By the time you leave the ranch you might just be the “handiest” person in your group. At Klondike you will get to enjoy great horseback rides and herd cattle, participate in the ranch hand chores if you please or even go on an overnight camp out at the ranch’s Mountain Cow Camp. You will feel like a true cowboy or cowgirl after spending a vacation at the Klondike Ranch and get to tell all of your friends, co-workers and family that you go the chance to work alongside real Wyoming cowboys!

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Have you ever dreamt about riding across the plains or through the desert pushing cattle, hootin’ and a hollerin’ from the back of a horse? At a working cattle dude ranch, you will get to experience what the real west used to be and how “the real cowboys” used to live.

 

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23 Dude Ranch Activities

When you think of a dude ranch vacation do you imagine time in the saddle and think it might be fun for a day or two, but wonder if there is enough to do for an entire vacation? Well, there is great news for travelers who would enjoy any amount of western lifestyle activities such as horseback riding and cattle work. If you look into it further, modern day dude ranches offer a lot more than just this. With scenic landscapes, great accommodations and knowledgeable staff, dude ranch activities vary for a diverse crowd - whether that is your multigenerational family, business associates or small group of best friends. 

It doesn’t matter if you would consider yourself a “city slicker” or an equestrian, everyone will get to ride horses and spend time doing what they enjoy the most. Dude ranches offer attractions and services that travel far beyond the trail. Fine dining? Well that’s just the beginning. Outdoor exercise? Any and all kinds. Relaxation? You got it. 

So, if you’re considering a dude ranch vacation and would like to fill your week with many types of activities, consider adding these activities to your to do list.

Dude Ranch Activities  

 

Trail Riding on Horseback

The best way to experience the West is most definitely horseback riding. Starting out with an orientation ride, you’ll easily determine how much adventure you’ll enjoy with your personal horse or horses for the week. You might be content with a daily stroll up to a nice view or have a need for speed on twice daily loping rides. 

Dude Ranch Activities

R Lazy S Ranch - Teton Village, WY

Bird Watching

For avid bird watchers dude ranches offer some exclusive places to find rare species of birds specific to the area. Many horseback rides at the Triple R Ranch in South Dakota explore deep into wildlife’s natural habitats especially native birds. It is almost guaranteed that on these rides you will see some type of unique species! 

Dude Ranch Activities

Triple R Ranch - Keystone, SD

White Water Rafting

Suited up in your life jacket you’ll get to race (or meander) down crystal clear water for yet another perspective on this beautiful location. Rimrock Ranch in Wyoming has an afternoon of their weekly program that is designated for a white water rafting trip for all of the ranch guests to enjoy.

Dude Ranch Activities

Rimrock Ranch - Cody, WY

Petting Zoos

Petting zoos on dude ranches are not just for children. Even adults enjoy interacting with all sorts of farm animals, from baby goats and pigs to gathering eggs from the chicken coop.

Overnight Campouts or Pack Trips

There’s no better place to see the stars than on an overnight campout or a pack trip into the mountains. In a lot of these places motorized vehicles are not allowed, so the only way to get out there is on foot or by horseback. On a pack trip with the Broken Arrow Lodge you’ll go through two mountain ranges in the spectacular Rocky Mountains!

Dude Ranch Activities

Broken Arrow Lodge - Alder, MT

Cattle Drives

Hup, hup! You’ll get to understand what life is like as a cowboy once you experience first hand what it’s like to move cattle across the range. From several hours to a full day cattle drive, this is the real deal when it comes to the cowboy lifestyle activities on a dude ranch. At the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Montana cattle ranching is not just a business - it’s a way of life. And you’ll be apart of it. 

Dude Ranch Activities

Bonanza Creek Ranch - Martinsdale, MT

Kids Activities

From 0 - 18 kids always have something to do on the ranch. With counselors for different age ranges, kids are engaged and have no need for electronics. There’s a creative activity to do every moment, from swimming pools to nature walks or even visiting that petting zoo we talked about earlier.

Massages

Why not sign up for a relaxing massage to complete your afternoon? With trained professionals in some of the most beautiful locations you’ll enjoy a lavish spa experience. You’ll really like the full body massage customized for your preferences at the Hubbard’s Six Quarter Circle Ranch in Montana. After a day in the saddle this is just what the doctor ordered.

Dude Ranch Activities

Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch - Emigrant, MT 

Shooting & Archery Sports

You’ll be given instruction and participate in a safely controlled environment to learn and practice shooting different types of firearms and archery.

ATV Rides

Cinch down your helmet and hit the road for an afternoon of exploring on ATV’s as one of the most fun dude ranch activities. 

Horse Drawn Wagon/Sleigh Rides

Riding in a horse drawn wagon or sleigh should be on everyone’s bucket list. At the K Diamond K Guest Ranch in Washington guests are given a tour of the ranch by a team of Belgian draft horses pulling a 12-passenger wagon. Experience transportation like the cowboys used to in the times of the old west! 

Dude Ranch Activities

K Diamond K Ranch - Republic, WA

Yoga

Try a yoga class with a certified trainer whenever you like. You might enjoy a class outside amongst the aspen trees or in a quaint cabin studio.

Fly Fishing

Whether you are an expert or a beginner your own personal fly-fishing guide will help you catch various types of trout on super private waters. The Goosewing Ranch offers twice weekly instruction on their stocked pond, allowing you to fine tune your fishing skills. Also, they offer all sorts of equipment for the guests to use and a map of all the prime fishing locations on the ranch. 

Dude Ranch Activities

Goosewing Ranch - Jackson, WY 

Glamping 

Glamping has become the new trend it seems and dude ranches are following suite. The Bull Hill Guest Ranch in Washington has 2 new glamping tents less than 5 years old! Each tent is just 100 feet from the shower house where each tent has its own private bath and shower. Both tents are fully furnished and do have electricity as well as heat. They also have beautiful porches to kick back and relax after a day full of ranch activities.  

Dude Ranch Activities

Bull Hill Guest Ranch - Kettle Falls, WA

Rustic Weddings

Picturesque settings, wide open spaces and top-notch amenities draw thousands of brides-to-be and their grooms to dude ranches each year. Whether you would like to run off and elope or prefer inviting the whole family there’s plenty of options for planning your dude ranch wedding. The Absaroka Ranch in Wyoming can accommodate 16 people in their four cabins and host up to 200 guests for the day of the wedding. There’s nothing like a reception with 360-degree breathtaking views and a mountain backdrop.

Dude Ranch Vacations

Absaroka Ranch - Dubois, WY

Talent Show

The ranch staff and guests alike are some pretty talented people and friendly competition can be found in many forms during your vacation. You’ll enjoy watching and participating in a talent night at the ranch. You can sing, tap or joke your way to local stardom in a talent show. You won’t soon forget these memories! 

Jeep Tours

At the Hawley Mountain Ranch, you’ll get to take an all-day jeep tour adventure to places where very few people can travel. Ready to see an old ghost town or visit Monument Peak at nearly 11,000 feet?? Hawley Mountain Ranch will take you there!

Dude Ranch Activities

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch - McLeod, MT 

Zip Line 

Zoom! Your adventure guide will take you on a view of the ranch like none other. You’ll get to fly through the air for another kind of wild ride. 

Tennis & Golf 

Practice your professional swing while having a good time with friends. Some ranches have tennis courts and golf courses on site or within a close radius of the ranch. The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley in Colorado gives their guests the opportunity to take a short ride down to the Broadmoor’s 2 different 18-hole golf courses that look like they are out of a picture book. They also have state of the art tennis courts available to guests to use, you will just have to schedule a time to go play! 

Dude Ranch Activities

The Broadmoor's Ranch at Emerald Valley - Colorado Springs, CO 

Fine Wine and Fine Dining 

Ranches have well trained (even Cordon bleu trained) chefs that take a lot of pride in offering 5-star cuisine with beautifully paired wines. There are many dude ranches that also participate in Farm to Table Cuisine programs. Beautiful vegetables and fruits are harvested just a few yards from the kitchens and have flavors like you’ve never tasted before. Several ranches also have a long list of fine wines and beer selections for guests to choose from. 

Cooking Classes

These same chefs would love to share their kitchen with you and/or your kids to teach you their secret recipes on amazing ranch cuisine. 

Team Penning

With a team of 3 riders you’ll try your hand at a seriously fun rodeo sport. With rules that can be modified to suite, the idea is to separate a cow or steer from the group and herd it into a pen. Who ever is the fastest wins! 

Hiking

From rigorous climbs to easy ambles you can get out and explore the mountains on foot. At the Flat Creek Ranch, you’ll be able to hike up to the Teton Overlook trail for a panoramic view of the Grand Teton National Park. Hike in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area while at the ranch and experience some of Wyoming's most undiscovered land. 

Dude Ranch Activities

Flat Creek Ranch - Jackson, WY

These are not all the activities you can find on dude ranches. We haven’t even talked about National Park Trips, rock climbing, winter sports, and more! 

To find that dude ranch experience with the right combination of activities use the search by amenity page on duderanch.org or give a ranch vacation expert a call at the Dude Ranchers’ Association. 

Search by Amenity 

Call a Ranch Expert 307.587.2339

 

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When you think of a dude ranch vacation do you imagine time in the saddle and think it might be fun for a day or two, but wonder if there is enough to do for an entire vacation? With scenic landscapes, great accommodations and knowledgeable staff, dude ranch activities vary for a diverse crowd - whether that is your multigenerational family, business associates or small group of best friends.

5 Great Reasons to Have a Dude Ranch Wedding

Anyone who has been involved in planning a traditional weeding knows that it can be a really demanding undertaking for one of the most important milestones in a couples future. There seems to be countless decisions to make: from booking the venue, selecting the theme, narrowing the guest list, creating and sending invitations, gift registrations, florists and the music playlist. All to make your day look as "Pinterest Perfect" as your wedding board has created.

 

Red Relfet Dude Ranch Wedding Wyoming

"You may now kiss the bride" - Red Reflet Guest Ranch, Ten Sleep, Wyoming

For some, this may sound like fun, I mean you're basically throwing a big party for all your closest friends and relatives, right? Not exactly. The reality is most brides are in a environment of stress from engagement until their wedding night. Why else are there so many relaity TV shows on weddings? Let's just say there's a good reason why dude ranch weddings are becoming more popular and that reason is, less stress.

Why not throw out all the stress of planning a big, traditional wedding and instead book a dude ranch wedding where you and your soon to be spouse can kick back, relax, and let someone else do all the work? Here are the top 5 reasons to have a dude ranch wedding.

 

5 Reasons to Have a Dude Ranch Wedding

 

1. Less Planning


Everyone pulls their weight and works together to make your wedding a wonderful, personal experience. Ranch folks will welcome you and treat you like one of the family. Don’t be surprised if, before you leave, the staff know all your names, what you like to eat and which horse you prefer to ride!

 

CM Ranch Dude Ranch Wedding in Wyoming

 Your photographer won't have to go far to find the scenic spots at the CM Ranch.

 

2. The Scenic Setting

Picturesque surroundings such as the majestic Rocky Mountains or wide open spaces like the Arizona desert are frequently home to guest ranches. Some have rivers or lakes on their property; others have large pastures or dramatic ridges. A couple who said their outdoor wedding photographs at a ranch were so beautiful that folks asked if they were shot in a studio with a scenic backdrop!


3. One-Stop Destination


Come for a Friday night rehearsal dinner, get married outdoors Saturday morning, have an elegant reception Saturday afternoon, then stay for a honeymoon after the wedding! Dude and guest ranches have comfortable accommodations to provide lodging for overnight guests after they’ve enjoyed the wedding and reception. That way, there’s more time for guests to have fun and it eliminates driving home in the dark! Also, since ranches are generally on large plots of land, the noise factor isn’t a problem for the neighbors.

 

Bull Hill Ranch Washington Dude Ranch Wedding

Stay another week just for your honeymoon at the Bull Hill Ranch in Kettle Falls, Washington

4. Outdoor Activities


Most ranches offer good clean fun in the great outdoors - horseback riding, nature hikes, hay rides, swimming pools, tennis and game courts fantastic trophy trout fly fishing and rock-climbing Many now have hot tubs and offer massages for relaxing after an active day. Some even offer spa services.

Lost Creek Dude Ranch Wedding

At the Lost Creek Ranch in Moose, Wyoming you can have the Grand Tetons for the backdrop of your ceremony.


5. Location, Location, Location


Many ranches give you the feeling that you’re far away from the big city but they are actually close to airports and major highways. Often, shuttle buses from the local airport will drop folks off at the ranch property or at a nearby central location in town. Folks are usually amazed at what a beautiful ranch lies nestled in the valley just down the hill from the highway!

Sundance Trail Wedding Dude Ranch

Intimate, flexible and rustic weddings are the specialty at the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch.


There are ranches all over the west that make perfect wedding destinations and there’s sure to be one just right for the two of you.

 

For the complete list of dude ranch weddings visit us online - https://duderanch.org/blog/category/weddings

 

Pin this to your favorite wedding boards!

 

Let's just say there's a good reason why dude ranch weddings are becoming more popular and that reason is, less stress.  Why not throw out all the stress of planning a big, traditional wedding and instead book a dude ranch wedding where you and your soon to be spouse can kick back, relax, and let someone else do all the work? Here are the top 5 reasons to have a dude ranch wedding.

 

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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 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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Kids and Cattle Drives on a Family Vacation

Take your family this summer to experience a ranch vacation and maybe a cattle drive (or 2).  On this vacation you will develop a deeper appreciation for cattle and cowboys.  Your question might be "Can I take my children on a cattle drive too?" The answer to that question is a very big yes, yes you can. Adults are not the only ones able to go on such adventures, your kids can too. The DRA accredited ranches below will get your kids and cattle drives together for a unique ranch vacation. Take a look at the different ages, riding abilities and type of activities to pick out the one that's right for your family's next vacation.

 

Ages 8 & Up

 

Intermediate Riders ages 8 & up are invited to the Bonanza Creek Ranch to hone in on their western horseback riding skills at this working cattle ranch. With the ability to canter outside an arena your kids can have a great time experiencing remote Montana ranching, team penning and a weekly cattle drive along with putting miles and miles of trail riding in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Bonanza Creek Ranch Kids and Cattle Drives

Bonanza Creek Ranch, Martinsdale, Montana

 

Ages 7 & Up

 

Twice weekly cattle working days for ages 7 & up are offered to the guests of Laramie River Ranch. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the designated cattle drive in the morning at this Colorado ranch followed by team penning in the afternoon and then pushing the steers back out to pasture. This will be a gentle way to introduce kids to riding and moving cattle. A separate kids program is also available for toddlers to teenagers with swimming, fishing and a naturalist program to explore the area ecosystem.

 

Laramie River Ranch Cattle Drive with Kids

Laramie River Ranch, Jelm Colorado

 

Ages 6 & Up

 

Longhorn Cattle Drives for ages 6 & up are offered on Saturdays at the Black Mountain Ranch as the highlight of the entire week. All are welcome on this walk ride adventure.  You family rides out into the Medicine Bow National Forest of Colorado in the morning to gather the cows in the high country and them bring them back to the ranch in time for lunch.  After lunch you all learn to rope and brand, then drive the cows back into a different high pasture in the afternoon. Throughout the week your family will also enjoy a full week of activities: skeet shooting, white water rafting, and an overnight pack trip into the mountains.

 

Black Mountain Cattle Drive with Kids

Black Mountain Ranch McCoy, Colorado

 

A Job for Everyone ages 6 & up at the Bull Hill Ranch in northeastern Washington. Here you and your family can enjoy a laid back atmosphere with few rules or hard schedules. Cattle drives are based off the cattle and time of year. In the spring, cattle drives are more frequent (4+ times a week), as you help push the cattle from the ranch, out to pasture on the Canadian border. Throughout the summer months, cattle drives happen about 3 times a week to keep the cattle on green pasture. Then, in September and October, you can participate in the fall round-up where they ride for cattle almost daily to get them home for the winter.  Here, there is a job for everyone, regardless of riding ability.  

 

Bull Hill Cattle Drive Kids

Bull Hill Guest Ranch, Kettle Falls, Washington    

 

 

 

 Can I take my children on a cattle drive?  Yes you can! Adults are not the only ones able to go on such adventures, your kids (ages 6 & up) can too.

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DRA celebrates 91st convention and welcomes new members

Dude Ranchers ConventionMany member ranches from across the Western U.S. and Canada, along with associate members and vendors, are expected to attend the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s (DRA) 91st convention at Tanque Verde Ranch on Jan. 18-21, 2017. The DRA is also proud to welcome three new members to its existing roster of ranches: Bull Hill Guest Ranch in Kettle Falls, Wash.; Horses N Courage in Judith Gap, Mont.; and Rankin Ranch in Caliente, Calif. Each year, convention attendees come together to exchange ideas about how to continue exceeding the highest standards within the dude ranching industry; promoting the Western ranch vacation experience; and preserving parks, forest and wildlife.

Panels and breakout sessions will discuss topics related to various aspects of the dude ranching and hospitality industries, such as new vendor introductions, marketing initiatives and operations.  This year’s keynote speaker is Ron Marks, author of the best selling book entitled, “Managing for Sales Results.” Ron has gained great perspective and credible experience on how to sell and manage sales people during his work in a number of industries over the past 35 years.

Other speakers will include Nancy Schretter, founder and managing editor of Family Travel Network; Les Douma, former superintendent with the Iowa School System; Amanda Esch, business consultant and partner in the law firm of Davis & Cannon, LLP; and Matthieu Corrand, founder of RanchBookings.com. There will also be opportunities for networking and socializing, including a pigeon racing contest and the annual Dude Ranchers' Auction.

“The Dude Ranchers’ Association has dedicated the past 90 years to preserving and protecting the Western way of life. Our annual convention is a fantastic opportunity for learning and fellowship among our member ranches as we look to continue doing so for many more years,” said Colleen Hodson, Executive Director of the DRA.

The DRA represents a broad spectrum of guest ranches across North America, ranging from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches offering five-star cuisine and spa treatments. Established in 1926, the DRA was founded to preserve, protect and promote the unique experience and identity of a dude ranch vacation. With the addition of the three new members, there are now a total of 100 DRA-accredited ranches. Bull Hill Guest Ranch, located in northeastern Washington State, sits at the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains near British Columbia, Canada. Sweeping panoramic views of neighboring Idaho, Lake Roosevelt and Canada provide a backdrop setting that is one of the most picturesque in the Pacific Northwest.

Bull Hill Guest Ranch opened as a guest ranch in 1995 and is part of a large working cattle ranch that dates back to 1903. Horses N Courage is a family owned and operated, working guest ranch located in central Montana. The ranch – which accommodates eight guests – offers horseback riding, trail riding, wall-tent accommodations, cattle drives, dummy roping and healing retreats, all set amidst 2,000 acres of private, breathtaking mountain scenery and Montana wildlife. Rankin Ranch is located in the beautiful valley of Walker’s Basin, deep in the heart of California’s Tehachapi Mountains and at the southern end of the Sequoia National Forest. It has been a working cattle ranch for over 150 years – guests can enjoy tasty Rankin Ranch beef during their stay – and is one of the oldest and largest (31,000 acres) family-owned ranches in California.

Dude and guest ranches applying for membership to the DRA go through a rigorous two-year inspection and approval process. Membership identifies a ranch as meeting the highest standards of the dude ranching industry. Guests at a DRA-accredited ranch can expect genuine, Western hospitality combined with the lodging industry’s latest standards.  Save Save

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