3 Cattle Drive Vacations Out West

For those looking for that working ranch experience of a cattle drive, there are certain weeks working cattle ranches invite guests to experience the original cowboy life. At these ranches guests have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the challenges and joys of caring for a herd of grass-fed, range cattle, monitoring their health and moving them to new grazing grounds as water and grass vitality dictates.

Each ranch is unique, with different breeds of cattle, size of the herd and the terrain. Because each one is so unique, when you experience one ranch you might end up on a journey to discover as many as your can. Please be aware that the length and location of these cattle moves will vary depending on grass, weather, and cattle health. It’s important to plan and book your vacation far in advance to be sure to reserve your space at these events. If you are late in planning for this year please still stop by the ranches for a vacation doing cattle work.

The cattle are there year-round and require lots of unique opportunities to be apart. You might enjoy a few days of cattle work, some fishing, hiking and trail riding. You might also consider another special event at ranches called branding. This is a big community event and it is an honor in the cowboy code to be invited. Whatever activities you get involved in at a working ranch will be an incredible vacation experience all your friends will be jealous to hear. Call the National Dude Ranchers’ Association with questions or any of the ranches below for more information.


Drive cattle through miles of alpine forests, crystal clear lakes and rolling foothills of Montana at the Sweet Grass Ranch

Sweet Grass Cattle Drive


Tent Camp along your route in the Plains of New Mexico with the Burnt Well Guest Ranch

Burnt Well Ranch Cattle Drive


Drive cattle to and from high in the Mountains of Washington State with the K Diamond K RanchK Diamond K Cattle Drive


 

5 Cattle Drives not to Miss

McGarry-Ranches-Cowboy-Team'I should've been a Cowboy

I should've learned to rope and ride

Wearing my six-shooter riding my pony on a cattle drive

Stealing the young girl's hearts

Just like Gene and Roy Singing those campfire songs

I should've been a cowboy'

Well, unlike the song says, you still can be a cowboy. Take your next vacation to another level. Here are 5 cattle drives on a working cattle ranch you are sure to enjoy as an authentic cowboy.

55,000 acres is the amount of land at the McGarry Ranches. That's more than a few miles of fence line to monitor and maintain for 2,000 head of cattle. Here the cattle are organized in units and usually they visit more than one unit a day. Tracking and gathering strays are usual occurrences. Trailing them back is now a part of your job. 1,500 pounds of cow has to be convinced to go where you and your horse want them to. Don't worry, that's why you have a guide and probably his trusty cow dog to help.   

  Or maybe spending all day in the saddle is your thing. Moving cattle from pasture to pasture is just as exciting as it sounds. Can you feel the sense of awe and wonderment in this picture of the Klondike Ranch's guests moving 650 cow/calf pairs to the high pastures of the Big Horn Mountains?     

Since the 1870's Bonanza Creek Ranch hands have roamed the range and worked cattle along the banks of Bonanza Creek. A century later, very little has changed...the only difference is now there is a place set at the table for you. Personal attention is the norm with only 8 - 12 guests per week. The demand to conform to a strict routine simply floats away on the Montana breeze. Hospitality, responsive horses, challenging cattle work, tasty home cooking, and comfortable cabins will make you want to come back year after year. 

  You might be wondering what it was like for Gus and Captain Call in Lonesome Dove when they took several months to move their herd of cattle from Texas to Montana. The Burntwell Guest Ranch offers a three or four night taste of this life. Five to ten hours a day are spent in the saddle. Hot meals are cooked in a Dutch oven over an open fire. You will camp out under the stars in a bedroll like the ones the cowboys used in the olden days.    

Our Association has many ranches that offers that authentic cowboy experience. Some others are Focus, Rowses 1+1, Zapata, Lonesome Spur, Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle.

For a more detailed description of this type of vacation give Leah or Colleen a call at the Dude Ranchers Association. 307.587.2335. Thanks

  You still can be a cowboy. Take your next vacation to another level. Here are 5 cattle drives on a working cattle ranch you are sure to enjoy as an authentic cowboy.

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