White Water Rafting and Float Trips at Dude Ranches

White Water Rafting

Marble Mountain Ranch - Somes Bar, CA

The best part about being in the outdoors is that there are numerous possibilities to have fun and acquire experiences that will turn into precious memories. When it comes to activities in nature, being close to water has something special and relaxing about it. Just try to imagine how it would be to see the water, hear it and get engaged in activities that have water as the main ingredient. Yes, it is about enjoying water rafting and float trips in some of the best places in the USA and Canada. While white water rafting is for those with a more adventurous and restless spirit, float trips are calmer and more relaxing, giving you the chance to enjoy the wildlife and gorgeous scenery. Of course, no one stops you from enjoying both experiences.

White Water Rafting

Triangle X Ranch - Moose, WY

North America has some of the best places for water rafting in the whole country. Why is it so great to come here for this kind of activity? Not only will you be charmed by the stunning landscape, but you will also find experienced guides and instructors that will make this experience safe from start to end. So, even if you never tried water rafting before, traveling to North America can be a good way to give this a try. It is worth mentioning the rivers are split into classes, depending on their degree of difficulty, based on their structure and water speed. Thus, the easiest rivers belong to class 1, while the most difficult and dangerous are placed in class 6. You can be sure that the person in charge of your experience will select a river adequate to your level of experience and will certainly not leave you alone in the boat.

White Water Rafting

Spotted Horse Ranch - Jackson Hole,WY

What are the best rivers in North America for white water rafting and float trips? The Salmon River in Idaho would be a great option, although it is recommended for those with some experience in white water rafting. The waters of this river are not too fast, but you will need some skills to avoid rocks and other obstacles that may come in your way. The Arkansas River in Colorado is another exceptional choice, especially if you are looking for a more relaxing and enjoyable adventure. For those that want to feel adrenaline pumping in their veins, the Nahatlatch River in British Columbia will have what it takes to deliver.

white water rafting

Majestic Dude Ranch - Mancos, CO

But what about accommodation? What better accommodation option to pair with a water rafting and float trips than a luxurious ranch? Dude ranches are some of the best ranches in North America that give guests the chance of staying at a real ranch, without having to compromise their comfort. Also, it is worth bearing in mind that the previously mentioned rivers are just a few examples. If you’re truly interested in white water rafting and float trips, you can always ask at the ranch where you are staying what your options are when it comes to available activities in the outdoors. Now, let us check out the best dude ranches in the area and what they have to offer.

White Water Rafting and Float Trips at a Dude Ranch

 

Cherokee Park Ranch – Livermore, Colorado

White water Rafting

Even if river rafting is not your favorite activity, this ranch will still have what it takes to keep you busy and entertained. Activities such as river tubing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hikes, square dancing and many more are available. It will be entirely up to you if you want a relaxing experience or something more exciting.

Cherokee Park Ranch ~ Livermore, Colorado

Phone: +1 970-493-6522

Majestic Dude Ranch – Mancos, Colorado

white water rafting

For those that are actually interested in enjoying water rafting on their vacation, the Majestic Dude Ranch is very close to the Animas River. In fact, you will have the price of this particular activity included in your accommodation, so you won’t have to worry about anything. It is an activity for people with all levels of experience in this sector, as everything is entirely safe.

Majestic Dude Ranch ~ Mancos, Colorado

Phone: +1 970-533-7900

Spotted Horse Ranch – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

White Water Rafting

This particular ranch is ideal for those that simply want to lie back and relax. The scenery around the ranch is amazing and you can even enjoy the nearby river from its terrace. This place is also a great option if you want to enjoy float trips on the river, taking things down a notch and just getting the most nature has to offer. Of course, there are many more activities to experience here, so don’t hesitate to check out what this ranch has to offer.

Spotted Horse Ranch ~ Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Phone: +1 307-733-2097

Triangle X Ranch – Moose, Wyoming

white water rafting

How about floating gently in a boat while gazing at majestic mountainous peaks? This is what you can enjoy if you choose to visit this ranch and spend your vacation in this area. The nearby Snake River has large portions of calm waters that make leisure activities extremely pleasant. The trips will be accompanied by a guide and your safety will be guarded at all times, so there’s no need to worry.

Triangle X Ranch ~ Moose, Wyoming

Phone: +1 307-733-2183

Marble Mountain Ranch – Somes Bar, California

white water rafting

If you want to go river rafting with the entire family and make sure it is safe and fun for everyone, you should take a look at what this ranch has to offer. The Klamath River flowing in the area has, for most of its length, calm waters, but it will also offer a few waves to increase the level of excitement. You don’t even have to be experienced in water rafting, as you will have an experienced person with you at all times.

Marble Mountain Ranch ~ Somes Bar, California

Phone: +1 530-469-3322

Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch and Guide Service – Council, Idaho

white water rafting

From calm and relaxing trips to water-splashing adventures, there’s something for everybody to enjoy in this part of Idaho. If you choose this particular ranch, you will discover the river in ways you’ve never imagined. Of course, everything will be according to your desires, although you should not miss the opportunity to try something different. The safety of guests is the most important part of this ranch, so you will never face anything dangerous.

Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch and Guide Service ~ Council, Idaho

Phone: +1 208-253-3014

Three Bars Guest Ranch – Cranbrook, British Columbia

white water rafting

Whether you are looking for activities on water or on land, you will not be disappointed if you choose to spend your vacation at this ranch. It is a family-friendly ranch where guests of all ages will find something enjoyable to do. At the same time, luxury and comfort will wait for you at the ranch, after a day filled with fun activities and outdoor exploration.

Three Bars Guest Ranch ~ Cranbrook, British Columbia

Phone: +1 250-426-5230

Hopefully, the previous lines opened doors toward an unforgettable and enjoyable vacation in North America, with the help of dude ranches. These ranches are members of The Dude Ranchers’ Association that guarantees a long tradition in everything that means ranching and communion with nature; these ranches have what it takes to offer you the chance of enjoying some of the best vacations you will ever experience.

 

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While white water rafting is for those with a more adventurous spirit, float trips are calmer, giving you the chance to enjoy the scenery surrounding you!But what about accommodation? What better accommodation option to pair with a water rafting and float trips than a luxurious ranch? Dude ranches are some of the best ranches in North America that give guests the chance of staying at a real ranch, without having to compromise their comfort.

Blog written by: Olivier Templar-James

http://www.luxurytravelersguide.com/

The 25 Most Popular Destinations for a Colorado Vacation at a Ranch

An outdoor enthusiast’s wonderland, Colorado is jam packed with breathtaking landscapes, and more than 300 sunny days a year for travelers to come and explore its diverse areas. From the spine of North America, the famous Rocky Mountains, to lush valleys and the easily accessible Denver Airport, Colorado is an obvious choice for all types of travelers - families, couples, solo travelers and business associates - who are looking for adventure. With an unlimited variety of outdoor attractions, scenic destinations and diverse wildlife, Colorado is urging you to explore. From cross country skiing, hiking a National Park or horseback riding through the country, Colorado has a long list of things to do all year. Read on to discover the best places to take a Colorado vacation. 

Take a Colorado Vacation

All of the 25 best ranches in Colorado will give you a wonderful vacation - each unique in its own way. 

Colorado Vacation

Cherokee Park Ranch - Livermore, CO 

Colorado Trails Ranch

Near Durango, Colorado the Colorado Trails Ranch is an all-inclusive family vacation adventure in the San Juan Mountains. This is definitely a great place to go if you are looking for excitement and relaxation on your vacation. The delicious home cooked meals, delightful cabins and activities for all ages makes this an incredible dude ranch experience. 

Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch

Get packed and saddle up for a week at the Bar Lazy J Ranch. Just Southeast of Rocky Mountain National Park, this ranch is famous for recreation and relaxation. There are tons of outdoor activities, including a 1,500-foot zipline - and countless ways to sit back and unwind. 

Laramie River Ranch

Laramie River Ranch is known for horseback riding, but has so many well-developed programs and activities. Expert fly fishing, natural horsemanship demonstrations, team penning, naturalist programs for birdwatching, star gazing and wild flower identification makes the Laramie River Ranch a destination for those interested in an educational and fun outdoor adventure. 

Colorado Vacation

Laramie River Ranch - Jelm, CO 

Badger Creek Ranch

Ride out with the cowboy crew at the Badger Creek Ranch. You’ll get to do all the important tasks that makes a cattle operation run. Ready to fix a fence? Sort cattle? Go on an iconic cattle drive? Then Badger Creek is a great place for you. 

Black Mountain Ranch

Ready for a  Saturday afternoon cattle drive for the Black Mountain Ranch’s herd of long horn cattle? You’ll not be bored during the week while you wait, doing some of the most exhilarating outdoor adventures - loping rides, fly fishing, paddle boarding, skeet shooting, white water rafting and even a cookout in the Colorado sunset. 

The High Lonesome Ranch

If you are looking for your inner cowboy you can find it at the High Lonesome Ranch. Known for the nostalgic combination of the views of the Rocky Mountains, equestrian activities and culinary adventures this ranch has an assortment of things for everyone to enjoy.  

Colorado Vacation

The High Lonesome Ranch - DeBeque, CO

Zapata Ranch

As a working cattle and bison ranch the Zapata Ranch and Nature Conservancy offers guests the chance to experience what it takes to run a ranch. Have you ever seen a bison up close and personal? Here’s your chance! With a capacity of only 15 you’ll get a tailored vacation. You might even select one of their themed weeks to get more in depth on Western painting, photography workshops and some cattle working special events. 

4UR Ranch

The 4UR Ranch boasts 3,000 acres of adventure and 6 miles of private trout stream on the Rio Grand River. Not only this, but the ranch also has miles and miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding, a natural hot springs and top-notch accommodations. A well-rounded ranch no doubt. 

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch

Everyone is welcome at the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, from Grandma and Grandpa and the kids to your pet dog and best trail riding horse. There are a variety of different horseback rides from beginner to advanced as well as plenty of activities to do while not riding. You can even play a round of frisbee golf!

Colorado Vacation

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch - Red Feather Lakes, CO 

Drowsy Water Ranch

From infants to teenagers the Drowsy Water Ranch has a program and counselors in place with plenty of activities to teach your kids about the western cowboy lifestyle in Colorado. And there’s plenty to do here for adults as well!

Tumbling River Ranch

Shine up your cowboy boots for the evening entertainment at the Tumbling River Ranch. With live music and square dancing after a day in the saddle you’re sure to love this western ranch experience. 

Vista Verde Ranch

The vastness of the views at the Vista Verde Ranch makes you feel like your vacation experience is in high definition. You’ll have an unforgettable luxury experience that will bring you back year after year. 

Colorado Vacation

Vista Verde Ranch - Steamboat Springs, CO 

Cherokee Park Ranch

Have you always wanted to learn how to rope? Cherokee Park Ranch offers roping lessons for all age groups to learn one of the longest art forms of the cowboy. With hay rides, tubing the river and even art classes everyone will have something they really want to do when they aren’t horseback riding. 

The Majestic Dude Ranch 

The Majestic Dude Ranch is known as the ultimate adventure ranch. Along with spectacular horseback riding, the ranch offers paintball and laser tag, mountain biking, white water rafting, baseball, hiking and more. 

Wind River Christian Dude Ranch

You’ll never forget the Wind River Christian Dude Ranch. With a ministry component to the ranch you’ll fill your soul while in some of the most beautiful places in Colorado. 

Colorado Vacation

Wind River Christian Dude Ranch - Estes Park, CO

Elk Mountain Ranch

Elk Mountain Ranch offers an intimate Colorado dude ranch setting for your family. When you arrive, your hosts will tailor the experience to meet each guest’s needs for their vacation. And then you’ll get to settle in to cozy and comfortable cabins. 

Smith Fork Ranch

Fine dining at the private luxury destination of the Smith Fork Ranch is definitely worth writing home about. Farm to table cuisine, an incredible wine list and a view like non-other sets this ranch apart from all the rest. 

Lost Valley Ranch

Reconnect with the spirit of the old west at the Lost Valley Ranch. Set against 26,000 acres of public land in the Pike National Forest fresh mountain air has never been more pristine. And with a history that begins in the late 1800’s the Lost Valley Ranch invites guests to become a part of the story of the ranch. 

Colorado Vacation

Lost Valley Ranch - Sedalia, CO 

C Lazy U Ranch 

Located in Granby, Colorado, the C Lazy U Ranch is a top-notch resort ranch with the finest offerings for accommodations, food and of course outdoor adventure activities. With a capacity of 95 this location can host large groups of multi-generational families and offer tons of things to do for solo travelers and couples. 

The Home Ranch

Ready for a summer or winter adventure? The Home Ranch offers a fine dude ranch stay through out the summer and from December through March. You can ride out into green mountains or cross-country ski across snow covered hills. 

Latigo Ranch

Majestic scenery reaching all the way to the Continental Divide, the Latigo Ranch has an experience for you like no other ranch. Gourmet contemporary cuisine will delight the senses in the evenings and phenomenal horseback riding and fishing will engage your family during the day. 

Colorado Vacation

Latigo Ranch - Kremmling, CO 

Rainbow Trout Ranch

The Rainbow Trout Ranch is all about the family adventure. Your kids and teens will rave about the whole new world of fun and activities they can do on a ranch. You’ll find old fashioned hospitality and the Colorado backcountry a very charming vacation. 

The Broadmoor's Ranch at Emerald Valley

The Ranch at Emerald Valley is just a short ride up the mountain from the famous Broadmoor Hotel. You’ll be set for an incomparable luxury vacation here in one of 10 beautifully appointed cabins with modern amenities and all set to ride horses in some really incredible country. 

Rawah Ranch

Ready for a romantic escape with someone special? The Rawah Ranch knows how important it is to cultivate your relationships and fosters a wonderful experience with champagne and roses upon arrival, your own private trail ride and private massages. 

Colorado Vacation

Rawah Ranch - Glendevey, CO

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Take time to play on your next business trip to the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. You’ll get a variety of outdoor activities and team building opportunities and even a challenge course. A wagon ride followed by a campfire in the evening will complete your western experience for a company meeting, training or retreat. 

Save this pin for later! 

An outdoor enthusiast’s wonderland, Colorado is jam packed with breathtaking landscapes, and more than 300 sunny days a year for travelers to come and explore its diverse areas. Colorado is urging you to explore. From cross country skiing, hiking a National Park or horseback riding through the country, Colorado has a long list of things to do all year. Read on to discover the best places to take a Colorado vacation.

National Media Outlets Turn Spotlight to Dude Ranches

Dude Ranches are winning awards! From Forbes Magazine to Real Simple and accolades in nearly every accredited journalism outlet, the allure and experience of Dude Ranch Vacations is dominating vacation stories and bookings in 2018, but why? Is it the heat of the summer that literally drove folks to the mountains for escape into cool nights accented with breezy pine aromas and horses hooves mashing hay in the background? Or is it a generational shift to become more attached and aware of landscapes and the people that work them?

2018 Dude Ranches Winning Accolades

 

The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, California

Wine Country Wins

Operating one of the largest dude ranches in the nation, Alisal certainly delivers entertainment for varying ages and curiosities. This year, Men’s Journal named the ranch one of the ‘Best Luxury Dude Ranches’ in the nation for many a good reason. The 10,500-acre ranch in California’s Santa Ynez Valley is a family-owned working ranch about 30 miles northeast of Santa Barbara. The property has 73 cottages, all with working, wood burning fireplaces, and without phones or televisions.

Onsite vacationers can access 50-plus miles of riding trails, a 100-acre, spring-fed lake, two 18-hole championship golf courses, tennis courts, pool, spa, in addition to fine dining. Don’t forget it’s wine country and just minutes away are more than 75 renowned vineyards and wineries. “Or, stay rustic, and take the hay truck out to the lake for kayaking, boating and fishing,” explains Shelly Rivoli, founder, Travelswithbaby.com and Familytravel411.com. 

However, it’s the multi-generational offerings that make this an award-winning ranch. Rivoli visited Alisal this past summer with her kids and mother-in-law in tow to ride, learn and shoot archery, and, of course, photograph her sister-in-law, Jill Rivoli, the ranch’s first female head wrangler. “The activities at the ranch made it easy for our three generations to stay entertained and happy, and to seamlessly move between time together as a big group and and time spent apart or in pairs,” explains Rivoli. 

For Rivoli’s family, it’s the game room, horseshoe pit, personalized corn hole games created in front of each cottage, and swimming pool that are most popular for the kids. “For me, it’s the breakfast ride to the old adobe, with hot cakes, beverages, fresh fruit, all while sitting under the old Oak Trees and Sycamores.”  

Dude Ranches

The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort - Solvang, CA 

Rainbow Trout Ranch, Colorado

Remote Paradise, Iconic Architecture and Western Wear

Preparation can be half the excitement of a vacation. From roping in new clothing for the journey to educating oneself on altitude acclimation, new landscapes provide the quintessential ‘true adventure’ many millennials are yearning for in a vacation. 

When Real Simple journalist Cari Wira Dineen needed some serious apparel and packing advice for her Western Dude Ranch adventure and editorial piece, she called Courtney Frazier, an expert in terms of raising mindful children on a ranch while impeccably and appropriately dressed, working tirelessly for the Colorado Dude Ranch Association and Colorado Tourism Office, and more importantly, championing for conservation and thoughtful preservation through hands-on ranch education and experience. 

Needless to say, Frazier needs a little R&R when possible to take off her own cowgirl hat and rhinestone jeans come dusk. Frazier describes to Real Simple the epitome of Western Dude Ranch culture and dress in the article while exploring the possibility of ranch activity for a guest. 

“My family and I stayed at the Rainbow Trout Ranch for a week and it was hospitality-forward from the get-go. Personalized and customized riding and activity for our entire family, diverse sport in terms of hiking, riding, fishing, cool and breezy evenings at 9,000 feet and splash time for the kids while we ate grilled fajitas poolside." 

Rainbow Trout Ranch continually draws families from around the world to their remote paradise. Roaring evening and morning fires are welcomed by enormous wrap-around porches, views of pines for acres, and aromas from the biscuit-shooter and roller for those airy dough-goods, it’s hook, set and catch! 

Rainbow Trout’s bean master, or cook, serves family-style, home cookin’, perfectly accentuated with evening entertainment once the corral has settled down for the evening. From classic Western line dancing to legendry cowboy guitar tunes by the fire, once the stars arrive, ranches such as Rainbow Trout understand the need and importance for multi-generational activity and enjoyment not centered around a bar, cantina or alcohol.  Many returning guests even seek out Western wear throughout the year to bring to the evening activity.

PS. Rainbow Trout Ranch has the second largest wood lodge east of the Mississippi; for architecture and history buffs, it doesn’t get any better, photography for days! 

Dude Ranches

Rainbow Trout Ranch - Antonito, CO

White Stallion Ranch, Arizona

Wild, Wild, Luxury and Entertainment

White Stallion Ranch, a longtime member of the DRA, was named one of ‘America's Best Family Resorts’ by a USA Today Readers Choice poll. The award was based on readers' votes for the resort determined by kids' amenities and family programming. A panel of experts including USA Today editors, 10Best.com editors, expert contributors and media had nominated the ranch. 

"We are so very proud to have this honor bestowed on the White Stallion Ranch," said Russell True, co-owner of True Ranch Hospitality. "This ranch has been in my family for more than five decades. We pride ourselves in offering the best hospitality and exceptional service at a fair value for all our guests, including families. For example, kids under five stay at the ranch for free," True added.

Ali Isroff, Chicago native, joined in on a family reunion at the ranch, including her three boys less than seven years of age. “White Stallion Ranch was awesome, it was a really great vacation for our family, super kid friendly and accommodating. My sister-in-law did a ton a research and felt that the ranch would offer something we all could enjoy—from 76 years old to 1 years old—and it didn’t disappoint!”

White Stallion Ranch is also one of the largest capacity dude ranches in the nation. Therefore, they are able to offer wild, wild, west entertainment once the stars come out and all the dishes have been cleared. 

Dude Ranches

White Stallion Ranch - Tucson, AZ 

Eatons' Ranch, Wyoming

Longevity Proves Attractive

Eatons' Ranch is one of the most famous dude ranches in the nation, and for deserved reason, it’s been operating for over 135 years and is the true essence of the Old West. The five-generation working cattle ranch is nestled on the pine covered eastern slopes of the Bighorn Mountains. The 7,000-acre ranch offers massive expanses of Wyoming rolling hills and over a hundred activities within this terrain to keep anyone out cowpoking or meandering through valleys for days.

Nearby Sheridan provides the easiest access for most visitors with numerous daily flights and only an 18-mile transport to the ranch. It’s not only attractive for families, weddings and reunions, but also corporate groups. “My company hosts their annual conference at Eatons' Ranch every fall,” notes Lani Oneil, director of national accounts, Frontier Asset Management. “We bring in clients from all over the US and the event is always a new and memorable experience for the, It definitely beats spending long days in hotel conference rooms followed by the usual steakhouse dinner.” 

Dude Ranches

Eatons' Ranch - Wolf, WY

Colorado Lovin’

Colorado doesn’t have the largest number of dude ranches of the States, but it certainly achieves the most palaver (discussion) for its consistent and numerous accolades. 

C Lazy U

C Lazy U, 90 minutes from Denver and easily accessible via the Amtrak Train from hipster downtown Union Station has won three awards from Travel + Leisure in 2018 for Top Hotel in the World (#74), Top 15 Continental US Resort Hotels (#6) and Top 10 Resort Hotel in the American West  (#3) And, for the second year in a row, C Lazy U was ranked #2 Destination Resort in USA TODAY’s 2018 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Destination Resort. Paging through Sunset Magazine, you might notice that C Lazy U was the runner up “Hotels That Impress” in the Sunset 2018 Travel Awards. 

Dude Ranches

C Lazy U Ranch - Granby, CO

Cherokee Park Ranch

And, to get a diverse round up (pun intended) of the ‘Best American Dude Ranch’ voted by readers of USA Today’s 10Best, the list has Cherokee Park Ranch with another #1 win. All but one of the ranches featured have been a longtime member of the DRA! (10best.com/awards/travel/best-dude-ranch

Cherokee Park Ranch, one of Colorado's first guest ranches, was a stagecoach stop between Fort Collins, Colorado, and Laramie, Wyoming. Accommodations include suites in their 120-year-old lodge and six outlying cabins, each outfitted with porch swings to take in the sites and splendor of the remote location miles from any city. 

Again, it’s the multigenerational activities, stunning new barn and kids activity space, and good old-fashioned dancing that keeps the families both returning and new ones seeking out this isolated vacation spot. For our family, it’s always the infamous line and country dancing nights. 

Dude Ranches

Cherokee Park Ranch - Livermore, CO 

Vista Verde Ranch

Located in Steamboat Springs, is one of the only four-season dude ranches in the State. When it comes to awards, and assortment of sport for all seasons, and weather conditions, Vista Verde Ranch is noted annually in dozens of publications. Think biking on snow in December, fall fly-fishing for off-season spawns or cooking classes or wine tastings al fresco or by roaring fire, the ranch’s luxurious offerings and certainly an anomaly for the Old West, but certainly welcomed.

Vista Verde Ranch has a AAA Four Diamond Award and the ranch’s Chef Chol has been building the cellar wine list to rival that of some of the country’s greatest restaurants. Fodor’s announced that Vista Verde had been selected as a Fodor’s Choice recipient yet again. And, from Shape Magazine to the Gene Kilgore World’s Best Ranches Award to mentions in everything from National Geographic ADVENTURE Magazine to Los Angeles Times and oodles more, this ranch lassos attention from all genres of vacationer. 

Dude Ranches

Vista Verde Ranch - Steamboat Springs, CO 

Save this Pin for Later! 

From Forbes Magazine to Real Simple and accolades in nearly every accredited journalism outlet, the allure and experience of Dude Ranch Vacations is dominating vacation stories and bookings in 2018, but why?

10 of the Most Beautiful Dude Ranches in Colorado

 

Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the nation with the Rocky Mountains and vast plains. Your inner photographer will be brought out with so many phenomenal vistas. From the Northern border shared with Wyoming to the Southern border shared with New Mexico, picturesque ranches abound in the "Centennial State" and we look at ten of the most beautiful Colorado dude ranch vacations. 

 

10 of the Most Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacations

 

Lost Valley Ranch

Set against 26,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, you'll experience the majestic Rocky Mountains like never before at the Lost Valley Ranch. Here you can breathe the fresh mountain air, hike through flowering meadows or simply relax with a fishing pole on Goose Creek. It's all here to enjoy at your own pace. 

Lost Valley Ranch, Colorado

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Lost Valley Lake (10)

Lost Valley Ranch 

 

Tumbling River Ranch

Tumbling River Ranch feels as far away from the hustle and bustle of life as anywhere on Earth, yet it's only a few hours from the major metropolitan area of Denver and the Denver International Airport. Here, horseback riding is special. You can ride up to where only the mountain goats go, to 12,200 feet above sea level! Imagine the views from up there. 

Tumbling River Ranch, Colorado

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Tumbling River Colorado Dude Ranch Activities

Tumbling River Ranch

 

Rainbow Trout Ranch

In Southwestern Colorado lies the Rainbow Trout Ranch, combining the splendor of the Rocky Mountains and the enchantment of the New Mexico Southwest. It's no wonder Wild West legends like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid whiled away the hours in the magnificent backcountry paradise this ranch calls home. 

Rainbow Trout Ranch, Colorado

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Rainbow Trout Ranch Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Rainbow Trout Ranch

 

Smith Fork Ranch

Located on 300 gorgeous acres of Colorado's Western Slope, East of the town of Crawford, Smith Fork Ranch is secluded and intimate. This luxury ranch is nestled within the beautiful Gunison National Forest and adjoins the wild, West Elk Wilderness Area. Smith Fork Ranch boasts luxurious comfort, thoughtful hospitality and five star cuisine blended with Rocky Mountain Adventures. 

Smith Fork Ranch, Colorado

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Smith Fork Ranch Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Smith Fork Ranch

 

The High Lonesome Ranch

With mountain forests, grasslands, spring creeks and alpine mesas at elevations ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 feet, the High Lonesome Ranch is home to diverse wildlife and provides a vast playground for sports and wilderness activities. The ranch is centered around conservation, restoration and the American West.  

The High Lonesome Ranch, Colorado

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The High Lonesome Colorado dude ranch

The Home Ranch

 

Majestic Dude Ranch

Adjacent to the pristine La Plata Mountain Range between Durango and Cortez, Colorado the Majestic Dude Ranch is the ultimate adventure guest ranch for your Colorado dude ranch vacation. Ride amoung the shimmering aspens, follow the gold panning streams to old mining towns and settle in and watch the sunset over Sleeping Ute Mountain. 

Majestic Dude Ranch, Colorado

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Majestic Dude Ranch Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Majestic Dude Ranch

 

Cherokee Park Ranch

The Cherokee Park Ranch is tucked into a peaceful mountain setting and radiates cozy western comfort. This little slice of cowboy heaven is surrounded by mountains, mossy rocks, colorful wildflowers, twinkling streams, a flashy river and a bright blue sky. 

Cherokee Park Ranch, Colorado

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Cherokee Park Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Cherokee Park Ranch

 

Vista Verde Ranch

Just North of Steamboat Springs lies the Vista Verde Guest Ranch in the National Forest. With permitted access to the wild and stunning Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area there's not a condo insight! Winter at Vista Verde is breathtaking with the beauty of over 400 inches of snow annually. Back country and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, sledding and more will get you out in the snow at this Colorado dude ranch vacation. 

Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado

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Vista Verde Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Vista Verde Ranch

 

The Home Ranch

Tucked away at the far end of the valley, where the Elk River flows from the Sawtooth Mountain Ranch, you'll find the Home Ranch. This is Colorado's only Relais & Chateaux affiliated guest ranch. If you are looking for an extraordinary vacation in wide open spaces and a place to reconnect with nature, you will find it at the Home Ranch. 

The Home Ranch, Colorado

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Home Ranch Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

The Home Ranch

 

4UR Ranch

Known as "one of Colorado's last perfect places" the 4UR Ranch is tucked away into the slender Goose Creek Valley of the San Juan Mountains. Within its 3,000 acres wind 6 miles of trout stream, the Rio Grand River, miles of mountain trails for hiking and horseback riding and natural hot springs. The 4UR is one of the finest fly fishing resorts in Colorado. 

4UR Ranch, Colorado

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4UR Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

4UR Ranch 

 

Vist here for the complete list of Colorado Ranches

 

Pin this for Later: 10 of the Most Beautiful Colorado Dude Ranch Vacations

 

Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the nation with the Rocky Mountains and vast plains. Your inner photographer will be brought out with so many phenomenal vistas. From the Northern border shared with Wyoming to the Southern border shared with New Mexico, picturesque ranches abound in the in the

10 Great Dude Ranch Vacations for Families

From the littlest to the biggest kid, everyone will get a chance to play. The Dude Ranchers’ Association has only the best of ranch experiences offering phenomenal kids programs, healthy food, horseback riding and more outdoor adventures than you can imagine. Here are 10 of North America’s best family ranch vacations on dude and guest ranches. Each has its own unique style and offerings allowing you to pick the right ranch for your family vacation. All are family friendly ranches and have a full schedule of activities for your family.

 


Wyoming Family Ranch Vacations


The Red Rock Ranch, Kelly, Wyoming

Dates Open: June through September

The Red Rock Ranch is a family owned authentic western dude ranch with polished amenities. Children will love the freedom of just being kids in the wide open spaces of Wyoming. There is no TV or video games, but they will be busy with horseback riding, caring for their own specially chosen horses, volleyball, pickleball, horseshoes and the kid’s recreation room. There is something special about swimming in a heated pool surrounded by the beautiful red cliffs, playing tag with new friends or simply enjoying a game of foosball or ping pong.

Vee Bar Guest Ranch, Laramie, Wyoming

Dates Open: Year-round

At just 2 ½ hours from Denver, Colorado the Vee Bar Ranch is very easily accessible, but still a remote dude ranch family destination. Children of all ages are welcomed with open arms.  While the outdoors provides a great deal of education and entertainment, there are other activities in which kids can partake.  On campout night, everybody is welcome to participate in campfire games, listen to live music, roast s’mores, and enjoy the Vee Bar’s version of a branding—don’t forget your boots, belts, wallets, and hats! Your kids will never forget their experience on this kid friendly dude ranch!

7D Ranch, Cody, Wyoming

Dates Open: mid June through mid September

Offering weekly trips into Yellowstone National Park, the 7D Ranch has a kids program geared for kids 3 - 12 years old, but kids of all ages enjoy participating in the activities. Their children’s program allows young people to experience ranch life and come to understand the connections to the natural world. Ecological relationships are taught by example on daily hikes and rides. Children are introduced to the world of livestock and horses by patient wranglers who take great care to build kids’ confidence.

Vee Bar Wyoming Family Ranch Vacations

Imagine your teenager connecting with her own personal horse for the week. Photo Credit: Vee Bar Guest Ranch


Arizona Family Ranch Vacations


Circle Z Ranch, Patagonia, Arizona

Dates Open: Mid October through April

How often do we long for the days of giving our children the gift of nature, in a safe and healthy environment, where the electronics are shelved and our kids are happy and laughing, making new friends? The Circle Z cherishes the adventures that families will experience, either together or separately. Here, the kids are allowed the freedom to be kids without pressures, and given adventures that will expand their confidence and fill their hearts. A dude ranch vacation will not just entertain your children, it will change their lives.


Elkhorn Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Dates Open: Mid November through April

Just 50 miles southwest of Tucson the Elkhorn Ranch is a sunny winter destination for your family. Children of all ages are welcome. Guest ranch life provides an ideal setting for family vacations and reunions. Families ride together or separately as rides are set up daily to suit individual interests. Children enjoy the freedom to play outdoors and an ample supply of board games and puzzles available in the dining room. Ping-pong, shuffleboard, tennis and basketball and a heated swimming pool add to the fun.

 

Elkhorn Ranch Family Ranch Vacations

From the littlest to the biggest kid, everyone will get a chance to play. Photo: Elkhorn Ranch Arizona


Colorado Family Ranch Vacations


Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Dates Open: Year-round

At Sundance Trail Guest Ranch families are encouraged to play together and to make memories together. At different times during the week, kids may opt to participate in Colorado dude ranch activities with their families or join in with counselor-wranglers for their own special activities: “kids only” horseback riding in the arena or small group trail rides, gathering eggs from the hen house, playing with the ever-present kittens and goats, group hikes & rock climbing, fishing, picnics & campfire sing-alongs, outdoor games, & treasure hunts, movies & crafts.


Black Mountain Ranch, McCoy, Colorado

Dates Open: June through mid September

You won’t forget a family ranch vacation at the Black Mountain Ranch. Unlimited horseback riding, over night pack trips, a Longhorn cattle drive, white water rafting, fishing, kids' program, rifle and trap shooting, archery and trip to the local rodeo is just the start. Whether you are looking for some easy trails to ride with your kids or advanced riding for the entire family, there are great options for everyone in the family.


Tumbling River Ranch, Grant, Colorado

Dates Open: Mid May through mid November

At Tumbling River Ranch, the summer kids program is a major focus.  They not only focus on the interests of the children, but relish the opportunity to introduce them to the Western lifestyle and Western ideas–offering the rare opportunity to “unplug” and spend some quality time. The kids will have a flexible program, built both to allow families ample time together and kids to have plenty of their own adventures.


Cherokee Park Ranch, Livermore, Colorado

Dates Open: June through August

The Cherokee Park Ranch is a family owned dude ranch nestled in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. They cater to families with kids of all ages, horseback riding, river rafting, rodeos, fishing, music, dancing, cow wrangling, swimming, ropes/challenge course, skeet shooting and mountain biking. Your kids will have a full day’s worth of counseled activities should parents desire “time off!” For young ones under two, this family ranch offers a unique opportunity: bring your own full-time baby-sitter, free of charge.

 

Tumbling River Creek Crossing Family Ranch Vacations

Ride out into the mountains with the whole family. Photo Credit: Tumbling River Ranch


Montana Family Ranch Vacations


JJJ Wilderness Ranch, Augusta, Montana

Dates Open: Mid June through September


The Triple J Ranch offers an extensive Children and Teen Program. Each child will have their own horse for the week to learn horsemanship skills with dedicated kids wranglers. Children are not required to engage in any activity, but activities are available should parents desire a little freedom to participate in more scenic and challenging rides. This family ranch can keep even the most restless little cowboy or cowgirl busy. They’ll have loads of fun and they’ll talk about it ... seemingly forever!


 JJJ Wilderness Family Ranch Vacations

 The ranch wranglers will even teach your kids rodeo events! Photo Credit: JJJ Wilderness Ranch

Other great vacations for toddlers

 

Are you planning your next family ranch vacation? Offering phenomenal kids programs, healthy food and outdoor adventures including horseback riding here are 10 of North America’s best family ranch vacations on dude and guest ranches

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10 Best Things about a Ranch Vacation

There are many great things about a ranch vacation, so Sue Murphy of the Elk Mountain Ranch has compiled a list of the top 10 best things about a ranch vacation:

1. Enjoying the beauty of your surroundings You have the opportunity to spend time outdoors, enjoying the beauty of Colorado, with breathtaking views of the Collegiate Peaks, whether on a trail ride or hiking in the San Isabel National Forest.

2. Slowing down and relaxing Time moves differently here. You can take the time for some R&R, read a good book, enjoy the hot tub, play a board game or spend the day at the hot springs. There are simple pleasures in activities that we may have forgotten about in our busy day to day lives. Take a moment for yourself, breathe and take it all in.

3. Disconnecting and having great conversations The remote nature of a ranch vacation gives you an excuse to disconnect from the world, leaving email and the internet behind (there is connectivity but it is limited). This gives you an opportunity to focus on those around you and engage in great conversations at dinner, around the campfire, or out on the trail. Elk Mountain Ranch writes the 10 Best things about a Ranch Vacation

4. Creating new bonds There is something special that happens over a week – many different bonds are created. You find a connection with your horse, learning their personality and how you can work together. The intimate nature of the ranch allows you to get to know your fellow guests and you learn more about the staff. It is like one big family that extends beyond the ranch.

5. Reconnecting with others The atmosphere at the ranch allows you to reconnect with your family members and friends. It also gives you time to have moments to yourself and take in your surroundings. Conversations can start during happy hour and continue all the way through a campfire after dessert. Seeing your family in a new setting also shakes things up a bit and gives you new ways to connect.

6. Adventures! If trail rides are not adventurous enough, you also have the opportunity to go whitewater rafting. It is great fun as you make your way through Browns Canyon – be sure to keep an eye out for local wildlife as you paddle by!

7. Trying something new Maybe you have always wanted to ride a horse, or try your hand at shooting a .22 or take aim at clay pigeons? Are you an adventurous eater and want to try some Rocky Mountain Oysters? This is your opportunity to try something new, or even check off an item on your bucket list. You are in the Wild West – challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.

8. Great food You will never go hungry – I promise. Between the hearty breakfasts, on the trail lunches, happy hour appetizers and filling dinners, there is something for everyone’s palate. We take food as seriously as we do our horses, and make accommodations for those with special dietary needs. We also want to help you celebrate any major occasion, whether a milestone birthday, anniversary or a big family reunion. Our surroundings may be more rustic, but the menu is nothing but top notch – and always save room for dessert!

9. Amazing horses The passion that the ranch owners have for their horses and for the ranch is clear from the first moment you interact with them. Each rider is matched with the right horse based on their personality, experience, comfort level and the type of riding they would like to do during the week. Also, each horse has a great story, so take a moment to talk with one of the wranglers to learn more about your horse’s biography.

10. Making memories All of these factors help make for an amazing week and give you your next great adventure. It could be quiet time spent with your spouse while your kids are busy panning for gold or hunting for arrow heads. It could be the wonder of watching a herd of antelope go by while you are on horseback. Maybe you’ll have a laugh while square dancing, or are touched by the western music. By the end of the week, you will have new memories that will last long after the dirt is off of your cowboy boots.

This blog was originally posted on Elk Mountain’s website here. For more great ranches in Colorado take a look at the Cherokee Park Ranch, Elk River Ranch and the Majestic Ranch.

10 Best Things about a Ranch Vacation

   There are many great things about a ranch vacation. Here is the list of the top 10 best things you will enjoy about a ranch vacation.Save Save

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4 Honeymoon Trends at a Ranch Vacation

Get inspired for your honeymoon with a ranch vacation experience you won't soon forget. Think outside the sand box of a beach destination and go for adventure recreation at a honeymoon paradise. These DRA accredited ranch vacations will exceed your expectations and make many opportunities to creatively start your journey together.

Rawah Ranch Romance for your Honeymoon Ranch Vacation

9:00 AM to 6 PM Spa Treatment The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is a 10,000-acre, working cattle ranch and full-service resort in Solvang, California. Alisal offers 73  cottages with wood burning fireplaces and a host of outdoor activities. Honeymoon ranch activities include two golf courses, horseback riding, six tennis courts, 100-acre private lake for fishing and boating, extensive children's activities, barn yard activities, and an outdoor high and low ropes course with a rock climbing wall for team building. Before, after, or instead of these robust activities, the Alisal Spa is open from 9 - 6 daily and offers body treatments, massages, facials and spa waxes.

Private Guided Trail Ride with a Picnic for Two Light the fuse at Rawah Ranch in Glendevey, Colorado. The ranch will take care of everything you need - classic ranch activities, live entertainment, luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and the privacy and awe-inspiring surroundings your romance deserves. All you have to do is show up with the one you love. Your all-inclusive romantic getaway includes champagne and roses in your cabin upon arrival, a private guided trail ride with a romantic picnic for two and a private massage for each partner. This, plus everything else Rawah Ranch has to offer: The best fly fishing in Colorado on private waters, hiking, biking, trail running, communing with nature, cowboy fun, live Western entertainment, ranch games, line-dancing, skeet shooting and more.

(Optional) Dusk 'til Dawn Recreation On any given day at Cherokee Park Ranch, in Livermore, Colo. you can do as much or as little as you would like on your honeymoon. You get to build your own vacation and set the tone for each day of your trip. You can relax, immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery, and just enjoy each other and the beautiful Colorado weather. Or, you can choose to participate in the unlimited activity options CPR offers. Activities can keep you entertained from dusk ’til dawn, including horseback riding, fly fishing, going on a hayride, square dancing, hiking, biking, swimming, whitewater river rafting, tubing the river, skeet shooting, taking an art class, getting a massage, and more – the list goes on!

Cave Exploration & Museum For that out of the box honeymoon, the Blacktail Ranch is rich in archeological sites including an extensive cave system dating back to the last Ice Age, a Sun Wheel, a Medicine Wheel and numerous tipi rings from the more recent Native Americans. As part of your honeymoon stay at the Blacktail Ranch, there will be fantastic Montana cave tours along with visits to other historic sites. You’ll also enjoy an on-site museum which houses artifacts from the cave and early pioneering days. In 1946 the ranch owner, Tag Rittel was a youngster and discovered one of the most amazing archeological finds in North America, a cave whose inhabitants date back to the Ice Age, maybe earlier. Tag has spent his lifetime exploring and mapping the cave and it’s 5 miles of passageways. Over the years he discovered lots of bones and some stone artifacts, and when he opened the ranch to dude ranch vacationers, he started taking them on tours of the cave wonders.  

Get inspired for your honeymoon with a ranch vacation experience you won't soon forget. Think outside the sand box of a beach destination and go for adventure recreation at a honeymoon paradise. These DRA accredited ranch vacations will exceed your expectations and make many opportunities to creatively start your journey together.

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Pass the #TravelSauce While Vacation Planning During the Holidays

Take the time this holiday season – when bellies are full, spirits are high and good will is in abundance – to sit with family and pass the #travelsauce, by planning next year’s perfect family vacation to a dude ranch. This Thanksgiving and through Christmas is the designated time every year for family's to come together and share not only a meal, but also experiences from the past year and hopes for the year to come. Take this opportunity and seize the moment to plan your family's next Western adventure vacation at a dude ranch. Here's the perfect way to "pitch" a week at a ranch to the family:

  • There's plenty of room

Whether your are traveling with your nuclear family of kids and parents or as an extended family reunion a dude ranch is set up to accommodate families of upwards of 200 people. Reservation specialists can help you book the right number and locations of cabins. And with professional chefs on staff the dining will be prepared with excellence to satisfy the tastes of even the most selective family members.

In Montana Horses N Courage has a unique, glamping style set-up for an intimate family of 10 while Averil's Flathead Lake Lodge can host up to 130.

  • There's plenty to do for everyone

This vacation is for more people in your family than your 8 year old cousin who went horse crazy two years ago. There will be mountain biking, wilderness hikes and white water rafting for the 20 somethings, adequate spa time and fishing for the parents who need some quiet time and plenty of nightly entertainment for everyone.

Cherokee-Park-Cabin

In Colorado, Cherokee Park Ranch offers these activities plus offers archery, golfing and National Park trips.

 

  • There's easy planning at every step

The best part about an all-inclusive ranch stay is the ease of planning once you have arrived.  Everyone in the family can scatter to their activity of choice. There are daily sign up sheets for horseback riding and the other engaging activities on the ranch. This presents a limitless combination of activities your family can be involved in. On top of all the activity planning your host ranch will take care of preparing all the meals and the cleaning up.

If you are wondering what you should bring take a look here while planning next year's family vacation. So please, pass the #TravelSauce this holiday. You can always contact the Dude Ranchers' Association for more information.


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Short on Cash and Time off From Work?

Dog days of summer got you down?  Had enough of summer’s whirlwind social scene?  Uh, oh. Broke the budget at fabulous July swimwear sales and shunned the office for showing off your fabulous finds?  Take heart!  Western dude ranches typically offer lower rates mid August through September as well as a shorter duration of stay.  There are hundreds of cool mountain retreats to choose from, courtesy of The Dude Rancher’s Association.  Since 1926, the organization has worked to maintain the authenticity of the Western ranch vacation.  Each DRA ranch has its’ own special activities and services, and each meets the quality standards enforced by the national association for the dude ranch industry.

Many ranches offer stays for adults only or exclusive getaways for girlfriends at this time of year.  So, let your horse be the guide through gentle meadows.  Dip your toes in an icy mountain stream. Indulge yourself with a relaxing massage.  Savor Rocky Mountain gourmet meals paired with fine wines and cordials. Take a yoga class or a raft down a river with a backdrop of dramatic fall color. Ahhhhh..This is the tonic for girls who had way too much fun this summer. The ranches below are some great dude ranch locations.

Cherokee Park Swimming Creek Smaller

Triple R Ranch

Keystone, South Dakota Phone: +1 888-777-2624

The Triple R Ranch is located within the 27,766 acre Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, 3 miles from the 10,700 acre Black Elk Wilderness Area, and in the middle of the Black Hills National Forest. We center the activities around lots of horseback riding into the scenic back country.

63 Ranch

Livingston, Montana Phone: +1 888-395-5151

"Montana's Magic" happens to you on your 63 Ranch Vacation. A mountain ranch located 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park at the foot of the magnificent Absaroka Mountain Range. Unmatched scenic grandeur. Owned and operated by original founding family since 1929.

Cherokee Park Ranch

Livermore, Colorado Phone: +1 970-493-6522

The Cherokee Park Ranch is a family owned dude ranch nestled in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. We cater to families with kids of all ages, horse back riding, river rafting, rodeos, fishing, music, dancing, cow wrangling, swimming, ropes/challenge course, skeet shooting and mountain biking.

Crossed Sabres Ranch

Cody, Wyoming Phone: 307-587-3750

Open since 1898, Crossed Sabres Ranch is one the oldest dude ranches in the country, and located a short 8 miles from the East entrance to Yellowstone. We are a family run operation that specializes in creating custom vacations of a lifetime for you, your family or group.    

Paradise Guest Ranch

Buffalo, Wyoming Phone: +1 307-684-7876

Celebrating 100 years of FUN in 2007. Tucked away in the scenic Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Luxury log cabins with fireplaces, outdoor decks & spacious living rooms.

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