Working Cattle Ranches Are Great For Young Adults

As your kids grow into adulthood (17 to early 20s) their individual interests begin to branch off into new and different directions.  As parents you long to plan trips that will fully engage them and create long-lasting memories.  But how?  How do parents get their burgeoning young adults to fully abandon their pocket technology and other distractions and simply hang out as a family…and love it? These questions popped up regularly in our house as my husband and I considered where to spend our family vacations.  Colorado Cattle Company Adult

We wondered if a dude ranch might hold some answers but, as a family of four from Ohio with mixed horse experience and knowledge, we had some reservations.  Our family: Brian (20), Emily (18), Bill, and Kristin. We were concerned that our 20-yr-old son, and complete non-horseman, would not enjoy it. We didn’t worry about our daughter (18); she is our resident equestrian, riding English since third grade. 

My husband grew up in rural Ohio with a “pet” horse but no formal training and no continued riding experience as an adult, while I had what I termed horse familiarity as a “barn mom” – but no actual riding experience. Well, after a number of years of cautious consideration we finally pulled the trigger and booked at Colorado Cattle Company and Guest Ranch, owned and operated by Tom & Darcy Carr in New Raymer, CO.  Looking toward the main ranch gate–nothing but pastures, rolling hills, and bluffs for miles and miles and miles, in all directions. What can we share?  First and foremost, we shouldn’t have waited so long!  If you’re on the fence about booking a similar trip with your “emerging adult children,” Go For It!  And Colorado Cattle Company and Guest Ranch would be an excellent option

... Read the rest of Kristin Shawd's experiences here.  Kristin is a wife, mother-of-two and soon-to-be-empty-nester who has just launched TuesdayPause.com - a travel blog with a go-often, go-local twist.

 

For more information about working cattle ranches throughout the west, look to these additional states to offer a similar experience to Kristin's. Wyoming

The Klondike Ranch is nestled in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains of north central Wyoming, and has been in their family since the 1920's. You are invited to take part in their way of life, and experience the thrill of a real Western ranch in the beautiful atmosphere of the Old West. You will  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. At Klondike, they enjoy making your stay there as memorable and enjoyable as it should be.

Nebraska

Step back into the Old West and satisfy the cowboy in you as you come alongside the cowboys of the 1+1 Ranch. This 7,000 acre ranch, set in the beautiful sand hills of Nebraska is the perfect setting for your getaway & some of the most spectacular horseback riding ever. Get involved as much or as little as you want in daily ranch activities such as cattle drives, branding, working cattle, gathering & sorting, roping, checking cattle & windmills in the wide open pastures. Arena activities are also available as time allows - riding lessons, team penning, tracking & roping lessons. You will be matched up with one of the ranch raised quarter horses that you can call your own during your entire stay.

You can read more stories about cattle work on our blog and contact the Dude Ranchers' Association with any questions.

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What are you doing this fall for your vacation?

Dude and guest ranches are well known as popular family vacation destinations, but the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) recognizes that adults also value time to themselves from time to time. When the kids get back on the bus, it’s time for parents to get back in the saddle for a classic Western getaway. Even if you don’t have children, it sounds tempting, doesn't it? Imagine a trip to the Wild West, with spectacular scenery, abundant activities, and top-notch accommodations and amenities for couples, solo travelers or even groups of friends. Starting at the end of August and continuing through October, dude ranches can be an enticing option for adult travelers looking to get away, with several ranches offering special adults-only weeks. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities during their visit from outdoor adventures like fishing and horseback riding, to taking in some of the nation’s most remarkable fall foliage, to experiencing flavorful, savory meals and wine pairings.

Dude ranches are an ideal vacation for those looking for much needed time alone, a new and exciting adventure, or even for those wanting to rekindle romance with their significant other. Read on for a list of dude ranches offering specialized activities and packages for adults this fall.

Paradise Guest Ranch Fall

Fall at Paradise Guest Ranch

Cattle Drives

• For working ranches, fall means cattle drives, and guests are often invited to join in these memorable and interactive experiences. Colorado Cattle Company offers guests the chance to escape from reality and become a real life cowboy or cowgirl during their stay. This working ranch is located on 10,000 acres of grassland with cattle, rolling hills, canyons, streams and bluffs in Northeastern Colorado. Guests must be at least 18 year old, and will actively participate in everything from saddling and grooming their horse to sorting cattle, making an adult getaway here a true learning experience.

Romance

• Rekindling the romance is what Red Horse Mountain Ranch is all about in the fall. The ingredients are all there for a perfect getaway with your loved one: adventure, rustic and cozy suites, well-designed meals, romantic settings, 100+ horses, an attentive staff and a ranch nestled on 300,000 acres of Idaho’s Rocky Mountains. As an added bonus, the ranch also offers a variety of entertainment including wine tastings, seven-course dining experiences, evening concerts and readings from local cowboy poets.

Traveling Solo

• Many dude ranches offer special adults-only weeks and packages in the fall, providing solo travelers and couples the chance to experience a unique vacation. 63 Ranch, located about 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park in Montana, and 7D Ranch, Wyoming’s premiere guest ranch located in the heart of the Absaroka Mountains, both offer adults-only weeks in late August and September. These ranches are home to some of the most remote and scenic areas of the country, and offer guests an abundance of activities from pack trips and hunting trips in the Wyoming wilderness to wild trout fishing and horseback riding under a canopy of rich red and gold leaves in Montana.

Cowgirl Retreat

• Picture yourself riding horseback across the gorgeous rolling hills of Montana while taking in the vibrant autumn views. Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch offers a special, four-day Cowgirl Retreat during which female travelers will be treated to authentic Montana hospitality, the big sky and the chance to experience what it’s like to be a true cowgirl. From hearty meals to relaxing and reflecting with your horse, this getaway provides an enriching and enlightening experience that guests will cherish for a lifetime.

Bonanza Fall Cowgirl Retreat

Cowgirl at the Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch

Photographers Paradise

• The pace is relaxed during adults-only weeks at Paradise Guest Ranch, starting in late August through September. Located in Buffalo, Wyo., the ranch offers a photo-worthy setting complete with blue skies, beautiful fall colors and cool temperatures. During adults-only weeks, guests can enjoy horseback riding across the ranch’s sage meadows, hiking among wildflowers, fishing, performances from a number of guest musicians and talented crew members, and plenty of opportunities to re-energize and relax away from the kids.


 

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