How to Plan Your Trip to a DRA Dude Ranch - Tips on How to Get There

If you’re tired of the same old vacations and getaway plans, it is worth knowing that the Dude Ranchers’ Association offers much more interesting options. This Association is composed of over 100 ranches that provide top-notch services and accommodation conditions so that you will truly experience life on a ranch without compromising anything. In case you are still looking for better vacation options, it is definitely worth checking out what the Dude Ranchers’ Association has to offer. In other words, here is how to get to some great DRA dude ranches and a few ideas on what to do once you get there.

dude ranch

 

Take a Trip to a DRA Dude Ranch

 

1. Fly into Reno, NV:

Greenhorn Ranch – Quincy, CA

dude ranch

Once you reach the airport in Reno, the Greenhorn Ranch is just an hour and a half away from the city, by car.

Things to do:

• Plumas County Museum

Stop by the Plumas County Museum and submerge yourself in a time when the railroad industry was flourishing. This is not an average railroad museum, as many say that the entire place is alive, due to the impressive number of exhibits and interesting collections. It is worth mentioning that you will see much more than just railroad-related items. There are other objects from the area’s history that have been restored and displayed for the public at this museum.

• Keep an eye on the local festivals

The best part about visiting Quincy is that there are events going on here throughout the year. The city is known for the number of celebration and festivals that take place in the area, which manages to attract an impressive number of visitors every year. A good tip would be to visit Quincy during the summer or fall season if you really want to be part of local festivals. If you like music, for instance, the High Sierra Musical Festival that takes place in the summer would be a great choice.

Hunewill Circle H Guest Ranch – Bridgeport, CA

dude ranch

A bit further away, at just two and a half hours away from Reno, you will find the Hunewill Ranch, another great ranch that is worth visiting while in the area.

Things to do:

• Don’t miss a trip to Yosemite National Park

Considering that Yosemite National Park is just an hour away from the Hunewill Guest Ranch, it is a place you definitely need to visit. This park is a wonder of nature that has so much to offer. If you don’t live in the area and you came here just for your vacation at the ranch, make sure to write down a visit to this park on your to-do list. You will definitely not regret making this choice.

• Check out the local hot springs

The area around Bridgeport is simply blessed with numerous natural treasures. The Travertine Hot Springs are among them and they are also the hot springs with very easy access for visitors. So, you don’t have to be a trekking expert or deposit too much effort to see these springs. You have absolutely no reason not to get out there and enjoy both the springs and the stunning views of the surrounding area.

 

2. Fly into Denver, CO:

Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch – Parshall, CO

dude ranch

To get to this ranch, you can either choose to drive for about two and a half hours or you can take the train. The trip on the train will take four hours, but it will be quite relaxing and fun experience.

Things to do:

• Take the train through Colorado

One of the best ways to see an area is to take the train if there’s a railroad in the area. Traveling by train is extremely comfortable and relaxing because you don’t have to worry about the traffic. At the same time, you have all the time to enjoy the views and see a lot on your way.

• Experience the Hot Sulfur Springs Wildlife Area

You have probably seen hot springs before, but did you have the chance to check out a sulfur hot spring? If you are in Parshall, Colorado, there is a spring like this in the State Wildlife Area. There is no entrance fee into the area and it is available throughout the year. So, no matter when you get the chance to visit, it is worth seeing. The ranch will also take you for a spectacular horseback ride to the springs for an afternoon of soaking.

Drowsy Water Ranch – Granby, CO

dude ranch

Getting to this particular ranch will also take two and a half hours by car and four hours by train. So, it is up to you what you choose to visit.

Things to do:

• Take the train and enjoy a gorgeous area

Forget about driving, at least during your vacation, and do things differently this time. Taking the train is not just convenient and relaxing, but will also give you the chance to see the beauty of the area comprised between Denver and Granby.

• Go over the stunning Ute Pass

Are you passionate about breathtaking views or have photography as a hobby? Then you must go through the Ute Pass. There are more than enough beautiful scenes as you will pass by, but the real reward is to get to the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Make sure to stop here because the views are simply unforgettable.

Latigo Ranch – Kremmling, CO

dude ranch

If you want to get to this ranch, a trip by car will take three hours, while the train will take you there in four hours.

Things to do:

• Explore the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway

There’s nothing better than a walk in a scenic area. If you choose the Latigo Ranch in Kremmling, Colorado, you have the Colorado River nearby. Luckily, there is a scenic byway along its shorelines, so you can enjoy an unforgettable and relaxing walk.

• Take a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park

A getaway in a national park, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, can do a lot of good. Simply being away from technology and a fast-paced lifestyle, enjoying nature and tranquility can recharge your batteries like no other method. And the Rocky Mountain National Park really has a lot to offer, so don’t miss it while you’re here.

 

3. Fly into Tucson, AZ:

Rancho de la Osa – Sasabe, AZ

dude ranch

It takes just an hour and a half to get from Tucson to Rancho de la Osa, so you will reach your destination in no time.

Things to do:

• Enjoy the beauty provided by the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife refuges can be considered real-life museums. They hold some of the biggest creations and treasures nature has to offer, so if you have the chance to visit such a refuge, do not miss it. Whether you choose to visit the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge or take the time to enjoy a ride through it, you will see beautiful things all around.

• Experience the incredible Sonoran Desert

Did it ever occur to you that a desert can be mesmerizing? Well, the Sonoran Desert is definitely one of those deserts. Home to the Saguaro Cactus, which is incredible when in bloom, this desert attracts many people due to its warm winters and unique terrain.

Elkhorn Ranch – Tucson, AZ

dude ranch

An hour and a half drive will take you down the road to the Elkhorn Ranch outside of Tucson, so this is another ranch that is easy to reach and enjoy if you are willing to try something new.

Things to do:

• Take a trip around the old part of Tucson

The old part of Tucson was used in a large number of films, so don’t be surprised if some areas will appear to be familiar. Whether it is because of the movies or simply because it is charming, you should take the time to check this part of the town out.

• Check out the Pima Air & Space Museum

If you want to get out of the western sphere a little, you can visit this museum dedicated to aircraft and everything else that revolves around them. This museum is one of a kind.

• Relax at the Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro National Park got its name from the fact that it is home to an impressive number of Saguaro Cacti. This type of cactus is representative for the area, but seeing a field of Saguaro cacti in one single place can be an impressive view.

Tombstone Monument Ranch – Tombstone, AZ

dude ranch

Only an hour and a half away from the city of Tucson, you can also find the Tombstone Monument Ranch, a sanctuary of tranquility and peace where you can replenish yourself with positive energy.

Things to do:

• Visit the famous Bisbee, AZ

Don’t be discouraged by the fact that Bisbee is a small city. There are more than enough options when it comes to having fun and staying busy over here. From birdwatching to checking out the local pubs and restaurants, the list is quite versatile and entertaining. Bisbee is also home to one of the largest and most famous turquoise mines as well!

• Have some fun at the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park

This is a place where the entire family can have a lot of fun. Also, it is pet-friendly as well, so don’t leave your four-legged companion behind. The entire park is made to reflect the authentic old western culture, so you can take this adventure as a history lesson as well, not just pure entertainment.

• Check out a real underground mine

If you’re curious to see what a real mine looks like and how people worked in such a place, you need to visit the Goodenough Silver Mine. This was one of the most important and among the first of its kind in the old west, so it is definitely a piece of history you shouldn’t miss.

 

4. Fly into Cody, WY:

Rimrock Ranch – Cody, WY

dude ranch

It takes just 45 minutes on the road to get from Cody to the Rimrock Ranch. So, you will be able to begin your vacation in no time.

Crossed Sabres Ranch – Cody, WY

dude ranch

A bit further away, one hour away to be more specific, you will find the Crossed Sabres Ranch. Once you get there, you will enjoy the beauty of the wilderness in a comfortable and elegant manner.

7D Ranch – Cody, WY

dude ranch

Even if you have to drive for one hour and a half up to the 7D Ranch, it is worth taking the trip if you want to find a tranquil place surrounded by a lot of beauty. Comfort and intimacy are at home at this family-owned ranch.

The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch – Shell, WY

dude ranch

It takes just one hour and another 20 to 25 minutes to get from Cody to the Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch. After you will finish this short trip, your most amazing vacation can begin.

Things to do:

• Don’t miss visiting Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the country. So, if you’re in the area, make sure you pay it a visit as well. But, do keep in mind that it is very large, so go there with a plan in mind or with some must-see objectives. Many of the ranches in the area will take you on an all-day tour of the park and the road from Cody, Wyoming to the East Entrance of Yellowstone was deemed the ‘most scenic 52 miles in the world’ by Teddy Roosevelt.

• Visit the historical Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum

A great way to experience the west is to check out the incredible Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum. This paired with your stay at a ranch will definitely give you the western experience you are looking for.

• Experience the Cody Night Rodeo

What’s a trip to the west without a good old-fashioned rodeo night? The rodeo show is available every night, starting the 1st of June and until the 31st of August. Join in and experience an authentic western rodeo.

• Give yourself the chance to see the Wild Mustangs roaming at the McCullough Peaks

There aren’t many places out in the world where wild horses can still be seen. But, at the McCullough Peaks, you can still see Wild Mustangs roaming free and undisturbed by humans. This is one of the things you should not miss in this lifetime for sure. The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch will even take you on a horseback ride amongst the Wild Mustangs if you wish!

This article was written in collaboration with Luxury Travelers Guide

If you’re tired of the same old getaway plans, it is worth knowing that the Dude Ranchers’ Association offers more interesting options. Visit a Dude Ranch!

Grandparents Traveling with Grandchildren Love Dude Ranch Vacations

Marble Mountain Ranch Grandparents Traveling with Grandchildren

Photo: Marble Mountain Ranch

Dude Ranches are Great Destinations for Grandparent Trips with Grandchildren

 

For grandparents traveling with grandchildren an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation out west is the perfect option for connecting with nature while spending quality time with each other. With many different activities, including horseback riding, you get to experience firsthand the beauty of the American West with your precious grandbabies, whether they are still a toddler or if they are older in their teenage years. The all-inclusive packages on a dude ranch will allow for a carefree week of enjoyment for grandma and grandpa. And there are plenty of things to do on the ranch for the grandchildren. Activities, accommodations and meals are all taken care of for the week, so everyone can focus on having a great vacation together. We’ve put together some reasons why  why dude ranches are the best vacations for grandparents and grandchildren along with some great examples of ranches that would fantastic destinations for a summer trip. 

 

Discover nature together

The wildflowers blooming, birds chirping and deer grazing in the fields are all apart of the vacation with the grandkids, just waiting to be discovered. All of the dude ranches in the Dude Ranchers’ Association are located in the middle of incredibly beautiful country. Take for example the Red Horse Mountain Ranch. It is a 560 acre ranch with 300,000 acres of public land to explore. Once you arrive at the ranch you will be fully immersed in the beautiful Idaho landscape. Get your camera ready! You’ll want to take pictures. 

For grandparents traveling with grandchildren an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation west is the perfect option for connecting with nature while spending quality time with each other. With many different activities, including horseback riding, you get to experience first hand the beauty of the American West with your precious grandbabies, whether they are still a toddler or if they are older in their teenage years.

Photo: Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Turn off the screens

How can the kids text, make phone calls or play on the internet when there’s very little connectivity? It’s not possible! They won’t be able to spend hours on their phone each day. You’ll really enjoy the face to face time at a dude ranch when all batteries die and there’s little point in carrying around a device. You’ll find at Crossed Sabres Ranch that staying off electronics comes very easily. There is no cell phone service or wifi! There’s a guest computer connected to the internet in the lodge for communal use or, you can teach the younger generation a thing or two about how to use a landline!

Crossed Sabres Dude Ranch Vacation for Grandparents Traveling with Grandchildren

Photo: Crossed Sabres Ranch

Splash around in the water 

Nothing says your on vacation like an afternoon by the water. Would you like to go fly fishing? Raft down the river? These are a couple of the options for grandparents and grandkids to do while on a dude ranch vacation at the Marble Mountain Ranch in Somes Bar, California. This destination is known for their rafting, fly fishing and horseback riding. 

Fishing at Marble Mountain Ranch

Photo: Marble Mountain Ranch

Ride out from the barn on horseback 

There’s a reason horseback riding is the central program on a dude ranch - children really love horses. There are specialized trail rides for everyone’s riding experience and desires. The folks at Geronimo Trail Ranch are experts at taking grandparents traveling with grandchildren on an adventure through the Gila National Forest and showing them 1,000 -yearold cliff dwellings. You’ll certainly join them in their enthusiasm while riding your own trusty steed. 

Even though riding is the best part of working with horses on a dude ranch vacation other fun activities with horses include brushing, tacking up, feeding - all very important activities for children who are in love with horses. Wranglers, (the cowboys and cowgirls at the ranch) are well equipped with the knowledge and resources to teach children about horses and the western lifestyle. You’ll find that the barn is where your grandchildren will want to spend the majority of their time. 

Geronimo Trail Ranch Grandparents Traveling with Grandchildren

Photo: Geronimo Trail Ranch

Stay in a cabin

Trips for grandparents and grandchildren require a relaxing place to unwind. That’s why at a dude ranch you’ll have the option to stay in a personal cabin for the week to unpack your things and get comfortable in your own space. At the Tumbling River Ranch this includes a personal fireplace and a great view. Western style accommodations means the cowboy look isn’t just in the button-up wrangler shirts and cowboy boots. All the bedding and furniture is inspired by the western lifestyle that you might like to have in your own home. 

Tumbling River Ranch Cabin Grandparents Traveling with Grandchildren

Photo: Tumbling River Ranch

Dine at the ranch with the family

A family vacation isn’t complete without fantastic dining opportunities. Dude ranches are known for very satisfied guests, even for picky eaters. Meals are thoughtfully prepared three times a day and served in a beautifully appointed dining room for your family gathering. At the Black Mountain Ranch you be delightfully surprised at the gourmet cuisine presented at each meal. And for the grandchildren there’s always a kid-friendly option that they can fill up on. Save room for desert! Everyone will love the sweets from the pastry chef. 

 

Allow for some adult time with a kids program

While spending time together is the main reason for the vacation, a little alone time might be enjoyable too. Dude ranches offer kids activities throughout the day with a supervised program that will be tons of fun your your grandchild, and also the other children at the ranch. This will give you time to slip away. At the Gros Ventre River Ranch that might be in a hammock on the lawn, soft chair by the fire or laze about by the river.  Take a moment to refresh, and when you come together you’ll only have that much more to talk about. 

 

Can’t you imagine your next trip with your grandchildren on a dude ranch vacation? There will be fun and excitement in the outdoors and the opportunity for relaxation. You’ll certainly never forget the memories you make at the ranch together on your multi-generational trip. Grandparents traveling know how important these special times are to have while the grandchildren are still in school and have the time to make memories together through a shared experience. 

 

Discover more Dude Ranches Grandparents will Love:

Multi-Generational Dude Ranches

Dude Ranch Family Reunions

Dude Ranches with Great Kids Programs

 

 

Gros Ventre River Ranch Grandparents Traveling with Grandchildren

Photo: Gros Ventre River Ranch 

 

 

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Why Moms Choose a Dude Ranch for a Great Family Vacation

Dude ranches make an incredibly memorable and enjoyable family vacation - for moms especially. With a sense of togetherness and shared experiences moms and the whole family are sure to love their time in the great outdoors, horseback riding and participating in a limitless number of outdoor adventures, such as hiking, fishing, white water rafting, cattle work, petting zoos, zip lining and more. Whether you’re an adventure loving mom (busy body) or a relaxation loving mom (spa and hanging out by the pool type), we’ve got you covered.  It is sure to be a blast for kids of all ages and we’re sure dads will have fun too, but here are the top reasons why moms love dude ranches for a family vacation. 

family vacation

Paradise Guest Ranch - Buffalo, WY

3 square meals are prepared daily (even for picky eaters)

Traveling moms understand the task of finding a restaurant everyone will enjoy while on the road. Who wants tacos for dinner? And you hear simultaneously, “I do!” and “No way!” and this process repeats itself until finally you order pizza and take it back to the hotel room. This just isn’t the case at a dude ranch. All the guess work is taken out of the equation and professional trained chefs make wonderful dinners for the whole family - even if someone has a special dietary need. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are all planned out for you. And the best part? Moms get to enjoy this with the whole family, not worrying one bit about clean up, grocery shopping, making sure there’s something on the menu the kids will eat. Once you let the kitchen know what you’ll need for the family, the entire week will be “all gravy,” if you will, at the dinner table. 

Chores are non-existent 

A ranch vacation goes far beyond booking a typical hotel or even staying at a vacation rental home. We all know what it would take to replace mom’s job while on vacation, an entire team of folks. And that’s just what we’ve got for you for your week stay. With a two to one guest to staff ratio moms won’t have to worry about cleaning up your cabin - a swat team of house keepers are deployed every morning, that will sweep through every room, tidying up every sock and pj’s from the day before. And what about the dishes? There won’t be any fighting over who’s turn it is. Mom certainly won’t have to do it and neither will the kids. And, not one time during the week will anyone have to vacuum dirt dragged in from the barn. If something breaks, no worries, maintenance crews are on staff with all the right tools. 

The activity planning is already done

Moms won’t have to worry about scouring the internet for things to do at your destination. Stop the hassle of worrying about TripAdvisor reviews of afternoon excursions for outdoor adventures. The ranch will have you and the whole family covered for fun things to do. The best thing about this? You won’t have to plan every step or every activity out for the week before hand. You and the family can decide in the morning what you want to do. There won’t be any need for additional transportation. Fly into the airport and someone from the ranch will be there to pick you up. There won’t be any need for a map or navigation - unless of course you go geocaching while you’re there. 

family vacation

Bar Lazy J Ranch - Parshall, CO

Everyone can be together or free to be with their own age group.  

Sometimes the adults want to have some time together, and kid’s counselors makes this easy and fun for everyone. With a full day of programing, your kids have the option to be with their peers all day playing games and learning about the Western cowboy lifestyle. And mom and dad can make some much needed memories as a couple. 

Cell phones are put away!  

Without cell service in most locations and limited WIFI, everyone in the family will be encouraged to leave their phones alone. When you think about it, if you are spending your days at the barn riding horses or fishing, your hands are full and won’t be able to carry around your cell phone. Minimal opportunities for electronics are definitely something any parent will love about dude ranches. 

Hello Fresh Air and Sunshine 

Moms will have an easy time getting kids outside. Dude ranches are known for their beautiful settings in the mountains. With every horseback ride or afternoon rodeo, kids and parents will get plenty of time in the great outdoors. The only thing to remember is your camera. Although the pictures won’t do justice of the real-life experiences, you’ll enjoy looking back on the pictures of your kids on green grass and mountain views. 

family vacation

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch - McLeod, MT 

Crowds? What crowds? 

Dude ranches are full of wide-open spaces and an intimate number of people. Moms won’t have to worry about anyone getting lost in the crowd, or have to wait in long lines to do anything, really. With an average of 30 guests per week on most dude ranches, everybody will get to meet each other, the staff and other guests alike. By the end of the week everyone in the family is sure to have made a new friend.  Who knows? You might even book the exact same week next year to hang out with the same families.  

Moms will certainly be able to enjoy a much-needed vacation on a dude ranch. As a worry-free destination everyone will get to have fun and get to take a break from the normal day-to-day routines. Here are some great destinations to consider for your next visit. 

 

Family Vacation at a Dude Ranch 

7D Ranch Near Yellowstone National Park, Cody, Wyoming

Bar Lazy J Ranch Near Rocky Mountain National Park

Majestic Dude Ranch Mancos, Colorado

Tumbling River Ranch In the Rocky Mountains, Grant, Colorado 

Crossed Sabres Ranch Near Yellowstone National Park, Cody, WY

Elkhorn Ranch Near Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin Gateway, MT

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch Near Yellowstone National Park, McLeod, MT

Paradise Guest Ranch In the Big Horn Mountains, Buffalo, WY

 

Looking for more options? Read about: 

Affordable Ranch Vacations for your Family  
A Family Dude Ranch Vacation - Fun for All Ages  
The Best Multi Generational Dude Ranches 

 

Save this Pin for Later! 

ude ranches make an incredibly memorable and enjoyable family vacation - for moms especially. With a sense of togetherness and shared experiences moms and the whole family are sure to love their time in the great outdoors. Read about all the reasons moms choose dude ranch vacations for a great family vacation.

Horseback Riding Vacations

The Dude Ranchers’ Association recommends the best horseback riding vacations in North America. At one of these carefully selected dude and guest ranches groups will experience equestrian activities and all sorts of outdoor adventures on a short stay of three or four nights, or a full week immersed in a Western trail riding destination. Guests have everything provided for them on all-inclusive stays including lodging, dining and activities. With lodges and cabins preserved and restored from when they were built many decades ago, guests experience riding horses in a uniquely Western environment. It’s no wonder dude ranch vacations have been popular since the early 1900’s! 

At these ranches guests have a horse personally selected for each person’s riding ability and personality. Because horseback riding is a daily or twice daily activity there is an opportunity to get to know the horse on hundreds, if not thousands of acres of trails in the mountains and plains of the slimly populated West. And after guests climb out of the saddle there’s always plenty of options like relaxing by the pool, fly fishing on private lakes and streams, hiking to scenic vistas or rocking their cares away on the porch in a classic rocking chair. 

Here are some of the best riding ranches for your next vacation. 

 

Crossed Sabres Ranch, Cody, Wyoming

All Day Rides on 2.2 Million Acres

For guests looking to cover some ground, the charming Crossed Sabres Ranch is one of the oldest dude ranches in the country located outside of Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. This is a family run operation that specializes in custom horseback riding for individuals or groups of up to 30 people. Knowledgeable wranglers take guests out on well trained and trustworthy horses whether they have no experience or years of experience on horses. Each horse is paired specifically for each guest to match not only personality, but also riding ability. The ranch offers lessons for those looking to get individual instruction on riding in a comfortable arena environment. There are short morning and afternoon rides or all-day rides into the Shoshone National Forest’s 2.2 million acres for guests to enjoy truly spectacular scenery. 

Horseback Riding

 

Medicine Bow Lodge, Saratoga, Wyoming

Overnight pack trip in the Medicine Bow National Forest

High up in the Snowy Range of the Rocky Mountains the Medicine Bow Lodge Adventure Guest Ranch offers just what their name implies - adventure. With a very diverse riding program each guest can determine what kind of adventure they would like to have. First time riders will become more and more confident on each ride at their own pace with a personal wrangler. With this instruction and getting to know their trusty steed, the horses will earn the trust of newbie riders throughout the week. Guests who have experience can ride out on fast rides, loping and trotting their way through the mountains of Wyoming. The ranch offers all day rides and even an overnight pack trip in the hills. Kids of all ages have something to do at the ranch as well. Kids 5 and under will be led around the ranch and taught about horse care and ages 6 and up can head out on the trail. Here families can literally ride off into the sunset on the appropriately named Sunset Ride

Horseback Riding

 

Focus Ranch, Slater, Wyoming

Move 1,300 head of yearling cattle 

On the border of Wyoming and Colorado the Focus Ranch is a working cattle ranch, inviting guests to embrace the authenticity of ranch life on their vacation. At this ranch, “cowboy” is both a noun and a verb. Riding here entails managing the health and grazing patterns of the heart and soul of the ranch - cattle. The ranch can adjust the length and speed of rides to accommodate a wide variety of riders, and the work that needs to be done varies throughout the summer. One of their most exciting endeavors for guests is to move the entire herd of 1,300 yearling cattle from one pasture to the next within three days! This happens several times throughout the season. Sometimes, guests enjoy it so much they might hire on to work at the Focus Ranch! 

Horseback Riding

 

Badger Creek Ranch, Canon City, Colorado

Natural Horsemanship is a photographer’s dream

Badger Creek Ranch is located in an area rich in natural beauty and history. This area has been well traversed by the Ute Indians, Spanish Conquistadors, pioneers, miners and cowboys of the old West, but is now occupied by a relatively small number of people. Photographers enjoy secluded trails in the mountains and meadows of Colorado. As a working cattle ranch the guests are also offered a chance to ride out with the cowboy crew to check fence, doctor and sort cattle. Before heading out, guests start their relationship with their horse with ground work following the feel of natural horsemanship and continue in the saddle in a location that can only be described as a photographer’s dream. 

Horseback Riding

 

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch, Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Ranch bred, raised and trained Appaloosas

The Nine Quarter Circle Ranch is not only a premier family destination with luxury log cabins, activities for all ages and very delicious meals, but also an unforgettable horseback riding destination. The ranch boasts a herd of 120 Appaloosa horses that were born and will live their whole lives on the ranch. This is an uncommon feature of a dude ranch to know all the history of every one of their horses. Their select breeding program is a reflection of the Appaloosa breed, chosen for their stamina, sweet temperament and suitability to mountain riding. Every spring a new crop of foals are born on the ranch, and guests enjoy watching the brand-new foals jump and play around the ranch. These horses will eventually be trained and added to their remuda of trail riding horses. 

Horseback Riding

 

Want to know more about a particular type of dude ranch? Take a look at the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s Working Cattle Ranches, Luxury Resort Ranches and Family Style Ranches here

 

Save this pin for later!

The Dude Ranchers’ Association recommends the best horseback riding vacations in North America. At one of these carefully selected dude and guest ranches groups will experience equestrian activities and all sorts of outdoor adventures on a short stay of three or four nights, or a full week immersed in a Western trail riding destination. Guests have everything provided for them on all-inclusive stays including lodging, dining and activities.

Wyoming Family Reunions at a Dude Ranch

Wyoming has a lot to offer for a family reunion, especially at a member dude or guest ranch of the Dude Ranchers' Association. With two world famous national parks, mountain ranges with panoramic vistas and every type of outdoor activity, Wyoming epitomizes the Western adventure vacation. On a dude ranch family reunion you can experience all this in a schedule (or lack thereof) for all ages of your family. From groups of 10 - 100 we have you covered with an all-inclusive, all planned vacation. Take a look at the ranches below for some of the best Western family reunion experiences in Wyoming. For an extensive list in a variety of states we have you covered as well. 

 

Wyoming Dude Ranch Family Reunions

 

Flat Creek Ranch Dude Ranch Family Reunion in Wyoming

A Truly Unique Family Reunion Location

 

Flat Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Capacity: 14

Dates open: May 26 - October 2

Getting to Flat Creek will be the first adventure. If you are looking to get off the beaten path, Flat Creek Ranch will take you across the National Elk Refuge on a 15 mile spectacluar drive. You can rent the whole ranch for an unforgettable trip. Work with the ranch to plan your group activities - horseback riding, hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, or working on puzzles beside a fire. Find quiet moments reading in a cozy nook, or during a relaxing steep in our creek side sauna. Convene over dinner and share the adventures of the day. Finish the evening with games, a campfire and a stroll town to the barn to give the horses a snack before bed. 

 

The Hideout Lodge Guest Ranch Dude Ranch Family Reunion in Wyoming

 

An Upscale Working Cattle Ranch

The Hideout Lodge in Shell, Wyoming

Capacity: 25

Dates Open: April 2 - November 11

The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch is an all-inclusive upscale working cattle, riding, fly-fishing and adventure guest ranch east of Cody and Yellowstone National Park. In addition to riding, working cattle and fly-fishing, an array of non-riding activities and adventures such as trapshooting, archery, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, and 4x4 tours are offered. A one to one staff to guest ratio, and the owners and management actively involved assures a great guest experience like no other. The Hideout is committed to the highest standards of culinary experiences, lodging, staff, horses and personal, almost customized attention for your dude ranch family reunion. The ranch is very multi-cultural and diverse.

 

Crossed Sabres  Dude Ranch Family Reunion in Wyoming

 

Guided Trip into Yellowstone National Park 

Crossed Sabres Ranch in Cody, Wyoming

Capacity: 30

Dates Open: May 28 - September 9

The Crossed Sabres Ranch is a family run operation that specializes in creating custom vacations for your dude ranch family reunion. With the ranch located a short eight miles from the East Entrance to Yellowstone, the ability to experience one of the world’s most dramatic national parks lies at your finger tips. On Tuesday of every week you can sit back and enjoy a guided van-tour of Yellowstone’s most iconic landmarks. During the rest of the week you can enjoy the traditional western hospitality of a family dude ranch.

 

 

Lazy L&B   Dude Ranch Family Reunion in Wyoming

Horseback Riding Program Known for Quality, Range and Scope

Lazy L&B Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming

Capacity: 35

Dates Open: June 4 - September 9

At the heart of the Lazy L&B Ranch is the horseback riding experience for ages 6 and older. With a team of experienced wranglers every member of your family, from grandparents to grandchildren, will be matched carefully with a horse for the week. With flexible rides you can ride out on an advanced all-day ride or a short jaunt around the property. The relaxed pace of the ranch gives families a chance to catch up and hang out without the distractions and worries of everyday life. Plus all the horseback riding and activities you could possible want.  

 

A Bar A Trail  Dude Ranch Family Reunion in Wyoming

 

One of the Largest Guest Ranches to Host 100 People and Ride on 100,000 Acres

A Bar A Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming

Capacity: 100

Dates Open: June 3 - Sept 20

One of the best things about a vacation at the A Bar A is the variety of activities available for multiple generations. The biggest challenge is how to fit it all in! The ranch offers a children’s program, horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, shooting sports, tennis, golf, swimming, massages, fine dining and entertainment for your dude ranch family reunion. Historic cabins and lodges are each unique, and fit a variety of family sizes. The Round Room, a 1920s historic lodge designed by Thomas Molsworth, provides a gathering area and bar for socializing before and after dinner. 

 

 

Dude Ranch Family Reunion in Wyoming - Pin this for Later!

Wyoming has a lot to offer for a family reunion, especially at a member dude or guest ranch of the Dude Ranchers' Association. With two world famous national parks, mountain ranges with panoramic vistas and every type of outdoor activity, Wyoming epitomizes the Western adventure vacation. On a dude ranch family reunion you can experience all this in a schedule (or lack thereof) for all ages of your family.

Down at the Ranch

In an age of digital overload, polarized politics, and the overwhelming rush of modern life, there are dude ranch vacations to recharge, rejuvenate, reconnect and embrace a more simple time. There’s a dude ranch waiting for you out there, and more than likely it’s close to a national park if you want the best of both worlds (ranch and park worlds, that is). Whether it’s the high mountain range or vast desert valleys, grab your boots and hat and spend the morning in the saddle, the afternoon with a drink by the pool, and a quiet evening of reflection in front of a raging fire. You’ll be tired, but it’s a good tired, by the time the sun sets behind the wild hills.

These are all-inclusive vacations, from small outfits to large spreads, with plenty to do: hiking, fishing, swimming, white-water rafting, rodeos, western dances, and even campfire sing-a-longs. And of course, there’s boots and saddles, riding the range and lariats. And for the kids, it’s a chance to become a cowpoke, explore the ranches, play games, and make new friends. It’s the perfect cure for the modern world. While finding the right ranch might sound onerous, it doesn’t have to be if you rely on the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s members. Formed in 1926, the DRA ensures that guests are treated right, with lodging and service at the highest standards. The DRA’s six foundations for members are, “Horses, Hats, Hospitality - Heritage, Honesty and Heart.” It’s the perfect getaway, and as comfortable as a well-worn pair of pointy boots.

 

Geronimo Trail Ranch

New Mexico at the Geronimo Trail Ranch

You could head south to the Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch in Winston, New Mexico, in the Black Range Mountains. The sun provides the electricity and cell service is an hour’s drive away. It’s untouched country with high meadows, archaeological sites, and you’ll see it all from the backs of gentle horses. You’ll eat well after a day in the saddle with ranch-style cooking and outdoor barbecues, and the skies are not cloudy all day. With only four guest cabins, it’s intimate and you’ll become part of the family and ranch-life.

Tanque Verde Ranch

Arizona's Tanque Verde Ranch

One state to the west, in Arizona, spend time at one of America’s oldest ranches, the Tanque Verde Ranch near Tucson.  Located in the Rincon Mountains, it has a rich history of Native American and Spanish civilizations. Settled in 1868, the ranch has been offering an oasis for families since 1957. There are more than 150 horses to choose from, but it’s not all work in the saddle, as guests can enjoy the tennis courts and a swimming pool after a relaxing ride. And Saguaro National Park is right next door. At day’s end, dust off your chaps, kick back and watch an Arizona sunset stretch across the sky.

California's Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch

California's Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch

Out in Quincy, California, the Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch will treat you right. Just an hour from the Reno airport, it’s a Western paradise, with the nearby Feather River and high peaks are yours to explore. Along with the requisite horseback riding, you can swim, hike, mountain bike, and just take a break in this tranquil setting. It’s pure magic.

Colorado's Rainbow Trout Ranch

Colorado's Rainbow Trout Ranch

In southern Colorado, the Rainbow Trout Ranch has trophy fly-fishing, legendary trail riding, and down-home hospitality. Spend the day in the saddle, land a lunker, or just take in the beauty. Nestled at 9,000 feet along the Conejos River, guests can ride the historic Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad as well.

Lazy L&B Ranch

Wyoming's Lazy L&B Ranch

As the weather warms to the north, check out the Lazy L&B Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Known for its cowboy culture and snowy peaks, relax in these well-furnished log cabins with their Western flair, and private baths. There’s an outdoor sitting area to just gaze at the Wind River and Absaroka mountain ranges, and you can swim in the heated pool after a trail ride, or just dive into the river. You’ll work up a thirst and hunger for the hearty meals. This is a family operation, and you’ll feel so welcome, it’ll be difficult to head back to the “real world.”

Wyoming's Crossed Sabres Ranch

Over the mountains to the north, the Crossed Sabres Ranch in Cody has been hosting visitors since 1898. Just eight miles from Yellowstone National Park’s east entrance, Crossed Sabres is smack dab in the middle of some of the wildest, most pristine mountains in the world. Along the North Fork of the Shoshone River the fishing is superb for the wily Yellowstone cutthroat trout. And you’ll have the chance to watch moose, elk, and deer graze the creeks and hillsides, and even see an occasional bear along the ridges. There’s a large, comfortable lodge, 19 cabins, and even a saloon where you can practice your best John Wayne imitation. It’s a great place for families, as the kids hold reins instead of electronic devices. Head to Cody for the nightly rodeo after a day of white water rafting, or a long trail ride, and you may just fantasize about riding a bucking bronc.

Wyoming's The Hideout Lodge Dude Ranch Vacations

Wyoming's The Hideout Lodge

Across the Bighorn Mountains, in Shell, Wyoming, the Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch is an upscale, working cattle ranch, where adventure is on the schedule. It’s a 650,000-acre adventure paradise. Learn horsemanship from the experts, and become the rider you’ve always wanted to be. Bond with your mount as you head up the trail to the high country for a view from the top of the peaks. You can take a turn working the stock, and then take a turn with trapshooting, archery, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, and even 4x4 tours. Limited to just 25 guests per week, there are visitors from around the world looking for just such an authentic experience. Its high-end culinary offerings will entice and astound you.

Bar W Ranch

Montana's Bar W Ranch

In Montana take a trip to the Bar W Ranch in Whitefish. Snow-capped peaks surround you, and you’ll gallop across lush, green meadows. You’ll have 3,000 acres to ride and hike, not far from Glacier National Park. Stay in these comfortable lodges with all of the modern amenities, and an elegant western flair. It’ll take you back to this country’s roots and the beauty of nature is all around you. So bring your boots (smooth-soled, of course, to get in and out of stirrups), and let loose your inner cowboy or cowgirl at one of America’s premiere dude ranches. It’ll change your perspective, and maybe even your life.


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Yellowstone Dude Ranch Vacation

Yellowstone Entrance Sign

Yellowstone is proud to be the nations first National Park founded in 1872. This was even before Montana, Wyoming and Idaho were granted statehood. President Teddy Roosevelt legally protected this rich, 2.2 million acres of mountains, wildlife and famous geological monuments. This is a place for seeking adventure and exploration that's truly a living American history. In your travels to Yellowstone National Park consider staying at a historical dude ranch, with an industry heritage starting in the early 1900's. 

Dude rancher's were authentic western settlers of the west and operate today to share the charismatic personality of the 'true' West. Who would want to stay in a regular hotel on their way to Yellowstone anyway? At one of these nationally accredited dude ranches you can experience your own personal Western views on horseback while staying at a ranch full of adventurous activities.

Yellowstone Old Faithful

North Entrance

At the North entrance of Yellowstone you can participate in herding cattle over the Gallatin Mountains at Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch.  Here you can enjoy remarkable views of Paradise Valley and the Yellowstone River. Their approach is both upscale and personal with a small capacity of only 12 guests. They are open June 15th - September 30th and are only 25 minutes from the park.

South Entrance

If you are going to make a be line into the park to see the famous Old Faithful Gyser head up through the South Entrance with the Moose Head Ranch.   They offer a guided tour of the Southern Loop of Yellowstone.  You will see waterfalls, hot pots, mud volcanoes, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and, of course, Old Faithful.  They offer  summer and winter packages and with a capacity of 45 they can host your larger family and corporate groups.

Yellowstone Elk

East Entrance 

Crossed Sabres Ranch is not only 8 short miles from the East Entrance, but also in part of the 2 million acres of the Shoshone National Forest.  During the summer season this ranch will show you some wild and western wilderness. Along with their outstanding horseback riding they offer impressive fishing with Orvis gear on 40 miles of the Shoshone River, white water rafting and dynamic hiking. Billings International Airport is one of many airports used by Yellowstone explorers. Here it is easy to rent a car and head towards the Northeastern Entrance.

The 7D Ranch is off the beaten path between the two. This ranch is the perfect way to connect with family and nature. As a family ranch, your kids will have a blast here experiencing the Western way of life with children's counselors and a wide variety of activities. 

West Entrance 

There are three great dude ranches that are about 40 miles from the West Entrance to Yellowstone that are outstanding dude ranches. Take a look at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch, Elkhorn Ranch and the Covered Wagon Ranch

Find more DRA ranches near Yellowstone National Park here.      

 

 

Pin this for later

In your travels to Yellowstone National Park consider staying at a historical dude ranch, with an industry heritage starting in the early 1900's. Dude rancher's were authentic western settlers of the west and operate today to share the charismatic personality of the 'true' West. Who would want to stay in a regular hotel on their way to Yellowstone anyway?

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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