Unplug and Reconnect with Family, Friends and Nature at these dude ranches!

This year’s buzzwords of mindfulness, disconnect and nature / forest therapy are helping raise awareness of the dependence on screen time and social media. However, does that mean anyone is doing anything about it, especially on a vacation? Dude ranch stays have been implementing these beliefs since their inception—obviously ahead of the trend and technology. How do they do it? Easily. With no cell phone reception on trails, or in many ranch buildings, connecting with the outside world can be easily sidetracked when simply not available. Forget cable television or trying to stream a movie off a ranch generator, some places turn that option off at 9 pm. Time to look at the stars (not Hollywood) or possibly, a ranch book. Fear not, there is never a safety risk by being disconnected from phone and iPad. There is always a landline for use and radios throughout all dude ranches, but you won’t need them, only to order up supper or to have the hot tub turned up. Disconnecting without the anxiety of outcome eases the strain of taking technology out of travel. Why do you need this form of nature therapy?  Simply put, it is good for the soul!

Dude Ranchers' Association Dude Ranches

 

Badger Creek Ranch, Colorado 

This is one of the most remote ranches in Colorado. A rental car from Denver or Colorado Springs Airport is the easiest transportation. Located in the Badger Creek Basin with barely a tree on the property is a working cattle ranch that has the DRA’s lowest guest count capacity. Maxing out at eight guests, preferably seven, the ranch provides a slice of the Wild West that is authentic and isolated, yet community-oriented. 

Guests can receive cell service in the main ranch house where meals are served and song commences in the evening. Once you leave the quarters, it’s signal silence. At 9,000 feet, you won’t need your cell phone, just the trusty guidance and leads of the two couples that co-own this rarity. 

After an epic cattle drive in the Colorado sun, sneak off to the secret river a stone’s throw from the ranch, loaded with trout, waterfalls (in average to good run-off years) and incredible stream activity. There is also a buffalo jump where Native Americans chased the herds over the edge to trap, consume and utilize their precious materials. They certainly made it work with no cell phones, so you will have no challenge. 

At night, enjoy the stars, song, hot tub and home cooking. You will be so exhausted you won’t even be able to keep your light on to read a magazine or finish a cookie. Disconnected and exhausted makes for a true night’s sleep.

dude ranches

Badger Creek Ranch - Canyon City, CO.

Rancho de la Osa, Arizona

This place is remote; it’s barely in America. Rancho de la Osa is a 20-minute horseback ride to the border of Arizona and Mexico, the country. Even with all of the talk about “the wall” most people don’t realize that you can’t really talk by the wall, meaning, no cell phone reception. Take a ride out to the border and test it for yourself, you can take great selfies and landscape shots, but don’t bet on any connection to send those photos until you return home.

Upon returning to the ranch after a ride to remoteness you will be comforted in original adobe/southwest buildings, including the main house that in 1916 Pancho Villa raided and attempted to overtake, a cannon ball from the attack is embedded in the adobe wall of the Hacienda, which is on display today. The walls to these buildings are thick, don’t expect noise, or cell phone bands to get through the barricades. 

Well, one exception to this rule. In the office of the main adobe there is continuous WiFi for guests and a landline to use. However, you’ll be too busy exploring the obscurity and rarity of this nearly 600-acre ranch bordering 120,000 acres of the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge that you won’t have much time but to grab a picture and move along. Surely you can rest your feet by the heated outdoor pool, but you’ll be preoccupied on a horse, on guided off-road tours to ruins and other Southwest natural landmarks, cruising through the desert on a fat electric bike, sport shooting, hiking, bird spotting and more. 

Elk Mountain Ranch, Colorado

Located at the highest elevation of any dude ranch in the state is Elk Mountain Ranch in Buena Vista. At 9,600 feet, any sort of play will be more strenuous and tiring, making texting and typing a bit more challenging. Come evening as the generators for the ranch are switched to off, don’t expect anything but stars, silence and sound sleeping as no electricity or cellar range is coming anywhere near your cabin or lodge room.

Elk Mountain Ranch has alternative plans for keeping you occupied. They’ve got the daily horse program and children’s program, but come time to get out of the saddle, there is also a rec room with a pool table, foosball, air hockey, board games, a library and there’s an outdoor volleyball and basketball court. Not enough activities to wear you out, there’s more. Campfires, s’mores, hayrides, hiking, white water rafting, hot springs visits, rodeos and more.

“We have adults that started coming for the September season a decade ago and now come back each year with folks they met during the adults-only week where they unplugged. It gives people the communality of shared experiences and conversing when the day is done that drives the friendships,” explains Tom Murphy, co-owner of the ranch.

dude ranches

Elk Mountain Ranch - Buena Vista, CO.

Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, Wyoming 

Most people have never heard of Lander, Wyoming it’s fathomable because it’s located in the least populated state in the nation and the town of Lander has a population of less than 8,000 residents. However, the town has food, entertainment and cell phone coverage. Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch on the other hand, is far from society and offers different amenities for the traveler. It’s the highest altitude ranch in Wyoming at 9,300 feet and truly the most remote. 

The maximum guest capacity remains at eight, and for good reason, this place is still a bit secretive after many decades, and it’s not from lack of beloved guests. It’s the extra journey to get to the disconnect. The ranch is nestled into Dickinson Park. Riders and visitors have range of 100,000 acres to roam, and so do cell phones. They roam once they leave ranch property. 

Specialty weeks such as Wyoming hunting, youth camp adventure and guided pack trips will take you even further into the rugged Popo Agie Wilderness area that borders the ranch where guests are unplugged from technology and completely in awe of the mountain lakes formed from glacier and pristine forests that follow visitors to their log cabin porches nightly. 

The ranch only has four guest cabins, well-kept and stocked for a Wild West adventure. This is a family owned and operated ranch, meals are served family style, so no cell phone coverage bodes well with this format as it would be rude to text under the table. The Allen family is not disconnected from traveler needs, rather trendsetting for sublime solitude.  

It’s this uniqueness and unplugged nature that has guests from England, Texas, California and more returning to the respite and reprieve of modern technology. Forget television, you’ve got catching up to do with old friends. 

Creek Ranch, New Mexico

There’s something about a boutique ranch that truly invites disconnection. Creek Ranch in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, has a maximum guest capacity of 12, and feels and operates much more like a working ranch than a Club Med on horseback. The 8,200 acres of desert arroyos, canyons, tumbleweeds, flora and fauna are stunning, but it’s the authentic location and purpose of the operation that put you out of touch with instant satisfaction of technology and enjoyment of journey and teamwork. 

The most popular activity is obviously horseback, not spa, theatre or video games. Actually, there is no television! You can watch items on your own devices in the main house if need be where you can receive WiFi, but forget accessing anything else once you leave the main gathering spot, that includes your email, text message and other modern-era communication methods; it’s all about the disconnect.

Instead, you’ll be roping steers, cattle sorting and traversing desert terrain on your trusty steed. When not riding you can, fish the nearby Pecos River or relax at the ranch located on the Carrizo Creek bed. The hot tub is always warm and the New Mexico stars come nightfall are some of the most impressive in the nation, you won’t need to check in on the Hollywood ones. 

Accommodations are authentic southwestern with comfy beds, remodeled bathrooms, serious attention to detail in each guest room and air conditioning, critical in the desert. All food is provided, you won’t go hungry wandering through the desert, but you will go unplugged. 

dude ranches

Creek Ranch - Santa Rosa, NM.

Cherokee Park Ranch, Colorado

Cherokee Park Ranch is located in Livermore, Colorado, not too far from major towns such as Fort Collins or even Denver. Don’t worry, it gets visitors off the grid quickly with loss of cell phone reception once you drive the dirt road to a late 1880’s stagecoach stop between Fort Collins, Colorado, and Laramie, Wyoming. Now, it’s one of the most family-friendly and awarded ranches in Colorado. However, don’t plan on using your cell phone. There is no reception within two miles of the ranch, unless you mount up on horseback and go for a ride with vista spots that also provide cell phone access. But, no need. Be mindful if you need to make a phone call. There’s an old-fashioned hand-held telephone to be used by anyone on the ranch. Selfies from modern day phones seem to capture this moment quite often! 

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You may feel like you need to be connected to your electronic devices, but you don't! See why dude ranches are the perfect

The Most Interesting Things You Can do During a Trip to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural monuments that attract tourists to Arizona from all over the world. If you haven’t seen the Grand Canyon, you should definitely do it. The best part is that there are great things you can do while at the location, not just witness the natural beauty of the landscape. So, you can spend several days in the area and make the most of your trip. Where can you find outstanding accommodations that are in theme with your outdoor adventure? There are several dude and guest ranches that can offer an unforgettable Arizona ranch vacation while getting the most out of your visit to the Grand Canyon.

Why choose dude ranches for your stay in the proximity of the Canyon? One of the best reasons to make such a choice is the fact that the Dude Ranchers’ Association selects only the best dude ranches to become their members, so you will always enjoy top services and conditions at these ranches. Also, you will have the chance to find gorgeous historic ranches that still preserve their old charm while offering exceptional accommodation options. In case you think that summer is the best season to visit the ranches and the stunning landscape around them, think twice, as winter may represent a much better choice. In winter, there are fewer visitors and you will actually be able to relax, not to mention that the surrounding mountains will offer mind-blowing views when their peaks will be covered in snow. But we will talk about dude ranches later on in this article. For now, let us focus on the most interesting things you can do during a trip at the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon

Don’t be intimidated by the name of this activity, as it doesn’t involve jumping out of a plane or paragliding. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is actually a walkway made out of glass and built at an impressive height above the canyon. So, when you walk around it, you will enjoy some of the most breathtaking views. It does feel like you are floating above the canyon, allowing you to see its grandiose character and realize just how massive the canyon is. This particular tour will give you the chance to enjoy the most spectacular parts of the Grand Canyon with minimum effort and in a relatively short period of time.

The North Rim 

Grand Canyon

The “other side” of the Grand Canyon, known officially as the North Rim, is gorgeous and not as visited as other parts of the Canyon. So, if you want to explore the magnificent landscape, enjoy great restaurants, and have unforgettable experiences without having to face large crowds of visitors, the North Rim is exactly what you need. Located at an elevation of 8,000 feet, it offers gorgeous views over the canyon. Still, if you plan to visit the North Rim, it is worth considering that the area is available only in the period ranging between the 15th of May and 15th of October. So, this part is closed for the winter, as the temperature and weather here are slightly worse here, due to the orientation of this area. But, during the warm season, it is one of the best parts you can enjoy if you are looking to enjoy a more peaceful vacation.

Helicopter Tours 

Grand Canyon

Enjoying a helicopter tour is the fastest, most exciting, and spectacular way to see the Grand Canyon. It is hard to tell just how large and intricate the Canyon is until you actually get up in the sky and explore it from up above. A helicopter tour will give you the chance to get a panoramic view of the Canyon, something that not very many people can see during regular visiting tours. So, if you really want to spoil yourself and someone you love, and create memories you will never forget, schedule a helicopter tour around the canyon. There are special tours that will show you the best sides of this natural monument that won’t resemble any other experience you will have while enjoying your vacation in the area.

Whitewater Rafting in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

You plan on doing something more adventurous on your vacation? Well, the Grand Canyon has something to offer to each type of tourist. So, besides relaxing walks and enjoying the scenery, you can easily opt for white water rafting as well. If the helicopter will allow you to see the Canyon from up above, white water rafting will take you down under, gliding between the tall walls of the canyon. Don’t worry if you’ve never done such a thing, as this activity is very well organized and you will be completely safe. The worst thing that can happen to you is to get splashed by water during your ride on the river. So, since you already took the trip down here, it is worth making the most of everything the Grand Canyon has to offer.

 

Also, with the help of dude ranches, you will definitely have anything but a boring vacation. You can enjoy more than just the activities available at the Grand Canyon, as these ranches in Arizona offers a wide range of options when it comes to having fun in the outdoors. It is worth mentioning that the Dude Ranchers’ Association is dedicated to offering unique experiences to all of the guests that pass the threshold of the ranches belonging to the association. The concept manages to entwine top-notch hospitality services with cattle farming, horseback riding, and reconnecting with nature in very many ways. It is really possible to see and explore the wilderness while enjoying accommodations, food, and entertainment at the highest standards. The ranches may have a rustic appearance and preserve a lot of the traditions connected to old ranches, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have what it takes to answer to your requirements. Just check out these dude ranches belonging to the Dude Ranchers’ Association and you will understand that high-quality standards are a must and will be respected at all times.

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Email: vacation@stgr.com

Phone: +1 866-444-4471 +1 928-727-8270

Location: Yucca, Arizona

Closest Airport: Las Vegas

Kay El Bar Ranch

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email: info@kayelbar.com

Phone: +1 928-684-7593

Location: Wickenburg, Arizona

Closest Airport: Phoenix

Rancho de los Caballeros

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email: info@sunc.com

Phone: +1 800-684-5030 +1 928-684-5484

Location: Wickenburg, Arizona

Closest Airport: Phoenix

White Stallion Ranch

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email: info@whitestallion.com

Phone: +1 888-977-2624 +1 520-297-0252

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Closest Airport: Tucson

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Why choose dude ranches for your stay in the Grand Canyon area? The DRA selects only the best ranches as members, you will enjoy top services & conditions.

 

Blog written by: Olivier Templar-James

http://www.luxurytravelersguide.com/

The Retiring [Dude] Rancher

Dick Elder, former owner of the Colorado Trails Ranch and Dude Ranch Hall of Fame Inductee wrote many poems about life as a dude rancher: He shared one at the annual convention this year and we would like to share it with you. Please comment below on this page on what dude ranching means to you.

Dick Elder Author of

Dick Elder in his element, Photo courtesy of Dick Elder

The Retiring Rancher

by Dick Elder © 1996

Sold my ranch out in the county,

And we moved down in to town.

Lost a thousand feet of elevation,

A thousand acres of grazing ground.

 

Thought I’d like to take it easy,

Drink coffee at Bob’s Café,

With all my rancher cronies,

To pass the time of day.

 

They’s a bunch of ‘em retired,

They’re in the same kind a fix.

I used to see them sittin’there,

Swappin’ lies and whittlin’ sticks.

 

And as I rode on by ‘em,

I’d give a little wave,

I kinda, well, sort of envied ‘em

Ole Monte, Lyle and Dave.

 

They didn’t have to get up early,

In the rain or wind and snow,

They didn’t need to get up at all,

‘Cause they had no place to go.

 

I seen the sadness in their eyes,

They didn’t laugh much like they use ta,

I reckon they felt kind a useless.

Now I’m thinking, that’s the way I do.

 

I didn’t think I’d miss ‘em,

Those mamas and their babies,

Draggin’ yearlings to the fire,

Was hard work, I don’t mean maybe.

 

But riding out early mornings,

During the round up in the fall,

Well, it gets underneath your skin

Singing that old cattle call.

 

Got a cuttin’ horse to beneath you,

Sorting brands there in the pens.

You’d like to have it last forever,

But you know it’s gotta end.

 

Your bones they get to aching,

Your back is one big pain,

You can hardly fork your pony

You hate gathering in the rain.

 

And you know it’s darn near over,

Makes you feel so sad and blue,

The things that you enjoy the most,

You can no longer do.

 

So although you hate t’do it,

You sell out with an auctioneer,

Watch your mother cows load in a pot,

The hammer falls on your old John Deere.

 

The dump rake your daddy used,

Sells as a genuine antique.

The junk collected over fifty years,

Just disappears, so to speak.

 

When the dust has settled,

And the folks have gone away,

You and the Mrs. stand and stare,

Neither one has much to say.

 

Now I’m counting up my money,

From the auction and the land,

Trying to figure out what happened,

Wondering, where the hell I stand.

 

I always know’d where I was goin’

Now, don’t know what lies ahead.

Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow,

Maybe, I’ll wake up dead.

 

Don’t have my ole mare to ride on,

Don’t feel the sunshine on my face.

What I have is a sack full of money,

What I don’t have...is my place.

 


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