Grand Teton National Park Vacations

If you have never had the chance to experience the beauty and serenity of Grand Teton National Park, you should probably add it to your bucket list. Comprising one side of the Snake River Valley is the Teton Mountain Range, the hasty vertical rise of the peaks and the jagged edges of the mountains stand out greatly against Wyoming’s big blue skies. Explore the sage-covered valley, glacial lakes and see many different types of wildlife either by vehicle or by foot. There is always another option of how to enjoy Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area as well, from the back of a horse! Grand Teton National Park vacations allow for great family or solo traveler fun! 

There are 9 different dude ranches all within an hour drive of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and they are all members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association. Many of these ranches have the ability to take horseback rides in close neighboring areas of the park.  Some of these ranches are even allowed to take guests into the actual park boundaries on rides.  Continue reading to find out more about these dude ranches located in close proximity to Grand Teton National Park and how they might just be the next perfect vacation destination.

Grand Teton National Park Vacations 

 

Gros Ventre River Ranch

Located only 12 miles from the entrance into Grand Teton National Park is the Gros Ventre River Ranch, an adventure ranch waiting for you and your family! Enjoy all of the activities that the ranch has to offer as well as the surrounding area of Jackson Hole. You may want to take a few days before or after your ranch stay to explore the national parks. Yellowstone National Park is just to the north of Grand Teton and is easy to access if you are already going through Grand Teton. At Gros Ventre River Ranch you can embark on a rejuvenating vacation while connecting with nature and family in so many aspects. There is wildlife all around the ranch and you can even head into Jackson Hole for some touristy fun if you are up for it. No matter what you want your Grand Teton National Park vacations to entail, complete relaxation or total adventure, Gros Ventre is a great ranch to consider.

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

R Lazy S Ranch

Located at the base of the Teton mountains and at the southern boundary of Grand Teton National Park lies the R Lazy S Ranch. With spectacular views of the entire mountain range and Snake River Valley, you will not be disappointed with the scenery. The majority of the horseback rides and fly-fishing trips available at the ranch are taken into the park boundaries; you will ride along canyons, lakes, streams and open meadows; the fishing in the park is quite impressive as well. There are high chances of seeing numerous types of wildlife such as large elk herds, deer, bison and moose if you are lucky!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Flat Creek Ranch

Less than 30 miles from the entrance to Grand Teton National Park is the pristine and petite Flat Creek Ranch. With only 5 cabins and a maximum capacity of 14 people, you are sure to feel relaxed and unplugged from the real world, all while having a chance to reconnect with nature. The ranch offers several outdoor activities but they are known for their fly-fishing expertise and challenging waters of Flat Creek and Flat Creek Lake.  While out fishing, hiking or horseback riding, there is a good chance you will see some sort of wildlife wandering around. If you are a fly-fishing or outdoor enthusiast with an itch to see a few national parks, Flat Creek is a great vacation destination for you!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Spotted Horse Ranch

Located on the banks of the Hoback River and just over a 30-minute drive from Grand Teton National Park is the Spotted Horse Ranch. The Spotted Horse is unique to the Jackson Hole area dude ranches because it sits in the Hoback Canyon rather than the Snake River Valley. They offer fantastic fly-fishing opportunities and have a stocked Orvis retail fly-shop on the ranch. They have resident fly-fishing instructors/guides that will teach you the ins and outs of the trade and provide a great experience on and off the water. They also have great horseback rides and pack trips, climbing out of the canyon to mountain peaks with 360-degree views happens every day. The ranch is the perfect distance from Jackson Hole and from Grand Teton National Park, a day trip is a great way to experience the park while at Spotted Horse. If you are a fly-fishing enthusiast or are looking for a relaxing ranch with close proximity to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, Spotted Horse Ranch just may be the vacation destination for you!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

The Red Rock Ranch

A short drive of about 30 minutes from The Red Rock Ranch will take you into Grand Teton National Park and gives you the option to venture into Yellowstone National Park if you please. There is a great amount of adventures to be had in the parks. You can hike to beautiful glacier fed lakes through meadows of wildflowers and see wildlife everywhere you turn. You can also rent bikes to travel through the park a little quicker, a great bike trail system is in place and takes you to the highlighted areas. You may want to participate in some water activities, paddle boards and canoes are available to rent in a couple different places in close proximity to the park as well. The Red Rock Ranch is a great vacation destination that allows you to enjoy ranch life and two different national park experiences without having to travel very far!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Moose Head Ranch

With breath-taking scenery in every direction, friendly and hospitable staff, two national parks right out the back door and an abundance of activities to enjoy, Moose Head Ranch will check every box on your list. Moose Head is the last privately-owned guest ranch completely within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park. So even if you do not get the time to go and enjoy all of the beauty and fun the park has to offer while on your vacation, you can still say you have spent a week in Grand Teton National Park! While at Moose Head it is almost guaranteed you will see elk, mule deer, bison and several other types of wildlife.  You will have the opportunity to explore via horseback and fish in the streams and lakes running through and around the property. Moose Head is a wonderful destination vacation for a family or any kind of traveler!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Lost Creek Ranch

A luxury resort awaits your company at the Lost Creek Ranch located right outside of Grand Teton National Park. Living in the ecosystem of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park insinuates that adventures are bound to be had while at the ranch. From horseback riding with beautiful mountain and valley views to relaxing in their highly rated spa, there is something for everyone at Lost Creek. The folks at the ranch are equipped and prepared to help you coordinate all types of activities so your vacation is everything you hoped for, and possibly more!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Triangle X Ranch

The Triangle X Ranch has been in the Teton Mountain Range and the Grand Teton National Park area before national parks were even established! Rich with history and charm is one of the best ways to describe the Triangle X. The Turner family, who owns Triangle X, have been in the Jackson Hole area since the early 1900’s. Five generations of Turners have called the ranch home and to this day the Turner family still owns and runs the ranch in a traditional way. The ranch and Turner family truly grew with the times of history and Grand Teton National Park. They have watched it develop and change over the years, yet still they understand and respect the preservation of the park as well as the history of the valley. There is something for everyone to do at the Triangle X Ranch. Horseback rides, pack trips, float trips and day to day activities take place within the park’s boundaries and offer stunning views and unforgettable memories. If you are looking for a historic and charming dude ranch close to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, look no further than the Triangle X Ranch!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Goosewing Ranch

Ride through spectacular fields of wildflowers with the Teton Mountains acting as an astounding backdrop. At the Goosewing Ranch you will travel by horses to see some of the best views the Snake River Valley and Wyoming has to offer. You could also experience these views while fly fishing or just simply relaxing around the ranch. However you want to spend your days on vacation, you can be certain to find beautiful views and a sense of peace. While on your vacation you can venture into Grand Teton National Park, and even Yellowstone National Park if you choose, on a day trip. See all different types of wildlife and amazing views you will not find anywhere else. Goosewing is a mere 17 miles to the park, approximately a 20-minute drive, that is if the bison do not cause a traffic jam! You will not want to miss the opportunity to see two of the most beautiful national parks the country has to offer!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

 

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 Grand Teton National Park vacations are wonderful for every traveler! If you have never experienced this park, you should add it to your bucket list!

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 

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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?

Top 6 California Dude Ranch Vacations

California dude ranch vacations offer accommodations and itineraries that are exciting for the whole family or solo traveler. Horseback riding through mountains and meadows makes guests forget about the stereotypical beaches and crowds of California’s big cities. Guests see this undiscovered side at a dude ranch. Life at the ranch creates a sense of calm any traveler can appreciate with well-appointed cabins, rocking chairs and hot coffee. 

Sitting across from a cowboy in wrangler jeans and a white straw hat, adventure travelers can hear stories of what some would call the bygone days of the cowboy. Here it’s still alive and well. Guests are amazed at the exceptional experience dude ranching offers.  As a week-long immersion into Western culture begins, guests get to release tension and enjoy the outdoors. 

Just because this is a ranch vacation doesn’t mean all there is to do is horseback riding. There is an abundance of outdoor activities for the perfect balance for a week spent in the serene areas of California. Here are the top 6 places to hang your hat and saddle up for a week. 

Top 6 California Dude Ranch Vacations 

 

The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort

A Golf Resort Meets Dude Ranch

With all the luxuries of a fine resort, The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort boasts an experience envied by Californians and travelers from all over the world. The ranch offers a variety of activities and packages to suit a romantic getaway or a large family reunion in a beautiful location near the Danish town of Solvang and right in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country. If guests are looking to try horseback riding and enjoy traditional outdoor activities like golf, cycling or fishing this is a great place to be. 

Alisal California Dude Ranch

The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort - Solvang, CA 

V6 Ranch 

A Family Tradition of Cattle Work

In central California between Los Angeles and San Francisco lies the 20,000 acres of the V6 Ranch, inviting guests to experience a true, authentic western cattle ranch. Rugged riding, working cattle all day long, sleeping in tents on the range are a few of the options the ranch offers. If guests choose not to go on the cattle drives, the main lodge rooms and cabins are luxurious, the restaurant is very nice and other activities include hiking, photography, bird watching and 50 miles of trails to explore. 

V6 California Dude Ranch

V6 Ranch - Parkfield, CA

Hunewill Circle "H" Guest Ranch

A Charming Ranch in Western Style

Guests feel right at home on this California dude ranch. The staff is known for being friendly and accommodating, getting to know everyone on a personal level. Hunewill Ranch creates lasting friendships through creek-side barbecues, trout fishing, hiking, mountain biking and of course, horseback riding. The Bridgeport Valley where the ranch is located is an unspoiled recreational paradise and even borders Yosemite National Park

Hunewill California Dude Ranch

Hunewill Cirlce "H" Guest Ranch - Bridgeport, CA

Marble Mountain Ranch

A Saddle and Paddle Adventure for Everyone

Famous for their signature “Saddle and Paddle Program” the folks at Marble Mountain Ranch are experts at exciting white-water rafting trips down the Klamath River and horseback rides through the inherently rugged and forested area. And this is just the beginning of the family adventures the ranch offers. ATV rides, steelhead fly fishing, barrel racing, a paint ball course and campfire events are just a few more adventures guests get to experience at this ranch in Northern California. 

Marble Mountain California Dude Ranch

Marble Mountain Ranch - Somes Bar, CA

Greenhorn Ranch

Live California’s Lost Sierra 

Greenhorn has an incredible set up to share with guests in the Lost Sierra, an alpine paradise of 8,500-foot peaks and turquoise lakes. Guests are invited to dine with wranglers and soak up the Western lifestyle experience in this spectacular home away from home. They head out on the trail to grow in confidence with horses and their horseback riding skills. Once back at the barn guests have plenty of options for outdoor activities and relaxation. 

Greenhorn California Dude Ranch

Greenhorn Ranch - Quincy, CA

Rankin Ranch

150 Years and 5 Generations of History

As a historical working cattle operation, the Rankin Ranch was homesteaded 150 years ago and now is the home for the 4th and 5th generation of ranchers from the Rankin family. Businesses, families and travelers from around the world stop by to see what California dude ranch life is really all about. That is - riding through mountains and meadows, swimming, hiking and fishing in the Tehachapi Mountains or at the southern end of the Sequoia National Forest.  

Rankin Ranch California dude ranch

Rankin Ranch - Caliente, CA

 

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California dude & guest ranch vacations offer accommodations and itineraries that are exciting for the whole family or solo traveler. Horseback riding through mountains and meadows makes guests forget about the stereotypical beaches and crowds of California’s big cities. Guests see this undiscovered side at a dude ranch. Life at the ranch creates a sense of calm any traveler can appreciate with well-appointed cabins, rocking chairs and hot coffee.

The Dude Ranchers’ Association Welcomes 5 New Members

The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the premier membership-based organization for dude ranches and has welcomed five new ranches in 2018: V6 Ranch, Kay El Bar Ranch, Parade Rest Guest Ranch, Campbell Hills Guest Ranch and Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. As a non-profit association, membership is not a pay to play process but a mark of the highest quality. Acceptance requires a rigorous two-year application process and distinguishes a ranch as one that guests can trust to provide excellent customer care and a horseback riding vacation of a lifetime. 

Guests looking to experience something new and exciting can look into the unique and individual offerings of each of these new members. Each of these ranches are located in a different Western state, from Arizona up to British Columbia and offers their own dude ranch niche experience. 

 

dude ranches

V6 Ranch, California

Nestled in the Cholame Valley, the V6 Ranch envelops 20,000 acres of the most diverse and alluring country in the heart of central California. Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ranch is just a four-hour drive from either city. The V6 Ranch offers the delight of bygone days in a world where fast is the average speed.

About V6 Ranch

This beautiful ranch offers activities to tickle the fancy of any person that seeks peace and quiet. The clean air and warm nights are ideal for laying out under the stars. The ranch offers trail rides, cattle drives, and horse camping. The V6 Ranch offers over 50 scenic miles of trails to explore with maps and trail markers to show the way. They also offers hiking, photography, over 200 varieties of wildflowers, wildlife and bird watching.

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Kay El Bar Ranch, Arizona

The Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is a historic dude ranch listed on the National and State Historical landmark registers and is located in the Old West town of Wickenburg, AZ. Nestled in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains on the banks of the Hassaymapa River, Kay El Bar is a desert oasis ranch where warm hospitality has been a tradition since 1926. The ranch offers an authentic and casual western vacation experience suitable for guests of all ages. Special occasion groups and team retreats are welcome. Their America Plan rate includes lodging, all meals, horseback riding and use of all ranch facilities.

About Kay El Bar Ranch

Kay El Bar is a winter ranch, open from November until May. The climate includes bi-seasonal rainfall, making it one of the lushest deserts, with giant cacti, short trees and a great variety of shrubbery and animal life. There are thousands of acres of desert hills and canyons to explore on horseback. The charming adobe ranch was built in the late 1800s, and, like all the early dude ranches, began as a working cattle outfit. The building's adobe walls are built of sun-dried brick 12 to 18 inches thick; each brick was made by hand by the Maricopa Indians who lived on the nearby reservation. The ranch is completely up to date in its comforts, including modern bathrooms, a pool, and a whirlpool spa.

Activities at the ranch center around the riding program, with rides twice a day except for Sunday when there is long morning ride and a trail-side cookout. The wranglers love introducing children (minimum age 7) and adult first-time riders to the pleasures of riding the trail on a trusty mount. Experienced riders find many delights in riding the Arizona hills. Non-riders and younger children can enjoy the ranch pool, spa, evening group activities, hiking, and exploring the western town of Wickenburg. Local golf courses welcome visitors.

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dude ranches

Parade Rest Guest Ranch, Montana

Parade Rest Guest Ranch is a true Montana dude ranch offering that memorable Montana guest ranch experience, located just 15 minutes from the west entrance, it is the closest of all the Montana guest ranches to Yellowstone National Park. Their all-inclusive vacation packages combine log cabin lodging, all your meals, unlimited horseback trail rides, world-class fly-fishing and an unforgettable outdoor mountain cookout.

About Parade Rest Ranch 

The ranch has 15 log cabins of various sizes, beds, bedrooms and bathrooms are spread across the ranch.  Some sit next to the Grayling Creek which runs thru the ranch which is a great fly-fishing stream. The sound of the creek is a favorite to many. Other cabins sit on a lower bluff overlooking the horses, ranch creek, Hebgen lake, Gallatin Mountain Range and awesome sunrises and sunsets. Parade Rest Ranch is a great place to call home while in the Yellowstone area.

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Campbell Hills Guest Ranch, British Columbia Canada

Ride a horse on the alpine meadows, observe unique birds in their natural habitat and discover the many hidden fishing spots right in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia. Campbell Hills Guest Ranch offers exceptional horseback riding in mountainous terrain.

About Campbell Hills Guest Ranch

When guests arrive at the ranch worries drift away as they settle into perfect harmony with the rhythms of nature. British Columbia is known for its beautiful landscape, relaxed atmosphere, and high-quality living, and this guest ranch is no exception.  The ranch uses a technique called natural horsemanship, which is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse's natural instincts and methods of communication. Here the horses are ridden without bits in their mouths and without metal shoes on the trails.

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Allen’s Diamond 4, Wyoming

Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch is located in the rugged Wind River Mountain Range and is Wyoming's highest wilderness guest ranch offering log cabins, mountain trail riding, fly fishing, wilderness pack trips, and hunting in the Shoshone National Forest. The ranch has access to the Wind Rivers from the Dickinson Park Trailhead, the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie and Worthen Meadows.

About Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch

The Wind River Mountain Range boasts the largest active glaciers in the lower 48 states, hundreds of alpine lakes teeming with wild trout, abundant wildlife and world class fly fishing and mountain climbing. The unique setting of the Diamond 4 Ranch in Dickinson Park gives you access to 100,000 spectacular acres. Guests saddle up and join a real western adventure! There is something for everyone - families, groups and individuals are welcome.

The ranch owner Jim Allen carries on the family tradition of hosting visitors in the spectacular Wind River Mountain Range like his grandfather did in the 1920's. Jim & his wife Mary love packing in the "Winds" and are dedicated to using the land wisely with minimum impact camping practices. The Diamond 4 Ranch gets its name from the Allen's horse brand which has a history from the days of the open range. 

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The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the premier membership-based organization for dude ranches and has welcomed five new ranches in 2018. As a non-profit association, membership is not a pay to play process but a mark of the highest quality. Acceptance requires a rigorous two-year application process and distinguishes a ranch as one that guests can trust to provide excellent customer care and a horseback riding vacation of a lifetime.

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

 

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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.

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