Canceled Your International Travel Plans? 5 Reasons Why THIS Vacation Is the Best Alternative.

Travel Plans

It’s no surprise that people are canceling their international travel plans and cruises due to fear of sickness. The sheer idea of sitting on a flight with recycled air for 6+ hours is enough to make your head spin. But what are you going to do about your big annual family vacation? Is there somewhere else you can go? Something else you could do? You need somewhere with fresh air, wide-open spaces that are all around good for your physical and mental health! Your family needs a dude ranch vacation and here are 5 reasons why:

#1 Being outdoors can help boost your immune system

Travel Plans

Being close to nature has some diverse and significant health benefits. In addition to getting your good ole’ vitamin D outside, scientists also believe that breathing in natural chemicals put off by plants can increase our white blood cell levels and help us fight off infections and diseases such as obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. These natural scents can also provide aromatherapy that can make you feel calmer and more relaxed! 

#2 Wide Open Spaces

Travel Plans

Nothing beats getting out of the madness of the hazy city and humid, crowded beaches and out into the peace and quiet. Not only will you be away from swarms of people, but you’ll be taking in soul-cleansing, mountain air that will make you feel revived. Let’s not forget that these vast spaces allow for some of the best horseback riding experiences in the world!

#3 Natural Exercise

Travel Plans

Whether you look forward to your daily exercise or not, you’ll inevitably get your workout in on a dude ranch. From holding yourself upright on your horse to casting your fly out into the river to holding your bow up while practicing archery - you’ll more than likely get some exercise. Oh, and we can’t forget the refreshing yoga classes and wild rock climbing that some dude ranches have! These activities are also great ways to turn your exercise time into family time.

#4 Bonding Over New Experiences

Travel Plans

Dude ranches openly welcome families of all types and invite them to come learn and experience the legendary Western way of life. Learn how to rope, experience a real western rodeo, get involved in a real cattle drive, and then hop on the river and go rafting. The adventures are truly endless on a dude ranch and will keep your family reminiscing for years to come (or until your next visit!).

#5 You Can Make a Road Trip Out of It

Travel Plans

We have over 95 ranches west of the Mississippi River, so you are most likely less than a 24 drive from one of our dude ranches! So, if you don’t feel like taking a chance on a short flight, you can always hop in the car and make a road trip out of it! There are plenty of sites to see along the way. From ever-changing landscapes to national parks and monuments, check them all off your family’s bucket list this summer while making your way to your new favorite vacation!

So, since you’re canceling that stuffy 8-hour flight overseas this summer, consider taking a dude ranch vacation this year! We guarantee it’ll be an experience your family will never forget. Let us know if you need help sifting through 95+ DRA approved ranches; our DRA ranch experts are here to help you! Contact us today 307-587-2339.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

DRA White LargeAt the National Dude Ranchers' Association we are so thankful this Thanksgiving to be a part of such a wonderful organization that dates back to 1926.   We are proud to be  supported by our member ranches, clients in search of a dude ranch and all of the associate members who make commerce and networking successful. On a day such as this we are reminded of Theodore Roosevelt when he said, "Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds." As we embark on the next 90 years for the association we would like to promise our continued perseverance in promoting and protecting the dude ranch industry.  In pursuit of this we are launching a new website in 2016 as well as enhancing our marketing efforts to connect to all of our stakeholders.  We are excited to expand our current markets in North America and abroad. Again, thank you for being apart and we look forward to many more years of success and celebration. Happy Thanksgiving, From all of us at the DRA office and the Board of Directors.  

5 Extraordinary Dude Ranches for Families

There’s one vacation category where extraordinary families can simply park the car, unpack their bags and settle in for a week of jam-packed action. It’s the Western dude ranch, a place where folks don’t have to think about what comes next because all the details are in place to let the good times roll!  Sure, the horse and riding are paramount to any Western dude ranch experience. The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the first to confirm riding is at the heart of any ranch getaway. But, according to DRA Executive Director, Colleen Hodson, there are folks who wouldn’t dream of hopping on a saddle that choose a DRA Western dude ranch for active family vacations. In addition to riding or sometimes in place of riding, guests ride the rapids, paddle a canoe, play golf or tennis, hike in the wilderness, cycle the back roads and mountain trails, go caving, hot air ballooning or rock climbing. She says active parents usually participate in the same sports as their kids, and she adds, “Another beauty of multi-sporting at a dude ranch is when they want to take time for themselves, Dad can play a round of golf and Mom can relax with spa treatments.”  The ranches listed below offer extraordinary opportunities for families.  The information listed for each ranch is only the beginning. To find out more follow the links or give the Dude Ranchers' Association a call at 307.587.2339.

All Day Kids Program

A Bar A Ranch - Encampment, Wyoming

A Bar A Kids Horse

The ranch is a paradise for children, and our Children’s Program helps them explore it with fun and safe activities. Children ages 3 through 12 can choose to participate in the Children’s Program from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., including lunch, dinner, and snacks. Riding, fishing, soccer, arts and crafts, music and drama, swimming, tennis, and educational games are just a few of the activities offered by caring and fun children’s counselors.



Visit Local Petroglyphs

CM Ranch Dubois, Wyoming

CM Arena High Five

Children of all ages are welcome at the CM. For children 5 years and older there is supervised riding with the kiddy wrangler, who makes sure they have a lot of fun while learning western riding skills. Children will experience flavorful ranch traditions and may spend an afternoon exploring nearby ancient Indian petroglyphs or visiting the local fish hatchery. Our large recreation building provides an abundance of space for crafts, games and music. The CM staff works hard to make sure everyone has the most enjoyable ranch experience possible.



Saddle & Paddle Program

Marble Mountain Ranch Somes Bar, California

Marble Mountain Family Vacation

Our signature all inclusive "saddle and paddle" or raft and ride vacation joins our superb dining experience and our youth buckaroo program to create the best and most complete family dude ranch vacation. Our horseback trail riding and equestrian programs are spectacular, but our defining feature is our ability to keep whole families engaged with our variety of outdoor Western adventures. No other ranch can duplicate our all inclusive summit to sea experience with mountain trail riding, white water rafting, steelhead fly fishing, or jet boat tours to the Pacific Ocean!



Bring Your Own Babysitter for Free

Cherokee Park Ranch Livermore, Colorado

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We pride ourselves on our kids programs which are for 2-12 year old. We will keep them busy with arrow head hunting, bow and arrow shooting, boat building, critter petting, crafting, horseshoe painting, kickball playing, panning for gold, fort making, hiking, scavenger hunting, s’more making, & tee pee camp outs and of course, daily horseback rides! If you like, you may even join in on the kid’s ride! For young ones under three, we offer a unique opportunity: bring your own full-time baby-sitter, free of charge.


Yellowstone's "Boiling River" - Offsite Adventure Trip for Teens

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Emigrant, Montana

Mountain Sky Dude Ranch Family

Why should the little ones get to have all the fun? Our energetic teen counselors are here to ensure that our guests 13 and older have the vacation experience of a lifetime! Activities include gourmet teen dinners, hilarious talent show skits, and off-site adventures like trips to Yellowstone’s “Boiling River”, rock climbing in Yankee Jim Canyon, and clay target shooting in Paradise Valley.


Dude Ranches for Families


There’s one vacation category where extraordinary families can simply park the car, unpack their bags and settle in for a week of jam-packed action. It’s the Western dude ranch, a place where folks don’t have to think about what comes next because all the details are in place to let the good times roll!

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