Stop Working and Start Vacationing at a Dude Ranch

Stop working and start vacationing.

Under many state laws vacation pay accrues as it is earned, and cannot be forfeited.  Why would you want to forfeit your vacation time anyway, or even just let it pile up in your work account. Get out there and use that time and money for memories and experiences. You'll come back to work with stories to tell and refreshed from time away.

We, at the Dude Ranchers' Association, think a ranch vacation in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado are some pretty great states to get going on using your vacation time.

Some options are to fly into Bozeman, MT, Jackson Hole, WY or Steamboat Springs, CO or take some extra vacation time and make a road trip out of it.

Take a look at the ranches below and the information about traveling to them from your airport. Want more information? We have it here in the office at 307.587.2339, info@duderanch.org or message us on social media using #ranchvacationexpert.

 

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)

 

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch ~ Gallatin Gateway, MontanaNine Quarter Circle Ranch Baby Foal

Distance from Bozeman Airport: 1 hour 17 minutes

Highlights:

  • 100+ years of ranching experience
  • Pack trips into Yellowstone National Park
  • Wide variety of specialty weeks.

 

Horses N Courage ~ Martinsdale, Montana

Distance from Bozeman Airport: 1 hour 45 minutes

Highlights:

  • Working Cattle Ranch with 4 day, 3 night luxury camping tent accommodations
  • 2,000 acres of private riding to work cattle with the Hereim family
  • Specialty Healing Retreats for Women

 

 Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)

 

Spotted Horse Ranch ~ Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Distance from Jackson Hole Airport: 39 minutes

Highlights:

  • Guided fly fishing on the Snake River with an Orvis endorsed equipment
  • White water rafting, scenic rafting and local hot springs soak
  • The main lodge includes a dining room overlooking the Hoback River

 

Moose Head Ranch ~ Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Distance from Jackson Hole Airport: 21 minutes

Highlights:

  • Completely surrounded by Grand Teton National Park
  • Family vacations to ride, eat and play together with your children
  • Riding is mostly just your family and a wrangler

 

Denver International Airport (DEN)

 

Drowsy Water Ranch ~ Granby, Colorado

Distance from Denver Airport: 2 hours 21 minutes

Highlights:

  • Programs for children from infants to teenagers with plenty of activities for parents and grandparents
  • Zip-line course, mountain biking, fishing, rafting, dancing and gymkhana rodeos
  • Horseback riding instruction along with variety of terrain for fast rides and slow rides

 

Wind River Ranch ~ Estes, Colorado

Distance from Denver Airport: 1 hour 30 minutes

Highlights:

  • A Christian Family Guest Ranch Resort
  • Minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Family vacation weeks with specialty speakers

 

Stop Working and Start Vacationing Use your Vacation Time for a Ranch Vacation

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Namaste on the Ranch

Whereas it used to be a time to simply kick back and relax, many of today’s travelers are using vacations as a time to continue their normal health and fitness routines, or perhaps even try something new. Yoga, in particular, has never been more popular: since 2012, the number of practitioners in the U.S. has increased by 50 percent to over 36 million. More and more people are realizing the benefits of yoga, which range from stress relief to flexibility to overall well-being. Whether you are one of the 80 Americans that say they are likely to try yoga for the first time in the coming months, or if you have been getting your ‘ namaste ’ on for quite some time, you may want to consider planning a vacation to a dude or guest ranch offering innovative and unique yoga-based programs. Below please find a sampling of five ranches accredited by the Dude Ranchers' Association (DRA) that provide guests with a special haven to discover new yoga traditions and find their Zen.

Revive and Ride. Find the inner Zen you have been craving at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Emigrant, Mont. Re-energize your mind, body and soul with the ranch’s Yoga Program, offered to all ages and levels of experience. Morning sessions encourage the awakening and energizing of the body and mind in preparation for a full day of activities, while afternoon sessions are restorative and focus on stretching and relaxation. In addition to the variety of outdoor activities available at the ranch, guests can relax in a heated pool, outdoor hot tub and sauna and can also take full advantage of a variety of massage services. Each therapist offers a specific approach, from hot river rocks and salt scrubs to stretching sessions and therapeutic massages.

Stretch, Relax, Ride, Repeat. Zapata Ranch is inviting guests to experience the ranch like never before during its first ever yoga retreat. Connect with the diverse surroundings of the ranch – which include high desert grasslands, alpine forests, wetlands, sand dunes, creeks and lush meadows – through daily yoga sessions and exploratory hikes and horseback rides. Zapata Ranch is located on the eastern wall of the San Luis Valley in Mosca, Colo., and borders the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. It is owned by The Nature Conservancy and has one of the most scenic and ecologically diverse landscapes in the country. The Yoga and Ranch Retreat takes place in April.

Hope, Courage and Healing. Horses N Courage, located in “Big Sky Country” in Sawmill Canyon of Lennep, Mont., has created a Hope, Courage and Healing Retreat, exclusively targeted to women of all ages. The retreat aims to bring together like-minded women who are eager to rediscover themselves through horseback riding, trailing cattle, exploring wildlife and bonding with one another. It includes wall-tent accommodations, ranch-style cooked meals, beautiful scenery, horseback riding, plenty of chances to see wildlife, and even a natural hot spring spa. Hope, Courage and Healing takes place for four days and three nights in July.

Om on the Range. Focus Ranch, located in the Rocky Mountains of Slater, Colo., invites guests to partake in a tranquil combination of riding their horse and riding their breath while riding the range with Yogi Martha McPherson. Martha guides participants in the pleasure of uniting breath and body in the art of yoga. Guests can also participate in some of the ranch’s other offerings like hiking, birding and fly-fishing. Focus Ranch is a traditional working cattle ranch known for its horseback riding, cattle and pristine setting. Om on the Range takes place each August, giving guests the opportunity to experience the changing of the seasons, which comes early at the 7000 ft. elevation.

Discover Your Zen. Grab your girlfriends and head to Clark, Colo., to disconnect from reality and reconnect with each other. The Home Ranch will be offering their popular Experience Yoga and Horses Retreat for the twelfth season. All ages are welcome for an all-inclusive week of health, wellness and relaxation centered on horseback. Cowgirl Yoginis Tammy Pate and Janice Baxter will help guests experience horsemanship instruction, gentle yoga, healthy gourmet dining and massage, all set amidst the spectacular fall season in the Elk River Valley in October.

The Home Ranch Namaste Yoga

Photo Courtesy of The Home Ranch

May your travels be safe, happy and healthy. Namaste Save Save

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DRA celebrates 91st convention and welcomes new members

Dude Ranchers ConventionMany member ranches from across the Western U.S. and Canada, along with associate members and vendors, are expected to attend the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s (DRA) 91st convention at Tanque Verde Ranch on Jan. 18-21, 2017. The DRA is also proud to welcome three new members to its existing roster of ranches: Bull Hill Guest Ranch in Kettle Falls, Wash.; Horses N Courage in Judith Gap, Mont.; and Rankin Ranch in Caliente, Calif. Each year, convention attendees come together to exchange ideas about how to continue exceeding the highest standards within the dude ranching industry; promoting the Western ranch vacation experience; and preserving parks, forest and wildlife.

Panels and breakout sessions will discuss topics related to various aspects of the dude ranching and hospitality industries, such as new vendor introductions, marketing initiatives and operations.  This year’s keynote speaker is Ron Marks, author of the best selling book entitled, “Managing for Sales Results.” Ron has gained great perspective and credible experience on how to sell and manage sales people during his work in a number of industries over the past 35 years.

Other speakers will include Nancy Schretter, founder and managing editor of Family Travel Network; Les Douma, former superintendent with the Iowa School System; Amanda Esch, business consultant and partner in the law firm of Davis & Cannon, LLP; and Matthieu Corrand, founder of RanchBookings.com. There will also be opportunities for networking and socializing, including a pigeon racing contest and the annual Dude Ranchers' Auction.

“The Dude Ranchers’ Association has dedicated the past 90 years to preserving and protecting the Western way of life. Our annual convention is a fantastic opportunity for learning and fellowship among our member ranches as we look to continue doing so for many more years,” said Colleen Hodson, Executive Director of the DRA.

The DRA represents a broad spectrum of guest ranches across North America, ranging from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches offering five-star cuisine and spa treatments. Established in 1926, the DRA was founded to preserve, protect and promote the unique experience and identity of a dude ranch vacation. With the addition of the three new members, there are now a total of 100 DRA-accredited ranches. Bull Hill Guest Ranch, located in northeastern Washington State, sits at the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains near British Columbia, Canada. Sweeping panoramic views of neighboring Idaho, Lake Roosevelt and Canada provide a backdrop setting that is one of the most picturesque in the Pacific Northwest.

Bull Hill Guest Ranch opened as a guest ranch in 1995 and is part of a large working cattle ranch that dates back to 1903. Horses N Courage is a family owned and operated, working guest ranch located in central Montana. The ranch – which accommodates eight guests – offers horseback riding, trail riding, wall-tent accommodations, cattle drives, dummy roping and healing retreats, all set amidst 2,000 acres of private, breathtaking mountain scenery and Montana wildlife. Rankin Ranch is located in the beautiful valley of Walker’s Basin, deep in the heart of California’s Tehachapi Mountains and at the southern end of the Sequoia National Forest. It has been a working cattle ranch for over 150 years – guests can enjoy tasty Rankin Ranch beef during their stay – and is one of the oldest and largest (31,000 acres) family-owned ranches in California.

Dude and guest ranches applying for membership to the DRA go through a rigorous two-year inspection and approval process. Membership identifies a ranch as meeting the highest standards of the dude ranching industry. Guests at a DRA-accredited ranch can expect genuine, Western hospitality combined with the lodging industry’s latest standards.  Save Save

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