Your Next Wild West Adventure

Wild West Adventure

After scorching summers of heat, fire, drought, and, of course, the pandemic, it’s not uncommon to dream of a different life, much simpler, based on nature, and rooted in outdoor adventure and cozy relaxation come sunset. Luxury, traditional, and working dude ranches have survived prior pandemics, fierce natural disasters, and economic downfalls. The beginning of this decade proved to the world; the ride will go on! 

Throughout the Rocky Mountains, West to the Pacific, there are huge expanses of land and Western lifestyle to help elevate your mental and physical struggles during the pandemic. Here are four distinctly different ranches, in four Rocky Mountain enclaves to get you thoughtfully planning your next wild, West adventure. Next summer, where’s your ride going to be?

Wild West Adventure

Blacktail Ranch: Back to Nature in Montana

Located one hour from Great Falls and Helena, Montana, for air travel, or for easy drive-to directions, the Blacktail Ranch is nestled in the Rocky Mountains at the base of the Continental Divide surrounded by white-capped mountains, fields, and forests with a clear sparkling river running through the property. Guests can choose from a variety of cabins for their accommodations and there are three and seven-night all-inclusive options. 

Horseback riding is offered for ages seven and older for all levels. Children ages four to seven can ride horseback around the property while being led by a wrangler. Exclusive to this ranch is the Blacktail Cave Exploration & Museum, a cave tour, and museum visit. There is also a three-day Divide Ride that takes you to the top of the Continental Divide. Bird watching, body work, yoga, fishing, and rafting are just a handful of the weekly activities. And, with a prime location between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, guests never, ever can run out of outdoor activity.  

Fast Facts

Elevation: 4,600 Feet

Season: June-September

Connectivity: Wifi in the main lodge, cellular service is marginal at the ranch. 

Wild West Adventure

Klondike Ranch: Working the Wyoming Land

When you dream of wild, open, Wyoming, the landscape is exactly that of Klondike Ranch. This is a working cattle ranch, situated in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains. The week-long, all-inclusive experience truly immerses guests into the cowboy lifestyle. Accommodations include modern and comfortable cabins, each with their own private bathroom, and offer a home-away-from-home element, with some added rustic charm. Some cabins do have kitchenettes, as well as living areas.

Guests who want to ride, this is the destination! They have the opportunity to horseback ride, herd cattle, assist in ranch work, and take the horses out on an overnight campout. The owners, the Tass Family, truly work to match each rider with the best horse for their ability in order to enjoy the extreme immersion into the ranching West. Guided fishing, hiking, photography, and historical tours are also offered as well as the weekly rodeo. 

Fast Facts

Elevation: 5,000 feet

Season: June-September

Connectivity: Internet available

Wild West Adventure

McGarry Ranches: Ideal Idaho

The McGarry Ranch is actually two separate ranches located in southeastern Idaho, in the upper Snake River Valley and along the South Fork of the Snake River, approximately 90 miles west of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Theron McGarry, a lifelong cowboy, and fourth-generation rancher, started the guest ranch which continues on with his family today, your hosts. 

There are not many dude and guest ranches in the State of Idaho; therefore, the experience of daily activities such as roping, driving cattle to new pastures, fence-mending and never-ending odd jobs, all of which maintain the integrity of the herd, allow guests to escape to another genre and truly embrace the Gem State’s outrageously diverse land. 

Guest spend most of the week scattering cattle on the range, doctoring cattle, packing salt for cattle, trailing cattle to a new pasture on the mountain, and gathering up stray cattle in some of the most scenic mountain country of Idaho. Come sunset there is plenty of space to relax, stock small items in the cabin refrigerators, browse a library of paperback books, and a TV in the dining room and the Vet Shed (but you'll be too busy or tired to watch).

Fast Facts

Elevation: 4,800 feet

Season: May-October

Connectivity: Wifi in the main lodge

Wild West Adventure

Drowsy Water Ranch: Legacy Landscape

The 700-acre family guest ranch is nearly their 100th anniversary celebration this decade! The Fosha Family have owned and operated the ranch since 1977, and have developed a world-renowned reputation for unpretentious quality, insanely personal and experiential Western activity, and most importantly, a nice cabin for bunking down and plenty of homemade food to keep the fuel going in your belly for plenty of riding. 

This week-long dude ranch opportunity is only 90 miles from Denver, and travelers can now arrive at the ranch with such ease. Fly into Denver, hop on the light rail to Union Station, grab the scenic Amtrak train to Granby and the ranch will be there to pick you up! Of course, driving is lovely, passing by the continental divide in route to this vast landscape is spectacular, especially with surrounding wildlife such as deer, elk, moose, coyote, and birds of prey in the area.

The ranch has over 100 head of horses for guests to ride, each personally matched to the riders’ ability and comfort level. Drowsy Water is family-oriented with a world-class kids’ program. Whitewater rafting is included with each week’s activity and there is also an onsite zipline. Just miles from Rocky Mountain National Park, the ranch has premiere views and sunsets and sunrises that cannot be found in many parts of the country. 

Fast Facts

Elevation: 8,200 feet

Season: June-September

Connectivity: Wifi in the main lodge

Need help narrowing down the options further? Contact one of our dude ranch experts! info@duderanch.org • 308-587-2339

Vacation 2021Vacation 2021

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 DudeRanch.org 307-587-2339.

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