Small, Intimate Dude Ranches Make a Special Vacation Destination

Quiet, relaxing and rejuvenating vacations are highly sought after, especially with the crazy, busy world that surrounds us. Vacations, in reality, can be a bit overwhelming though, the planning and amount of people at the vacation destinations can be a lot to handle! You shouldn’t have to “handle” anything when you go on vacation, that is why small, intimate dude ranches are the perfect destinations for a quiet, relaxing and rejuvenating vacation.

Small, intimate dude ranches offer an ideal setting for guests to truly relax and escape from the real world for a bit. The Dude Ranchers’ Association represents over 100 fantastic ranches and several of them have a small capacity and create a family-like environment that you will fall in love with. A handful of these small ranches let you disconnect to the level of not having cell phone service or internet, it may sound a little crazy but once you experience being totally disconnected, you will appreciate the vacation and ranch even more! Continue reading to learn about a few small, intimate DRA ranches that would make the ideal destination for your next vacation.

Small, Intimate Dude Ranches

 

Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch – Lander, Wyoming

At the end of the road and at the base of the Wind River Mountain Range is where you will find the Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. The Allen family has been around the Lander area for six generations and they know the true meaning of Western hospitality. With only five guest cabins on the ranch, all built by hand by the Allen’s, you truly become part of the family and experience the intimacy the ranch offers. Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch is the highest and most remote dude ranch in Wyoming, here you will be able to escape reality and get back to your roots with no cell phone or internet service. Beautiful horseback rides through the Wind River Mountains and incredible fly-fishing opportunities await you. If you are looking for a ranch that is “off the grid”, Allen’s Diamond 4 is the place for you!

small, intimate dude ranches

McGarry Ranches – Rexburg, Idaho

At McGarry Ranches in Idaho, you will find the real cowboys of the West! This working cattle ranch will offer you the experience of working alongside the cowboys in all of the day-to-day work and chores that take place on a working ranch. This ranch is located about 90 miles west of Jackson Hole, WY, far enough away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough to enjoy the famous tourist town either on your way to the ranch or after your stay. When you are at the ranch, you will feel like you are in a different world! With a capacity of only 10 people, this is the epidemy of a small, intimate dude ranch. The ranch crew is made up almost entirely of McGarry family members so you will definitely feel like part of the family here. Quaint cabins, delicious food, hard working horses and a lot of cattle await you at McGarry Ranches.

small, intimate dude ranches

Campbell Hills Guest Ranch – Kamloops, British Columbia

Take a trip to Canada and explore the beauty of the Campbell Hills Guest Ranch and British Columbia! This ranch is a great location for a quiet and relaxing getaway with well-trained horses, delicious food and wonderful hosts added in! Located among open meadows and timbered mountains are the ranch’s beautiful cabins that provide a wonderful sense of serenity when sitting on the porch. Horses and Natural Horsemanship practices are the center of this ranch but activities such as hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, archery and more are available. Campbell Hills can only accommodate 20 guests, so again you will feel like family here. The owners do their best to ensure that everyone makes themselves feel at home so they have no worries or stress while on vacation. This ranch provides an intimate atmosphere that everyone will enjoy.

small, intimate dude ranches

Badger Creek Ranch – Canon City, Colorado

Badger Creek Ranch in Colorado is a true working cattle ranch, working alongside the cowboys of this operation will give you a whole new outlook on the Western way of life. Even though this is a working ranch, they completely understand and take pride in remembering that you are on vacation! You can choose to ride with the cowboys every day checking fence, moving cattle or doctoring and sorting cattle or you can decide to take a day off from the saddle and experience the incredible nearby fly fishing opportunities, go mountain biking or just relax with a good book and the sounds of Colorado’s Badger Creek Basin. Throughout your day you will enjoy home cooked meals and fantastic company. This ranch can only host eight guests at a time, so whether you are on vacation with a group of friends and family or if you decide to go by yourself, you will leave with lasting memories and friendships!

small, intimate dude ranches

Medicine Bow Lodge and Adventure Guest Ranch – Saratoga, Wyoming

In 1917 Medicine Bow Lodge opened as a guest ranch and ever since it has been providing memorable vacations for all its’ guests! The history runs deep in this ranch and the owners, Tim and Debbie Bishop, do a fantastic job of keeping this history alive. With the ability to host just 15 guests, the ranch is the definition of small and intimate. The horseback riding, hospitality and accommodations are family oriented, and this ranch ensures an environment that will help you disconnect from the world and reconnect with the people and amazing things that surround you. The scenery is incredible, wildlife is abundant and activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking and more are offered for guests. Medicine Bow Lodge and Adventure Guest Ranch will leave you feeling refreshed and with memories that will last a lifetime!

small, intimate dude ranches

Rawah Guest Ranch – Glendevey, Colorado

Rawah Ranch was started in 1948 to provide their guests with an original Western experience that was tailored to fulfill their guests dreams of coming West. Over 70 years later, they are still fulfilling those dreams for their guests! Rawah is an ideal vacation destination for families, couples or even solo travelers to disconnect from their busy everyday lives and reconnect with their roots and the world around them. Beautiful and well-trained horses, award-winning fly-fishing and top-notch food are just a few of the incredible things you will experience at this ranch. They can host up to 30 guests and they always do their best to meet their guests’ needs and make a personal connection. If you are looking for an incredible intimate ranch in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, don’t overlook Rawah Ranch!

small, intimate dude ranches

For more information on small, intimate dude ranches or to learn about other types of ranches, visit www.duderanch.org or contact a ranch vacation expert at the Dude Ranchers’ Association.

307.587.2339, info2@duderanch.org.

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Quiet, relaxing vacations are highly sought after that is why small, intimate dude ranches are the perfect destination for a rejuvenating vacation!

5 Great Working Cattle Ranch Vacations in the West

Working cattle ranch vacations with the Dude Ranchers’ Association offer guests a taste of what life is like on a real cattle ranch. Here, you’ll be a cowboy yourself for the week - riding horses, checking cattle, participating in cattle drives. You'll be sleeping in comfortable bunk house cabins after a traditional day of ranch life. Day to day activities is in part dependent on the season and what needs to be done at that moment to care for the livestock. You'll need to ask your host about the work and riding agenda during your stay.

Working cattle ranches tend to accommodate smaller guest numbers (less than 20 people) to ensure individually tailored experiences. You will get to know each rancher personally and learn about the history of the ranch, cattle production local to the area and so much more. Take a look at the experiences offered by the ranches below. They are five of the best working cattle ranches across the West.

 

5 of the Best Working Cattle Ranch Vacations

 

working cattle ranch vacations

 

Burnt Well Guest Ranch – New Mexico 

An authentic “old west” style cattle drive is what you will find at the Burnt Well Guest Ranch in New Mexico. Here you will experience what it was like to live on the prairie and in the desert while moving cattle and putting many miles in the saddle. This cattle drive is the duration of a week and happens once a year in the fall. The ranch will supply you with a bedroll, cot, cowboy teepee, horse and tack. All you need to bring is a go-getter attitude, a smile and probably some clothes! Stories, memories and bucket list items are created on this cattle drive and if it is something you have always wanted to do, do not miss your chance

 

working cattle ranch vacations

 

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, Colorado 

You will most definitely find your inner cowboy or cowgirl at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado. This historic working horse and cattle ranch will help you enjoy a vacation like none other. Help the cowboys in their daily chores, roundup cattle with them and help drive the cattle to the next pasture. This ranch offers overnight pack trips and many other great horseback oriented activities! Saddle up and experience the old-fashioned family hospitality and cowboy culture of the historic American West.

 

working cattle ranch vacations

 

Three Bars Cattle and Guest Ranch, British Columbia

The Three Bars Cattle and Guest Ranch is not your normal dude ranch, it is so much more! Help the Beckley Family manage their herd and enjoy all that the ranch has to offer. In this beautiful location in British Columiba you will find fun, memorable experiences as well as some time to relax and soak in the tranquility and quietness of the area. Go with the family or by yourself, no matter your group size or what you are looking to do, Three Bars Ranch will be fantastic! 

 

working cattle ranch vacations

 

Creek Ranch Working & Guest Ranch, New Mexico

If you already have dreamed to experience the Wild West on a Working Guest Ranch, then your dream can come true at Creek Ranch. The terrain out here is wild, rough and yet beautiful. You'll get the meaning of Land of Enchantment out here! Experience the Western lifestyle by being a part of the "crew" and learn the cowboy way all while enjoying a fantastic vacation.   

 

mcginnis-meadows-cattle-guest-ranch-libby-mt-5

 

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch, Montana

Experience a well-rounded horseback riding program centered on what the horses can do with cattle at the McGinnis Meadows Ranch in the Northwest corner of Montana. With about 15 guests per week, your hosts will get to know you, work with you individually and tailor each day to you. You'll leave this ranch a better rider and wanting "more." The memories you will make will never be forgotten, you will get to truly experience the Western and cowboy way of life at this ranch. 

 

For more information on the best working cattle ranch vacations visit our blog category - Cattle Drives & Cattle Work

 

Working Cattle Ranch Vacations

working-cattle-ranch-vacations-and-cattle-drives

 

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Bonus Boise! Dude Ranch Vacation and a Visit to the Fastest Growing City in America!

Whether you’re a millennial and can’t stay put for more than three days or are curious about the buzz on Boise, here are some ideas for a day trip off the saddle from Idaho Dude Ranches — McGarry Ranches, Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Diamond D Ranch or Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

Hip FactorRed Horse Creek-1

Boise is the fastest growing city in America! The airport is easily accessible to downtown Boise via a ten-minute ride. It’s a small, ‘bigger’ city with a mixture of hipster shopping and eateries and old town charm. 

Beddin’ Down

If you choose an overnight, Inn at 500 should be your first pick. (innat500.com) It’s the newest and most luxurious hotel in the capital city and has whimsically-themed rooms such as Boise Art Museum (curated by museum staffers), The Flicks (for the art-house movie theater next to the hotel), and Idaho Wine (note that all guests get complimentary glasses at check in), and wins for location. Grab a drink or dish at Richard’s in the hotel aptly named for Chef Richard Langston, a James Beard 2014 semifinalist for Best Chef Northwest, and storied Boise resident and restaurateur.

Grub

Downtown Boise is extremely walkable and worthy of a few hours of shopping, touring the capital, and eating in this growing culinary hotspot. Boise boasts the largest Basque population outside of Spain, and much homage is paid to this culture throughout the city. Stop by The Basque Market for paella lunches and a trendy meat, cheese and tapas market. Head to Bardenay for a bloody Mary (with house-made vodka made from Idaho potatoes) or Red Feather Lounge. Don’t miss Boise Fry Company for the best spuds (get a burger on the side). 

 

Drink

Boise Idaho - Dude Ranch Day Trip

As with most towns across the West, the craft beer is strong. Payette Brewing, Bittercreek Alehouse, Cloud 9 Brewery, Highlands Hollow Brewhouse and Boise Brewing are all standouts. But note it might be the craft women winemakers of the Snake Valley River AVA that are garnering the most awards and attention. Cinder, Coiled Wines, Split Rail Winery, Syringa Winery and Telaya Wine Co. are a handful of the most popular and offer tastings and comfortable sitting areas.

Activity

Chances are you will be visiting in summer when the majority of ranches run their seasons. Rent a bike and cruise along the Boise River Greenbelt with numerous parks, eateries, and wineries along the way. Stop and grab a SUP from Idaho River Sports and hop on Quinn's Pond to paddle around for a couple of hours.

If you’re looking to grab some authentic items to remember or commemorate your dude ranch week, visit Mixed Greens for hundreds of boutique items, Idaho Made for Idaho-made gifts and crafts, or pick up a culinary treat at City Peanut Shop and The Chocolat Bar. The Capital City Public Market and The Boise Farmers Market in season are excellent options for finding local vendors and wares. 

Spring through late summer the Idaho Shakespeare Festival runs in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Come early to explore the grounds and bring/purchase a picnic to enjoy with the show. Wednesdays throughout summer, Alive After Five fires up in Grove Plaza with music, beer and wine vendors, food trucks and restaurants, fountains for the children to splash and cool off, and a great downtown experience.

Don’t Miss

Check out the Oregon Trail—you can even see ruts from wagon wheels and "advertising" rock art still carved in stone near Boise. Connect to the trail easily at the Oregon Trail Reserve, but if you want more Idaho history, visit the newly-opened Idaho State Museum, just steps from the Inn at 500. 

 

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Whether you’re a millennial and can’t stay put for more than three days or are curious about the buzz on Boise, here are some ideas for a day trip off the saddle from Idaho Dude Ranches

The Best Idaho Dude Ranch Vacations

Here is the ultimate guide for Idaho dude ranch, guest ranch and working cattle ranch vacations. These Idaho dude ranches offer all-inclusive vacation packages for families with activities centered around horseback riding and adventure outdoor experiences like whitewater rafting, hiking and fishing. Some offer a full program of kid-centric activities and others offer adult-oriented immersive cowboy & cattle ranch activities. And what’s more, you’ll be extremely satisfied with the quality of the food and the accommodations at an Idaho dude ranch.

The living history of the Old West is infused and celebrated in every facet on these Dude Ranchers’ Association member dude ranches. With a culture that dates back to the pioneer days of the United States, Idaho is much more than just potatoes. If you are looking for big valleys, big views and spectacular rivers than this is the state for you. And, although the Grand Tetons are actually in Wyoming, they can also be viewed from the Idaho side of the Teton Scenic Byway which begins on the Idaho Highway 31 at Swan Valley. With these reasons it’s no surprise Idaho is a great destination for your next vacation.

Take a look at the list of the Best Idaho Dude Ranch Vacations.

 

 

McGarry Ranches Idaho Dude Ranch Working Cattle

McGarry Ranches

Are you looking to be introduced to the lifestyle of the American Cowboy? Theron McGarry of the McGarry Ranches invites you to be a ranch hand guest on his cattle ranch, riding daily on the classic American Quarter Horse. Not only that, this Idaho dude ranch is only 1.5 hours away from the Western entrance of Yellowstone National Park or Grand Teton National Park

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Red Horse Mountain Ranch Idaho Dude Ranch Vacation

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

At only 1.5 hours from Spokane International Airport, the Red Horse Mountain Ranch specializes in the Idaho dude ranch for guided adventure activities. Horseback riding is just the start! They offer family vacations for all ages and a couple of weeks each season for adult only weeks and even a singles week! Read about their extensive list of activities here

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Diamond D Idaho Dude Ranch

Diamond D Ranch

Nestled in a serene valley in the Frank Church Wilderness the Diamond D Ranch is surrounded by mountains in the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states. With an endless amount of country and wildlife to see this Idaho dude ranch is perfect for families. 

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Seven Devils Lodge Idaho Dude Ranch

Seven Devils Lodge 

Located in the central part of the state, the Seven Devils Lodge is an Idaho dude ranch in the unique area with neighboring jutting canyons, high desert trails and soaring mountain vistas. The lodge is only nine miles from the famous Hells Canyon, known as the deepest canyon in all of North America. Open January through November the lodge is open to horseback riding, guided hunts, fishing, hiking, trap shooting, an archery course and snowmobiling throughout the year. 

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Western Pleasure  Idaho Dude Ranch Vacation

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

With gourmet dining and warm, western hospitality the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch offers not only the dude ranch vacation of your dreams, but a true western experience in the wilderness of Idaho. In addition to horseback riding, the ranch also offers special activities such as horse drawn wagon rides, mounted scavenger hunts and geocashing. 

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For more information take a look at the best dude ranches in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona and the rest of the West!

 

Pin this for later the best options for an Idaho Dude Ranch.

Are you looking for the ultimate guide for Idaho dude ranch, guest ranch and working cattle ranch vacations? These Idaho dude ranches offer all-inclusive vacation packages centered around horseback riding and adventure outdoor experiences like whitewater rafting, hiking and fishing. Some offer kid-centric family activities and others offer immersive cattle ranch activities. And, you’ll be extremely satisfied with the quality of the food and the accommodations at an Idaho dude ranch.

Where to Have an All-American Vacation Experience

'Made in America' continues to surge in popularity for not only domestic-minded shoppers in the U.S., but also for travelers. For those searching for an authentic getaway that stays true to your roots, consider exploring the Wild West. It doesn’t get any more authentic than the original all-inclusive, All-American experience: a dude ranch vacation – think cattle drives, hiking, rodeos, campfires and fishing.

A dude ranch vacation allows people of all ages to spend quality time in some of the country’s most beautiful, awe-inspiring settings. They are rooted in American tradition and principles – horses, hats, hospitality, heritage, honesty and heart – and that’s just the beginning.

Below are 8 All-American Dude Ranch Experiences:

 

1. Saddle Up, Like a Cowboy: Overseer Theron McGarry, a lifelong cowboy and fourth generation rancher, sees to it that guests at McGarry Ranches get the complete Western experience on these fully operational cattle ranches in Rexburg, Idaho. Guests have the opportunity to walk in a rancher’s shoes during their stay by completing typical farmhand tasks from filling water troughs and rescuing stray cows and calves to roping and fence mending, all while being treated to views of Snake River and the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

2. Participate in a Rockin' Rodeo: Saturdays at Rainbow Trout Ranch in Antonito, Colo., are spent in the arena preparing for the ranch’s rodeo. Kids, teens and adults spend the day trying their hand at traditional cowboy roping including corralling barrels and looping on to poles. The day culminates with a fast and furious "pony express" race between the wranglers, which is sure to enthrall rodeo lovers of all ages!

3. Take in the Views on Horseback: Everyday, twice a day, Bar Lazy J in Parshall, Colo., takes guests on adventure horseback rides with gorgeous views through canyons, forests and valleys. The ranch’s claim to fame is that no two rides are ever the same! Bar Lazy J offers extended rides featuring longer stretches of loping that are typically at a faster pace, perfect for thrill-seekers. Keep an eye out for local wildlife and animals as you ride through the various terrains.

Bar Lazy J All-American Dude Ranch experience

4. Learn to Fly Fish: The fly fishing and guided fishing tours at Diamond D Ranch are truly like no other. With streams 50 yards away from the cabins and a private lake on the ranch grounds in Stanley, Idaho, guests do not have to go far to relax and catch fresh rainbow and other native trout. Diamond D Ranch offers guided fly-fishing tours that range from a quick afternoon on the creek to multi-day, pack trip expeditions. It truly is an angler’s paradise!

5. Watch and Learn from the Rodeo Pros: Every Wednesday afternoon at White Stallion Ranch in Tuscon, Ariz., guests get to watch a real, traditional rodeo in action! As a tradition for almost 50 years, the wranglers and their families and friends come together in the White Stallion arena to compete in team roping, barrel racing and breakaway roping. Throughout the rodeo, narrators regale ranch guests with tales of the traditions behind the rodeo and the history of the West.

White Stallion Roping All-American Dude Ranch Experience

6. Become a Sharp Shooter: Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Harrison, Idaho, provides guests with a one-of-a-kind shooting experience with its 3D archery stations. Participants are taken on a hike through a trail in the woods to the course with life-size targets. These targets vary from life-size turkeys and elk to the occasional mountain lion, simulating a real hunting expedition.

7. Experience an Adventure Pack Trip: Rich’s Montana Guest Ranch in Seeley Lake, Mont., offers pack trips in the crown jewel of America’s wilderness system. These pack trips, which range from five to 10 days, take place in the 1.5 million acre Bob Marshall wilderness full of valleys, lakes, streams and mountains. Adventurers are on horseback and move camp every other day, with the non-riding days filled with fishing and exploring.

Rich Ranch Pack Trip Mountains All-American Dude Ranch Experience

8. Participate in Rodeo Games: One of the most unique and authentic activities at Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch in Quincy, Calif., is their Guest Rodeo Games. After a hearty Hamburger Cookout, guests meet at the corral for an afternoon of fun with the wranglers. The famous Greenhorn Games are for everyone in the family and feature barrel racing, pole-bending, keyhole competitions and even an egg race!

 

For more information or help in choosing the perfect ranch for you and your family please contact us at 307-587-2339 of shoot us an e-mail at info@duderanch.org.

 

‘Made in America’ continues to surge in popularity for not only domestic-minded shoppers in the U.S., but also for travelers. It doesn’t get any more authentic than the original all-inclusive, All-American experience: a dude ranch vacation – think cattle drives, hiking, rodeos, campfires and fishing.

Where to Have an All-American Vacation Experience

‘Made in America’ continues to surge in popularity for not only domestic-minded shoppers in the U.S., but also for travelers. For those searching for an authentic getaway that stays true to your roots, consider exploring the Wild West. It doesn’t get any more authentic than the original all-inclusive, All-American experience: a dude ranch vacation – think cattle drives, hiking, rodeos, campfires and fishing. A dude ranch vacation allows people of all ages to spend quality time in some of the country’s most beautiful, awe-inspiring settings. They are rooted in American tradition and principles – horses, hats, hospitality, heritage, honesty and heart – and that’s just the beginning. Below are 8 All-American Dude Ranch Experiences:

  1. Saddle Up, Like a Cowboy: Overseer Theron McGarry, a lifelong cowboy and fourth generation rancher, sees to it that guests at McGarry Ranches get the complete Western experience on these fully operational cattle ranches in Rexburg, Idaho. Guests have the opportunity to walk in a rancher’s shoes during their stay by completing typical farmhand tasks from filling water troughs and rescuing stray cows and calves to roping and fence mending, all while being treated to views of Snake River and the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

McGarry Ranches

  1. Participate in a Rockin' Rodeo: Saturdays at Rainbow Trout Ranch in Antonito, Colo., are spent in the arena preparing for the ranch’s rodeo. Kids, teens and adults spend the day trying their hand at traditional cowboy roping including corralling barrels and looping on to poles. The day culminates with a fast and furious "pony express" race between the wranglers, which is sure to enthrall rodeo lovers of all ages!
  1. Take in the Views on Horseback: Everyday, twice a day, Bar Lazy J in Parshall, Colo., takes guests on adventure horseback rides with gorgeous views through canyons, forests and valleys. The ranch’s claim to fame is that no two rides are ever the same! Bar Lazy J offers extended rides featuring longer stretches of loping that are typically at a faster pace, perfect for thrill-seekers. Keep an eye out for local wildlife and animals as you ride through the various terrains.
  1. Learn to Fly Fish: The fly fishing and guided fishing tours at Diamond D Ranch are truly like no other. With streams 50 yards away from the cabins and a private lake on the ranch grounds in Stanley, Idaho, guests do not have to go far to relax and catch fresh rainbow and other native trout. Diamond D Ranch offers guided fly-fishing tours that range from a quick afternoon on the creek to multi-day, pack trip expeditions. It truly is an angler’s paradise!
  1. Watch and Learn from the Rodeo Pros: Every Wednesday afternoon at White Stallion Ranch in Tuscon, Ariz., guests get to watch a real, traditional rodeo in action! As a tradition for almost 50 years, the wranglers and their families and friends come together in the White Stallion arena to compete in team roping, barrel racing and breakaway roping. Throughout the rodeo, narrators regale ranch guests with tales of the traditions behind the rodeo and the history of the West.
  1. Become a Sharp Shooter: Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Harrison, Idaho, provides guests with a one-of-a-kind shooting experience with its 3D archery stations. Participants are taken on a hike through a trail in the woods to the course with life-size targets. These targets vary from life-size turkeys and elk to the occasional mountain lion, simulating a real hunting expedition.
  1. Experience an Adventure Pack Trip: Rich’s Montana Guest Ranch in Seeley Lake, Mont., offers pack trips in the crown jewel of America’s wilderness system. These pack trips, which range from five to 10 days, take place in the 1.5 million acre Bob Marshall wilderness full of valleys, lakes, streams and mountains. Adventurers are on horseback and move camp every other day, with the non-riding days filled with fishing and exploring.
  1. Participate in Rodeo Games: One of the most unique and authentic activities at Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch in Quincy, Calif., is their Guest Rodeo Games. After a hearty Hamburger Cookout, guests meet at the corral for an afternoon of fun with the wranglers. The famous Greenhorn Games are for everyone in the family and feature barrel racing, pole-bending, keyhole competitions and even an egg race!

For more information or help in choosing the perfect ranch for you and your family please contact us at 307-587-2339 of shoot us an e-mail at info@duderanch.org.


Team Work Makes the Dream Work - Ranch Team Building

Staying on a dude ranch will offer tons and tons of activities in addition to horseback riding. At an Idaho ranch you can take your family and/or your coworkers for a week long, adventure filled vacation with activities designed for team building. For starters, there are challenge courses, zip lines, climbing walls, cattle work and river rafting. Then, once the team work is completed you can enjoy some solitude in the mountains.  Take a look at the different specialties offered.  

Challenge Course

At the Red Horse Mountain Ranch the challenge course is unlike any other experience you will have. Elements range from the ground to high elements like the 300 foot zip line. The course is designed to challenge you and your group mentally and physically with each element progressing in difficulty. The challenge course is a fantastic way for all ages to build confidence, work as a team and achieve new heights. Your challenge course facilitators will accompany you at the course; each is well trained and professionally certified to provide a fun and safe climbing environment.  Once you complete this course you have many, many other fun things to do before you leave the ranch.  

Working Cattle Ranch

If you are looking for a less traditional approach to team building, consider a working cattle ranch.  There's real teamwork in the ancient cowboy tradition of tending a herd of cattle. Wait, what? Yeah, at the McGarry Ranches your group becomes a part of the cowboys.  You might venture into a thousand acre pasture to find, gather and move 150 mama and calf pairs. Or, you might be sent off to rustle up some in the trees below. Doing authentic cattle work will be a wonderful change to any other type of group meetings.  Not only will you grow in confidence in yourself, your confidence in your companions' abilities will grow as well.  

White Water Rafting

White water rafting with the Seven Devils Lodge is, most definitely, a team building exercise. This rafting trip will take you down the world famous Hells Canyon, one of the most famous rafting destinations.  Be sure to go during high water for the most intensity. If you have ever been on a rafting trip you know that everyone has to paddle to ensure safety. Everyone works together to make the adventure fun and safe. It takes a team. And, team work makes the dream work on the river, in the office, at home, and everywhere else you are a part of a team.  Do yourself a favor - build your team somewhere fun, memorable and full of adventure - at a ranch.

Contact the Dude Ranch Team

Call the Dude Ranchers' Association for more information on planning your team building event or family vacation.

Red Horse Ropes Course Team

Challenge Course at Red Horse Mountain

McGarry Ranches Cowboy Team

Cowboys and Friends at the McGarry Ranches

Seven Devils Lodge River Rafting

Hells Canyon View by the Seven Devils Lodge



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All-American Dude Ranches in the West

At the more than 100 dude ranches that make up the Dude Ranchers’ Association, guests are sure to find the All-American Western vacation they have been dreaming of—days spent in the saddle, enjoying stunning scenery and breathing fresh country air, and evenings enjoying tasty down-home cooking and ranch entertainment. Today, as it did over a century ago, the western dude ranch experience offers relief for both the body and spirit of those seeking refuge from the pressures and routine of modern life.

Dude ranch vacations are based on a lifestyle that stretches back more than a century. By the end of the 1800s, most of the American West had been explored and the stories of its natural wonders had spread throughout the Eastern portion of the country as well as Europe. Lured by the promise of awesome beauty, a spirit of romance and adventure, and the honest simplicity of the western way of life, travelers headed west in search of a respite from the crowded, noisy squalor of fast-paced cities.

Most dude ranch guests are looking for that same experience today—a chance to rejuvenate their souls and refresh their spirits. And with the impressive array of activities found at these dude ranches, everyone—Mom, Dad, kids, grandparents, couples or singles—can find something that interests them.

Dude ranches are ideal places for kids and families to re-discover each other. Without the typical distractions of TV, phones, computers and electronic games, families spend time together, riding, hiking, playing games or simply talking. And while dude ranches are a popular destination for families, couples, singles and groups of all types love this unique traveling option as well. Most ranches offer a wide variety of activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing, river rafting, swimming pools, children’s programs, cattle drives, cookouts, line dancing and plain relaxing on the porch swing, so everyone in a group is sure to find something that appeals to them. And since the cooking, cleaning and planning is all taken care of, everyone enjoys a true vacation.

Cattle Ranches Dressed in the All-American Cowboy Tradition

Rowses All-American Cattle Ranch

Rowse’s 1+1, Burwell, Nebraska

Klondike Ranch, Buffalo, Wyoming


Family Owned and Operated - Generation after Generation

4UR All-American Cowgirl

McGarry Ranches, Rexburg, Idaho

4UR Ranch, Creede Colorado


Mount Rushmore - the All-American US Presidential Monument

Triple R Mount Rushmore USA

Triple R Ranch, Keystone, South Dakota


Rocky Mountain Range - Home of the Tetons

Moosehead Ranch in Rocky Mountains USA

Goosewing Ranch, Jackson, Wyoming

Moose Head Ranch, Moose, Wyoming

For more information about the unique experience of a dude ranch vacation or to request a brochure, call 1-866-399-2339 or visit www.duderanch.org.


 

Ride for the Adventure

Would you like to ride out on the open prairie shoulder to shoulder with your family?  If so there are great ranches who offer advanced horseback riding opportunities as the terrain permits. At the member ranches of the Dude Ranchers' Association safety is always first.  Trail guides are knowledgeable of horsemanship and teaching basic riding skills.  So take off on your next vacation and enjoy some advanced riding at a dude ranch. You are sure you would like some riding in the West, but maybe, not so sure about selecting the right ranch with the right personalities for your travels. No worries, the ranches listed below are carefully selected to provide you with the most adventure. They are listed by two separate categories, a working cattle ranch experience focusing on teaching you the ways of the cowboy and a traditional dude ranch experience focusing on trail riding and all sorts of other kinds of adventure. Once you have made it that far in your decision, further narrow in on your perfect match by looking at the terrain of the ranch, the time of year you are traveling and the scale of luxury you prefer.

 

Advanced Riding on a Working Cattle Ranch

Working cattle ranches would like guests to help them with their cattle work, so nose to tail  riding is discouraged while trailing a herd of 100+ cattle on a cattle drive.  You will find adventure around everyday cattle work well.

 

 

McGinnis Meadows Advanced Horseback Riding

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch, Libby, Montana

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch is an authentic working cattle ranch located in the northwest corner of Montana. Beginner riders to experienced leave here with more knowledge about horses, horsemanship, and cattle, than they've experienced anywhere else. With approximately 15 guests per week, we can better know you, work with you individually, and tailor each day to you.

 

 

Burnt Well Advanced Horseback Riding

Burnt Well Guest Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is located in warm, sunny, southeastern New Mexico. Guests have said "This is John Wayne country!" Our riding is in open pasture unless you opt for a mountain trail ride for your day trip, with a 6 day package.

 

 

MCgarry Ranches advanced Horseback Riding

McGarry Ranches, Rexburg, Idaho

If you wish to experience the lifestyle of the American Cowboy with a legitimate cattle outfit, riding daily on an American Quarter Horse then here is what we are and what we offer. Upon arrival at the ranch you will be given the firm handshake or welcoming hug after which you will lose the guest handle and become one of the McGarry Ranches Family of Wranglers. In other words, just one of us.

 

Advanced Riding on a Traditional Ranch

 

Traditional style ranches are equipped to offer adventure for the whole family, whether that's advanced riding for the horse enthusiast or an all day fly fishing trip or a children's program with water activities. Visit these ranches' websites to see which one offers your families style.

 

Colorado Trails Advanced Horseback Riding

Colorado Trails Ranch, Durango, Colorado

Family fun abounds at Colorado Trails Ranch located in the beautiful San Juan Mountains just outside of historic Durango, Colorado. Rides are grouped by ability (and desire). The rides range from scenic walk rides to loping through trees and meadows.

 

 

Vee Bar Advanced Horseback Riding

Vee Bar Guest Ranch, Laramie, Wyoming

The Vee Bar located near Laramie, Wyoming just 2 1/2 hours north of Denver, Colorado is a world-reknown family guest and dude ranch with a relaxed atmosphere sure to feel like home to your entire family. You will find a variety of terrain to suit your entire group. Loping rides are offered and we can comfortably accommodate riders of ALL abilities.

 

 

 

Blacktail Adventure Ranch

Blacktail Ranch, Wolf Creek, Montana

The Blacktail Ranch is a Historic 8,000 acre jewel, located where the prairie meets the Rockies in Wolf Creek Montana. Sign up for our two night three day "Divide Ride" where we stay in our upper camp and then ride to the top of the Continental Divide where you will experience expansive views of the Majestic Rocky Mountains from every direction.

 

Would you like to ride out on the open prairie shoulder to shoulder?  If so there are great ranch vacations offering advanced horseback riding opportunities as the terrain permits all across the Western United States. Read about them here.

More Advanced Horseback Riding?

Have more questions?  Please reach out to the DRA office  where more than one hundred ranches are represented across the Western United States and Canada.

 

 

Adventures in Living ~ Idaho Dude Ranches

Idaho is more than just potatoes. It is also home to your next mountain adventure. Whether this state is your next vacation destination or you are just passing through, it is worth an extra moment to enjoy. For a top quality ranch experience, stay at one of these Idaho sweet spots. A destination wedding, some 'ranch-y' cattle work or a guided hunt into the wilderness is just the beginning. Find more Idaho family or horsemanship locations here.

Happily Ever After

Diamond D Ranch in Idaho

Say your vows in the chapel built by hand, to create some of your most incredible memories at the Diamond D Ranch.  This special chapel was the vision of Linda Demorest and it took 11 summers to complete, built rock by rock. Linda is a minister and performs many weddings in this small, beautiful chapel built along Loon Creek.

Dates Open June 1 - October 15


4th Generation Cattle Ranch

McGarry Ranches Cattle Drive 2

Theorn McGarry, a lifelong cowboy, oversees the day to day cattle operations.  As the fourth generation rancher he invites you to participate in the maintenance and well being of his ranch cattle herd. Day to day activities also include roping, driving cattle to new pastures, fence mending and never ending odd jobs on over 55,000 acres at the McGarry Ranches.

Dates Open May 1 - October 31


Elk, Deer & Bear Hunts

Seven Devils Lodge in Idaho

Seven Devils Lodge & Guide Service hunts are guided on all private land with no fences.  Because the lodge is so passionate about the entire hunting experience they look forward to glassing in the morning and being out at first light just as much as the hunter.   A true sportsman experience is what we’re about.

Dates Open ~ January 1 - November 30


     

A New Twist on an Old Trend Seen By Dude Ranch Owners

“Same time, same place next year,” is a promise often heard on the trail and around the campfire of a dude ranch.   The remote, peaceful setting lends itself to easy camaraderie, so it’s not uncommon for lifetime friendships to develop during a ranch vacation.   Statistics bear out this phenomenon with dude ranch owners reporting more than a third of all reservations each season made by repeat visitors. Colleen Hodson reports a similar yet different pattern among the daily inquiries she receives at the headquarters of the Dude Rancher’s Association in Cody, Wyoming. Hodson, Executive Director of the DRA, as it’s known, says she’s starting to hear from folks she refers to, (tongue in cheek,) as “ranch junkies.”   These are travelers loyal to the Western ranch destination but preferring to explore a different DRA ranch each trip.

The traditional pleasures of Western living - riding, hiking, camping and fishing are still the major draw of a ranch escape.  And guests can always count on any DRA member ranch meeting the highest industry standards as well as being authentic and accurately portrayed in all of its’ advertising. But that’s where the commonality ends. Travelers considering a dude ranch destination only need to glance at the DRA website or member brochure to get a sense of the many types of ranches and menu of activities offered. One finds special ranch getaways for cowgirls or adults only, while many are a virtual “Disney World” for kids of all ages. Some ranches focus on the culinary experience serving the finest wine and food pairings along with cooking instructions by noted chefs. Others attract devotees to fitness by offering yoga, meatless menus and spa treatments.  Still more are known for birding, astronomy, and special eco-tours. And, photography classes, tennis clinics, and painting workshops are just a few options for guests looking for a Western styled learning adventure.

Hodson says, "the great thing about the diversity of DRA member ranches is no matter what ranch people choose they’ll experience the same wonderful western hospitality we’ve been promoting for 90 years.” See the ranches below for a warm, welcoming hospitality and a sense of belonging with your dude ranch owners.

Blacktail Ranch

Blacktail Ranch

The Blacktail Ranch is a Historic 8,000 acre jewel, located  where the prairie meets the Rockies in Wolf Creek Montana.  Our Grandfather first came this valley back in the late 1800's and our family has lived and worked here ever since.  We have been operating as a guest ranch since the 1950's.


Hawley Mountain Ranch

Hawley Mountain Ranch

Enjoy a Montana ranch vacation in a remote pristine wilderness north of Yellowstone. Small guest capacity and unique activities. Horseback riding; Fly fishing on private frontage along the Boulder River; Jeep ride to ghost town and historic gold mines; Hiking; Scenic raft float; Campfires/cookouts.


McGarry Ranches

McGarry Ranches

A working cattle ranch with cattle managed on approx. 55,000 acres in the Rocky Mountains. We only accept 10 guests per week, a chance to get to know everyone. If you wish to experience the lifestyle of the American Cowboy while riding daily in scenic mountains we invite you to come ride with us.


Nine Quarter Circle

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch

Adjacent to Yellowstone Park, the Nine Quarter Circle is "magical" thanks to our remote location which provides incredible scenery and excellent riding opportunities. Our family-oriented vacations feature riding for all ages and levels of horsemanship while awesome blue-ribbon fly-fishing can be found on-site and in nearby rivers. Traditional activities such as campfires, cookouts, hayrides and more are a big hit, as are our dedicated kids' programs. And this all comes served with the West's BEST hospitality!


Upper Canyon Outfitters

Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch

Upper Canyon Outfitters is nestled on the banks of the Ruby River, between three mountain ranges. Our family has been exploring these beautiful and wildlife-rich mountains since 1910. We are proud to offer a truly unforgettable Western Montana experience.


 

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