The Most Interesting Things You Can do During a Trip to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural monuments that attract tourists to Arizona from all over the world. If you haven’t seen the Grand Canyon, you should definitely do it. The best part is that there are great things you can do while at the location, not just witness the natural beauty of the landscape. So, you can spend several days in the area and make the most of your trip. Where can you find outstanding accommodations that are in theme with your outdoor adventure? There are several dude and guest ranches that can offer an unforgettable Arizona ranch vacation while getting the most out of your visit to the Grand Canyon.

Why choose dude ranches for your stay in the proximity of the Canyon? One of the best reasons to make such a choice is the fact that the Dude Ranchers’ Association selects only the best dude ranches to become their members, so you will always enjoy top services and conditions at these ranches. Also, you will have the chance to find gorgeous historic ranches that still preserve their old charm while offering exceptional accommodation options. In case you think that summer is the best season to visit the ranches and the stunning landscape around them, think twice, as winter may represent a much better choice. In winter, there are fewer visitors and you will actually be able to relax, not to mention that the surrounding mountains will offer mind-blowing views when their peaks will be covered in snow. But we will talk about dude ranches later on in this article. For now, let us focus on the most interesting things you can do during a trip at the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon

Don’t be intimidated by the name of this activity, as it doesn’t involve jumping out of a plane or paragliding. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is actually a walkway made out of glass and built at an impressive height above the canyon. So, when you walk around it, you will enjoy some of the most breathtaking views. It does feel like you are floating above the canyon, allowing you to see its grandiose character and realize just how massive the canyon is. This particular tour will give you the chance to enjoy the most spectacular parts of the Grand Canyon with minimum effort and in a relatively short period of time.

The North Rim 

Grand Canyon

The “other side” of the Grand Canyon, known officially as the North Rim, is gorgeous and not as visited as other parts of the Canyon. So, if you want to explore the magnificent landscape, enjoy great restaurants, and have unforgettable experiences without having to face large crowds of visitors, the North Rim is exactly what you need. Located at an elevation of 8,000 feet, it offers gorgeous views over the canyon. Still, if you plan to visit the North Rim, it is worth considering that the area is available only in the period ranging between the 15th of May and 15th of October. So, this part is closed for the winter, as the temperature and weather here are slightly worse here, due to the orientation of this area. But, during the warm season, it is one of the best parts you can enjoy if you are looking to enjoy a more peaceful vacation.

Helicopter Tours 

Grand Canyon

Enjoying a helicopter tour is the fastest, most exciting, and spectacular way to see the Grand Canyon. It is hard to tell just how large and intricate the Canyon is until you actually get up in the sky and explore it from up above. A helicopter tour will give you the chance to get a panoramic view of the Canyon, something that not very many people can see during regular visiting tours. So, if you really want to spoil yourself and someone you love, and create memories you will never forget, schedule a helicopter tour around the canyon. There are special tours that will show you the best sides of this natural monument that won’t resemble any other experience you will have while enjoying your vacation in the area.

Whitewater Rafting in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

You plan on doing something more adventurous on your vacation? Well, the Grand Canyon has something to offer to each type of tourist. So, besides relaxing walks and enjoying the scenery, you can easily opt for white water rafting as well. If the helicopter will allow you to see the Canyon from up above, white water rafting will take you down under, gliding between the tall walls of the canyon. Don’t worry if you’ve never done such a thing, as this activity is very well organized and you will be completely safe. The worst thing that can happen to you is to get splashed by water during your ride on the river. So, since you already took the trip down here, it is worth making the most of everything the Grand Canyon has to offer.

 

Also, with the help of dude ranches, you will definitely have anything but a boring vacation. You can enjoy more than just the activities available at the Grand Canyon, as these ranches in Arizona offers a wide range of options when it comes to having fun in the outdoors. It is worth mentioning that the Dude Ranchers’ Association is dedicated to offering unique experiences to all of the guests that pass the threshold of the ranches belonging to the association. The concept manages to entwine top-notch hospitality services with cattle farming, horseback riding, and reconnecting with nature in very many ways. It is really possible to see and explore the wilderness while enjoying accommodations, food, and entertainment at the highest standards. The ranches may have a rustic appearance and preserve a lot of the traditions connected to old ranches, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have what it takes to answer to your requirements. Just check out these dude ranches belonging to the Dude Ranchers’ Association and you will understand that high-quality standards are a must and will be respected at all times.

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Email: vacation@stgr.com

Phone: +1 866-444-4471 +1 928-727-8270

Location: Yucca, Arizona

Closest Airport: Las Vegas

Kay El Bar Ranch

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email: info@kayelbar.com

Phone: +1 928-684-7593

Location: Wickenburg, Arizona

Closest Airport: Phoenix

Rancho de los Caballeros

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email: info@sunc.com

Phone: +1 800-684-5030 +1 928-684-5484

Location: Wickenburg, Arizona

Closest Airport: Phoenix

White Stallion Ranch

Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email: info@whitestallion.com

Phone: +1 888-977-2624 +1 520-297-0252

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Closest Airport: Tucson

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Why choose dude ranches for your stay in the Grand Canyon area? The DRA selects only the best ranches as members, you will enjoy top services & conditions.

 

Blog written by: Olivier Templar-James

http://www.luxurytravelersguide.com/

Golf Lovers Guide to Ranch Holidays

For the 24 million golf enthusiasts in the US, a holiday without golf could be likened to a golf ball without dimples – seriously below par. Dude Ranch vacations are a great way to combine a unique and unforgettable holiday with a spot of your favorite sport and with many properties boasting premium standard courses on site, there’s no need to worry about traveling to hit the fairways either. Our top tips will ensure your golfing ranch holiday is guaranteed to hit the ‘sweet spot’.

Choose Your Location Wisely

Why travel to an off-site course when you can have a full 18-hole course within putting distance of your ranch.  Pick a ranch with a golf course on property to ensure you pack as much golf into your stay as possible. Rancho de los Caballeros in Arizona, is a great example, where you can tee off at one of Golf Digest’s top 100 US courses. If you’re travelling with family there’s a wealth of other activities to keep them occupied while you’re on the golf course.  A full kids program will keep the young ones entertained, and other family members can choose from shooting sports, or a spot of relaxation in the spa and of course horseback riding comes as standard. Similar facilities can be found at Mountain Sky Ranch in Montana and A Bar A Ranch in Wyoming.

Golf vacations

18 holes of golf with a beautiful view at Rancho de los Caballeros in Arizona

Be Game Ready

To those who don’t play golf, it may seem like one of the more relaxed sports but the average 18-hole course is over 4.03 miles and most golfers walk much further than the course length during a game.  Add to that long hike the strength, power and agility needed to repeatedly swing the clubs (up to 300 times in a game) and hit the ball up to 300 meters– not to mention carrying the kit (unless you’ve brought your caddy along); it’s clear that a round of golf equals a demanding workout. Regular moderate cardio at least three times a week in the lead up to your stay will ensure you have the stamina to tackle the course as many times as you desire throughout your vacation.  There are also exercises that can significantly improve your performance on the course.  Warming up for instance can improve scores as well as limiting the chance of injury. Similarly, stretching will give you a much better swing.

Golf vacations

Play a round of golf in on one of the most unqiue golf courses in the west at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana.

Be an early ‘Birdie’

Whilst on vacation you may be tempted to hit the snooze button and idle in bed until lunchtime but when it comes to an early tee time, the early ‘birdie’ really does catch the worm.  Not only will you be fresher, more alert and less fatigued from other activities. Get to the course early and you’ll enjoy fresh greens and fairways – spike mark and divot free – and most likely you’ll have the course to yourself to play at your own pace (no waiting for the next tee or rushing to alleviate the queue behind you). It’ll also leave the rest of the day to enjoy the wealth of activities along with the history, heritage and hospitality of your ranch stay.

Dude Ranch stays are always memorable and offer the opportunity to take part in a wide range of outdoor activities (not just horseback riding), so why not combine your favorite pastime with an outdoor adventure like nothing else.

Save this pin for golf lovers! 

Dude Ranch vacations are a great way to combine a unique and unforgettable holiday with a golf excursion, no need to travel far to hit the fairways!

Why Arizona Winters are Great for Ranch Vacations

Arizona is a wonderful place to vacation, especially to beat the winter blues. With a consistently warm and predictable climate, it’s no wonder people flock to Arizona during the winter months to enjoy the outdoors. On a ranch vacation you’ll enjoy horseback riding, fine western dining, perfectly appointed accommodations and many other western lifestyle activities. Here are four reasons Arizona winters are great for ranch vacations. 

1. Beautiful Weather 

Obviously, the weather is one of the most popular reasons you might want to go to Arizona during the winter. The sun shines most every day (300+ days a year) and temperatures average about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though you can find snow-covered mountains, the central to southern parts of the state often enjoy mild weather in shorts or t-shirts. At the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, you’ll get to enjoy spectacular sunsets late into the evening comfortably around a camp fire. 

Arizona Winters

Sunset at the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch in Yucca, Arizona. 

 

2. Culture of the Southwest 

With a combination of historical native American and Hispanic cultures, the atmosphere in Arizona is unique to the rest of the country. These cultures blend in with the history of the cowboy at some of the most famous locations. At Tombstone Monument Ranch you can relive what it was like to live in an old Southwestern Town like famous western characters did. Rancho de la Osa is off the beaten path near the border of Mexico and immerses guests into a different world. Want to learn about the local flora and fauna? Then you will want to be at the Circle Z Ranch, where local Naturalist, Ethnobotanist, and Survival Expert Vincent Pinto leads their guests on a 1-hour Nature walk. His expertise is inspiring, as he discusses birds, a variety of rich habitats, edible plants, and Arizona’s famed Sky Islands.  Arizona Winters

Southwestern town of the Tombstone Monument Ranch in Tombstone, Arizona. 

 

3. Outdoor Activities

With the beauty of the outdoors you’ll want to spend as much time outside as you can. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching and cattle drives are some activities you can do to enjoy the mountains or deserts in Arizona. The Flying E Ranch offers all of these adventures and more in an area that’s just minutes from Wickenburg, Arizona on 20,000 acres to ride and roam. Tee up your western vacation at Rancho de los Caballeros. The golf course located on the ranch was designed by Greg Nash and Jeff Hardin, the Los Caballeros course is a Golf Digest top-five rated course and a top 100 course nationally. Featuring rolling terrain, two beautiful lakes, bunkers and five sets of tees, this challenging course can be set up for a variety of playing styles and levels. What about rock climbing, have you ever tried it?  If you’ve never tried climbing before, here’s your chance to experience it in an incredible setting. If you’re an experienced climber, you will be wowed by the climbs at White Stallion Ranch.  Their AMGA, PCGI Certified Climbing Instructor will guide you climbing boulders and faces on the East end of the ranch. He has designed beginner, intermediate and advanced climbs.

Arizona Winters

Guests participating in team penning at the Flying E Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. 

 

4. Family Time

You’ll want to take the whole family with you on vacation. From babies to grandma and grandpa everybody will enjoy a wonderful winter getaway. You’ll be looking for a nice swimming pool, an ample supply of board games, tennis, basketball and kid’s counselors for the youngest ones. Elkhorn Ranch provides everything you need for a successful and unforgettable multi-generational vacation. Another great option with an excellent kid’s program is the Tanque Verde Ranch their activities will engage, educate, and entertain, in addition to teach kids the importance of working together. Their caring and knowledgeable team will ensure a safe and fun experience for your child.

Arizona Winters

Kids learning how to care for horses at the Elkhorn Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. 

 

 

Take a look at the other great ranches in Arizona below and read more from our blog about Arizona dude ranches.

Arizona Winters

Kids develop lifelong friends at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch in Tucson, Arizona

 

Arizona Winters

The unique cabins, or casitas of the Rancho de la Osa in Sasabe, Arizona. 

 

Arizona Winters

Ride or hike through beautiful desert plants at the Circle Z Ranch in Patagonia, Arizona. 

 

Arizona Winters

Play 18 holes at Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona

 

Arizona Winters

Experirnce rock climbing at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

 

 

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Arizona is a wonderful place to vacation, especially to beat the winter blues. With a consistently warm and predictable climate, it’s no wonder people flock to Arizona during the winter months to enjoy the outdoors. On a ranch vacation you’ll enjoy horseback riding, fine western dining, perfectly appointed accommodations and many other western lifestyle activities. Here are four reasons Arizona winters are great for ranch vacations.

Discover Western Dude Ranches as your next Corporate Meeting Site

With dude ranches located in some of the most unique and private locations in the West, it’s no wonder they continue to be ever popular destinations for groups and corporate meetings. Dude ranches are perfect for conference planners who are looking for a location to appreciate the great outdoors via horseback riding, fishing, hiking and other adventures while meeting in high-tech spaces with Wi-Fi and all the technology standard to modern meeting facilities. Some ranches can accommodate large groups of more than 100 people, while others offer a more intimate environment to enjoy with your group. All ranches offer the highest standards of the hospitality industry with lodges and cabins and luxury amenities. And fine dining? These ranches will cook up some of the best meals you've had with professionally trained chefs, fine wine lists and farm to table cuisine. So why not head up into the mountains, forests or wide-open plains for your next meeting? 

 

Here are some great dude ranches for your next corporate meeting site. 

 

Upper Canyon Wine for your Corporate Meeting Site

With a wide selection of fine wines the Upper Canyon Outfitters are great hosts for your next corporate meeting site.  

 

Upper Canyon Outfitters 

Alder, Montana

What could be a more beautiful setting for your next event than nestled at the bank of a river in between three different mountain ranges? The Upper Canyon Outfitters hosts spectacular scenery while you explore these beautiful and wildlife-rich mountains. For corporate team building and leadership retreats the Upper Canyon Outfitters offers an event center with a full kitchen complete with dishes and utensils, as well as tables, chairs and everything you need to make your event something truly special. The ranch offers experts for demonstrations and team building events in outdoor survival skills and Equine Facilitated Learning. Upper Canyon can host up to 18 people and is open June 1 - December 1. 

 

Tombstone Monument Ranch

Tombstone, Arizona

With all the Western history of famous cowboys, Apache Indians and silver mining this ranch is styled as an old West town with 18 uniquely designed rooms. Your group will be able to walk where historical characters of the west walked and ride out on horseback where they rode. The ranch can accommodate 20 people in their unique Mine Shaft room or up to 120 people in the barn with all the modern amenities. A bar and a chuck wagon buffet to cater to your group’s needs will all be set in a western style. Tombstone Monument is open year-round. 

 

Blacktail Ranch

Wolf Creek, Montana

With unlimited horseback riding, fishing, cave exploring, evening entertainment and much more the Blacktail Ranch offers an intimate setting for your group of 10 - 30 people. An octagonal building with an extraordinary 360-degree view of the Rocky Mountains awaits for your group meetings, dancing, receptions and any other activities. The Blacktail Ranch is open from June 1 - October 1. 

 

Vista Verde Ranch

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

If you are looking for more than just a riding ranch with diverse activities, amazing food, friendly staff and luxury amenities for your next corporate meeting site then Vista Verde Ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado might be the place for you. Open in the summer and winter the ranch offers western team building activities tailored to your skill levels and customized to fit your plans. Ever heard of pasture golf? Vista Verde will make a unique setting and creative activities to make your meeting planner’s job easy. Vista Verde can host up to 52 people and also offers team building and group activities in the winter from December 14 - March 31 and summer June 5 - October 18.  

 

Vista Verde Lodge Corporate Meeting Site

Vista Verde lodge meeting space.

 

Rancho de los Caballeros

Wickenburg, Arizona

How about a 4,500 square-foot conference room in the middle of the Sonoran Desert for your next board meeting, corporate event or celebration? Rancho de los Caballeros has a secluded and relaxing Southwestern ranch environment for your group to hang out, work and bond at the ranch. For that over the top fun activity check out their on property 18-hole golf course and spa. Would you like the ranch all to yourself? You can rent out the ranch exclusively. Rancho de los Caballeros can host up to 140 people and is open October 1 - May 15. 

 

Discover Western Dude Ranches as your next Corporate Meeting Site

 

With dude ranches located in some of the most unique locations, it’s no wonder they continue to be popular destinations for groups and corporate meetings.

 

Read more about dude ranches and corporate meetings on our blog!

 

What is a Dude Ranch?

What is a dude ranch? A dude ranch is a vacation destination that hosts guests to share in their Western lifestyle activities. For dude ranches who are members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association this is an all-inclusive immersive vacation that includes lodging, meals, horseback riding, fishing, hiking and more. With more than 100 members in the Association the experience is unique at every ranch with a specialty in horseback riding over unique terrain, cattle work and/or luxury amenities. From small, intimate ranches to large resort style ranches there is a ranch to fit every budget and dream vacation. 

Take a look at the sampling of ranches below to get a better understanding of what is a dude ranch. 

Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch What is a dude ranch

Allen’s Diamond Four Ranch, Wyoming

Snapshot: 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 Shoshone National Forest. 

Capacity: 8

Dates Open: June 15 - September 15

Activities: At the ranch you can explore the nearby Wind River Indian Reservation, historic gold mining towns, Yellowstone Park or go white water rafting. Friendly and informal, the Diamond 4 Ranch has only 4 guest cabins, assuring you a personalized and relaxing wilderness experience.

Click here to view all ranches in Wyoming

 

Rancho de los Caballeros lawn Golf What is a dude ranch

Rancho de los Caballeros, Arizona

Snapshot: Rancho de los Caballeros is the resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast offering full resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. 

Capacity: 140

Dates Open: October 1 - May 15

Activities: Explore the serenity of the high Sonoran desert terrain on a horse chosen to match your riding ability, tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course, relax at The Spa, take a breathtaking tour of the desert by jeep or ATV, mountain bike or hot air balloon, trap and skeet shooting, tennis lessons, guided nature hikes, swimming and team penning just like the real cowboys.

Click here to view all ranches in Arizona

 

McGinnis Meadows Ranch What is a dude ranch

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch, Montana

Snapshot: McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch is a first class working dude ranch in Northwest Montana offering cattle drives all season long, Buck Brannaman horsemanship and non-head-to-tail horseback rides for all levels.

Capacity: 15

Dates Open: January 1 - December 22

Activities: Riding horses and working cattle is what McGinnis Meadows is all about. You'll experience full days in the saddle, or the ranch will tailor the day to fit you. Authentic cowboys will teach you all you need to know about their horses. From there you can head out and drive cattle on 75,000 acres of summer range, further your horsemanship skills, ride and explore new country and work steers sorting, cutting and ranch penning. Just relaxing is always an option too. There’s also a first class fly fishing outfitter nearby.

Click here to view all ranches in Montana

 

Eatons Ranch Trail Ride Family What is a dude ranch

 

Eaton’s Ranch, Wyoming 

Snapshot: For over 138 years Eatons’ Ranch has been a Wyoming dude ranch and working cattle ranch located on the magnificent, pine covered eastern slopes of the Bighorn Mountains in northeastern Wyoming. 

Capacity: 120

Dates Open: June 1 - September 30

Activities: Eatons' offers guests the unique opportunity to ride one of their 220 horses unescorted with the permission of the Ranch. This allows guests the remarkable freedom to fully explore this beautiful 7,000 acres of country into the Big Horn Mountains. The ranch also offers excellent trout fishing, overnight pack trips, a heated swimming pool and more. 

Click here to view all ranches in Wyoming

 

Hunewill Guest Ranch in California What is a dude ranch

 

Hunewill Circle “H” Guest Ranch, California

Snapshot: Hunewill Ranch is a family owned and operated cattle and guest ranch located near Yosemite National Park in the beautiful Bridgeport Valley of California. Horseback riding and cattle work are the featured attractions for a vacation experience suited to families, singles or couples.

Capacity: 45

Dates Open: May 25 - November 10

Activities: Hunewill offers you a full ranch experience starting with horseback riding and includes evening activities such as talent night, family dance night, barbecues on the creek, or watching as young foals and yearlings are being trained. There is world class trout fishing in the nearby East Walker River, and in the many lakes and streams in the adjacent Toiyabe National Forest.

Click here to view all ranches in California

 

Follow up questions? Click on the links below or contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association to talk to a Ranch Vacation Expert. 

 

What type of dude ranch fits me? 

 

What will I do on a dude ranch? 

 

Why DRA ranches? 

 

Ever wonder what is a dude ranch? A dude ranch is a vacation destination that hosts guests to share in their Western lifestyle activities. Ranches are located in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, California, Idaho. For dude ranches who are members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association this is an all-inclusive immersive vacation that includes lodging, meals, horseback riding, fishing, hiking and more.

Pin for later - What is a dude ranch? 

Fine Dining Dude Ranch Vacations for Foodies

The Dude Ranchers' Association has scoured the Western United States and found the best dude and guest ranch vacations money can buy. As with the nature of a ranch, horseback riding is a key outdoor adventure of the day's activities, but for some foodie families, the magic really starts with hors d'oeuvres, runs with a full course meal and culminates after dessert with a glass of fine wine and a peaceful sunset. We've picked out some of the best dude ranch vacations for foodies. We promise, you'll certainly get a craving for the culinary experiences offered by the dude ranches below. But, don't just settle for one ranch, try them all!

 

Dude Ranch Vacations for Foodies

 

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch

You'll soon discover that at Mountain Sky the meals will be one of the most memorable parts of your stay. The ranch kicks things off with hors d'oeuvres and drinks in the saloon followed by a three to five course dinner featuring carefully crafted and regionally inspired dishes. Complement your dinner with a bottle of wine and try to leave room for a slice of chocolate decadence or Basque cake. 

More Montana Dude & Guest Ranch Vacations

Mountain Sky Ranch Fine Dining Dude Ranch Vacations for Foodies

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch is happy to accommodate any dietary needs, requests or allergies. 

 

Gros Ventre River Ranch

Here at this Jackson Hole Wyoming dude ranch, dining is serious business. If you mention a tie at any of the meals at Gros Ventre River ranch it had better be in reference to fly fishing. While the sit down dinners are fine dining, the dress code is anything but formal. You'll find that jeans and boots pair well with a rack of lamb, elk tenderloin and grilled salmon. 

More Wyoming Dude & Guest Ranch Vacations

 

Gros Ventre Steak Food Picnic Fine Dining for Foodies

You'll definitely remember a savory barbeque complete with a cowboy singer around the fire pit at Gros Ventre River Ranch.

 

 

Vista Verde Ranch

The culinary program and foodie philosophy at Vista Verde Ranch is designed to impress even the most experienced palates. With each meal Executive Chef Cholly McGlynn balances ranch-y with fancy, comfort food with a lighter option, as well as accommodates any dietary restrictions. 

More Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Vacations

Vista Verde Food Wine Foodie Dude Ranch Vacation

Attend a wine tasting class at the Vista Verde Ranch. The love of wine is a lot like the love of horses - you'll never be an expert, because there's always more to learn. 

 

The Home Ranch

As a Relais and Chateaux property the Home Ranch serves inspired Farm to table cuisine. By farm to table they mean the chef's serve Sand Mountain beef, pork and poultry along with all of the produce, herbs and flowers the ranch's greenhouse and raised bed gardens can grow in a season. 

More Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Vacations

Home Ranch Breakfast Foodie Dude Ranch Vacation

And every day starts with a great breakfast at the Home Ranch.

 

4UR Ranch

One of the highest considerations at the 4UR Ranch is the quality and creativity of the food prepared for guests and staff. You can expect the food to be beautiful and delicious as well as home grown and locally sourced. You'll appreciate Chef Blake's Le Cordon Bleu's perfected talents whether it's dinner in the lodge or a lunch picnic next to the stream. 

More Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Vacations

4UR Ranch Dude Ranch Vacations for Foodies

While most ranch resorts serve meals family style, the 4UR ranch prefers to reserve a table for you and your family for the entire week of your stay. 

 

In love with the Dude Ranchers' Association's selection of dude ranch vacations for foodies? 

Whichever ranch you choose to go to first, your foodie vacation will surely take your taste buds on a fresh discovery of flavors and menu's. However, you'll also realize that the food isn't the only highlight of your vacation. You'll love every minute of these western ranch vacations. From fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding to water sports. During the day you'll work up an appetite in some of the most remote, mountainous locations in the West. From California to Arkansas the Dude Ranchers' Association represents the best of all luxury dude ranch vacations, working cattle ranch vacations and traditional guest ranch vacations

 

Read more about culinary dude ranch experiences & dude ranch recipes here. 

 

Dude Ranch Vacations for Foodies

 

As with the nature of a ranch, horseback riding is a key outdoor adventure of the day's activities, but for some foodie families, the magic really starts with hors d'oeuvres, runs with a full course meal and culminates after dessert with a glass of fine wine and a peaceful sunset. We've picked out some of the best fine dining locations for you. We promise, you'll certainly get a craving for the culinary experiences offered by the dude ranches below. But, don't just settle for one ranch, try them all!

The 9 Best Dude & Guest Ranches for an Arizona Ranch Vacation

Without question Arizona is a beautiful state and a wonderful destination for a dude & guest ranch vacation during the winter months, and all year long. The state is known for some of the most colorful characters in American history. Here, you can walk (or horseback ride) in the footsteps of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Pancho Villa, Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. With a personal guide for the many outdoor activities Arizona ranch vacations offer you’ll get an in-depth lesson on the particular area of each dude ranch.


With a variety of geographical features, you might ride in the mountains, deserts and grass lands. With 27 National Parks in Arizona the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and the Saguaro National Park will be just the start to explore the state of Arizona.



Here are the 9 Best Dude & Guest Ranches for an Arizona Ranch Vacation and the top reasons for going to each one.

 

Tombstone Town Western


Visit One of the Most Iconic Western Towns

Tombstone Monument Ranch in Tombstone, Arizona when you visit here you will get to walk the streets that Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and outlaw Curly Bill Brocius once walked. It has been said at this ranch the guests don’t just feel like they got away, they feel like they have traveled back in time.

 

traditional


Saguaro National Park with western adventure, solitude and luxury amenities

The Tanque Verde Ranch just east of Tucson will make your next stay an unforgettable Arizona ranch vacation experience. With the La Sonora Spa, fine dining, great horseback riding and additional outdoor activities for all ages your whole family will love this dude ranch resort.

 

Circle Z Field View Cowgirl


Ride Across the Grasslands in Southern Arizona

At Circle Z Ranch you will get to experience the heart of Southern Arizona’s Sky Islands and thousands of acres of scenic horseback riding trails. You’ll get to ride out on the distinct Arizona grasslands, but also experience canyons and mountains rising suddenly and dramatically out of the desert lowlands. You might come for the views, but you’ll come back for the hospitality.

 

Elkhorn Ranch Arizona Ranch Vacation


Where the Baboquivari Mountains and the Altar Valley Meet

Whether you travel solo, as a couple or with your whole family, you will find friendship, rest and adventure at the Elkhorn Ranch and the miles and miles of mountain and desert trails. The area is home to an extensive variety of curious sonoran vegetation and birding.

 

White Stallion Running


All Day Riding and Team Penning

At the White Stallion Ranch near Tucson you can spend up to 6 hours a day in the saddle and practice your team penning skills three times a week. For your non-riding companions there’s still plenty to do. A tennis court, sport court, petting zoo, game room, movie theater and hiking program provide fun activities for all ages.

 

Flying E Barn Gather


Working Cattle Ranch to Ride and Roam   

The Flying E Dude Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona has 20,000 acres to ride and there is seldom a day without sunshine. This is a casual and relaxed ranch with home cooked meals served family style. You can enjoy beginner, intermediate and advanced riding as well as many non riding ranch activities.

 

Rancho De Los Caballeros Horseback Riding Golf

 

Ride horses and Tee off at one of Golf Digest’s Top 100 U.S. courses

Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona offers the perfect getaway to the old southwest. As a resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast you’ll feel the charm and intimacy of yesteryear with the amenities of a resort. Horseback riding and golf are just the start of the list of things to do at this Arizona Ranch Vacation.

 

Rancho De La Osa Historical Black and White


Arizona’s Most Historic Ranch

Rancho De La Osa in Sasabe, Arizona is a sportsman’s paradise and is surrounded by the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge near the Mexican Border. You can enjoy a scenic horseback ride on trails frequented by U.S. Presidents and legendary figures like Pancho Villa.

 

Stagecoach Trails Arizona Ranch Vacation

 

Family Atmosphere Welcomes all

The Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch invites guests to stay at the ranch and be a part of the guest ranch family, even if it is only for a little while. At the feet of the Mohave and Hualapi mountains you can be assured of breathtaking views, constant sunny days and a fantastic Arizona ranch vacation.



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Without question Arizona is a beautiful state and a wonderful destination for a dude & guest ranch vacation during the winter months, and all year long. Here, you can walk (or horseback ride) in the footsteps of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. With a personal guide for the many outdoor activities Arizona ranch vacations offer you’ll get an in-depth lesson on the particular area of each dude ranch

Best Things to Do at a Dude Ranch When You Aren't Horseback Riding

Dude Ranches are a super family vacation destination. But what if one of your family members is just not that into horses? Relax. In addition to trail rides, dude ranches offer a wide range of appealing activities. Give archery a try or perhaps take a cooking class. Maybe you just want to curl up with a good book before a nap. Optimism TravelingMom Cathy Bennett Kopf shares some of the activities available at a dude ranch that don't involve a horse.

 

 Flyfishing-Rawah-Ranch

Flyfishing is an activity offered at many dude ranches, such as Rawah Ranch in Colorado. Photo: Allison Bean Taylor/Family Vacations US.com

 

What if my knee flares up?

Booking a dude ranch vacation for my family is something I plan to do. In fact, we schedule biennial reunions for 20 of us and, on our last trip, we all voted for one that involves horseback riding.

I voted “yes’ reluctantly.

For the past few years, my left knee gets swollen, creaky and very painful. Despite my relatively young age - cough, cough - the orthopedist says it’s arthritis. Rest, Aleve and gentle movement usually make it go away. But the bouts occur without warning.

My fear is that we’ll book our dream dude ranch vacation and just as I’m about to mount my steed, my knee will buckle and I’ll be consigned to the bunkhouse for the duration of our trip.

 latigo-guest-ranch-view

Dude ranches are set in some of the prettiest spots in North America. A great alternative to horseback riding is to simply relax and take in the view like this one at Latigo Guest Ranch. Photo: Diana Rowe/TravelinginHeels.com




  

6 Great Dude Ranch Activities Beyond Horseback Riding

 

Not to worry, the experts at the Dude Ranchers’ Association say it’s possible to have a fantastic dude ranch vacation without ever going horseback riding. Say what? For those of you who have allergies, or kids too small to ride or arthritic joints, here are the best things to do at a dude ranch if you don’t ride horses.

 

1. Practice your Photography

 

Dude ranches are set in the prettiest landscapes in North America. I’d really enjoy getting up in the predawn hours, sneaking out of the bunkhouse and shooting sunrise photos of the mountains in Montana or Nebraska’s Great Plains.

And, even if I’m not horseback riding, animals make great subjects for photos. Sweet Grass Ranch in Montana offers 3-day workshops with an award-winning Western photographer to practice your skills and help you capture ranch life for your Instagram feed!

 Zapata-Cattle-Drive

I could spend hours shooting photos during a dude ranch cattle drive like this one at Zapata Ranch. Photo: Dude Ranchers' Association

 

2. Listen to Traditional Music

 

The sights of a dude ranch are the first things that come to my mind: horses, low-slung bunkhouses, cattle pens. But there’s a sound, too. Think of traditional folk music with fiddles, guitars and an upright bass.

The Home Ranch, a luxurious Relais & Chateaux property in Colorado, features nightly entertainment for guests and a weekly barn dance. With a caller telling you how to dosado (or perhaps you prefer do-si-do?) and promenade your partner, it’s great for people like me who don’t have moves like Jagger.

 

3. Try Something Completely Different - Glamping!

 

When I think dude ranch, I envision bunkhouses with rustic beds, a big ole fireplace and a large kitchen table for card playing at night. Just like the places where cowboys stayed in every Western movie I’ve ever seen.

However, Bull Hill Guest Ranch in Washington State has two glamping tents available for guests. I would book one of these in a heartbeat. Maybe not for a family trip, but if it was just hubby and me or we were dude ranching with friends, a glamping tent would be so much fun to try. They’re decorated in comfy luxury and let you be outside in the great outdoors without the discomfort of sleeping on the rocky ground.

 

4. Relax and Unwind at a Dude Ranch Spa

 

If you choose not to go horseback riding during your dude ranch vacation, spending a day or two indulging in spa treatments might be just the cure to fix what ails you. Or if you do take daily trail rides, you might need a massage to work out the kinks after you dismount.

Arizona’s Rancho de Los Cabelleros features a full-service spa comparable to those you’d find in a luxury hotel. They feature a Bourbon Bubbler Body Scrub because even cowboys like a pampering now and then!

 

5. Dine and Wine

 

If you think you’ll be eating franks and beans during your dude ranch vacation, think again. Cattle wrangling is hard work, even if you’re sitting on the sidelines watching all the action. Many dude ranches feature gourmet meals, prepared with locally sourced meats and produce. Who knew there was such a thing as a cowboy foodie?

And nothing pairs better with great food than wine. The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is located in the heart of wine country in Solvang, California. They’ve arranged complimentary tastings at a number of nearby wineries for ranch guests.

 

6. Tour Area Attractions

 

North American dude ranches stretch from Arkansas to California and north into British Columbia in Canada. You may choose one that’s in an isolated region. Or, your dude ranch may be located in an area worth touring.

 

mt-rushmore-south-dakota

Dude ranches offer tours of area attractions such as Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. Photo: Shutterstock/amadeustx

 

For example, the Triple R Ranch in South Dakota is a great base to explore the state’s attractions. During a weeklong stay, guests have the opportunity to hop in a ranch vehicle and see the famous Mount Rushmore lighting ceremony, check out the Dakota badlands and visit the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Of course, you may choose to spend your entire dude ranch vacation horseback riding. It’s an amazing opportunity to experience a way of life that’s completely different than the one most of us city slickers live each day.

But, when you dismount, or, if you’re just not that into horses, there are plenty of activities to keep a cowboy or cowgirl entertained.

 

Author: Cathy Bennet Kopf, TheOpenSuitcase.com

 

Considering a dude ranch vacation but want to do more than just ride horses? Outdoor adventures, activities, excursions, and things to do beyond horseback riding, including a few that might surprise you!

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Specials near the Border for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de MayoArrrrribaa!! Cinco de Mayo is less than a month away! If Taco Tuesdays are a weekly celebration at your house than heading south for Cinco de Mayo may be something of interest. Did you know, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces back in 1862? Nowadays the date has become a celebration of Mexican-American culture. This year celebrate big by going to a South Western dude ranch vacation close to the Mexican border. At these ranches decorations are up year round, but it's called interior design. Horses (and possibly donkeys) are ready for you to saddle up ride off into the sunset. Cheers to Mexican-American culture and food. Book now and ask when they will serve the queso dip! Yum!

Giddy-Up Gals Package

Rancho de los Caballeros Giddy-up Gals for Cinco de Mayo

Giddy-Up Gals package is tailored for women who wish to have a fabulous Southwestern escapade in Wickenburg, Arizona! Rancho de los Caballeros is the resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast offering full resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. It's the kind of place where everyone knows your name. Click for Reservations or Call 800-684-5030

 

Discounts for Veterans, Active Service Members and Law Enforcement Officers

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch Discounted Rates for Service Men & Women for Cinco de Mayo

Located in the heart of cowboy country in Yucca, Arizona Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch is dedicated to providing you with the best dude ranch vacation you can find. A special, friendly atmosphere let's you glimpse into the old west while enjoying the beautiful northwest Arizona desert. Click for Reservations or Call 866-444-4471

 

 3 for 1! Visit Three Ranches in One Week

Tombstone Monument Ranch for Cinco de Mayo

Get ready for a vacation full of adventure and new experiences Sunday April 30 - Sunday May 7, 2017. You’ll visit three ranches and three eco-systems. Begin your stay at White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, then on to Rancho de la Osa in Sasabe, and finish at Tombstone Monument Ranch in Tombstone, Arizona. Each ranch is unique, and they cater to every level of riding skills. Meals are included except Saturday, May 6th when you will be in downtown Tombstone. All transfers are included.

 

 The Art of Marriage Ranch Experience

Burnt Well Ranch the Art of Marriage for Cinco de Mayo

Kim & Patricia Chesser of the Burnt Well Guest Ranch in Roswell, New Mexico have always had a heart for strengthening homes by strengthening marriages. Now you can combine a fun week in the New Mexico ranch country with a series of videos from The Art of Marriage by Family Life. Just the Burnt Well setting alone has been known to have a therapeutic effect on people, couples and families! Click for Reservations or Call 866-729-0974  

 

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Low Altitude Spring Break Vacation in the South West

For many travelers staying at a low altitude destination is a must, especially if you only have a week to get acclimated to your destination. Fortunately, there are many dude ranches located below 5,000′ that would be a great South Western haven for spring break. Each ranch is a unique destination ranging from the type of activities offered to the particular family and ranch history. Don't just visit one, visit them all!  

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is a low altitude working cattle and sheep ranch in Roswell, New Mexico

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

Profile        Website Lodge Altitude: 4,200' Nearest Airport: Roswell Nightly Price Range: $239 - $301 About: Burnt Well Ranch is a working cattle/sheep ranch. They take a few guests to supplement their ranching income and are open year round. Whether you are an avid rider wanting to participate in actual ranch work, a beginner wanting to work on your riding or anything in-between this ranch can accommodate.  

Circle Z Ranch is a low altitude dude ranch in Patagonia, Arizona

Circle Z Ranch

Profile        Website Lodge Altitude: 4,000' Nearest Airport: Tucson Nightly Price Ranch: $195 - $265 About: The Circle Z Ranch offers all inclusive vacations; 3 delicious meals/day, horseback riding, heated pool, hiking, bird watching, nature walks and guided star gazing. Relax in one of our seven adobe cottages, meticulously detailed for your stay.  

 

 

Flying E Ranch for the Holiday

Flying E Ranch

Profile      Website Lodge Altitude: 2,400' Nearest Airport: Phoenix Nightly Price Ranch: $192 - $252 About: With 20,000 acres to ride and roam the Flying E Ranch is the ideal place to take a step back in time at a working cattle ranch.  Your stay here will fill your heart with memories.  

Elkhorn Ranch is a low altitude ranch in Tucson, Arizona

Elkhorn Ranch

Profile        Website Lodge Altitude: 3,700' Nearest Airport: Tucson Nightly Price Ranch: $264 - $415 About: Elkhorn Ranch is a sunny winter season Sonoran Desert guest ranch in scenic Baboquivari Mountains southwest of Tucson, Arizona. Family owned and operated since 1946. Comfortable living and excellent horseback riding for singles, couples and families of all ages and abilities. Adventure, relaxation and friendship await you at Elkhorn Ranch.  

 

Rancho de los Caballeros is a low altitude dude ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona

Rancho de los Caballeros

Profile       Website Lodge Altitude: 2,500' Nearest Airport: Phoenix Nightly Price Ranch: $202 - $232 About: Saddle up and make a perfect getaway to the warm heart of the Old Southwest! Rancho de los Caballeros is the resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast offering full resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. It's the kind of place where everyone knows your name.  

 

Tombstone Monument Ranch

Profile         Website Lodge Altitude: 4,541' Nearest Airport: Tucson Nightly Price Ranch: $332 - $470 About: Tombstone Monument Ranch is surrounded by miles of rugged, open country, with views of the Dragoon Mountains. This was Apache territory and is rich in history. We are just 3 miles from downtown Tombstone, the Town Too Tough To Die. Walk the streets that Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and outlaw Curly Bill Brocius once walked. It has been said that our guests don’t just feel like they got away, they feel like they traveled back in time.


At the Dude Ranchers’ Association we are always here (during MST business hours) to help with your vacation plans. Please give us a call with reference this blog low altitude post. The number is 307.587.2339.   Save Save Save Save

Girlfriend Getaway - Anything but Ordinary

Skip Vegas and plan a girlfriend getaway that’s anything but ordinary at the original all-inclusive vacation destination: the dude ranch. Enjoy spa treatments, horseback riding, mountaintop yoga classes, outdoor adventure, wine tastings and, of course, girl talk in some of the most spectacular areas in the country. No matter what type of getaway you and your girlfriends have in mind, there’s the perfect dude ranch out there for you. There are a broad spectrum of guest ranches that are perfect for girlfriend getaways, ranging from rustic working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches. Whether you’re staying in your own private cabin or in a lodge room, rest assured you’ll sleep on comfortable beds, in superbly kept rooms, with all the amenities you’ll need for a pleasant and relaxing stay. So grab you mom, your sister and or your best friends and check out these great ranches for the perfect girlfriend getaway…

Girlfriend Getaways

Skip Vegas and plan a girlfriend getaway that’s anything but ordinary at the original all-inclusive vacation destination: the dude ranch. Enjoy spa treatments, horseback riding, mountaintop yoga classes, outdoor adventure, wine tastings and, of course, girl talk in some of the most spectacular areas in the country.

Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch, Montana

  • Rancho de los Caballeros in Arizona is a historic ranch resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast. Girlfriends can ride the rugged trails, relax at the luxurious spa or pool, or play a round of golf at one of Golf Digest’s Top 100 U.S. courses. With 200,000 acres of open range, 100 saddle horses and a team full of wranglers, it will be an experience you and your girlfriends will never forget.
  • Located in Montana, Bar W Guest Ranch offers an all-inclusive package for women to “Cowgirl Up” and take over the ranch. This package combines the simple beauty of nature with the unmatched Western hospitality of the ranch for a trip that will refuel your mind, body and spirit. Activities include a horsemanship clinic, cocktail receptions, “two-stepping” and a much-needed hot tub.
  • Also located in Arizona, White Stallion Ranch offers several “Cactus Cowgirls” getaway packages each year. These getaways include a margarita welcome party, one-hour massage, guided hikes, country western dance lessons, daily riding lessons, team penning, hay ride, wine tasting ride, and even a trip to a local rodeo. Girlfriends can surround themselves with the breathtaking scenery that has brought Hollywood filmmakers to the ranch for more than 70 years.
  • For an all-inclusive vacation with the girls full of highly-praised gourmet meals, experienced hiking guides, horseback riding tours, equestrian lessons, live music and roaring campfires at night, The Home Ranch is the perfect dude ranch for you. Don’t lift a finger from when you leave the airport to when you arrive with lodging, activities and delicious meals all in one place for you to enjoy.

White Stallion Cowgirl Cactus

Photo: White Stallion Ranch

  • Another gem in Montana for an unforgettable girlfriend getaway is the Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch with their “Cowgirl Retreats.” Running from June to September, Bonanza Creek’s Cowgirl Retreats are the perfect way to bond with your girls as you travel along the countryside on horseback together. The day is started with a good hearty breakfast, followed by a spectacular ride through the countryside. After a long day on the saddle, a massage and dinner awaits you and your girlfriends, ending your day relaxed and rejuvenated for another fun-filled day riding.
  • Located east of Yellowstone National park in Shell, Wyo., The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch has state-of-the-art girlfriend getaways that guarantee a fun-filled, adventure-packed week with the girls. For an all-inclusive vacation, lodge, dine and experience all of what Wyoming has to offer with the numerous activities available at your disposal at the Hideout. Start your day learning from the in-house expert cowgirls and kick up your heels with your girls as you ride through the countryside and end your day sipping cocktails and enjoying gourmet meals with a spectacular backdrop of the Wyoming countryside.

 

Skip Vegas and plan a girlfriend getaway that’s anything but ordinary at the original all-inclusive vacation destination: the dude ranch. Enjoy spa treatments, horseback riding, mountaintop yoga classes, outdoor adventure, wine tastings and, of course, girl talk in some of the most spectacular areas in the country.

Perfect Winter Holiday ~ Arizona & New Mexico Dude Ranches

Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and the Painted Desert. There are high ponderosa pine forest, rolling grasslands, and stark desert landscapes. In New Mexico there is the wondrous Carlsbad Caverns, the Black Range Mountains and the brilliant gypsum of the White Sands National Monument. Between the Cottonwoods, the Oak trees and the many various grasses, sage and vines the brilliant colors of autumn will take your breath away.

Flying E Trail Arizona Dude Ranch

Flying E Ranch

The Dude and Guest ranches of Arizona and New Mexico take advantage of their spectacular surroundings; horseback riding outings explore the canyons and forested ridges. What a great cure for the winter blues this year, so for the perfect winter holiday grab your family and friends and head to one of these truly amazing family friendly dude and guest ranches.

Geronimo Trail New Mexico Dude Ranch

Geronimo Trail Ranch

Geronimo Trail Ranch is all about Real "Old West" adventure! A Small family ranch with a relaxed and personal atmosphere, located in the breathtaking untouched Gila National Forest of SW New Mexico. Geronimo Trail Ranch features Pithouses, Cliff Dwellings and rock art of the early Mimbres.

Get your real Cowboy on at Burnt Well Guest Ranch, located in warm, sunny, southeastern New Mexico. Guests have said "This is John Wayne country!" "I can't believe how far you can see sometimes 50-60 miles!!"

Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest at White Stallion Ranch. You will experience the aura of a real Western ranch combined with present-day comforts and conveniences.

Or step back in time at the Circle Z Ranch were guests have ridden their ranch-bred horses on 165 miles of trails through the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains and along the ever flowing Sonoita Creek for over 83 years. They are recognized worldwide for birding.

Fifty-one miles southwest of Tucson, in its own valley where mountains and desert meet, lies the Elkhorn Ranch. Since 1945, three generations of the Miller family have owned and operated this ranch, offering exceptional riding and comfortable living for thirty-two guests. Riding is the main interest with gentle or loping rides through the desert and more vigorous trips along the many mountain trails. Saddle up and make a perfect getaway to the warm heart of the Old Southwest!

Rancho de los Caballeros is the resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast offering full resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. It's the kind of place where everyone knows your name. With 20,000 acres to ride and roam there is seldom a day without sunshine.

The Flying E Dude Ranch is a working cattle ranch and the ideal place to take a step back in time.

Located just east of Tucson, Tanque Verde Ranch Resort is one of the premier, all-inclusive dude ranch resorts in the country. You will find the perfect blend of western adventure, solitude and luxury amenities to make your next getaway unforgettable.

Rancho de los Caballeros Arizona Dude Ranch

Rancho de los Caballeros


 

Snow Free Spring Break Dude Ranch Vacation

The spring break push for vacation venues is here, but Mother Nature shipped most all of the West Coast snow to Boston! What to do if the family doesn’t want to spend Easter holiday skiing on rocks at Tahoe or boarding over mud at Mammoth? Consider swapping your snow boots for cowboy boots and visit one of the Dude Ranch Association ranches that are open during Spring break.

Try looking at an Arizona ranch or any lower elevation mountain dude ranch – Like Rancho de Los Caballeros, Flying E Ranch or California's Marble Mountain Ranch! Spring in Arizona offers some spectacular desert trail riding. The cooler spring climate makes time on the Arizona trails comfortable. Most visitors to the sunshine state consider the Spring season to be one of the most beautiful while the cactus and wildflowers are in full bloom. At Rancho de Los Caballeros you could spend your afternoons exploring the desert on a Jeep or ATV tour or riding horseback through the colorful high Sonoran Desert. While the kids are swimming or on scavenger hikes, Mom and Dad can relax at the spa or play a round of golf at the Los Caballeros Golf Course, which was named one of Golfweek's "Best Courses to Play."

Rancho de Los Caballeros

At the Flying E, a dude and working cattle ranch, the casual and relaxed atmosphere is as natural as our gorgeous sunsets. The calendar may say winter, but that has a whole new meaning in Arizona. Winters are warm and dry, averaging temperatures in the mid-70s. The nights are cool and refreshing, illuminated by a canopy of brilliant stars. Clean air, warm sun, good horses, breathtaking scenery and genuine cowboys as your guides will fill your hearts with memories to treasure for the rest of your life.

Flying E

Marble Mountain's low elevation mountain trails are open for spectacular horseback trail riding and their covered arena is running full swing with barrel racing and other thrilling riding challenges. The spring river flows on California’s Klamath River are ideal for rafting and kayaking and the covered shooting stations at the shotgun trap course are ready for action. The “saddle and paddle” vacation is in Northern California, and is another viable alternative to a vacation venue that has been diminished by disappointing snow levels.

Marble Mountain Rafting

So, if you can wrap your mind around an Arizona riding adventure, or a California raft-n-ride vacation, pack away the snow boots for the season. Visit an Arizona dude ranch or come explore a piece of Northern California that most people don’t even know exists. When the fog burns off the forest floor with the morning sun, you will discover a lush and verdant Klamath National Forest, abundant wildlife, and legend hospitality from your hosts in either California or the Sunshine state.

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