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

6 Dude Ranch Vacations to Take this Summer

With great weather, longer days and the kids out of school it's time to pack up and go on vacation. An extended, relaxed trip with the kids to a dude ranch is a great way to experience something unique and authentic. This summer you can bond with your family while riding horses, fishing, hiking and water sports at one of the best dude ranches in the country as a Dude Ranchers' Association member. Here are 6 places you should put at the top of your list for this summer. 

 

6 Dude Ranch Vacations to Take this Summer

 

Wind River Ranch Summer Vacation Flag Rodeo

WIND RIVER RANCH

Airport: Denver

Are you tired of being tired after your summer vacation?  Where to eat, what to do, how do we get there, the decisions are endless and exhausting!  At Wind River Ranch they take care of all the details for you.  The executive chef will prepare your meals, the wranglers will guide you through scenic Rocky Mountain National Park and the staff will provide entertaining programs that each of your children will enjoy.

WHAT TO DO: 

Wind River Ranch offers its guests much more than horseback riding. Each day offers a myriad of activities that your entire family will enjoy while leaving plenty of time to lounge by the resort pool and hot tub, listen to a featured Christian guest speaker, read a book on your porch or even take a well-deserved nap.  

Read more about all Colorado Dude Ranches 

 

A Bar A Dude Ranch Vacations for this Summer

A BAR A RANCH

Airport: Laramie

In the heart of southern Wyoming's Medicine Bow Mountains, lies the A Bar A Guest Ranch. Established in 1926, it is one of the oldest guest ranches in the country. It is also one of the largest: nearly 100,000 acres for guests and staff to explore, in addition to National Forest and Wilderness Area that surrounds the ranch. The return guest rate is 92% so you’ll have to book early at this popular ranch!

WHAT TO DO: 

Horseback riding, fly fishing, and hiking are primary draws, but the ranch also has tennis, golf, skeet, trap, sporting clays, a heated swimming pool, excellent meals, and first class children's and teen's programs.

Read more about all Wyoming Dude Ranches

 

Colorado Trails Summer Vacation Dude Ranch

COLORADO TRAILS RANCH

Airport: Durango

Family fun abounds in the summer at Colorado Trails Ranch located in the beautiful San Juan Mountains just outside of historic Durango, Colorado. You'll find that the ranch tailors the riding program to accommodate all ability levels. If you're a new rider, they'll teach you the basics; if you're an experienced rider, you will appreciate the quality of the horses and the opportunity to do more than just "nose-to-tail" trail rides. 

WHAT TO DO: 

Colorado Trails Ranch offers fly fishing, riflery, archery, trap shooting, full children/teen's programs for three separate age groups, each with their own counselor. Plus hiking, swimming, rafting, relaxing and evening programs.

Read more about all Colorado Dude Ranches 

 

R Lazy S Ranch Summer Vacation at a Dude Ranch

R LAZY S RANCH

Airport: Jackson Hole

Operating since 1947, the R Lazy S Ranch is located in one of the West's most scenic area - Jackson Hole. Just 20 minutes from the town of Jackson, the ranch is bordered by Grand Teton National Park to the North, and the beautiful Snake River to the East. The towering Teton Mountains are in full view and only minutes away from the ranch.

WHAT TO DO: 

Enjoy your entire stay right at the ranch, or take advantage of many activities and sights available nearby, for example, the Jackson Hole Rodeo. There are several night spots offering excellent Western music for listening and dancing. Play a round of golf on several beautiful 18-hole golf courses; or take mountain climbing instruction. Ride bicycles along many miles of paths located nearby the ranch as well as in the park. 

Read more about all Wyoming Dude Ranches

 

Red Horse Camp Fire Summer Vacation Dude Ranch

 

RED HORSE MOUNTAIN RANCH

Airport: Spokane

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is well known for its extensive list of guided adventures, well appointed accommodations, and first rate western hospitality for summer vacations. Along with the full schedule of beginner to advanced western horseback riding and outdoor adventures, the ranch includes a famous kid's program packed with outdoor activities and horseback riding (ages 3 and up). 

WHAT TO DO: 

Additional activities include massage, jetovator, and fly fishing. Guided adventures include advanced horseback riding, scenic and all day horseback rides, horseback lessons, fly fishing lessons, lake fishing, archery, sporting clays, high element challenge course, zip line, climbing wall, hiking, yoga, kayaking, bike tours, mountain biking,  swimming, along with a lengthy list of self-guided adventures.

Read more about all Idaho Dude Ranches

 

Spotted Horse View Trail Family

SPOTTED HORSE RANCH

Airport: Jackson Hole

Located south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Spotted Horse Ranch offers a wide variety of activities for people of all ages. From horseback riding to river rafting; from the Jackson Hole Rodeo to bar-be-que cookouts, we offer something for everyone, which enhances your western experience.

WHAT TO DO: 

Enjoy a quiet scenic float on the Snake River or a whitewater trip can be arranged for the more adventurous. Volleyball, ping-pong, square dancing and horseshoes are available as well.

Read more about all Wyoming Dude Ranches

 

 

Pin this for later - 6 Summer Dude Ranch Vacations

 

An extended, relaxed trip with the kids to a dude ranch is a great way to experience something unique and authentic. This summer you can bond with your family while riding horses, fishing, hiking and water sports at one of the best dude ranches in the country as a Dude Ranchers' Association member. Here are 6 places you should put at the top of your list for this summer.

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

Click here to view all Idaho Ranch Vacations

 

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

Click here to view all Idaho Ranch Vacations

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. 

Click here to view all Idaho Ranch Vacations

 

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. 

Click here to view all Idaho Ranch Vacations

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. 

Click here to view all Idaho Ranch Vacations

 

 

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.

The Great American Family Holiday – on a Dude Ranch

Sylvan Dale Ranch Great American Family Holiday Clint the donkey gets a hug at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch.

Ride ‘em cowboy! Sure there can be plenty of time in the saddle when you take the kids on a dude ranch vacation. But these days, there’s plenty else to do. In fact, ranch goers acknowledge, they often spend less time riding than they expected because of so many other activities and so much land to explore. That’s especially true for multi-generational groups who find guest ranches ideal for family reunions. They are all-inclusive so there is no bickering—and no surprises—with the final bill. No one has to get groceries, cook or clean up. And there are activities for all ages. How about mountain biking? Organized kids’ activities often include everything from riding to soccer, sack races, art projects and talent shows. Programs like at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, means the adults get some time to catch up and parents don’t have to worry about their children’s whereabouts. The closeness of the cabins, dining room and other facilities makes it easy for parents to keep an eye on them, and means the property is more convenient to navigate for older guests. You might not have realized dude ranches today offer so many options:

A visit to a National Park – Many dude ranches are located near some of the country’s most popular national parks. White Stallion Ranch borders Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, while Rimrock Ranch is only miles outside the East entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Medicine Bow Lodge & Guest Ranch is located in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming; while many guests at Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana head to Glacier National Park for a day.

Bar W Dude Ranch Vacation

Picnic at the Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana

A hike in the wilderness. Most dude ranches are off the tourist grid on lots of land, ideal for exploring on foot. The Diamond D Ranch, nestled in the Frank Church Wilderness Area of Idaho, offers excursions into the wild and fishing in the Salmon River Mountains, among many other activities.

Diamond D Ranch Fishing

Indulge in a massage Many ranches now offer spa treatments, like White Stallion Ranch  in Tucson, AZ and Vista Verde Ranch just outside of Steamboat, CO.

Take a yoga class. Many ranches that offer spa services also provide yoga classes and training. Before a long day in the saddle, guests can have a relaxing limbering-up session with certified trainers.

Try some new wines. Gourmet cuisine and wine paring are gaining popularity at dude ranches. At Smith Fork Ranch, favorites from their private cellar and wineries they especially like are among the choices, including some Colorado wines.

Go tubing or white water rafting. Three Bars Guest Ranch in the Canadian Rockies offers weekly white water rafting tours on the unspoiled  Mary’s River.  Put in only a 10 minute drive from the ranch.

Give shooting sports a try at Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Idaho, there is instruction in a safely controlled environment. There are 5 stations, each providing their own unique targets.

Ride a Zip Line The Bar Lazy J Ranch has one of Colorado’s longest and fastest zip lines and is the only one that crosses the Colorado River. The zip line starts on a steep bluff overlooking the Colorado River dropping 82 feet in elevation as it crosses the river, through the trees and across a pasture to the landing platform. You will be zipping along at speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour. This activity is for guests ages 13 and up.

Go fishing Rainbow Trout Ranch near several historic Spanish land grants in Antonito, Colo.,encourages guests to go trout fishing; Try your hand at fly fishing at 4UR Ranch in Mineral County, Colo.

Do si do with the wranglers or sing your favorite western songs around the campfire at ranches including – Mountain Sky Guest Ranch sits on over 10,000 operational acres of unspoiled wilderness in the heart of Yellowstone Country in Emigrant, Mont Got your cowboy hat?

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Fishing and Family Ranch Vacations

Fishing is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your time while practicing the Art of Relaxation. It helps to clear your mind, but it also provides you with something on which you can focus. And it only becomes more enjoyable when you take your kids along with you.

Family vacations offer one of the best opportunities to introduce your child to fishing, and several of the dude ranch locations offer the perfect place to do so. Although the types of fish living on or near these ranches vary from one location to the next, most ranches will harbor at least one species that is a great target for young anglers.   

But, understand that kids rarely enjoy sitting on a dock all day, staring at a bobber – they want to catch fish. So, it is important to be successful on this initial fishing trip to ensure that your child comes away smiling. Fortunately, Outdoor Empire put together a comprehensive plan for fishing with your kids, that’ll help you maximize your chances of having a successful afternoon on the water.

Why not start your kiddo out fishing at one of these amazing DRA Dude Ranches:

 

Paradise Ranch Wyoming

Celebrating 100 years of FUN in 2007. Tucked away in the scenic Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Luxury log cabins with fireplaces, outdoor decks & spacious living rooms.

Hubbard’s Six Quarter Circle Ranch Montana

A working cattle ranch with upscale accomodations and food featuring a very personalized riding program that includes daily cattle drives, scenic trail rides, and the chance to canter through our alpine meadows.

Lone Mountain Ranch Montana

Endless recreational possibilities at this historic ranch offering horseback riding , hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, fly fishing and Outdoor Youth Adventures just 18 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Comfortable log cabins with western furnishings.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch Idaho

Located on 300,000 acres, the ranch is 1.5 hour drive from the Spokane International Airport, near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Full service, all-inclusive vacation is available from June through October.

4UR Colorado

The top choice of five generations of returning guests, the 4UR Ranch is one of the most outstanding guest ranch experiences in the Rocky Mountain west. With a personalized horsemanship program to fit any riding ability, complete children's program, and superior amenities, this 3000 acre ranch offers a great experience for the whole family.

Three Bars Ranch British Columbia, Canada

Three Bars Guest Ranch The adventure ranch of the Canadian Rockies invites you to experience the ultimate horseback riding vacation. Located just south of Banff National Park, Three Bars Ranch offers the most diverse vacation activities available anywhere. Voted Canada's #1 Dude Ranch in 2012.

 

 

Family vacations offer one of the best opportunities to introduce your child to fishing, and several dude ranch locations offer the perfect place to do so.

Originally posted by Jon@outdoorempire.com

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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.


Secrets to the Best Family Reunion

Family reunion planning can be tricky. Just picking a reunion destination spot can take time. I myself come from a large family and we’re lucky to have several amazing planners who handle our family reunions. Planning can be stressful and trying to find a perfect location which everyone will enjoy is a daunting task. Working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch for over a decade, I’ve come to know many of the challenges with family reunion planning. However, it is a small price to pay for some of life’s most enduring memories. Sadly, I think ranches are not normally on a family’s radar as a destination spot. There are definitely some true advantages in picking a ranch for a family reunion. A ranch can streamline your family planning, control your budget, reconnect your family, and make sure each member has an amazing time. There are also a few ways to help you with costs.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch Family Reunion

Photo courtesy of the Red Horse Mountain Ranch

A Ranch can streamline your planning. Typical family reunion planning starts 12-18 months in advance and it’s usually on the shoulders of one or a few individuals to begin the early planning phase. Besides the typical quirks in everyone’s family, the most common difficulties revolve around finding a convenient location, controlling costs, choosing dates, and making sure everyone has activities to keep them happy. Although the web has put a lot of information at your fingertips,  it can be somewhat tangled, formidable, and messy. Ranches tend to eliminate some of these barriers in planning a family reunion.

A Ranch can control your budget AND Reconnect your family.  Most ranches, like Red Horse Mountain Ranch, are all-inclusive. It’s typical a few auxiliary costs will come (such as souvenirs or an extra massage), but you should have total control over 95% of your costs. Most ranches aren’t like you’re typical all-Inclusive resorts; they don’t usually attempt to capture added revenues through nickel and diming you. Some ranches even include beverages and alcohol beverages. It’s usual that family members will never need or see their wallet throughout their entire stay at a ranch. Many things such as a wrist watch, cell phone, or other devices, quickly find the bottom of a suitcase. Everyone is usually scrambling to find all these devices when it’s time to head home. This is an important distinction between many other more public choices for a family reunion. If your goal is to re-connect and disconnect, a ranch setting by nature makes these items not necessary.

A Ranch will make everyone happy (even if they don’t think it will).  Family members whom have handled planning of a reunion will quickly agree the initial planning is one of the most important phases. Ranches tend to make this relatively easy. A ranch is typically on a schedule with certain days of arrival and departure. Their activities and guest adventures are also well developed to accommodate families with multiple desires. With a large list of guided and non-guided adventures, a ranch can accommodate numerous interests and age groups. Outdoor activities are also interactive and allow for true family time and conversations. Family members who have not had the opportunity for some outdoor activities may very much like the challenge or new adventure, especially while in the company of their family members.

Dietary Concerns and the Healthy Alternative. Dietary concerns or healthy food alternatives are more the norm these days than a special request and ranches have definitely embraced this. Working outdoors, maintaining a healthy herd of horses, and living where a trip to the doctor can mean being in a car for a two hour round trip requires conscientious diets. Most ranches, like Red Horse Mountain Ranch, can easily accommodate vegan, gluten-free, or other dietary needs. These menu items are usually part of the daily menu now on the ranch.

The Tough Part: Costs. A family will need to have a budget to use an all-inclusive ranch as their destination. However, there are advantages to never needing to cook or worry about menus or dietary concerns. Attempting to coordinate outdoor adventures in fifteen different directions is a big task; and finding a coordinated time to meet back up for meals is almost impossible. There are definitely benefits of having the ranch handle all these tasks and giving every family member time to focus on family. These additional benefits are hard to quantify when deciding on costs. Advance planning will give you the advantage of the best pricing and best dates to fit your family needs. For example, Red Horse Mountain Ranch released a new  program allowing families to book the entire ranch 12-18 months in advance at a reduced rate. This unique program gives the family full control of the ranch and at the same time allows the ranch to budget their season as well.

Another great tool is to visit the Dude Ranchers’ Association website and fill out and use the search for ranches feature.This provides you a quick and easy way to make contact and determine which ranch best fits your family’s desires; and it all happens with a single click. Large scale resorts, cruise liners, or hotels just don’t offer the level of privacy a ranch can offer and these days it’s an important criteria. When we’re looking for reunion spots, we definitely give consideration to giving the kids a chance to roam and play. Ranches definitely offer this ability. Ranches may not be affordable every year for your family but it is one of those family reunion destinations you should consider. The Dude Ranchers’ Association has a varied mix of ranches and there’s more than likely a few that would fit your family’s needs.


Article originally posted here by Cory Inouye

The Extended List of Family Reunion Ranches

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All Aboard! Amtrak Train Rides to Dude Ranches

Train travel and dude ranches go way back in their relationship. In fact, the historical Northern Pacific Railway influenced early western expansion and the beginnings of leisure travel to Western States. Early dude ranchers, as in Larry Larom and his peers, founded the Dude Ranchers' Association in 1926. From the start the organization promoted leisure travel to dude ranches via train and established industry standards. Traveling to a dude ranch today is still possible. Amtrak is now the modern train travel company. They offer trips from the East coast of the United States to the West Coast and many places in between. Are you ready to take your next adventure via train?

Northern_Pacific_Railway_North_Coast_Limited_Diner

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the West and travel via train to your next dude ranch. Parasols, lace gloves, suits and heavy trunks are not necessary. Simply purchase your ticket and head out West. Below are some tools to plan your trip using the contemporary Amtrak trains. The stations are listed by state and the dude ranches close by are linked below the city. If you would like more information please call the Dude Ranchers' Association at 307.587.2339 or email us at info@duderanch.org. The Amtrak National Route Map (PDF) and the duderanch.org Interactive Map may be helpful as well.

Amtrak Train Stations by State

Norther Pacific Railroad Train Poster

Idaho

Sandpoint, Idaho Station

Western Pleasure Ranch, Sandpoint, Idaho

Washington

Spokane, Washington Station

Red Horse Mountain, Harrison, Idaho

Colorado

Granby, Colorado Station

C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colorado

Drowsy Water Ranch, Granby, Colorado

Bar Lazy J Ranch, Parshall, Colorado

Montana

Whitefish, Montana Station

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge, Bigfork, Montana

Bar W Guest Ranch, Whitefish, Montana

Arizona

Kingman, Arizona Station

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, Yucca, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona Station

White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Benson, Arizona Station

Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch, Tombstone, Arizona


 Train Travel Stamp

What are you doing this fall for your vacation?

Dude and guest ranches are well known as popular family vacation destinations, but the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) recognizes that adults also value time to themselves from time to time. When the kids get back on the bus, it’s time for parents to get back in the saddle for a classic Western getaway. Even if you don’t have children, it sounds tempting, doesn't it? Imagine a trip to the Wild West, with spectacular scenery, abundant activities, and top-notch accommodations and amenities for couples, solo travelers or even groups of friends. Starting at the end of August and continuing through October, dude ranches can be an enticing option for adult travelers looking to get away, with several ranches offering special adults-only weeks. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities during their visit from outdoor adventures like fishing and horseback riding, to taking in some of the nation’s most remarkable fall foliage, to experiencing flavorful, savory meals and wine pairings.

Dude ranches are an ideal vacation for those looking for much needed time alone, a new and exciting adventure, or even for those wanting to rekindle romance with their significant other. Read on for a list of dude ranches offering specialized activities and packages for adults this fall.

Paradise Guest Ranch Fall

Fall at Paradise Guest Ranch

Cattle Drives

• For working ranches, fall means cattle drives, and guests are often invited to join in these memorable and interactive experiences. Colorado Cattle Company offers guests the chance to escape from reality and become a real life cowboy or cowgirl during their stay. This working ranch is located on 10,000 acres of grassland with cattle, rolling hills, canyons, streams and bluffs in Northeastern Colorado. Guests must be at least 18 year old, and will actively participate in everything from saddling and grooming their horse to sorting cattle, making an adult getaway here a true learning experience.

Romance

• Rekindling the romance is what Red Horse Mountain Ranch is all about in the fall. The ingredients are all there for a perfect getaway with your loved one: adventure, rustic and cozy suites, well-designed meals, romantic settings, 100+ horses, an attentive staff and a ranch nestled on 300,000 acres of Idaho’s Rocky Mountains. As an added bonus, the ranch also offers a variety of entertainment including wine tastings, seven-course dining experiences, evening concerts and readings from local cowboy poets.

Traveling Solo

• Many dude ranches offer special adults-only weeks and packages in the fall, providing solo travelers and couples the chance to experience a unique vacation. 63 Ranch, located about 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park in Montana, and 7D Ranch, Wyoming’s premiere guest ranch located in the heart of the Absaroka Mountains, both offer adults-only weeks in late August and September. These ranches are home to some of the most remote and scenic areas of the country, and offer guests an abundance of activities from pack trips and hunting trips in the Wyoming wilderness to wild trout fishing and horseback riding under a canopy of rich red and gold leaves in Montana.

Cowgirl Retreat

• Picture yourself riding horseback across the gorgeous rolling hills of Montana while taking in the vibrant autumn views. Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch offers a special, four-day Cowgirl Retreat during which female travelers will be treated to authentic Montana hospitality, the big sky and the chance to experience what it’s like to be a true cowgirl. From hearty meals to relaxing and reflecting with your horse, this getaway provides an enriching and enlightening experience that guests will cherish for a lifetime.

Bonanza Fall Cowgirl Retreat

Cowgirl at the Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch

Photographers Paradise

• The pace is relaxed during adults-only weeks at Paradise Guest Ranch, starting in late August through September. Located in Buffalo, Wyo., the ranch offers a photo-worthy setting complete with blue skies, beautiful fall colors and cool temperatures. During adults-only weeks, guests can enjoy horseback riding across the ranch’s sage meadows, hiking among wildflowers, fishing, performances from a number of guest musicians and talented crew members, and plenty of opportunities to re-energize and relax away from the kids.


 

5 Reasons to Visit in the Fall

With the kids back in school, Labor Day behind us and the days getting shorter, it can only mean one thing; fall is quickly approaching and will give you 5 good reasons to visit a dude ranch. Whether you’re looking for fall break travel ideas, a long weekend away without the kids or an extended vacation, a dude ranch is an ideal destination to enjoy the fall.

Circle Z Ranch Visit in the Fall

5 Reasons to Visit a Dude Ranch in the Fall

Steals and Deals: As with many vacation destinations, summer is peak season for dude ranches. However, as the air cools down travelers can take advantage of less crowds and discounted rates. Budget-friendly offers range from a percentage off standard rates to special packages. Colorado Trails Ranch  has a 25 percent discount during the fall. During Circle Z Ranch’s Lone Star Long Weekend guests receive a discount on a four-day/three-night stay.

Adult-Only Weeks: Many dude ranches offer special adult-only weeks in the fall. This gives couples, groups and solo travelers the chance to make memories that will last a lifetime. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, for example, offers an Adult Horsemanship Week. This is a hands-on approach where guests experience the true pleasure of caring for and learning about these noble animals. Or, guests can enjoy a little pampering here, a little adventure there, and a lot of girl talk (and maybe some wine!) with a girlfriend’s getaway to Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

Cattle Drives: For working ranches, fall means cattle drives. Guests are often invited to join in these adventurous and interactive experiences. Hunewill Ranch will embark on its 105th cattle drive this fall. Guests are welcome to take part in the ultimate Old West experience by riding with the Hunewill family for five days. This trek covers 60 miles from Bridgeport, California to Smith Valley, Nevada. Participants herd 600 cows as they are driven to their winter range.

Fall Foliage: Imagine horseback riding under a canopy of Technicolor fall foliage in glorious reds, bright yellows and vivid oranges. Some of the nation’s most spectacular leaf peeping can only be found when you head off the beaten path. Choose from guest ranches in Arizona or Colorado where fall changes the Aspen leaves. Book a getaway to a dude ranch located near a National Park such as Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park or Horseshoe Canyon Ranch which borders Buffalo River National Park.

Escape the Cold: People who live up north will be pulling out their jackets in no time.  For those looking to bask in the sun one last time, a long weekend getaway in the Southwest will do the trick. With six ranches to choose from in Arizona and two in New Mexico, travelers are sure to find the right ranch for them to ride off into the (still warm) sunset.

 

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Fall is quickly approaching and will give you 5 good reasons to visit a dude ranch. Whether you’re looking for fall break travel ideas, a long weekend away without the kids or an extended vacation, a dude ranch is an ideal destination to enjoy the fall.

 

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