Solo Travelers Find the Ultimate Getaway Destination at a Dude Ranch

While traveling alone may sound like a scary or uninviting idea, don’t completely rule it out yet, there are some pretty incredible destinations for solo travelers, like a dude or guest ranch. Dude and guest ranches are the ideal all-inclusive vacation for those looking for some much-needed alone time, a new and exciting adventure, or even for those who may be searching for new friends. There are many advantages to dude and guest ranch destinations for solo travelers, keep reading to learn about why a ranch vacation surpasses the rest.

While traveling alone may sound like a scary idea, don’t completely rule it out yet, there are great destinations for solo travelers, like a dude ranch!

Fun and Friendly Environment

You will instantly feel like part of the family as there is great camaraderie amongst guests and staff. It instantly becomes your home away from home! Many guest ranches only accommodate up to 30 or 40 guests per week, which not only allows the staff to know your name but also results in you getting to know most of the other guests. Meals are often served family-style so there are always guests to chat with throughout the day, making sure you never feel like you are on the “outskirts” if traveling alone. Horseback riding will bring you closer with other guests too; getting to visit with people on your rides and share beautiful landscape and memories together will be something you always remember.

Group Oriented Activities

There is never a dull moment at a dude ranch. There are activities to keep you busy from sunup to sundown such as horseback riding, fly fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing, cattle roping, ATV-riding and much more. Plus, these activities are usually done in groups so you won’t encounter any “couples only” activities or events if you don’t want to. If you are looking for a little time by yourself though, relaxing at your cabin or room and reading a good book is also an option too. The beauty of a dude ranch is that you get to choose your own schedule, your vacation can be as active or as quiet as you like!

Adult-Only and Specialty Weeks

Many dude and guest ranches report fewer “couples” visiting now than in the past. As a result, many of these ranches host adult-only weeks in the Fall. Activities during these weeks range from wine and cheese tastings, guided hikes, cooking classes, country dance instruction, cookouts, themed cocktail receptions, fly-fishing clinics and much more. These weeks offer a great environment for solo travelers because mostly everyone is there for a relaxing getaway with no families and the opportunity to meet new people and bond.

Connect with Yourself

Dude ranches are a great place to spend time alone to revive your body, spirit and mind in some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Whether it’s a rejuvenating day at the spa, an adventurous hike or a relaxing day reading a book under the sun, you are sure to have plenty of quality alone time. Many ranches will even allow you to completely “unplug” by being out of cell phone and internet service. You may be surprised at how good this could be for you once you get the chance to do so, especially in today’s world.

How to Find a Ranch for Solo Travelers

Finding the right ranch for a solo traveler might be a little overwhelming because there really is a lot to choose from. Let the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) help you plan the perfect solo vacation. Whether you are looking for an authentic cowboy experience or a luxury resort, the DRA can customize the trip of your dreams. There are currently 100+ DRA-accredited guest ranches in the Western United States and Canada, all of which uphold the highest quality of services within the industry. Take a look below at some fantastic DRA ranches suited for solo travelers and to find more you can visit www.duderanch.org.

Bull Hill Guest Ranch – Kettle Falls, Washington

solo travelers

This premier destination in Washington state combines all the wild and untouched beauty of the mountains, meadows, forests, river, lakes and streams with the warm and comfortable amenities of home. Forget all the turbulence of daily life and begin an adventure of a lifetime. Experience trail rides or cattle drives with breathtaking panoramas or go off-trail and explore uncharted territory for a truly unforgettable experience.

Klondike Ranch – Buffalo, Wyoming

solo travelers

Experience the thrill of a Western ranch in one of the most beautiful atmospheres of the Old West. Guests become a part of the family and they take great lengths to ensure you are comfortable, well-fed, taken care of and get as much riding in as you can handle. The folks here enjoy welcoming their guests into their way of life and believe it is their duty to make your stay here as memorable and enjoyable as it should be.

Long Hollow Ranch – Sisters, Oregon

solo travelers

Located in central Oregon, this historic pioneer ranch is a great getaway destination. The original ranch buildings, over a century old, have been preserved and renovated for hosting ranch guests and the main ranch house has been updated to include five ensuite guest rooms. The original ranch "store" (once a stage stop) is now the guest cottage. Guest activities like trail rides, cattle drives, fly-fishing for rainbow trout and bass are ever-popular on the ranch. The memories you make here will be remembered for a lifetime.

Rankin Ranch – Caliente, California

solo travelers

Rankin Eranch has been a working cattle ranch for 156 years and they know you will enjoy their tasty Rankin Ranch beef during your stay. The guest ranch celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and continues to attract guests from around the world. Rankin Ranch is one of the oldest and largest family-owned ranches in California. Six generations of Rankins have lived and worked on the 31,000-acre cattle ranch and they truly enjoy the opportunity to share their lifestyle with their guests.

Rimrock Ranch – Cody, Wyoming

solo travelers

Rimrock Ranch is nestled on the banks of Canyon Creek, 24 miles west of Cody and 27 miles east of the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. This ranch has been family owned and operated since 1955 and the tradition lives on. With spectacular views, cozy cabins and family-style meals, you will feel right at home with the Fales family.

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch – Yucca, Arizona

solo travelers

Ride in the beautiful Arizona desert with friendly wranglers who have made this dude ranch their home for years. Slow scenic rides amongst the cactus landscape, as well as trotting and loping rides in the desert washes, are offered so every riding level can be accommodated. This guest ranch borders over 360,000 acres of natural western desert beauty at the foot of the Mohave and Hualapai mountains. You can be assured of breathtaking views and constant sunny days.

The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley – Colorado Springs, Colorado

solo travelers

Just a short ride up the mountain from The Broadmoor, a distinctively Colorado experience awaits at The Ranch at Emerald Valley. Surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, indulge in a private escape in one of ten beautifully appointed one, two- or three-bedroom cabins featuring wood-burning fireplaces, rich furnishings, and modern amenities. The intimate environment of this luxury ranch will leave you wanting to come back!

V6 Ranch – Parkfield, California

solo travelers

Nestled in the Cholame Valley, the V6 Ranch envelops 20,000 acres of the most diverse and alluring country in the heart of central California. This beautiful ranch offers activities to tickle the fancy of any person that seeks peace and quiet. The clean air and warm nights are ideal for laying out under the stars. The ranch offers trail rides, cattle drives, horse camping and over 50 scenic miles of trails to explore with maps and trail markers to show the way. The ranch also offers hiking, photography, over 200 varieties of wildflowers, wildlife, and bird watching. The ranch will leave you will new friends, experiences and memories to last forever.

 

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6 Outstanding Summer Travel Destinations

"I'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm gonna raise a holler, 'bout working all summer, just trying earn a dollar..."

Summer Time Blues by Eddie Cochran isn't the only one who's " gonna take two weeks gonna have a fine vacation." 

If you are like me trying to figure out what to do on those two weeks of vacation that starts over in January, you are probably overwhelmed with so many summer travel destinations. Should I fly away to a distant country? Take a road trip from coast to coast? Find an all-inclusive adventure wonderland? I get dizzy spinning all the options around in my head... This coming year I choose to #optoutside on a ranch vacation, falling in the "all-inclusive adventure wonderland" option. There are so many things to do on a ranch vacation that it feels like you are immersed in a whole culture of the Rocky Mountains, wide open spaces, horses and outdoor activities. I have picked out 6 ranches to choose from, having not decided on which state to go to. There are a couple in Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon and Montana to choose from. In narrowing it down further I will start by contacting all the ranches with my preferred dates of travel and inquire about pricing and availability. Since most of the ranches have over a 60% return rate from previous guests I can't assume they will have space. If not, I may have to change my travel dates or choose another location. At this point I will pick up the phone and call the ranches, to get a feel for the personality there. Will it match with my family? What's their weekly schedule like? Then, I'll drop the cash and reserve my cabin for a week long vacation. Good bye, summer time blues. Out of the 6 ranches below, which one would you choose?

Home Away from Home in Oregon

Long Hollow Ranch Summer Travel Destination

Long Hollow Ranch is a pioneer style ranch in central Oregon. The original ranch buildings, over a century old, have been preserved and renovated for hosting ranch guests. All guest areas are decorated in a manner designed to evoke the feeling of "Grandma's house."

Paradise in Wyoming

Paradise Guest Ranch Summer Travel Destination

For 100 years now, folks have been coming to Paradise Guest Ranch for 100 different reasons—for some, it’s the horseback riding across sage meadows, fishing for native cutthroat trout, or hiking among wildflowers and meadowlarks. For others, it’s the family time, the fun, and campfire stories beneath a snowstorm of stars.

Climbing High Mountains in Montana

Hawley Mountain Ranch Summer Travel Destination

Seeking a place of quiet solitude in a remote wilderness of Montana? Hawley Mountain Ranch the place for you! Located in a million acres of wilderness just north of Yellowstone Park, you can enjoy exhilarating mountain experiences and warm hospitality in a remote, absolutely beautiful part of the world.

  Blacktail Ranch Summer Travel Destination

The Blacktail Ranch is a historic 8,000 acre jewel, located where the prairie meets the Rockies in Montana. This ranch family first came this valley back in the late 1800's and  has lived and worked here ever since.

Luxury in Colorado

Ranch at Emerald Valley Summer Travel Destination

The Broadmoor's Ranch at Emerald Valley is perfect for corporate retreats and special events, the ranch allows your group to reconnect in a serene and inspiring setting far removed from the worries of everyday life. Reward your top performers with an authentic ranch experience, or celebrate your wedding with western adventures and The Broadmoor’s signature luxury.

Smith Fork Summer Travel Destination

 Nestled in a valley of the West Elk Wilderness, between Aspen and Telluride, lies the hidden gem of Smith Fork Ranch. With the Gunnison National Forrest as its surroundings the location is far from the only charm, with rustic cabins that have been lovingly restored on their original 1930s-40s footprint with American antiques and original arts and crafts from the hands of the best western and native American artisans, it looks and feels like the old Wild West.


If you are still undecided about your summer travel destinations give the Dude Ranchers' Association a call at 307.587.2339 or 866.399.2339             Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save

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The Comfort of Luxury at the Finest of Dude Ranches

The Dude Ranchers' Association offers you and yours luxury vacation opportunities fit for a king. I mean, our Past President Teddy Roosevelt loved his dude ranches and we would like to connect you to the finest of them all. The alluring nature of these vacation destinations couples very nicely with the culture and hospitality of the American West. You will ride horses, see the beautiful countryside and fill your soul with the warmth and kindness of your cowboy hosts.  These ranches are spick-and-span. So take out your white gloves for a quality inspection. You won't be disappointed.

 

Stay in Hand Built Cabins from the 1920's

 

Cm Ranch Cabin Luxury Dude Ranch

Welcome to the CM Ranch, Hunter and Mollie Sullivan's gorgeous home and historic dude ranch, specializing in summer vacations since 1927. The logs for the ranch buildings were cut in the upper Jakey’s Fork canyon in the 1920’s, and hauled to the ranch by teams of horses and wagons. Several of the old wagons are still on the ranch property. The charming old buildings are spaced along the stream.  The ranch’s proximity to Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming make it an ideal destination to hang your hat and get acquainted with the beautiful, wild West.

 

 

Experience Recreation at Its Finest

 

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge Luxury Dude Ranch

The Averill family has been hosting guests from around the world for over 65 years at the Flathead Lake Lodge. They invite you to come vacation at this historic guest ranch home and experience the all-inclusive Montana dude ranch vacation of a lifetime! Located only 35 miles from Glacier National Park, the Lodge offers the ultimate family vacation with unlimited horse & water recreation. Why not go sailing, fly fishing, golfing, white water rafting, and then settle down for a message? Enjoy unmatched Western hospitality and a truly priceless family experience…Montana style!

 

 

Escape to Luxury in the Clouds

 

Emerald Valley Ranch Luxury Dude Ranch

The Ranch at Emerald Valley combines a unique retreat offering refined luxury with the rustic charm and inspiration of a wilderness enclave. It is surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, where you can indulge in your own private escape. While you may be 3,000 feet above The Broadmoor at the Cloud Camp, you are still connected to every amenity at the resort. Dining, golf, spa and meeting space are all accessible via shuttle with a single phone call. Cue the classical music and see for yourself about the Broadmoor’s luxury experience.    

 

 

Engage in a Themed Vacation

 

Zapata Painting Workshop Luxury Dude Ranch

The Zapata Ranch is a 103,000-acre bison and guest ranch in Southern Colorado.  Are you not sure what you are going to do at this ‘working’ ranch vacation? Attend one of Zapata’s specialty weeks for a solid calendar of events. You can either learn about the real cowboy work of calving and branding or ‘work’ at your photography, painting, and poetry skills on the different themed weeks throughout the summer. These cowboys truly understand the finer things in life. 

 

 

Luxury Ranch Vacations

 

The alluring nature of these luxury ranch vacation destinations couples very nicely with the culture and hospitality of the American West. You will ride horses, see the beautiful countryside and fill your soul with the warmth and kindness of your cowboy hosts.  These ranches are spick-and-span. So take out your white gloves for a quality inspection. You won't be disappointed.

 

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