10 Luxury Dude Ranches for Your Next Vacation

Luxury Dude Ranches

Are you looking for a fun and entertaining vacation, but also want a relaxing and luxurious getaway at the same time? Luxury dude ranches are the vacation you have been searching for! These ranches offer a great atmosphere of adventure and relaxation all at the same time. Want to bring the kids along? Most luxury dude ranches have a great kid’s programs where the children can interact with other children their age and make memories to last a lifetime while the adults can also have their alone time to relax. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and prefer an adult-only getaway, it’s best to book in the shoulder seasons or during a specialty week. Whatever experience you’re looking for; these DRA approved luxury dude ranches will fit the bill of a fantastic vacation for the whole family. 


Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort - Solvang, California

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country is a 10,000-acre, working cattle ranch and full-service resort: The Alisal Guest Ranch. The rows of sycamores along the ranch driveway welcome you into your warm and inviting cabin. After a satisfying breakfast, go for a trail ride through the stunning rolling hills where you’ll pass cows grazing in the fields or play a round of golf on one of the two 18-hole courses on the property. The spa and pool will be waiting for you once you return to the ranch in the afternoon. Finish your day off by enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail in the bar and one of the best dinners you will ever have!

Luxury Dude Ranches


C Lazy U Ranch - Granby, Colorado

C Lazy Guest Ranch prides itself on its personalized 5-star service, professional horsemanship programs, first-class amenities, enriching children's programs, gourmet dining, and luxury accommodations (as they should!). Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s notorious Rocky Mountains, they offer the picturesque luxury ranch experience that people dream of.  As a year-round ranch, they are the perfect destination for both summer and winter getaways offering limitless activities from cross-country skiing to Orvis endorsed fly-fishing. Whether you’re looking for a family adventure or a romantic getaway, C Lazy U will be sure to impress!

Luxury Dude Ranches


Red Reflet Guest Ranch - Ten Sleep, Wyoming

Red Reflet Guest Ranch is the definition of luxury. Guest’s chalets include a full kitchen, hot tub, and steam showers. Spend your day working cattle, fishing on private streams, and exploring the 25,000-acre property on an ATV. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you will be one of the few people to experience Red Reflet’s gourmet dining -- many of the kitchen’s ingredients come straight from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens! Don’t miss out on the exclusive cooking classes offered by the ranch’s 5-star chef so you can recreate these delectable meals at home!

Luxury Dude Ranches


Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch - Emigrant, Montana

Do you want a working ranch experience with world-class luxuries? Hubbard’s Six Quarter Circle Ranch in Montana may be the place for you. Guests actively participate in ranch work, whether it's pushing cattle to higher greener pastures, throwing salt, or fixing fence. But don’t worry, it’s not all work; many people brag about Hubbard’s famed massages that you won’t want to miss out on! And after a long day of work, every cowboy and cowgirl deserves a good beer in the bar while a juicy filet mignon steak with all the trimmings is prepared in the kitchen.

Luxury Dude Ranches


Rancho de los Caballeros - Wickenburg, Arizona

Want to escape somewhere warm and sunny this year? Let Rancho de los Caballeros spoil you with their upscale amenities and endless activities on your next Arizona getaway. This ranch is the ideal Southwest retreat with 20,000-acres of open range to explore by horseback and a full spa and salon to enjoy after a long morning in the sun. Adventure through the desert by ATV, tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course (while the “mini ranchers” play at the Kids Club), or spend a much-needed day doing nothing by the heated pool, preferably with a margarita in hand! 

Luxury Dude Ranches


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

You may not get much more luxurious than The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. Just a short ride up the mountain from the ever-famous Broadmoor sits the beautiful Ranch at Emerald Valley, a distinct western experience. This ranch is certainly in the high-end rustic retreat category. So, if you are in search of an extremely highly-rated luxury dude ranch for a romantic getaway or family vacation, don’t miss this ranch. Here, you can experience a variety of high-class activities along with a full-service spa. Your vacation here will be the perfect mix of western charm and a top-quality resort. An abundance of activities and great memories await you and your chosen travel partners at The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley.

Luxury Dude Ranches


Lost Creek Ranch - Moose, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole are known for their extravagance. Placed between these two locations and equally as magnificent is Lost Creek Ranch. Offering open-air massages with views of the Tetons, the spa at Lost Creek is one that will surely put your city’s spa to shame. Float the infamous Snake River, hike and horseback ride in the Tetons, or take a tour of Yellowstone -- all once-in-a-lifetime experiences you won’t want to miss out on! At the end of the day, settle down in your own cozy, log cabin where you will drift to sleep in the comforts of home listening to the cool mountain breeze or crackling fireplace.

Luxury Dude Ranches


Lone Mountain Ranch - Big Sky, Montana

Lone Mountain Ranch sits at the base of the mountains in Big Sky, Montana just north of Yellowstone. The ranch welcomes families of all ages to join in on their western way of life. The Lone Mountain dining options will surely impress you with their high-quality Rocky Mountain cuisine including Kobe beef, elk, and vegetarian selections. Experience a long refreshing hike into the surrounding Gallatin Mountains, a horseback ride up to the mountain tops and gaze over the stunning canyons, or take advantage of their guided canoe trips. Whatever your definition of relaxation and rejuvenation may be, the luxury of Lone Mountain Ranch will help you escape reality and help you to truly enjoy your vacation and time away.

Luxury Dude Ranches


4UR Ranch - Creede, Colorado

Can you imagine a place more luxurious than a vacation with a natural hot spring right on site? The 4UR Ranch in Colorado is home to two historical natural hot springs that supply the warm water for their hot tub and other pools. The ranch was constructed around these natural wonders to make sure no damage was made and to preserve history. The healing waters provide serene relaxation and many people believe the waters are a natural healer. The ranch has much more to offer than just their top-notch spa; they have horseback rides, incredible cuisine for all ages, great fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and more! Take a wonderful family vacation this year and have luxury meet you at the door at the 4UR Ranch. 

Luxury Dude Ranches


Mountain Sky Guest Ranch - Emigrant, Montana

Located 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park, is Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, a prime luxury dude ranch destination for both families and couples. There is something for everyone to do here. Whether you are an avid horseback rider, enjoy fly-fishing or archery, want to play a round of golf at the on-site golf course, or spend an incredible day in Yellowstone, you will not run out of activities on this vacation! Their truly impressive kids’ program will ensure that kids of all ages also enjoy the vacation of a lifetime. You won’t worry about a thing while at Mountain Sky; book the trip, pack your bags, and prepare yourself for a vacation filled with excitement, relaxation, and memories no one will soon forget! 

Luxury Dude Ranches

 

Do you know which one you want to visit yet? If not, let us know! Our ranch vacation specialists will help you pick the best ranch to fit your next vacation. 307-587-2339 info@duderanch.org 

Interested in including the Dude Ranchers’ Association in an article? Contact us today! 307-587-2339 info2@duderanch.org

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Canceled Your International Travel Plans? 5 Reasons Why THIS Vacation Is the Best Alternative.

Travel Plans

It’s no surprise that people are canceling their international travel plans and cruises due to fear of sickness. The sheer idea of sitting on a flight with recycled air for 6+ hours is enough to make your head spin. But what are you going to do about your big annual family vacation? Is there somewhere else you can go? Something else you could do? You need somewhere with fresh air, wide-open spaces that are all around good for your physical and mental health! Your family needs a dude ranch vacation and here are 5 reasons why:

#1 Being outdoors can help boost your immune system

Travel Plans

Being close to nature has some diverse and significant health benefits. In addition to getting your good ole’ vitamin D outside, scientists also believe that breathing in natural chemicals put off by plants can increase our white blood cell levels and help us fight off infections and diseases such as obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. These natural scents can also provide aromatherapy that can make you feel calmer and more relaxed! 

#2 Wide Open Spaces

Travel Plans

Nothing beats getting out of the madness of the hazy city and humid, crowded beaches and out into the peace and quiet. Not only will you be away from swarms of people, but you’ll be taking in soul-cleansing, mountain air that will make you feel revived. Let’s not forget that these vast spaces allow for some of the best horseback riding experiences in the world!

#3 Natural Exercise

Travel Plans

Whether you look forward to your daily exercise or not, you’ll inevitably get your workout in on a dude ranch. From holding yourself upright on your horse to casting your fly out into the river to holding your bow up while practicing archery - you’ll more than likely get some exercise. Oh, and we can’t forget the refreshing yoga classes and wild rock climbing that some dude ranches have! These activities are also great ways to turn your exercise time into family time.

#4 Bonding Over New Experiences

Travel Plans

Dude ranches openly welcome families of all types and invite them to come learn and experience the legendary Western way of life. Learn how to rope, experience a real western rodeo, get involved in a real cattle drive, and then hop on the river and go rafting. The adventures are truly endless on a dude ranch and will keep your family reminiscing for years to come (or until your next visit!).

#5 You Can Make a Road Trip Out of It

Travel Plans

We have over 95 ranches west of the Mississippi River, so you are most likely less than a 24 drive from one of our dude ranches! So, if you don’t feel like taking a chance on a short flight, you can always hop in the car and make a road trip out of it! There are plenty of sites to see along the way. From ever-changing landscapes to national parks and monuments, check them all off your family’s bucket list this summer while making your way to your new favorite vacation!

So, since you’re canceling that stuffy 8-hour flight overseas this summer, consider taking a dude ranch vacation this year! We guarantee it’ll be an experience your family will never forget. Let us know if you need help sifting through 95+ DRA approved ranches; our DRA ranch experts are here to help you! Contact us today DudeRanch.org 307-587-2339.

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Family Summer Camp — 5 Reasons Why You Need A Dude Ranch Vacation

Would you like to escape your mundane, urban life and experience the Great Outdoors? The best way to experience America’s beautiful countryside is on a dude ranch vacation. 

Staying on a working ranch is a wonderful experience for anyone who feels stuck in the rat race at home. At a dude ranch, you and your whole family can enjoy horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, white-water rafting, kayaking, swimming, camping, hiking, and any other popular outdoor activity you can imagine. 

Whatever you enjoy doing in the wilderness, you’ll find a dude ranch that caters to your needs.

Dude Ranch Vacation

#1. Horseback riding

If you like horses, you’ll love the feeling of freedom you experience horseback riding along a trail. Horseback riding is the core activity at the DRA dude ranches. Whether you’ve never sat upon a horse before or you’ve competed in the Kentucky Derby, you’ll find a guest ranch that’s perfect for you and your interests.

Check out all the guest ranches affiliated with the Dude Ranchers Association. Many ranches provide special programs to educate kids (and interested adults) in horse care and horse-riding skills. You’ll find patient instructors for beginners and professional coaches for more experienced equestrians. Just select what you’re looking for on the association website. 

Take Tanque Verde Ranch in Arizona as an example. Tanque Verde is a multiple award-winning resort that has operated as a dude ranch for over 150 years. It is located adjacent to Coronado National Forest and Saguaro National Park. 

At Tanque Verde, you can experience riding across breathtaking desert landscapes in the shade of the Rincon Mountains. As well as providing horse riding instruction and trail riding, Tanque Verde also makes a great base for hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.  

Dude Ranch Vacation

#2. Campfire sing-a-longs

No childhood is complete without a campfire sing-a-long. A guest ranch is a wonderful place to take your kids so they can get closer to nature and enjoy wonderful cultural experiences like this. 

And if your childhood didn’t include one, it’s time to catch up now. A campfire out in the wilderness near a dude ranch is a great way to experience the quiet of the great outdoors but with the security of knowing civilization isn’t too far away.

Without the light pollution of the big city, the skies are clear, and the stars are bright. With the eeriness of the city a thousand miles away, you can wander off into the night and walk under the open skies.

If you’re an amateur astronomer, don’t forget to take along your telescope. A guest ranch is the perfect location for stargazing. Especially when the ranch is up high on a mountain range, and the stars are a few thousand feet nearer. 

Dude Ranch Vacation

#3. Mountain biking

Mountain biking is a great way to get fit. Biking gives you a great cardio workout and doesn’t put too much strain on your joints. And biking in the countryside provides you with a wonderful change of scenery. 

Many dude ranches are located in mountainous regions and near state or national parks, so they make a fantastic base for mountain biking adventures. The best thing is that the biking trails near many guest ranches aren’t located near cities and crowded. You’ll be out in the wilderness, enjoying amazing scenery, and breathing the fresh mountain air. 

You can hire a mountain bike at some dude ranches, but you’ll probably feel more comfortable using your own. To transport your bike safely to the ranch, consider purchasing a bike travel bag

4UR Ranch is a historic guest ranch located in a stunning valley in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. They have provided accommodation and trail riding to guests for over 120 years. And with the Rocky Mountains on the doorstep, you can enjoy fantastic mountain biking experiences.

Dude Ranch Vacation

#4. Fishing

Not everyone escapes to the countryside to go on long trail rides. Some people want to pursue a more relaxing activity that still gets them out into nature. Fly fishing is a perfect way to spend time beside the water on lakes or rivers. And many dude ranches offer private ponds, lakes, or riverbanks for eager anglers.

For example, Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch in Wyoming is located right next to the Wind River and within easy reach of hundreds of alpine lakes stocked with wild trout. The fly fishing there is world-class, and with so many fishing spots to choose from and so few people out there in Dickinson Park and Shoshone National Forest, you’re spoiled for choice. 

Dude Ranch Vacation

#5. White water rafting and kayaking

Adrenaline junkies can find lots of activities to enjoy on a dude ranch. With so many guest ranches located near mountains and fast-flowing rivers, lots of guest ranches offer white water rafting or kayaking experiences. 

Some of these Class III and Class IV rapids are undiscovered by the majority of water sports enthusiasts. If you search through the list of dude ranches in America, you’ll find many that make wonderful bases for a thrilling water-borne adventure.

And you’ll often find other unique water-based experiences at dude ranches. Many offer gold panning, and swimming in private ponds is fairly common. Whatever you love to do on the water, you can do it at a guest ranch.

Marble Mountain Ranch in California specializes in rafting and riding vacations. They offer excellent equestrian instruction programs, trail riding, and white-water rafting. These adventures all occur in California’s Klamath National Forest, where the views of granite ridges and deep river valleys are stunning.

Embrace life and live a little!

As you can see, there are many great activities you can enjoy at a dude ranch. It’s a way you can safely enjoy a Wild West experience. On a guest ranch, you’ll definitely have a vacation you never forget. For more information or assistance in selecting the right dude ranch for you, contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association at info@duderanch.org! With almost 100 years of experience and over 95 ranches to choose from, we will help find the right ranch for you! 

This article was written in partnership with Outsidepursuits.com.

Dude Ranch Vacation

Top 10 Ranches for "Foodies"

Ranch visitors all have different “non-negotiables” when it comes to finding the perfect dude ranch for them. More and more often we see “amazing food” on this list. So, we decided to put together a list of the DRA ranches that offer mouth-watering gourmet food! Here are our Top 10 Ranches for "Foodies":

 

Red Reflet Guest Ranch | Ten Sleep, WY

Ranches for Foodies

Next to their ATV adventures, mealtime is always memorable at the Red Reflet Ranch. A great deal of effort is taken to make every meal tasty, healthful and unique. Ranch meals include produce from their greenhouse, garden, and orchard. Their beef is ranch-raised, the lamb is locally raised and both are processed in their butcher shop and aged to be savory and tender. Worried about missing the ranch food once you get home? Don’t fret! They offer cooking classes with their excellent Chef Toby Bauer!

 

Latigo Ranch | Kremmling, CO

Ranches for Foodies

The Latigo Ranch kitchen uses the finest ingredients, sustainably and locally sourced whenever possible, their chefs strive to make dishes that are creative, satisfying, wholesome, and elegant. The day begins with an array of breakfast opportunities; everything from fresh fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola, to pancakes, waffles, eggs any style, and their house-smoked bacon (which has been known to receive applause). You’ll then be off to fill your day with archery and shooting sports or maybe some rock climbing! Evening meals may consist of Bison flank steak roulade, a brace of quail with a fine sherry glaze, or ask about their AMAZING vegetarian options. And knowing that kids' tastes are often different, they work to see that they are happy as well.

 

Rancho de los Caballeros | Wickenburg, AZ

Ranches for Foodies

The chef and culinary team at Rancho de los Caballeros create three delicious meals daily. Breakfast is a full buffet with everything from homemade biscuits to made-to-order omelets. After a round of golf help yourself to the lunch buffet with poolside dining available. The gourmet dinner menu, which changes every evening, includes a choice of two soups or salads, five delectable entrees, including, but most definitely not limited to: grilled swordfish, 12-ounce ribeye, and pork chops. Then, after a beautiful desert sunset, swing by their bonfire cookout to grill, sing, and be merry!

 

Flat Creek Ranch | Jackson, WY

Ranches for Foodies

From traditional to decadent, Flat Creek Ranch’s kitchen is supplied by local, organic meat and produce whenever possible, including fresh greens from our garden. The daily menus reflect seasonal bounty at the hand of an experienced and imaginative chef. The day starts with coffee delivered to your cabin followed by a gourmet breakfast with seasonal fruit, homemade granola and yogurt, fresh-squeezed orange juice and something special and piping hot from the kitchen. You’ll be all fueled up and ready for a day of fly-fishing! After you get back to the ranch, duck confit, osso bucco with local beef, and stuffed pork chop are a few of the entrees you may enjoy with your 4-course dinner awaiting you. Beer and wine are always included!

 

High Lonesome Ranch | DeBeque, CO

Ranches for Foodies

The culinary structure at The High Lonesome Ranch is very unique. Their dining program is based on the needs and desires of the guests staying with them at the time. Menus can range from classical preparations to family-style. When you've concluded your daily horseback riding, cattle work, or fly-fishing you'll be very pleased to meet their Executive Chef, and in the morning their Breakfast Chef will become one of your favorite people. Local farm-to-table cuisine, ranch-grown produce, and their own HLR Angus beef raised and aged on the ranch will delight you at every meal.

 

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort | Solvang, CA

Ranches for Foodies

Alisal Guest Ranch’s menu changes daily because they use the freshest ingredients from local farms and ranches. Their meals are prepared for a hearty appetite. Their breakfasts are cooked just how you like it and gourmet dinners are prepared with farm-fresh ingredients. Join them at the Chuckwagon Grill for some delicious entrees including quinoa and arugula salad, a half-pound fresh Angus burger, and Chuck Wagon Nachos. They specialize in their famous BBQ's held three times a week during the summer. 

 

4UR Ranch | Creede, Co

Ranches for Foodies

We’ll start off by saying, 4UR Ranch knows how to start their guests’ mornings off right: 6:30 am coffee delivered to your porch! After this, most meals at the 4UR take place in the lodge dining room at liberally scheduled times, so you’ll have plenty of time to soak in the hot springs! Dining at the 4UR is an event, not just another meal. They use local organic vegetables and produce. Dinner specials include Colorado Rack of Lamb, Ahi Tuna, Elk Tenderloin, Seared Salmon, Alaskan Halibut, Beef Tenderloin, Buffalo Ribs, and many other wonderful dishes. Important note: They have a bottomless cookie jar in the lodge and at the pool!

 

Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch | Emigrant, MT

Ranches for Foodies

There is never a shortage of food at Hubbard’s Lodge. Join them for hearty breakfasts with house-made baked goods, fresh fruit, and made to order omelets, eggs, pancakes, waffles, and more. After a long day hiking on the trail (and a nice hot bath), wander on down to the lodge where dinner is prepared and includes dishes such as roasted pork tenderloin or walleye with a lemon caper sauce, and accompaniments such as butternut squash, chipotle pepper soup, or southwestern Caesar salad. Mouthwatering desserts are prepared daily by their pastry chef. You'll always receive personal, friendly service from a great staff.

 

A Bar A Ranch | Encampment, WY

Ranches for Foodies

A day of yoga, fishing, and horseback riding in the mountain air promotes a healthy appetite. Dining at the A Bar A is one of the things that guests say is a favorite part of their ranch experience. Their chef's creative menus are prepared with high-quality ingredients, including organic produce and natural meats. The ranch's wine cellar holds a large selection of fine wines.

 

Tanque Verde Ranch | Tucson, AZ

Ranches for Foodies

By the end of your long day of mountain biking adventures at Tanque Verde Ranch, you’ll be anxiously awaiting over the dinner cuisine which may include seafood cioppino served with three types of fresh, pan-seared seafood or a 6 oz house-cut beef tenderloin. Besides the three gourmet meals served each day in the dining room, several indoor and outdoor specialty dining events are held each week. Consume the mouth-watering cuisine while also taking in the authentic dude ranch atmosphere of Tanque Verde Ranch! Nothing hits the spot better than a savory meal and refreshing drink after an invigorating day on the ranch. 

 

Whether you consider yourself a “foodie” or someone who just likes to enjoy GOOD food (myself) these dude ranches are a must-visit! If you’d like more information on dude ranches or need help selecting the best ranch-fit for you please contact us at info@duderanch.org or at 307-587-2339.

Top 10 Ranches for

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