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

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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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