7 Reasons to Visit a Dude Ranch for Your Next Vacation

When you see the great pictures, big smiles and memories being made by people on a fantastic horse oriented, dude or guest ranch vacation, have you ever thought, why would they take a trip like that? How did they even find a vacation destination like a dude ranch? What made them decide to go to a dude ranch on vacation? Well, there are a lot of different reasons as to why people visit a dude ranch, but below are the seven main reasons people choose a ranch vacation!

Sprucedale Guest Ranch Visit A Dude Ranch

The Best Reasons to Visit a Dude Ranch

 

1. Horses

Horseback riding is the central theme on ranch vacations and the quality of horses and trail rides available would be a dream to the equestrian in your travel group. From a couple of hours to all day rides the length of the trail ride is always customizable, as well as the speed in which you ride. Do you like to go fast or slow? For a long or short time? There will be a ride that matches what you would like to do. At Sprucedale Ranch their rides are grouped by age, so that the beginning riders, the teenagers and adults will get to ride together as a group. This ranch offers two rides a day, and for the special occasion, once a week you get to ride off into the setting sun. Imagine yourself in the Arizona countryside on horseback and you’ll understand why dude ranch vacations are one of the most picturesque destinations for adventure travel. 

Triangle X Ranch Water Activities Visit a Dude Ranch-1

2. Water 

If you have never seen the Teton Mountain Range in Wyoming before, one of the best places to see it is from one of the boats at the Triangle X Ranch. You can experience a fantastic float trip down the Snake River which lies in the shadows of these extraordinary mountains, or you can enjoy a guided fishing trip. The guides will be sure to show you all of the great fishing holes and the scenery along the way. There are a couple of different packages offered by the ranch for their float trips. There is a 10-mile float trip or a dinner float trip, beautiful scenery and a meal? That sounds like a pretty great deal! The guided fishing trips will leave you daydreaming of time in the mountains after you return home. There are streams and rivers to be fished all around the property and you will even have the opportunity to fish in Grand Teton National Park and/or Yellowstone National Park if you would like. At the Triangle X Ranch, you will enjoy some of the finest trout fishing in the West! 

What makes people decide to go to a dude ranch on vacation? Well, there are a lot of different reasons as to why people visit a dude ranch, but below are the seven main reasons people choose a ranch vacation!

 

3. Hikes

While the horses at Colorado Trails Ranch in Durango, Colorado catch most of their guests attention, the hiking around the ranch is something to catch guest’s attention as well. The ranch property borders the two million acre San Juan National Forest, the places to explore are endless here! Colorado Trails Ranch sits in a breathtaking valley with ridges and mountains sweeping up to create an incredible panoramic view. The property around the ranch will give you a great understanding of why people moved out West and claimed this untouched land as their own; the beauty is indescribable. The ranch offers guided hikes or you can hike out on your own, the freedom is yours! Climb to the mountain tops and see the Rocky Mountains from your point of view...literally! 

Absaroka Hunting Pack Trip Visit a dude ranch

4. Camping

The Absaroka Ranch, at the headwaters of Wyoming’s Wind River and at the base of the spectacular Absaroka mountain range is a location you will find solitude and beauty on a scale very few places can match. The pack trips that Absaroka Ranch provides include top-notch amenities in the backcountry of the Shoshone National Forest. Their camp is a place anyone wanting to get away from the “real world” would want to be. It truly is unique and holds a beauty you will not understand until you see it for yourself!  The 4 ½ hour horseback ride begins right from the ranch and offers amazing views and challenging terrain. The scenery is unforgettable and the memories created will be too.  3 to 6-night stays are offered for a pack trip so you get to choose how long you want to escape reality! While on your trip you will get to enjoy crystal clear lakes and small stream fishing, incredible 360-degree views while on horseback rides, delicious camp cooking and even a shower tent with on-demand hot water! How about that for top notch service! Tents, cots, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and wood stoves are all provided on the trip so you do not have to worry about a thing! 

5. Fishing

Cast a line into some of the most spectacular streams, rivers and bodies of water that the West has to offer. With a variety of species of fish to target, most ranches have a serious fishing program that any angler would enjoy. Take for example the Majestic Dude Ranch in Mancos, Colorado. Every week the ranch owner teaches a fly fishing class for the beginners in your group and the next day has a fly fishing trip. The Bear Creek horseback ride is an all-day ride, which includes several hours of fly fishing in an unbeatable setting.

Spotted Horse Fishing Visit a Dude Ranch

Catching a trout at the Spotted Horse Ranch

Spotted Horse Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is also known for its fantastic fishing program. It has an Orvis Fly Shop for anglers to gear up and a variety of casting lessons, fishing spots on the ranch and guided fishing trips on three different local rivers. Whether you fish every day or have never cast a line, dude ranches offer fishing as a way to engage the entire group in a beautiful outdoor setting. 

C Lazy U Ranch Food Visit a Dude Ranch

6. Food 

Excellent food is the standard on every ranch experience. Gathering around the table for a well-prepared meal completes every outdoor adventure. After a full day of being outdoors in the mountains, you’ll expect delightful meals. At the C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado, they are serious about exceeding the expectations. With fine wines and an extensive alcohol selection, pairing your meal with your beverage of choice is an easy decision to make. You’ll enjoy your family-style dinner in the lodge for most meals, and then for Friday mornings during the summer you’ll have a "Woodsie Breakfast" outside for a traditional cowboy experience. 

Bar Lazy J Kids Visit a Dude Ranch

 

7. Family

Family time is serious business while you are on vacation. You get to spend an extended period of time with the people in your life that matter the most. From the moment you pack your bags and head to the airport, every moment that is spent together has the potential to make lasting memories that you will cherish forever. When you visit a dude ranch every moment is filled with family activities that all ages will enjoy. For example, at the Bar Lazy J Ranch in Parshall, Colorado each day begins with feeding the animals in the petting zoo and the kid's counselors and wranglers make sure each moment is filled with something for each age group to be actively engaged in the western lifestyle experience. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bar Lazy J Wagon Cat Post

Evening Wagon Ride at the Bar Lazy J Ranch

 

 

 

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White Water Rafting and Float Trips at Dude Ranches

White Water Rafting

Marble Mountain Ranch - Somes Bar, CA

The best part about being in the outdoors is that there are numerous possibilities to have fun and acquire experiences that will turn into precious memories. When it comes to activities in nature, being close to water has something special and relaxing about it. Just try to imagine how it would be to see the water, hear it and get engaged in activities that have water as the main ingredient. Yes, it is about enjoying water rafting and float trips in some of the best places in the USA and Canada. While white water rafting is for those with a more adventurous and restless spirit, float trips are calmer and more relaxing, giving you the chance to enjoy the wildlife and gorgeous scenery. Of course, no one stops you from enjoying both experiences.

White Water Rafting

Triangle X Ranch - Moose, WY

North America has some of the best places for water rafting in the whole country. Why is it so great to come here for this kind of activity? Not only will you be charmed by the stunning landscape, but you will also find experienced guides and instructors that will make this experience safe from start to end. So, even if you never tried water rafting before, traveling to North America can be a good way to give this a try. It is worth mentioning the rivers are split into classes, depending on their degree of difficulty, based on their structure and water speed. Thus, the easiest rivers belong to class 1, while the most difficult and dangerous are placed in class 6. You can be sure that the person in charge of your experience will select a river adequate to your level of experience and will certainly not leave you alone in the boat.

White Water Rafting

Spotted Horse Ranch - Jackson Hole,WY

What are the best rivers in North America for white water rafting and float trips? The Salmon River in Idaho would be a great option, although it is recommended for those with some experience in white water rafting. The waters of this river are not too fast, but you will need some skills to avoid rocks and other obstacles that may come in your way. The Arkansas River in Colorado is another exceptional choice, especially if you are looking for a more relaxing and enjoyable adventure. For those that want to feel adrenaline pumping in their veins, the Nahatlatch River in British Columbia will have what it takes to deliver.

white water rafting

Majestic Dude Ranch - Mancos, CO

But what about accommodation? What better accommodation option to pair with a water rafting and float trips than a luxurious ranch? Dude ranches are some of the best ranches in North America that give guests the chance of staying at a real ranch, without having to compromise their comfort. Also, it is worth bearing in mind that the previously mentioned rivers are just a few examples. If you’re truly interested in white water rafting and float trips, you can always ask at the ranch where you are staying what your options are when it comes to available activities in the outdoors. Now, let us check out the best dude ranches in the area and what they have to offer.

White Water Rafting and Float Trips at a Dude Ranch

 

Cherokee Park Ranch – Livermore, Colorado

White water Rafting

Even if river rafting is not your favorite activity, this ranch will still have what it takes to keep you busy and entertained. Activities such as river tubing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hikes, square dancing and many more are available. It will be entirely up to you if you want a relaxing experience or something more exciting.

Cherokee Park Ranch ~ Livermore, Colorado

Phone: +1 970-493-6522

Majestic Dude Ranch – Mancos, Colorado

white water rafting

For those that are actually interested in enjoying water rafting on their vacation, the Majestic Dude Ranch is very close to the Animas River. In fact, you will have the price of this particular activity included in your accommodation, so you won’t have to worry about anything. It is an activity for people with all levels of experience in this sector, as everything is entirely safe.

Majestic Dude Ranch ~ Mancos, Colorado

Phone: +1 970-533-7900

Spotted Horse Ranch – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

White Water Rafting

This particular ranch is ideal for those that simply want to lie back and relax. The scenery around the ranch is amazing and you can even enjoy the nearby river from its terrace. This place is also a great option if you want to enjoy float trips on the river, taking things down a notch and just getting the most nature has to offer. Of course, there are many more activities to experience here, so don’t hesitate to check out what this ranch has to offer.

Spotted Horse Ranch ~ Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Phone: +1 307-733-2097

Triangle X Ranch – Moose, Wyoming

white water rafting

How about floating gently in a boat while gazing at majestic mountainous peaks? This is what you can enjoy if you choose to visit this ranch and spend your vacation in this area. The nearby Snake River has large portions of calm waters that make leisure activities extremely pleasant. The trips will be accompanied by a guide and your safety will be guarded at all times, so there’s no need to worry.

Triangle X Ranch ~ Moose, Wyoming

Phone: +1 307-733-2183

Marble Mountain Ranch – Somes Bar, California

white water rafting

If you want to go river rafting with the entire family and make sure it is safe and fun for everyone, you should take a look at what this ranch has to offer. The Klamath River flowing in the area has, for most of its length, calm waters, but it will also offer a few waves to increase the level of excitement. You don’t even have to be experienced in water rafting, as you will have an experienced person with you at all times.

Marble Mountain Ranch ~ Somes Bar, California

Phone: +1 530-469-3322

Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch and Guide Service – Council, Idaho

white water rafting

From calm and relaxing trips to water-splashing adventures, there’s something for everybody to enjoy in this part of Idaho. If you choose this particular ranch, you will discover the river in ways you’ve never imagined. Of course, everything will be according to your desires, although you should not miss the opportunity to try something different. The safety of guests is the most important part of this ranch, so you will never face anything dangerous.

Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch and Guide Service ~ Council, Idaho

Phone: +1 208-253-3014

Three Bars Guest Ranch – Cranbrook, British Columbia

white water rafting

Whether you are looking for activities on water or on land, you will not be disappointed if you choose to spend your vacation at this ranch. It is a family-friendly ranch where guests of all ages will find something enjoyable to do. At the same time, luxury and comfort will wait for you at the ranch, after a day filled with fun activities and outdoor exploration.

Three Bars Guest Ranch ~ Cranbrook, British Columbia

Phone: +1 250-426-5230

Hopefully, the previous lines opened doors toward an unforgettable and enjoyable vacation in North America, with the help of dude ranches. These ranches are members of The Dude Ranchers’ Association that guarantees a long tradition in everything that means ranching and communion with nature; these ranches have what it takes to offer you the chance of enjoying some of the best vacations you will ever experience.

 

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While white water rafting is for those with a more adventurous spirit, float trips are calmer, giving you the chance to enjoy the scenery surrounding you!But what about accommodation? What better accommodation option to pair with a water rafting and float trips than a luxurious ranch? Dude ranches are some of the best ranches in North America that give guests the chance of staying at a real ranch, without having to compromise their comfort.

Blog written by: Olivier Templar-James

http://www.luxurytravelersguide.com/

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

If you have never had the chance to experience the beauty and serenity of Grand Teton National Park, you should probably add it to your bucket list. Comprising one side of the Snake River Valley is the Teton Mountain Range, the hasty vertical rise of the peaks and the jagged edges of the mountains stand out greatly against Wyoming’s big blue skies. Explore the sage-covered valley, glacial lakes and see many different types of wildlife either by vehicle or by foot. There is always another option of how to enjoy Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area as well, from the back of a horse! Grand Teton National Park vacations allow for great family or solo traveler fun! 

There are 9 different dude ranches all within an hour drive of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and they are all members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association. Many of these ranches have the ability to take horseback rides in close neighboring areas of the park.  Some of these ranches are even allowed to take guests into the actual park boundaries on rides.  Continue reading to find out more about these dude ranches located in close proximity to Grand Teton National Park and how they might just be the next perfect vacation destination.

Grand Teton National Park Vacations 

 

Gros Ventre River Ranch

Located only 12 miles from the entrance into Grand Teton National Park is the Gros Ventre River Ranch, an adventure ranch waiting for you and your family! Enjoy all of the activities that the ranch has to offer as well as the surrounding area of Jackson Hole. You may want to take a few days before or after your ranch stay to explore the national parks. Yellowstone National Park is just to the north of Grand Teton and is easy to access if you are already going through Grand Teton. At Gros Ventre River Ranch you can embark on a rejuvenating vacation while connecting with nature and family in so many aspects. There is wildlife all around the ranch and you can even head into Jackson Hole for some touristy fun if you are up for it. No matter what you want your Grand Teton National Park vacations to entail, complete relaxation or total adventure, Gros Ventre is a great ranch to consider.

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

R Lazy S Ranch

Located at the base of the Teton mountains and at the southern boundary of Grand Teton National Park lies the R Lazy S Ranch. With spectacular views of the entire mountain range and Snake River Valley, you will not be disappointed with the scenery. The majority of the horseback rides and fly-fishing trips available at the ranch are taken into the park boundaries; you will ride along canyons, lakes, streams and open meadows; the fishing in the park is quite impressive as well. There are high chances of seeing numerous types of wildlife such as large elk herds, deer, bison and moose if you are lucky!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Flat Creek Ranch

Less than 30 miles from the entrance to Grand Teton National Park is the pristine and petite Flat Creek Ranch. With only 5 cabins and a maximum capacity of 14 people, you are sure to feel relaxed and unplugged from the real world, all while having a chance to reconnect with nature. The ranch offers several outdoor activities but they are known for their fly-fishing expertise and challenging waters of Flat Creek and Flat Creek Lake.  While out fishing, hiking or horseback riding, there is a good chance you will see some sort of wildlife wandering around. If you are a fly-fishing or outdoor enthusiast with an itch to see a few national parks, Flat Creek is a great vacation destination for you!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Spotted Horse Ranch

Located on the banks of the Hoback River and just over a 30-minute drive from Grand Teton National Park is the Spotted Horse Ranch. The Spotted Horse is unique to the Jackson Hole area dude ranches because it sits in the Hoback Canyon rather than the Snake River Valley. They offer fantastic fly-fishing opportunities and have a stocked Orvis retail fly-shop on the ranch. They have resident fly-fishing instructors/guides that will teach you the ins and outs of the trade and provide a great experience on and off the water. They also have great horseback rides and pack trips, climbing out of the canyon to mountain peaks with 360-degree views happens every day. The ranch is the perfect distance from Jackson Hole and from Grand Teton National Park, a day trip is a great way to experience the park while at Spotted Horse. If you are a fly-fishing enthusiast or are looking for a relaxing ranch with close proximity to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, Spotted Horse Ranch just may be the vacation destination for you!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

The Red Rock Ranch

A short drive of about 30 minutes from The Red Rock Ranch will take you into Grand Teton National Park and gives you the option to venture into Yellowstone National Park if you please. There is a great amount of adventures to be had in the parks. You can hike to beautiful glacier fed lakes through meadows of wildflowers and see wildlife everywhere you turn. You can also rent bikes to travel through the park a little quicker, a great bike trail system is in place and takes you to the highlighted areas. You may want to participate in some water activities, paddle boards and canoes are available to rent in a couple different places in close proximity to the park as well. The Red Rock Ranch is a great vacation destination that allows you to enjoy ranch life and two different national park experiences without having to travel very far!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Moose Head Ranch

With breath-taking scenery in every direction, friendly and hospitable staff, two national parks right out the back door and an abundance of activities to enjoy, Moose Head Ranch will check every box on your list. Moose Head is the last privately-owned guest ranch completely within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park. So even if you do not get the time to go and enjoy all of the beauty and fun the park has to offer while on your vacation, you can still say you have spent a week in Grand Teton National Park! While at Moose Head it is almost guaranteed you will see elk, mule deer, bison and several other types of wildlife.  You will have the opportunity to explore via horseback and fish in the streams and lakes running through and around the property. Moose Head is a wonderful destination vacation for a family or any kind of traveler!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Lost Creek Ranch

A luxury resort awaits your company at the Lost Creek Ranch located right outside of Grand Teton National Park. Living in the ecosystem of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park insinuates that adventures are bound to be had while at the ranch. From horseback riding with beautiful mountain and valley views to relaxing in their highly rated spa, there is something for everyone at Lost Creek. The folks at the ranch are equipped and prepared to help you coordinate all types of activities so your vacation is everything you hoped for, and possibly more!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Triangle X Ranch

The Triangle X Ranch has been in the Teton Mountain Range and the Grand Teton National Park area before national parks were even established! Rich with history and charm is one of the best ways to describe the Triangle X. The Turner family, who owns Triangle X, have been in the Jackson Hole area since the early 1900’s. Five generations of Turners have called the ranch home and to this day the Turner family still owns and runs the ranch in a traditional way. The ranch and Turner family truly grew with the times of history and Grand Teton National Park. They have watched it develop and change over the years, yet still they understand and respect the preservation of the park as well as the history of the valley. There is something for everyone to do at the Triangle X Ranch. Horseback rides, pack trips, float trips and day to day activities take place within the park’s boundaries and offer stunning views and unforgettable memories. If you are looking for a historic and charming dude ranch close to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, look no further than the Triangle X Ranch!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Goosewing Ranch

Ride through spectacular fields of wildflowers with the Teton Mountains acting as an astounding backdrop. At the Goosewing Ranch you will travel by horses to see some of the best views the Snake River Valley and Wyoming has to offer. You could also experience these views while fly fishing or just simply relaxing around the ranch. However you want to spend your days on vacation, you can be certain to find beautiful views and a sense of peace. While on your vacation you can venture into Grand Teton National Park, and even Yellowstone National Park if you choose, on a day trip. See all different types of wildlife and amazing views you will not find anywhere else. Goosewing is a mere 17 miles to the park, approximately a 20-minute drive, that is if the bison do not cause a traffic jam! You will not want to miss the opportunity to see two of the most beautiful national parks the country has to offer!

Grand Teton National Park Vacations

 

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 Grand Teton National Park vacations are wonderful for every traveler! If you have never experienced this park, you should add it to your bucket list!

Unique Fitness Adventures on a Dude Ranch Anytime of Year

When planning a dude ranch vacation, you might think about horseback riding through picturesque mountain panoramas, testing out fly fishing on mirror like rivers or relaxing by a crackling campfire; it usually does not cross your mind about staying on track with your workout routine. You don’t want to lose a whole week of workouts, but what are you going to do to stay in shape at a dude ranch? There is an array of unique dude ranch fitness adventures to participate in during your vacation. 

Horseback riding offers physical activity, but you may be eager for more challenging tasks. You may need to actually “feel the burn” while participating in an activity to get a sense of a good workout. No matter what type of weather conditions, there are outside adventures to keep you active any time of year. Here are 9 unique dude ranch adventures to keep you in shape during your vacation. 

Unique Dude Ranch Fitness Adventures

 

Mountain Biking – Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, Arizona

With all of the activities available on a dude ranch it is hard to pick just a few to participate in. Plus, you want to get the most out of your week-long vacation, but it is tough to do all the activities you want in such a short amount of time. If you are looking to explore the desert terrain of Arizona in a different way there are options! For a more fitness tailored adventure you could try mountain biking. Stagecoach Trails has fat tire mountain bikes available for you to use for a quieter exploration of the cactus filled trails. Ride through the desert and get a good workout by peddling through sandy trails, you might even get to see some wildlife, like a roadrunner being chased by a coyote! 

fitness adventures

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch - Yucca, AZ 

Snowshoeing – Campbell Hills Guest Ranch, British Columbia 

If you have never walked through deep, wet snow you may not know how much of a workout it can really be. Sometimes vacations have snowy days, and you will still want to get outside to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. At Campbell Hills Guest Ranch there are many winter activities available, but snowshoeing may be the best physical workout of them all. You can snowshoe many different trails at the ranch and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. It is very peaceful to get outside, enjoy the cool fresh air and take in all of the stunning landscapes and mountains around you. 

fitness adventures

Campbell Hills Guest Ranch - Kamloops, BC

Paddle Boarding – Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana 

Trying to balance on a board, paddle and enjoy everything around you can sometimes be a true challenge. Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge in Montana has many water activities to offer that are fun and refreshing. The ranch is located directly on the shores of Flathead Lake which is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. This lake is also one of the cleanest freshwater lakes in the world and stretches almost 30 miles in length! Paddle boarding on Flathead Lake is one of the tougher physical activities for your body. It requires many muscles to all be used at the same time which can be difficult, if your body is not up for that challenge, no worries you can just go for a swim! It is a great fitness activity for those vacation-goers who are looking for a fun adventure on the water all while getting a good workout, and maybe even a tan! 

fitness adventures

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge - Bigfork, MT

Hiking – Rancho de la Osa, Arizona

Hiking is one of the best fitness activities one can do to stay in shape while on vacation. Many of the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s member ranches have miles of trails for you to hike either with a guide or on your own. Rancho de la Osa in Arizona is a perfect place for hikers, by walking a few yards from your room you will find some of the same trails forged by legendary figures like Pancho Villa. You can walk on red clay trails towards the famous Baboquivari Mountain or you can tour the Buenos Aires wildlife refuge. While out on these hikes you may experience giant jackrabbits or hike along old western ghost towns that still feature intact buildings. No matter where your hiking adventure takes you, a good workout and a great time is sure to be had!   

fitness adventures

Rancho de la Osa - Sasabe, AZ 

Cross Country Skiing – Triangle X Ranch, Wyoming

Whatever your outdoor challenge or your outdoor dream, you will find it at the Triangle X Ranch in Wyoming. This ranch has many fitness activities to offer year-round, but in the winter time one of the best workouts is cross country skiing. A challenging tour through the flats of the Snake River Valley is like no other winter wonderland. The chances of running into wildlife are very high, and seeing the Grand Teton Mountains the with snow on the peaks is a memory you will never forget. Triangle X also extends other winter and snow activities that allow for a great workout for any level. 

fitness adventures

Triangle X Ranch - Moose, WY

Rock Climbing – Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Colorado 

It is always exciting to try new things, and new workouts are wonderful. Rock climbing at the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch in Colorado is a great way to mix things up while on vacation. Like many other non-typical adventures, rock climbing may not seem like much of a workout when participating, it is usually the day after the adventure that you feel all those muscles you used become sore. The rock climbing program at Sundance Trail is described as an introduction to climbing. Through this program you will learn how to tie knots, conduct proper belay and movement techniques, communicate, understand the terminology used during rock climbing, participate in a bouldering introduction as well as learn about outdoor safety. The ranch provides special shoes, ropes, helmets and all other technical gear. If you want to try a new fitness adventure rock climbing might just be your niche! 

fitness adventures

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch - Red Feather Lakes, CO 

Kayaking – Wind River Christian Guest Ranch, Colorado 

Located just 10 minutes from the Wind River Christian Guest Ranch in Colorado lies Lake Estes, a body of water that provides some of the best views of Rocky Mountain National Park. What better way to take in the beauty of the mountains and all the surrounding scenery than by a kayak? Not only will the adventure be beautiful, but you can also make it either an easy or hard fitness activity while on your vacation. The kayaking adventure is included in the weekly rate stay at the ranch so there is no extra cost to participate, a great activity for the whole family. The staff from the ranch will provide transportation down to the marina where you will prepare for the adventure by picking out which type of kayak they prefer, one person or two, grabbing life jackets and going through a brief training session so you can have the best time possible on the lake. Kayaking is a great fitness activity that will have your arms and core limp by the time you get back to shore, good news is there is a nice hot tub waiting for you back at the ranch! 

fitness adventures

Wind River Christian Guest Ranch - Estes Park, CO 

Yoga – 7D Ranch, Wyoming

If you are looking to relax your mind and body while on a dude ranch vacation, finding a ranch with a yoga class is a great idea. The 7D Ranch in Wyoming offers yoga classes multiple times a week and by request. The classes are for any level and are a great way to stretch out those muscles after a long day in the saddle. Yoga presents many benefits for the body and mind; one class may just help bring that sense of relaxation you have been looking for. You do not even have to worry about bringing your own equipment, the ranch has mats and other necessary equipment available. The classes can be tailored to many different levels as well; so, whether you are an avid yogi with much experience or just a beginner who has never set foot on a yoga mat, there is a class for you. 

fitness adventures

7D Ranch - Cody, WY

Snowmobiling – Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch, Idaho

Riding a big snowmobile through the powdery snow and trees does not seem all that hard right? Why would snowmobiling be considered a fitness activity you may ask? Until you try snowmobiling for the first time you will never quite understand how many muscles and how much effort it takes to maneuver a machine like that through the snow. Snowmobiling is another fitness activity that offers great adventure and each person can go at their own level. At Seven Devils Lodge and Guest Ranch in Idaho guided snowmobiling tours are offered for any level rider. D.R. Bledsoe is a great instructor/coach and will teach riders how to safely ride the machines all while having a great time. Snowmobiling is much like riding a horse in the dude ranch world, the folks at the ranch will ask you your experience level and how comfortable you are with the machine and then adjust the program accordingly. They walk though the process of riding the machine and will ride with you until you feel comfortable on your own. If you are looking for a fun adventure and an out of the ordinary fitness activity, look no further than the Seven Devils Ranch. 

fitness adventures

Seven Devils Lodge and Guest Ranch - Council, ID

 

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No matter the weather conditions, there are outside adventures to keep you active. Here are 9 dude ranch fitness adventures to consider during vacation.

Shoulder Season Offers Discount Ranch Vacations with Added Value

When it comes to deciding when to go on a dude ranch vacation, it pays to find the discount pricing and added value of going during the shoulder season. For these ranches in Wyoming and Montana the next shoulder season will be this fall, starting in September. There are typically less people on the ranch, more flexibility in your schedule and a relaxed environment when prices drop. What more could you ask for when planning your trip? Well, take a look at the “extras” you can add to your trip this fall. 

 

Customize Your Experience

Do you have a special group of like-minded people to travel with? The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch in Shell, Wyoming has the resources to customize your own experience while you are at the ranch. Whether it’s a group of friends, countrymen who speak the same language, colleagues, photographers or any other group the Hideout staff will design a week around your itinerary. And, on a 300,000-acre cattle, riding and fly-fishing ranch you’ll get to experience a luxury dude ranch in your very own way. 

 

 The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch offers shoulder season discounts

The Hideout Lodge is located at the base of the Big Horn Mountains and offers a high-end experience on a real working cattle ranch.

Add Special Trips

At the Triangle X Ranch in Moose, Wyoming you’ll be able to add on special trips to your package. Are you interested in a river float trip? Guided fishing trip? Wilderness pack trip? Or even a hunting trip? You’ll get the most complete outdoor recreational packages of any facility in the West at the Triangle X Ranch. With the ranch located in the heart of Grand Teton National Park, you’ll get to experience this national treasure in an intimate way the general public passing through could only dream about. 

 

 Triangle X Ranch offers shoulder season discounts

With over 90 years of experience, the Triangle X Ranch offers just the right balance of western lifestyle adventures and relaxation. There’s plenty of time for everything during your week at the ranch with your friends.

Book the Entire Ranch

For a group of up to 20 people the Covered Wagon Ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana can offer the entire ranch during the shoulder season. You can enjoy all the activities, meals and accommodations the ranch has to offer exclusively during your stay. 

 

 Covered Wagon Ranch offers shoulder season discounts

There’s nothing like letting your guard down with the people you know on an exclusive trip into the wilds of Montana. Covered Wagon Ranch can’t help but offer some of the most pristine views of the west. 

Have an Adult Only Vacation

With school starting back, the shoulder season is a perfect time to travel with your adult friends. The Lost Creek Ranch just north of Jackson, Wyoming offers world-class luxuries, gourmet meals and a state of the art spa facility for your kid-free week vacation during the weeks of September 2-15, 2018. 

 

 Lost Creek Ranch offers shoulder season discounts

Some places offer exceptional service and amenities, but not all places can offer such a spectacular view to go with it like the Lost Creek Ranch. You’ll be blown away when you experience this ranch in person. 

 

 

Click here for more information on affordable dude ranch vacations!

 

 

Shoulder Season Discounts - Pin this for later!

When it comes to deciding when to go on a dude ranch vacation, it pays to find the discount pricing and added value of going during the shoulder season. There are typically less people on the ranch, more flexibility in your schedule and a relaxed environment when prices drop. These ranches also offer “extras” you can add to your trip.

5 Reasons to Go on a Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

With winter just around the corner now is the prime time to plan your snowy getaway on a dude ranch. If you are unsure about a winter dude ranch vacation here are five reasons (and five great ranches) why this may be the best time for you to go.


1. Winter Sports


Winter snow sports offer some of the most beautiful and pristine views of the mountains. Ranches will offer a variety of activities you can participate in - cross country skiing, downhill skiing, show shoeing, sledding, snow mobiling, and yes, even horseback riding!

 

Seven Devils Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

At the Seven Devil’s Lodge in Idaho you can experience miles and miles of backcountry, very far from the nearest road. They offer guided snow mobile tours on terrain for beginners and for those who are more advanced. The Lodge will even provide an entry level to intermediate snowmobile riding clinic! With 5,500 square feet the lodge has five spacious bedroom suites and a maximum capacity of eight. You’ll have a personalized winter dude ranch vacation at the Seven Devils Lodge, where outdoor winter sports are their specialty.


2. Seasonal Deals


Winter travel can mean seasonal deals. Whenever you are booking be sure to ask about special winter deals. After the holidays, during the off season you could potential save a lot of money.

 

 Vee Bar Ranch Lodge Winter Snow

At the Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Wyoming you’ll receive these seasonal deals during their off season. The nightly rate less expensive than the summer rates and you can choose a package deal with the local ski hill. The cozy, comfortable cabins have decks and chairs right next to the Little Laramie River just outside your room. You’ll enjoy horseback riding, hiking/snow shoe excursions and a wagon ride through the Vee Bar Meadows at this winter dude ranch.


3. Cozy Lodge Rooms and Cabins


After a long day in the snow, bundled up in winter gear what is cozier than a cabin with a fire going and a cup of hot chocolate? You’ll be surrounded by western décor and top of the line furnishings to boot!

 

Home Sledding


Join the Home Ranch in Colorado this season and revel in exquisite holiday dining and festivities or just relax and watch the snow fall from the comfort of our lodge or your own snug cabin. Walk out your front door and enjoy almost every winter activity imaginable at this winter dude ranch: 20 miles of Nordic skiing, sledding, tubing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides. It's a perfect holiday setting for every taste and generation.


4. Wine & Dine


With short days you’ll enjoy long evenings indoors with fine wine and fine dining.

 

Triangle X Ranch Winter Dude Ranch Vacation Starts in the Hot Tub


You’ll really enjoy Triangle X Ranch’s four star dining set with the back drop of the snow covered Teton Mountains. This authentic working dude ranch offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, photography and wildlife viewing right out your front door. After a full day, return to the comfortable lodge and relax western style with a warm fire and a large outdoor Jacuzzi.

5. Less Crowds


While low temperatures and lots of snow deter lots of travelers, this works in your favor when traveling in the colder months, as you’ll spend less on flights and travel expenses.

 

Bar W Sleigh Ride Snow
Experience the winter season and beauty of the great outdoors from the comfort of a sleigh at the Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana. Enjoy the magic of a sleigh drawn by gentle draft horses while snuggling up under blankets with loved ones. This is perfect for that romantic getaway or just spending time with family and friends. Each sleigh ride winds through open fields and woodlands, giving you the chance to take in the beauty of the land. The Bar W is located at the base of Spencer Mountain providing an optimal view of snow covered ridges, Spencer Lake, and Montana’s expansive beauty.  Not only that, this winter dude ranch is close to all sorts of snow sport providers.

 

More about a Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

Read more about winter dude ranch vacations options here. Be sure to pin the below as a reminder!

 

5 Reasons for a Winter Dude Ranch Vacation

 

 

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Straight from the Horse's Mouth about Ranch Vacations

Enjoy a taste of the authentic American West where horses, hats, history, honesty, hospitality and heart abound. With over 100 carefully chosen member ranches, the Dude Ranchers' Association (DRA) has one to match your dream vacation – perfectly, all while protecting lands, parks, forests and wildlife. Our Dude, Resort and Working Ranches are in the most picturesque regions of the USA and Canada near historic sites and national parks for a photographer’s heyday! Each has its own unique history, incredible horseback riding tailored to the rider’s age and ability, and exciting outdoor adventures like white water rafting, paradise fishing on scenic rivers, fun hay rides, hikes, golfing. Blue skies, starry nights and the sounds of silence are also included in your dude ranch vacation. Lounge in a hammock until the dinner bell rings and then breathe pure clean air as you rediscover the brightest shining stars peeking out from the heavens. See what the excitement is all about for a dude ranch vacations "straight from the horse’s mouth” so to speak.

“The place is magical. It is difficult to put this down to any one thing - it is a combination of beautiful surroundings, comfy lodgings, delicious home cooked food eaten family style in the lodge dining room (or around the campfire out on the trail), amazing trail riding which is different every day. The horses are individually matched to the riders and the rides are planned each day to give everyone the best experience possible. Whether you arrive alone, as a couple or in a group you will soon feel part of the Elk Mountain Ranch family and you won't want to leave.” - Trip Advisor Review

"My first trip to the Triangle X Ranch was in 1973 and I went on a Hunting trip in the Teton Wilderness Area and I went there many times since! My Wife and I got Married at the Ranch in 1983 and we've gone on Hunting trips together and pack trips! I did some work on the Ranch when remodeling the kitchen etc. was done! We met some friends there a couple of yrs. ago that we had met previously on a pack trip and had a short visit with them before they left to go on another pack trip!! My experiences at the Ranch has been a wonderful experience, one I think of often!!!" - Google Review

Lonesome Spur Cattle Drive Straight from the horse's mouth Dude Ranch Vacations "Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch is Montana accommodations at their finest. From the friendly staff to the gourmet meals to the first class rooms, this lodge has it all. In addition to the top-notch accommodations, the location is spectacular for all kinds of activities. Horseback riding, fishing on the Yellowstone river, a shooting range, hiking and day trips into Yellowstone National Park are all nearby. This family owned and operated lodge will make you feel at home in one of the most beautiful settings on earth. Montana is a must see state and there is no better place to have as your home base. Hubbard's Yellowstone Lodge checks all the boxes." - Trip Advisor Review

"As frequent visitor's to Moose Head Ranch, the Experience only gets better with time. Upon your first visit you will feel welcomed and at home as you had been there your whole life. It is also the memoires that will be established to be cherished for many years to come. Return visits will build on those memories and you will always find a yearning to comeback. Solitude, Serenity, Beauty and QUALITY TIME is what you will experience. Great Hosts and Staff, where manners and values are the norm. The Food, just experience it, Chef Dennis and his Team will satisfy all of your cravings. Many other options to take in while in the Greater Yellowstone and Jackson Hole area, so make sure you stay long enough to just Chill and take in all the amentities at the Ranch. Especially if Fly Fishing and Horse are your passion. Once there, you will understand Paradise!!!!!" - Trip Advisor Review

"This was my 3rd trip to the Lonesome Spur Ranch and each time was better than the last. The last thing I wanted in a ranch was a "dude ranch", I wanted to gather, saddle and bridle my own horse. I wanted to ride in areas that are not much different than they were a hundred or so years ago. I wanted to work with real cowboys, ranchers and ranch families for a true ranch experience. I wanted meals and accommodations that a cowboy would have, no worry about wearing my boots or working clothes anywhere. The participation in round ups, separating bulls, branding calves were the real deal and we were able to participate as much or as little as we wanted. The trips to the different ranges (pastures) and mountain ranges were breathtaking and being on the Crow reservation land made me feel like I was a hundred years back in time. Elaine and Lonnie were great hosts, the wranglers did a great job with all the guests no matter on ability or riding expertise. I got great tips on my riding, caring for my horse, and Lonnie taught me to throw a rope, still practicing..." - Trip Advisor Review

For more information on all of The DRA ranches go to www.duderanch.org or give us a call at 866-399-2339. Save Save Save Save Save Save

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7 Ranches for your 2016 Hunting Trip

It is time to start planning for your 2016 hunting trip. The Dude Ranchers' Association is here to help you find the personalized hunting trip for you and your family this fall. Below we have gathered some of the most exciting places available. Don't forget to book early, as ranches only have a limited number of trips available. For more information on planning your trips please contact the Dude Ranchers' Association office at 307.587.2339.

Hunting Trips

JJJ WIlderness Hunting & PackTrip

JJJ WIlderness Hunting & PackTrip

Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT

JJJ Wilderness Ranch Join us for the hunt of a lifetime in Montana's 1.5 million acre Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Home to North America's foremost big game animals, this unspoiled wilderness provides unsurpassed beauty and trophy opportunities. To hunt the "Bob" is to experience one of America's national treasures.

Seven Devils Mountain Range, ID

Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch and Guide Service Seven Devil's hunts are guided on 18,000 acres of private land, no fences.  We pride ourselves on providing a hunt that is more than just tagging a great animal.   Because we are so passionate about the entire hunting experience we look forward to glassing in the morning and being out at first light just as much as the hunter.   We treat each hunt as if it were our own.  A true sportsman experience is what we’re about.  Give us a call and learn more about what we have to offer in services even after you fill your tag.

Dunoir Valley, WY

Absaroka Ranch The hunting area is the magnificent Dunoir Valley located northwest of Dubois, Wyoming. The Dunoir remains one of the last truly abundant wildlife and virtually hunter - free areas in the state, if not the entire West. The ranch provides nearly everything for your hunt such as saddles, rifle scabbards and saddle bags, and you will enjoy a comfortable, modern cabin and excellent, hearty meals. All you provide is license, rifle, ammunition, and other personal hunting gear.

Upper Ruby Valley, MT

Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch UCO offers guided and unguided archery hunting packages that are 5 day/6 nights or longer.  Guided packages including all meals, accommodations in cabins or lodge, Bozeman pick-up & return.  Guests can stay in the lodge or cabins during their stay. Free WiFi throughout the ranch.  In addition, we can arrange to accommodate non-hunting guests & youth hunters.

Triangle X Hunting Trip Sunset

Triangle X Sunset View

Teton Wilderness Range, WY

Triangle X Ranch The Triangle X Ranch operates three hunting camps in the Teton Wilderness region of the Jackson Hole, Wyoming directly south of Yellowstone National Park. The camps offer some of the finest big game hunting in America. Our region has unsurpassed opportunities for trophy elk. The hunting camps are located so that they give us a near monopoly on one of the finest and largest hunting areas in the state of Wyoming.

Beaverhead National Forest, MT

Broken Arrow Lodge and Outfitters Nearly half of the entire elk harvested in the state of Montana come from region of the Ranch. With a local herd in this area we are not dependent on a migration. All hunting is done within a 15-20 mile radius of the lodge. Depending on your ability and the method that is best suited for you, whether it be by foot, 4-wheel drive, or horseback.

C Lazy u Mom and Dad Hunting Trip Glamping

C Lazy U Glamping on your Hunting Trip

Granby Mesa Mountain, CO

C Lazy U Ranch Ladies! Your husband has booked a 6 day luxury hunt in the mountains of Colorado and you’re wondering what to do with yourself, aren’t you? Go with him! It sounds crazy, especially if you’re familiar with what hunting trips can be like; but your husband hasn’t booked a trip to your typical male elk camp, where “ruffing it” means cold showers and subpar meals. No, he’s booked a trip to the C Lazy U Ranch. What does this mean for you and your kids? We thought you’d never ask!  Situated in a private valley with 8,500 acres, the C Lazy U Ranch offers you everything from amenities that pamper (like our world class “Lazy You” spa, where you can indulge yourself in treatments that allow the pressures and stresses of life melt away), to adventure of your own (like loping across a beautiful mesa at the base of the Rockies on horseback, or fly fishing with your very own guide). You and your kids will be sure to beg your husband to go hunting every year!    

There's a Dude Ranch for Everyone

Enjoy a taste of the authentic American West where horses, hats, history and hospitality abound. With over 100 carefully chosen member ranches, the Dude Ranchers' Association (DRA) has one to match your dream vacation – perfectly, all while protecting lands, parks, forests and wildlife. Our Dude, Resort and Working Ranches are in the most picturesque regions of the USA and Canada near historic sites and national parks for a photographer’s heyday! Each has its own unique history, incredible horseback riding tailored to the rider’s age and ability, and exciting outdoor adventures like white water rafting, paradise fishing on scenic rivers, fun hay rides, hikes, golfing. Blue skies, starry nights and the sounds of silence are also included in your dude ranch vacation. Lounge in a hammock until the dinner bell rings and then breathe pure clean air as you rediscover the brightest shining stars peeking out from Heaven. Want to gaze into a crackling fire instead of a computer screen? Then, it’s time you discovered the majestic beauty of the land and got reacquainted with your family and friends. Join us any time of year for genuine western hospitality. Prices, programs and activities vary. We guarantee the lodging industry’s highest standards whether staying in a rustic cabin or top end ranch resort. Once you’ve had a taste of a dude ranch, you may never want to go anywhere else on vacation again. These ranches below offer unique, personalized experience. Find the one that fits you and yours below.


Elkhorn Family Reunion

Elkhorn Ranch - Montana

The Elkhorn Ranch is one of the few remaining traditional dude ranches where outdoor activities are the focus each day. We are a family-oriented guest ranch with guests of all ages enjoying time with their friends, new and old, without sacrificing the very special feeling of shared family time.    

Medicine Bow Western Family Vacation

Medicine Bow Lodge

The Medicine Bow Lodge And Guest Ranch is located at approximately 8500 feet in the Snowy Range of the Rocky Mountains. The closest town is Saratoga, Wyoming which is about 22 miles to the west. The land on which the Guest Ranch sits is located in the Medicine Bow National Forest.    

Red Reflet Ranch Lodges

Red Reflet Ranch

The Red Reflet is both Working Ranch and Luxury Resort where guests are treated like family. Super inclusive of ATV use, all riding, lessons, all beverages, snacks, stocked kitchen, all activities.      

Triangle X Grand Teton National Park

Triangle X

Triangle X Ranch is an authentic working dude ranch located in the heart of Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Established in 1926 by the Turner family, Triangle X offers unparalleled horseback riding and one of the most complete outdoor recreational packages of any facility in the Mountain West.  


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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.

 

Pin this for later!

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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