Western Dancing Found on these Dude Ranches

What dude ranch experience would be complete without a little bit of western dancing? Western dancing is a fun, evening dude ranch activity that the whole family can enjoy. At these ranches odd numbers and resistant teens are no challenge. There are female and male wranglers waiting to sweep your teenagers off their feet (only in the literal sense). They have been trained in the ways of western dancing. Some ranches offer a variety of styles for your dancing entertainment. You might find some combinations of line dancing, square dancing, the country swing, the polka or just some silly kicking up of the heels. Even if you have two left feet, it doesn’t matter. The ‘callers’ or dance instructors will help you learn the steps at a fun pace. Any kind of dancing you participate in or learn is energetic, full of laughs and a great way to make memories with your group and meet other families staying at the ranch.

Vista Verde Western Dancing

If you would like, take a look at the different styles of Western Dancing and ask your hosts how the ‘get down’ at their ranch.

Line Dancing - Everyone stands in a line in rows and does the country version of the Cha Cha Slide.

Square Dancing - 4 couples gather in, you guessed it, a square. There is a caller that tells you what's next. There are also square dances that include everyone in a big circle, but there is still the caller who says things like ‘do-SE-do with your partner’

Swing Dancing - Individual couples swing around the dance floor. Just be light on your feet and let your cowboy or cowgirl 'swing' you around the dance floor.

Polka Dancing - Please see Swing Dancing.

Fun filled family vacations are what dude ranches are all about. Western dancing is only a part of what your host will offer. There will be a variety of other nightly activities such as talent shows, camp fire sing-alongs for the kids, live music, cultural presentations and star gazing.  During the day you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, river trips, fishing, etc.

The all inclusive family vacations available at the dude ranches listed below will satisfy even the most active among your family. The kids and teens program will keep everyone in the family having fun with age-appropriate activities, while giving mom and dad a much-needed rest. Even if the kids decide not to tag along when you head to the Western dancing, it will be because they’ve been tired out from a long, fun day in the beautiful outdoors.

Dude Ranches with Western Dancing

Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, Colorado Drowsy Water Ranch, Granby, Colorado Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado Goosewing Ranch, Jackson, Wyoming Paradise Guest Ranch, Buffalo, Wyoming Triangle C Ranch, Dubois, Wyoming Cherokee Park Ranch, Livermore, Colorado Colorado Trails Ranch, Durango, Colorado


Give Mom and Dad the Gift of Memories this Year

Most Moms and Dads have more than enough “stuff,” and if asked, they may confess they haven’t even opened last year’s gift. This year, how about thinking a little outside the box when it comes to their special day? Why not consider sending Mom and Dad on a Western adventure vacation to a dude ranch? It’s surely a gift they will never forget. Whether they are traveling with or without the kids there’s the right ranch to fit all vacation plans.

Elk Mountain Ranch Mom Special DayElk Mountain Ranch Mom Special Day

Deals for the Parents

Elk Mountain Ranch is offering a complementary airport transfer (a savings of $375) and a complimentary cowboy hat for Dad during the weeks of June 21 - 28. Goosewing Ranch is offering a 40% discount special off the peak season rates for any package if you book your 2015 summer vacation before Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015. Let Mom enjoy her vacation; They will handle the cooking, cleaning, planning, and organizing, Mom just needs to sit back, relax and enjoying being surrounded by loved ones. Daily adventures and one Massage included in all our packages! For Father’s Day Goosewing Ranch is offering 40% discount special off the peak season rates for any package booked during the dates of June 11th - 28th 2015. Here Dads will enjoy fishing, exploring on UTVs, skeet shooting, and much more.

Kid’s Program for Your Freedom

Elk Mountain Rafting Silly Mom and Kids

Majestic Ranch in Durango, Colorado is offering a 30% discount for both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. They have an awesome kids program so Mom and Dad can spend all the time they want with the kids or some much needed alone time.  Here the counselors, who have all worked with kids of all ages before working here, do an amazing job keeping all the kids busy so parents can rest easy while they enjoy their vacation. All kids ages six and up are able to ride trails while younger kids are given the option to ride in the arena. Additionally, kids pan for gold, play laser tag in our Old Western Town, learn to shoot bows and arrows and BB guns, spend time supervised in the pool, take part in a rodeo, and sleep under the stars in Teepee Village. Parents consistently make comments about how excited they are to see their kids, usually glued to their phones and game consoles, playing outside and smiling all day. While your kids will probably need a bath before going to bed, they will definitely sleep well each night.

Pampering for Mom

C Lazy u Mom and Dad

Enjoy a weekend getaway and treat your mom to a Mother’s Day escape at C Lazy U Ranch. Refresh her body, relax her mind and feed her soul with a serene combination of fine dining and elegant accommodations. For the ultimate pampering mom can take advantage of the ranch’s spa. Flowers will be budding and the trees will be in full bloom as she horseback rides, hikes and mountain bikes across C Lazy U's extensive trail system. If that’s not enough excitement she can do some fly fishing, shoot trap or archery, tackle the ropes course or zoom across the zip line. Spoil Mom and kick off spring with a fun getaway she will never forget. • DATES: May 8-10, 2015 • 2 night minimum • $375 per adult per night • $125 per child per night 3-17 Fly Fishing for


Focus Ranch Fly Fishing Sqaure

What Dad does not like spending time on the river bank trying to outsmart the cut-throat trout? Focus Ranch on the Wyoming, Colorado boarder will be offering a fly fishing clinic in 2015. Whether you are new to fly fishing or just needing some tips, this clinic is designed to tailor the content to participants’ needs -providing practical experience. It covers a broad range of skills-novice to experienced. Those who want a thorough introduction to the sport, will receive hands on instruction. Those who are already proficient, may benefit from his guiding skills. Topics to be covered include: fly casting techniques; gear; knot tying; trout behavior; water entomology and flies; river anatomy; fishing strategies, catch and release and trout fishing techniques.  

Triangle C Mom Dad

I have often heard “the best part of Memories is making them” and I would have to totally agree. So grad your Mom and Dad and give them memories that will last a Lifetime!!


9 FAQs of Dude Ranching

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) of Dude Ranching

G Bar M Ranch

1. Why choose a Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) ranch? With more than 100 DRA  accredited ranches, the perfect ranch experience is out there for you. The DRA’s expert staff helps travelers and travel agents customize the experience, guiding visitors to the perfect ranch to suit their needs and desires. The DRA requires its members to uphold the highest quality and standards within the dude ranching industry. Membership into the DRA is obtained only after a rigorous two-year inspection and approval process.

2. What are some of the typical activities for those visiting a dude ranch? While most people usually associate dude ranches with cowboys and cattle drives, they are so much more. Dude ranches are the original all-inclusive vacation, committed to preserving and sharing the Western way of life. Guests are able to customize their ranch experience to plan their ideal vacation. From yoga and cooking classes, to fly fishing and hiking, to swimming and bird watching, a vacation to a DRA accredited guest ranch guarantees a memorable experience unlike anything else. Horseback riding is a top activity at most DRA accredited guest ranches, as is fishing. Many guest ranches have added spa offerings and other luxury amenities to their properties for guests’ enjoyment. Other activities include whitewater rafting, hay rides, western dancing, golfing, ATV riding, trap shooting, hiking, mountain biking, baseball games and more. Almost all DRA accredited ranches of-fer evening activities such as campfire cowboy singers and s’mores, casino nights, Western movie nights and stargazing.

3. What does “all-inclusive” mean?

Vista Verde Ranch Snow Trail Ride Family Square

The “all-inclusive rate” concept originated at dude ranches – rooms, meals and most activities have been included in the rate since the late 1800’s. Dude ranch vacations are priced competitively with respect to other similar all-inclusive vacation options. Ranch vacations are a great value and make it easy to stay within a budget. There are no hassles because everything is taken care of, from transportation to lodging to meals to activities. All-inclusive does not mean watered down drinks or sub par food. It simply means everything is included in the price.

4. Where are DRA accredited ranches located? Dude ranches are located in some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Member ranches are located in 12 Western states and two Canadian provinces: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.

5. What transportation options are available to a dude or guest ranch? Guests should discuss their travel plans with the ranch they’ll be visiting. Most guests travel by commercial airlines, and the ranches provide shuttle service to and from the nearest airport. For those guests within reasonable distances or wishing for more of a “road trip” experience, driving is another option.

6. What should I consider when planning a dude ranch vacation? We recommend taking four main things into consideration:

  • Style of Riding – Choose the riding environment that appeals most to you: open meadows, prairies, mountain trails or southwestern desert. The location of the ranch determines the terrain.
  • Accommodations – Guest ranch accommodations vary depending on the ranch from luxurious and elegant to rustic and cowboy-chic. Whether you are staying in your own private cabin or in a lodge room, rest assured you will sleep on comfortable beds, in superbly kept rooms, with all the amenities you will need for a pleasant and relaxing stay.
  • Time of Year – May to October is peak dude ranch season. Some dude ranches are open year-round and some seasonal ranches offer special holiday activities. You’ll find the southern ranches are more popular in the winter months, while the northern ranches are the most popular in the summer months. Any time of the year is a great time to visit a dude ranch!
  • Ranch Size – Smaller ranches may only be able to host several families at one time, while larger ones can host a couple hundred people.

7. How do I choose the perfect ranch for my vacation?

Colorado Cattle Company

The best way to start narrowing your options is to go online to the Dude Ranchers’ Association website. You can search for ranches according to a variety of criteria, such as activities/amenities or location (state or province), or even by proximity to national parks. Modify your search until you find exactly what you’re looking for. You can even put your favorite ranches into your “saddle bag” for side-by-side comparison. As you narrow down your choices, call one of the DRA’s expert staff members at (866) 399-2339 to help guide you to the perfect ranch selection based on what’s most important to you.

8. How authentic is the ranch experience? Most DRA accredited ranches are multi-generational owned and operated, so they are the real deal.

9. How can I learn more about the DRA? Visit us online at any of the following places: Website: www.duderanch.org Blog: www.duderanch.org/blog Facebook: www.facebook.com/DudeRanchers Twitter: https://twitter.com/duderanchers YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/DudeRanchers


4 Types of Dude Ranch Vacations

Whether you’re a staunch horseman who loves being in the saddle, or a rider that prefers activities to choose from in addition to riding, one of the members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association will fit the bill. All of the member ranches uphold the highest standards in the industry and are committed to preserving the Western way of life. The below sampling of ranches is sure to appeal to a variety of travelers:

Klondike Guest Ranch

Working Ranches Located at the base of Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains, Klondike Ranch can accommodate six to 10 guests at a time. Guests are encouraged to work cattle with the ranch hands. Other activities include camping, fishing and hiking.      

Bar W Trail Ride Credit Danny Nestor

Traditional Ranches In addition to the riding program, guests of all ages at C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado can enjoy fly fishing, trap shooting, a ropes course, and an outdoor heated pool and hot tub. At Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana, 30 guests per week can ride on a million acres of varied terrain, as well as skeet shooting, archery and roping. The riding program at Greenhorn Ranch in the High Sierra Mountains of California accommodates all levels of experience and even encourages trotting and loping.   Luxury Ranches

Tanque Verde Recipe Pork Chop

Established in 1868, Tanque Verde Ranch in Arizona is recognized as the last luxurious outpost of the Old West. It provides guests with plush accommodations, unparalleled amenities and an array of things to do including horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and hiking.      

Hideout Horses Running

Working + Luxury Ranches Guests are treated like family at Red Reflet Guest Ranch in Wyoming, exploring the 25,000-acre ranch via horseback, working cattle, riding mountain bikes, and enjoying abundant wildlife. Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch is a unique combination of an upscale working cattle, riding and fly fishing ranch. Located nearby Yellowstone National Park, it’s one of the biggest operational ranches in Wyoming. For a complete listing of all-inclusive Dude Ranchers’ Association member ranches, visit DudeRanch.org.


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