Where are the Best Destinations for My Winter Vacation?

With the travel industry still on shaky ground, people want to know where they can travel that is both safe and within US borders, especially this winter! The Dude Ranchers’ Association has the answer: a winter vacation at a dude ranch. Step out of your comfort zone and head to a guest ranch for new and exciting winter activities that you may have never imagined. The Dude Ranchers’ Association offers a variety of the best dude ranches to choose from for your next winter adventure. Whether you are looking for a sunny desert destination or a beautiful snowy mountain range, there is a dude ranch for you this season. 

If you are looking for a warm, sunny getaway, look no further than Arizona or California! With 8 DRA member dude ranches open and ready for your arrival you can embark to the land of the cowboys and go back in time to the Old West. Dude ranches provide a safe and clean environment for all travelers, not just now but always. These ranches take great pride in their efforts to keep their guests healthy and safe during their stays. 

Winter Vacation

Elkhorn Ranch, Tucson, AZ

The outdoor activities are endless at Elkhorn Ranch! Explore the beauty of the Sabino Canyon, Baboquivari Mountains, and the Sonoran Desert by horseback or your own two feet. Horseback riding and hiking opportunities are abundant here and there is much more to enjoy. Only 51 miles from Tucson International Airport makes for a quick trip to the ranch where you can relax and truly reconnect with nature. Elkhorn Ranch is open from November 15- April 25 and welcomes all travelers for their winter vacation. 

Winter Vacation

Kay El Bar Guest Ranch, Wickenburg, AZ

Registered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 goes to prove Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is the real Western experience. Ride through the desert, stay in private accommodations, and enjoy delicious meals. 72 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport makes for an easy drive to the ranch where unplugging from “real life” begins. Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is open year-round and welcomes all travelers.

Rancho de los Caballeros, Wickenburg, AZ

Rancho de los Caballeros combines luxury and Western life in the most perfect way. Ride the trails, enjoy a round of golf, or escape to the on-property spa for divine relaxation while on your dude ranch vacation. 74 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport makes for a nice drive to the ranch where you will be emersed into a beautiful Western luxury setting. Rancho de los Caballeros is open from October 1- May 15 and welcomes all travelers.

Winter Vacation

Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, AZ

Escape to a desert oasis at Tanque Verde Ranch. Ride through Saguaro National Park and experience 5-star luxury accommodations back at the ranch. Located just 23 miles from Tucson International Airport makes for a quick drive to the ranch where your next exciting adventure begins! Tanque Verde Ranch is open from January 1-December 31 and welcomes all travelers.

Winter Vacation

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, Yucca, AZ

Go for a real stagecoach ride and enjoy life out in the desert at Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch. 144 miles from McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas makes for a beautiful, leisurely drive to the ranch where you will begin your authentic Western journey. Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch is open all year long and welcomes all travelers during their winter vacation.

White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, AZ

There really is something for everyone to do at White Stallion Ranch! Adventures are plentiful and rest is well earned after a full day enjoying the ranch. 25 miles from Tucson International Airport makes for a short commute to your soon to be a favorite desert adventure. White Stallion Ranch is open year-round and welcomes all travelers.

Winter Vacation

Tombstone Monument Ranch and Cattle Company, Tombstone, AZ

Step back in time to the old West at Tombstone Monument Ranch and Cattle Company. Explore the ranch and all it has to offer. 68 miles from Tucson International Airport makes for a swift trip to the ranch where you will step into an old Western town...no really, the ranch is set up like a scene out of a John Wayne movie! Tombstone Monument Ranch and Cattle Company is open all year and welcomes all travelers.

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, Solvang, CA

Adventure to the far West coast and experience a true Western experience just a short drive from the Pacific Ocean. Ride horses, enjoy incredible food and relax in beautiful rooms at Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort. 131 miles from Los Angeles International Airport makes for a beautiful drive along the Pacific Ocean to the ranch where you will be enchanted by 10,000+ acres and fantastic hospitality. Alisal Guest Ranch welcomes all travelers year-round.

Would you rather spend your winter vacation in the majestic snowy mountain ranges rather than cacti in the desert? Don’t worry, there are DRA dude ranches open in the northern states in the wintertime too! Escape to the Rocky Mountains for a winter vacation full of snow, beautiful scenery, and memories to last a lifetime… 

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Red Feather Lakes, CO

A quiet, peaceful destination awaits you at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch in the wintertime. Things are a bit slower around the ranch in the winter, but it makes for the perfect getaway. 108 miles from Denver International Airport provides an easy trip to the ranch through a fascinating part of Colorado. Sundance Trail Guest Ranch is open all year long from January 1-December 31 and welcomes all travelers.

Winter Vacation

Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, CO 

Ski some incredible trails and stay with even more incredible hosts at Latigo Ranch. The George’s will make you feel like you are part of their family as they welcome you into the ranch family. 143 miles from Denver International Airport allows you to really leave your troubles behind and clear your head on your way to the ranch. Latigo Ranch is open from December 19-March 7 and welcomes all travelers. If you prefer to visit during the summer, Latigo Ranch is also open in the summer from June 2- September 21. 

Winter Vacation

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, Sandpoint, ID

Dash through the snow on a two-horse open sleigh or try out the groomed ski trails at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in the wintertime! This ranch offers outdoor activities both in winter and summer for all ages. 93 miles from Spokane International Airport makes a quick trip to a beautiful Idaho getaway.  Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is open all year long from January 1-December 31 and welcomes all types of travelers.

Red Reflet Guest Ranch, Ten Sleep, WY

The Red Reflet Guest Ranch is the definition of a luxury Wyoming guest ranch! Individual chalets (cabins), gourmet food, and activities that are never-ending not matter the time of year is what you will find at this ranch. 189 miles from Billings International Airport allows for a short trip to the ranch. If you want an even shorter trip, this ranch does have its own private airstrip for those traveling by private plane. Red Reflet Guest Ranch is open all year long from January 1-December 31 and welcomes all travelers.

Winter Vacation

Rocking Z Guest Ranch, Wolf Creek, MT

Learn true horsemanship skills on talented horses and with great guides at Rocking Z Ranch. The Wirth family welcomes all ages to indulge in Western culture and dude ranch life at their family ranch. This Montana guest ranch is just 64 miles from Great Falls International Airport and is open year-round from January 1- December 31.

Bar W Guest Ranch, Whitefish, MT

Snuggling up by the fireplace after a day full of winter activities, like sleigh rides and skiing, is a fan favorite at the Bar W Guest Ranch. Only 15 miles from Glacier International Airport allows for a quick trip to the ranch to get settled so you can dive right into the adventures that await. Bar W Guest Ranch is open all year long from January 1-December 31 and welcomes all travelers.

Winter Vacation

Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, MT   

Lone Mountain Ranch is a truly peaceful getaway in the mountains of Montana with activities for anyone any time of the year. 47 miles from Bozeman International Airport takes you on a breathtaking drive down the Gallatin River Canyon and up the mountain to the ranch. Lone Mountain Ranch is open from December 7-April 14 to host winter vacations and in the summer from June 3-October 14. 

Winter Vacation

Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, CO 

A secluded luxury ranch surrounded by beauty, grace, and many winter (and summer) adventures is how Vista Verde Ranch is defined. 203 miles from Denver International Airport provides time to decompress from your flights and transition to vacation mode. Vista Verde Ranch is open from December 13- March 31 in the winter and welcomes all travelers. Vista Verde Ranch is also open in the summer from June 2-October 17. 

These dude ranches are the best winter vacation in the USA! If a winter adventure is not what you are looking for right now, dude ranches double as the perfect summer vacation destination too! Contact the Dude Ranchers’ Association today to talk to an expert who can help find the perfect dude ranch for your next winter vacation. 

www.duderanch.org | info@duderanch.org | 307-587-2339

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Dude Ranches During the Winter: Here's Where and Why

Freshly-fallen snow, sleigh rides and skiing make these dude ranches a magical winter getaway By Lyn Mettler Travel Expert December 7, 2015 Originally Posted on 10Best.com Set in some of the most beautiful scenery in the American West and covered in blankets of snow for months, these dude ranches offer a secluded yet active winter getaway for all ages. Whether for skiing or enjoying seasonal activities like sleigh rides and snowmobiling, these ranches have it all when the weather turns cold.


C Lazy U Winter

C Lazy U Ranch | Granby, Colorado While the ground might be covered in white, count on plentiful sunshine and clear blue skies at C Lazy U Ranch. Take advantage of private skiing with no lift lines where the Snowcat delivers guests back up the hill or pop the kids on a tube or sled for a wild downhill ride. Other winter options include back country snowmobiling, horseback riding or snowshoeing, and there’s even ice hockey on the ranch's pond. C Lazy U also provides fine dining and luxury accommodations to refuel and recharge for the next day's adventure.

Latigo Winter

Latigo Dude Ranch | Kremmling, Colorado Located along the Continental Divide in Colorado, Latigo Dude Ranch caters to skiers during the winter months with some of the state's best snow conditions (about 18 feet every winter) and nearly 40 miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiing. Other winter activities at the ranch, which is approaching 100 years old, include snowshoeing, tubing, biking on snow or simply taking in the quiet and seclusion from the front porch of the historic log lodge with panoramic mountain vistas.

Bar W Winter Sleigh

Bar W Guest Ranch | Whitefish, Montana The Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, Montana gets up to 300 inches of snow every year. The ranch offers terrain for every level of skier, including cross-country, downhill and backcountry skiing. Kids love dog sledding, taking a sleigh ride with ranch horses Duke and Dutch, and ice skating or hockey on the ice rink. You can even try ice fishing for trout, perch and more in area lakes or joining in a square dance. End the day with down-home cooking Montana style.

Western Pleasure Winter

Western Pleasure Ranch | Sandpoint, Idaho A favorite activity of visitors to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in North Idaho is a scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride by one of the ranch’s draft teams. A two-mile loop trail takes passengers through a forest and offers snow-covered views of the nearby Selkirk Mountains. There's also snowmobiling and plenty of scenic skiing for all levels. When the day is done, cozy up by the lodge fire and then head back to one of the ranch's log cabins or lodge rooms.

Home Ranch Winter

Home Ranch | Clark, Colorado Nestled in Colorado's Elk River Valley, just north of Steamboat Springs, the Home Ranch becomes a winter wonderland when its legendary snowfalls begin each season. Considered one of the most beautiful cross-country skiing resorts in Colorado, the ranch has top-notch Nordic skiing, a world-class chef and rustic accommodations. Guests can even help feed the ranch’s herd of more than 100 horses while visiting.

Lone Mountain Winter

Lone Mountain Ranch | Big Sky, Montana Voted the No. 1 Nordic Ski Resort in North America by Cross Country Skier magazine, and located just six miles from some of the country's best skiing, Lone Mountain Ranch is a skier's paradise. Guests can also take a short shuttle ride to explore Yellowstone National Park or Gallatin National Forest by skis or snowshoes. If you're feeling daring, try out winter fly fishing too. Cap it all off with a sleigh ride under starlit skies to the North Fork cabin for a family-style prime rib dinner, lit by oil lanterns and warmed by a hundred-year-old cookstove.

Seven Devils Winter

Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch | Council, Idaho  Just south of the Seven Devils mountain range, Seven Devils Lodge Guest Ranch sits on 18,000 acres among canyons, high desert and mountains. A working ranch since the early 1900s, it is one of the most sought after destinations for backcountry snowmobiling ("boondocking") because of its widely varied terrain, which begins right out the front door. The lodge has six individually-themed bedroom suites and serves family-style ranch meals in the dining room.

Vista Verde Winter

Vista Verde | Steamboat Springs, Colorado Vista Verde offers guests an upscale, all-inclusive winter experience with plenty of activities for all interests. Spend days frolicking in the snow on skies, snowshoes, by sled or tube or even by fat tire bike. Enjoy a sleigh ride led by ranch horses or take a horseback ride through softly packed snow. There are even yoga classes and private hot tubs in guest cabins to soothe aching muscles after the day's snowy adventures.

Sundance Winter

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch | Red Feather Lakes, Colorado Head out on horseback into winter's crisp morning air for a ride through Roosevelt National Forest at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch. A small horse ranch with a lodge and cabin suites for accommodations, Sundance Trail even welcomes dogs to join owners during winter months. An outdoor Jacuzzi lets guests stay warm as the snow softly falls.

What can you expect at a dude ranch in winter? When the weather turns cold, dude ranch fun is just getting started. Snow sledding, skiing, sleigh rides, and other winter activities. Plus tips for winter vacation planning.




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