"This trip was a life changing event for us. It made us think of the rat race we are living and to slow down a bit. We had a great week and loved our horses, the guests and the staff. Thank you Vee Bar. We will return with more of our friends." -Dani & Shane
"This trip was a life changing event for us. It made us think of the rat race we are living and to slow down a bit. We had a great week and loved our horses, the guests and the staff. Thank you Vee Bar. We will return with more of our friends." -Dani & Shane
The fun begins with trail riding, river tubing, fishing, and hiking early in the week. Later in the week, guests will be able to team-pen cattle, move some 400 cows and calves from one pasture to another, campout, and ride in the mountains, just like the cowboys of the Old West. On Friday evening, July 3rd, local musicians perform music to dance to, while the celebration continues. Dance until dark and celebrate the Fourth with an assortment of fireworks right on the ranch. Add a seventh night to the package and enjoy Fire in the Sky in Laramie, compliments of the Vee Bar. Fire in the Sky begins on the Fourth with a concert in the evening and a great fireworks display afterwards. The event kicks off Jubilee Days, Laramie’s hometown rodeo, and a week of festivities.
The highlight of the week for many, however, is the Vee Bar’s legendary horseback riding program. Horseback riding is the quintessential cowboy activity and by far the best way to see new country. What sets the Vee Bar’s horseback riding program apart is that guests are assigned one horse for the week so they have the opportunity to bond with their horse. Their horseback riding program is diverse to suit the needs of everybody in the group, and riders are not asked to ride head to tail in an uninspiring line and loping rides are offered.
All of this is enhanced by the accommodation, which is comfortable and inviting. The cabins and lodge offer antique furnishings from the Vee Bar's rich and colorful past. Perfect for a week-long vacation or a weekend getaway, the cabins are in close proximity to the Snowy Range Mountains. Whether travelers are looking for a romantic mountain getaway or a rough and tumble family vacation, these warm and inviting cabins will be a perfect fit.
Dates: June 28th-July 4th, 2009. For more information about the Vee Bar Guest Ranch, visit the website or contact Kari Kilmer at 307-745-7036. To Read more...
Dude ranchers are a savvy breed and know how to adapt to challenging economic conditions. Simply said, they know how to ride the storm out. It is no accident that Paradise Ranch, a western wilderness retreat in the Big Horn Mountains of northern Wyoming, has been around for over a century. The owners know the hospitality business and have a faithful following of visitors. Guest ranch vacationers know that all activities, meals and lodging are included in one flat fee.
Buffalo, WY (March 31, 2009) – Paradise Ranch, near the Old West town of Buffalo, Wyoming, has stood the test of time. “Paradise Ranch has been operating as a guest ranch for over 100 years. Our visitors recognize the fact that this is a cost-effective way to vacation.” says Paradise Ranch owner Clay Miller. Upon arrival, guests can put away their wallet because cash won’t needed for a full seven days. All activities, meals and lodging are included in one flat fee.
On a week-long stay at Paradise Ranch, guests can go horseback riding, perfect fly-fishing skills, hike in the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area, eat authentic cowboy cuisine, and stay in a cozy cabin for one all-inclusive price. To read more about the rates and the guest ranch options Click Here.
“Conversations in building a real western experience”
An oral history of the Bar BC Ranch Jackson Hole Wyoming
By Renee Howard Smelker
To Purchase a copy please contact Casey Morton (307) 733-0466 or email
Here is the Book's Forward...
Against the stunning backdrop of the Teton Range, the story of dude ranching in Jackson Hole unfolds. Dudes came from outside the West and sought to hire accommodations, horses, and guiding and hunting services from local ranchers. Early visitors were often attracted to this remote country through Hollywood westerns, dime novels, and advertisements by railroads that fostered a sense of romance about this part of America. They visited the West seeking adventure, their notion of the Wild West, and a glimpse of that romantic American hero, the cowboy.
In Jackson Hole, dude ranching began in early years of the twentieth century. One of the most famous and beloved dude ranches was the Bar BC. It was founded in 1912 by Struthers Burt and Dr. Horace Carncross, both easterners and pioneers in the dude business. The location of the Bar BC was ideal. It was near the Snake River which provided water and excellent fishing. It was nestled below a bench beneath the Grand Teton which provided privacy for the ranch but rewarded its dudes with spectacular views of the Teton Range. Untouched lands and wild animals surrounded the ranch.
Burt and Carncross ran a successful and popular dude ranch. The Bar BC offered its guests an informal lifestyle and a family atmosphere. Dress was casual. Dudes favored horseback-riding, pack trips, hunting, and fishing. They enjoyed dances and dude rodeos. By the late 1920s, the heyday of dude ranching, the Bar BC was the best known dude ranch in Jackson Hole.
The later years of the Bar BC were directed by Irving Corse and Bill Howard. In 1937, Burt sold his interest in the Bar BC to then partner Irv Corse in order to devote himself to writing. Corse had come to the ranch as a truck driver in the early 1920s, and eventually became the foreman and then a partner in the ranch. Howard began work as a wrangler at the Bar BC in 1922 and became the foreman seven years later.
Letters between Irving Corse and Bill Howard tell the story of the Bar BC in the years after Burt and Dr. Carncross operated the ranch, spanning the time from 1929, after Carncross’ death, to 1942, when Howard left the ranch. They were compiled by Bill Howard’s daughter, Renee Howard Smelker, who spent most of her youth at the Bar BC Ranch where both of her parents worked for about 20 years. Smelker’s notes, drawn from her memory, supplement the letters and provide local color.
Interestingly the letters provide a glimpse into the operations side of a dude ranch rather than the fun and romance of the dude’s life. Through the years of correspondence chronicled in the book, a picture of the routines and concerns of maintaining a dude ranch, which also ran a cattle operation on the side, becomes clear. A sense of the challenges of work in the isolated and harsh environment of Jackson Hole and in a changing economy emerges, as does a feel for life in the valley and the importance of neighbors and friends. The tale is all the more compelling because it is told by the people who lived it.
The Bar BC Ranch holds a special place in the hearts of many who have lived in or visited Jackson Hole. Because of the work of Struthers Burt, the ranch is one of the most historically significant dude ranches in the valley. Unfortunately it lies in ruins today. Through the correspondence presented in this work, the later history of the ranch is captured in print, providing an engaging story for those wanting a taste of Jackson Hole’s past.
Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum
Thank you very much for your directory and help in assisting me with selecting a great dude ranch for August 2009. We returned this past Sunday from the Vee Bar Guest Ranch near Laramie, WY and had a wonderful time! It was my first dude ranch experience and found Wyoming to be a beautiful state. I have passed along your website to numerous employees and friends letting them know how easy it was to narrow down our search with your directory and how helpful you were. Thank you again and I hope to return to the Vee Bar next year. The Cole family and staff made my sister and I feel very welcomed and comfortable. Elaine from PA!
Once accepted, ranches go through a year of probationary membership during which they undergo a second on-site inspection. Only after a satisfactory second inspection are they admitted to full membership. Once a full member, all ranches are accredited every five years.
At the 2009 Fall Board of Directors Meeting, there were seven ranches accepted on probationary status. The following ranches are in the first year of our two year application process. They are:
Hidden Meadow Guest Ranch, Arizona
4UR Ranch, Colorado
Zapata Ranch, Colorado
Lonesome Spur Ranch, Montana
Lazy E-L Ranch, Montana
K Diamond K Ranch, Washington
Red Reflet Guest Ranch, Wyoming
There were also seven new ranches accepted for full membership into the DRA. They are:
Rowse’s 1+1 Ranch, Nebraska
Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Idaho
Bar W Ranch, Montana
Covered Wagon Ranch, Montana
Geronimo Trails Ranch, New Mexico
Crossed Sabres Ranch, Wyoming
Rancho de los Caballeros, Arizona
The Dude Ranchers' Association has been preserving western ranch vacations by establishing and maintaining strict standards, while protecting the land and wildlife for over 80 years - We encourage you to “Ride the West with the Best!”
Book your Adult Only vacation now that the kids are back in school. We have a small ranch setting so these spaces will fill up. Please contact me if I can answer any questions.
A testimonial from a past guest.
Please let your staff know how much we appreciated the top notch service they gave us all week; happily accommodating all sorts of things from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to changes in rides! The most impressive thing to me was that you and your staff seemed genuinely happy to serve us. Not that I would have expected anything else but, I never felt the least bit patronized. Nor did I ever get a hint that all of the work you did for us was ever done begrudgingly. To be frank, this has not been my experience at other places. Certainly not on the whole scale version we received at the ranch! Truly a unique and special pleasure. I'm looking forward to my next visit.
Montana Horse Sanctuary. Spencer and his wife Dale live in Wilsall, MT with their two daughters, Perrin and Nora. For more information Contact the 7D Ranch.
“Our visit to the Bar W was two-fold. Firstly it has been a lifelong dream to visit Montana after years of writing to a pen pal here as child. Secondly it was to overcome a fear of horse riding as a result of a near fatal accident n the UK. Our visit here has met all our expectations, dreams and more! The careful management of the ranch by Ted is evident in all his people show have a “can do” attitude at all times (with safely and fun built in at all times). A special mention must go to Dave whom without I don’t believe I would have trusted myself to overcome my fears and enjoy the rest of the week. Thank you Dave! We would like to give special mention to Mandy who is not only a talented rider but a beautiful photographer and talented girl. Justin we thank for his manner and caring smile. James we thank for his fun and taking us on trails that needed to be ridden. Steve we thank for his kindness and genuine interest in people. Leah we thank for showing us some of the most stunning scenery in the world and her caring nature. Above all I must thank Blue Duck for taking care of me and restoring my faith in horses, they are God’s special creatures. If I could pack him in my suitcase I would take that gentleman home! Thank you all for a super holiday. We will be back.” I wrote this in 2007 and indeed did return to the Bar W in 2009 to experience the Cowgirl Up for the first time. In life we are taught never to go back as it may not live up to our memories, however, coming back here has broken that myth! The 2009 holiday afforded me time with friends, old (met at the Bar W in 2007) and new, fabulous riding thanks to Buster and as expected professional and knowledgeable staff whom have truly been a pleasure to interact with especially as they predict our needs before we even know we have any! I will be back!!! Thank you to everyone at Bar W! The Bar W in Montana is a little piece of heaven and I thoroughly recommend you visit soon. Pauline, Scotland, UK
Kay El Bar Ranch, Wickenburg, Arizona
The Most relaxing place on Earth, Kay El Bar we'll be back - My Wife and I had our second visit to the KL last year. It was like coming home. Everyone is so friendly, Guests and Staff. It is like one big family. The rides are amazing and tailored to your ability and what you would like. Fast paced loping ride or a long scenic mountain hike. All day ride with lunch overlooking fabulous canyons. Nothing is too much trouble the wranglers are great fun but professional too. The food is amazing, simple home cooking with family style seating discussing the rides and views and enjoying being relaxed. You don't need to think for the week you can just … be….and at the end of the day the sumptuous bed just floats you off to dreams of being a cowboy. Ready and refreshed more of the same. Not once did I want to see a TV, Phone or Newspaper, nor did I ever want to again. I could seriously live that life. Our second visit will NOT be our last. I seriously cannot stress how stress free a visit here is. It is well worth the 11hour flight in fact it is a positive bargain when you feel that stress just pour away into laughter. Thank you Kay El Bar. Daniel, West Sussex, England.
Spotted Horse Ranch, Jackson, Wyoming
Well I just returned from our trip out west with my daughter, son-in-law and my husband, I'm thankful we ended our final day of our vacation at the Spotted Horse Ranch. If we would have started our vacation at the ranch we would have not left to our other locations. The personal treated you like family, we where there only for a few days and felt we knew these people forever. The was a little of something for all of us. I am not a horse person but did go out riding a few times and was amazed at the view and how well the horses responded. We went whitewater rafting, hot springs swim, fly fishing which is more my thing, ate wonderful food and enjoyed entertainment in the evening at their private Saloon. I have been telling everyone about it and can't wait to return, but this time for the full week. If you haven't tried a dude ranch, this is the place, you will not be disappointed. Sincerely, Kathy Rader, Kenosha, WI.
Drowsy Water Ranch, Granby, Colorado
I have been to Drowsy Water Ranch five times and can't wait to get back this spring. I have taken several different friends with me, including my 82 year old aunt, and they all loved it. The valley is beautiful, the owners are so nice, and the staff goes out of their way to help you. Not only do you get to ride great horses, but you can go white water rafting, eat breakfast on the mountain top, square dance, hike in some of the most beautiful areas, kids can catch trout (and then eat them if they want to), wade in a mountain stream, see all kinds of wildlife, eat great meals (I gain 5 or 6 pounds every year), and so many more great things that I would have to write a whole page. They make you feel at home the whole time you are there plus they have so many activities you never miss the television or telephone. I especially would recommend Drowsy Water for folks with children. They have a wonderful children’s program with activities for all ages. I have seen so many happy first time riders, young and old. It is amazing what they can do for beginners in just a week. This is a great place for a vacation and I will be going back every chance I get. Paulette, Kentucky.
Heart Six in Wyoming
Tumbling River in Colorado
The Dude Ranchers’ Association
- The Riding Part: Sheri teaches herd dynamics, communicating with horses, horses as working animals, horses (and us) as sensate beings in a sensate world, horse heartbeats, grooming and tacking up. Rides will be out in the open (abreast of one another) in 3 different groups – leisurely walking, trotting, and fast track. Each group has two wrangler guides, and the groups are fluid – ride with one group one day, then switch to a different one.
- The Reading and Writing: Page leads literature discussions about horses and animals as characters, reads aloud appropriate excerpts, and shares the wisdom of ‘horse whisperers.’ She encourages immersion in the natural world, keeping journals, and dispenses fun, short writing prompts.
by David and Kay Scott, NationalParksTraveler.comAs the days grow cooler and darkness lingers a little longer, it's time to savor the brilliant colors of fall. The glorious reds, bright yellows, and vivid oranges produced by oaks, maples, cottonwoods, sumac, and other broad-leaved trees and shrubs become a visual treat in much of the country. What better place to view this grand spectacle than a national park? What's more, children are back in school and crowds are down. Some national park lodges even offer discounts during this shoulder season. Here's a sampling of parks with lodging facilities. The Western Parks For foliage colors farther west consider America's first national park, Yellowstone, and itssouthern neighbor, Grand Teton National Park. A fall visit to either of these Wyoming parks avoids the summer crowds and is likely to result in more wildlife sightings. Peak time for the leaves is generally from mid-to-late September and early October. Yellowstone has nine lodging facilities spread throughout the park. All are managed by Xanterra Parks and Resorts. Closing dates are frommid-September to mid-October (travelyellowstone.com; 888-297-2757). Grand Teton National Park has five lodging facilities, three of which are managed by Grand Teton Lodge Company (gtlc.com; 800-628-9988): Colter Bay Village closes in late September; Jackson Lake Lodge and Jenny Lake Lodge each close in early October. Signal Mountain Lodge with 79 cabin units, including a few with kitchens, closes in mid-October (signalmountainlodge.com; 307-543-2831). Triangle X Ranch is a dude ranch that requires a four-night minimum stay from September to the first week in November when it closes for the season (triangleX.com; 307-733-2183). According to Triangle X employee Megan Johnson, the park has been through a relatively dry year and the aspen and cottonwoods have already started to change colors, a process that is likely to last through early October. For more information or to make reservations please visit www.trianglex.com or call 307-733-2183
- Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the 20 largest national parks in the United States. There are two DRA ranches located within an easy drive of the park, which is known for its abundance of wildlife and more than 700 miles of hiking trails. A day trip to Glacier National Park from Averill’s Flathead Lake Ranch and Bar W Guest Ranch is highly recommended.
- Several DRA-accredited guest ranches are either located in or bordered by national parks. Both Moose Head Ranch and Triangle X Ranch are located completely within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park, a location that attracts nearly four million visitors per year to northwestern Wyoming. White Stallion Ranch borders Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, while Tanque Verde Ranch – the largest DRA-accredited ranch in terms of acreage – is less than a 10-mile drive. The Buffalo National River – America’s First National River – runs through Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, which borders Buffalo River National Park in the Ozark region of Arkansas.
- Many dude and guest ranches are located within an easy day trip from national parks. Located in the north-central region of Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a short, scenic drive away from not one but four DRA-accredited ranches: Drowsy Water Ranch, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch and C Lazy U Ranch. Pikes Peak – a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains – is within an hour drive of Tarryall River Ranch. Dude ranch guests can drive to the top, take the Pikes Peak Cog Rail (the world’s highest cog railroad), or enjoy a panoramic view of Pikes Peak from one of Tarryall’s trail rides.
Have you ever dreamt of horseback riding for miles in wide open spaces? Then a pack trip might be the perfect adventure for you! Pack trips allow you to experience amazing landscapes, wildlife and pristine fishing waters that you can only get to from the back of a horse. Most dude ranch pack trips can be customized and tend to include guides and staff that take care of all of the details for you including camp set up and cooking. The trips tend to range from 3 days to 10 or more and can be designed around novice riders as well as those with more experience. Please check out The Dude Ranchers’ Association ranches below for more information or call us here at the office at 866-399-2339.Cody, Wyoming Phone: +1 888-587-9885 Dubois, Wyoming Phone: +1 307-455-2275 Broken Arrow Lodge and Outfitters Alder, Montana Phone: +1 406-842-5437 CM Ranch Dubois, Wyoming Phone: +1 800-455-0721 Covered Wagon Ranch Gallatin Gateway, Montana Phone: +1 800-995-4237 Diamond D Ranch Stanley, Idaho Phone: 800-222-1269 JJJ Wilderness Ranch Augusta, Montana Phone: +1 406-562-3653 Paradise Guest Ranch Buffalo, Wyoming Phone: +1 307-684-7876 Seven Lazy P Guest Ranch Choteau, Montana Phone: +1 406-466-2044 T Cross Ranch Dubois, Wyoming Phone: +1 307-455-2206 Triangle X Ranch Moose, Wyoming Phone: +1 307-733-2183
While traveling alone may sound like a scary proposition, I’d like to share with you an all-inclusive destination perfect for solo travel: dude ranches. Dude ranches are the ideal vacation for those looking for much needed time alone, a new and exciting adventure, or even for those in search of making new friends. Guest ranches offer numerous advantages over other vacation options for those going solo, including:
Intimate and Friendly Environment
When at a dude ranch, you instantly feel like a part of the family as there is great camaraderie amongst guests and staff. It instantly becomes your home away from home. Many guest ranches only accommodate up to 40 or 50 guests per week, which not only allows the staff to know your name but also results in you getting to know most of the other guests. Meals are often served family style so there are always guests to chat with throughout the day, making sure you never feel like you are on the “outskirts” if traveling alone.
There is never a dull moment at a dude ranch. There are activities to keep you busy from sunup to sundown such as horseback riding, fly fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing, cattle roping, ATV-riding and much more. Plus, these activities are usually done in groups so you won’t encounter any “couples only” activities or events if you don’t want to.
Many guest ranches report fewer “couples” visiting now than in the past. As a result, many of these ranches host adult-only weeks in September. Activities during these weeks range from wine and cheese tastings, guided hikes, cooking classes, country dance instruction, cookouts, themed cocktail receptions and much more.
Connect with Yourself
Dude ranches are a great place to spend time alone to revive your body, spirit and mind in some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Whether it’s a rejuvenating day at the spa, an adventurous hike or a relaxing day reading a book under the sun, you are sure have plenty of quality alone time.
Dude Ranchers’ Association
The Dude Ranchers' Association (DRA) is like your own personal travel agent, minus the fees, and can help you plan the perfect solo vacation. Whether you are looking for an authentic cowboy experience or a luxury resort, the DRA can customize the trip of your dreams. There are more than 100 DRA-accredited guest ranches in North America (two in Canada), all of which uphold the highest quality of services within the industry.Dubois, Wyoming Phone: +1 800-661-4928 The Triangle C Dude Ranch is located on the Wind River, nestled between Jackson Hole and Dubois, Wyoming. We pride ourselves in being a true Wyoming Ranch - where our handshake is our bond and the coffee pot is always on! Colorado Cattle Company & Guest Ranch New Raymer, Colorado Phone: 1-970-437-5345 Colorado Cattle Co. and Guest Ranch is located on 10,000 acres of grassland for cattle, rolling hills, canyons, streams and bluffs in Northeastern CO. This is not your typical Dude Ranch. This is a real working cattle ranch where the guests actually work cattle just as a real cowboy would. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Sandpoint, Idaho Phone: +1 888-863-9066 With ranch adventures for families, couples or singles, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, rich in history and family heritage, is Idaho's most northern ranch. Activities include horseback riding, skeet shooting, cattle sorting, mountain biking, hiking, children's programs, adult only weeks and more. Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch Alder, Montana Phone: +1 800-735-3973 Upper Canyon Outfitters is nestled on the banks of the Ruby River, between three mountain ranges. Our family has been exploring these beautiful and wildlife-rich mountains since 1910. We are proud to offer a truly unforgettable Western Montana experience. Hunewill Circle H Guest Ranch Bridgeport, California Phone: +1 760-932-7710 Hunewill Ranch is a family owned and operated cattle and guest ranch located near Yosemite National Park in the beautiful Bridgeport Valley. Horseback riding and cattle work are our featured attractions for a vacation experience suited to families, singles, or couples. White Stallion Ranch Tucson, Arizona Phone: +1 888-977-2624 Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest. You will experience the aura of a real Western ranch combined with present-day comforts and conveniences. Varied riding program, guided hikes, full bar & excellent food. 41 rooms, heated pool, fitness center, gift shop & meeting room.
For a truly memorable vacation, nothing beats a Western cattle drive. Straight from the big screen, these working cattle drives, offered through various members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, transform a movie moment into a real-life vacation experience unlike any other.
The cattle drive experience varies from ranch to ranch, with some ranches providing only two drives (one in the spring and one in the fall) while others offer cattle drives almost every day. The purpose of the drives, however, is universal—move cattle from one location to another without losing any animals along the way. Guided by expert wranglers, cattle drive participants shoulder important responsibilities as they keep the herd together, chase down stragglers, and stay on the move.
For just a taste of the cowpoke life, dude ranch visitors can participate in cattle drives that last only a few hours. When cattle need fresh water, new grass, or simply a change of pace, a cattle drive is the answer, and on working dude ranches, guests saddle up with the hired hands to make things happen.
Days-long cattle drives fill the urge for the more adventurous to taste the true Western experience. These drives often include river crossings, mountain riding, and range roaming as the herd travels miles from one location to another. Of course, long days of riding are rewarded with evenings of fly fishing, card playing, and other rest and relaxation—just like in the cays of the real cowboy.
Cattle drives appeal to riders of all levels, although some riding experience is obviously beneficial. However, there’s no better way to improve riding skills and abilities than to spend a day in the saddle riding with a purpose. The exhilaration of combining real work with real pleasure is impossible to ignore, and nothing beats riding herd in the board expanse of the Wild West.
Of course, no cattle drive is complete without plenty of good grub, and every DRA member provides outstanding cowboy cooking. After a day on the range, ranch guests love the hearty meals, down home entertainment, and cozy lodging that are the hallmarks of every dude ranch experience.
Since 1926 The Dude Ranchers' Association has been helping folks find quality ranch vacations by establishing and enforcing high standards for its members. The association’s original membership of 35 ranches from the Yellowstone area has now grown to 100-plus member ranches in 12 western states and 2 Canadian provinces. In spite of this growth, the Association today remains dedicated to preserving the beauty, natural resources, and the original western ranch experiences that attracted the first visitors.
For more information about a real working cattle drive or any of the other unique features of a dude ranch vacation, or to request a brochure, call 1-307-587-2339 or visit www.duderanch.org.Bridgeport, California Phone: +1 760-932-7710 Hunewill Ranch is a family owned and operated cattle and guest ranch located near Yosemite National Park in the beautiful Bridgeport Valley. Horseback riding and cattle work are our featured attractions for a vacation experience suited to families, singles, or couples. McGarry Ranches Rexburg, Idaho Phone: +1 866-593-4455 A working ranch with a herd of approx 2,000 head, managed on approx 55,000 acres in the Big Hole Range of the Rocky Mountains. If you wish to experience the lifestyle of the working cowboy while riding daily in scenic mountains we invite you to cowboy up with the ranch crew. Major Credits Accepted Klondike Ranch Buffalo, Wyoming Phone: +1 800-362-2982 Klondike Ranch is a working cattle ranch with accommodations for 6 to 10 adult guest 14 years and older. We trail the cows and calves to the mountains the end of June and back home the end of September. Throughout the summer we move them from pasture to pasture. Our guests are welcome to join. Rowses 1+1 Ranch Burwell, Nebraska Phone: +1 308-346-5530 The 1+1 Ranch invites you to experience the old west & life as a Cowboy on a Real Working Ranch. Guests can participate in all ranch activities & can expect up to 6 hours a day in the saddle. New log cabins, delicious meals, great horses & tack await you. Dont Just Dream the Cowboy Dream... Live It! G Bar M Ranch Clyde Park, Montana Phone: +1 406-686-4423 An Authentic Ranch Experience -AGRITOURISM G Bar M is a Working Ranch, which means we are an operating horse and cattle ranch that encourages guests to share in our lifestyle. Focus Ranch Slater, Wyoming Phone: (970)583-2410 A traditional ranch, guests contribute to the successful yearling cattle operation. Ride for a purpose in beautiful landscapes. Fly fish in the Little Snake. All ages enjoy participating and experiencing the cultural heritage. Since 1938, generations have embraced the authenticity of Focus Ranch.
The height of summer finds most ranches filled to capacity with families. In fall couples have their pick of dude ranches with September traditionally a time for adults only. No need to break the bank for airfare, car rentals or a dozen tanks of gas, since for many American’s and Canadians, a ranch is found within less than a day’s drive. And with rates including meals, riding, other activities, and accommodations, it becomes an even more attractive getaway.
To narrow the search and ensure high quality standards, consider only ranches belonging to The Dude Ranchers’ Association. There are more than 100 DRA, as it’s known, ranches in the Western US and Canada. Since 1926, the DRA has kept the bar raised high for the industry. Travelers can be assured of an authentic Western experience and high standards of quality at any DRA ranch.
Spectacular dude ranch scenery is at an all time high in autumn when aspens sport yellow cloaks and icy mountain streams swirl with fat trout. These are the conditions found at Northern California’s Hunewill Ranch. Just East of Yosemite National Park, couples have their pick of packages this fall. There’s the “Escape to the Ranch” weekend package in early September, or in the latter part of the month an “Autumn Getaway.” For those with a little more time the “Fall Color Ride,” September 27 - October 1 is a dramatic adventure.
The only traffic passing Waunita Hot Springs Ranch is an elk or two. Perched high in the Colorado Rockies, surrounded by Gunnison National Forest land, time is measured only by shadows cast by the sun. Add to the remote location an immense swimming pool, bathhouse and hot tub fed by natural hot springs and any cares or worries melt away. The remote retreat caters to adults only August 25 - September 28.
“An outpost of unpretentious comfort” is how folks describe the Spotted Horse Ranch in NW Wyoming. An Orvis affiliate, and host to a trout fishing school, The Spotted Horse draws riders and angler from all over the world. Sixteen miles from the Western resort town of Jackson Hole, it’s far enough away from the action that guests can enjoy solitude, but get a taste of city amenities like art galleries, fine shopping and sizzling nightlife. In September and October this Wyoming paradise is reserved for adults only.
The Dude Ranchers' Association was formed in 1926 to preserve this special way of life and the wonderful environment in which dude ranching takes place. When you vacation at a Dude Ranchers' Association Dude Ranch, you can be sure of a quality vacation. Membership in the Association is a rigorous two year inspection and approval process, to assure that guests are treated to genuine western hospitality combined with the lodging industry’s highest standards. Our Dude Ranches offer all-inclusive vacations that are perfect for everyone, from the littlest rancher to Grandpa and Grandma. Horseback riding, hiking, petting zoos, swimming holes, rodeos, fishing, games, skeet shooting, archery, art classes, cooking classes and more await your discovery on your next Dude Ranch Vacation. Horses, Hats, History and Hospitality - they're the foundation of every ranch. There is a little cowboy in all of us... come find yours...
CODY, Wyoming—With the participants sequestered in remote locations, wrapped in spectacular scenery, and free from distractions, Western dude ranches are becoming an increasingly attractive venue for corporate meetings and conferences. Not just any ranch, but a member of The Dude Ranchers’ Association.
For anyone assigned the task of finding a place to hold a company event, be assured a DRA membership guarantees the ranch is a superior ranch, maintaining the highest standards of quality in the industry. There are more than 100 DRA Ranches in the Western US and Canada. They are only granted membership after a rigorous inspection and trial period. In business since 1926, the DRA keeps the bar held high for the entire industry.
Many DRA ranches have conference facilities comparable to or better thanthose found at local hotels. What one won’t contend with at a ranch are numerous add-on charges for equipment, tacked on service fees, exorbitant taxes and a harried staff. Although most DRA ranches are best suited for meetings of 50 people or less (we do have a few ranches that can host up to 200), chances are good it will be the only meeting “in-house.”
Ranches come with high-tech boardrooms, wi-fi, and high-speed Internet connection. Microphones, podiums, multi-media equipment are available for use. Some DRA ranches have meeting planners on staff. Others facilitate award-winning programs designed to teach managers and CEO’s new skills. Add to this gourmet food, luxurious accommodations, fitness facilities, and in most cases exclusive use of the property and it’s difficult to find a more appealing site for corporate retreats, training seminars, incentive trips, and strategy sessions.
Package at an all-inclusive rate making meeting the budget a breeze. And, the “exclusive use” policy guarantees every corporate event held at the ranch receives the full attention of the conference service staff.Cranbrook, British Columbia Phone: +1 877-426-5230 Three Bars GuestRanch, The Adventure Ranch of the Canadian Rockies, invites you to experience the ultimate horseback riding vacation. Located just south of Banff National Park, Three Bars Ranch offers the most diverse activities program available anywhere. Voted Canada's #1 Dude Ranch 2011. Averill's Flathead Lake Ranch Big Fork, Montana Phone: +1 406-837-4391 Flathead Lake Lodge is a family run Dude Ranch located directly on the shores of Flathead Lake. The Lodge offers the ultimate family vacation with unlimited horse & water recreation. Enjoy unmatched hospitality by the Averill family and staff and a truly priceless family experience...Montana style. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch Loveland, Colorado Phone: +1 877-667-3999 Much more than an historic working ranch, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch provides exceptional services for business & private meetings, holiday parties, picnics, reunions, family vacations, bed & breakfast, weddings, trophy fishing, horse riding, Heart-J natural beef & a variety of exciting outdoor advent Tanque Verde Ranch Tucson, Arizona Phone: +1 800-234-3833 Located just east of Tucson, Tanque Verde Ranch Resort is one of the premier, all-inclusive dude ranch resorts in the country. You will find the perfect blend of western adventure, solitude and luxury amenities to make your next getaway unforgettable. Eatons' Ranch Wolf, Wyoming Phone: +1 800-210-1049 Eatons' offers our guests the unique opportunity to ride one of our 220 horses unescorted with the permission of the Ranch. This allows guests the remarkable freedom to fully explore this beautiful 7,000 acres of country.
Don’t just walk through the leaves, ride through the leaves as dude ranches are the original all-inclusive destination for fall travel, and it’s never too early to start planning your getaway. Imagine horseback riding under a canopy of technicolor fall foliage ranging from glorious reds, bright yellows, and vivid oranges. Some of the nation’s best leaves can only be seen when you get off the major highways and head out to the winding country roads. Choose from guest ranches in Arizona or Colorado where fall changes the Aspen leaves or book a getaway to a dude ranch located near or within a National Park such as Triangle X Ranch located in Grand Teton National Park or Horseshoe Canyon Ranch which borders Buffalo River National Park in the Ozark region of Arkansas.
As the air cools down and the days get shorter on a dude ranch, fall fishing, hiking, and of course, horseback riding are popular outdoor activities among guests to enjoy and take in the beautiful colors of fall. Many ranches also offer fall photography workshops to help guests capture the natural beauty of the autumn season. For those dude ranches that are actual working ranches, fall means cattle drives, and guests are often invited to join these memorable and one-of-a-kind drives.
While many people tout the benefits of “all-inclusive vacations,” few realize the variety of choices out there and that not all are created equal. Guest ranch getaways offer numerous advantages such as no planning once you arrive, flexibility to customize your itinerary and no hidden fees. In addition, dude ranches are the ideal all-inclusive destination for families of all types and sizes, especially multi-generational families with a wide variety of interests and abilities.
The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) can help travelers and travel agents choose the perfect guest ranch for their fall getaway from its more than 100 DRA-accredited guest ranches in North American (two in Canada). Ranging from luxury resort-style ranches to working ranches, all of these dude ranches uphold the highest quality of services within the industry.
Types of Western RanchesFirst is the traditional Dude Ranch, centered on the horse and horse related activities. Guests can ride to their hearts content and try their hand at wrangling, barrel-racing and may even perform in the weekly ranch rodeo. People who prefer this category of ranch tend to love horses and other rugged outdoor activities. The Resort Dude ranch includes riding as an activity along with many other pursuits and a variety of onsite facilities in addition to the stables. These ranches are generally larger, able to accommodate more guests at one time and often appeal to the traveler who opts for a vacation with more luxuries. Finally, there’s the Working Dude Ranch. These ranches are working cattle or sheep operations, with the riding adventure dictated by the work schedule surrounding the livestock. Visitors of these ranches are immersed in the life of a working cowboy. The decision upon which ranch to visit is a personal one. But it’s highly recommended the ranch selected is a DRA member. This guarantees visitors from near and far that it meets the highest industry standards in quality, safety, and authenticity. (Not all ranches that apply for DRA membership qualify. In fact 30% do not meet the strict standards!) Ranches accepted for membership are on probation for two years. Every DRA ranch is inspected on a regular basis to ensure high DRA standards are maintained. No matter how far folks travel to reach their DRA ranch vacation destination and no matter what language they speak they can be reassured knowing a quality vacation experience awaits them.
The season of love is fast approaching and couples will begin to ask themselves two questions: Is it time to get engaged? And what am I going to get my other half for the holidays or Valentine’s Day? While the traditional gift ideas of jewelry, roses and candy may make for a touching token of love, we challenge you to think outside the box and consider some stats.
According to The Knot, 39 percent of couples get engaged during the “season of love,” the time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Regardless of whether you’re ready to propose – or to be proposed to – statistics like this put pressure on men and women to find the perfect gift to stand out from the crowd. According to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association, the gift of travel may be the perfect solution as 63 percent of couples think a getaway is more likely to spark romance than gifts of any size, and 7 percent think simply traveling inspires romance.
This year, give the gift of shared adventure to your other half. Imagine a rustic romantic getaway, complete with horseback riding, outdoor adventure and bonding – the perfect backdrop for an epic proposal. Or a passionate weekend for foodies filled with delectable gourmet dishes and carefully selected wine pairings that the two of you can indulge to your heart's content. When it comes to love, a vacation at a dude ranch resort has all the ingredients necessary to make your love swoon with delight.
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado - Winter Romance- Whisk away your sweetheart to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a romantic winter wonderland. Ask for the Valentine’s Day romance package, and we’ll start your Valentine’s Day off with breakfast in bed, followed by a day of as much outside activity as you desire. In the afternoon, we’ll treat you to a private sleigh ride complete with hot toddies to keep you toasty warm. Following that, the chefs will delight your taste buds with their Valentine’s Day aphrodisiac dinner. The rest is up to you to enjoy the serene setting, the cozy cabin and the bubbling hot tub with views of snow covered meadows and mountains.
Red Reflet Ranch, Wyoming - Back by popular demand - Valentine’s Dining at the Red Reflet Ranch, Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Dine in the Main Lodge and relax by the crackling fire while you enjoy spectacular views overlooking the Chugwater Formation of the Canyon. Extraordinary dining experience and six-course meal prepared by Executive Chef Matthew Cariveau. Overnight accommodations available in our luxuriously appointed chalets. Offering Valentine’s Dining on two nights: Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15. Now taking reservations. $40 per person. Make plans early – this will sell out! Click here for online reservations.
Vee Bar Ranch, Wyoming - Winter Getaway Package - This package could be called the Deluxe Escape Package. The package is designed for winter enthusiasts! This is the perfect package for guests who want to experience everything. The Vee Bar staff will make sure that you get the most out of your vacation while exploring the Vee Bar, the Snowy Range Mountains, and local attractions. Guests will need their own transportation to and from the activities off property. A three-night minimum stay is required to purchase this package. See our Winter Getaway Package Sample Schedule for activity and meal details.
Did you know that the UN World Tourism organization predicts that there will be a whopping 1.6 billion eco-inspired trips taken by 2020? While ecotourism is an up-and-coming trend, DRA-accredited guest ranches have been the pioneers of green living and sustainable vacations for decades. From growing organic food and using energy-efficient appliances to making their own biodegradable fuel, dude ranches offer guests the ability to enjoy travel while reducing their “footprint.”
Besides offering green living, a dude ranch vacation provides you with the ability to reconnect with nature in some of the most tranquil and pristine areas of the country. You’ll learn to “live off the land” with fishing trips, bird watching, hikes, wildlife viewing and much more.
Below please find a sample of some of the DRA’s accredited ranches that are particularly well suited for those in search of a more sustainable vacation.
Smith Fork Ranch - Crawford, Colorado
Celebrating farm-to-table cuisine is an important part of Smith Fork Ranch. Their own farmstead garden cultivates over 80 varieties of herbs, fruits and vegetables without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals. Additionally, with the ranch’s access to 1.3 million acres of the Gunnison National Forest and West Elk Wilderness, the ranch has a nearly unlimited and untouched outdoor kingdom.
Wilderness Trails Ranch – Durango, Colorado
This Colorado guest ranch collects bottles, cans, plastic and paper from approximately 45 guests and 35 staff members that stay at the ranch each week and loads a larger trailer to take into town 30 miles away. While staying at the ranch, guests can enjoy an exceptional horseback riding program, unsurpassed wilderness and lake access, phenomenal fishing, an award-winning Never Bored Kids Program, mountain biking opportunities, overland tours, indulgent spa treatments, taste-bud tantalizing cuisine, specialty events and more.
Rocking Z Ranch – Wolf Creek, Montana
Utilizing recycled vegetable oil, this guest ranch first started powering a stationary diesel motor to pump water for irrigation. It worked so well, the ranch now uses vegetable oil to make biodiesel after taking out the fatty acids. They use this to run the tractors, loaders, an excavator, dozer and diesel pickup during the summer months.
Diamond D Ranch - Stanley, Idaho
Situated in the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states and family owned, Diamond D Ranch is completely cut off from the power grid as electricity is provided by the ranch’s very own hydro-electric generator. At the ranch, there is an endless amount of country and wildlife to see, streams to fish and mountains in which to hike or horseback ride.
Eaton’s Ranch – Wolf, Wyoming
This Wyoming dude ranch and working cattle ranch is located on the magnificent, pine covered eastern slopes of the Bighorn Mountains. Just eighteen miles west of Sheridan, the ranch consists of 7,000 acres of beautiful open country with rolling hills, grassy meadows and hidden valleys. A historic Wyoming dude ranch for 135 years, it offers guests a true western experience and way of life. Many new ranches have embraced and implemented modern elements into their ranches. Conversely, Eaton’s Ranch has managed to preserve its authenticity, with cozy cabins, many of which date back to the early 1900s.
Black Tail Ranch – Wolf Creek, Montana
Come discover the beauty and partake in new adventures on a historic guest ranch near the continental divide. Explore majestic mountain trails on horseback or by hiking accompanied by our experienced guides. Try your hand at fly fishing on one of Montana's premiere rivers, enjoy bird watching, cave exploring, incredible wildlife viewing, go for a swim in the creek or spend the afternoon in the shade of the big Cottonwood trees. This well-appointed working guest ranch on 8000 acres of spectacular Big Sky country is perfect for individuals, family vacations and gatherings of all kinds.
The Iconic Bucking Horse Logo of Wyoming
When you think about traveling in mountains, on rivers or wide open spaces think about Wyoming. Out here the air is fresh, the scenery spectacular and the people have a western hospitality about them you won’t find anywhere else. There are ranches, dude ranches, cattle operations and cowboys of all sorts... professional rodeo cowboys, ranch hands on hundreds of thousands of acres and cowboys that pack horses into places like the Thorofare, the most remote location in the lower 48, located in the greater area Yellowstone National Park. This wonderful state is home to recreation of all kinds, not just ones on horseback. Yellowstone National Park anyone? Yes, that is here in Wyoming and the state is very proud of it. Let your compass take you in all the cardinal directions and you will find vast amounts of beautiful lonely highways leading to historical places and clear, crisp streams packed with trout waiting to take your fly. You could be on your way to the Big Horn Mountains, Devil’s Tower, Cheyenne Frontier Days, the high and mighty Tetons or the next small western town with a population of 200 or less. Winter is a great time to be here as well. Trust me. It truly is. The quiet snow is ready to be disturbed by snowshoeing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, and snowmobiling. There are ice climbing festivals, ice fishing derbies or your winter recreation of choice. If you’re not yet convinced that Wyoming is the place to be, consider this; whether you are an avid participant in one type of recreation or a general adventurer a dude ranch just might be the right fit. Each ranch listed below has a general list of activities that will accommodate your wants for a week long break. With a closer look each individual ranch has its own flair of personality and specialty. Find the one that matches you and your travel companions. If it is not on the list below, don't fret. There are more Wyoming Ranches than these. Pick up the phone and call the Dude Ranchers' Association to inquire about the extent of ranches in the state.
R Lazy S Ranch, Teton Village, Wyoming
R Lazy S Ranch specializes in the real meaning of vacation: You can be as active or inactive as you please.
The Red Rock Ranch, Kelly, Wyoming
The Red Rock Ranch takes great pride in serving excellent food, whether on a cook-out BBQ, lunch ride or in our main dining room. The food is a fabulous mix of ranch cuisine with a gourmet flare.
Triangle C Ranch, Dubois, Wyoming
The Triangle C Ranch takes pride in being a true Wyoming Ranch- where their handshake is our bond and the coffee pot is always on!
Vee Bar Ranch, Laramie, Wyoming
The Vee Bar Guest and Dude Ranch specializes in small Wyoming conferences and retreats, with space for up to 40 guests for day conferences and 25-30 guests for overnight retreats.
Lazy L & B Ranch, Dubois, Wyoming
The Lazy L & B Ranch offers a great kids program. Aside from the riding program kids love the petting zoo, the tree house and the freedom to go wherever they want, whenever they want.
Rimrock Ranch, Cody Wyoming
Rimrock Ranch is nestled on the banks of Canyon Creek, 24 miles west of Cody and 27 miles east of the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.