The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the premier membership-based organization for dude ranches and has welcomed five new ranches in 2018: V6 Ranch, Kay El Bar Ranch, Parade Rest Guest Ranch, Campbell Hills Guest Ranch and Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. As a non-profit association, membership is not a pay to play process but a mark of the highest quality. Acceptance requires a rigorous two-year application process and distinguishes a ranch as one that guests can trust to provide excellent customer care and a horseback riding vacation of a lifetime.
Guests looking to experience something new and exciting can look into the unique and individual offerings of each of these new members. Each of these ranches are located in a different Western state, from Arizona up to British Columbia and offers their own dude ranch niche experience.
Nestled in the Cholame Valley, the V6 Ranch envelops 20,000 acres of the most diverse and alluring country in the heart of central California. Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ranch is just a four-hour drive from either city. The V6 Ranch offers the delight of bygone days in a world where fast is the average speed.
This beautiful ranch offers activities to tickle the fancy of any person that seeks peace and quiet. The clean air and warm nights are ideal for laying out under the stars. The ranch offers trail rides, cattle drives, and horse camping. The V6 Ranch offers over 50 scenic miles of trails to explore with maps and trail markers to show the way. They also offers hiking, photography, over 200 varieties of wildflowers, wildlife and bird watching.
The Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is a historic dude ranch listed on the National and State Historical landmark registers and is located in the Old West town of Wickenburg, AZ. Nestled in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains on the banks of the Hassaymapa River, Kay El Bar is a desert oasis ranch where warm hospitality has been a tradition since 1926. The ranch offers an authentic and casual western vacation experience suitable for guests of all ages. Special occasion groups and team retreats are welcome. Their America Plan rate includes lodging, all meals, horseback riding and use of all ranch facilities.
Kay El Bar is a winter ranch, open from November until May. The climate includes bi-seasonal rainfall, making it one of the lushest deserts, with giant cacti, short trees and a great variety of shrubbery and animal life. There are thousands of acres of desert hills and canyons to explore on horseback. The charming adobe ranch was built in the late 1800s, and, like all the early dude ranches, began as a working cattle outfit. The building’s adobe walls are built of sun-dried brick 12 to 18 inches thick; each brick was made by hand by the Maricopa Indians who lived on the nearby reservation. The ranch is completely up to date in its comforts, including modern bathrooms, a pool, and a whirlpool spa.
Activities at the ranch center around the riding program, with rides twice a day except for Sunday when there is long morning ride and a trail-side cookout. The wranglers love introducing children (minimum age 7) and adult first-time riders to the pleasures of riding the trail on a trusty mount. Experienced riders find many delights in riding the Arizona hills. Non-riders and younger children can enjoy the ranch pool, spa, evening group activities, hiking, and exploring the western town of Wickenburg. Local golf courses welcome visitors.
Parade Rest Guest Ranch is a true Montana dude ranch offering that memorable Montana guest ranch experience, located just 15 minutes from the west entrance, it is the closest of all the Montana guest ranches to Yellowstone National Park. Their all-inclusive vacation packages combine log cabin lodging, all your meals, unlimited horseback trail rides, world-class fly-fishing and an unforgettable outdoor mountain cookout.
The ranch has 15 log cabins of various sizes, beds, bedrooms and bathrooms are spread across the ranch. Some sit next to the Grayling Creek which runs thru the ranch which is a great fly-fishing stream. The sound of the creek is a favorite to many. Other cabins sit on a lower bluff overlooking the horses, ranch creek, Hebgen lake, Gallatin Mountain Range and awesome sunrises and sunsets. Parade Rest Ranch is a great place to call home while in the Yellowstone area.
Ride a horse on the alpine meadows, observe unique birds in their natural habitat and discover the many hidden fishing spots right in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia. Campbell Hills Guest Ranch offers exceptional horseback riding in mountainous terrain.
When guests arrive at the ranch worries drift away as they settle into perfect harmony with the rhythms of nature. British Columbia is known for its beautiful landscape, relaxed atmosphere, and high-quality living, and this guest ranch is no exception. The ranch uses a technique called natural horsemanship, which is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse’s natural instincts and methods of communication. Here the horses are ridden without bits in their mouths and without metal shoes on the trails.
Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch is located in the rugged Wind River Mountain Range and is Wyoming’s highest wilderness guest ranch offering log cabins, mountain trail riding, fly fishing, wilderness pack trips, and hunting in the Shoshone National Forest. The ranch has access to the Wind Rivers from the Dickinson Park Trailhead, the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie and Worthen Meadows.
The Wind River Mountain Range boasts the largest active glaciers in the lower 48 states, hundreds of alpine lakes teeming with wild trout, abundant wildlife and world class fly fishing and mountain climbing. The unique setting of the Diamond 4 Ranch in Dickinson Park gives you access to 100,000 spectacular acres. Guests saddle up and join a real western adventure! There is something for everyone – families, groups and individuals are welcome.
The ranch owner Jim Allen carries on the family tradition of hosting visitors in the spectacular Wind River Mountain Range like his grandfather did in the 1920’s. Jim & his wife Mary love packing in the “Winds” and are dedicated to using the land wisely with minimum impact camping practices. The Diamond 4 Ranch gets its name from the Allen’s horse brand which has a history from the days of the open range.