Markets

Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. Yoho NP is bordered by Kootenay National Park on the southern side and Banff National Park on the eastern side. The name Yoho comes from a Cree word expressing amazement.

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoho_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Four Corners Monument

The Four Corners National Monument is the only place in the United States where you can stand in four different states at the same time. Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The monument is located in the desert on the Navajo Indian Reservation. There is a small visitor center, some Navajo arts and craft booths, picnic tables and portable toilets. There is a small fee charged per vehicle. This monument is only about two hours from Mesa Verde National Park and provides some unique photo opportunities.

http://www.mesaverde.com/fcmonument.htm

Tags: National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is located in Southern Oregon on the crest of the Cascade Mountain range, 100 miles (160 km) east of the Pacific Ocean. It lies inside a caldera, or volcanic basin, created when the 12,000 foot (3,660 meter) high Mount Mazama collapsed 7,700 years ago following a large eruption.  Crater Lake has inspired people for hundreds of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in the north-central region of the State of Colorado. This living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, with elevations ranging from 8,000 feet in the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged top of Longs Peak, provides visitors with opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. Rocky Mountain National Park features majestic mountain views, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments—from wooded forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country trails and campsites. The park is located north-west of Boulder, Colorado, and includes the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Colorado River  in its land area. The park is surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest on the north and east, Routt National Forest on the northwest, and Arapaho National Forest on the southwest.

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Arches National Park

Arches National Park preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, like the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as many other unusual rock formations. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history. The extraordinary features of the park create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures that is unlike any other in the world.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Oregon Caves National Monument

Nestled deep inside the Siskiyou Mountains, the caves formed as rainwater from the ancient forest above dissolved the surrounding marble and created one of the world's few marble caves. The highly complex geology found on the Monument contributes to the unusual and rare plants and animals found nowhere else but here. Experience the extensively decorated and adventurous "Marble Halls of Oregon."

As seen on http://www.nps.gov/orca/index.htm

 

Tags: National Park

Cowgirl Getaways at a Dude Ranch. Does it get any better?

Skip Vegas and plan a girlfriend getaway that’s anything but ordinary at the original all-inclusive vacation destination: the dude ranch. Enjoy spa treatments, horseback riding, mountaintop yoga classes, outdoor adventure, wine tastings and, of course, girl talk in some of the most spectacular areas in the country. No matter what type of getaway you and your girlfriends have in mind, there’s the perfect dude ranch out there for you.

There is a broad spectrum of guest ranches that are perfect for girlfriend getaways, ranging from rustic working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches. Whether you’re staying in your own private cabin or in a lodge room, rest assured you’ll sleep on comfortable beds, in superbly kept rooms, with all the amenities you’ll need for a pleasant and relaxing stay.

So, grab you mom, your sister and or your best friends and check out these great ranches for the perfect girlfriend getaway…

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Yellowstone National Park

Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak (formerly Pike's Peak) is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, 10 miles (16 km) west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County. It is named for Zebulon Pike, an explorer who led an expedition to the southern Colorado area in 1806. At 14,115 feet (4302 m), it is one of Colorado's 54 fourteeners. Pikes Peak has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikes_Peak

Tags: National Park

Yosemite National Park

Not just a great Valley...but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. Yosemite National Park, one of the first wilderness parks in the United States, is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

As seen on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Sequoia National Park

John Muir reflected that giant sequoia groves are “not like places, they are like haunts.” He captured well the challenge of defining a sequoia grove. They are places in the sense they can be put on a map and characterized by area, number of trees, and sizes of trees. Describing the feeling and experience of being in a grove is harder. Consider exploring a giant sequoia grove for yourself. 

https://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Saguaro National Park

Enormous cacti, silhouetted by the setting sun, for most of us the Giant Saguaro is the universal symbol of the American West. And yet, these majestic plants are only found in a small portion of the United States. Saguaro National Park protects some of the most impressive forests of these sub-tropical giants. Saguaro National Park, located in the state of Arizona. Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections, lying approximately 20 miles (32 km) east and 15 miles (24 km) west of the center of the city of Tucson, Arizona. Total area in 2002 was 143 square miles (91,327 acres) (370 km²) of which 111 square miles (289 km²) is designated wilderness. Both sections conserve fine tracts of the Sonoran Desert, including ranges of significant hills, the Tucson Mountains in the west and the Rincon Mountains in the east. The park gets its name from the saguaro cactus which is native to the region. Many other kinds of cactus, including barrel cactus, cholla cactus, and prickly pear, are also abundant in the park. One endangered animal, the Lesser Long-nosed Bat, lives in the park part of the year during its migration, together with one threatened species, the Mexican Spotted Owl. The park was established as Saguaro National Monument on March 1, 1933 and changed to a national park on October 14, 1994.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saguaro_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Dude Ranches and Family reunions are the perfect combination!!

Family Reunions at Dude Ranches Offer Fun for Everyone. There is something for everyone to enjoy at a dude ranch and the best part is DRA dude ranches are all-inclusive. Meals, lodging, horseback riding and much more are included in one rate, making it simple to plan and budget for your next family reunion. Surrounded by spectacular beauty, far from the noise and crowds of fast-paced cities, serenity comes easy to each multi-generational family.

Private family time. If your family is just looking to spend time with each other where you can totally reconnect a small intimate ranch where you are the only guests might be just the ticket. Where you ride together as a family, have meals together as a family and just get to know each other again.

Dude Ranches Are Fun for Kids. Most ranches have daily activities offered for kiddos 3+ and many ranches can accommodate infants as well.

Teens Enjoy Dude Ranch Adventures. The teens in the family will have the time of their lives as they zip down a mountain zip line, tube down a rushing creek, or enjoy a ‘teens only’ ride up to a cookout lunch or an overnight camp out.

Adults Have Fun, Too. Adults will find they can do as much or as little as they would like. Unlimited horseback riding, river rafting, superb fishing, fine dining the list goes on and on.

So what are you waiting for? Book you next great multi-generational adventure today!

#MultiGenerationalRanchVacation

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Kid Free Guest and Dude Ranch Vacation weeks for adults!

Dude and guest ranches are popular family vacation destinations, but they also recognize that parents also value some quality time for themselves. Dude and Guest Ranches are the perfect place for parents to literally get back in the saddle and plan a kid-free vacation for two with several ranches offering special adult-only weeks or girlfriend getaway weeks. Dude ranches offer guests an escape to the American West complete with spectacular scenery, outdoor adventure, and top-notch accommodations and amenities. Couples, parents without kids or groups of friends can enjoy a variety of activities during their visit from sporting pursuits like fishing and horseback riding, to leaf peeping, to experiencing flavorful, savory meals and wine pairings. Read on for a sampling of dude ranches offering specialized activities and packages for adults.

Tags: Couples vacation, cowgirl getaways, all inclusive vacations, dude ranches, guest ranches

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is Canada's first national park, established in 1885, in the Canadian Rockies. The park, located 120 kilometres (80 miles) west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, encompasses 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 mi²) of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and icefields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes. The Icefields Parkway extends from Lake Louise, connecting to Jasper National Park in the north. Provincial forests and Yoho National Park are neighbours to the west, while Kootenay National Park is located to the south, and Kananaskis Country to the southeast. The main commercial center of the park is the town of Banff, in the Bow River valley.

 As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banff_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Kids and Dude Ranches go hand in hand

A dude ranch vacation offers a variety of programming for kids of all ages, with daily schedules that are so engaging kids won’t realize they’re learning along the way. Kids programs and activities, many of which are overseen by dedicated wranglers and staff members, are designed to educate and entertain with activities ranging from ropes courses, scavenger hunts, horseback riding, panning for gold, wildlife excursions, overnight camping trips, campfire sing-a-longs, capture the flag, hay rides and much more. Give your kids the gift of a vacation where they can learn while having the time of their lives!!

Tags: Kids vacation, all inclusive, family vacations, dude ranches, guest ranches

Devils Tower

The nearly vertical monolith known as Devils Tower rises 1,267 feet above the meandering Belle Fourche River. Once hidden below the earth's surface, erosion has stripped away the softer rock layers revealing Devils Tower. Known by several northern plains tribes as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site of worship for many American Indians. The rolling hills of this 1,347 acre park are covered with pine forests, deciduous woodlands, and prairie grasslands. Deer, prairie dogs, and other wildlife are abundant. On September 24, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt  proclaimed Devils Tower as the nation's first national monument.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Dude Ranches with Excellent Kids Programs

Riding Activities - Ride the West with the Best

All DRA ranches offer instruction for guests who have never ridden or would like to improve their skills. Horse safety is a priority, so you will be matched to the appropriate horse and given all the necessary instruction to make your time safe, comfortable and fun.

Often, the ranch location dictates the type of riding offered; overnight pack trips, hunting trips, all-day, breakfast or lunch rides, cattle drives, team penning, cutting, guest rodeos, gymkhanas, mountain rides, as well as a variety of daily trail explorations.

Other Activities

For those not riding, the range of activities may include; hiking, nature walks, bird watching, petting zoos, mountain biking, river rafting, swimming pools, hot tubs, exercise rooms, massage services, pool tables, card games, rec rooms, hay rides, western dancing, campfires, cookouts, tennis, volleyball, basketball, softball, fishing (there are Orvis approved programs), canoeing, rock climbing, skeet shooting, archery, art classes, cooking classes, and many have nearby golf, historic sites and national parks.

 

Tags: Niche Market

National Parks and Dude Ranches

Are you about to embark on one of the most quintessential National Park trips that North America has to offer? If so where are you going to stay, are you looking for something a little more than a stuffy hotel room on the first floor with kids running overhead and a continental breakfast that leaves something to be desired?  At a dude ranch you can book your own peaceful cabin for the week and escape the crowds for an outdoor adventure on a ranch that pairs oh - so - nicely with a trip to any of the National Parks. Ranging from luxury resorts to intimate working cattle ranches, pick out your very own local and immersive experience for your family at one of these well-appointed dude ranches, some within minutes of a National Park. 

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Gunnison National Forest

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are three distinct forests managed as one unit. The GMUG covers nearly three million acres across eight counties in the central and southern Rocky Mountains on the Western Slope of Colorado.Management of these forests was administratively combined in the 1970s.  The GMUG is a highly diverse forest. It includes eight designated wilderness areas, five nationally designated scenic and historic byways, five mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, three downhill ski areas, and one of the largest flat top mountains. The Forest supports a large grazing program and provides the source of water for communities in the Gunnison, Uncompahgre and Grand Valley communities. Coal, natural gas and hardrock minerals are abundant on the GMUG.

As seen at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunnison_National_Forest

Tags: National Park

Family Time, Family Fun Reunions at a Dude Ranch

When it comes to making every member of a family happy at your next family reunion, there is no better place to go than a Dude Ranch.

Family Reunions at Dude Ranches Offer Fun for Everyone. There is literally something for everyone to enjoy at a dude ranch and the best part is DRA dude ranches are ALL INCLUSIVE! Meals, lodging, horseback riding and much more are included in one rate, making it simple to plan and budget for your next family reunion. All of our Dude Ranches are well equipped to make sure everyone has a fun western experience!

Dude Ranches Are Fun for Kids:
Most ranches have daily activities offered for kiddos 3+ and many ranches can accommodate infants as well.

Teens Enjoy Dude Ranch Adventures:
The teens in the family will have the time of their lives as they zip down a mountain zip line, tube down a rushing creek, or enjoy a ‘teens only’ ride up to a cookout lunch on the trail or an overnight camp-out.

Adults Have Fun, Too:
Adults will find they can do as much or as little as they would like. Unlimited horseback riding, river rafting, superb fishing, fine dining the list goes on and on.

So what are you waiting for? Come make memories that will last a life time at one of these GREAT DRA dude ranches!!

Tags: Niche Market

Mt. Rushmore

A monument's dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated. We are not here trying to carve an epic, portray a moonlight scene, or write a sonnet; neither are we dealing with mystery or tragedy, but rather the constructive and dramatic moments or crises in our amazing history." Gutzon Borglum

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is a place where you can enjoy a landscape like few others - where sparrows flock in winter, antelope play, and the valley bottom is once again the sea of grass that greeted early settlers. Additions to the refuge since 1985 protect valuable wetland and riparian habitats at Arivaca Creek, Arivaca Cienega, and Brown Canyon. This combination of grasslands, wetlands, cottonwood-lined streambeds, and sycamore and live oak mountain canyons preserve some of the southwest's rarest habitats used by seven endangered species, ten species of concern, and many other native plants and wildlife.

As Seen at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/buenos_aires/

Tags: National Park

Lake Louise

Lake Louise, a small village located 54 km (32 mi) west of the Banff townsite, is home to the landmark Chateau Lake Louise at the edge of Lake Louise. Located 15 km (9.3 mi) from Lake Louise, Moraine Lake provides a scenic vista of the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This scene was pictured on the back of the $20 Canadian banknote, in the 1969-1979 ("Scenes of Canada") series. The Lake Louise Mountain Resort is also located near the village.

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Louise,_Alberta

Tags: National Park

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

The sights and sounds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an International Biosphere Reserve, reveal a thriving community of plants and animals. Human stories echo throughout this desert preserve, chronicling thousands of years of desert living. A scenic drive, wilderness hike or a night of camping will expose you to a living desert that thrives.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/orpi/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Kananaskis Country

Kananaskis is situated to the west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in the foothills and front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Located within the improvement district is Kananaskis Country, a 4,211 square kilometers (1,625.9 sq mi) tract of land with spectacular mountain and foothills scenery. 66-km long section of Highway 40 (this segment also called Kananaskis Trail) runs through the area.  Special areas within Kananaskis Country that are not formally designated as parks or ecological reserves include the Bow Corridor Area, the Elbow River Valley Area, Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreation Area, the Highwood/Cataract Areas, Sentinel Provincial Recreation Area, Stoney Creek Provincial Recreation Area, Strawberry Provincial Recreation Area and the Sibbald Area (Sibbald Lake Provincial Recreation Area, Sibbald Meadows Pond Provincial Recreation Area).

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kananaskis,_Alberta

Tags: National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico, as you pass through the Chihuahuan Desert and Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas.  Filled with prickly pear, chollas, sotols and agaves—you might never guess there are more than 300 known caves beneath the surface. The park contains 113 of these caves, formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone, creating some of the largest caves in North America. Visitors can hike into the interior rooms on their own via the natural entrance, or take an elevator (the exit for everyone) directly down into the center of the public cave area. Approximately two thirds of the park has also been set aside as a wilderness area, helping to ensure no future changes will be made to the habitat.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/cave/index.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/rns_National_ParkCarlsbad_Cave

Tags: National Park

Traditional Dude and Guest Ranch Vacations for families

A dude ranch is one of the best options for your next family vacation. With programs centered around horseback riding and western lifestyle activities, you’ll have more fun with your family than you ever thought possible! Parents and children will get to relax and enjoy their vacation in a way that, even though your day is full of activities and outdoor adventures, the mental exhaustion of traveling is not there. Best of all, parents are free from planning entertaining activities for the kids, the only decision making you’ll have to do will be whether to lounge by the pool, go for a horseback ride or hike up to a scenic vista for the afternoon. All the details are taken care of by your ranch hosts, such as meals, activities and housekeeping. With ranches offering family centered activities or an all-day supervised kids program, you’ll be able to find the ranch that is tailored to fit exactly what you are looking for in your family vacation. So what are you waiting for, choose from the below ranches for the perfect western vacation for your family!!

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Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park is located in southeastern British Columbia, Canada covering 1,406 km² (543 mi²) in the Canadian Rockies and is part of a World Heritage Site. The park ranges in elevation from 918 metres (3,011') at the park entrance to 3,424 metres (11,235') at Deltaform Mountain. Kootenay forms one of the four contiguous mountain parks in the Canadian Rockies; the other three being Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and Yoho National Park.

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kootenay_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Santa Fe National Forest

The Santa Fe National Forest is a protected national forest in northern New Mexico. It was established in 1915 and covers 1,567,181 acres (6342 km²). Elevations range from 5,300 feet (1600 m) to 13,103 feet (4000 m) at the summit of Truchas Peak, located within the Pecos Wilderness. The Jemez, Coyote, and Cuba districts are located in the Jemez Mountains; the Pecos/Las Vegas district is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; and the Española district is located in both mountain ranges. In descending order of land area the forest lies in parts of Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Mora, and Los Alamos counties. Forest headquarters are located in the city of Santa Fe.

As Seen on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_National_Forest

Tags: National Park

West Elk Wilderness

The West Elk Mountains comprise a large remote wilderness west of Gunnison. The volcanic ridges and long valleys of this area offer countless opportunities for extended expeditions. As an added benefit, West Elk receives relatively few visitors outside of hunting season, probably because the area lacks fourteeners or numerous alpine lakes which typically attract recreational users. Secluded trips are readily attainable in West Elk, Colorado's fifth largest wilderness.

As seen at http://www.coloradowilderness.com/wildpages/westelk.html

Tags: National Park

All-inclusive Multi-Generational Dude and Guest Ranches - FUN for everyone

When it comes to making every member of a family happy at your next family reunion, there is no better place to go than a Dude Ranch.

Family Reunions at Dude Ranches Offer Fun for Everyone

There is literally something for everyone to enjoy at a dude ranch and the best part is DRA dude ranches are ALL INCLUSIVE!  Meals, lodging, horseback riding and much more are included in one rate, making it simple to plan and budget for your next family reunion.

All of our  Dude Ranches are well equipped to make sure everyone has a fun western experience!

Dude Ranches Are Fun for Kids

Most ranches have daily activities offered for kiddos 3+ and many ranches can accommodate infants as well.

Teens Enjoy Dude Ranch Adventures

The teens in the family will have the time of their lives as they zip down a mountain zip line, tube down a rushing creek, or enjoy a ‘teens only’ ride up to a cookout lunch on the trail or an overnight campout. 

Adults Have Fun, Too

Adults will find they can do as much or as litle as they would like. Unlimited horseback riding, river rafting, superb fishing, fine dining the list goes on and on.  So what are you waiting for? Come make memories that will last a life time at one of these GREAT DRA dude ranches.

Dude Ranches Offering a Great Experience for Family Reunions

  

Tags: All-Inclusive, Niche Market

Glacier National Park

Come and experience Glacier National Park's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, transportation, and stories of Native Americans. Explore Glacier National Park and discover what awaits you.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Chiricahua National Monument

A “Wonderland of Rocks” is waiting for you to explore at Chiricahua National Monument. This forest of rock spires was eroded from layers of ash deposited by the Turkey Creek Volcano eruption 27 million years ago. The 8 mile paved scenic drive and 18 miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site. Visit the Faraway Ranch Historic District to discover more about the people who have called this area home: Chiricahua Apaches, Buffalo Soldiers, Erickson and Stafford families.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years.  Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.


As seen on https://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm

Tags: National Park

National Park Ranches

There’s a sense of place in the West. It flows from endless stands of lodgepole pines, glades of aspen tinged gold by the season, horizons that spread the sky wider than you’ve ever noticed. Spend a little time here, and it seeps into you. It’s the distant bugle of a bull elk, a band of pronghorn darting across the open range, the chortling flock of sandhill cranes, southbound, high overhead. They all fill your senses with the West as it’s always been, and as it always should be. There’s a comfortable, inviting feel to this landscape, a landscape that has been preserved in some of our most iconic national parks. And it’s also one that can be found on the park's doorsteps; dude ranches steeped in Western traditions.

Spend a little time at one of these ranches and you can slip into the saddle of your trail horse for a ride while the morning dew is still fresh, and again before dinner to catch a sunset that you’ll carry home with you. And after dinner, enjoy the starry night skies, relax with new friends, or plan a day trip into your favorite national park next door.

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Buffalo River National Park

We extend a warm welcome to you in your visit to Buffalo National River. The natural and cultural resources of this national river exemplify much of the beauty and diversity which makes up the Ozark region of Arkansas. You will find a wild, free-flowing and unpolluted river that passes towering bluffs, pioneer homesteads and wilderness areas, dominated by a vast hardwood forest, verdant much of the visitor season. The river offers recreational pursuits like canoeing, fishing and swimming. Inspirational and educational opportunities are also available, where one can experience life at a slower pace. It is indeed a place where you can get glimpses of an earlier way of life, whether that is seeing examples of prehistoric Native American presence in Ozark Bluff Dweller cultures or pioneer homesteads in this beautiful and scenic, rugged landscape.

As seen on www.nps.gov/buff/park

Tags: National Park

Redwood National and State Park

Most people know Redwood as home to the tallest trees on Earth. But the parks also protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and nearly 40 miles of pristine coastline, all supporting a rich mosaic of wildlife diversity and cultural traditions. Together, the National Park Service and California State Parks manage these lands for the inspiration, enjoyment, and education of all people.

As seen at http://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers a glimpse of the homes and lives of the people of the Mogollon culture who lived there from the 1280's through the early 1300's. Containing 533 acres, it was established on November 16, 1907. The dwellings are located forty-four miles north of Silver City, New Mexico, on Highway 15.

The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is surrounded by the Gila National Forest and lies at the edge of the Gila Wilderness, the nation's first designated wilderness area. Wilderness means the intrusion of roads or other evidence of human presence will not alter the character of the area. This unique area comprising homes of prehistoric Indians in southwestern New Mexico offers a glimpse of the homes and lives of Indians who lived here from the 100's to 1300.

Settlers in the early 1870's penetrated the mountain wilderness, where rise the three forks of the Gila River in search of water and fertile land on which to homestead. They were surprised to find traces of an earlier race of men, who in the dim past had lived, loved and farmed the narrow valleys. Fallen walls of stone, strewn with pottery fragments, clearly indicated a people of high culture who made their homes there.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Luxury Dude Ranches

The below luxury ranch vacations authentically replicate western traditions with phenomenal hospitality and service. Horseback riding is featured, while fly fishing, ATVs, water sports, spa, golf and more are offered. Extensive on-site activities and facilities make luxury ranches perfect for couples, singles and families as well as non-riders. Each ranch is vetted to ensure quality.

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White Sands National Park

Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert and created the world's largest gypsum dune field.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is located in the high plateau country of southwestern Colorado. The park was established in 1906 to preserve the spectacular archeological remnants of the thousand-year-old culture of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is located in the easternmost parts of Alamosa County and Saguache County, in Colorado. Originally designated Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve was created by an act of the United States Congress on September 13, 2004. The park contains approximately 85,000 acres (340 km², 130 mi²).   The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America,  rising about 750 feet (230 m) from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres (77 km²). They are perhaps 12,000 years old.  The dunes were formed from sand deposits of the Rio Grande and its tributaries, flowing through the San Luis Valley.  The park also contains alpine lakes and tundra, six peaks over 13,000 feet (3,940 m) in elevation, ancient spruce and pine forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and wetlands — all habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species.

As seen on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Sand_Dunes_National_Monument

Tags: National Park

Dude Ranch Wedding Venues

For celebrations large and small dude ranch weddings are a picture perfect setting for a destination wedding venue. The Dude Ranchers' Association has the ultimate list of dude ranches for Western ranch weddings. Whether you are looking for a quaint rustic barn wedding or a classy, destination wedding resort you'll find it here.

And, you can have a winter or summer wedding in most states across the West. These accredited ranches will take care of all the details - the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and best of all- provide a vacation for your guests. You set the theme and bring the romance for your wedding and professional hosts and caterers will bring the bride and groom's wedding dreams to reality.

Here are the top dude ranch wedding venues in North America. To read more about ranch weddings visit our blogs - https://duderanch.org/blog/category/weddings

Tags: Dude Ranch Weddings

Grand Teton National Park

Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park preserves a spectacular landscape rich with majestic mountains, pristine lakes and extraordinary wildlife. The abrupt vertical rise of the jagged Teton Range contrasts with the horizontal sage-covered valley and glacial lakes at their base, creating world-renowned scenery that attracts nearly four million visitors per year.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park, in southwest South Dakota, preserves 244,000 acres (98,740 ha) of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. The Badlands Wilderness protects 64,144 acres (25,958 ha) of the park as a designated wilderness area and is the site of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America. Containing the world’s richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 37-28 million years old, the evolutionary stories of mammals such as the horse and rhinoceros arise from the 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires. Bison, bighorn sheep, endangered black-footed ferrets, and swift fox roam one of the largest, protected mixed-grass prairies in the United States.

 as seen at https://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm

Tags: National Park

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is located in the state of Washington.  The park complex consists of 684,000 acres (277,000 ha) of the Cascade Range in four separate, yet adjoined, units: North Cascades National Park North Unit, North Cascades National Park South Unit, the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas which are managed together with the park. Several national wilderness areas and British Columbia parkland also adjoin the National Park. The park features rugged mountain peaks. Approximately 93 percent of the park was designated as wilderness in the Washington Wilderness Act of 1988, which also set aside wilderness areas in Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park.

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Cascades_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers themselves. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

To visit Lassen Volcanic National Park is to witness a brief moment in the ancient battle between the earth shaping forces of creation and destruction in Northern California. Nestled within Lassen’s peaceful forests and untouched wilderness, hissing fumaroles and boiling mud pots still shape and change the land, evidence of Lassen’s long fiery and active past.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/lavo/index.htm

Tags: National Park

Gila National Forest

The Gila National Forest boasts a rich history of the Mogollon and Apache Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, ranchers, prospectors and miners. Apache Chiefs Mangas Coloradas, Geronimo, and Victorio, Aldo Leopold: conservationist, ecologist and author of the Sand County Almanac, and renowned lion hunter Ben Lilly are but a few of the personalities from the past that have left their mark in the Gila. Place names like Raw Meat Canyon, Tepee Canyon and Grave Canyon tell the tales of the past.

As seen at https://www.fs.usda.gov/gila

Tags: National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the United States' oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world. The park covers 1,902 mi² (4927 km²). The Grand Canyon is more than a great chasm carved over millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. It is more than an awe-inspiring view. It is more than a pleasuring ground for those who explore the roads, hike the trails, or float the currents of the turbulent Colorado River.

As seen at https://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon_National_Park

Tags: National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is located in south-eastern California. Declared a U.S. National Park in 1994, it had previously been a U.S. National Monument since 1936. It includes over 1,234 mi² (3,196 km²) of land. A large part of the park is designated to wilderness area; some 914 mi² (2,367 km²). The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a monocotyledonous tree native to southwestern North America, in the states of California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.  Confined mostly to the Mojave Desert between 400-1,800 m (2,000-6,000 feet), they thrive in the open grasslands of Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley in Joshua Tree National Park. Viewed from the road, this desert park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see for yourself!

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Tree_National_Park   and http://liveoncelivewild.com/complete-guide-joshua-tree/

 

Tags: National Park

Pawnee National Grasslands

Pawnee National Grassland is a United States National Grassland located in northeastern Colorado on the Colorado Eastern Plains. The grassland is located in the South Platte River basin in remote Weld County between Greeley and Sterling. It comprises two parcels totalling 193,000 acres (781 km²) largely between Colorado State Highway 14 and the Wyoming border. It is administered in conjunction with the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest from the U.S. Forest Service office in Fort Collins, Colorado, with a suboffice in Greeley. The grassland contains several hiking trails, including one that allows foot access to the Pawnee Buttes, the most notably geologic feature of the Grasslands.

As seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawnee_National_Grassland

Tags: National Park

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