Horses, Hats, History, Honesty, Heart, and Hospitality Make It a Dude Ranch Vacation

White Stallion Ranch

Picture your next adventure: The cool, fresh mountain air—the open spaces. The feel of a steady horse beneath you as you top the next rise. . . The flash of color from the dark pool as the monster trout rises to your offering. . . Luxuriating in the warmth of the setting sun as you wait for the dinner bell’s call. . . Shared time with family and friends. . .

That and more is what you will experience at a Dude Ranch.

Dude ranching is much more than guest rooms and horses. It is a sharing of the spirit of the West and the beauty of the wilderness. On a ranch, you’ll experience a world that is dictated by the seasons and cycles of life. It is a simple way of life that demands honesty, integrity, hard work, and a strong spirit.

Your appreciation of nature, family, and friends will be renewed. You’ll find that good riding, good food, and good friends will leave you peaceful and content. You’ll discover the luxuries of silence, the wind on your face, and the stars shining brightly.

More than just a day full of activities, the essence of a ranch vacation nourishes your heart and soul. It is unlike any vacation you’ve ever taken—one that you will return to time and again. It‘s “Horses, Hats, History, Honesty, Heart, and Hospitality” and friends serving friends.

How Do You Go About Choosing a Ranch to Match Your Dreams?

Riding should be your first consideration when choosing a ranch: working livestock, cattle drives, pack trips, team penning, and arena games or daily trail rides. All ranches fall into one of the following categories, which will help you in making the best choice. . .

Horses at Bull Hill Ranch

Types of Ranches by Riding Type

Working Dude Ranch

These are working cattle or sheep operations. Your horseback riding adventures will be determined by the ranch’s livestock and the work related to them. Be prepared to experience these activities firsthand.

Dude Ranch

Horseback riding is central to these ranches. The cowboy in you will experience Western riding and a variety of other outdoor activities.

Resort Dude Ranch

Horseback riding is featured, and these ranches also offer an array of diverse activities and onsite facilities. These are apt to be the larger ranches.

What Riding Environment Appeals to You?

Think about where you would like to ride most. Is it in open meadows, prairies, mountain trails, or southwestern desert? The location of the ranch will determine the terrain.

Time of Year

Typically, the ranches in the northern states (and cooler climates) are the busiest in the summer months, and the southern ranches offer warm-weather riding in the winter months.

How Many Guests Can the Ranch Host?

A stay at a ranch offering accommodations for only eight guests is a dramatically different experience than choosing a ranch that serves 80 or 100 guests. The difference is most noticeable in the dining and social experiences. What is your party size?

What Are the Accommodations?

Ranch atmospheres range from rustic to luxurious and everything in between. Ranches are always extremely clean and comfortable, but if you need hair dryers, TV’s, Jacuzzi tubs, a daily massage and wireless Internet to make your dream vacation, just choose your ranch accordingly.

Resources for Planning Your Trip

The Dude Ranchers’ Association provides extensive information for planning your trip. Founded in 1926, The Dude Ranchers’ Association was created to preserve, protect, and promote ranchers’ unique vacation experience and identity.

The DRA represents over 100 members in 14 Western States and two Canadian Provinces. Membership in the association is not automatic. Dude ranches applying for membership go through a rigorous two-year inspection and approval process. When you vacation at a Dude Ranchers’ Association dude ranch, you can be assured of genuine western hospitality, combined with the lodging industry’s latest standards.

Here are four members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association that are worth considering. . .

White Stallion Ranch Fitness Center

Arizona Dude Ranch With Exceptional Hospitality and Family Traditions

At White Stallion Ranch, the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch are carefully blended with the service and amenities of a fine resort. The True family welcomes you to the ranch that has been their home for over 50 years.

Reconnect with nature, family, friends, and serenity. Ride through the unspoiled desert, rugged mountains, and cacti that have brought Hollywood filmmakers to the ranch for over 70 years.

White Stallion Ranch is nationally recognized for excellence in service and value. To name a few recent awards:

• The 16 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S.—MSN Lifestyle December 2016. • Official Best Dude Ranch in Arizona 2016—Official Best Of. • Best Historic Hotels of 2016—CNN, Katie Hetter. • Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year 2016—Historic Hotels of America. • These 10 US Travel Destinations Are Going to Be Huge in 2017 – InStyle, lifestyle. • 15 Best Hotels in Tucson 2017—US News & World Report. • Official Best Dude Ranch in Arizona 2017—Official Best Of.

Spotted Horse Ranch Pack Trip

Kick Back, Western Style

The Spotted Horse Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is perfect for anyone who wants to dive into the true spirit of the West. In the cozy living room, guests will find a rock fireplace where they can kick back after a long day of horseback riding, hiking, and more. This ranch even offers guided fly-fishing trips to the Snake or Green River. Work stress will be a distant memory once visitors breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful surrounding areas, including nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

r lazy s tetons

R Lazy S Ranch View of Tetons

Bring the Kids and Grandkids

Looking to bring the entire family along on your trip? Look no further than the R Lazy S Ranch in Teton Village, Wyoming. Of course, kids love to get away just as much as we do. That’s why R Lazy S Ranch also offers an extensive kid’s program and a separate youth dining room so the kids can keep the fun going at mealtimes. Surrounded by Grand Teton National Park, the ranch offers all-day horseback rides to lakes, trails, and big-game viewing spots. Looking to spend some time off-saddle? R Lazy S Ranch has access to miles of private frontage on the Snake River—one of the West’s best trout-fishing streams.

Rough It in Style

There’s a fabulous alternative to the traditional rustic experience available at the Bull Hill Guest Ranch in Kettle Falls, Washington. The ranch offers two glamping tents that come fully furnished with large porches complete with sweeping countryside views. Glamping at Bull Hill Guest Ranch provides just the right amount og natural atmosphere for families, friends, and those seeking a romantic twist.

Crossed Sabres Ranch

Saddle Up and Take That Family Trip to Yellowstone

Located in the beautiful Shoshone National Forest, the Crossed Sabres Ranch can be as relaxed or activity-packed as you make it. In addition to incredible horseback riding for beginners through experts, Crossed Sabres Ranch offers a full range of activities, such as fly-fishing and hiking. It is also located a short 8 miles from the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park—a must-see for anyone visiting the West.

Discover the American wilderness that can only be seen by horseback. Discover the men and women who are the stewards of this land. These families open their homes to thousands of guests every year, committed to providing the best vacations possible at their dude ranches and guest ranches.

Make it a Dude Ranch vacation!

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