With fears and spread of Coronavirus, families are looking for safer, domestic options, just as they did in the good ole days and Dude Ranch Vacations are just the ticket.
The beginning of the decade has brought a roller coaster of emotion to body and mind. From economic impact to physical implications of health and quarantine, this is certainly an unprecedented time in history. Decades ago, people fled the cities for fresh air and ‘Wild West’ experiences to refresh the soul. History tends to repeat itself. Many people state dude ranch vacations as a top ‘bucket list’ item. Why not choose an accessible and worry-free option to start the decade? There’s never been a more appropriate time to explore some of the best dude ranch vacations on earth. Breathe in the fresh air, relax on the deck of your own cabin or watch the sunsets from horseback; enjoy the best of the West.
Ease Transportation Fears
Many ranches are within driving distance of a home base, while some require flights. Drive-to markets are thriving in these uncertain times and heritage ranches within a few hours of metropolitan areas that have been sleeper favorites, are now on the radar of savvy, family travelers.
Lost Valley Ranch in Sedalia, Colorado, is one of the most accessible dude ranch vacation spots in the State. Less than a two-hour commute from downtown Denver, and you can be on the historic acreage, overlooking a stunning pasture of horses from your private cabin. By sunset, draw in the crisp Rocky Mountain smells of pine before embarking on a week of pure outdoor joy. The ranch is surrounded by extremely unique terrain due to natural disaster of fire and flood. Most buildings are original and reminders of the longevity of the Old West.
Riding at White Stallion Ranch White Stallion Ranch, the legendary family-owned-and-operated ranch, is just 20 minutes from downtown Tucson, and a fabulous drive-to destination from many states. Once you arrive, park the car and within minutes check into your personal casita and relax on the terrace or back patio. The fresh, dry, desert air is just the beginning of the Western adventure. There are no crowds in this part of a major metropolitan city, rather the sounds of horses coming in and out of the stables, or laughter from the petting zoo. Nearly every nuance of the ranch is focused on outdoor play and adventure. Journey into historic Arizona with all the modern amenities, including the most spacious and sanitary patios of all.
Remote and Intimate
Families and vacationers choose dude ranch vacations for the space! Many dude and guest ranches are situated on immense pieces of land. From thousands of acres to adjoining National Forest and open space, you might ride for hours and never see another person, just wildlife.
Rainbow Trout Ranch outside of Antonito, Colorado, is one of the most remote dude ranches in the region. There are 16 log cabins onsite that all have fire places, and can sleep anywhere from one to eight people. Nestled on 600 acres and surrounded by National Forest, the ranch has one of the most spectacular wooden lodges in the world—yes—it’s the second largest wooden lodge-built West of the Mississippi. Sit on the monstrous wrap-around deck and chat with hummingbirds and wildlife that pass by. The deck offers vistas of the horse pastures and corrals and the only sounds are from wind blowing through the pines. Seclusion and sanctuary await those who find this ranch.
Web searches have exploded for vacationers looking for limited capacity, and private, luxury accommodations. Dude ranch vacations have always delivered this option for the vacationer.
The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch, east of Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park is limited to approximately 25 riders weekly. With so few guests, the ranch’s 130 horses and wildlife outnumber vacationers at every given moment. You and your family will truly be unplugged and relaxed. The ranch is adjacent to 650,000 acres of tremendous diversity—scenery and altitudes ranging from 4,200 to 13,100 feet—you will seldom see the same trail twice, or another person.
If family travel is in the forecast and younger generation comraderies are on the agenda. Then Canada’s leading dude and guest ranch is just what you are looking for. It is intimate, yet still sizeable enough to meet people throughout a weeklong stay. Three Bars Guest and Cattle Ranch, located just south of Banff, Canada, in The Valley of 1000 peaks is limited to 50 guests. It offers a world class horse program, in-house rafting trips, natural stone fly fishing, hiking, biking, skeet shooting, and evening programming. There’s an outdoor heated pool, hot tub, tennis court, gym, and petting zoo. Family adventure with friends in the Rocky Mountains!
Bar W Guest Ranch, one of a handful of year-round dude ranches near Glacier National Park, Montana. The ranch allows only 35 guests at a time. It has 3,000 acres of ranch property to explore via foot, water and horse and thousands of national acreages of forest and land. The endless list of fresh-air activity—swimming, mountain biking, archery, shooting sports, river rafting, rock climbing, cattle work, bird watching—will put the youngest to the oldest asleep by sunset in cabin suites, glamping tents, the Gate House or the Main Lodge. They have everything you could ever want in a Dude Ranch Vacation.
Western Pleasure Ranch is a year-round family owned and operated ranch in Idaho, with a guest capacity of 20; ever dreamed of renting out an entire ranch with just three or four families? It’s perfect for the family reunion with such an intimate and boutique experience. During autumn, winter and spring, the ranch operates as a B&B, an ideal space to get away from crowds and enjoy some luxury, family time. There are horseback rides available year-round, or opt to walk or hike in massive Glacier National Park. Late season snows provide for blue sky, sunny days of snow show, cross-country ski or bird watching in solitude.
The Centurion Club
There’s something to be written and experienced about a ranch that has withstood not only current and recent crisis, but also world wars, decades of drought, fire and more. Dude Ranches have been there through it all and they are not going anywhere. This is where health and recreation where born in America.
Triangle X Ranch in Jackson Hole, is a five-generation owned and operated family ranch, and legacy prevails. Saddle your horse, as they have for decades and ride into permitted Grand Teton National Park, Bridger Teton National Forest and Bridger Teton National Wilderness. This equates to millions of acres with the widest variety and most remote riding country in the nation. From the middle of May through October, the Turner family will introduce you to iconic ‘Wide Open Wyoming’.
Paradise Guest Ranch has been in operation for over 100 years. The ranch has a nickname, 100 for 100, and it stands for the 100 reasons people keep returning to this Wyoming paradise. May through October, the ranch can accommodate 70 guests (there are some adult-only weeks) for a plethora of outdoor adventure including fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, archery, and outdoor evening programs under the Rocky Mountain stars. When finally, exhausted, climb into a comfy bed in a rustic, elegant one, two, three- or four-bedroom log cabin.
Flathead Lake Lodge has been owned and operated by a third-generation family; therefore; their 75 years of experience is solidifying them in the centurion ranch club! Their location in Northwest Montana on the shores of Flathead Lake is some of the most spectacular landscape in America and the perfect setting for a Dude Ranch Vacation. The lodge and accommodations are strikingly similar to yesteryear with the nuances and needs of today’s society. The Averill family welcomes you to their family, and together, you’ll experience some of the most magnificence of Montana.
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