Just "Dude" It – The Dude Ranchers' Association Blog
Helping People Find Quality Dude Ranches and Guest Ranch Vacations Since 1926

Fishing on Privates Waters at a Dude Ranch

April 7th, 2014 by Colleen Hodson

In honor of National Outdoors Month in June and National Fishing Month in July, we wanted to  share news with you about some of the great Orvis endorsed Fishing Ranches in the association. We know

Horseback riding and cattle usually come to mind when thinking of a dude ranch, but what you might not know is that many DRA-accredited guest ranches are also known for their award-winning fishing. Located in remote areas, dude ranches give guests the chance to fish in some of the most remarkable parts of the country that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. A fishing excursion at a guest ranch will let you experience what it’s like to fish in unspoiled and uncrowded waters, hopefully giving you the opportunity to reel in your biggest and best catch yet. From one-on-one lessons, fishing on the ranches’ pristine properties and guided day trips to untouched regions of the West; it will be an adventure like no other.

Of course when a break from fishing is in order, dude ranches offer other activities well-suited to outdoor enthusiasts like whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing, golf, cattle roundups, ATV trips and watersports, to name a few. 

Whether you’re a novice or expert angler, young or old, a DRA-accredited guest ranch can offer a variety of customized fishing experiences. Below please find a sample of some of the DRA’s accredited ranches that appeal most to anglers.

4ur fishing (2)4UR Ranch

The 4UR’s Colorado guest ranch has it all, and then some. Natural historic hot springs. A highly personalized horseback riding program. And most importantly, miles of private tail water and Rio Grande fly fishing.  The 4UR Ranch waters vary from Goose Creek, which is one of only a few entirely private tailwater trout streams in the American West, to trophy ponds, wilderness lakes and both sides of the legendary Rio Grande River itself. All fishing waters are directly on the ranch’s property and an astute stream management and rigorous catch and release practices have made the 4UR truly special. 20+ inch trout are landed almost every week.


North Fork 2North Fork Ranch

North Fork Ranch, an Orvis endorsed Colorado fishing lodge, is conveniently located within one hour southwest of Denver. You’ll find the best fly fishing just steps away from your back door here at the ranch. The North Fork of the South Platte boasts over 2.5 miles of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s favorite trophy trout fishing river, providing guests the ability to fish in the president’s footsteps for large Rainbow and Brown Trout as well as Brook Trout. On the one-half mile of river, the ranch has over 1,500 pounds of fish, making for some unbelievable fishing.


47827_10151622824334902_2079397483_nUpper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch

The Ruby River is one of the best uncrowned waters in Montana and fly fishing guests at Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch have the exclusive use of over two miles of the Ruby River and a private spring fed pond on the ranch. The lower part of the river contains predominantly Brown Trout, while the upper river contains Rainbows, Cuts, Browns and Grayling. Full-time fly fishing guides are available at the ranch for instruction, float trips, walk/wade trips, trips into mountain spring creeks and information on water conditions. The ranch’s guides are not only here for guided trips, but they help  fishermen who don’t go guided with information on areas to fish, how to get to fishing areas, and what is hatching.


christopherfishFocus Ranch

Located in Colorado on Little Snake River, Focus Ranch always offered great fishing, especially early and late in the season.  The ranch now boasts excellent fishing throughout the season as the result of two completed river projects designed to stabilize the banks of the river and to improve the fish habitat. As a result, guests now have a total of four miles of river to enjoy fly fishing- catch and release -of Rainbow and Cutthroat trout.



More Great Fishing Ranches. (Click on picture)

A Bar A Ranch

A Bar A Ranch

Hubbard's Six Quarter Circle Ranch

Hubbard’s Six Quarter Circle Ranch








Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Spotted Horse Ranch

Spotted Horse Ranch








Mountain Sky Guest Ranch

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch

T Cross Ranch

T Cross Ranch








Red Rock Ranch

Red Rock Ranch

Paradise Guest Ranch

Paradise Guest Ranch







Dude Ranches Pioneer Educational Travel

March 27th, 2014 by Colleen Hodson

sundanceThe Travel Effect Campaign reports that adults who took educational trips as kids are 12 percent more likely to graduate from college and earn more than those who didn’t. Statistics  have more parents searching for family vacation options that make learning fun. Filled with experiences rooted in local culture and history, two items that 77 percent of respondents in the Travel Effect Campaign cited as having a lasting impact, we are dedicated to preserving and promoting the genuine western way of life. By offering kids the ability to experience this way of life, dude ranches are helping future generations appreciate nature, wildlife and Western culture.

4ur kids (2)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.

Colorado Trails (13)“I think one of the best parts about our kids programs is that it really engages kids’ adventurous spirit and teaches them about many things they wouldn’t learn within the four walls of their classrooms,   the experience has a lasting effect on the child. You can ask any kid the name of the horse they rode while vacationing at a dude ranch in a month or even a year and they will be able to tell you as well as the names of the kids and wranglers. It’s a unique memory that stays with them for many years.

To embark on your next educational adventure go to www.duderanch.org/listings_search.php and search for the kids program that is right for you and your kiddos.

205087_136759363062089_119342768137082_222755_6630580_nBelow are a few ranches with great kids programs to get you started:

4UR Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch
Wind River Christian Dude Ranch
A Bar A Ranch
Wilderness Trails Ranch
Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
Elkhorn Ranch
Lost Valley Ranch
Three Bars Guest Ranch
Averill’s Flathead Lake Ranch
CM Ranch

Vacation of a Lifetime at a Dude Ranch

March 24th, 2014 by Kim Jacobs

A Dude Ranch Vacation is all about YOU, the guest. All member ranches of The Dude Ranchers’ Association are committed to making sure you have the vacation of a life time.  With our warm Western Hospitality, outstanding horses, great food,  inviting accommodations and our spectacular locations, we guarantee a vacation you and your loved ones will not soon forget.

Dude ranches are ideal places for kids, families and couples to re-discover each other, without the typical distractions of this fast paced world we live in. Families spend time together enjoying horseback riding, hiking, fishing, river rafting, working cattle, children’s programs, evening programs and much more.

White Stallion All Inclusive3993








Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest while horseback riding at White Stallion Ranch or golfing at the world class golf course at Rancho de los Caballeros.









Whether you are a seasoned angler or simply want to give it a try,  stake out some private shoreline for amazing fly-fishing in Wyoming at Red Rock Ranch or Paradise Ranch.









In Montana, Glamping or “Glamorous Camping” has come of age at the Bar W Ranch and there isn’t a more fitting place to explore the wilderness of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem than at Lone Mountain Ranch.

Fall 2011 Hideout Ranch, Shell WyomingRed Reflet Cattle DSC_0009-2








Looking for a little more adventure while learning how the “real cowboys” made a living?  Check out The Hideout Ranch and the Red Reflet Ranch during their cattle weeks.

get-attachment-1.aspxGoosewing Ranch, Riding the Ridge








For some spectacular views of Teton National Park, you can’t beat Moose Head Ranch located at the base of the Tetons. Ride the high meadows of Goosewing Ranch and The Gros Ventre River Ranch while gazing at the spectacular views of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

m_021109_165003Latigo Ranch (5)








At Eatons’ Ranch in Wyoming and the Latigo Ranch in Colorado, they honor their heritage by providing a traditional dude ranch experience. Both ranches are family owned and operated offering great food, amazing horseback riding and, of course, true Western Hospitality.

So what are you waiting for, come experience the Original all-inclusive Western Vacation at its Best!!

Spring Break and Dude Ranches, the Perfect Match

February 28th, 2014 by Colleen Hodson

Take a break from the norm this spring and treat yourself or your family to a one-of-a-kind authentic adventure at a dude or guest ranch. Cliché spring break traditions like bikinis, tequila and crowds are out and horseback riding, skiing and miles of serene terrain are in. With ranches located in both warm climates like Arizona and cold climates like Colorado and Washington, spring breakers can choose to experience the “Old West” while basking in the sun or bundle up for one more romp in the snow. No matter which option you choose, we can help you find the perfect guest ranch for your spring break vacation.

As the original all-inclusive vacation, dude ranches offer value and numerous advantages over other all-inclusive vacation options, including no planning once you arrive, flexibility to customize your itinerary, and no additional costs once you arrive to your destination. Several DRA-accredited guest ranches offer customized packages tailored to families and students in search of a hassle-free spring break getaway. No matter which ranch you choose, a dude ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to kick-back, spend time with friends and family, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Below are some Dude Ranches that you might want to consider for your spring break vacation.

Family and BarnC Lazy U Ranch – one of the DRA’s luxury ranches – is the perfect spring break getaway with endless opportunities for fun outdoors, from skiing and horseback riding to snowmobiling and sledding. C Lazy U Ranch is the ideal ski destination, offering guests plenty of powdery snow on its private mountain and access to a door-to-door shuttle that stops at nearby ski resorts.


DSCN2010As the seasons change in Idaho, so do the offerings at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. This spring, guests can enjoy bed-and-breakfast stays, secluded log cabin getaways and special group retreats. Skiing down remote hills and perfectly groomed runs is a great way to spend a day at the ranch. When the snow is not on the ground, a guided horseback ride on the ranch will provide a breath of fresh air!




los cab cowgirlRancho de los Caballeros in Arizona is a historic ranch resort with the soul of a bed-and-breakfast. Spring breakers can ride the rugged trails, relax at the luxurious spa or pool, or play a round of golf at one of Golf Digest’s Top 100 U.S. courses. With 200,000 acres of open range, 100 saddle horses and a full team of wranglers, it will be an experience you and your group will never forget.


k diamond kThe K-Diamond-K is a 1600-acre guest ranch located 125 miles North of Spokane in Eastern Washington. At the ranch, visitors can sit back and relax, or join in and experience the many activities that go on behind the scenes of a working ranch. Spring break guests can take their pick from a variety of activities ranging from horseback riding, hiking, hunting, biking and fishing.






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