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

Dude Ranches Pioneer Educational Travel

March 27th, 2014 by Colleen Hodson

sundance Guest Ranch kids The 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 Sack RaceA 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 Girl hugging a horse“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.

HIking with the childrenBelow 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 Inclusive Golf Vacation Rancho de los Caballeros

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Fly fishing red rock ranchFly Fishing Paradise Guest Ranch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Gamping Bar W Guest RanchHorse Lone Mountain 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.

Afternoon Ride Hideout RanchRed Reflet Roping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Kids Moose Head RanchGoosewing 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.

Eatons RanchLatigo Ranch cattle drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

An Authentic Experience at a Working Dude Ranch

February 17th, 2014 by Colleen Hodson

Agritourism – otherwise known as agriculture-related tourism – is a growing trend in a variety of destinations. These rustic getaways allow tourists to sample the day-to-day lifestyle of the people who work in these unique, hands-on vacation spots. The idea of relaxing in awe-inspiring locales while assimilating into a different kind of life regimen is part of the appeal for vacationers looking for a rewarding getaway. In fact, Travelmarketreport.com, recently reported that “creative tourism” is one of the growing travel trends in 2014 as many people are looking for authentic experiences.

 So where can agritourists go to find this one-of-a-kind vacation experience?

 Look no further than an all-inclusive vacation at a working dude ranch: the perfect destination for agritourists – paired with thrilling adventures, opportunities to recharge and a chance to explore the “Wild West.” Think horses, hats, hospitality, heritage, honesty and heart. And that’s just the beginning. At a working dude ranch, guests can choose from a variety of activities to sample the day-to-day lifestyle of the people who tend to the livestock such as cattle drives, branding, gathering and sorting cattle, roping, checking on windmills in the wide open pastures, pack trips, team penning and much more. Below are some great examples of what to expect at an authentic Working Dude Ranch Vacation..

Bonanza Creek cattleAt Bonanza Creek Ranch cattle work is usually done once or twice a week. Moving herds from pasture to pasture, bringing the bulls home, checking for sick or injured cattle, or moving the cattle to better grass and water is all great fun. It’s great to have a job to do on horseback.

For cattle work, riders should be proficient enough to ride on their own without a wrangler by their side. However, don’t worry that you need to already be an experienced cowboy. Our wranglers, who grew up in this country working with horses and cattle, will give you instruction on how to work with cattle and how to accomplish the specific task.

 

Klondike Ranch CattleAt Klondike Ranch, 90% of their spring, summer and fall work is spent horseback and working cattle every day. And every day is a new adventure. While you help them get their job done, you also get to experience beautiful Wyoming scenery with the luxuries of a guest ranch without riding in single-file lines. Every time there is a job to do you will be riding with the owners of the ranch or a full-time ranch hand. If you like trail riding, you will love riding for a purpose.

 

 

 

mcgarry ranches Cattle

During various seasons of the year McGarry Ranches invite you to join the cowboy crew in activities to include, calving, doctoring , branding, gathering, the move to the mountains from the valley ranch and the drive from the summer range to the fall range.’Day to day activities also include roping, driving cattle to new pastures, fence mending and never ending odd jobs, all of which maintain the integrity of the herd, which numbers the better part of 2,000 head of cattle. We do our work with the cattle as the need arises, not a specific activity at a specific date. Most of the week is spent scattering cattle on the range, doctoring cattle, packing salt for cattle, trailing cattle to a new pasture on the mountain, and gathering up stray cattle in some of the most scenic mountain country of Idaho.

Almost all of the work is performed from the backs of ranch broke Quarter Horses. You will be matched with one or two horses to be used by you for the duration of your stay at the ranch. We maintain approximately thirty horses for use in cattle operations. A saddle will be provided for your usage or feel free to bring your own.

 

 

rowses working cattleStep back into the Old West and satisfy the cowboy in you as you come alongside the cowboys of the Rowses 1+1 Ranch. Their 7,000 acre ranch, set in the beautiful sand hills of Nebraska is the perfect setting for your getaway & some of the most spectacular horseback riding ever. Get involved as much or as little as you want in their daily ranch activities such as cattle drives, branding, working cattle, gathering & sorting, roping, checking cattle & windmills in the wide open pastures. Arena activities are also available as time allows – riding lessons, team penning, tracking & roping lessons.You will be matched up with one of our ranch raised quarter horses that you can call your own during your entire stay.

Ride away from the city, and embrace the laid back atmosphere of the old west. No hassles, no schedule, no worries. Arrive as a guest, leave as family.


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