Posts Tagged ‘dude ranch vacations’

Planning a Family Celebration? Think Dude Ranch

October 5, 2021
Our family sets out for a horseback ride amidst the gorgeous red rock scenery at the Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Guest ranches are ideal venues for family celebrations and get-togethers ©Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Cody, WY – The past 18 months reinforced the need for celebration and commemoration. Graduations, weddings, births, memorials, so much had to be postponed, canceled, and worse, ignored to tend to the needs of the global pandemic. However, summer 2021 began with a sense of normalcy, and by mid-summer, events and family reunions were the most welcomed of events for relatives.

Dude ranches were born from the idea of bringing families and loved ones together for adventures, community cuisine, and spectacular star-filled evenings with roaring campfires, plenty of S’mores, and loads of stories. This epitome of Wild West adventure is not only thriving and coveted in 2021, it’s now the destination to reunite for the most monumental life moments.

There are nearly 100 Dude Ranchers’ Association member guest ranches across the Western United States and Canada, each entirely different from one another. How does one choose where to plan one of the most exhilarating, inspirational, and exceptional experiences of a lifetime? Let the leading guest ranch experts, Dude Ranchers’ Association, help! Here’s a sampling of ranches that help honor friends and family, dude ranch style.

Circle Z Ranch
Patagonia, Arizona
Autumn and Early Winter Celebrations

Circle Z Ranch is an astounding atonal adventure for honeymooners, family reunions and intimate weddings. And, the ranch runs phenomenal programming and deals up until Christmas. 

C Lazy U Ranch
Granby, Colorado
White Winter Wonderlust

Looking for a last-minute destination wedding for 70 and 90 folks? Then C Lazy U might be the most perfect winter wedding host. The 100-year-old ranch is notorious for melding dude ranch activity with luxury cuisine and beverage for the most elegant of affairs. 

Rawah Ranch
Glendevey, Colorado
Raw Wilderness

Rawah Ranch, a stunning oasis, is an all-inclusive experience that is thoughtfully curated for those who wish to disconnect. Pick up a fly rod, horseback ride along alpine ridges, take a hike along meandering aspen-lined trails. Relax in a rocking chair on your front porch to watch for moose and elk. 

Kay El Bar Guest Ranch
Wickenburg, Arizona
Reuniting in the Wild West

This stunning boutique dude and guest ranch is ideal for family reunions and anniversaries with a 24-person maximum. The ranch is located in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains on the banks of the Hassayampa River in the iconic Sonoran Desert. 

Greenhorn Ranch
Quincy, California
Weekend Getaways

Greenhorn Ranch is located in the stunning Lost Sierra Wilderness on 660 acres with access to 500,000 acres of public land for riding. The year-round, California high woods destination has multiple lodging options and activities for all seasons.
  

Regardless of the celebratory event, there’s reason now to gather and rejoice in some of America’s most isolated and beautiful places. Autumn in Arizona to fresh snow tracks in Colorado, there is something magical to be encountered and experienced at a dude ranch. Unsure of what ranch is right for you? The Dude Ranch Association can help you narrow down your destination options, so you can book your celebratory gathering at a dude ranch. 307-587-2339  info@duderanch.org, duderanch.org.

See also:

WYOMING’S RED REFLET RANCH PROVIDES UNMATCHED EXPERIENCE FOR FAMILIES

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Dude Ranchers’ Association Launches Dynamic New Website Providing Easy Access to THE All-American Vacation

March 11, 2021
A new website from the Dude Ranchers’ Association makes it easy to book a ranch vacation at more than 90 destinations.

Cody, WY– Timeless American landscapes and portraits of people preserving centuries-old lifestyles explode from The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) https://duderanch.org/ recently launched, redesigned and retooled website. This dynamic site is the calling card for a select, pre-qualified collection of 90-plus ranch vacation destinations where lifelong friendships and memories linger long after climbing down from the saddle.
 
“We are so excited to see this new website go live! We hope our visitors enjoy browsing through it as much as we enjoyed building it,” said Bryce Albright, Executive Director of the DRA. She credits 829 Studios, LLC of Boston, MA, for going “above and beyond in an eight-month effort that is absolutely incredible for a website of such magnitude!”
 
The presentation evokes the patina of old Westerns, not quite in sepia but softly intimating a way of life with feet still firmly planted in bygone years. The focus on welcoming ranch hosts and their families creates warm feelings well before you get into the saddle.
 
Visitors to this easy-to-navigate site can learn about dude ranch vacations by imagining themselves in the same settings. They can then narrow down the choices on the Find a Ranch Page. Still have questions? An interactive Chat capability welcomes questions directed to a live dude ranch representative. Also available on the site is helpful information about how to choose the right ranch, what to pack, travel insurance and much more. Visitors can request a brochure online at: https://duderanch.org/request-brochure/.
 
Nearly 500,000 unique visitors annually access the DRA website. Albright expects the new site to become a must-visit in a time when people are twitching to travel domestically and get out into Nature – if only they knew where to go.
 
“Now they can find their way quickly to our ranches,” she said.
 
The Dude Ranchers’ Association was formed in 1926 to preserve a special way of life and the wonderful environment in which dude ranching takes place. Vacation travelers who choose to vacation at a Dude Ranchers’ Association member ranch can be sure they will receive a quality vacation. Member ranches endure a rigorous inspection and approval process that ensures guests are treated to genuine western hospitality combined with the lodging industry’s highest standards. Dude and guest ranches offer an unparalleled all-inclusive vacation experience. Visitors are always welcome at the DRA headquarters located at 1122 12th Street, in downtown Cody, Wyoming.

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/duderanchvacations/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DudeRanchers
Website:     https://duderanch.org/
Email:         info@duderanch.org
Tel:             307-587-2339

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Family Ranch Vacations Embolden Children to Become NextGen Environmentalists, Explorers, says Dude Ranch Expert

May 13, 2019

dude ranch-Rankin Ranch CA e2

Rankin Ranch, California: Dude ranch vacations are ideal for families, says Gene Kilgore.

SONOMA, CA – Kids, horses and wranglers are the heart and soul of family dude ranch vacations, says Gene Kilgore, a leading expert on dude ranch vacations. “Take children to a beach and ask them 10 years later to name that beach and they will have forgotten. But take them to a ranch and they’ll remember the name of the ranch and the names of their horses for the rest of their lives.”

“A thread common to these ranches is the attention staff lavish on children exploring an exciting new, wild world of ranch vacations,” he adds. “Meanwhile their parents are unplugging, riding or maybe fly fishing, reading a book or musing about becoming a family who lives year-round on a ranch. They’ve never seen their children this happy.

He points to ranches from the Rockies to California “where Mother Nature emboldens children to become next generation environmentalists, explorers and adventurers.”.

In the Canadian Rockies, Three Bars Guest and Cattle Ranch invites ages 6 and up to ride, target practice with kid-size archery equipment, shoot clays with lightweight rifles, river raft, swim (supervised), mountain bike, fish, hunt for frogs, build forts and pan for British Columbia gold. Host Tyler Beckley notes, “The first day or so most families tend to ride together. As children feel more secure and after they’ve made friends, they’re off and running.” Evenings everyone eats together. Children under 6 can ride around the arena on horses led by wranglers and meet other animals in a petting zoo. Log cabins of up to three bedrooms accommodate 45 guests (see https://www.top50ranches.com/ranch-vacations/three-bars-ranch).

California’s Rankin Ranch has run cattle at the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada mountain range since 1863. Supervised activities for ages 4 to 11 combine hiking and swimming with ping pong, shuffleboard, archery, badminton, horseshoes and the list goes on. Ages 6 and up enjoy twice daily trail rides through areas where cattle are grazing. “Evenings youngsters feed chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, a miniature donkey and miniature horses. They get to brush the animals and collect eggs,” says Amanda Rankin Barrett, Ranch Manager. More fun comes with hay wagon rides, square dancing and a children’s race on stick horses they’ve created.  Adults bet on them with play money. Accommodations are for 45 in duplex cabins (see https://ranchweb.com/tour/bill-rankin/).

Colorado’s Lost Valley Ranch in the front range of the Rockies welcomes ages 6 and up to walk, trot and even lope under the supervision of trained counselors. Ages 3 to 5 can also be led around on horseback to explore the ranch. “Children learn the true ropes of being cowgirls and cowboys,” explains Stephanie Geary in Guest Services. “Sometimes they ride from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon. Every day the rides are mixed up with games, a creek swim or stories the wranglers tell about the history of Lost Valley.” Scavenger hunts and themed outings challenge imaginations while exploring this ranch world. Cabins with one, two or three bedrooms accommodate up to 85 guests during the summer season (see https://ranchweb.com/tour/lost-valley-ranch/).

Montana’s Nine Quarter Circle Ranch wants parents to feel comfortable fishing and riding while their children are learning the ins and outs of horsemanship with a kid wrangler or spreading their wings playing hide and seek or fishing. “Our Small Fry group (5 and under) can be led around on horses and supervised while parents spend time in the saddle.  One of our gems is our Rough Riders group (ages 6 to 9), which has the individualized attention of our Kiddie Wrangler. They learn skills on horseback, gaining confidence with their peers throughout the week,” underscores Sally Kelsey, co-general manager. Ages 10 and up are paired with horses and group trail rides according to ability levels. Accommodations for 55 are log cabins from one to four bedrooms (see https://ranchweb.com/?s=quarter+circle).

Wyoming’s Paradise Ranch in the Big Horn Mountains has been a dude ranch since 1907. “We get a lot of extended families because the kids are totally taken care of,” says Clay Miller, who is Managing Owner with his wife Leah. “We really emphasize getting the kids – even the teens — outdoors and becoming involved in activities that re-attach them to the outdoors.” One staff person is assigned to teens and three others to younger guests. Under age 6 can enjoy pony rides and older kids are on horses. The ranch can also accommodate infants. Accommodations for 70 are in newly renovated log cabins with up to four bedrooms. For details see https://www.top50ranches.com/ranch-vacations/paradise-ranch

Gene Kilgore publishes three websites, www.top50ranches.comwww.ranchweb.com and www.ranchvacations.com, which focus on what truly is one of America’s most iconic homegrown experiences – the dude ranch vacation.

 

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Two Websites Help Plan Dude Ranch Vacations In North America and Abroad

June 30, 2016

Two vacation-planning websites that answer questions – on line -- as fast as you can ask them help take the guesswork out of where to go and what to do.

Two vacation-planning websites that answer questions – on line — as fast as you can ask them help take the guesswork out of where to go and what to do.

SONOMA, CA — Two vacation-planning websites www.top50ranches.com and www.ranchweb.com  answer questions on line about dude ranch vacations as fast as you can ask them and take the guesswork out of where to go and what to do.

The dude ranch vacations is truly one of America’s most iconic homegrown experiences. Born in the late 1800’s shortly after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, dude ranches gained widespread popularity in the 1920’s with the establishment of the National Dude Ranchers’ Association in 1926.

Today they are more popular than ever offering, among many other positives, a haven from urban, industrial and technical worlds; down-home cooking with a gotta-be-fresh flair; the joy of bonding with a mount suited to a guest’s temperament and riding ability; and always the beauty of the natural world.

“Ranch life remains one of the last authentic traditions in a landscape of technology where everything is instantaneous and ‘virtual’ in reality. A dude ranch vacation is a down to earth thing that helps us all reconnect with the natural rhythm of the earth,” explains Gene Kilgore, the world’s leading authority on ranch vacations.

Kilgore brings over three decades of passion for ranch vacations via his advisory involvement in and endorsement of these two web sites. He has visited and personally vetted most all of the properties represented, while also serving as goodwill ambassador to the ranches, bringing his knowledge of the needs of ever-more-discerning travelers to the ranchers and advising on how a business might tweak their accommodations, food, overall hospitality and activity offerings. He also helps guide businesses into the realm of hosting corporate and other groups, and whether or not their facilities and activities lend to being family-friendly.

But for the prospective ranch visitor; solo, in a group or with family, the knowledge and experience incorporated in these two online resources should not be overlooked.

Founded in 2011, www.top50ranches.com focuses on where to locate and then what to expect when it comes to the world’s top dude, guest, working and luxury ranch vacations in the United States and Canada as well as Argentina, Mexico and New Zealand.  Here in the US guests may opt to horseback ride through the stunning Tetons and relish after-ride massages; or in Colorado they can mix up horses with fly fishing for trout, trap shoot, swim and send the kiddies to a children’s program. They can assist with cattle drives and branding activities; and they can opt to just be pampered in world-class scenery. Some operations are large, offering accommodation and activities for up to 225 guests; others are small, providing hospitality to just six guests at a time. The website explains when the ranches are hosting guests, miles to the nearest airport, and the style of pampering or not that people can expect.

The site outlines special ranch offers, events and opportunities as well. For example Wyoming’s Bitterroot Ranch features a world-class riding program geared to advanced and intermediate riders exclusively and Colorado’s High Lonesome Ranch caters to an older crowd offering adult-only weeks during the summer.  South of the border, Rancho Los Baños offers a Mexican Corrida in November so that guests can experience a genuine Mexican roundup with vaqueros (cowboys), horses, cattle, lots of drives and cattle work. This all takes place on 30,000 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Madres, the Mexican Rockies, in Sonora, Mexico, just 55 miles south of the southeast Arizona town of Douglas.

This site also makes available Top50’s Concierge Service, a no-fee advice option on line or by phone for valued Top50 Travelers who seek a little extra help while choosing the right ranch for their party.

www.ranchweb.com which was founded in 1995 and regularly updated, offers an array of dude ranches in the US, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Canada. Arranged alphabetically by destination, these ranches also organize themselves along the lines of the number of guests accommodated at one time, the activities, and if they are family friendly. A multitude of activities range from horseback riding and instruction (novice to advanced,) fishing (expert fly fishing guides on site), hiking, swimming, archery, shooting, rodeos, games, cattle drives, mountain biking … and the list goes on.  Several dude ranches offer specialty themes, such as photography, art, birding, cooking, wine tasting, and father-son and mother-daughter bonding adventures. Potential guests of businesses listed on this site may also contact a Ranchweb Concierge Service for additional assistance in sorting through the myriad of options including always-changing travel options now being listed into 2017.

The expert behind each website and one of the first lifetime members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, Gene Kilgore is the best-selling author of nine editions of “Ranch Vacations: The Leading Guide to Guest, Resort, Fly Fishing, and Winter Ranches.”  The 197-page 2016 edition outlines over 100 ranch possibilities for those looking for a romantic getaway, multi-generational and family vacation or for many other occasions. This book, which makes an excellent travel planner and guide, can be obtained online at Amazon.com at: https://www.amazon.com/Ranch-Vacations-Leading-Fishing-Working/dp/0692031804/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

Follow RanchWeb and Top50 Ranches on Social Media:
RanchWeb Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/ranchweb
RanchWeb Twitter:             https://twitter.com/ranchweb
RanchWeb Instagram:        https://www.instagram.com/ranchweb/
Top50 Facebook:                https://www.facebook.com/DudeRanchVacations/
Top 50 Twitter:                    https://twitter.com/top50ranches
Top50 Pinterest:                  https://www.pinterest.com/RanchVacations/

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