Posts Tagged ‘dude ranches’

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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