Taking a dude ranch vacation can be one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. Just take a moment to imagine the best vacation you’ve ever been on. You’ll experience cool mountain air, wide open plains, steady horses that can take you to freedom from your typical nine to five job, fishing for bigger prey than you’ve ever imagined, and some perfect quiet time with your family. There are many things to think about as you prepare for a dude ranch vacation.
Dude ranches evolved after most of the west had been explored. Eastern tourists could get to the great west by train, and most wanted to see what it had to offer. However, settlers in the west were little prepared to take on tourists, and the great dude ranch was born to offer eastern tourists a vacation sport with all of the amenities they might expect during a time of vacation. Most of the earliest dude ranch visitors stayed for long periods of time, and they were guests in the ranchers’ home. Each ranch had its own variety of things to do, depending upon the owner of the ranch. Many ranchers noticed that it was not only the natural beauty of the surroundings that continued to attract the visitors, but also the ranch experience itself. As a result, ranches began to develop programs for guest, build lodges, and start working on attracting visitors (and the profits that came with them).
The first thing you need to do to prepare for your dude ranch vacation is to choose a ranch. This can be a bit daunting, because there are literally thousands of choices you have to make. The first thing to do is to narrow down a location for you dude ranch holiday. You can choose from ranches across the country, but the National Dude Rancher’s Association has ranches in British Columbia, Alberta, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arkansas. The location you choose will determine some of the activities you will participate in. You should choose a ranch in a location you want to visit. You should also choose a ranch that has some fun and exciting activities that you would enjoy participating in. Don’t forget to factor in price ranges, because many dude ranches have varying prices at varying accommodations, so you want to be sure to choose something that will best fit your budget.
Once you’ve made your dude ranch selection, you can start looking forward to the activities you’ll enjoy. While activities to vary from location to location, most have a pretty standard set that will be available at all locations. One of the best, yet not often considered activities to engage in while you’re on a dude ranch is hiking. Dude ranches are located in the most beautiful regions of the country. Many are even adjacent to national parks or other public lands. This means you and the whole family can set aside a day for drinking in nature’s beauty from the comfort of your feet. Another good activity on a dude ranch is fishing. There are many ranches that are located along some of the best fly fishing rivers. Others have beautiful mountain ponds on their land that see little activity from anyone except the guests of the ranch. Those fish are just waiting to bite your hook.
Learning about natural history is another great activity to engage in while on a dude ranch. You can find some fantastic artifacts like bones and arrow heads. You can also look at some amazing land formations while you are visiting. Most ranches even offer optional overnight pack trips for that authentic cowboy experience. You can take a horse and experience the beauty of the natural countryside while living experience you’ve only heard of like sing-a-longs and cooking over the open flame. When night finally falls, you can sleep with the starts as your night-light. One final activity you can enjoy on a dude ranch is the four star relaxing accommodations. Most ranches have hot tubs and pools in addition to their ranch like amenities. You can relax with a good book while watching the kids play in the pool.