Family Dude Ranch Vacations

by : tommy

Many families are choosing to take adventure vacations to dude ranches in the U.S. and elsewhere. On these vacations, they can live out their dreams of being a cowboy in the old West.

Decide what is important for your dude ranch. 
Do you;

  1. Want to ride horses and round up the cows?
  2. Sleep in a cabin or under the stars?
  3. Prefer rough-looking but five star quality cabins?
  4. Need a five course meal at night?
  5. Want to spend the days together doing family activities?
  6. Prefer that adult and children's activities are separate, only meeting for meals throughout the day?

Types of Ranches Available

  • Traditional Dude Ranches
    Riding is the main focus and there is usually a minimum stay, often a week in the summer. These are popular with families, but there will be other kids.
  • Higher-end Ranches
    They have nicer lodging, supervised kids programs and possibly a spa
  • Working Dude Ranch
    You will have to help with the livestock. Guest ranches offer riding plus activities such as fly fishing and mountain biking. 


Things to Bring on a Dude Ranch

You will need heeled boots, a brimmed hat with a strap to keep the sun out of your face, jeans and long-sleeved shirts, leather gloves if you plan to ride all day. A hand sanitizer, for keeping your hands clean after dealing with the horses. Of course, bandanas are a requirement of all cowboys, as well.

Some Popular Family Ranches

  • Alisal Ranch @ California (Santa Ynez Valley)
    A secluded jewel, 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. 50 miles of riding trails, 100-acre spring-fed lake, two 18-hole championship golf courses, western-themed accommodations, fine dining, and endless ways to unplug and unwind. 

  • C Lazy U Ranch (Granby, Colorado)
    The 12,000 square foot, heated indoor riding arena provides year-round riding enjoyment for your family ranch vacation. The ranch has been family-owned since its inception. 

Keep in mind, there are also dude ranches in other countries. You'll just have to do your homework to find the perfect one for you and your family.