A dude ranch vacation belongs on every family’s summer travel wish list. And once you’ve experienced it, you’ll long to return summer after summer, and maybe even in the off-season.
A family dude ranch vacation ticks all the boxes of kid-friendly appeal while still being fun for parents: dedicated children’s activities, time spent outdoors and a detox from busy schedules. Most importantly, it’s the chance to experience a way of life completely foreign to our own, in a hands-on manner that’s well thought out so as not to be intimidating.
Every ranch is different, however, and caters to various interests, ages and riding abilities. Their typical commonality is gorgeous settings on acres and acres of serene landscapes, where the focus is getting outside and enjoying the remoteness. Some have rustic campfire cookouts; others have robust luxury dining options. A few dude ranches have easy transportation connections to major airports, while many others require a full day just to get there. Lodging choices range from bare-bones canvas tents to high-end multi-bedroom luxury homes.
Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho dominate the ranch scene in terms of location, but we also recommend certain ranches in places like Utah, Arizona, California and western Canada. Choosing a dude ranch location that allows you also to visit a national park or specific mountain range often factors into a family’s decision.
Our Advisors have experienced many of the top family dude ranches firsthand and can help you select the right fit for your family based on your preferences and budget. They’ll share their favorite pro tips and experiences in order to maximize your vacation. CB Advisors can also connect you with ranch staff in advance to address any safety concerns you may have, as well as help you decide what to pack for the activities you choose (great riding boots are a must!).
You’d be hard-pressed to find a dude ranch experience with such a wide variety of options, from gourmet dining and countless activities (on and off the trails) to lodging choices that range from glamping to 4-bedroom luxury homes. Paws Up is a definite crowd pleaser!
We love the laid-back vibe of this dude ranch. There’s a great mix of organized trail rides paired with onsite activities available all the time, no pre-booking or advance commitment required.
Set on the shores of spectacular Flathead Lake, just 45 minutes from Glacier National Park, the lodge offers the best of a lake vacation and a ranch vacation bundled into one package.
If the Grand Tetons are on your bucket list, book a stay at this ranch and check off a family dude ranch experience and these stunning mountains on the same trip.
Two perks stand out at this dude ranch. First there’s the exceptionally qualified horseback riding and fishing guides, which will teach even the most experienced outdoorsy folks a few new tricks. Second, evening entertainment like square dancing keeps the toe-tapping fun going from morning until night.
A ranch vacation here is a chance to enjoy a desert hideaway, as it is surrounded by 60,000 acres of Sonoran desert.
Day trips to Yellowstone and incredible dining set this dude ranch apart from its Montana competitors. This property also does a fabulous job of diversifying their children’s programs for all ages, from treasure hunts for young kids to rock climbing for teens.
Some families imagine living the life of real cowboys while on their dude ranch vacation, so the chance to participate in a cattle drive makes this property incredibly appealing
Yeehaw! The Wild West comes alive at this ranch, where families can enjoy rodeos and stagecoach rides as well as all the usual ranch activity offerings.
For families booking a dude ranch vacation primarily to unplug their children from devices, this is the place to go to escape screen time addiction. A feeling of disconnectedness permeates this property.
Pricing can be a little confusing when you start to dig deeper as you research family dude ranch vacations. Most offer some type of all-inclusive pricing, but what’s covered in that quote varies from ranch to ranch. Our Advisors can help you compare options to see what’s the best value for your family’s budget. At first blush, the price tag might seem steep, but the memories made on a family dude ranch vacation are truly priceless.
Our expert Family Travel Advisors are passionate about exploring the world with children — and empowering you to do the same. From handpicked accommodations to insider experiences, we can craft a custom vacation that’s uniquely suited to your family’s needs. Click to get started!Get Started
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.