Nancy Solomon

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!).

The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

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!

Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Idaho

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.

Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana

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.

Lost Creek Ranch and Spa, Wyoming

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.

Colorado Trails Ranch, Colorado

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.

Tanque Verde Ranch, Arizona

A ranch vacation here is a chance to enjoy a desert hideaway, as it is surrounded by 60,000 acres of Sonoran desert.

Mountain Sky, Montana

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.

Red Reflet Ranch, Wyoming

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

The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana

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.

A Bar A Ranch, Wyoming

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.

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Our Happy Travelers
"Overall, we were very happy with the property. We felt it was a very good value for what we experienced. We were skeptical of the idea of a dude ranch and at the end of the week, we said it was one of our favorite vacations. We were so happy to do this kind of trip and the kids were at a great age for it."

–Lerner Family Dude Ranch Trip

"We had an amazing time, and really appreciate all the work that you did for us."

–Clar Family Trip

"All in all a great trip. The suggestions you made were solid and spot on. Thanks again for your help."

–Sutter Family Trip

"My trip was extraordinary. Linda was incredible to work with and I could not have been more pleased. Thankful!"

–Goodrich Family Trip

"We loved everything about the trip! It was so wonderful and everything ran very smoothly. Thank you again for all your help!"

–Jones Family Trip

Hotels

Family-Friendly Hotels

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Colorado Trails Ranch »

12161 County Road 240, Durango

Deer Valley Ranch »

16825 CR 162 Nathrop

Red Horse Mountain Ranch »

11077 East Blue Lake Road, Harrison

Lone Mountain Ranch »

750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road

Spring Creek Ranch »

1800 Spirit Dance Road

Smith Fork Ranch »

453 Needle Rock Road

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch »

14301 East Speedway Boulevard, Tanque Verde

The Resort at Paws Up »

40060 Paws Up Road

Vista Verde Guest Ranch »

58000 Cowboy Way, Clark

Flathead Lake Lodge »

150 Flathead Lodge Rd, Bigfork, MT 59911, USA

Durango, CO
0-2, 6-18
Nathrop, CO
Multi-Generational
Harrison, ID
Multi-Generational
Stanley, ID
Multi-Generational
Big Sky, MT
0-2, 6-18
Jackson Hole, WY
Multi-Generational
Crawford, CO
Multi-Generational
Tucson, AZ
0-2, 6-18
Greenough, MT
Multi-Generational
Bigfork, MT
0-2, 6-18
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