Experience the Old West on a Dude Ranch Vacation

Remember the movie "City Slickers?"  In this 1991 flick, three middle-aged men from the big city head out West on a cattle-driving vacation to discover the real meaning of life.  While the movie had its silly moments, it also showed how the simple life on the open range can manage to put things into perspective.  Dude ranch vacations can have the same effect on individuals.  From riding horses through the mountains to helping with daily chores, spending time on a working dude ranch can be fun and invigorating, and provide peace of mind in the midst of a hectic life.

Have you ever dreamed of riding the open range on the back of a mighty stallion with the wind blowing through your hair?  If so, perhaps a dude ranch vacation is in your future.  As a matter of fact, the popularity of dude ranches has increased over the last two decades, with these specialized vacations attracting everyone from young families to retired couples to groups of friends hoping to spend some quality time together.

Dude Ranch Activities

One of the attractions of a dude ranch is the fact that there's so much to do that guests will surely find something to please even the pickiest vacationer.  While many visit these ranches just to enjoy the mountain air and sunshine, many seek out particular ranches with special activities that they'll enjoy.

Horseback riding is probably the number one dude ranch activity.  Most ranches will provide guided rides or lessons for even the youngest members of the family.  Experienced riders will feel at home, too, as many ranches offer multi-day backpacking/horseback riding trips into the wilderness for expert riders.

Most ranches also have access to some sort of water activities.  There may be a lake on the premises where guests can swim or canoe.  A number of ranches are close to great fishing destinations and you may even be able to enjoy a whitewater adventure on a nearby river.

There are also cattle drives, overnight pack trips, and other such activities for the extremely adventurous.

When it's time to sit back and relax, you can enjoy a great barbecue dinner, eat a chuckwagon feast, or just treat yourself to a leisurely evening by the campfire, toasting marshmallows, telling stories of the Old West, and singing favorite folk songs.

Finding a Dude Ranch

If you've researched dude ranch vacations in the past, you probably found that most are located in the western states of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, and California.

Each camp has its own unique personality.  You'll find some that specialize in family vacations, with separate children's programs offered for the kids.  Others are quite luxurious and meant for adults only, featuring cabins decorated with antiques and offering spa treatments after a long day on the open range.

Some vacationers choose dude ranches according to activities offered, while others prefer to investigate the accommodations and amenities first.  Thanks to the vast number of ranches opening their doors to curious vacationers, you'll have plenty from which to choose and will no doubt find your ideal dude ranch vacation.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.