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A dude ranch vacation can be ideal for families. Instead of being glued to television, laptop or smartphone screens, everyone can have fun together taking part in all sorts of activities like cattle drives, horseback riding, storytelling around the campfire and more. For some of the top family-friendly experiences, consider booking one of these top dude ranches.
Latigo Ranch - Kremmling, Colorado
‘The Best of Colorado’ voted Latigo Ranch the number one dude ranch in the state. Nestled in a western wilderness southwest of Rocky Mountain National Park in Kremmling, this top dude ranch in Colorado is surrounded by magnificent scenery that includes vast expanses of unspoiled terrain with national forest on three sides, inhabited by more wildlife than humans. Guests can enjoy summer activities like fishing and hiking along with the ranch’s highly acclaimed horse riding program. Take part in cattle work, join family rides, pack trips, sunset, breakfast rides, and more. In the winter, sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are all on offer. Fuel up for all the fun with fresh, delicious and nutritious nouveau ranch cuisine.
Sweet Grass Ranch - Big Timber, Montana
Sweet Grass Ranch is a family-owned and operated working cattle ranch that’s been in the same family for six generations now. Nestled in the remote Crazy Mountains, it offers the chance to dive into the authentic western way of life while surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Horse riding is the focus here, with a myriad of options for exploring the diverse terrain. Guests can also take advantage of scenic trails for hiking, join cattle drives, go fishing, play indoor and outdoor games, gather around the campfire, and soothe sore muscles with a massage.
C Lazy U Ranch - Granby, Colorado
Situated in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, AAA perfectly summed up the C Lazy U Ranch, as “posh” but with a “genuine ranch feel.” A vacation here offers the opportunity for families to be as active or as relaxed as they’d like. It has a kids and teen program to ensure guests of all ages have a good time and horseback riding is available throughout the year thanks to the property’s indoor heated arena. If you come in the winter, you can also enjoy alpine or cross-country skiing. No matter what the season, you’re sure to enjoy the delicious ranch fare which includes Rocky Mountain trout and aged western beef. Accommodation is in luxurious cabins with plenty of space for everyone to stretch out.
Red Horse Mountain Ranch - Harrison, Idaho
Renowned for its all-inclusive dude ranch vacations, Red Horse Mountain Ranch is ideal for families with its very long list of guided adventures, outstanding classic log-style accommodation, warm hospitality and an especially impressive kids program for ages three years and up. It’s the perfect opportunity for the family to become immersed in the great outdoors while enjoying horse riding lessons for everyone from beginners to the advanced. Other highlights include fly fishing lessons, swimming, zipline rides, a challenge course and an archery course as well as yoga, a climbing wall, kayaking and biking. Guided fishing trips to a nearby lake or river and massage are available extras.
Tanque Verde Ranch - Tucson, Arizona
One of the oldest and most luxurious guest ranches in the country, Tanque Verde offers an all-inclusive family vacation surrounded by mountains and desert at the edge of Saguaro National Park East in the Rincon Mountains. Guests can take riding lessons and join all sorts of horseback riding trips and participate in mountain biking and hiking. Communal ranch-style meals are included along with full-day kids’ activity programs in various age groups that allow parents to enjoy some alone time. There’s an on-site spa for deep tissue massage as well, ideal after a week learning to care for and ride the ranch horses.
Vee Bar Guest Ranch - Laramie, Wyoming
This historic riverside guest ranch is ideal for families with log cabin accommodation, some set along the river. All include separate living areas and porches. Expect plenty of warm western hospitality and a ranch vacation with a focus on horseback riding, but that’s just the start. Guests can also enjoy fishing, river tubing, hayrides, herding cattle, hiking and more. Kids six and older can learn to ride out on the trails on their own, while those who are younger can head to the barn where the wranglers will take them on a lead around the property. Meals are designed to be suitable for the whole family, although the ranch will take special requests for “picky” eaters.
Moose Head Ranch - Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Moose Head Ranch is a privately-owned guest ranch that sits entirely within Grand Teton National Park. At this popular Wyoming dude ranch, the focus is a total disconnection from the modern world. There are no TVs or other electronics to be found at Moose Head Ranch – instead, you’ll immerse yourself among the tranquility of nature. When you head out on the trails, it’ll often be just you and your family guided by a knowledgeable wrangler who can teach you more about riding along with the area’s history, wildlife and more. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, buffalo, coyote and elk as you ride and feed your hearty appetite with expertly-crafted meals that often include deliciously fresh salmon.
Silver Spur Guest Ranch - Bandera, Texas
Focused around the cowboy way of life, a stay at Silver Spur Guest Ranch brings the chance to join guided horseback rides, hike multiple scenic trails or even dig for fossils in a fossil pit. Enjoy live entertainment like cowboy demos and music at this top-rated dude ranch in Texas, where you can perhaps learn how to two-step or line dance too. All your tasty meals and daily horseback excursions are complimentary. The property also hosts a Junior Olympic-sized outdoor pool, a game room and playground.