Karyn Wofford is a freelance writer in the fields of travel, eco-tourism, and wellness. She’s an avid traveler and Georgia native. She grew up with a passion for travel, exploring everything from the mountains to the ocean, and continues to find new and unique things to do in the places she travels.
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Wyoming is made for dude ranches, thanks to wide open plains, movie-quality mountain views, wildflower-draped spring and summer landscapes and unparalleled horseback riding terrain. Really, it was difficult picking the best ranches because there are so many authentic and stunning establishments. We’ve narrowed it down to ones that offer great food, a perfect setting, versatility and uniqueness, and these are the “dudest” of them all.
This Dubois ranch has stellar ratings and backs up to the Shoshone National Forest. Situated near a river and the diverse terrain of the Absaroka mountains, the equestrian program has a fantastic range of difficulty levels to suit everyone. In addition to solid lodging, Bitterroot offers gourmet, healthy cuisine crafted with local ingredients.
At the tip-top of Wyoming, guests get glimpses of spectacular scenery that includes mountains and wide open ranges at Paradise Guest Ranch. Rooms fall in line with the rustic country feel, and a striking yet simplistic pool deck allows you to sunbathe and swim against a sloping backdrop. A welcoming dining hall features the same aesthetic, and you can enjoy savory meals by the roaring fire.
Set in Grand Teton National Park, Triangle X Ranch is right in the middle of Wyoming’s magical mountain land. Jackson Hole, Yellowstone and other prominent outdoor locations are close by, so you’ll never run out of things to do. It goes without saying that horseback riding through the ranch’s acreage is unbelievable and truly unforgettable. River trips, fishing and wildlife viewing are other opportunities that will enrich your Wyoming stay, and the ranch knows how to throw one heck of a barbecue and square dancing party.
We head all the way down south to find this lovely nook, and the gentler slopes are perfect for families with young children. At Vee Bar Guest Ranch, aside from horses, guests can get in there and learn how to really work with cattle. The river is perfect for a relaxing float or an early morning fishing session, and hayrides are held from time to time. This place has really held onto its roots and gives off authentic vibes for days.
Located in Moran, Wyoming, Turpin Meadow Ranch is surrounded by the Teton National Forest, so you know it’s going to be good. Touted as a luxury dude ranch, you’ll find some seriously precious cabins and upscale chalets to call home during the stay—the decor is rustic yet beautifully refined. This is a year-round retreat, with winter months bringing activities like snowmobiling and Nordic skiing. Guides will also take guests on tours of nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks, while fishing is mere steps from the cabins within the Buffalo Fork River.
A wonderful place to stay when wanting to be near Jackson Hole’s skiing and superb dining scene, Spotted Horse Ranch offers a more secluded, laid-back experience. Fly fish, raft the river and enjoy hearty meals by the campfire. But the horseback riding is really the star of the show, as rides via Appaloosa horses through forests, wildflower fields and alongside a rushing river deliver insane gorgeous views.
Centered around total disconnection, you won’t find electronics such as televisions at Moose Head Ranch—the idea is to thoroughly immerse in serenity and nature. Riding groups are small and tailored to the needs and experiences of families and individuals—along your Teton routes are river views and an abundance of wildlife. Western yet excellently crafted meals are served, and the fresh salmon is something to get excited about.
You’ve got to see a sunrise here, as well as the extensive terrain, from bridges to waterfall gorges, that are presented during riding excursions. Right up in the northwestern mountains of Wyoming, the Crossed Sabres Ranch is quite close to Yellowstone. Ideal log structures give riders something to look forward to after a long day on the trails, and you might even be treated to a good ole fashioned rodeo.
The Red Rock Ranch’s private cabins with wood-burning stoves and a true old-west feel to fall in line with the rest of the theme sits in Kelly, which is basically almost in Jackson Hole. Riding amongst the Tetons is about as striking as it gets, and the Crystal River also runs through the property. This means over two miles of unreal fishing, from the available catches to the surroundings.
Goose Wing Ranch is also near the latter, in the Gros Ventre River Valley, so yes, it’s gorgeous too. The ranch focuses around all the essentials, from riding, to fishing to wonderfully prepared meals. An outdoor, heated tub and available massages add those hints of “spa,” which are much welcomed.