Looking for a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive family vacation destination this summer? If you family likes adventure, nature, and animals, consider going to a dude ranch for your next vacation. Dude ranches are the original, all-inclusive destination, making for a headache-free week of unforgettable family fun. Here are five reasons to gallop on down to a family-friendly dude ranch this summer.
Because kids…and horses…need room to run!
You’ll never feel caged in at a dude ranch: animals, like kids, need room to roam. At the heart of southern Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Mountains, A Bar A Guest Ranch features over 100,000 acres for its horses (and visiting kids!) to roam. The ranch is a paradise for children, with activities including horseback riding, fishing, soccer, arts and crafts, music and drama, swimming, tennis, and games like cork boa, and sack races. Teenagers can ride an inner tube down the river or try golfing, then settle down with their family to enjoy dinner cooked outside over an open fire.
Because your dude ranch horse will be your new BFF
Most dude ranches assign each guest a horse of their very own, giving even city kids the chance to bond with a horse. At Rainbow Trout Ranch in Antonito, Colorado, kids ages six and older – fondly dubbed “Cowpokes” – get their own horse for the week, and “Buckaroos” – children ages three to five – take short rides on horses led by ranch counselors.
Learn to work as a family team
Dude ranch-style fun requires teamwork, and the family that works best together wins. At Drowsy Water Ranch, situated 90 miles west of Denver, Colorado, families learn how to lasso a steer head, hit a target with a bow-launched arrow, and raft down wild rapids–and every member of the family does his or her part.
Ditch technology and reconnect—dude ranch-style.
Dude ranches require kids and adults alike to put away their smart phones and take part in new and exciting activities. At Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, which sits on over 10,000 acres of wilderness in the heart of Yellowstone Country in Emigrant, Montana, your family will trade screens for outdoor recreation and breathtaking views. Participate in horseback riding, rafting down the Yellowstone River, fishing, and more. You’ll end your day with a tasty barbecue, learn to dance with the wranglers, and sing your favorite western songs around the campfire.
Learn a new skill.
Dude ranches teach both kids and adults new skills that could turn into new passions. At 4UR Ranch in Mineral County, Colorado, families can learn to fly fish on some of the finest rivers in the country, including one of the only entirely private tailwater trout streams in the American West, trophy ponds, and both sides of the legendary Rio Grande River. Whether you’re a family of anglers or not, you’ll learn how to catch your evening meal on this vacation!
Ready to ride off into the dude ranch vacation sunset? With more than 100 DRA-accredited dude ranches in North America, the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) can help you select the perfect ranch for your family.