why every family needs a dude ranch vacation

Why every family needs a dude ranch vacation

In Travel by Susan TuckerLeave a Comment

why every family needs a dude ranch vacation


My family and I recently enjoyed an amazing few days away just outside of Steamboat Springs in Colorado at the Vista Verde Guest Ranch, and while there I discovered why a dude ranch vacation is the ultimate family vacation. You too can experience life like a cowboy this summer by taking a family vacation at a working, dude or luxury ranch, so you can disconnect, reconnect and connect with nature.

Here are my top reasons why a dude ranch family vacation is a must and what type could be best for yours.

Reason #1: Your phone won’t work

Dude ranches are typically off the beaten path and out of cell phone range. You may wonder how you’re going to deal with — ahem, I mean, enjoy — multiple days with your kids free of cell phone distraction, but trust me all those dude-ranchin’ activities are going to whoop them.  Not to mention, it is kind of nice to actually hang out with your family free of devices.

Reason #2: The kids get dirty

OK, you may not want your kids to get dirty, but I LOVE it when my kids get dirty. Why? Because it means they are unabashedly enjoying being outside and making that sometimes-forgotten connection with Mother Nature. It’s an undeniable truth that dirty kids are happy kids.

Dude Ranch Horseback Riding

It’s a joy to see your kids learn a new skill!

Reason #3: If the apocalypse hits and there are horses left, you’ll know how to ride one

I don’t like horses.There, I said it. They scare the piss out of me. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw my 5-year-old mount a horse much taller than me. That’s when I knew, I had to get over myself and figure out how to ride one of these things. Thank goodness it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be and I learned a few good skills that may come in handy one day.

Reason #4: So much more than horses!

Even though horseback riding is the central activity, many dude ranches actually offer so many more activities. Our winter experience included Nordic skiing, tubing, and snow biking, but summer guest ranches offer fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing, white water rafting and the list goes on depending on where you go.

Reason #5: Really connecting

Once you disconnect from the hustle-and-bustle of the “real world” and relax into nature, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to reconnect with your family; laughing, lounging and loving. That’s what you’ll love after a hard-working, fun-filled day on the ranch.

I do not think I’m alone in the opinion that every family needs a dude ranch vacation. Simply check out reviews from some of these I’ve listed below. Words like “life-changing”, “magical”, “amazing” and “time of my life” are used after folks get away to a dude ranch. Sounds pretty convincing to me and  I’m lucky enough to have gotten to experience it!

why every family needs a dude ranch vacation

Considering a dude ranch vacation?  According to The Dude Ranchers’ Association, there are three categories of ranches:

    These are working cattle or sheep operations. The ranches livestock will determine your horseback riding adventures and the work related to them. Be prepared to experience these activities first hand.

Consider: Lonesome Spur Ranch in Montana or Burnt Well Guest Ranch in New Mexico.

    Horseback riding is central to these ranches. The cowboy in you will experience Western riding and a variety of outdoor activities.

Consider: 7D Ranch in Wyoming or Flying E Dude Ranch in Arizona

    Horseback riding is featured, and these ranches offer an array of diverse activities and onsite facilities. These are apt to be the larger ranches.

Absolutely MUST Consider: Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Colorado. VVR is an all-inclusive, luxury dude ranch with a robust kids program and amazing adult activities. 

Have you ever experienced a dude ranch vacation with your family? I would love to hear about your experience and where you’d recommend below!

Meet the Author | Susan Tucker

Susan lives with her husband, two young sons, and a new super-cute puppy near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. When she’s not chasing her boys on the ski slopes or watching them on the sidelines of the soccer fields, she helps start-ups with social media and online marketing. Susan is social media junkie and you can often find her live tweeting from just about everywhere she goes.

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