How would you like to experience the best horse ranches in the United States—what some would refer to as dude ranches? Unlike what you may think,guest ranches and dude ranches are a far cry from what you see in the movies.
The ranches are centered around horses and families wishing to explore the various trails on horseback. Most of these ranches will have you do nothing more than riding a horse during the day and camping around a fire at night. Other horse ranches are a bit more glamorous in that they offer five-star accommodations coupled with luxurious spas.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most prominent guest ranches, what you will experience, and the various amenities on offer.
Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, New York
Everyone knows the luxuries offered by Disneyland. This is what the Rocking Horse Ranch is like. It had its beginning in the late 1950s, and the ranch owners wanted to provide something more than just a rustic appearance;they wanted to be a dude ranch with a difference. Currently, they offer visitors unlimited horse riding, which includes trail rides, pony rides, and hay rides. But beyond horses, guests are mesmerized by the featured Wild West shows, marshmallow roast, and bonfire sing-along. Other activities include an indoor water park; a lake featuring various water rides, water skiing, and kayaking;and tennis, mini golf, and beach volleyball. This horse ranch is a real treat, andis also open during the winter months.
Sundance Resort in Utah
It is not for nothing that the Sundance Resort is regarded as one of the best horse ranches in the U.S. Guests can look forward to mountain home rentals in a range of sizes to accommodate families from all over. During the summertime, you can explore more than 10 miles of hiking trails. Younger kids are allowed to try out 20-minute-long horse rides back at the stables. Also, this ranch features whitewater rafting and fly fishing. There is even an Art Shack where you and your kids can try your hand at jewelry making and pottery.
Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona
Kids of all ages will love it here. Anyone with children ages 4 to 12 years will have something to do. They have a very nice program called the Buckaroos that is ideally suited for kids 4 to 6 years old. The Wranglers program is in place for older kids between 7 and 9 years old, while the Outlaws program is for 10- to 12-year-old kids. The programs include daily trail rides and several horse riding lessons. Parents are, of course, encouraged to accompany their kids. In addition to horseback riding, the dude ranch has a tennis court and spa and offers mountain biking trails.
Experience Three Ranches in One on the Texas Ranch Life in Bellville
Just an hour’s ride away from Houston, this ranch totals an area of 1,800 acres. The guest ranch is also a working ranch that offers visitors an authentic experience like no other. It hosts a large herd of Texas Longhorns, some quarter horses, and bison. They also offer dove, quail, and deer hunting adventures.
Triangle C Dude Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming
This guest ranch is truly scenic and offers a unique home-away-from-home experience. The luxurious rustic lodge got remodeled recently to include a home theater, full-service spa, fine dining, and even a pool and library. Besides the luxury on offer, guests can look forward to a memorable trip in the Rockies where they can follow wranglers on horseback for days on end to enjoy the good company around the fire at night.
Paradise Guest Ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming
This century-old, family-friendly ranch located in the Rockies affords visitors with the opportunity to hike or fish, learn how to rodeo, or participate in fun-filled horseback riding along with the ranch’s wranglers. Here you can look forward to a four-bedroom accommodation that features kitchenettes and full baths, as well as washers and dryers. You are sure to rub elbows with fellow city slickers at one stage or another.
After being on a horse ranch, you will never view life quite the same way again in that you will have a renewed respect for cowboy hands and wranglers.