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Dude Ranches Diversify

Call it good horse sense. More and more ranches, finding their guests stiff and sore after a week in the saddle, are branching out with activities that range from rock climbing to bird-watching.

Lone Mountain Ranch
Box 160069
Big Sky, MT 59716
406/995-4644
Lone Mountain plans to cut its string of horses by half. Instead of riding all day, guests can take guided wilderness hikes, assault a climbing wall, mountain-bike down the Big Sky ski slopes, or fly-fish the Gallatin River.

Mountain Sky
Box 317
Emigrant, MT 59715
800/548-3392
Mountain Sky has scheduled nature hikes, fly-fishing on the Yellowstone, and day trips to Yellowstone National Park. Guests can also swim in the ranch's pool and play tennis.

Vista Verde
Box 465
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
800/526-7433 or 303/879-3858
This ranch is proud of its riding program but is just as happy sending you rafting on the Colorado, rock climbing, or hiking. There are also fly-fishing lessons on a stocked pond.

If you can't wait for summer, two of the ranches—Lone Mountain and Vista Verde—run winter programs that include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

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