Dude Ranches Diversify
Published: April 2009
By David Butwin
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
Big Sky, MT 59716
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.
Emigrant, MT 59715
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.
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.