America's Best Dude Ranches
It's not easy to find a travel experience that can transport you to a different world, but the dude ranch fits the bill. On these spacious properties, the Western culture is alive and well. You'll drift off to sleep under clear, starry skies and wake up to hot coffee and a warm meal. During the day, you might hop on your trusty steed for a tour of the land by horseback or sit on a sprawling deck with a glass of sweet tea and open views. And because many dude ranches include the cost of food and activities in one flat, upfront fee, you can leave your wallet in your room and let yourself be truly immersed in the Western experience.
When it comes to selecting a dude ranch vacation that works for your group — be it close family members or a work trip — keep in mind that the offerings range from simple and rustic to luxury resort-style options. Either way, you'll be treated to a laid-back excellence that the dude ranch has perfected over the years — in most cases that down-home charm is paired with upscale amenities like multicourse meals and extensive wine lists.
Darwin Ranch, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Darwin Ranch may have a Jackson Hole address, but it remains the most remote guest ranch in the lower 48 states. And while peace and quiet is on the menu, so is a delicious roundup of fare sourced primarily from the Darwin's sister ranch. After you've eaten your fill, head out for a day of adventure, which can include anything from fly fishing and horseback riding to reading in the wood-fired hot tub and sauna.
Wildcatter Ranch, Graham, Texas
Just 90 miles from Dallas in the Texas Hill Country is a resort-style ranch that pairs amenities like an infinity pool with lessons in roping steer. The cabin suites and guest rooms have wooden bed frames and stone fireplaces that will make you feel at home, while the panoramic views and miles on miles of riding trails will provide the wide-open space you're here for.
C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colorado
C Lazy U Ranch has been operating for over 100 years, and in that time, they've created a refined yet authentic experience that draws people back year after year. If horseback riding and hiking aren't your thing, you can spend your morning practicing yoga or gliding down the zip-line course before booking a treatment at the full-service spa.
And thanks to C Lazy U's all-inclusive model, you don't have to worry about being nickel-and-dimed as you explore the ranch's 8,500 acres or enjoy the nightly four-course dinner paired with wines curated by the ranch's on-site sommelier.
White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
As the name suggests, the White Stallion Ranch is all about horses. In fact, it owns one of the largest private herds in Arizona and organizes rides that vary from gentle walks to fast-paced trots and gallops. You can book either the breakfast-only rate or an all-inclusive option that includes three daily meals and endless snacks. (We suggest the latter.)
320 Guest Ranch, Gallatin Gateway, Montana
This historic Montana homestead-turned-dude ranch oozes charm and beauty. You'll find world-class fly fishing (thanks to the Gallatin River that runs through the property) and over 2,000 miles of trails. The mountain chalet lodging reflects the property's historic roots with a modern-day spin (glass-enclosed living rooms with views for days, for example). It's worth noting your booking includes breakfast, but come prepared to pay for other meals.
Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming
You'll find yourself deep in the American West at Brush Creek Ranch, an all-inclusive property nestled between the Sierra Madre mountains and the Medicine Bow National Forest. Once you're done exploring the 30,000-acre working cattle ranch, swing by its Cheyenne Club to enjoy veggies from the year-round greenhouse paired with Wagyu beef and an extensive wine list.