View Full Version : omg--dh wants dude ranches/riding vacation this fall!!

Jun. 8, 2011, 08:51 PM
wow, i was speechless for a while. but now i'm feverishly researching dude ranches to stay at during our cross country trip in september.
we'll be leaving new england and driving to seattle, one way of which will be via canada.
dh suggests we find two types, one more lux and one more typical cattle drive-ish for three/four days each. i'm thinking stay in one heading west and the other heading east.
so if you have any favorites, or ones to avoid, please spill---i can't believe he really wants to go, though i guess i shouldn't be. he is a trail rider, so not a complete beginner.
wonder if there's a pub crawl ride anywhere along the way? lol, that would rock!

Jun. 8, 2011, 09:04 PM

An article about our visit here - we have had many responses to this article and many people who have gone to the ranch as a result of it and enjoyed it as much as we did.

Zu Zu
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:58 PM


Painted Horse
Jun. 9, 2011, 09:41 AM
I don't do dude ranches or paid rides. Since I live in the area and prefer to use my own horses. So my advice is all second hand.

But the RedRocks Ride in Southern Utah is highly recommended and spectacular scenery.

A more traditional dude ranch is:

If you want more the Northern Part of Utah, Closer to I-80. And definitely more laid back relaxed.

And you can find a listing of dude ranches across the west on sites like this.

Jun. 9, 2011, 12:06 PM
I can recommend an excellent low key fourth generation ranch in south central Montana. It is definitely NOT cushy or your spa type dude ranch place at all, it's a working family ranch: www.gbarm.com.

This is a pretty good outfit in northern Montana, http://www.mmgranch.net. I believe part of the Buck Brannaman film was done here or involved these folks somehow.

For all other selections in Montana check out http://www.montanadra.com or www.duderanch.org for other states also.

By September maybe MAYBE it won't be snowing here anymore...

Jun. 10, 2011, 08:12 AM
excellent links, thanks so much!
though $$$$$$!!!!!!
but this is a big vacation, so i think we may slurge anyway.
now i cannot wait for september!

Jun. 10, 2011, 08:40 AM
In Canada... www.horseback.com (http://www.horseback.com)
Warner Outfitters in Banff.
Went on a 6 day pack trip with them, it was fantastic !! They have shorter rides as well.

In Wyoming... www.boxr.com (http://www.boxr.com)
I've been there 5 times. Cattle drives are the real thing...no tame cattle being shuffled from paddock to paddock like on some "drives".

Jun. 10, 2011, 09:59 AM
It's been 20 years since we went, so my contacts are completely out of date, but even for experienced horsemen we had a hoot! Having someone else take care of all the details and the horses, ride all day and just get off at the end of the day and go have a beer - then do it again the next day - was wonderful!

Be careful to pre-screen those that cater to experienced horsemen, tho, as some of the ranches can be pretty dull/beginner oriented.

Both of ours were in Colorado, one near Estes Park and one nearer Vail. Both were awesome.

Jun. 10, 2011, 10:29 AM
My DH and I have been three times. The activities are great and the accomodations are tremendous. My hubby loves fishing and hates riding.. so he fly-fished every day he was there. Really enjoyed himself. I pushed cows, helped with branding, moving cows into trailers, etc.

Lots of fun and 1st class

Jun. 10, 2011, 08:45 PM
I hate to plug on my first post. But where I work you can bring your own horse (make sure they have shoes or boots). We do fishing, shooting, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. It's a lot of fun, but we are in Colorado and at 8,305ft. The ranch is really proud of being small and very flexible. We only have 40 horses.

Jun. 11, 2011, 12:17 PM
so what's the name of your ranch?
and welcome btw; thanks for posting!

Jun. 11, 2011, 12:39 PM
lol, well this is a fine pickle to be in! after talking and researching for a few days, we may go somewhere more exotic to ride.
we're thinking of a quick trip out west this fall for my big brother's bday, and maybe a longer vacation in january.
here's our want list for january...
riding---(well trained horses in good condition, not like the poor beasts i ran into on st thomas for instance)
fine dining
road tripping---we're happy to rent a car as well as do a van assisted pub crawl type ride.
beaches--to ride on, scuba if warm enough.

hot is ok, humid is out.

ten days-two weeks

maybe ireland/wales/scotland or italy--are there beaches in italy to ride on?
costa rica?
i seem to remember an awesome site for castles in hungary or somewhere similar--anyone know the link for that?
thanks, what fun it is to plan our first vacation in many many years!

Jun. 12, 2011, 08:59 PM
so what's the name of your ranch?
and welcome btw; thanks for posting!

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch in Red Feather Lakes Colorado. I take out the advanced riders, and instruct rock climbing.

Jun. 18, 2011, 10:07 PM
Aren't you the luck girl. No advise but have a ball!

Heart's Journey
Jun. 23, 2011, 12:17 PM
equitours and hidden trails are companies that have all kinds of rides.

I did a ride in Ireland in May '87 and it was still very cold - it never gets very warm there. On the Connemara ride we rode on the beach one day, but since I live in Fla - that isn't special to me as I've done it 20+ times.

all the rides are fantastic - get the catalogs and check out their websites for more details

Jun. 23, 2011, 12:22 PM

My SO and I did a ride with these people- it can be described as luxury camping complete with a solar shower, cots and an amazing camp cook.

The riding is fantastic- beautiful scenery, great horses. It's a small outfit, and the guide is a fantastic woman. The scenery is around Capitol Reef, so depending on the time of year, it can be like a desert, canyon country, mountains. Our camp was by a lovely creek with woods. Our rides were really diverse in terms of scenery.

They also do inn to inn rides if you don't want to camp out.

Oh and the horses are peppy, well conditioned, well behaved, and well cared for.

Jun. 27, 2011, 11:41 PM
You should check out the Bitterroot Ranch. Owned by the owners of www.equitours.com This is a ranch for riders. They will divide you up in groups of no more than about 6 based on your riding level. Great horses. Lovely Wyoming countryside. Great food. Wonderful accomodations.

I've taken groups there three times. Always a joy.

Heart's Journey
Jun. 28, 2011, 11:37 AM
You mentioned January for the ride time period. That will limit you as most places don't have rides in the winter time. Might need to check South America since it would be summer there then.

you will have much more variety to pick from in the warmer months