Many Dude Ranches offer the kind of all-inclusive vacation that would fit well into everyone's idea of a perfect vacation. With choices of horseback riding, swimming holes, fishing, skeet shooting, and archery to name just a few, your vacation will allow everyone to find exactly what they are looking for. I went on their website to check out a few, to be honest, their list is so extensive listing them would be a chore. I entered ones with a spa and babysitting for mom, fishing for dad, and western dancing for the grandparents and it came up with 18 choices. So, I turned to the Dude Ranchers' Association (DRA) to fill us in a bit more on what Dude Ranches offered and some recommendations. This is what she wrote...
"The term “family vacation” has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to the growing trend of multigenerational travel. According to the US Travel Association, 30 percent of all adult leisure travelers vacation is with children or grandchildren. The need for a multigenerational, all-inclusive vacation destination has become essential for families looking to spend quality time reconnecting with one another.
The Dude Ranch Association (DRA) represents more than 100 DRA-accredited dude and guest ranches in some of the most breathtaking areas in the U.S., ranging from luxury resort-style ranches to working ranches, all of which uphold the highest quality of services within the industry. Priced competitively with respect to other similar all-inclusive family vacation options, most events, meals and activities are included in the cost of your ranch visit. No matter which ranch you choose, a dude ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to bond and spend time as a family, creating memories that will last a lifetime".
Below please find a list of some of the DRA’s accredited ranches that are particularly well suited to multigenerational families.
Focus Ranch– Slater, Colorado
Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles love bringing kids to Focus Ranch as it offers an uncomplicated fun vacation with the added benefit of a little education. The horseback riding generates the most enthusiasm but the ranch also has numerous counselors that help organize and entertain the kids when off the horse. This may include anything from art work, fishing, building dams in the ditch, horseshoe competitions, nature walks, mountain climbing, swimming activities, and much more. Focus Ranch prides itself in knowing that the adults will not hear the phrase: “
Lost Valley Ranch- Sedalia, Colorado
Nestled among the timeless beauty of Pike National Forest and the Rocky Mountains, Lost Valley offers an authentic Colorado dude ranch experience with activities suited to a range of interests and skill levels. Saddle up with their professional guides for an afternoon of horseback riding, soak up the sun by the heated Olympic-scaled swimming pool or learn the ways of the cowboy by helping the wranglers with their daily chores. Lost Valley also has a great child and teen program, two all-weather tennis courts onsite, guided hiking adventures and family-friendly evening entertainment.
Elk Mountain Ranch- Buena Vista, Colorado
Remotely located in the heart of the Rockies, Elk Mountain Dude and Guest Ranch is secluded within the San Isabel National Forest near Buena Vista, Colorado. The Elk Mountain Dude Ranch experience is a one-week adventure encompassing the best of Colorado at very reasonable, all-inclusive vacation prices. Days at this dude ranch are filled with horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking, riflery, fishing, mountain biking and other activities set against a backdrop of unending vistas. It’s the ultimate in traditional western vacations – perfect for families.
Diamond D Ranch– Stanley, Idaho
The Diamond D Ranch is Idaho's premier all-inclusive guest ranch nestled in the Frank Church Wilderness and surrounded by the Salmon River Mountains. The ranch offer several activities for all ages including horseback riding, fly-fishing, hiking, gold panning, swimming, and many evening festivities. After an exciting day at the ranch, many guests enjoy cracking a window at night and listening to the sounds of the bubbling stream and the wind in the trees from the comfort of their cabin.
Rainbow Trout Ranch – Antonito, Colorado
Rainbow Trout Ranch is the perfect Colorado dude ranch for families. Offering exceptional horseback riding, superb fly fishing, awesome children’s programs, a fun teen ranch program, trapshooting,swimming, day trips to Taos, white water rafting and the chance to ride America’s highest and longest narrow-gauge steam train. Rainbow Trout Ranch dude ranch brings timeless simpler pleasures to life all in a spectacular setting.