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Top Dude Ranches for Families

Rohan Vasa, Writer

Dude Ranches

There’s a reason that Yellowstone was the most-watched show on television. Part of it was, of course, Kevin Costner. Then there’s the brilliant writing which was set around ranch life. Because there’s something about the Wild West that inspires you to get on a horse. So, when the mood hits, these are the top dude ranches to add to your list.

If you haven’t heard, dude ranches are all the rage these days. Set in picturesque landscapes, dude ranches offer guests a unique vacation and taste of the Old West lifestyle. The immersive experience throws visitors into activities like horseback riding, outdoor adventures, and cowboy cookouts. Whether you’re looking to escape the city life or you’re just craving a new adventure out west, dude ranches cater to all kinds of people looking to share an experience. However, we’ve come up with a list of five of the top dude ranches for families.

Ranch Life

The main allure of dude ranches is being outdoors surrounded by scenic natural landscapes. Out here you can reconnect with nature and experience the simpler way of life. Although dude ranches vary in setting, you can count on it being a warm atmosphere that encourages new friendships and meaningful connections between guests and staff. Through the collective immersion in ranch life, guests go on shared adventures or just sit around the campfire swapping stories. Accommodations vary from rustic lodges to cozy cabins, each spacious and unique to its environment. So here’s our list of top dude ranches for families if you’re craving the rugged charm of the Old West.

Image courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch

The Ranch: C Lazy U Ranch

Location: Colorado

C Lazy U Ranch is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It is an all-inclusive year-round experience that offers gourmet meals and luxury accommodations. Because it operates year round your ranch experiences will vary depending on what time of year you come. For example, in the summer you’ll spend your days horse riding through wildflower fields and fishing in Willow Creek. In the winter you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tubing down the freshly powdered slopes. Other activities range from indoor games to archery, mountain biking to white water rafting.

Image courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch


C Lazy U Ranch is also great for families. It has a Kids and Teens Program that allows children to socialize with each other while engaging in activities. There are 38 luxury guest ranch accommodations on the property, ranging from one to three bedrooms. For dining, guests take meals together with menus that are seasonal and farm-inspired. This is easily one of the top dude ranches for families.

Image courtesy of Sorrel River Ranch

The Ranch: Sorrel River Ranch

Location: Utah

Sorrel River Ranch is set amongst Utah’s red rock mesas, wide canyons, and iconic arches. The 240-acre property in Moab focuses on immersive adventures that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Choose between a variety of luxury custom-built cabins, ranging in size, amenities, and views of the Colorado River. Dining at Sorrel is seasonal with fresh ingredients, most coming from the lush on-site garden. Eat at the River Grill, enjoy a drink at the Epic Bar, or hop over to J.J.’s Mercantile for premium groceries and freshly baked goods. The Sorrel Spa is the perfect complimentary experience after a day of outdoor adventuring. The activities at Sorrel range from horse riding, rafting, mountain biking, canyoneering, and hiking through national parks in the area. There are also two specialized kids programs, a junior wrangler program, and a little gardener program.

Image courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

The Ranch: The Ranch at Rock Creek

Location: Montana

This 19th-century homestead is secluded in one of Montana’s most scenic valleys. Its diverse ecosystems allow for a great range of year-round activities for guests. The Ranch at Rock Creek is an all-inclusive experience so that guests can forget about individual costs and fully immerse themselves in the outdoors. There are 29 unique accommodations that range between four main options. Choose between staying at the luxury cabins, historic barn, granite lodge, or glamping cabins. There are five different dining venues on the property, with menus that showcase local organic ingredients from the area. In addition, there are special culinary experiences like exciting new tasting menus and supper clubs that change with the seasons. The Ranch at Rock Creek also has a spa with a host of different treatments and fitness sessions. There are forty year-round activities offered, many are unique to the landscape and inspire learning no matter your age.

Image courtesy of Paws Up

The Ranch: Paws Up

Location: Montana

Paws Up is a 37,000-acre property that showcases the best of Montana’s landscape. It is surrounded by forests, has a river running through it, and is even a working cattle ranch. Paws Up offers twenty-eight year-round luxury cabins that come in four different options. Additionally, from mid-May to mid-October they are also an expansive glamping resort, with six different campsites outfitted with safari-style luxury tents. Dining at Paws Up draws on the agricultural wealth of the region. There are six different dining venues across the property in addition to special programs like visiting chefs, live music, wine tastings, and a S’more building. The spa has a variety of services and treatments, including a special children’s program. There is a huge range of activities offered at Paws Up. The property includes 100 miles of trails, and 10 miles of river, and is in close proximity to an expansive wilderness area.

Image courtesy of The Lodge at Blue Sky

The Ranch: The Lodge at Blue Sky,  Auberge Resort

Location: Utah

The Lodge at Blue Sky is part of the Auberge Resorts Collection. This 3,500-acre private retreat is a convenient thirty-minute drive from Salt Lake City, Utah. Situated in the Wasatch Mountain Range, guests can engage with the outdoors while indulging in luxury. For accommodations, there are three unique options, Sky Lodge, Earth Suites, or Creek Houses, each with its own allure. The main restaurant, Yuta, features an elevated farm-to-table cuisine with ingredients sourced from the surrounding mountain landscape. During the Summer months, you can also enjoy meals at the Tacocat pop-up, which serves Mexican street food. Edge Spa is their cliffside wellness sanctuary that provides treatments, yoga, and guided meditations. The Lodge at Blue Sky also has a robust program for families with a wide variety of activities for all. In addition, guests can participate in the many outdoor and culinary activities offered year-round.

Book any of these top dude ranches for families through Galavante.

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