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Trekaroo’s Best Family Dude Ranch Vacations: Kid Friendly Ranch Fun

Trekaroo spent 2012 reviewing the best family dude ranch vacations across the country (it was a hard job, but someone had to do it!)  We are excited to provide you with this handy guide to our favorite ranches and why they are so special as family friendly vacation getaways.  Whether you are a novice rider with toddlers in tow, to a galloping thrill seeker with great food and diverse amenities in mind, we’ve got the best family dude ranch vacation for you!

A Guide to Trekaroo’s Best Family Dude Ranch Vacations

Flathead Lake Lodge Best Family Dude Ranch Vacations

Flathead Lake Lodge
2013 Season: June 8-August 25
Reviewed by Michelle McCoy

 
Horseback riding is spectacular through the pine forests in Montana (kids 6 and up), but what makes this place stand out is the lakefront activities. My boys raced to jump into a kayak around the island; they bravely tried waterskiing and wakeboarding. Sailing, swimming, paddleboarding, fishing, and more were enjoyed by guests all afternoon long. Families will love the freedom to let their kids enjoy a multitude of activities and will have lots of fun stories to tell of their adventures in the historic lodge each evening with a view of the sunset over Flathead Lake.

Read our detailed review of Flathead Lake Lodge

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a week at Flathead Lake Lodge!

Greenhorn Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch Vacations

Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch
2013 Season: May- November
Reviewed by LiLing Pang

 
Greenhorn Creek Ranch ranch is perfect for families with young kids.  During the summer, they offer a program for the little ones at the Kiddie Coral (Infant to 5 year olds).  While mom, dad and older siblings are off on trail rides, the little ones are having fun taking pony rides, doing arts and crafts, petting farm animals, playing old fashion ranch games, and enjoying the beautiful grass lawn by the fishing pond.  The friendly staff made our 3 year old feel so special he barely missed us.   Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch is the closest guest ranch to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Check out more fun family features at Greenhorn Creek Ranch

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: 10% off full week stay or 5% off midweek stay

The Home Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsThe Home Ranch
Open year round
Reviewed by Lisa Marie Leihy
 

Get ready to enjoy some amazing food and fun activities at The Home Ranch, geared for families with kids ages 6 and up.  The celebrated Haute Mountain Cuisine gets guests ready for breathtaking hikes, daily trail rides, and relaxing spa treatments.  Kid counselors are on hand daily to help kids have amazing adventures or to give parents some free time, and families love the experience!

 

 

Looking for more info on The Home Ranch?  Trekaroo has you covered.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Book 4 nts get the 5th FREE!

Tarryall Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsTarryall River Ranch
2013 Season: May-September
Reviewed by LiLing Pang

 
The scenery of the Lake George Area is stunning, the riding lots of fun, and the food is delicious.  But what stands out most about Tarryall River Ranch is the warmth of the staff.  At this small, family run ranch, you feel like you’re now part a large happy family.  From the housekeeping, to the dining service, to the wrangler staff, you won’t find a more friendly, genuine, and attentive staff who is ready to consider your every need. And if you’re nervous about square dancing, you will feel a lightness in your step when one of those dashing ranch interns sweeps you off your feet.
Read our detailed review of Tarryall River Ranch.
Majestic Dude Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsMajestic Dude Ranch
2013 Season: May 12- October 12
Reviewed by Ann Anderson
 

If you’re all hat and no cattle, Majestic Dude Ranch might just be the ideal place to step in to a cowboy role.  This ranch offers some of the best wranglers west of the Mississippi, as well as millions of acres of pristine mountain wilderness and backwoods trails at your beck and call.  Evenings at Majestic Dude Ranch are designed for families, with activities ranging from outdoor movies, line dancing, dodge ball, tipi campouts, cowboy poetry, and s’mores.  Majestic Dude Ranch also lays claim as the only dude ranch which sports its own field of dreams baseball diamond.

Explore detailed reviews of Majestic Dude Ranch.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Save 20% off your stay.

Vista Verde Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsVista Verde Ranch
2013 Season: June 2-Sept 29/Dec 21-
Reviewed by Ann Anderson
 

Vista Verde Ranch allows families to cowboy up in style while living in the lap of luxury.  Accommodations consist of lavish cabins surrounded by awe inspiring views of the Rocky Mountains amidst pastures full of champion quarter horses.   Summer activities include biking, rock climbing, and fishing, whereas winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding.  Vista Verde Ranch is defined by its luxury and personal service.  Who knew living the life of a cowboy could be so indulgent?

 

Explore detailed reviews of Vista Verde Ranch.

Lost Valley Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsLost Valley Ranch
2013 Season: March 1- December 1
Reviewed by Sharlene Earnshaw
 

Parents who grew up vacationing at Lost Valley Ranch are now bringing their own children for an annual week of wholesome Rocky Mountain fun. Kids ages 6 and up take trail rides twice daily, tell ghost stories inside caves, go on scavenger hunts, have egg tosses on the lawn, play in the creek, splash in the pool, and eat way too much ice cream all while having the time of their young lives. Our time at Lost Valley Ranch was our best family vacation to date and not a week goes by without my kids asking “Mom, when are we going back to the ranch?”

Explore more kid-friendly reasons to visit Lost Valley Ranch.

Alisal Guest Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch Vacations
Alisal Guest Ranch
Open year round
Reviewed by Sisily Calvert
 

Tucked away in the Santa Ynez Mountains, we found not a dude ranch but a luxury resort with horses.  With Alisal‘s wide-open land and unspoiled nature this was a bit of heaven on earth.  Children can participate in activities like swimming, arts and crafts, a playground, badminton, and the spa, all located on the impeccable grounds.  Head up to the lake and enjoy fishing, paddle boats, or sailing or to the golf coarse for 18 holes.  Make sure to schedule your visit to include the Breakfast Ride to enjoy what some say are the “best pancakes they have ever had.”

Tips and Tricks for enjoying your stay at Alisal Guest Ranch.

White Stallion Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsWhite Stallion Guest Ranch
Open year round
Reviewed by Michelle McCoy
 
White Stallion Guest Ranch guest ranch is perfect for families to enjoy activities together. There are many options for horseback riding for kids 5 and up including slow rides, fast rides, and breakfast cookout rides. The desert summer sun makes off-peak travel a major perk although plenty of other activities including a swimming pool will give families the chance to have fun together whether it is a cool winter day or a hot summer afternoon.  Bonus:  Kids five and under are free!

 

Read our handy guide to everything White Stallion Guest Ranch.

Rankin Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsRankin Ranch
Open year round
Reviewed by Kristine Dworkin
 
Be as cowboy as you want to be!!  You are in charge of your experience at Rankin Ranch! Whether you take advantage of the two ride times offered each day or relax by the pool is up to you. You can ride with your kids or an all adult group, there is a great kids’ program to keep the youngsters busy. There is also fishing, archery, and scheduled activities such as games, the Rankin Olympics, evening patio parties, and a nightly after dinner walk to feed the farm animals.  Try everything, do nothing, it’s up to you. The hospitality at this ranch is tremendous!
Learn why Rankin Ranch rates so well with Trekaroo families.
Lone Mountain Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsLone Mountain Ranch
2013 Season: January-March, June- October, December

 Lone Mountain Ranch is open year round, welcoming families in the summer for horseback riding and in the winter for cross-country skiing.  The setting of the Ranch is what I imagine Heaven to be like. While the fly fishing and white water rafting is renowned, it is the exceptional outdoor youth program that caught our attention.  Your tweens & teens won’t just be playing cowboy and cowgirl; they’ll love the high ropes course, archery, backcountry survival and animal tracking workshops…the fun seems endless.

 Explore more family fun at Lone Mountain Ranch.  

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Free Massage/Spa Treatment for Mom, Complimentary Family Photo of the Dude Ranch Experience at Lone Mountain Ranch

 

Our friends at Top 50 Ranches, the leading resource for traveler’s seeking ranch vacations, recommend these excellent family-friendly ranches:

Sugar & Spice Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsThe Sugar & Spice Ranch
2013 Season: May 25-Aug 2 and Aug 24-29
Wyoming 2013: August 3-23

Cowgirls and their moms will spend an unforgettable week together learning to groom, tackle, feed, and ride horses on a ranch in Texas. The bonding of moms and daughters is fostered through the enjoyment of taking care of horses and swimming together. Cowgirls, and cowboys also, are invited to ride the open range with Miss Leigh through the beautiful open spaces of Wyoming for a week vacation that you won’t forget.

Find out more reasons to visit The Sugar & Spice Ranch

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: 15% off for moms and daughters

 

Zapata Dude Ranch SceneryZapata Ranch
2013 Season: March – October

Most guest ranches are set in a beautiful location, but you will be amazed at the breathtaking views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range in Colorado as you join the ranchers of this Nature Conservancy. Guests are invited to ride through and learn about a conservation herd of 2,000 bison, integrate themselves into daily life on the ranch, participate in extensive nature programs, as well as enjoying fly-fishing and white water rafting.

See the amazing scenery on your next vacation at Zapata Ranch.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: 15% off when you book 3 people or more

 

Elk Mountain Ranch Best Family Dude Ranch VacationsElk Mountain Ranch
2013 Season: May 26 – September 15

 Families will experience a one-week adventure at this Colorado ranch set in the heart of the “White Water Capital of Colorado.” Each day holds fun activities including horseback riding, white water rafting, fishing, and supervised activities for kids. It’s a family-oriented guest ranch that everyone will love.

Find out more about Elk Mountain Ranch.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: $250 off a child with two full-paying adults

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Disclosure: This series is sponsored by Top50Ranches, the leading resource for travelers seeking ranch vacations, Flathead Lake Lodge, Tarryall River Ranch, Majestic Dude Ranch, Zapata Ranch, The Sugar & Spice Ranch, The Home Ranch, Elk Mountain Ranch, and Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch.

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10 Responses to Trekaroo’s Best Family Dude Ranch Vacations: Kid Friendly Ranch Fun

  1. laura January 24, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    A dude ranch for FOODIES?!?! sign me up! a friend of mine went to a dude ranch in AZ a few years ago and had an amazing time. thanks for the overview – who knew that there were so many to choose from!

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