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
2013 Season: June 8-August 25
Reviewed by Michelle McCoy
Read our detailed review of Flathead Lake Lodge
GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a week at Flathead Lake Lodge!
Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch
2013 Season: May- November
Reviewed by LiLing Pang
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 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 River Ranch
2013 Season: May-September
Reviewed by LiLing Pang
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 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 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.
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.
Read our handy guide to everything White Stallion Guest Ranch.
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.
Our friends at Top 50 Ranches, the leading resource for traveler’s seeking ranch vacations, recommend these excellent family-friendly ranches:The 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 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 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
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.
Featured photo by: Brennan Pang