Family vacays are always a blast, but we sometimes forget how stressful planning them can be! If you’re looking for a vacation that does the detailed planning for you, check out the Dude Ranchers’ Association, offering all-inclusive vacations at over 95 dude ranches in the Western US and Canada.
Meals, lodging, and most activities are included in one price for each person at the ranch. Picky eaters in your family? No worries, dude ranches have you covered with professionally trained chefs who accommodate special dietary needs. Several ranches also operate farm-to-table food programs and offer the freshest ingredients around. And parents, you’ll love this part: there’s no clean up!
Dude ranches have something for everyone. Activities include fly fishing, kid’s programs, river rafting, rock climbing, golf, mountain biking, zip lining, hiking and more. Known for their scenic, beautiful mountains, you’ll breathe lots of fresh air and catch plenty of sunshine while you’re having fun with your family at the ranch. And mom and dad, if you want to spend some alone time, kid’s counselors make that easy with a full day of activities for kiddos to play games and explore the outdoors with each other.
Lodging accommodations differ at each ranch, but they all have the same comfy and homey feeling. And with an average of 30 guests per week, no need to worry about crowds or lines. Did we mention that cell service and WiFi are limited? That means a screen-free environment that we are in full support of!
The hardest part of planning your dude ranch vacation is simply choosing which ranch to go to. Here are our top picks for family-friendly vacays:
Mountain Sky Guest Ranch- Emigrant, MT: Nobody misses out on the fun at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch with a special kid’s program for ages 6 and under, featuring horseback rides, scavenger hunts, and arts & crafts. Little ones can eat at the buffet-style dinner with the classic kiddie foods (which, let’s admit, we all love!), and then join counselors for campfire cookouts, hay rides, and more games.
Red Rock Ranch – Kelly, WY: A horseback riding centered ranch, Red Rock Ranch invites kids ages 6 and older to learn the joys of horseback riding while parents take up square dancing or fly-fishing. We’re also obsessed with the baked goods here!
Marble Mountain Ranch – Somes Bar, CA: Take your vacay to the West Coast at Marble Mountain Ranch. This kid programming really encourages parents to get involved. The kid’s program includes feeding small animals, harvesting chicken eggs, campfires, and more. Create the family vacation you want at the ranch.