Guide to Guest Ranches for the Ultimate Vacation
by Dusty Dave
A Guest Ranch, also called a Dude Ranch, is without a doubt the Ultimate Summer Vacation. Why? Because, once you get there, you don't have to think about anything but relaxing. Everything is planned out for you: your activities, meals, etc. The only big decisions you will have to make are whether you are going to have three or four pancakes for breakfast.
Most ranches these days are more like resorts. Besides offering horseback riding for all levels of riders, they also have tons of other fun activities to keep everyone in your group happy. Options often include fly-fishing, white-water rafting, canoeing, archery, skeet shooting, hay rides, campfires, the list goes on. The beauty is you can do as little or as much as you want, it's totally up to you. If sitting on the front porch of your cabin all day reading a book and drinking a glass of wine is your idea of an ideal vacation while your kids or spouse are out horsin' around, then more power to you.
If the old-school idea of a ranch vacation, where you mend fences and shovel manure all day, is more up your alley, don't fret none cowboy, there are still some ranches that offer that. Actually, a visit to a real working ranch can be incredibly rewarding and the work is more fun than work. You can help do chores around the ranch if you want, but you certainly don't have to. The real benefit to a working ranch is that the horseback riding is much more wide open. As opposed to staying on a trail, you might be pushing cattle on the open range one day and riding over to a neighbor's ranch to help look for a lost calf on the next. If you like to ride a lot, a working ranch is an excellent choice.
A typical ranch vacation is a week long (from Sunday to Sunday) and costs somewhere around $150 - $250 per person per day. That cost includes lodging, meals and activities. There's no sense dilly-dallying, make your reservations pronto Tonto. Many ranches fill up quickly and you don't want to be stuck at home while all the cool kids are out riding the range. See ya on the ranch!
Source: Rustic Vacations