Why Top50? Showcasing the World’s Top Ranch Vacations

Feeling overwhelmed by the number of ranch vacation opportunities available? We’re here to help! Top50 Ranches was created in 2010 to help take some of the guesswork out of finding a ranch vacation so you, the guest, can have peace of mind.

Top50 has helped thousands of people just like you to find their ideal ranch and riding vacation, and we’d love to do the same for you! Our goal is always to help give you the opportunity of a lifetime by helping you select the appropriate ranch, for an experience you’ll never forget.



With Top50, you know what you get before you book and we will help you with the process. You’ll know what to expect before you arrive at your ranch, so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying your vacation.

On Top50ranches.com, we give each featured ranch several tabbed pages of detailed information about their programs, locations, travel details and much more, along with a link to the ranch’s own website. Top50 guests are better informed and we believe that results in a better ranch vacation experience.
You may always speak directly with us, too.

Calling Top50 Ranch’s new Concierge Service is always a personal experience; we will give you the complete picture on the ranch you are interested in.

Contact our Concierge line any time at 707/217-5205, or email us at HappyTrails@Top50Ranches.com



We Know You, Because We Are You! 

We too, have been that guest seeking the right ranch experience. We know ranch vacations, even when you’re not sure yourself!

Top50 chooses ranches that strive for excellence in hospitality. A Top50 ranch is not a ranch that just seeks guest arrivals, it is a ranch that wants their guests’ experiences and expectations to fit with their unique ranch offering. If a Top50 ranch is not for you, we’ll tell you and you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your chosen ranch will give you the very best stay available.



Each person’s idea of the ideal ranch experience differs and Top50 has reached out to find a wide selection of ranches offering a variety of experiences. Each Top50 ranch offers distinctive opportunities, from luxury to authentic working cattle or even sheep ranches.

We hope we will inspire you through our beautiful photos, too! Our goal always is to bring the best of ranch country to the world and to guests like you – we want to help you choose the right dude ranch vacation for you.



Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the information you want on your preferred ranch here on each ranch’s personal Top50 profile, here are a few questions you may like to ask the ranch directly:

NOTE – Highly Recommended: It is strongly suggested that individual properties are contacted personally by telephone to confirm the information presented, as rates and activities are always changing. Along with asking any questions you may have, you will have a conversation with a real, live person, which makes all the difference in the world. Also, we recommend that you ask ranches for references and/or visit TripAdvisor.com.

What are your rates?
What is the tipping/gratuity policy? (Rates don’t always include gratuities or all activities.)
Are there special rates for families, children, seniors, or corporations?
Do you have a non-riding rate?
Are there off-season rates?
Is there a minimum length of stay?
Besides state and local taxes, what do your rates not include?


Vacationing with Children:
Is this a child-oriented ranch?
Does the ranch have a children’s program? What does it include?
What age must children be to ride? (Today’s insurance regulations may not allow very young children to ride.)
Is child care provided and to what extent?
Are parents welcome in children’s activities?
Can children ride with parents?
Can parents ride with children?
Do children eat separately?
Can children eat together?


Horses and Riding:
What kind of riding program does the ranch have?
What kind of rides are there? (Morning, afternoon, all-day, side-by-side, slow-to-fast?)
Is it open-meadow riding, or mountain trail riding?
How long are typical rides?
Are riding lessons available?
What style of horsemanship do you use or teach?
Is the program best suited to beginners, or are there opportunities for intermediate and advanced riders, too?
If I’m an intermediate or advanced rider, can I trot or lope?
Do the owners/managers take part in the riding program?
How many wranglers and guests go out on rides at a time?
Do I get the same horse all week?
Can I brush and saddle my own horse?
Are riding helmets required? Are they provided? Can I bring my own helmet?
Do I need my own cowboy boots, or is there a boot rental program?
Can I bring my own horse?
Are there non-riding days? Do I ride all days of the week?
Will I need to sign an assumption of risk or waiver form before riding?


Cattle Work:
How many cattle do you run?
Do guests participate in all cattle activities?
Can guests brand with the cowboys?
Do you teach roping?
Do you teach cattle or team penning?


Is there a staff naturalist?
Are there enough activities at the ranch for non-riding or non-fishing members of a family?
Will the ranch cater to special diets? (Some have vegetarian, low-salt and low-cholesterol menus.)
Will the ranch provide guest references?
Are there special clothing requirements?
Will the ranch provide a clothing/equipment list? (Usually standard procedure.)
What equipment does the ranch provide? (Fishing rods, tennis rackets, etc.)
Do I need a license to fish? Should I buy one before I arrive?
What will the weather be like?
Can we buy sundry items at the ranch? (Not all ranches have stores on premises.)
Do you provide airport, train, or bus pickup? (Many ranches are happy to pick you up. There is often a nominal charge.)
Do you recommend rental cars? (In most instances, once you arrive, you’ll not want to leave the ranch. However, you may opt for flexibility and independence.)
Are laundry facilities available? (Many ranches have laundry facilities; some will even do your laundry.)
What is your liquor policy? (Many ranches ask that you bring your own wine or liquor. If desired, you can pick these up on your way, or the ranch will get them for you, with advance notice. Some ranches offer wine and beer, and a number have fully licensed bars and extensive wine lists.)
Are any foreign languages spoken?
Are pets allowed?
What is the elevation of the ranch?
Are there wheelchair facilities?
What is your smoking policy?
Are there non-smoking rooms?
Do you provide internet access?   
Do you allow cellular telephones?
Do you have Wi-Fi?


How Top50’s Concept Evolved . . .

In 2010, Top50 Ranches was inspired by rancher Jody Dahl’s wish to establish the ultimate compilation of some of the most special ranch vacations in the world.

Feedback from guests and research on hundreds of ranches led Jody to create Top50 Ranches.com, THE online guide for travelers worldwide, featuring a select collection of ranches that are founded on hospitality and goodness, all embracing true rural culture – her dream was to make it easier for guests to find the right dude ranch vacation.

Top50 Ranches is passionate about showcasing authentic and breathtaking ranch vacations, offering a platform for 50 special ranches to stand out, thus making it easier for the traveler to choose the perfect ranch for their stay. All ranches are different and unique, and range from five-star ultra-luxury, to rustic working ranches.



In 2016, Jody decided to return full-time to her family and her family’s working cattle ranch. Today Top50Ranches is under the direction of Gene Kilgore, the world’s leading authority on guest ranches. Under his leadership, passion and vision, Top50 Ranches is more robust than ever, and continues to bring magnificent ranch vacations to the world today and beyond.

Welcome to Top50 Ranches! We hope you will visit us often! Please contact our Concierge Service at 707/215-5205 with any ranch vacation questions, or email us at HappyTrails@Top50Ranches.com.

And finally, we hope you will tell all your friends and colleagues about Top50Ranches.com – we just love sharing our passion and knowledge about ranch vacations!

Wishing you and yours many happy trails,

The Top50 Ranches Team

I found you when I googled Ranch Holidays. Then I used trip advisor from the ranches' pages, which I live by! Many thanks for your comprehensive site.
Top50 User, 2011, England