Nebraska Ranch Vacations
Nebraska guest ranch vacations will take you to the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. Once considered part of the Great American Desert, Nebraska it is now a leading farming and ranching state, so, is a popular western horse riding holiday destination.
Each ranch is vetted to ensure quality for you. Why Top50?
Want more Ranches? View all Top50 Ranches
Need help? Contact Top50
Nebraska is bordered by six other states known for their farming, ranching and agriculture, namely South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. Be careful how you set your watch on your ranch vacation in Nebraska, as the state is split into two time zones: the Central Time zone to the eastern half of the state, and Mountain Time in the west. Western riding opportunities are endless here, although the horseback riding terrain and scenery will depend on the location of your chosen dude ranches: Nebraska’s two major land regions are the Dissected Till Plains, a region of gently rolling hills, and the Great Plains to the west, which consists of several smaller, diverse land regions.
Take your next ranch vacation at a working ranch, guest ranch or dude ranch in Nebraska and you’ll likely drink a lot of Kool-Aid! The drink was created here in 1927 and is the official soft drink of Nebraska. Spend a western ranch vacation here in the second weekend of August and take a trip the city of Hastings, where an event is held in Kool-Aid’s honor every year. So what else is Nebraska famous for? Well, it’s home Berkshire Hathaway, whose CEO, Warren Buffett, is one of the richest people in the world; The Buckle, based in Kearney; and the world's largest train yard, Union Pacific's Bailey Yard, is located in North Platte. But for people looking for a western ranch vacation, Nebraska’s greatest gems are its working ranches, guest ranches and luxury dude ranches.
Nebraska is true cowboy country and is home to the Cowboy Trail State Recreation Trail. The opportunities for a western horseback riding vacation in Nebraska are many and varied, whether you are looking for a working ranch experience, an authentic ranch vacation at a guest ranch, or a little more luxury at a dude ranch. Whenever you decide to visit, there will be plenty of chances to visit a real western rodeo! Although rodeos are mainly held throughout the state of Nebraska on weekends in the spring, summer and fall, people taking their best ranch vacation in winter will be pleased to know that some rough-stock rodeos are held indoors during this colder season. Or maybe you prefer to get on board a horse and do it yourself than watching the cowboy tricks? Then mount up on your ranch horse and retrace one of Nebraska’s historic trails, which include the Oregon Trail, Pony Express Trail, Mormon Trail, Overland Trail, Deadwood Trail and the Lewis and Clark Trail.
If you want to visit a National Historic Site during your US ranch visit, head to Chimney Rock, where thousands of covered-wagon emigrants climbed up the base to carve their names on the tower. Today, the column towers 500 feet above the nearby North Platte River. Or take a break from the ranch and visit the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, and see fossil beds with bones of animals formed 19 million years ago. Or for a cowboy-themed visit, head to the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, home of famed showman-scout William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. The Buffalo Bill Ranch recaptures the life and career of the famed Pony Express rider, army scout, buffalo-hunter-turned-showman. Ride in real cowboy country, and saddle up your mount for horseback trail rides in the adjacent 233-acre state recreation area.
Need to know what weather to pack for, for your ranch vacation in Nebraska? The answer is ‘a bit of everything’! Nebraska has highly variable temperatures from season to season and year to year. Take your western ranch vacation in the central region of the state and temperatures won’t reach above 24°C in the height of summer, although a record high of 48°C was registered in 1936. And winter in Nebraska can reach as low as -6°C, although a low of -44°C was recorded in 1899! Come prepared for wind, rain and even snow – blizzards, droughts and windstorms have all plagued Nebraskans throughout their history. Your best bet is to contact your ranch host, who can best advise you on the likely climate during your best ranch vacation. But whatever the weather, Nebraska can guarantee a fantastic western horseback riding experience at your chosen ranch.
By Jody Dahl