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Dude ranches make great fall getaways for a wide variety of holidaymakers. This season is all about change and, in the case of autumn ranch holidays, change is always good.

Fall for the natural beauty

The natural surroundings are the most obvious sign of the change of the seasons and make a fall visit to a dude ranch a magical experience. What were green trees, only a few weeks before, begin to turn vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, transforming the ranch landscape. Make the most of the open space around you to stomp through untouched, crisp, fallen leaves on a local hike or lope along under a vibrant canopy with an experienced wrangler as your guide. Fall is also one of best times of year to see wildlife, with everything from elk to bears on the move preparing for winter.

Estancia Ranquilco ranch Photo: Estancia Ranquilco, Neuquen, Argentina

Some dude ranches offer specialist photography getaways to help guests make the most of the natural beauty that surrounds them. Book one of these experiences and prepare to be taken to the best viewing points in the area, plus receive top tips from knowledgable photographers to ensure you capture the moment in high definition to share with your friends and family. Many ranches also offer hunting and fishing getaways – check the details of your preferred ranch for more information.

Fall means cattle drives

On working dude ranches, this time of year is the most exciting and rewarding for guests who like to be immersed in the true ranch experience. Cattle need to be moved from their summer to their winter grazing, and this requires all hands on deck! If you are an active traveller, this is the perfect time of year to visit and assist experienced wranglers in driving the cattle to their winter home. Spend your days on horseback in stunning scenery, then find a place around the campfire with like-minded travellers at night.

Vista Verde cattle drive Photo: Vista Verde, Colorado, USA

Better weather for active vacations

For many ranches, the fall season provides the best weather for guests. Hot weather doesn’t suit everyone so if you’re a tentative sun worshipper, book your next dude ranch vacation in the fall. It’s neither too hot or too cold – ride comfortably in the day and relax on your porch in the cooler evenings. Other active experiences, such as fishing, hiking, climbing and white water rafting, are made more enjoyable by the fall climate, too.

The quiet life

The change of season also brings a change of pace. Whereas the summer season can sometimes be a full-on child frenzy, fall typically sees them return to school. Booking a ranch holiday outside the summer season can give the child-free a chance to relax and enjoy the quieter side of ranch life. A number of the Top50 Ranches offer adult-only weeks in the fall, specifically catering to those who want a more chill-out ranch experience. If your preferred ranch doesn’t mention adult-only weeks, why not give them a call? They’ll be able to tell you whether your chosen week is child-free.

Free Rein ranch view Photo: Free Rein, British Columbia, Canada

Great deals

An additional benefit of booking outside the summer season is the range of deals you may find available to you. Great ranch experiences can be had at off-peak prices – keep an eye on the Top50 Ranches Facebook page for exclusive offers or contact your chosen ranch destination to see what they can do for you.

To find your ideal fall dude ranch vacation, browse what the Top50 Ranches have to offer you.

- Soraya Abdel-Hadi

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