Top50 Ranches


Summer’s nearly here and with that brings the question: “Where can we go on vacation?” Dude ranch vacations are the perfect place to take your family, they offer so many amazing activities and adventures specially designed for children (and the chance for adults to take a break, too!). We’ve found the top eight family-friendly ranches that offer incredible ranch vacations for kids.

Lazy L&B Ranch, Wyoming USA Kids Program

Lazy L&B Kids

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • A ranch vacation for kids at Lazy L&B Ranch strikes a balance between the kids being independent, while still sharing a family experience.
  • There are a couple of family rides, but otherwise kids and adults ride separately. Parents can join their children on their rides, but there’s no obligation
  • The kids ride in groups of similar ages and abilities
  • When there aren’t rides scheduled, there are other activities, such as crafts, roping clinics, kids’ games, hikes, etc
  • On one evening, children eat together with some of the wranglers, then on Thursday nights they have a cookout away from the ranch by the river
  • As it’s a child-friendly ranch, kids can roam around creating their own fun and games – there’s a pool, river, treehouse, campfires and the petting zoo

Need to know: The trail-riding program starts at age six. Kids aged under six are well cared for and entertained while everyone else is busy, they can participate in the care of the horses and can be ponied around the ranch. 

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The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch Lil Wrangler Program

Brush Creek Lil Wranglers

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • There are many activities available for your kids to learn and enjoy on a family-friendly dude ranch vacation to Brush Creek Ranch, such as archery, arcade games, arts and crafts, biking, capture the flag, hiking, horseback rides and more
  • No parental involvement is necessary if you’re looking for some real time out on your family ranch vacation – professional counselors and guides lead daily programs so parents can enjoy their own adventures
  • Every morning session in the ranch’s kids program starts with a horseback ride so the children can observe wildlife in its natural habitat and learn about the history of the West

Need to know: Brush Creek Ranch is open all summer. Lil Wrangler age limit is four to eight years old.

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C Lazy U Ranch, Colorado Kids Program

C Lazy U Kids

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • Child-friendly ranch C Lazy U Ranch has been running its kids program for over 50 years and it’s one of the major draws for families coming (and returning) to the ranch
  • The ranch offers counselor supervision for kids activities: horseback riding, ropes course, zip-line, paddle boats, pool time, fishing, archery, arts and crafts, and much more!
  • Parents get so see the kids throughout the day, but the kids ranch vacation program is separate
  • There are two different kids groups: Cowpokes (ages three to five) and Mustangs (ages 6-12)

Need to know: Keep an eye on their up-coming dates

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Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, Idaho Youth Horsemanship Program

Western Pleasure Ranch Kids

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • The Youth Horsemanship Program at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is the ultimate ranch vacation for kids who love horses, as they gain hands-on experience with horsemanship
  • Learning starts before you reach the ranch – kids receive the ranch’s horsemanship manual before they arrive, to help expand their learning experience
  • Children will learn how to be responsible for their own horse and equipment, learning horse husbandry and care. They’ll prepare their horse each day for their activities, such as grooming, saddling, arena lessons, arena games, trail rides, cattle sorting and day rides
  • The Sunday-to-Thursday kids ranch vacation ends with a real horse show, compete with ribbons and trophies

Need to know: Kids aged eight to 18 may participate.

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Bar W Guest Ranch, Montana Junior Wrangler Cowpoke Program

Bar W Ranch Kids

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • Family-friendly ranch, Bar W Guest Ranch has designed the kids program to allow parents the freedom to experience the ranch’s offerings, while being confident that their child is receiving the best care and making lifelong memories.
  • A ranch vacation to Bar W offers many chances for the kids to interact with different ranch animals, such as baby goats, a rabbit, chickens, a cat and two ponies. Children may help with ‘chores’ including collecting eggs, grooming, feeding, and cleaning the animals’ pens.
  • Children will have educational components throughout the week incorporated into the fun and will learn how to groom, saddle and care for a horse. A ranch vacation for kids wouldn’t be complete without a chance to learn rodeo patterns (barrel racing, keyhole, and pole bending) and working cows!
  • This family-friendly ranch also offers exciting adventures on the water or, crafts, such as painting a horseshoe, or the always popular ‘paint your horse’ – and much, much more!
  • Junior Cowpokes, age seven to 11, will enjoy rides with adults as well as special Junior Cowpoke-only rides

Need to know: Kids three and under go free. 

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Rancho Las Cascadas, Mexico Summer Vacation ‘Kids Stay & Play Free’ Special

Rancho Las Cascadas Kids

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • There are plenty of exciting summer adventures for kids at child-friendly ranch, Rancho Las Cascadas. They’ll go horseback riding in fun groups, and learn horse care and painting horses
  • Non-horsey kids can enjoy their ranch vacation, too with bonfires, pool activities, art classes, hiking and biking, and other outdoor games and activities

Need to know: Ckeck the website and contact the ranch for kids summer vacation programs.

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The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana The Little Grizzlies Kids Club

The Ranch at Rock Creek Kids

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • It’s a year-round, all-inclusive kids program at family-friendly Montana dude ranch, The Ranch at Rock Creek
  • Children can discover outdoor activities like fly-fishing, master naturalist hikes, horseback riding and more – each day provides a different activity.
  • A guide trained in safe and natural play leads each session, and during these sessions adults can do their own activities at their own pace before families reconvene for lunch, dinner and evening fun.
  • Twice a week there’s a Little Grizzlies Dinner in the Silver Dollar Saloon. While parents enjoy tasting and pairing menus, kids enjoy an interactive dinner with food that is suited to their palates.

Need to know: Little Grizzlies is included in every stay and available for kids aged four to 12.

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Elk Mountain Ranch, Colorado Kids Program

Elk Mountain Ranch Kids

Why it’s great for you and your kids:

  • At Elk Mountain Ranch, two children's counselors will offer youngsters supervised, fun-filled days of activities, such as panning for gold, the petting zoo, animal care, hiking, crafts, fishing, hot springs and more.
  • There’s an awesome trip where kids can learn Indian crafts, hike to a tepee and hunt for arrowheads
  • Kids will have arena-riding lessons and there’s a rodeo at the end of the vacation.

Need to know: Age limit up to seven years, however children eight and older are usually able to participate in regular ranch activities, but are always welcome to join this program.

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Thirsty for more? Check out our Best Ranches for Families guide where you’re sure to find something for everyone, young or old!

Don’t forget to explore our ranch vacation Specials for the latest dude ranch discounts, offers and events, and connect with us on Facebook (@duderanchvacations), Instagram @top50ranches and Twitter @top50ranches

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