Congratulations! You've decided to take the plunge and make your next getaway to a dude ranch vacation. But where are the best dude ranches in the world? Don your Stetson, grab your passport and come with us on a journey to ranch country – we'll guide you through the best ranch vacations in the world!
Where are the best dude ranches in the world?
1) Ranch vacations to the United States
Let's start with the United States, the home of the Wild West, the Mustang and of course all things cowboy – the country everyone associates with ranch vacations.
Here are the locations of the best dude ranches in the U.S.:
The U.S. is home to some of the most famous and historic ranches in the world, spread across many states – the most famous for ranch vacations being Montana, Colorado and Wyoming.
Montana is simply enormous, the fourth-largest state in the country. While some ranches are situated close to Glacier or Yellowstone National Parks, others are found in farther-flung regions. Explore the best ranch vacations in Montana if Big Sky Country sounds like your place!
Colorado offers some absolutely breathtaking natural landscapes, just ripe for exploring! Discover the beauty of The Rocky Mountains, countless rivers and broad plains, all hosting many beautiful Colorado dude ranches.
The least-populated state in the U.S., Wyoming boasts the famous Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, as well as countless other jaw-dropping natural landmarks where you can indulge in blissful hot springs, mountains and expansive prairies. Sound good? Then a Wyoming ranch vacation might be just the thing for you!
Some of the best ranch vacations in the U.S. can also be found in some of the not-so-obvious cowboy-style states, like Washington, California, Virginia and Oregon, and slap-bang in the middle of the country is Nebraska.
Rowses's 1+1 Ranch, Nebraska
Nebraska is home to The Great Plains, a vast region of grasslands that extends from Canada to Texas. On a Nebraska dude ranch, you can expect the real Old West, abundant Native American history and wide-open spaces for real riding.
If the coast is a-callin', Washington and Oregon are both located in the Pacific north west. Explore some of the most geographically-diverse landscapes in the U.S. on a luxury ranch vacation to Oregon or on a dude ranch in Washington.
Also in the north west, but without coastline, is Idaho, home to another corner of Yellowstone National Park. On a dude ranch vacation to Idaho, you can expect stunning scenery and a rich history of the Native Americans.
California ranch vacations also offer huge geographical diversity (think Redwood forests, Death Valley and the coastline) and near year-round good weather, while culture vultures can enjoy ranch vacations to Virginia – a state steeped in the rich history of the U.S..
Primland Resort, Auberge Resorts Colleciton, Virginia
Utah also boasts some rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes, and is also famous for its abundance of outdoor activities available, including having several major ski resorts for the winter. A luxury ranch vacation to Utah won't disappoint if it's outdoor activities you're after.
Heading to the very south of the United States takes us to Arizona, located on the Mexican border. Here you can get on the cowboy film trail – a dude ranch vacation to Arizona will take you into true cowboy country, mile upon mile of wide open space. Explore the Grand Canyon while you're here, too!
2) Ranch vacations to Canada
British Colombia is home to some of the most magnificent and untouched wilderness on the planet and, as such, is a top destination for dude ranch vacations in Canada.
Breathtaking scenery is a given and the country's vast wilderness provides a stunning backdrop for horseback riding, fishing, hiking and more.
Echo Valley Ranch, B.C. Canada
Dude ranches in Canada are well known for their outstanding hospitality and whether it's luxury, adventure, excitement or downtime you're after, you won't be disappointed with a Canadian ranch vacation.
3) Ranch vacations to Mexico
Mexico really does have it all! A mostly year-round sunny climate with deserts, mountains and stunning beaches make it a popular destination for travelers looking for a dude ranch vacation with a difference.
On a Mexican dude ranch vacation, you'll ride horses through the countryside and have the opportunity to take part in traditional Mexican activities, such as cooking (the food is amazing!) and dancing, or why not take to the vast wilderness and try birdwatching, or take in the stunning flowering deserts.
Whatever you're looking for from your horse riding vaction to Mexico, you're sure to find it on a Mexican dude ranch!
Let us help you plan your dude ranch vacation
How much does a ranch vacation cost? Budget is one of, if not, the most important factors when travel planning, so we've gathered together 11 good questions for you to ask our Top50 Ranches before taking the plunge and making that booking!
Need help to save time and money travel planning? Here are 4 quick ways to choose your dream ranch vacation
Written and created by Kate Hammaren; luxury and adventure travel writer, editor and world traveler.