Dude ranch vacation specials in June: up to 25% off!

Published by Jody on May 9 2012 05:49 in
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Dude ranch vacations up to 25% off, kids go half price and FREE fly-fishing rods - all this and more with Top50 Ranches’ June specials!

Get an extra 10% off at family dude ranch Vista Verde - the ultimate Colorado family vacation

June is the ideal time to take an invigorating and relaxing spring dude ranch vacation, to recharge your batteries in time for an action-packed summer. And with special offers from Top50’s USA dude ranches making for bargain ranch vacations, now you really can afford your dream dude ranch vacation!

Extra 10% off! Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado
Save an extra 10% when you take a dude ranch vacation at this all-inclusive Colorado guest ranch in week June 3-10, 2012. Experience fine food, diverse activities, luxurious accommodations and personal service, all in a spectacular mountain setting. With Vista Verde’s award-winning horseback riding program and a huge range of activities on offer, this is a bargain not to be missed!

Kids go FREE! Elk Mountain Ranch, Colorado
Take an all-inclusive Colorado family vacation at Elk Mountain Ranch in the week of June 10, 2012, and the youngest child goes FREE with two full-paying adults! Get set for a week the whole family will enjoy at this family dude ranch, with comfortable cabins, home-cooked food and the best activities Colorado has to offer. Whether it’s horseback riding through unspoiled wilderness, thrilling white-water rafting, archery, fishing, mountain biking, or square-dancing the night away, prepare to have a blast on your Colorado family vacation at Elk Mountain – at an unbeatable price.

Save 25%! Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana
June 17-24 is family week at Flathead Lake Lodge, and now with a massive 25% off you’ll get even more for your money on your Montana family vacation. Join renowned guitarists Jody Fisher, Doug Smith and Andrew Leonard for private performances during this all-inclusive week at the Lodge, which includes amenities, accommodations and meals at a bargain rate. This is one Montana family vacation you can’t afford to miss!

Save 25%! Lazy L&B Ranch, Wyoming
To celebrate springtime in the Rockies, Lazy L&B Ranch is slashing a massive 25% off dude ranch vacations in the first two weeks of June, and 15% off dude ranch vacations in the third week of June. With wildflowers blooming and the high country peaks still snow-capped, this is the perfect time to take a Wyoming family vacation at an unbeatable price. Saddle up for an unforgettable horseback riding experience over 80,000 acres of beautiful ranch country, spotting the likes of elk, moose, antelope and wild horses running free on the mesa, along the way.

10% off, plus FREE Orvis fly-fishing rod! Lone Mountain Guest Ranch, Montana
Cast off on a Fly-Fishing Package at Lone Mountain Ranch this June and not only will you receive an extra 10% off, but the Montana dude ranch will throw in a Orvis fly-fishing rod complete with 25-year guarantee – absolutely FREE! Choose the four-night Fly Fishing Package and receive an Orvis Access rod worth $375 value, or opt for a longer, seven-night stay and pick up an Orvis Helios rod worth $795. Voted Orvis Lodge of the Year, Lone Mountain Ranch is the ultimate place to put your brand new rod into practice on a dude ranch vacation.

For full details and to book any of Top50’s June specials, visit Top50Ranches.com

Three Bars Ranch specials: Over 40% off!

Published by Jody on May 4 2012 09:49 in Canada | Dude Ranches | Ranch Specials
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Three Bars Ranch is offering two great value packages in May and June, for bargain dude ranch vacations! The Canada family ranch is slashing a massive 43% off ranch vacations in May, and 21% off dude ranch vacations in June. For a luxury dude ranch vacation with an authentic touch, head to this Canada family ranch on May 27th or June 24th, and you'll save a packet...

Three Bars Ranch, BC Canada

Save 43%! Was $1,770, now $999*
6 Night packages for May 27th now available for $999 per riding adult. Packages include all meals, upscale log cabin accommodations, unlimited horseback riding and all ranch amenities.

Save 21%! Was $1,770, now $1,399
6 Night packages for June 24th now available for $1399* per riding adult. Packages include all meals, upscale log cabin accommodations, unlimited horseback riding and all ranch amenities.

Space is limited - contact the ranch for details.

*Rates exclude tax.

Remember to mention Top50 Ranches when you book! For more information on family ranch vacations at Three Bars Ranch, view their ranch profile at Top50Ranches.com

More Canada ranch vacations

Planning a ranch vacation: Top 10 tips

Published by Jody on April 17 2012 08:46 in Argentina | Australia | Canada | Cattle drives | Children's Programs | Dude Ranches | New Zealand | Pack trips | Shopping | United States | What to wear
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Planning a dude ranch vacation isn't something to leave until the last minute! There’s a lot to consider, so follow Top50's top 10 tips to make sure you get the most out of your western riding holiday

1. Best place for a ranch vacation?
Which country? Which state? Mountains or desert? The options are endless. Here at Top50 Ranches we showcase Canada guest ranches, USA ranch vacations, Argentina horse riding holidays, riding holidays in Mexico, Australia horse treks and New Zealand cattle stations – but your choice will depend on how hot you like it and the kind of riding country you’re after. For mountain riding, Colorado, Montana, Canada and Argentina are good choices. If you like hot weather, choose a ranch in the southern States and south America, which boast great weather all year round. Best place for winter sun? Australia, which of course has its summer during the USA/European winter. Taking the kids? Find a child-friendly ranch with a supervised children’s program.

2. Budget early on
The cost of a dude ranch vacation varies greatly, so it’s worth setting a budget early on – taking into account getting there (flights, care hire if applicable), spending money and tipping. If you know your limits, you won’t even be tempted to consider ranches you can’t afford and save yourself disappointment. And it might be that you realise an extra year of saving might be worth it if you do want to opt for some luxury dude ranches.

3. Getting cheap flights
To avoid a shock when it comes to booking flights, check when it’s cheapest to fly before you book your ranch. Book as far in advance as you can, as prices tend to rocket closer to the flight date. Don’t be tempted to go for the very cheapest flight if it means several tight connections – give yourself plenty of time in case of delays, so you don’t run the risk of missing your connections.

4. Pack sensibly
Pack lots of layers if the weather is variable, and remember your swimsuit! Pack plenty of comfy jeans for riding, low-heeled shoes/boots for riding, smarter clothes suitable for dinners in the evening, and a pair of sneakers will also come in handy for exploring the ranch on foot. Check to see if you need to pack your hard hat or boots, as some ranches provide these for guests. Padded underwear and a good sports bra will also come in useful for long days in the saddle!

5. Leave room in your suitcase
…for souvenirs, gifts for friends back home, and the western riding gear you’re sure to be tempted by at local western outfitters.

6. Money matters
Some ranches charge extra for certain activities and remember that tipping is pretty commonplace – especially in America – so take enough currency that you won’t need to rely on your credit card (complete with hefty fees for use abroad). And yes, you will want to buy that shiny new pair of cowboy boots!

7. Do your western riding research
You will of course get ‘Western Riding 101’ from the wranglers before they set you loose on the open range, but it’s worth getting familiar with the western riding aids – many of them verbal – and techniques such as neck-reining. We can’t promise your dressage schoolmaster will know what on earth you’re asking him to do, however! Really keen? Book a couple of lessons at your nearest western riding centre.

8. Car hire
Even if you’re not planning a road trip and your chosen ranch provides airport transfers, you might want to head off ranch a couple of times to see the local area – especially if you’re near Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks, The Grand Canyon and other famous landmarks. From the UK or Europe? Booking car hire from the UK/Europe is vastly cheaper than getting it while in the USA and Canada, so save yourself some money and sort it before you go.

9. Make sure you’re legal!
Immigration officers abroad are notoriously strict, so avoid a lengthy delay at airport customs by making sure you have the right documentation before you travel. For travel to the US, that now means applying for a visa waiver online and paying a small fee, which you can do online here.

10. Get fit for riding
You might already pack in several hours’ riding a week, but hard riding all day for up to two weeks on long cattle drives or pack trips can take its toll on your muscles. Avoid burning out after the first day by getting fit before you go – swimming is a great way to up your fitness levels and muscle endurance, and practise sitting trot as often as you can to prepare that bottom!

To find your ultimate dude ranch vacation, visit Top50Ranches.com

Affordable Dude Ranch Vacations: Top-10 Best Value Ranches

Published by Jody on February 24 2012 12:10 in
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Affordable and inexpensive dude ranch vacations are, you might think, hard to come by. But you'd be wrong - even some of the Top50 Ranches in the world offer unbeatable value dude ranch vacations for travelers on a budget, or those who simply want to save money in the recession in every way they can with a cheap ranch holiday. And we don't blame you! So, want to know Top50's top 10 picks of the best budget and inexpensive ranch holidays? Read on...

1. Badger Creek Ranch is a working cattle and guest ranch located high in the spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountains, where traditional ranch life and western horseback adventures await. Head to this authentic Colorado guest ranch and expect to be an important part of Badger Creek’s cowboy crew, earning your cowboy stripes as you ride fences, and round up, doctor and sort cattle. With nightly rates* ranging from just $100 (non-rider) to $175 (all-inclusive) and with no minimum stay, this Colorado working ranch offers real value for money.
*7% tax not included

Badger Creek Ranch

2. Canada guest ranch Free Rein Ranch is located in secluded wilderness with thousands of acres to explore and days crammed with adventure to be had. You really do get “free rein" on your dude ranch vacation here, whether you choose to ride out on horseback, take riding lessons in the arena, try your hand at white-water rafting, archery, hiking and mountain biking, or simply bathe in secluded lakes. With all-inclusive prices* ranging from only $200 per night and a reduced rate for children, Free Rein Ranch offers great, inexpensive ranch vacations.
*12% HST applies to all charges

Free Rein Ranch

3. Rancho Los Banos in the safe and secure area of Sonora, Mexico, is a 30,000-acre eco-adventure and nature-travel guest ranch, a genuine Mexican working cattle ranch and wilderness preserve. Catering to a new generation of adventure travelers, Los Banos provides Mexico horse riding holidays like no other, offering world-class hiking, horseback riding and trail rides along with walking and trekking wilderness and box canyon adventures. And with prices from just $130 per night – inclusive of lodging, meals, activities and airport transfers from Douglas, Arizona – you won’t find better value from any other Mexico adventure vacation.

Rancho Los Banos

4. Rankin Ranch in California, USA, combines history, horses and western hospitality – with bargain rates to boot. Located in the beautiful little valley of Walker’s Basin deep in the heart of the Tehachapi Mountains, this working cattle and guest ranch is one of the oldest and largest family-owned ranches in California, and is the ideal choice for families looking for an authentic working ranch vacation on a budget. Flexibility makes this such a great value ranch, thanks to a ‘no minimum stay’ policy and tiered pricing – nightly rates start from just $165 for adults, $80 for non-riders and $80 for children. With meals, activities, lodging, riding* and taxes included, working ranch vacations at Rankin Ranch offer unbeatable value.
*Horse riding not included for non-rider rate

5. Rowse's 1+1 Ranch in Nebraska, USA, is another working ranch where you can ride the range and experience life as a real cowboy. Think wide open spaces, no crowds, traffic or hassles – and certainly no nose-to-tail trail riding. Expect to participate in all ranch activities, especially riding and cattle work – you’ll get involved in cattle drives, roundups, brandings, team-penning and roping. Included in the rates, which start from just $217 per night, are all meals, activities, riding, ranch shuttle, lodging and tax – incredible value considering the endless saddle time you get on a working ranch vacation at Rowse’s 1+1.

6. Sugar and Spice Ranch in Texas, USA, offers mother-daughter horseback vacations at bargain prices. Moms pay from just $100 per night (from $50 non-rider) and daughters just $50 per night for a summer dude ranch vacation devoted to bonding mothers and daughters through horses. Each gal will ‘own’ their own horse and get involved in feeding, grooming, tacking up, cleaning tack, bathing and, of course, riding. These bargain rates include all meals, riding*, activities, lodging, tax and evening entertainment, with round-trip shuttle to and from San Antonio airport available at just $100.
*Horse riding not included for non-rider rate

7. To get more for your money, head to Sweet Grass Ranch in Montana, USA, a family-owned and operated working cattle and guest ranch secluded in the Crazy Mountains. Riding opportunities here are above excellent – with thousands of acres of both mountain country and rolling meadows and plains to roam, you’ll enjoy an unstructured riding program tailored to your interests. From just $225 per night on the all-inclusive riding package, you can choose to go on all-day rides moving cattle or to Sweet Grass Ranch’s majestic alpine lakes, where you can be out riding from 6am to 7pm. Non-riding packages start from just $180 per night and include all activities - from hiking and fishing to golf and a host of indoor and outdoor games. Bring the kids too, for whom a reduced rate of just $160 applies – this includes horseback riding and all off-horse activities. Children will particularly love row-boating on the ponds, the ranch’s natural water slide, inner tubing the creek and evening campfires. Amazing value for all the family!

8. Texas Ranch Life in - you guessed it - Texas, USA, is an authentic working ranch where you can immerse yourself in western cowboy culture. Enjoy open-range horseback riding over the ranch’s 20 miles of rolling hills and vistas; and when you’re not horseback riding, try your hand at fishing, hunt for dove, quail, coyote and raccoon, or explore thousands of acres on trails by bike or ATV. Texas Ranch Life prides itself on a highly flexible rate policy, meaning you can tailor your ranch vacation according to your budget - there are opportunities to both save and splurge! Riding and non-riding activities are all charged separately, so you will only pay for what you use – so if riding or fishing are not your thing, you won’t pay for them. Nightly rates start as low as $140 and you can even bring your own horse – so why not rent a paddock and save money on hiring a ranch horse?

9. If it’s real value you’re after, head to the super-luxurious and family-friendly Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge in Montana, USA, on June 17-24, where you’ll save a whopping 25%! And this is not just any vacation – renowned guitarists Jody Fisher, Doug Smith and Andrew Leonard will give private performances during this Family Week at the Lodge, perfect for music lovers and budding song-writers. What’s more, all amenities, accommodations and meals are included in this special affordable ranch vacation package. Nightly rates start at just $257 for adults and $199 for children, meaning a family of four will save over $2,000 with this special offer! Great price, great dude ranch vacation – now that’s what we call value.

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

10. Last but by no means least, is Echo Valley Ranch and Spa. OK, so this might be more of a splurge than a save, but if it’s value you’re after… Consider the luxury dude ranch’s credentials and you certainly get what you pay for – none more so when you book their customizable packages, where you only pay for what you use. The luxury dude ranch’s special Ranch Package runs year-round and is inclusive of deluxe accommodations, gourmet family-style meals and use of all ranch facilities, while spa activities and eco-adventures are offered on an ‘a la carte’ basis. So whether you choose horseback riding, guided hiking, fly fishing or other eco-excursions, the Ranch Package gives you the opportunity to customize your perfect vacation by doing as much or as little as you want. This is a great option for families, as although adult prices start from $235 per night, kids go from as little as $40 per night, to really even out the spend. Perfect for families looking for luxury with flexible payment options.

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

For more ranch vacations to suit every budget and even cheap ranch holidays, visit Top50Ranches.com

By Jody Dahl

Alisal Guest Ranch announces speciality weekends and value packages for 2012

Published by Jody on February 2 2012 09:20 in Dude Ranches | Food & Wine | Ranch Specials | Relaxation Ranches | Special Events | Special Offers
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Dude ranch vacations at Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort are always going to be wonderful, but to make them even more special, this luxury dude ranch is giving you the opportunity to save money on your ranch vacation to the California dude ranch! Alisal Guest Ranch's valuable getaway packages for 2012 will appeal to steak lovers, budding singers and songwriters, moms and daughters, couples, wannabe cowgirls and more! Take a look at these special dude ranch vacation offers and find the package that'll make your 2012 dude ranch vacation to Alisal that extra bit special...

View over the Alisal lake

SONGWRITERS’ WORKSHOP: February 5-12, 2012
Budding singer or songwriter? This package offers a unique opportunity to personally work alongside Jim Messina, one the legendary musicians of this generation. This intensive seven-day package will help you develop songwriting and performance skills, and includes:
• Intensive seven-day workshop hosted by Jim Messina
• Saturday night concert performance with participants, celebrity guests and Jim Messina
• Studio accommodation for eight days and seven nights
• Daily meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner

WEEKEND CONCERT PACKAGE: February 10-12, 2012
For Jim Messina fans, Alisal is offering a the chance to join Jim in an intimate evening of acoustic music and fine dining along with celebrity guest performances, in addition to all that the ranch has to offer. The package includes:
• Studio accommodation for three days and two nights
• Welcome basket including Jim Messina’s latest CD
• Saturday night cocktail reception
• Private dinner featuring local wines
• Saturday night concert
• Breakfast and dinner daily
• Unlimited horseback riding, golf green fees, tennis, and fishing at Alisal Lake

BBQ BOOTCAMP: March 8-11, 2012
Full details here

This laid-back escape is a fantastic way to strengthen bonds and build fond memories that will last a lifetime. Wranglin’ cowgirls will learn the fundamentals of barrel racing, roping, and trail riding. This package includes:
• Studio accommodation for four days and three nights
• Cowgirl western amenity basket upon arrival
• Receptions each evening
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner, including wine with dinner
• Gourmet picnic lunch, hat shaping and archery lesson at Alisal lake
• Line dancing instruction
• Daily horseback rides, roping, and barrel racing lessons and a mini cattle round-up

On this all-inclusive adventurous retreat, women can look forward to exploring over 50 miles of beautiful trails, learning archery, fishing and hat shaping all within the stunning surrounds of Alisal. The package includes:
• Studio accommodation for four days and three nights
• Gift basket filled with Cowgirl Amenities on arrival
• Cocktail receptions each evening
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner, including wine with dinner
• Private wine maker's presentation
• Gourmet picnic lunch at Alisal lake
• Daily horseback rides with instruction and cattle round up
• Line dancing, archery, hat shaping and barrel racing lessons
• Nightly live entertainment in Alisal's Oak Room

COUPLES BOOTCAMP: October 8-21, 2012
This is an ideal opportunity to treat your other half to a first-class Alisal adventure filled with thrills and pampered pleasures. The package includes:
• Daily horseback rides
• Rodeo instruction
• Breakfast ride to the historic old Adobe
• A Fly-fishing lesson
• Nightly entertainment
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner
• Alisal Signature Massage for two
• Gourmet wine dinner and special lakeside dinner
• Moonlight hay ride
• Romantic turn-down gifts
• Taxes and service charges

This fall, join the Alisal Guest Ranch with Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards for an unforgettable weekend to celebrate the fall harvest. This Western-focused wine event includes entry to an exclusive Harvest Party, a winemaker’s dinner, breakfast horseback ride, BBQ dinner, dancing, live entertainment and much more. The Harvest Party features live music, barrel and tank sampling and production tours. Complete the weekend with a round of golf, horseback riding or just relax and reflect on the bounty of the weekend. The package includes:
• Studio accommodation for three days and two nights
• Welcome basket
• Breakfast and dinner daily, including wine with dinner
• Welcome wine reception and BBQ dinner
• Line dancing and Western entertainment
• Sunday Breakfast ride to the Historic Adobe
• Transportation and admission to Lucas & Lewellen Harvest Party
• Wine reception
• Winemaker’s dinner with Lucas and Lewellen Principals
• Horseback riding on scheduled two hour rides, golf green fees, tennis and fishing at Alisal Lake

ROUND-UP VACATION: September – May
During select times of the year, the Alisal offers a special "Round-Up Vacation" Package. Unlimited golf, horseback riding on the regularly scheduled two-hour rides, access to the Fitness Center and Spa, tennis and fishing are included in the regular price of the room. This package applies to only two people per room and is non-transferable.
Availability: The Round-Up Vacation Package is offered on stays of two or more consecutive nights, Sunday through Thursday from September - May. It is also offered on weekends from November through March. Holiday and summer restrictions apply. Inclusive activities begin at 1:00 pm on the day of arrival and end at 12:00 noon on the day of departure.


For prices and reservations, email reservations@alisal.com or visit www.alisal.com

About the author

Welcome to Top50's Ranch blog -The best way to stay current on the best ranch getaways, network with friends, and share stories about your ranch experiences.

Since this blog is largely driven by guest and ranch input and experiences, please contact us with your videos, photos, and stories about your ranch experience or for any story ideas you may have! 

Continue to check back regularly as ranches keep us updated about happenings & special offers throughout the year. 


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