Family dude ranches ideal for all generations!

Published by Jody on October 11 2012 01:58 in
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Family Dude Ranches ideal for all generations! Whether you want to do things together or leave your children to do their own thing.

Here at Top50 we know that everyone wants something different from their ranching experience, which is why we’re here to help and offer the best advice whatever your needs. For families, a ranching holiday can be overlooked because there may be a perception that ranches don’t cater well for children, but that’s simply not the case. Many ranches encourage activities that parents and children can do together, whereas others put on children’s activities separately, allowing mum and dad a well-deserved break from parenting responsibilities. Whatever your wishes, consider a ranching holiday for all the family next year. Here are some of the options on offer.

Be together as a family
•    Zapata in Colorado, USA, is a working ranch that’s owned by the Nature Conservancy and boasts some of the most scenic and diverse landscape in America. Children over the age of eight are welcome and are encouraged to take part in all the daily operations, while children aged seven and under can do led rides or ride in the corral.
•    Snowy River, New South Wales, Australia, specialises in leading 2-5 day treks across the snowy river countryside and encourages children over the age of 10 to join in. There is plenty of room for children to run, ride bikes and explore, all in a safe environment, and on clear nights, you can take a walk in search of possums and owls.
•    Free Rein, British Columbia, Canada, is located in a secluded wilderness and is surrounded by stunning forestry. Children over the age of seven are encouraged to take part in all the equestrian activities providing they are competent enough. For those who aren’t up to the more adventurous rides, lessons in the arena can be arranged.
•    Estancia Ranquilco, Neuquen, Argentina, is a 100,000 acre ranch located at the foothills of the Andes. Many children over the age of four have learnt to ride here on the ranch’s gentle and safe horses, and there are various other activities for children to take part in, such as egg collecting, milking, lassoing, fly fishing and sleeping under the stars.
•    Chico Basin, Colorado, USA, offers an authentic, hands on experience with stunning, unobstructed views of the Rocky Mountains. Children under five can stay for free, while children aged 6-12 receive a 20 per cent discount. If you have children over the age of eight, they are welcome to ride and take part in all the daily activities.
•    Burnt Well Guest Ranch, New Mexico, USA, is a small family owned and operated ranch set in a sunny climate. The ranch highly encourages all the family to come along and spend time together and children over the age of three can ride out on the lead rein, too. What’s more, often there’s a lamb or calf around that needs bottle feeding, which children love.
•    Bonanza Creek, Montana, USA, is perfect for families who want to spend long hours in the saddle and enjoy spectacular views. Children aged eight and over are encouraged to join in with the rides, although they must have riding experience.
•    Los Banos Ranch, Mexico, is located in a safe and secure area offering 30,000 acres of back country riding. Children aged eight and over are welcome to join in with all the activities, which include some of the best horse riding in the world, hiking and box canyon adventures.

Leave your children having fun while you join the adults
•    Alisal Ranch, California, USA, has been a popular hideaway for families, couples and groups since 1946. Children aged three and over are welcome, and in the capable hands of Dawn (known as D), activities such as grooming, steer head roping lessons, chicken feeding, riding, arts and crafts can be arranged. Who knows what the day will bring!
•    Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana, USA, offers unlimited horse and water sports and is situated 20 miles south of the Glacier National Park. The lodge runs a unique children’s programme where activities such as kids’ rodeos, sleeping in a tepee, water activities, trail rides and much more take place.
•    Bar W Guest Ranch, Montana, USA. Heavily timbered mountains, open prairies, clear running rivers and streams all adds to the beautiful setting at Bar W. Children aged seven and over are welcome to join in with the trail rides, but learning to ride and look after a pony courses are available there, too.
•    Brush Creek Ranch, Wyoming, USA, promises the adventure of a lifetime with its endless activities, luxurious accommodation and outstanding meals. Children age six and above are welcome, and riding and non-riding activities such as trail riding, gymkhanas, rodeos, scavenger hunts, volley ball and badminton can be arranged.
•    C Lazy U Ranch, Colorado, USA, is famous for its rich history, rustic elegance, legendary cuisine and five spur service. It’s ideal for children age three and over who will be safely entertained while adults do their own thing. Children’s activities include trail rides and riding in the arena, swimming, tennis, archery, rowing and overnight camping, although there is much more on offer, too.
•    Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, British Columbia, Canada, offers a tented safari experience, which children love. Horseback riding across rainforests, river valleys and mountain trails are some of the highlights, although plenty of non-riding activities are on offer, too. For children aged six or over, riding and non-riding activities can be arranged, and non-riding activities include kayaking, zip wiring, whale watching and rock-climbing.
•    Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, British Columbia, Canada, promises action and adventure or the chance to put your feet up and unwind. The centre welcomes children at Easter and Christmas and during its special family weeks (see website for next year’s dates). A whole range of riding and non-riding activities are put on, including fishing, falcon flying, indoor games, tending to the farm animals and sing-a-long barbeques.
•    Elk Mountain, Colorado, USA, is situated high and remote in the San Isobel National Forest. It promises spectacular scenery, a variety of activities and a superb menu. Describing itself as a very family-orientated ranch, Elk Mountain welcomes children aged three and above and runs special kids’ programs for 3-7 year olds. The programs have themed days, such as cowboy or Indian day, where children get the chance to participate in activities to match the theme of the day.
•    Latigo, Colorado, USA. This hands on dude ranch prides itself on the quality of its horses and incredible staff. Offering action and adventure as well as peace and quiet, guests often go back, particularly families. Children aged three and over are welcome, and at the age of six, they can ride twice a day just like the adults! Of course, there are plenty more children’s activities on offer, such as tomahawk throwing, archery, golf and overnight trips.
•    Lazy L&B, Wyoming, USA, sits in a lush green cottonwood river bottom and offers 80,000 acres of high, spectacular riding country. Children aged five or over can have their own horse for the week where they will ride in similar age groups and experience different adventures each day under the wing of the expert wranglers. There are plenty of non-horsey activities for children, too, and they can even visit the really cool children’s tree house!
•    Lone Mountain Guest Ranch, Montana, USA. Summer time is family time at Lone Mountain, with adults participating in activities such as riding, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking and fly fishing, while children get the chance to take part in the Outdoor Youth Adventures Program. Activities in the program are designed to suit the interests and ability of each child and include riding, camping, pizza parties, confidence building courses and wall climbing, to name a few.
•    Majestic Dude Ranch, Colorado, USA. Get in touch with nature in the heart of the Mesa Verde Country and come home with memories which will last a lifetime. You can choose to be with your children or leave them in the capable hands of the centre’s highly-trained counsellors, where they will get the chance to participate in the various kids and teens programs on offer. Activities include riding, hay rides, gold panning, campouts and scavenger hunts, although plenty more is also on offer.
•    North Fork Ranch, Colorado, USA, offers a dude ranch experience you’ll never forget. Enjoy horseback riding or hiking in the beautiful Colorado back country, or white water rafting, campfire sing-alongs and square dancing. Children aged six and over are welcome and will get the chance to help wranglers in the corral, target and skeet shoot or swim in the heated pool.
•    Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, USA. Unlimited outdoor activities are available here and there’s a spa on site to help you unwind after a hard day in the saddle. Children aged six or above can pretend to be cowboys or learn to be outdoor explorers, while children under the age of six may ride in the corral with a wrangler leading them.
•    Rankin Ranch, California, USA. Set in the heart of the Tehachapi Mountains, Rankin is one of the largest and oldest family owned ranches in California, and promises history, great horses and Western hospitality. Children aged 4-11 can take part in the specially devised programs under the expert care of the centre’s staff, where they can expect to enjoy arts and crafts, visits to the farm, riding based activities and games.
•    Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Idaho, USA. Renowned for its guided adventures that reawaken the spirit, there is so much to do at Red Horse Mountain, which is set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Riding programs are available for children aged 3-11 and safety is the centre’s priority. The children do everything the adults do on horseback, only at a kid’s pace.
•    Siwash Lake Ranch, British Columbia, Canada, is an exclusive, intimate hideaway where horses, nature and luxury entwine in the wilds. The centre runs a unique riding program for adults called Synergy with Horses, while children aged 4-12 can enjoy being free range to play on the ranch, where they can get involved in all the activities under the watchful eye of Siwash’s experienced counsellors.
•    Sugar and Spice, Texas, USA, is devoted exclusively to mothers and daughters during the summer months, allowing them to bond and build up an even better relationship. The centre also specialises in children’s programs with goal setting and confidence building being something Sugar and Spice highly encourages.
•    Sweet Grass Ranch, Montana, USA. Spectacular scenery, warm hospitality and an authentic Western way of life all await you at Sweet Grass. With exceptional riding opportunities across mountains, rolling meadows and plains, you won’t be disappointed. While the centre runs weeks for adults only, at other times children are encouraged and activities can be arranged for different age groups and abilities.
•    The Resort at Paws Up, Montana, USA, offers the chance to participate in real Montana dude ranch activities, such as trail riding chuck wagons and cattle drives. While riding can be arranged for children aged four and over, there is also a rather different experience for kids. Known as the Paws Up Kids Corps of Discovery, children can expect a ride to a ghost town, fun in the sun and, of course, all the wonderful ranching activities.
•    Three Bars Ranch, British Columbia, Canada specializes in beginner riding opportunities, family experiences and multi-sport activities set in the Rocky Mountains. There’s a supervised program for children six or over, with a variety of activities, such as catching frogs, toasting marshmallows over an open fire and horse riding.
•    Vista Verde, Colorado, USA, offers a variety of summer activities and works on a ‘you tell us what you want to do’ basis. There’s an active programme for children aged six and over with daily and evening activities that was designed by a mum who knows what children love to do.
•    White Stallion Ranch, Arizona, USA, is tucked away in 3,000 acres of lush desert and invites you to experience life at a real working ranch with all the comforts of a fine resort. If experience allows, children aged eight or over are welcome to join in with the fast rides, and those five or over can enjoy slower trail rides.

To learn more about these highlighted family dude ranches visit to find out more about your dream family ranch holiday.

Last-minute ranch vacations at Lone Mountain Ranch

Published by Jody on June 15 2012 13:25 in Children's Programs | Montana | Ranch Specials | Special Offers | United States
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Last-minute ranch vacations at Lone Mountain Ranch offer something for everyone – from fly-fishing fans, to young and old looking for Montana family vacations.

June Discovery Packages – save 10%!

For a last-minute ranch vacation in June, head to the Montana family dude ranch and revel in the spring beauty of Yellowstone National Park with the new baby animals, plus enjoy horseback riding, hiking, canoeing, kids programs, incredible food, wildflowers, BBQs, evening programs and more!

Last-minute June vacation rates start at $2,414 per person based on 2 adults and 2 children in a small cabin for 7 nights.


New York to Montana Package
Take advantage of United Airlines’ new direct flight from New York to Bozeman this summer, with Lone Mountain’s New York to Montana package. The flights will operate each Saturday between June 16 to September 1, 2012 – perfect to tie in with the family dude ranch’s special 6-night all-inclusive Discovery Package. Arrive at Bozeman on Saturday and explore the charming town of Bozeman (click here for special Bozeman 1-night hotel rates with Lone Mountain bookings). Then arrive at the ranch on Sunday and enjoy everything the Montana family ranch has to offer. Rates start at $2,299 per person* based on 2 adults and 2 children in a small cabin for 6 nights.


Fly Fishing Packages
Avid anglers will love Lone Mountain’s 4- to 7-night fly fishing packages, where you’ll receive a free Orvis rod complete with 25-year guarantee. Visit in June and combine this offer with an additional 10% off your June package! More info


For more information on family dude ranch vacations at Lone Mountain Ranch, visit



Fourth of July Ranch Vacations - Save up to 20%!

Published by Jody on June 7 2012 09:18 in
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Fourth of July is THE time to take a dude ranch vacation if you're looking to capture the true spirit of the USA. Independence Day commemorates the United States' adoption of the "Declaration of Independence" on that very day back in 1776, which sealed its independence from Great Britain. The day sees rodeos, fireworks extravaganzas, horseback parades, carnivals, family picnics, BBQs, country music concerts, dancing... And every other fun way that US citizens can find to celebrate their national day! With celebrations often span from July 1st right the way through to July 5th, it's a wonderful time to take a USA ranch vacation - especially with family, as the holiday is a great way for families to reconnect and spend time together.

Fireworks extravaganza at Triple Creek Ranch

Some of Top50's ranches are even hosting special Fourth of July celebrations, which promise dude ranch vacations you'll remember forever. Despite the meaning behind the celebrations, Brits are of course welcomed with open arms - just be prepared for a bit of friendly, tongue-in-cheek ribbing!

Up for it? We thought so. Here's our pick of the best Fourth of July vacations...

Bar W Guest Ranch Save up to 15%!
This Montana dude ranch is ideal for a last-minute ranch vacation in the Fourth of July week - from 1-7 July, Bar W is giving guests 10% off single and double occupancy, and 15% triple and quad occupancy.

Looking a little further ahead...? Give your family a July the Fourth gift and book yourselves a ranch vaca at Bar W during Photography Week (October 14th, 2012), where all bookings will get a special 15% off.

Brush Creek Ranch 4th of July 2012 Celebration ~ Save 20%!*
Wyoming family vacations at this luxury dude ranch are even more special around July 4th, when the whole family can experience the vacation celebration of a lifetime. Brush Creek's authentic western fun offers something for everyone, from a ropes course tournament children will love, to an on-site professional rodeo!

You'll enjoy...
• July 4th Fireworks display
• Third annual Brush Creek Ranch Rodeo with professional bull riders
• Nightly Live Entertainment
• Boot Scootin’ Barn Dance
• Complimentary family scenic float trip for up to 6 people per trip
• Outdoor Movie Night
• Brush Creek Ropes Course 'Tournament of Champions'

All-inclusive rates start from $750 pp/pn, and include all on-ranch activities, gear, guides and instruction, a children's program for ages 4-11, and all meals and beverages (inclusive of premium beers, wine and spirits).

*Must book before 5pm MST June 15, 2012, to receive 20% off - mention Website Special when booking

Majestic Dude Ranch Colorado family vacations ~ Save 20%!

This Colorado dude ranch sure knows how to do family ranch vacations. Spirits are always high at Majestic, and are set to be even more so over the July 4th period. What's more, book your family ranch vacation before the end of June and you'll get a 20% discount on your stay! (Use promo code MDFRIEND when reserving online) This is a real multi-generational family ranch, and the ideal place to reconnect over the national holiday.


Triple Creek Ranch Independence Day Extravaganza

Enjoy the festivities at this Montana dude ranch! Owners Crain and Barbara Barrett will treat you to a gourmet outdoor dinner at Elk Meadow, at their private home, plus special activities and an over-the-top fireworks display are just a few of the experiences you'll enjoy alongside good company at this luxury dude ranch, and working and safari ranch. This all-inclusive experience will get you luxurious accommodations, snacks, breakfast, lunch, gourmet dinners, house wines and house spirits, and all featured on-ranch activities.

Cabin rates start at $750 per couple/night. Minimum stay 3 nights.


Rowse's 1+1 Ranch 4th of July Ranch Roping Party

It's cowboy gathering time at the 1+1 Ranch this July 4th! Head to the Nebraska dude ranch for the national holiday and you'll enjoy a real cowboy party. Spend your afternoon horseback riding, roping, chowing down on proper steak from the BBQ, and much more. After socializing with the friends, neighbors and cowboys of the 1+1 Ranch, you'll all enjoy a hearty supper and campfire at the day's end.

Rankin Ranch 4th of July Celebration - July 1-5, 2012

Fourth of July is a very special time at the California dude ranch. At the start of this 4-night (minimum) family ranch vacation, families will be divided into Red, White, and Blue teams, each sporting team pride with the help of bandanas, sashes and or T-shirts!

On July 4th itself, you'll wake up to a patriotic wonderland. Every inch of the ranch will be decorated, and even the horses are patriotic! This fun-filled day includes morning horseback rides as usual, then all-American family fun begins in the afternoon. Dressed in your Red, White and Blue creations, you'll take part in Rankin Ranch's old-fashioned Olympic Games, complete with obstacle course, potato sack race, water balloon volleyball, and much more.

Then it's time for Happy Hour, with dinner are served on the front lawn looking out over Walker Basin. A historic pageant starring your children will round of their day in style, teaching them about American heritage while having a blast at the same time. This is an all-American family ranch vacation that all ages will love - US citizens and international guests alike will be proud to celebrate the 4th of July at Rankin Ranch!

Bonanza Creek Ranch Save 20% - weeks July 1 and July 22

Head to this Montana working ranch for a women's only vacation to celebrate the 4th of July this year. During week beginning July 1, single ladies save 20% on working ranch vacations at the authentic cattle ranch. Saddle up with other single ladies for stunning horseback rides, genuine cattle drives and fabulous scenery - a wonderful way to spend the Fourth of July celebrations!

Or make the celebrations last a little longer and take your working ranch vacations in the week of July 22, where groups of 3-4 save 20%. Head to the Montana guest ranch with friends or family, and experience authentic cattle drives on real cow horses in a Big Sky setting like no other.

For more information on these and other ranch events, visit


Vista Verde Ranch VIP offer: Exclusive 10% off and FREE hot air balloon ride!

Published by Jody on May 18 2012 12:18 in Dude Ranches | Ranch Specials | Special Offers | United States
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Vista Verde Ranch invites you to be a VIP guest! Save 10% plus get a FREE hot air balloon ride for the entire family, when you book the Luxury Cabin at the Colorado dude ranch between 3–10 June, 2012.

Colorado family vacations

Book Vista Verde Ranch’s Luxury Cabin for you and your partner, family or group of friends for dude ranch vacations in the first week of June, and you will be the only guests on the ranch to receive an exclusive hot air balloon ride for your entire party - absolutely FREE! What's more, you'll pocket an exclusive 10% saving on the Colorado dude ranch's luxury ranch vacation package.

Book this exclusive deal and, as a VIP guest on the ranch, you will enjoy Vista Verde’s all-inclusive* luxury package, which includes Luxury Cabin accommodations, all gourmet meals, ranch activities, airport transfers, horseback riding (including horsemanship clinics and lessons), children’s programs and evening entertainment.

Famous for its fine food, diverse activities, luxurious accommodations and high level of personal service, Vista Verde Ranch boasts an award-winning riding program that makes for an unforgettable western horseback riding experience in a truly spectacular setting.

Unlike other resort-style dude ranches, Vista Verde maintains a very personal and intimate atmosphere, thanks to an attentive team of down-to-earth staff who welcome every guest like family. An engaging, educational children’s program centered around horseback riding, and a teens’ program allowing older kids the freedom to enjoy some independence, leaves older family members free to enjoy horseback trail rides, mountain biking, yoga, cooking classes, wine tasting, fishing and lots more.

Making its luxury ranch vacations both extra-special and affordable, Vista Verde’s VIP offer is not to be missed. With the exclusive 10% saving and FREE hot air balloon ride offered on a first come, first served basis, make sure it’s your dude ranch dreams that become a reality by booking today.

For more information and to book, visit, or contact Vista Verde on 800-526-7433 and mention Top50 Ranches.

*Excludes tax at 3.9%, off-ranch activities, massage, and selected premium wines


Dude ranch vacation Killer Deal: SAVE $800!

Published by Jody on May 14 2012 03:54 in
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Dude ranch vacations at the Sugar and Spice Ranch in Texas, USA, are perfect for moms and daughters looking to bond through horses. 

Texas family vacations

Now YOU can snap up a bargain Texas family vacation at Sugar and Spice with the family dude ranch's latest killer deal: just $1,299 for an all-inclusive week's vacation for a mother and daughter set. Normally $2,099, that's a credit crunch-busting $800 saving! 

Things you can do with your $800 saving:

- Buy some snazzy cowgirl boots
- Book a flight to the Calgary Stampede
- Save toward another dude ranch vacation at Sugar and Spice!

Ready to save $800? Call 1-830-460-8487 to snap up this all-inclusive package. Limited availability, BOOK NOW

For more information on dude ranch vacations at Sugar and Spice, visit

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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