RanchSeeker Blog

How About Visiting a California Dude Ranch?

8/17/2011 8:02:48 AM

California dude ranches take advantage of the comfortable climate and variety of picturesque landscapes to attract visitors. With an expansive central valley, hot deserts and hundreds of miles of scenic coastline California dude ranches offer beautiful natural attractions. Imagine horseback riding along the beach or through the mountains or relaxing on the beach or learning to surf by day and by night enjoying home cooked meals and good company around a warm campfire with new friends. 

These are all things you can do at California dude ranches Coffee Creek Guest Ranch, located in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area of Northern California,this dude ranch boasts picture-postcard views of snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, lush meadows, and sparkling lakes. Rides are divided by ability levels. Breakfast rides are the most popular, with the all-day rides to a lake the most spectacular! For a unique experience, the all-day ride can be extended into an overnight pack trip returning the next day by lunch time. All 15 private secluded cabins have their own balconies.


 Howard Creek Guest Ranch, a registered historic site, is a 60-acre oceanfront farm bordered by miles of beach and mountains. Family owned and operated this California  dude ranch offers horseback riding on the beach or in the mountains. You can also whale watch from the beach go deep sea fishing or visit a winery close by among many other fun activities. Accommodations include cabins, suites and rooms, all different, but all furnished with antiques, large comfortable beds, handmade quilts or comforters, and views of the mountains, ocean, creek, and/or gardens.


 Marble Mountain Guest Ranch, located in Somes Bar, combine their equestrian program with thrilling dude ranch activities such as rafting, and fly fishing, sporting clays, and traditional ranch events. They specialize in family dude ranch vacations that keep everyone engaged with a variety of fun outdoor Western adventures. Guest ranch accommodations and lodging include fully furnished deluxe homes and housekeeping cottages (or cabins).


 California dude ranches offer many different exciting vacation opportunities from horseback riding to amazing scenic vistas.

Find your next dude ranch vacation using RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder

Packing for Your Guest Ranch Vacation

8/11/2011 10:24:04 AM

How many people find packing for vacations a drag? I know I do as I am never exactly sure of what I will need when I get to my vacation destination. I usually end up taking far too many clothes and shoes and leave out some of the more important essentials. To ensure that you enjoy your next guest ranch vacation here are some useful tips about packing for guest ranches. When packing for a guest ranch vacation be sure to take comfortable clothing and think layers that way you can always add more clothes if the weather is cooler at that time of year. Jeans are an essential item of clothing at a guest ranch so consider taking 3-4 pairs as they may get dirty while riding on the trails. If you have a pair of cowboy boots take them along; however, if you don’t not to worry most guest ranches have several pairs on hand in various sizes to lend to guests. 

Make sure you pack lots of comfortable shirts and shoes or hiking boots if you plan to take part in hikes around the area. Most people like to bring hats to protect themselves from the sun and some people also bring gloves as the air can be quite dry in some areas.


 When you book your guest ranch vacation ask whether they have an evening dress code. Most guest ranches are fine with casual attire. Also, be sure to take your bathing suit as many  guest ranches nowadays have swimming pools, hot tubs or are situated by rivers and lakes. Since most guest ranch activities are outdoors don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses. What you bring on your guest ranch vacation will depend largely on the season of your vacation and the location of the guest ranch. If you are planning on a winter guest ranch vacation you will need warmer clothes, gloves, hats, thick socks and scarves. On a spring guest ranch vacation you may need rain gear so don’t forget to bring a long, light rain coat to protect yourself from getting wet while out on a ride. During summer months it can get quite hot so take some shorts and lighter pants and shirts for around the guest ranch.


 Many guest ranches supply you with shampoo, conditioner, soap and a hairdryer. Be sure to check with them beforehand in case you need to bring your own. If you are travelling in the warmer months be sure you bring along a good sunscreen and bug spray. Finally depending on your guest ranch itinerary, you may wish to bring these additional items:  

Binoculars
 Camera Battery charger
 Video Camera
 Books
 Chap Stick
 Hand cream  

Happy Trails, To help you find your next guest ranch vacation use our user-friendly Guest Ranch Finder

RanchSeeker's Dude Ranch Finder-Find Your Ideal Dude Ranch Vacation

8/3/2011 9:36:54 AM

Are you tired of booking the same type of vacation every year? Are you interested in booking something new and exciting for you and your family or friends? How about a dude ranch vacation this year? Let RanchSeeker guide you to a new destination, a new experience, that will not only invigorate you physically, but will nurture your spirit of adventure and open up new horizons using our Dude Ranch Finder. RanchSeeker’s Dude Ranch Finder will help you plan your ultimate dude ranch vacation in a snap! RanchSeeker dude ranches offer a wide variety of activities from horseback riding for beginners to daylong treks for the more experienced rider, from swimming in pristine lakes to heated indoor pools; tennis, hiking, water rafting and so much more.

Dude ranch vacations are ideal for singles, couples, families and other diverse groups.

Dude Ranch Finder


 Our Dude Ranch Finder takes all of the guess work out of planning your next dude ranch vacation and keeps it simple with our easy-to-use- search form. You don’t need to wade through pages and pages of information before deciding on your ideal dude ranch. To get started choose a geographical region that appeals to you. Are you interested in Western Canada, North West USA, Mexico or another region? Once you have decided just check off the region and if you are unsure of where you want to go that’s ok too just pick all of the regions. Next choose what type of guest ranch experience you would like to have on your next dude ranch vacation. We even provide a useful guide that explains about each destination category.


 After that, choose which activities and services are important to you on your dude ranch vacation. Do you want a dude ranch that offers fly-fishing, overnight pack trips, a swimming pool, a wedding venue, spa services, birding, cowboy cookouts or yoga? There are so many activities to choose from so be sure to check every box that interests you. Now you are ready to think about price. You can select as many options as you want based on how much you would like to spend per night at one of RanchSeeker’s dude ranches.


 Finally, when would you like to go? Do you want a dude ranch vacation in the winter so you can cross country ski or take a sleigh ride or would rather the fall, spring or summer? Choose a month or several months that appeal to you for your guest ranch vacation. Once you are done be sure to click on SEARCH and a list of all of the dude ranches that match your specific search criteria will be returned. Now comes the fun part. You can read about each ranch and add them to your “list” and then make direct contact with the ranch owner/operator by sending them an enquiry and ask them for more details if necessary and/or make your dude ranch reservation. Our dude ranch listings feature photos, special offers and many of them have You Tube videos so that you can get a better idea of each ranch.


 What are you waiting for? Check out our Dude Ranch Finder today and book your next guest ranch vacation. Happy Trails  

The Guest Ranch Experience

7/10/2011 8:44:55 AM

My husband and I recently returned from 5 days at a guest ranch in British Columbia and some of our friends asked us to describe our experience as they had never been to a guest ranch before on vacation. It made me think that their questions are probably quite common and that many people may also find it useful to hear a firsthand account of the guest ranch experience.  There are many types of guest ranches to consider when choosing a guest ranch vacation and for our vacation we went to a Guest Ranch Resort & Spa.


 We arrived on a Friday afternoon, and after being greeted warmly by all the staff and owners, we unpacked our bags in our cozy country room, with a spectacular view of the glacial mountains and ranch lands from our private balcony. It was July 1st (Canada Day)so there was a celebration at the guest ranch including a  huge western style BBQ and campfire and even camp songs and s’mores to be enjoyed with the other guests and staff. That night as we snuggled under the soft duvet, we relished the sounds of silence, the cool, fresh mountain air and the millions of twinkling stars in the sky.


 Our second day at the guest ranch started off with a hearty ranch-style breakfast and then a morning hike through the boreal forest where we spotted deer tracks and various species of birds. After a delicious, healthy buffet lunch we headed to the barn where we were assigned a horse for the week according to our skill level. Mounted on my horse Sky, we followed the head wrangler as our group left the guest ranch behind us and set off on one of the numerous and varied trails that surround the ranch. After a relaxing two hour ride that also included a few lopes, we returned to the barn where I bid Sky a good-night.  There was still 2 hours before dinner so we headed to the games room and played some pool and then caught the tail end of a movie in the home theatre room.


 At 6pm we joined the other guests and owners upstairs for a glass of wine before dinner and when the dinner bell sounded we eagerly took our places at the table and waited as the chef served the appetizer and then brought barbequed salmon on a cedar plank and tender cuts of meat with roast potatoes and asparagus. Dessert consisted of individual pots of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate soufflé and pleasant dinner conversation. After our meal had digested we ambled over to the guest ranch spa for a traditional Thai massage by Thai therapists, where for the next hour and a half we drifted in and out of consciousness as we enjoyed our full body treatment. When we were done I felt a deep sense of tranquility and felt the rigours of city life slip away.


 For the next few days we followed much the same pattern of hiking, riding, spa treatments, enjoying healthy, delicious meals with the other guests and relaxing in the hot tub or playing games or simply reading a book in the main lodge while taking the time to enjoy the spectacular view.  As our guest ranch vacation at Echo Valley Ranch & Spa came to an end I felt renewed and refreshed and ready to return to the city. It had been especially meaningful for us as we had spent the week with my sisters, who were also visiting Echo Valley Ranch, which is owned by our Father and his wife. As always a guest ranch vacation is a great way to reconnect with family and friends in an idyllic setting far from the distractions of city life.

Happy Trails  

Activities at a Guest Ranch Other Than Horseback Riding

6/23/2011 11:24:07 AM

Many people who are thinking about going to a guest ranch for their next vacation wonder what else there is to do other than ride. There are numerous activities nowadays that guest ranches offer their guests other than horseback riding and activities vary from guest ranch to guest ranch so it is important to ask each ranch before booking  your next guest ranch vacation.


 At Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures at Rancho Los Banos you can hike through one of their many boxed canyons, the one above is on the way to the Bavispe River.   Guest ranches can be located in some of the most spectacular wilderness, mountain or rural areas so for hikers this is a great opportunity to explore new trails. You can also choose swimming in pristine lakes or heated indoor pools.  There are even guest ranches that offer white water rafting for the truly adventurous at heart. For those of you that like to fish, how about trying your hand at fly-fishing in a glacier lake or river?


 Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana offers: Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking – Ride class II – IV rapids for a half or full day – just twenty miles down the road Your next guest ranch vacation may also include bird watching or wildlife viewing and for those so inclined skeet shooting. There are even trips to local must-see sites.  As you can see there is a lot to do! At the end of the day a you will enjoy typical western entertainment and hospitality at its best. Dinner might entail a traditional outdoor BBQ or gourmet cuisine and fine wines prepared by trained chefs. Your company will include guests from around the world. If all this activity has you feeling weary why not pamper yourself on your next guest ranch vacation at one of the ranch resort’s spas.

Offering a wide selection of aesthetic services, including massages, facials and pedicures a guest ranch spa treatment is a great way to relax and unwind among the tranquil setting of a ranch vacation Finally, if you do decide to venture forth on a horse, most guest ranches offer horseback riding lessons and  have expert wranglers to guide you safely and pleasantly on a new adventure of the spirit! Our Dude Ranch Finder will help you find the right ranch for you!  

Happy Trails,  

5 Great Reasons to Go on a Dude Ranch Vacation!

6/17/2011 10:00:30 AM

This year when planning your next vacation for your family, spouse or friends why not choose a dude ranch vacation? You don't have to be a cowboy to love a dude ranch vacation. Here are 5 great reasons to go on a dude ranch vacation!

Dude Ranches Offer All-Inclusive Value Most dude ranches offer all-inclusive vacation packages which makes your vacation stress-free. Comfortable accommodations, meals, snacks and many activities are all included in your upfront costs. Many dude ranches also have swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas.

Dude Ranch Vacation Packages Many dude ranches aside from offering basic all-inclusive vacation packages also offer customizable vacation packages. If you want to be a “real cowboy” for a week you can choose a working ranch and help rustle up the cows, participate in a rodeo and saddle-up your own horse. Or if you prefer a more laid back dude ranch vacation you could choose a spa package that many ranches offer and spend the week being treated to relaxing treatments and incredible views. There are many vacation packages available that you can choose from to make your dude ranch vacation tailor-made for you.


Horseback riding If you love horses then a dude ranch vacation is definitely for you. Whether you are an experienced rider or will be riding for the first time responsible wranglers will help you find the right horse for you. Enjoy riding through forests, surrounded by majestic mountains, or through canyons or even the desert on your next dude ranch vacation. Many ranches will pair you with a horse at the beginning of the week who will be yours for the rest of your stay so be prepared to make a new friend.  

Dude Ranches Are Close To Nature A dude ranch vacation is all about the scenery – unplugging from technology and connecting with nature. Riding and hiking trails always lead to the very best of the surrounding landscapes that are inaccessible any other way. Re-connect with the world around you.


Spend Quality Time Together With today's modern dude ranches offering so many activities there is something for everyone of all ages.

Whether you are traveling with your family, spouse or good friends you are bound to find something that interests everyone in your group. Many dude ranches offer kid-friendly programs so be sure to ask them. Vacations are about making memories and spending time together. Still not sure whether a dude ranch vacation is what you are looking for?

Check out our Dude Ranch Finder and read more about each ranch listed on RanchSeeker.  

Here Comes the Bride! Guest Ranch Weddings!

6/8/2011 7:59:01 AM

The snow has finally stopped falling and temperatures have begun to rise and brides to-be all over are starting to plan their weddings.Do something different than everyone else and have a guest ranch wedding. Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding that is unique and won’t soon be forgotten by them or their guests. With so many great locals to choose from it can be a daunting process when trying to decide where to get hitched. Many brides nowadays opt for a tropical destination when planning their wedding but how about tying the knot at a guest ranch wedding?

A guest ranch wedding is a unique experience and many guest ranches today offer special services that cater to the bride to-be. Some ranches such as The Three Bars Ranch provide you with a guest ranch wedding planner to help you organize everything down to last detail. Imagine saying your vows in front of family and friends with a backdrop of hundreds of acres of pristine wilderness and spectacular views? Many guest ranches offer several different guest ranch wedding packages from indoor to outdoor locations.


Echo Valley Ranch & Spa is recognized as the premiere guest ranch wedding destination in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, with fifteen years of experience of hosting guests and special events from all parts of the world. Choose from a variety of ceremony settings including the Baan Thai wedding pavilion, the outdoor covered barbeque area, outdoor decks, the hay barn, or in a forest or meadow setting for your destination guest ranch wedding package.


 Or how about hosting your guest ranch wedding beside a lake and arriving by a horse- drawn carriage?

At Meadowlake Ranch you can do that and so much more. With various guest ranch wedding packages to choose from and different types of accommodations from cabins to tipis there is bound to be something for every bride.


A guest ranch wedding is a great alternative to your typical wedding venue and a beautiful spot to start your life together as husband and wife. Your guest ranch wedding can be as formal or casual as you like and with accommodations on site you can spend more time with your loved ones and create memorable moments that will last a lifetime.

There are various ranches that offer guest ranch wedding packages on RanchSeeker so be sure to ask them for more information when planning your upcoming guest ranch wedding.

Happy Trails!

For Your Next Vacation Why Not Consider Visiting a Dude Ranch in Canada?

6/1/2011 10:13:12 AM

Dude ranch vacations are a great option for people looking for something different, challenging and exciting; a new experience that will not only invigorate you physically, but will nurture your spirit of adventure and open up new horizons.  There are many places throughout the world that offer the dude ranch vacation experience especially in the US and Canada.A Canadian dude ranch is an ideal location for a vacation. I think Haliburton described Canada best in the early 1900’s when he said:

“Canada is a country so vast that it is difficult to convey an adequate idea of its size ; so fertile that nothing short of official returns will exonerate a description of it from a charge of exaggeration ; so prosperous as to not only rival, but to surpass all other countries on the face of the earth ; so healthy in climate, so beautiful in scenery, so abundantly supplied with magnificent lakes and rivers, so full of commercial resources, and so rich in minerals, that I am overpowered with the magnitude of the task I have imposed upon myself in attempting to convey even a faint idea of it”


For your next dude ranch vacation why not consider a guest ranch in British Columbia, Alberta or Quebec?

Dude ranches in B.C. take advantage of the “beautiful B.C” landscape and rich local Native history to attract visitors. Imagine going for an early morning fly fishing trip, spending the afternoon panning for gold or exploring early settler or local Native heritage sites, or hiking in the lush mountain forests or admiring the awesome views from atop a horse while on a late afternoon ride. Evenings could be spent relaxing with fellow guests around a campfire enjoying fresh, local rustic or gourmet meals exchanging stories of the day’s activities. All of this and more is possible when you choose a dude ranch vacation in B.C. Your ranch may also organize horseback trips, cattle drives, pack trips, canoeing, and a wide range of outdoor activities for you during your stay, so be sure to ask.

Ranches in Alberta attract visitors with their national park system, dinosaur digs and because the province boasts 5 of 13 UNESCO World heritage Sites. Kids and adults alike love Alberta. Picture yourself visiting dinosaur digs in the Alberta Badlands in the morning and then working on the ranch with the resident cowboys in the afternoon, and relaxing in the evening in a hot tub. You can do all of this and more on an Albertan ranch. Warner Guiding and Outfitting has been guiding through Banff National Park for over 49 years. From hourly Trail Rides to 6 day Pack Trips to Western Cookouts they have the adventure for you!


Finally last but not least dude ranch vacations in Quebec are a great gateway to all that Quebec has to offer. Ranches in Quebec attract visitors, to their predominately francophone population, for the exciting winter festivals, maple products and much more. You could spend the morning learning how to feed and care for the ranch animals then head into town for a local festival or rodeo in the afternoon. At Ranch 4 Saison you will be able to choose from four beautiful seasons. Spring for sugar bush,  summer for the beauty of 54 lakes in the region, fall for all the breathtaking colors and winter a very wonderful season for horseback riding, ski-doo,  snow shoeing, cross country skiing and  sleigh rides. Just imagine relaxing at this dude ranch, in the evening after a long day’s ride, in a steamy hot tub watching the snow fall around you.



So what are you waiting for? Make  your next vacation at a dude ranch in Canada

Picking the Right Dude Ranch for You!

5/25/2011 10:22:11 AM

There are many types of dude ranches that one should be familiar with before deciding on where to go for a ranch vacation. On RanchSeeker’s easy to use Dude Ranch Finder we allow people to search by ranch category to better find what they are looking for in a ranch vacation. There are so many different dude ranches to choose from that offer a variety of activities and services that sometimes it can be confusing if you don’t know which types of ranches specialize in what.

A Guest Ranch is ideal for people who are looking to go away on a dude ranch vacation for 2 or more days.Ranch packages include accommodation, food and horseback riding and may offer more services. Many of these ranches are also children friendly.

A Dude Ranch B & B is similar to a typical bed and breakfast.It offers bed and breakfast for overnight visitors but it also offers horseback riding to its guests. They are generally smaller and offer cozy accommodations A Dude Ranch Resort is a guest ranch that offers activities at the Ranch in addition to horseback riding such as swimming pools, mountain bikes, tennis, golf, skeet shooting etc. This option is great for people looking to experience lots of varied activities.

A Dude Ranch Spa is a Ranch that offers a "Health and Well Being" program together with a full service spa.This is ideal for people who want to be pampered after a long day's ride. The Hill's Health and Guest Ranch is a great example of a ranch spa. They offer guests a refuge of renewal and rejuvenation while being surrounded by peaceful countryside reflecting the true Canadian west


 Finally last but not least a Working Ranch is a dude ranch that has its own cattle operation with the herd managed by cowboys .Guests can often participate by helping the resident cowboys with their day to day work.This is a great option for those who want to try their hand at being a “real cowboy”. Other features offered by guest ranches could also be available. McGarry Ranches is the perfect ranch to earn your spurs.They are a working cattle outfit that work the herd as the need arises, not a specific activity at a specific time.

Most of the week is spent tracking and gathering strays, trailing cattle to new units for range management, doctoring sick or injured stock, putting out salt, riding fence, sorting in the open, riding herd in some of the most scenic country in the world. You won't find nose to tail riding here.


 So what are you waiting for? Check out the many dude ranches listed on RanchSeeker and book your next dude ranch vacation today. Happy Trails   

Dude Ranch Vacation Specials for May and June

5/18/2011 10:59:00 AM

How about a dude ranch vacation in the Spring? It has never been so affordable than now with several dude ranches on RanchSeeker offering great Spring discounts on dude ranch vacation packages.

The Hideout Guest Ranch & Resort, Shell,Wyoming, USA.

Weekend Special: Want to get-away for a quick cowboy vacation? June 12-15, 2011 is your chance to live the cowboy life for a long weekend. All-inclusive 3 night dude ranch adventure package .

Pricing: $1480 per person/double occupancy plus tax and gratuity.

Offer valid: November 1, 2010 through June 6, 2011


 White Stallion Ranch,Tuscon, Arizona,USA

Special Offer: Summer Bonanza

This special is as golden as the desert in bloom. Bask in the warm early summer sun and enjoy the multitudes of desert blossoms. Escape to a stress free, safe haven at this dude ranch for a few days. No worry about what to do, where to eat or what to wear. Four nights in a double is $1188.00 and seven nights is $1974.00 plus tax and 14% service charge. Special single and third person in a room packages also available. Rates are for best room available at the time of booking.

Offer valid: May 22, 2011 through June 12, 2011  

Spotted Horse Ranch, Jackson, Wyoming,USA

Special Offer: Off Season Discount

15% off all dude ranch stays from May 15th-June 12th or October 1st-15th! Enjoy the same service and hospitality with the discounted rate!

Offer valid: May 15, 2011 through June 12, 2011  

Bar W Guest Ranch, Whitefish,Montana,USA

Special Offer: 10% discount on select summer weeks!

The Bar W Guest Ranch is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in one of the most scenic areas in the northwest. You will be able to experience the best of both worlds, a lifetime dream at a Guest Ranch and the opportunity to explore the wide open wilderness. 10% discount is valid for the following weeks: : June 19-25, July 10-16, , Aug. 21-17 and Aug.28-Sept. 3.

Offer valid: April 9, 2011 through June 1,2011

Special Offer: 15% off Spring Cattle Drive

At the Bar W, we have created a cattle drive adventure that rounds out all of the experiences of a cattle round-up. Having participated in traditional cattle drives, we wanted our guests to experience the “best of” what a cattle drive offers. This 7 night  dude ranch vacation package is all inclusive and is the most authentic western experience! Give us a call for availability.

Offer valid: April 9, 2011 through May 20, 2011

Warner Guiding Outfitting,Banff,Alberta, Canada

Special Offer: Select Trips on Sale

Please visit our website www.horseback.com to view select backcountry rides on sale now. Savings of 20%! It's not too late to plan your dream dude ranch vacation.

Offer valid: April 22, 2011 through August 27, 2011


Stagecoach Trails,Yucca,Arizona,USA

Special Offer: 10th Anniversary special for stays in May and July

Single occupancy $119 per night Double occupancy $89 per person/per night Children ages 4-11 $69 per person/per night. No minimum night requirement. Offer valid on dude ranch vacation bookings made after April 18,2011.

Offer valid: May 1, 2011 to May 31st and  July 15th -31st, 2011  

Tod Mountain Ranch,Heffley Creek,B.C.,Canada

Special Offer: May Long Weekend - $745 per person

Arrive Friday after 4pm for Dinner. Enjoy full days of riding on Saturday and Sunday and take one last morning ride on Monday. Relax and enjoy the facilities and activities at the dude ranch throughout your stay. Depart Monday after lunch.

Offer valid: May 20, 2011 through May 23, 2011  

Elk Mountain Ranch,Buena Vista, Colorado, USA

Special Offer: Youngest Child 1/2 Price with Two Paying Adults

It's not too late to book that unforgettable summer dude ranch vacation that you have always wanted to give your family.

Offer available for select weeks in 2011.  Must book by May 30th.  Valid on new bookings only.  Cannot be combined with any offers or promotions available for select weeks in 2011.  Must book by May 30th.  Valid on new bookings only.  Cannot be combined with any offers or promotions.

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