All across the West are ranches. They are still working today, moving cattle, caring for their land, training horses. Though the romance of the old days, a lone rancher moving hundreds of cattle, are gone, there is still a sense of adventure working on these western ranches. You can experience this unique way of life firsthand when you book a working ranch vacation.
For years, ranches have extended their hospitality to westward travelers for working ranch vacations. During the 19th century, people from all walks of life were travelling to the West. Some were in search of fortunes, some for a new life, some were just there to see the beauty that is the Rocky Mountain landscapes. No matter why they came, ranchers would welcome them into their homes.
That tradition is still vibrant today at the modern dude or guest ranch. These working ranches invite guests to stay at their accommodations, some offering separate cabins, others feeling more like resorts. While guests are on the ranch, they can participate in many of the day to day activities that are required to keep the ranches running. For example, guests can learn a few new skills by helping with clearing lumber or fixing fences. Or, if you’re a fan of animals, you can help the hands take care of the livestock and horses.
Of course a vacation wouldn’t be a vacation if you were just working all the time. Working ranches aren’t just about working, they are also about relaxing and exploring. One of the many similarities between each ranch is the dependence on horses. Horses are the best way to get around. The mountainous landscape and the wooded wilderness are impossible to truly explore in a car, so you can take to nature on the back of a horse.
Many working ranch vacations offer full day or half day rides, allowing you to take in the beauty of the landscape around you. If you don’t know how to ride, many ranches offer lessons. If you are uncomfortable riding a horse, you could also mountain bike or hike the trails. There are also plenty of activities such as archery, swimming, shooting, and, of course, campfires to give you a great western vacation.
If you are looking for a unique kind of vacation for your next trip, consider taking a working ranch vacation. Experience the tradition of ranching for yourself, while also exploring a new land or relaxing next to a roaring fire. The West is calling your name.
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