Which Dude Ranch is Right For Your Family
I am just tickled when anyone asks me my opinion about…well, anything! Now, let’s talk about the all inclusive family dude ranch experience.
Firstly, and most importantly: don’t panic! Planning your vacation should be fun!
Things to Consider
Getting the timing right sets you up for the best family vacations. The Arizona guest ranches run from October through May, which offers a perfect ranch getaway during the winter! Additionally, the Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado dude ranches generally run over the summer months of May/June through September.
What activities are you looking for? Start with a list of Colorado ranch activities that you might enjoy. Now, be ready to change that list as you study ranches.
- don’t forget disc golf, rock climbing and belaying, riflery and trap shooting, fishing, hiking, and throwing tomahawks. Everyone in the family should find their favorite activities at an all inclusive family dude ranch.
If possible, try to limit your choices to a Colorado dude ranch that has Wrangler Safety Certification. There are a number of certifying associations including:
- Certified Horsemanship Association
- American Association of Horsemanship Safety
- Dude Ranchers Association
Here at the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Dan is a certified instructor in the Dude Ranchers Association Wrangler Safety Certification Program. All of our wranglers are certified in horseback riding safety.
Try to limit your search to ranches that belong to their state dude and guest ranch associations (like the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association) and/or the national Dude Ranchers Association. This will assure you that you are looking at ranches that are inspected to ensure high standards for safety, cleanliness, and authenticity.
How difficult is it to get to the ranch you choose? Sundance Trail is just a short 2 hour drive from Denver International Airport.
Does your ideal ranch have a drop-off style program? Or does your family prefer to create memories together as a group?
Some dude ranches are “bargains” so that larger families can afford them. Some ranches serve on linen with silver and crystal. However, most of us are in the middle somewhere. See our all inclusive family package rates here.
Small, all inclusive dude ranches are very flexible, personable, and relaxed. Larger ranches, however, can afford to offer you amenities that we cannot – unfortunately, we have no heated swimming pools, no tennis, and no water skiing.
Bringing along your furry friend might be important to you. That’s why Sundance Trail is pet friendly!
Ready to Get Started?
- Consider visiting an association website (coloradoranch.com or duderanch.org) and play with their comparison charts. First, decide on what ranch vacation activities are most important. Next, sort the list. Lastly, pick your favorite!
- Do you like more than just one Colorado dude ranch on your list for best family vacations? Call them! Tell them what you are looking for in your dude ranch vacation. See how they make you feel on the phone.
- Feel free to call with questions. If we don’t fit your needs, we know some good Colorado ranch neighbors who might.
Dan Morin; Sundance Trail Guest Ranch Owner
If you’re looking for outdoor adventures or family vacation ideas in Colorado, request our Dude Ranch brochure (you can also download it in a PDF here), and call us at at (970) 224-1222 today! Prefer email? Use our Contact page. We can’t wait to hear from you!