The United States’ three largest concentrations of guest ranches are in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Outdoor activities are varied and plentiful during all seasons.
“The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.” ~ Arabian Proverb
Visitors are fascinated with the American West. In the late 19th century, romantic accounts of the open range and Western adventurers like Theodore Roosevelt and Buffalo Bill circulated back East, and those itching to escape the congestion of the city vacationed out West to get a taste of life on the wild frontier.
“When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill
For a few bucks, these travelers —called “dudes”— could enjoy the full ranching experience at outfits that offered grub, bunks, and plenty of saddle time to their guests. Fast forward:
Experience Colorado, the West as you’ve never seen it before.
Cannabis boutiques are a new addition to the Wild West adventure. According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Tourism Office reported that 77.7 million visitors to the state in 2015 spent an all-time high of $19.1 billion, generating $1.13 billion in state and local taxes, an increase of almost 7 percent from 2014. Now, back to the Wild West experience.
Colorado Dude Ranch Association notes that Dude Ranch accommodations at member ranches include varieties from rustic mountain retreats to modern day mountain resorts. Proposed “all-inclusive” vacation stays intend to help you truly relax and allow you to leave your wallet at home.
“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” ~ Winston Churchill
Vacations are designed so you can spend time with family and friends enjoying adventures or relaxing on the ranch. Most ranches offer a 6-7 night stay, yet a few ranches offer shorter stays based on availability.
“A man on a horse is spiritually, as well as physically, bigger than a man on foot.” ~ John Steinbeck
The horses are on vacation now. The ranch I visited cared for 1,400 horses who worked for various dude ranches and guesthouses.
“Let a horse whisper in your ear and breathe on your heart. You will never regret it.” ~ Author Unknown
“Wherever man has left his footprints in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization, we find the hoof print of a horse beside it.” ~ John Trotwood Moore
“I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh it was. My very heart leapt with the sound.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
Consider a vacation that includes some horse time. The relationship and experience could be extremely rewarding and surprisingly therapeutic and replenishing.