Strike gold with Ranch Rider’s North American Dream Book Ride list
An unquenchable thirst for the great outdoors combined with the pent-up demand for travel has limited the availability at guest ranches across North America.
If a riding holiday out West is still on your summer bucket list, it would be wise to book through a specialist like Ranch Rider, the tour operator regularly updating its Dream Book Ride list. The riding holiday company partners with over 50 ranches across the US and Canada, and its seven-night stays are priced from only £1,187pp (two sharing). Including working, guest, and luxury resort ranches, here are seven of the hottest trails for this season. Ranch Rider’s advice: book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
The K-Diamond-K is a family-friendly guest ranch where kids willingly give up screen time for real-life adventures in the saddle.
Based in Washington state, its location might not be an obvious choice for a ranch holiday, but with seven-nights priced from only £1,187pp (two sharing), stays this summer are a steal.
The 1,600 acre Guest Working Ranch offers a taster of the simple rural lifestyle, with the Colville National Forest and Indian Reservation bordering the property. Expect plenty in the way of adventure, with trail rides, fly fishing, gold panning, and real cattle work on offer to guests.
Prices include accommodation, meals, most ranch activities and taxes. Excludes return flights from £600pp.
Lone Mountain, Yellowstone
Yellowstone is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, and with Montana’s Lone Mountain located a mere 18 miles from the national park, the luxury guest ranch is one for the 2022 bucket list.
All guests are offered a riding or hiking tour of Yellowstone with expert naturalists; the ranch is one of the elite few to hold permits. The park’s famous landmarks, such as geysers and thermal hot springs, and plentiful wildlife, from bison to grizzlies, make it a must-see. As an added bonus, the ranch’s private tours showcase areas that remain inaccessible to other visitors. Promising non-stop adventure, horseback riding, mountain biking, guided hiking, fly-fishing, canoeing, and paddle-boarding are available back at the ranch.
Seven-nights for a family of four (including two adults and two children under the age of 13) from £33,000. August departures. Excludes return flights from £950pp.
Three Bars Guest Ranch
Bound to satiate any craving for wide-open spaces, British Columbia’s Three Bars Guest Ranch sits on 35,000 acres of public and private land. Surrounded by the Rocky and Purcell Mountains, the property is known as the Adventure Ranch of the Canadian Rockies. Guests have the option of exploring the wilderness on horseback (120 horses reside here), on foot or by mountain bike.
Finish the journey in the stylish saloon with a glass of BC wine – the ranch located in the Kootenay Rockies, a region that is home to some fabulous wineries. Additional pursuits include river rafting, shooting sports, fly fishing, ATV adventures, and archery.
Six-nights from only £2,366pp (two sharing) including flights. Departing 12 June. Save £220pp.
Lonesome Spur Working Guest Ranch
If you want the inside track on all things cowboy, head to Montana’s Lonesome Spur Working Guest Ranch. Set in the shadow of the Beartooth Mountains, the property is owned by a former champion bull rider and a star barrel racer.
Under the same ownership for five generations, the Schwend’s have ranching in their blood, and the family follows the traditional cowboy code and old-fashioned values of the west by helping friends and neighbours with branding and doctoring their cattle.
Learn to catch and saddle your own horse (under supervision), and earn your spurs on the range as you help to gather and move the herd to new pastures. Travel between 01 June and 31 August, and there might even be a chance to visit the thrilling Cody Night Rodeo.
Six-nights from £1,584pp (two sharing) including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities, taxes, transfers, and gratuities. Excludes return flights from £650pp. Departures on request.
Colorado Trails Guest Ranch
Colorado Trails Guest Ranch is another family favourite during the summer months. Based just outside of Durango in the South-Western portion of the Centennial State, the trails are diverse and well-kept, the paths stretching across 1,000 private acres and into the adjoining San Juan National Forest.
One of the best fly-fishing spots in Colorado, the ranch lays claim to over two miles of private water on the Florida River, with additional access to cold mountain streams and other rivers in the area, as well as fully stocked private ranch ponds. Adventure all the way: half-day guided rafting trips on the Animas River, rock climbing, archery, trapshooting, and jeep tours are additional pursuits. Ranch Rider’s tip: spend a day in Durango, either before or after your ranch stay, and book the Durango to Silverton Railroad excursion. .
Six-nights from £2,335pp (two sharing) including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities, taxes and gratuities. Excludes return flights from £650pp. Departures on request.
Sweet Grass Guest Working Ranch
Located at 6,100 feet, Montana’s Sweet Grass Guest Working Ranch sits at the edge of the Gallatin National Forest at the base of Montana’s Crazy Mountains. The property is surrounded by miles of meadowland and has the Sweet Grass Creek running through its 20,000 acres.
In the same hands for six generations, this is an established cattle operation, and guests are invited to play a hands-on role in checking livestock, fencing, doctoring cattle, and moving the herds to new pastures. Offering unlimited riding, there is also the opportunity to enjoy more leisurely scenic rides; hiking, fishing, and swimming with the horses in the river.
Seven-nights from £1,885pp (no single supplement), including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities and taxes. Excludes return flights from £650pp. Departures on request.
Tombstone Monument Ranch
Falling later on the ranch calendar, the ever-popular autumn round-up at Arizona’s Tombstone Monument Ranch has limited availability. A genuine city slicker experience, beginners are welcome as all guests receive training for this hands-on Western adventure.
When not on cowboy duty, there’s always plenty of action to be had – archery and shooting with replica guns from the Wild West period are available pursuits. The perfect place to soak up the nostalgia of a bygone era, the ranch is only a short ride from the centre of the West’s most iconic cowboy town.
Time travel by horse, the property is surrounded by historic mines, hand-dug wells, old railroad trestles, and ancient Indian Petroglyphs.
Seven-nights from £2,100pp (two sharing), including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities, taxes, transfers, and gratuities. Excludes return flights from £620pp. Departing 01 November.