Horseshoes

5 Reasons to Stay at a Wyoming Dude & Guest Ranch

Not only do Wyoming’s many ranches let visitors play cowboy for a week, but they also offer activities and amenities to suit every traveler — not to mention postcard-caliber scenery around every bend.

1. You Can Experience Real Cowboy Life

If you’ve always been fascinated by Western lore and cowboy culture, then visiting a dude or guest ranch will let you roll up your sleeves and join the adventure — from participating in real cattle drives to pitching in at the stables to long, peaceful rides through scenic valleys. Wyoming happens to be home to the first-ever dude ranch: Eatons’ Ranch in Wolf. The ranch first flung open its barn doors in 1904. It doesn’t get much more authentic than that.

sunrise men and women riding horses at Eatons' Ranch in Wyoming

2. There are Options to Suit Every Vacation Style

You won’t find any one-size-fits-all experiences here. No matter your budget, interests or group size, there’s a ranch for you. Traveling with kids? Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Laramie is one of many ranches that offers fun and educational programs for kids as young as six. Seeking a grown-up getaway? Certain ranches host adults-only weeks during the summer or offer romantic perks like massages, hot-air balloon rides and all the privacy you’re seeking.

3. Horseback Riding is Only the Beginning

A love of horses is pretty much a prerequisite for a dude-ranch stay, but it’s far from the only activity available. Venture beyond the stable at Crossed Sabres Ranch in Cody to enjoy world-class fly-fishing streams, river rafting, hiking and biking — plus plenty of stargazing and leisure time around the campfire.

Fly fishing on a stream with grasslands in background Wyoming

4. They Can Be a Secret Foodie Paradise

A dude-ranch vacation is all about working up an appetite, but if you think it’s just pork and beans out here, you haven’t visited our foodie-friendly ranches. At Paradise Guest Ranch in Buffalo, feast on gourmet meals enhanced with locally sourced ingredients and a stellar wine program — mixed with a hearty helping of barbecue cookouts, buffet lunches and s’mores, of course.

5. They’re Perfect for Reconnecting with Family

For one glorious family trip, you can all step away from your devices and really recharge. R Lazy S Ranch in Teton Village trades TVs and social feeds for good, old-fashioned fun, like evening