Visit a guest ranch for old-school hospitality, active adventure and spectacular scenery. Here are five top ones to consider.
1. LATIGO RANCH, KREMMLING, COLORADO
With never-ending views along the Continental Divide, choose from snowshoeing, tubing, cross-country skiing and fat-tire biking in pristine winter conditions. The summer months offer top-notch horseback riding, cattle drives, hiking and mountain biking for the active members of your family.
2. WHITE STALLION RANCH, TUCSON, ARIZONA
This working cattle ranch is known for great riding opportunities and a family-friendly atmosphere. Ride amid towering saguaros and enjoy moonlit bonfires, hayrides, cowboy entertainment, Western dance lessons and a weekly rodeo where family members can admire the roping, barrel-racing and steer-wrestling skills of local wranglers.
3. DEVIL’S THUMB RANCH, TABERNASH, COLORADO
Enjoy local specialties in the lodge dining room where a three-story, three-hearth fireplace warms winter visitors. Grab the binoculars for a glimpse of wildlife roaming on this 6,000-acre expanse of Colorado beauty or set out on the Nordic trails for an up-close view of winter scenes. Plan for a soak or scrub in the 18,000-square-foot spa where young cowpokes are invited for kid-friendly mini-massages or “tween-bee” facials.
4. WESTGATE RIVER RANCH, RIVER RANCH, FLORIDA
Just an hour from Orlando and within 30 minutes of Legoland is the largest dude ranch east of the Mississippi. Situated on 1,700 acres of wilderness in Florida’s cattle country, the ranch offers a menu of lodging options that include glamping-style tents, lodge rooms and two-bedroom cabins. Opt for horse and pony rides, airboat excursions, miniature golf, nature hikes and zip lining.
5. VISTA VERDE RANCH, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO
Warm by the fire after a day of snow tubing, fat-tire biking, snowshoeing or sleigh riding. A kids’ program for ages 6-12 encourages snow play, sports and a “dine and dash” dinner program that allows the kids to return to friends and fun while the adults enjoy a leisurely meal and fireside conversation. Upscale and all-inclusive, summer on the ranch offers traditional riding programs, fly-fishing, barn dances, treasure hunts and mountain hiking.