From Montana to Argentina to New Zealand, there’s a wide variety of dude ranches of different styles. Some welcome kids, some do not. Some involve guests working side-by-side with real ranch hands, others are high-end luxury outposts with gourmet food and accommodations.
Jody Dahl is a Montana rancher who used to run a dude ranch but is now running a website that can help you choose your destination. She’s divided ranches into three major categories: Children’s Getaways, Working Ranches, and Luxury Ranches.
All ranches include everything, but they can vary widely in price, from $200 per person a day to a couple of thousand dollars a day. Hey, participating in a cattle drive and falling asleep in a cabin that looks as if Ralph Lauren himself decorated it doesn’t come cheap.
Most guests stay five to seven days—Jody Dahl suggests a full week to really get the entire experience. Thirty seven of her picks as top ranches are in the US, so you shouldn’t have to travel too far to slip on your cowboy boots.