A ranch holiday offers a place to stay surrounded by acres of outdoor space with endless activities. It is not only about the cowboy experience, but also about the surrounding wilderness, learning new skills, the history of the ranches and having fun. There is the opportunity to explore remote regions on horseback or on foot, in the company of people that are passionate and knowledgeable about the landscape they live. A ranch holiday is perfect for families, a safe environment with plenty to keep everyone occupied and entertained. If that all sounds exhausting, it is also a place to relax, unwind and take in the vastness of the surrounding landscapes.

At Discover North America, we can offer three types of ranch holiday:

Starting with the most relaxed first, and probably the option best for families, there are resort ranches. These ranches tend to be very upscale and offer a wide range of activities. Riding is only one of the main activities; there could be tennis, golf, massage and spa treatments, sailing, and 4×4 jeep trips along with the traditional guest ranch activities. The ranch accommodations do tend to be very luxurious and the food is usually gourmet.

The next ranch style is the dude ranch (or guest ranch), where guests usually stay for a week (although some also offer three night stays) and the emphasis is more firmly on helping out around the ranch, with few – if any – additional activities on offer. These are ranches that are primarily designed to give a western experience, they may or may not have cattle on the ranch. They earn their main income from the guest ranch side and as such usually offer more activities than working ranches, as well as better facilities. Although they may offer other activities, riding remains the prime activity. These ranches are especially suitable for all types of rider and can cater for the beginner upwards. You can expect a very warm welcome and you may arrive a guest but you will leave a friend.

Finally, for the fully immersive cowboy experience, there are working ranches, where the guests are expected to muck in (and out) and help with all the chores expected on the ranch. They earn their main income from raising livestock and crops and take in guests to supplement the main ranch income. Depending on the ranch chosen you may get to participate in the daily ranch activities that can include checking cattle, moving cattle to new grazing, cattle drives, branding, sorting cattle, checking fences and water etc. What you do is very dependant on the time of year and if you just want to ride along and observe that is fine, whatever you decide you will surely get an insight into cowboy life. Try it, become a real cowboy or cowgirl!

Speak to the knowledgeable specialists at Discover North America to find out more about the ranch options we can arrange, and get ready for one of the most memorable of all American experiences!


View our Ranches

For a truly American adventure, try a ranch holiday which gives you the opportunity to experience life as a cowboy!

View holidays