Difference Between a Dude Ranch and Guest Ranch

Dude Ranches vs Guest Ranches

You've heard about dude ranches and guest ranches but what is the difference between a dude ranch and guest ranch? About a hundred years ago, it was considered common courtesy for ranchers in the Wild West to offer food and lodging to travellers who happened to pass by on their journeys across vast deserts and empty tracts of land. As the years went by, it became more and more acceptable for the ranchers to accept some sort of payment from their guests. In the 1920s, ranch visits officially became full-fledged vacations. To this day, there are still many people who go on ranch vacations. Today, there are many different types of ranches to suit every budget and taste.

A guest ranch and a dude ranch are just two of the types of ranch vacation places currently available for adventure-seekers like you. Before you even plan your ranch vacation and make your reservations, it would be wise to learn as much as you can about the different types of ranch vacations. Among other things, you’d do well to learn what the differences are between a guest ranch and a dude ranch. Here are a few:

  1. A dude ranch is a place where you get to learn all about life on a ranch. You are taught how to ride and care for horses, brought on fishing trips, allowed to view rodeos, and enjoy family-style meals. On the other hand, a guest ranch is a place where you get to enjoy several activities, regardless of whether they have anything to do with ranching or not. This means that guests ranches may also have other facilities that allow fun activities such as pools and tennis courts.
  2. Your payment for a dude ranch vacation is typically inclusive of lodging, meals, and all ranching activities. On a guest ranch, you usually need to pay extra for activities like riding, hunting, and fishing.
  3. Vacations on a dude ranch usually last for a minimum of one week whereas guest ranches allow even a one-night stay.

Your experience in a dude ranch is said to be the perfect Western experience that has come to life. It includes daily horseback rides, drinking what’s commonly known as “cowboy coffee” under a majestic blue sky, singing cowboy songs around a campfire at night, and sharing home-cooked meals in a rustic lodge. Accommodations in a dude ranch are usually in comfortable lodges or cabins. Guest ranches, on the other hand, offer a ranch atmosphere – but with more luxury. Guests can choose to simply relax in their cabins and do whatever activity they like.

Of course, the choice of whether to spend your vacation in a guest or a dude ranch is still yours to make. But, it pays to have at least a general idea of what you can expect when you get to your destination. The good thing is that both a dude and guest ranch do not require you to have previous horseback riding experience. There are trained ranch hands who are willing to and highly capable of assisting even the most inexperienced riders. So, the next time you want to get away from the pressures of work, you may want to consider visiting a good, old-fashioned ranch.

When you are ready to find that dude ranch or guest ranch, use the Ranchseeker ranch search tool.