Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New DRA Website with Blog

It’s done…it’s live…After working for months on a new look, The Dude Ranchers’ Association is announcing their brand new website at    It was developed with you the vacationer in mind. 

Along with adding new features, new searches and many cool things to the new site we have also moved our Just "Dude" It blog and have placed it inside.  We will be discontinuing using and updating the blog in please continue to follow us at

Come check out the great variety of options on riding, food, accommodation and activities.   You decide what will make your vacation special to you.   Let us help you choose the ranch for your next Original Western Vacation.  There is a little cowboy in all of us…come find yours!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Casting For Recovery at North Fork Ranch, Colorado

Check out this link to a very powerful and encouraging video on behalf of Casting For Recovery, a breast cancer survivor retreat that took place at the North Fork Ranch in Shawnee, Colorado.  The Casting For Recovery offers free, 2½ day retreats for 14 participants at a time. Fly-fishing instruction is the means used to help women gain skills to cope with recovery from breast cancer.  Their goal is helping one survivor at a time focus on the road to recovery.

The first time you click on the link, it may cover some random news story or something for approximately two minutes. Please just wait for the story to finish and then the Casting For Recovery story will play.   Watch Video   It is worth watching. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vote For Ranch Rider’s Colorado Horse-nality Of The Year & Win A 7-Night Family Holiday At The Lost Valley Ranch.

The X-Factor might still be grabbing the headlines, but this Autumn ranching holiday specialist Ranch Rider is teaming up with Colorado Tourism to launch a western themed talent contest: trusty steeds from across the US state, battling it out for the esteemed title of Colorado “Horse-nality (personality) of the Year”. Riding and ranching fans will be able to vote for their favorite mounts from October through December 2010, all of the four legged contestants appearing on the tour operator’s dedicated blog ( A major incentive to participate, every vote will be entered into a random draw, the winner trotting off with a 7-night Ranch Rider summer holiday (for two adults and two children) at the Lost Valley Ranch in Deckers, Colorado.

According to Tony Daly, Managing Director of Ranch Rider, “Wherever families decide to ranch, it’s always the friendly mounts that make the holiday, and that’s why we’ve decided to showcase the west through the eyes of Colorado’s trusty steeds.” Irrefutable proof that the Centennial state is a hotbed of trail-blazing talent, the contest will feature every Colorado ranch in the tour operator’s portfolio. And, to ensure voters have all the fodder at their fingertips, Ranch Rider has even enlisted the assistance of “Hondo,” as its “Horse-nality of the Year” mascot. A gelding with a mischievous side, Hondo will be giving voters the low down on all things ranching, whether he’s chewing the bit over his favorite trail ride, introducing the next contestant or spilling the beans on the wonders of the Lost Valley Guest Ranch, his permanent residence. A steed with a celebrity following, Hondo has arranged his own weekly slot on PONY Magazine’s blog ( – the first post went live on Friday 8th of October.

An added reason for parents and kid’s to vote, the UK’s number one horsey teen mag is also giving away a year’s subscription to the title. Not forgetting those all important ranch hands, Ranch Rider has even rounded up a few of the state’s cowboys and cowgirls. They’ll be sharing the best of the west on the “Horse-nality of the Year” teen blog, and “on the hoof” horse-bites, plus tips and twips will appear on the riding specialist’s Facebook® and Twitter® pages throughout the three-month contest. To vote, simply send the name of the horse you are voting for, your full name, age, daytime telephone number and email address to

Of course, Ranch Rider is aware that the charismatic Hondo will compel many an adventurer to book a stay at the Lost Valley Ranch. Interested guests can join him on the homestead’s daily trail rides or partake in an endless list of pursuits including, river tubing, hiking, fishing and square dancing. The homestead also features a weekly rodeo where budding wranglers can showcase their new found western skills and there are three separate kid’s programs for children aged 3-5, 6-12 and teens.

Entrants can vote once, for one or ALL of the horses featured in Ranch Rider’s Colorado “Horse-nality of the Year” contest. Voting is open globally and there are no age restrictions. All entrants should email the name of the horse they are voting for, along with their full name, age and email address (and parents name and email address if under 13 years) to Parents who are voting should include the number and ages of their children. For the full list of Terms & Conditions please see

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You To Our Veterans

This Veteran's Day, we salute and honor those who have so bravely served this country yesterday, today and tomorrow.  America is founded on the principle of freedom, justice, and liberty for all. Our nation's soldiers serve every day to protect our country and its ideals.  This Veteran's Day, take a moment or two to remember the freedoms we have because of their sacrifice. 
This quote says it best...
“For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”

Thank you to all our many veterans! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The DRA Will Celebrate the 85th Annual Convention

The Dude Ranchers' Association will celebrate the 85th Annual DRA Convention in 2011.  The Convention is being held in Tucson, Arizona at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, January 19th - 23rd, 2011.  The Associations' ranch members, Associate members and many great vendors attend this event..the largest attended DRA Event of the Year.
The Association's original membership of thirty-five ranches from the Yellowstone area has now grown to 100 +member ranches in 12 western states and two Canadian provinces. In spite of this growth, the Association today remains dedicated to preserving the beauty, natural resources, and the original western ranch experiences that attracted the first visitors. Within this context, the Association has produced industry standards, a common means for promoting dude ranch vacations, and a single source for the exchange of ideas and information.

True to its roots, The Dude Ranchers' Association is still a diverse group, composed of cattle ranches who accept paying guests and mountain top lodges that offer a ranch atmosphere. All preserve the open warmth and hospitality of the first ranches and allow for the original western ranch experience by requiring an extended stay. The formation of lasting bonds and memories still brings families back to ranches generation after generation. This is truly a living testimony to the timelessness of the values and standards of the original dude ranchers. Today, as it did over a century ago, the western dude ranch experience offers relief for both the body and spirit of those seeking refuge from the pressures and routine of modern life.  A Dude Ranch Vacation is....the Original Western Vacation!
The 85th Annual Convention Highlights:

  • 3 Day Convention with 2 Day Vendor Show
  • Build lasting relationships with all DRA Members!
  • Seminars
  • Round-Table Discussions 
  • Marketing Tips & Trends
  • State of the Association 
  • Ranch To Ranch Discussion
  • Casino Night with Coaches for Charity
  • The White Stallion Team Penning Calcutta and Competition
  • Horse Safety Courses on Wednesday & Sunday
  • The Infamous Pigeon Rolling
  • More Entertainment
  • 20+ Vendors
  • Food, Family, Friends & FUN!
  • Annual Educational Trust Banquet & Auction
For more information please contact the DRA office at or 866-399-2339!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Choosing a Guest Ranch Like the Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Choosing a guest ranch for an upcoming vacation has some important considerations to research before you decide.

Accommodations at a Guest Ranch

If you are planning a vacation, one crucial thing is getting good accommodations. The choice mostly depends on what you want in your vacation. Various types of guest ranch accommodations are available. If privacy is what you are seeking, you can choose a guest ranch that offers private cabins otherwise you can choose lodge accommodations to get along more easily with other guests. At Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, you have the option of both.

Activities at a Guest Ranch

There are plenty of activities available at a guest ranch vacation. If a real cowboy experience is what you are looking for then a working ranch would be ideal. If your Preference is horseback riding, skiing, river rafting or skeet shooting; you can choose a guest ranch that offers these kinds of activities. Evening activities are also another important factor, if you want a massage or facial, you can choose a ranch resort spa such as Echo Valley Ranch & Spa. If singing songs around a campfire, playing games, dancing, watching movies or just relaxing is your idea of fun, in that case, you can choose those guest ranches that offer various nightly entertainments.

Guest Ranch Vacations for Families

If your vacation plan is for the whole family, you should choose a ranch that offers entertaining activities for the kids. Choosing a guest ranch that offers a full kids program would be wise. There are many guest ranches available that offer accommodations for family groups and contain an array of activities for the kids.


The season and weather also play an important role in your vacation decisions. Depending on your preferences about summer and winter activities you can choose the season you want to book your guest ranch vacation. However, you will find many ranches that are open year round and will offer different entertainment opportunities depending on the season. Echo Valley Ranch & Spa is open year round currently. Please contact us for the various activities offered depending on the season.

Horseback Riding

No matter whether you are an experienced rider looking for a riding adventure or a novice looking for lessons, you will surely find guest ranches that will offer exactly what you want about horseback riding. Echo Valley Ranch & Spa has over 30 horses so there is a good selection for riders of all levels. Our wranglers will also hone your skills in the saddle with horseback riding lessons and guided horseback rides.

Dining at a Guest Ranch

Food is another factor that will influence your selection of guest ranches. If you want special cuisine, you can notify the guest ranch earlier as most ranches can prepare special food on demand. Normally you will get quality food as well as special items like BBQ’s or other items on theme nights. At Echo Valley, we have a gourmet chef on staff who prepares a variety of healthy gourmet organic meals. There is also a variety of Thai cuisine on the menu.

Vacation Cost

Budget is another thing that will influence your vacation. Guest ranch vacations vary in price depending on the season and type of accommodations. Usually the vacation package will cover all meals and most of the activities. The total cost will usually depend on the rating of the ranch. Guest ranches are rated from 1 star to 5 star accommodations. You will find accommodations from basic single rooms to luxurious cabins for bigger groups. Choosing extra activities will sometimes cost you some more money. It would be wise to check out the costs of various ranches before selecting one.

Location of Guest Ranch

You will find guest ranches in almost all the states and provinces of US and Canada. Where you want to go depends on your preference. You can choose one that is remotely placed or you can choose one near a major city or national park.

You should thoroughly evaluate all these areas before booking for your next guest ranch vacation. This way, you will be able to find a destination that fits your expectations the most.

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa is a 4.5 star luxury guest ranch with onside spa. Please visit us at Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Author: Christine789

Article Source:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cattle Drives - A Truly Western Experience

For a truly memorable vacation, nothing beats a Western cattle drive. Straight from the big screen, these working cattle drives, offered through various members of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, transform a movie moment into a real-life vacation experience unlike any other.

The cattle drive experience varies from ranch to ranch, with some ranches providing only two drives (one in the spring and one in the fall) while others offer cattle activities every day. The purpose of the drives, however, is universal—move cattle from one location to another without losing any animals along the way. Guided by expert wranglers, cattle drive participants shoulder important responsibilities as they keep the herd together, chase down stragglers, and stay on the move. Days-long cattle drives fill the urge for the more adventurous to taste the true Western experience. These drives often include river crossings, mountain riding, and range roaming as the herd travels miles from one location to another. Of course, long days of riding are rewarded with evenings of fly fishing, card playing, and other rest and relaxation—just like in the days of the real cowboy. The exhilaration of combining real work with real pleasure is impossible to ignore, and nothing beats riding herd in the broad expanse of the Wild West.

For just a taste of the real cowboy life, dude ranch visitors can participate in other cattle activities. Moving cattle for the day or gathering and doctoring are just a couple of the “real” experiences while saddling up with the hired hands.

For more information about a real working cattle drive or any of the other unique features of a dude ranch vacation, or to request a brochure, call 1-307-587-2339 or visit

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Horseback Riding Ranches in Arizona |

This is the time of year to make your winter holiday about an Arizona Dude Ranch Vacation.   There are 11 great dude ranches in the state of Arizona, two in New Mexico, and they are ready to saddle a horse for you.  Check out the special offerings a the Flying E Ranch in Wickenburg.

Flying E Ranch is offering a Dec 20/20 discount rate. 20% discount on lodging the first 20 days of Dec. for this year.  

They are also offering the 4th Annual Cowgirl Hideout Weekend Jan 6th – Jan 9th 2011. Fun is included in this package just for cowgirls. Trail rides, team penning, line dancing, breakfast cookout and ranch style home cooked meals.  Ride, Relax and Rejuvenate! (The perfect Christmas present for the special cowgirl in your life.) Rates $650.00 - $675.00 all inclusive for the weekend package.

Here is an article on some of the other DRA Ranches in Arizona...Check it out.

Horseback Riding Ranches in Arizona

For more information about all the Southwest Ranches go to!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dude Ranch Vacations for Singles |

Check out the article about Singles weeks on

Although a dude ranch is not typically associated with singles activities, a healthy, invigorating outing somewhere in the big-sky country of the American west can bring people together just like any other shared interest. Dude ranches also foster social activity with amenities such as trail rides, a hot tub, sauna or community-style meals. Although most dude ranches cater to families, there are a number that reserve special weeks for adults only or singles.

Read more: Dude Ranch Vacations for Singles
Dude Ranch Vacations for Singles

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Elkhorn Ranch, Arizona

Fifty-one miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona, in its own valley, where mountains and desert meet, lies the Elkhorn Ranch. Owned and operated by the Miller family since 1946, the 3rd generation of Charley and Mary Miller and Tom and Anne Miller now holds the reins.

In October, the Millers welcome their crew to get the ranch ready for opening day on November 14, 2010. Being a winter season ranch, families tend to come during the holidays and school vacation weeks with more of an adult crowd visiting during Arizona's sunny winter season. The Elkhorn offers exceptional riding and comfortable living for thirty-two guests.

With seventy head of horses, riding is the main interest with gentle or loping rides through the desert and more vigorous trips along the many mountain trails. Charley visits with everyone at breakfast and lunch to talk about riding plans. With 6 guides, the rides are small and tailored to your interests and abilities.

Elkhorn's 3rd annual Digital Photography and Natural History workshop, led by Stewart Aitchison and Ann Kramer, will take place January 23 - 30, 2011. Come and enjoy the ranch for this great workshop.
With Easter arriving in late April for 2011, Elkhorn has spring vacation dates available in March, when you have a chance to see lovely desert wildflowers. The Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Easter holidays are quite full already, but the Millers hope you will call to see if there's a spot for you!

When you are not in the saddle, you can enjoy Elkhorn's heated swimming pool, wintering birds, tennis, hiking and relaxation beneath the Arizona sunshine. The Miller's favorite near by attractions are the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Kitt Peak National Observatory, or for shopping a visit to Tubac and Tumacacori the San Xavier del Bac Missions. For more information please go to