Last Updated on April 23, 2024

Giddy up for a new type of vacation. With summer just around the bend and the popular “Yellowstone” series set to return this fall, it’s time to start thinking about a dude ranch getaway.

If you’ve never stayed at a dude ranch, this is your opportunity. Living in Tucson, AZ several years back, I had the chance to stay at an authentic local dude ranch and it was a whole lot of fun.

From Montana to Wyoming and Arizona, the True Ranch Collection now includes six ranches where you can saddle up for an authentic experience. Each offers days filled with trail rides on horseback, hiking, UTVing, sport shooting, archery, and more, as well as menus that include traditional ranch recipes and locally inspired dishes.

“All of our properties offer a classic dude ranch experience, from activities to food and décor, but each has its own feel and experience,” Jaye Wells, managing partner of True Ranch Collection, said. “The ranches are also rich in history, with some dating back a century or more, and through our preservation company, we’ve revived them for the next generation of guests to enjoy while staying true to their identity and heritage. We hope you’ll join us for a vacation full of adventure, relaxation and historic tradition.”

Yellowstone Pop-up Ranch at Blackwater Creek Ranch

New to the True Ranch Collection this summer, the Yellowstone Pop-up Ranch at Blackwater Creek Ranch is set along the banks of Wyoming’s scenic Shoshone River between the cowboy town of Cody and the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Three- and six-night stays are available, with whitewater rafting, visits to Cody and the Cody Nite Rodeo, and opportunities to explore the park.

Circle Bar Ranch

Circle Bar Ranch in Montana barn.
Circle Bar Ranch in Montana barn. Courtesy of True Ranch Collection

Nestled along the Judith River in central Montana where famed cowboy painter Charlie Russell once roamed, the Circle Bar Guest Ranch is known for its horseback riding through open prairies, trotting and loping where terrain allows, or up a ridge for a breakfast cookout.

Fly fishing on the Judith is also possible, as well as UTV tours to the cabin where prospector Jake Hoover lived when he discovered the precious Yogo sapphire.

Kay El Bar Guest Ranch

In Wickenburg, AZ, once known as the “Dude Ranching Capital of the World,” the Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been hosting travelers for more than 100 years. Explore the cactus forests, slot canyons, sandy washes and rocky ridges of the Sonoran Desert and the Hassayampa River, then unwind with a swim in the pool or a cold drink in the adobe lodge.

Rancho de la Osa

South of Tucson, the colorful Rancho de la Osa is rich in history and Southwestern charm. It has the oldest continually used building in Arizona, built in 1722 by Jesuit missionaries before the area was part of the U.S., and has hosted notable guests like John Wayne, Joan Crawford, and President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson.

Ride the magnificent Sonoran’s high-desert grasslands, then rest your spurs in the same accommodations they stayed in.

Tombstone Monument Ranch & Cattle Co

Just outside Tombstone, AZ, guests can take a step back in time at the Tombstone Monument Ranch & Cattle Co. Ride by Native American petroglyphs, abandoned railroad trestles, and forgotten mines, or check on the ranch’s Criollo cattle.

With the ranch built in the image of an Old West town, wake up in the Grand Hotel, the Blacksmith’s, the Marshal’s Office or even the Jail, dine in Schieffelin’s Restaurant, and enjoy entertainment and cards in the Old Trappman Saloon.

White Stallion Ranch

White Stallion Ranch outside Tucson Horseback Riding.
White Stallion Ranch outside Tucson Horseback Riding. Courtesy of True Ranch Collection

The True family has called the White Stallion Ranch outside Tucson home for more than 50 years. Now guests can join them to reconnect with your own family and friends amid the towering cactuses and rugged mountains north of Saguaro National Park.

In addition to classic dude ranch activities, try rock climbing or fat-tire e-biking, play a game of tennis or volleyball, rejuvenate in the spa, and enjoy cowboy singing, line dancing, trick roping and a weekly rodeo.

About True Ranch Collection

True Ranch Collection is a selection of historic dude ranches offering guests an authentic Western experience. In conjunction with its historic preservation company, Ranch Preservation Holdings, LLC, True Ranch is committed to maintaining the hospitality and heritage of the western dude ranches in its collection.

Each ranch in the collection has been revived for the next generation of guests while staying true to its authenticity, identity and heritage, and committing to keeping the hospitality and traditions of the West alive.  

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