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Wanted! City Slickers at Arizona Dude Ranches

Dude Ranches are some rootin' tootin' outdoor fun!

See them on Outta Town Adventures with Bea Broda

Season 3 on Amazon Prime Video

White Stallion Ranch

If you are looking for a soft adventure that includes trail riding, biking, hiking or just enjoying the scenery and fresh air, you will not be disappointed with a stay at the White Stallion Ranch, Tombstone Monument Ranch or historic Rancho de la Osa. These ranches are where greenhorns and kids can visit with real cowboys and experience the Old West without losing the comforts of today.

The White Stallion Ranch is not what you would envision as your typical long horn steer working ranch. It is unique, high quality and quite elegant with spectacular views of the mountains. The ranch features a five bedroom hacienda and 43 spacious rooms of which 24 rooms comfortably accommodate four guests with one king size bed and two twins. Of those 24, six will take five guests with a king bed and three twins. All rooms have free Wi-Fi and ports for iPods. Small meetings of 50 to 100, depending on the configuration, can also be arranged. An outdoor pool and hot tub, bar/lounge, restaurant, outdoor tennis court and fitness center are all part of the amenities offered at this ranch. Every night, the ranch features an assortment of entertainment for its guests such as bonfires, country dancing, astronomy lessons, critter shows, singing cowboys, history talks and watching Loop Rawlins do his rope tricks, gun spinning and whip cracking. Recently, the ranch was named one of the top 10 best family resorts in the U.S. by readers and editors of USA Today. The ranch was also just featured in the NY Times travel section. Russell and the ranch are known internationally for excellent ranch experience.

Want to wake up in jail or the old post office, then book a stay at Tombstone Monument Ranch, the only guest ranch in Tombstone. Its 18 guest room doors are designed like the facades of old Tombstone store fronts. This is a horse lover’s paradise with all types of trails designed for beginners to advanced riders with a variety of terrain, petroglyphs, ghost towns and historic sites to visit. The ranch is surrounded by some abandoned mines with discarded tools and mining equipment left when Tombstone was a flourishing silver mining town in the 1800s. Archery, roping lessons, and horseshoes are just some of the activities available for wannabe cowboys and cowgirls. In the evening, enjoy live music or take card game lessons in the Old Trappmann Saloon. Right now, it only has female wranglers!

Many presidents, authors and celebrities have stayed at Rancho de la Osa, Arizona’s most historic ranch located by the small town of Sasabe, with a population of 15. This property has 18 luxurious adobe guest rooms with Mexican antiques and vintage furniture as well as 33 wood burning fireplaces. The rooms are named after famous guests who have stayed at the ranch, i.e. John Wayne, Joan Crawford, Tom Nix, Pancho Villa, Zane Grey, William O. Douglas, Hubert Humphrey, Margaret Mitchell, President Lyndon B. Johnson, President Franklyn Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. The Marshall Plan was even written in a guest room. The ranch encompasses 590 acres and is surrounded by 120,000 acres of national wildlife refuge. It’s the perfect place to soak in the outdoors. The ranch dates back to the 1700s when Jesuit priests built the first building as a place for missionaries to stay as well as a trading post doing business with local tribes. This well preserved building is believed to be the oldest continually used building in Arizona.

Kay El Bar Guest Ranch, the oldest dude ranch in Arizona, is situated on 100 acres in Wickenburg, AZ. This all-inclusive quaint, boutique dude ranch offers a myriad of activities for its guests, including horseback riding on 2,000 acres, hiking in the Sonoran Desert, swimming in a heated pool and spa, team cattle penning, bird watching and evening campfires .

Founded by Romaine Lowdermilk as a working cattle ranch in 1918, this entertainer turned the charming adobe buildings into a guest ranch in 1926. Lowdermilk is credited as being the father of the Arizona dude ranch. The ranch is listed on the Arizona and National Registers of Historic Places. It is also the boyhood home of Val Kilmer. The ranch was purchased by Val Kilmer’s step dad as a wedding present for his wife, Val’s mom.

Today the guest ranch can accommodate 28 guests in modern rooms that feature western motif. The food is first rate, served family style, and there are 50 different horses to ride depending on one’s level of expertise.

A typical stay is three to five days so guests can take in the special activities since some only happen once a week. The cost begins at an average of $179 to $350 per person, per night, double occupancy depending on the season. Besides the room, it includes all meals, transfers and most activities.

Circle Bar Guest Ranch is an historic ranch that dates back to the 1800s. It is located on Montana’s Judith River in Utica where one has the opportunity to explore the headwaters of this river and the Little Belt mountains where Charlie Russell once rode.

True Ranch Hospitality is the gold standard for dude ranches. The company is preserving ranches so folks can experience the American West today and in the future. It has plans to expand the number of ranches in its holdings. Recently, Russell True, the co-owner with partners of True Ranch Hospitality, was honored at the recent Arizona Governor’s Conference and inducted into the Arizona Hall of Fame for Tourism for a lifetime of work in dude ranching and Arizona Tourism, including his work to conserve and protect dude ranches in the state. True is co-founder and past president of the Arizona Dude Ranch Association and was twice the president of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, the only multi-state group representing these types of properties.

O.T.O. Dude Ranch is an exclusive pop-up dude ranch just 10 miles from the north gates of Yellowstone National Park. O.T.O. is Montana's first dude ranch which operated in the early 20th century, closing to guests in 1939. Currently the ranch is only opened in the summer.



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