Dude ranches started as a way for East Coast city dwellers to escape to more wide, open spaces, and that’s still part of the appeal—except these days, you can rough it without sacrificing any modern conveniences.
After all, you may have grown out of the whole “I want to be a cowboy when I grow up” phase, but that American Dream is still alive and well in the Wild West (and south, and north…). Dude ranches are a great reason to get the hell out of dodge with your buddies for a long weekend or more.
1. A Bar A Ranch
Live out your wildest cowboy dreams at this nearly 100-year-old working cattle and horse ranch. A Bar A Ranch is one of the oldest ranches in the country—and the largest, with over 140,000 acres around the North Platte River, located in the valley of southern Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Mountains. There’s fly-fishing, shooting, hiking, and more right on the property, and (thanks to an old insurance policy), the ranch is one of the few places where you can also saddle up sans wrangler.
Why It’s Awesome
The three guest houses and sixteen cabins offer stunning views of the North Platte River Valley, although you’ll have to go without TVs and phones in the rooms—A Bar A Ranch is all about helping you stay in the moment. But there are plenty of other luxuries on-site, including a private airstrip, just in case you’re traveling by private plane, one of the largest wine cellars in the state, and “Western elegant” cuisine prepared by a Cordon Bleu–trained chef.
[From $530/night; abararanch.com]
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!