If you have already experienced a dude ranch vacation, then you know just how incredible an escape to the rugged West can be. If you are one of the many people who have yet to enjoy the dude ranch experience, then saddle up- you are in for a treat!

When you think of a dude ranch, your first thought might be horseback riding on the homestead with some seasoned cowboys. While horseback riding is an exceedingly popular activity at ranches, there is so much more to an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation.

You could take the whole family through epic rapids on an all-day whitewater rafting trip or even enjoy some romantic time with your significant other, relaxing under the stars while the kids are off at a cowboy campfire. You could try your hand at fly fishing or perfect your Western dance skills!

There are so many things to do at a dude ranch- your family will never have a dull moment. Here are the top 8 things to do at a dude ranch!


Best Dude Ranch Activities for Guests

  1. Horseback Riding
  2. Fly Fishing
  3. Whitewater Rafting
  4. Guided Hike through the Mountains
  5. Cowboy Cookout
  6. Cowboy Campfires
  7. Western Dancing
  8. Power Tubing



horseback ridingHorseback Riding

Traversing a scenic trail on horseback may be the absolute best way to experience the West. You can enjoy a thrilling adventure while riding through vast meadows or striding alongside a river overlooked by boundless mountains. Don’t be scared if you’ve never ridden a horse before!  Most of our guests have little to no experience with horseback riding. From the complete beginner to the advanced rider, there are staff and horses to fit your style.



fly fishing dude ranchFly Fishing

Private waters in Southwest Colorado provide some of the best trout fishing on the planet. These private sections of river are also outstanding for the non-fisherman, being the perfect place to relax and learn with experienced guides. This activity is also well-suited for all ages. The fly-fishing guides at the Ranch are well equipped to teach and assist both adults and teens and they do it with passion and joy for the sport. At Colorado Trails Ranch, you can enjoy over two miles of private river access as well as a fully stocked pond.


whitewater raftingWhitewater Rafting

While part of the dude ranch experience is about kicking back and relaxing in nature, sometimes guests are ready for big thrills. That is where a rafting expedition comes into play. A breathtaking adventure for the whole family, whitewater rafting will allow you to see the West through a whole different perspective. Experienced guides can lead families and individuals down cool waters and through wild rapids depending on the adventure level desired. Whether you choose a half-day or full-day rafting trip, this will be one riveting, unforgettable experience.


guided hike mountainsGuided Hike through the Mountains

It’s impossible to not get drawn in by the magnificence of the vast mountains ranges that loom over Ranches like ours- and when the mountains call, you answer. Take it from us, hiking through the incredible mountain ranges out West can make for life-changing moments, connecting with nature on a deeper level. If you are a city-slicker that does not get out and hike much, don’t worry! Hiking trips can be customized for any person, from the beginner to the experienced mountain climber. Either way, you will have fun, take in gorgeous views, and gain a deeper respect and connection to nature.


cowboy cookout dude ranchCowboy Cookout

After a day of riding through scenic trails or relaxing in that fresh mountain air, it’ll be time to grub on some true cowboy-style meals. Many dude ranches, like Colorado Trails Ranch, provide a private chef and a full western spread each evening as well as a weekly cowboy cookout. This is the perfect way to settle a big appetite after a full day of activities with the family. Not even the pickiest of eaters will be disappointed with finely cooked and hearty potions of barbeque and vegetables big enough to feed a horse (pun intended).


cowboy campfiresCowboy Campfires

Sit under the stars in a beautiful, clear night sky while listening to cowboy songs and engaging with your family, friends, staff, or even new friends you’ve met during your stay! Magical moments like these help folks connect and make lasting memories.




western dancingWestern Dancing

No dude ranch experience is complete without a fun-filled evening of western dancing! Have an energetic and lively night of square and line dancing with your family and friends. Even if you’re not familiar with these styles of dance- put on those cowboy boots and get ready to have a blast! Staff at the guest ranch are ready to teach you how to move your feet to popular western ballads or offer an extra hand to take you for a spin.


power tubing dude ranchPower Tubing

Undeniably popular among the teens, power tubing is an excellent activity for those seeking some thrills! Often, the adults find time to relax on the boat while the kids and teens have a blast, but adults are welcome to zip across the water too! This entry-level water sport is fun for everyone!

Those are our Top 8 things to Do, but there are many additional activities to enjoy on an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation.


Other Dude Ranch Activities for Guests

  • Horseshoes
  • Archery Range
  • Hot Tub Soak
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Hayrides
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball Courts
  • Durango & Silverton Railroad (Specific to Durango Colorado)
  • Mesa Verde National Park (Specific to Durango, Colorado)

Ready for your Next Western Adventure?

At Colorado Trails Ranch, we make sure that all guests are family. We welcome you to experience the full Western adventure! Whether you are looking for big thrills, stunning views, or a moment to breathe and relax in the fresh mountain air, you can find it at Colorado Trails Ranch.