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The Dude Ranch Vacation: An American Tradition
by: Eric Morris
Dude ranches, as they are known today, first gained marked popularity in the 1920s, in large part due to the writings of Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt spent some time working as a ranchman, and herding cattle, and he urged Americans to explore for themselves.

As more and more tourists started arriving from the east, and overseas, many cattle ranches opened themselves up to accommodate the visitors. Dude ranches have since become a fixture in the U.S., as American as apple pie and baseball. The dude ranch embodies the ideas of self-reliance, living off the land, and wide opens spaces. Forget about the TV and the Internet, and turn that cell phone off. Once on the ranch, these distractions will happily be put aside.

Some working ranches allow visitors to get a true taste of the cowboy life, with the opportunity to help with the chores required for the daily operation of the ranch. Dude ranches have also evolved with the times, and many boast every modern amenity one can imagine. Horseback riding is offered for all skill levels, and lessons are almost always available. Although it varies from ranch to ranch, numerous other activities, such as swimming, fishing, hiking, square dances and campfires are usually offered.

Many tourists are drawn to dude ranches for the same reasons they were at the beginning of the 20th century: a sense of adventure, a desire to experience another way of life, and the chance for a wholesome and healthy good time.

There are, of course, more modern reasons to spend time at a dude ranch. Without the neon lights of the city, you can see the stars at night. Without the noise of the highway, you can hear the crickets and birds. And when you're sitting atop your horse, you can look around and see land that stretches for miles, without a mini-mall or condominium complex to obscure the view. Dude Ranch Info provides informatino on dude ranches in Colorado, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, and California, and information on dude ranch jobs. Dude Ranch Info is the sister site of Mountain Vacations Web.


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