Posts Tagged ‘cattle drives’

Be a Cowboy for a Week at a Working Ranch

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

For your next vacation why not consider a working ranch. A working ranch differs from your typical guest ranch in that guests can choose to take part in a hands-on ranching experience as well as other fun activities.  If you have ever dreamed of being a cowboy or cowgirl then this is the ideal vacation choice for you. So grab a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and take a look at these two working ranches and book your vacation today!

Burnt Well Guest Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico 

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is an authentic working cattle and sheep ranch. They take on a few guests per year on the side to help supplement their ranching income. Because they can only accept small numbers this means that your vacation will be tailored to your needs. Whether you are an avid rider who would like to participate in actual ranch work or whether you are just a beginner who wants to work on your riding skills Burnt Well can accommodate you.

If you are looking to take part in a cattle drive be sure to contact the ranch in advance to see which dates are programmed for these events. They offer two types of working ranch vacations: Dude Ranch Style and Authentic “Old West” Style

On the Dude Ranch style cattle drive any number of cattle are driven from point A to point B. This drive could be from one to ten miles. You will typically sleep and eat most, if not all, meals at the ranch house. You may have the occasional sack lunch in the saddle bags. Since they are a working cattle ranch on 15,000 acres there is always plenty of cattle work to be done. The need to round up cattle and drive them various distances to pastures or pens could have you in the saddle from many miles and/or hours a day. The ranch can take about any age and any level of riding experience. This type of cattle drive is very common, if not the norm, at Burnt Well with most regular ranch stays.

New Mexico Cattle Drive

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

The Authentic “Old West” Style drives are a little more active for guests as you will camp out on the trail for at least three nights; however it can be four or five nights depending on the drive. You are usually in the saddle between five to ten hours a day. They start early, driving cattle by sun up and will try to be at camp by early afternoon. This drive can be between ten and fifteen miles a day depending on the location.

Burnt Well provide a “cowboy” bedroll very similar to the ones cowboys had to use on cattle drives. The bedroll is a three inch mattress made up with sheets and blankets and rolled in a tarp. (Those cowboys probably didn’t use sheets, but they did have a padded bedroll with blankets which was rolled up in a tarp to keep out the dust and rain). They also provide cots for those who are a little squeamish about being right on the ground. Burnt Well has plenty of “cowboy” teepees in case of inclement weather and an outdoor privy. Your comfort is in their best interest.

New Mexico Cattle Drives

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

Hot meals are cooked in a Dutch oven and over a campfire for breakfast and dinners. You pack your own lunch right after breakfast from the wide variety of choices laid out for .Nightly campfires, a blanket of twinkling stars on a New Mexico black velvet sky and sweet fiddle music are some of the things to be enjoyed on these drives.

The Authentic “Old West” Style cattle drives are adult drive only and for those who are in fairly good shape since you will be out on the range land for the duration of the drive. You will be actually driving cattle for miles and living out under the stars just as the cowboys did before trains and trucks came to being. At times the weather can be trying and unpleasant. This drive is for adventurous adults with plenty of stick-to-itiveness! The stuff memories, stories and bucket lists are made of.

 

Laughing Water Ranch, Fortine, Montana

During selected weeks in May and September adults can sign up for a cattle drive at Laughing Water Ranch. For the first few days you will only be trail riding so that you can get acquainted with your horse and make any needed adjustments. There will also be a “Cattle Clinic” to prepare you for what to expect once you join the herd. This is a great opportunity to see some breathtaking Montana scenery.

Then it’s time to get to work. Depending on the week you come out to the ranch, you will be rounding up, sorting, branding and moving cattle from their winter pasture to summer range in May or from summer range to the home ranch in September. The horses really love it and you’ll love it too. It gets you off the beaten path – chasing cows and calves that have their own ideas of when to stop, and where to go.

Montana Cattle Drives

Laughing Water Ranch

You will be working approximately 170 head of cattle. The cattle belong to their local Judge and rancher, Terry Utter. Terry will be joining everyone on the drives and he is as helpful as he is entertaining. After a day of working cows your appetite will be hearty and the camp cook will put out a spread like you can only get out west.

When the workday is done you will gather round the campfire for some entertaining story- telling and lots of laughter while you discus the day’s events. Guests will have the choice of either staying at night at cow camp, or returning each evening to the comforts of The Ranch. Cow Camp will be set up with spacious wall tents with comfortable cots. Remember to bring your sleeping bags, slickers, and sense of adventure!!!

Montana Cattle Drives

Laughing Water Ranch

So make sure to head to a dude ranch before its upcoming cattle drive. Search our extensive list of ranches by defining the ‘cattle drive’ criteria and book your spot before someone else nabs it.

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Laramie River Dude Ranch

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Located in Glendevey, Colorado, this historic guest ranch which also operates as a working ranch, dates back to the 1890’s when it was first operated as the UT Bar Dude Ranch for over forty years. Today, you will still find some of the original structures from that time period. Guests at this dude ranch will experience genuine western hospitality on behalf of the Burleigh family and their staff as well as spectacular vistas of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Horseback riding is the ranch’s specialty so if you love to ride then this is the ideal vacation choice for you. Experienced wranglers accompany each small group of riders across tens of thousands of acres of shaded groves of Aspen and wildflower dotted hillsides all of which include the opportunity to see abundant wildlife. While atop your horse you might just see antelopes, elks, eagles, coyotes or a moose or two so be sure to bring your camera along.

In addition to horseback riding you can also choose from a range of activities suitable for families, couples and single travelers. Your vacation can be as active as you want it to be or you can simply relax in the ranch’s hot tub or curl up in a comfortable chair and read a good book. Laramie River Dude Ranch offers exceptional opportunities for fly-fishing, naturalist led hikes, wildlife adventures as well as a full children’s program.

Colorado Guest Ranch

Laramie River Dude Ranch

For those guests who would like to experience the life of a true western cowboy if only for a short while there are lots of opportunities to work cattle while staying at the ranch. Laramie River Dude Ranch has a small herd of cattle which requires team penning twice a week. They also have scheduled and unscheduled opportunities to help neighbors work their much larger herds. Be sure to book in advance if you are interested in their spring and fall cattle drives since space is limited.

At the end of each day a comfortable room in the main lodge or a cozy cabin awaits you. Meals are served family-style and after a full day spent outdoors in the fresh mountain air you are sure to have a healthy appetite! Whether you are dining out on the trail or at the ranch meals are always an event at Laramie River. It is the perfect opportunity to make new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.

Guests from all across the country and around the world continue to discover the timeless beauty of this Colorado guest ranch. For your next vacation why not consider Laramie River Dude Ranch?

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Red Reflet Ranch

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Next time that you are looking for a working ranch which is also a luxurious resort why not consider Red Reflet Ranch located in Ten Sleep, Wyoming? Situated on 27,000 acres in the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains you will find landscapes that vary from red rim rock to rolling foot hills to aspen forests, limestone canyons, and mountain meadows. The ranch features outstanding facilities, superb food and an experienced staff all in a beautiful natural setting.

Your vacation at Red Reflet is all-inclusive and offers you unlimited activities. You can do as much as you want or simply choose to relax it’s up to you.  When cattle operations allow guests are invited to try their hand at being a “cowboy” by riding with the wranglers to look over the herd and to move them as needed. Other experiences include cattle drives to branding and gathering. Horseback riding is always a favourite activity at the ranch as well. All riding levels can be accommodated and an experienced wrangler will match you to the perfect horse for your riding ability. Enjoy the many trails on the ranch and explore the breathtaking scenery and natural wonders. You can also take lessons for roping, barrel racing or get some tips on how to improve your riding skills.

Wyoming Guest Ranch

Red Reflet Ranch

Other fun activities include taking an ATV out for a spin in a guided or unguided tour on one of the many trails available at the ranch.  Or how about fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and rifle and skeet shooting to fill your days? And for the more adventurous there is rock climbing and zip lining on the ranch’s private 4 course fast Zip Line. When you feel like doing something less active you are welcome to help the resident chef prepare the meals and learn new techniques while doing it or spend the afternoon cooling off in the outdoor pool which has a spectacular view of the Canyon and Red Cliffs. These are just a few of the activities available so be sure to check everything out before going so you can start planning your days.

Guests at the ranch enjoy 5 star luxury while staying in one of the chalets. The various expansive and well equipped chalets sleep from 4-20 people depending on your vacation needs and are built like a home featuring incredible views and luxurious living spaces. The wraparound terraces are ideal for stargazing at night and if you use the ranch’s Meade telescope you can even see the Milky Way and various galaxies! Mealtimes at the Red Reflet Ranch are always memorable occasions too since almost everything on the table has been grown or raised on the Ranch and then prepared by their resident executive Chef.

So next time you are considering a vacation with your spouse, family or friends consider The Red Reflet Ranch where your western experience will far exceed expectations for you and everyone in your group.

Happy Trails!

Scribble a Cattle Drive on Your Bucket List Now!

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Cattle drives were an important economic activity in the American West two centuries ago. Historians believed 20 million cattle were herded from Texas to Kansas before they were shipped to stockyards in Chicago and other cities in the east. While there are many cattle drives taking part in the west, this part of cowboy culture is vividly alive at some of the best dude ranches in North America.

If you haven’t experienced the joy and thrill of a cattle drive, here are five reasons that’ll drive you (pardon the pun!) to locate a dude ranch hosting this activity.

#1) Stepping into Cowboys’ Boots

Cowboys earned their name by herding and tending to cattle on the ranches of North America. Their distinctive gear, which comprises of high-crowned cowboy hats, high-heeled boots, leather chaps, spurs, and a rifle/pistol, has always fascinated people, especially on movie screens. With President Theodore Roosevelt further popularizing the American cowboy image through his writings, it’s no wonder that you’d want to be a cowboy yourself.

However, just stepping into cowboy gear won’t be enough for those who truly want to immerse themselves into this world. You need to get your hands dirty to appreciate their heritage; and what better way to do so than participating in a cattle drives? In addition to learning how to handle a large herd, you’ll enjoy the same feelings, smells and sounds which thousands of cowboys experienced before you.

cattle-drive-laramie-river

Cattle Drive at Laramie River Ranch

#2) Discovering the Best Scenery Nature Offers

Most dude ranches are located near spring and summer pastures that allow you to appreciate the best of what Mother Nature has to offer. Cattle rides allow you to enjoy the wildest and most beautiful country. While riding, you’re bound to be mesmerized by the scenery surrounding you and even experienced wildlife up close and personal. Just think – the same scenes before you have attracted hundreds of city slickers in the past, driving them to set make their home there before opening it up to you and other guests.

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RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Laughing Water Ranch

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Let Laughing Water Ranch be your Montana adventure destination for your next vacation. Located in Fortine, Montana, this authentic western dude ranch is situated against the foot hills of the Whitefish Divide. It encompasses 220 breathtaking acres of mountain timber and rolling pastures which is nestled in a beautiful valley just west of Glacier National Park and bordered on three sides by the Kootenai National Forest.

With miles and miles of scenic trails available for riding throughout the public lands of the National Forest mountain trail riding is Laughing Water Ranch’s main focus. There are nice and easy rides for the novice rider to the low lakes and more challenging rides for the more advanced rider on high country trails. Colourful names such as the “Trail of Tears,” “Laughing Water Overlook,” and the “North Fork of Deep Creek Trail” will become part of your everyday vocabulary when signing up for a ride while staying at the ranch. Since Laughing Water Ranch is the only dude ranch in the area you will enjoy visiting nearby lakes, stopping for lunch by babbling brooks and taking in scenic vistas uninterrupted by other riders.

Montana Guest Ranch

Laughing Water Ranch

There are other activities to fill your days as well. From fishing, hiking and swimming in the summer months to cross-county skiing, snow-shoeing, ice-fishing and even dog sledding in the winter. During the year the ranch also features specialty weeks that shouldn’t be missed out on. “Cattle Drives”, “Ladies Only”, “Horse Confidence”, “Extreme Trail Rider”, “Wild West Week”, “Hands on Horse Week” and “Kids Hands on Horse Week” will have you coming back again and again.

Laughing Water Ranch’s friendly, personable staff will ensure that you and your travelling companions enjoy your guest ranch vacation to the fullest while being treated to delicious western cuisine, comfortable accommodations in either their lodge rooms or cabins and fun filled days exploring Montana’s wilderness.

Happy Trails!