Few things are more quintessentially American than the cowboy, and staying at a ranch in the American West is the perfect way to indulge any Wild West wish fulfilment fantasies.

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Will, Kate B and Alexandra are here to help give you the inside track.

Key Stats

Best Time To Visit

May - Sep

Flight from London London

10:00 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -7 hrs

The one varmint in the ointment is choosing the right ranch for you, so here is our root and branch ranch guide.

Starting with the most relaxed first, and probably the option best for families, there are resort ranches. These offer a certain amount of ranch activities such as riding and involvement in the day to day activity on the ranch, but also include other non-ranch specific pursuits such as fly fishing, tennis and swimming (many have pools). Some of the resort ranches we work with are among the most luxurious hotels in America, let alone the most luxurious ranches, and they tend to operate on a full board basis where all the activities are included. Dependent on your budget, we can suggest a number of different options.

The next ranch style is the dude ranch (or guest ranch), where guests usually stay for a week (although some also offer three night stays) and the emphasis is more firmly on helping out around the ranch, with few - if any - additional activities on offer.

Finally, for the fully immersive cowboy experience, there are working ranches, where the guests are expected to muck in (and out) and help with all the chores expected on the ranch. This is likely to involve raising cattle and horses, and a decent level of riding experience, while not mission critical, will certainly enhance the working ranch experience. Meals are taken with the ranch, while the accommodation will be more basic than at the other two types of ranch, and may even involve camping out if cattle are being moved longer distances.

Speak to the knowledgeable Original Travel team to find out more about the ranch options we can arrange, and get ready for one of the most memorable of all American experiences!


Original Highlight

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Whether you want to camp out and round up cattle, or enjoy a nice luxury stay with a touch of added stetson, there's a ranch holiday for you.

Will, Original Traveller

Where to stay

Lounge Terrace at Amangiri, luxury hotel in the Great American Wilderness


Surrounded by one of the USA’s most dramatic landscapes with canyons and towering plateaus as far as the eye can see, Amangiri is fairly unassuming from the outside and lets the land do the talking.

Ranch at Rock Creek, luxury hotel in the Great American Wilderness

Ranch at Rock Creek

With the exception of nearby Philipsburg (population 930), The Ranch at Rock Creek offers the perfect wild west experience, and it really is wild, with 6,600 acres of mountains, meadows, lakes and streams between you and any real evidence of civilisation.

Brush Creek Ranch, luxury hotel in the Great American Wilderness

Brush Creek Ranch

Saddle up and prepare for an authentic Western experience. Brush Creek Ranch is a boutique hotel surrounded by 15,000 acres of South Central Wyoming's North Platte River Valley, in the heart of the American West.

Zion Lodge, luxury hotel in the Great American Wilderness

Zion Lodge

Loyal to its name ‘Zion’ meaning a place of peace and refuge, Zion Lodge lies secluded from the crowds, nestled inside the Zion National Park, surrounded by red-rock cliffs on all sides. The Park is Utah’s first and it wows with the outstanding beauty of its landscape and diverse flora and fauna.

Bryce Canyon Lodge, luxury hotel in the Great American Wilderness

Bryce Canyon Lodge

Bryce Canyon Lodge is a rustic hotel, surrounded by steep cliffs, coloured canyons, attractive rock formations and tremendous deserts of the Bryce Canyon National Park. The National Park is easily accessible and will draw everyone in with its beautiful natural setting.

Zapata Ranch

Zapata Ranch

Zapata Ranch is a beautiful 103,000-acre working cattle and bison ranch located on the eastern wall of the San Luis Valley in Colorado and bordered on one side by the new Great Sand Dunes National Park. Guests at the ranch can relax, explore the beautiful surroundings or learn about the ecosystem, the bison and the ranch way of life, helping out with activities such as cattle branding and fence repairs.

White Stallion Ranch

White Stallion Ranch

White Stallion Ranch is one of the best dude ranches in southern Arizona, within easy reach of Tucson and surrounded by 3000 acres of beautiful countryside at the foot of the Tucson Mountains.

Elk Mountain Ranch

Elk Mountain Ranch

Elk Mountain Ranch is a dude ranch in the heart of the Rockies, just two hour’s drive from either Denver or Colorado Springs in Colorado.

Paws Up tent exterior

The Resort at Paws Up

‘I’m in love with Montana’ proclaimed American author John Steinbeck and honestly, we couldn’t agree more. In our view, there's no better place to enjoy the ideal Montana lifestyle than at The Resort at Paws Up—the crossroads of unspoiled wilderness and incomparable luxury. This heavenly ranch sits on a lush and sprawling 37,000-acre cattle ranch, providing both adventure and comfort in the American West.

Dolores Cabin at Dunton Hot Springs

Dunton Hot Springs

Set in a striking alpine valley deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies, lies the beautifully restored 'ghost town' of Dunton Hot Springs. Comprised of a number of hand-crafted log cabins built around the central Saloon and Dance Hall, this exclusive resort is a luxurious and cosy retreat.

Start creating your tailored trip today

Will, Kate B and Alexandra are our The American West experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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