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The West & Ranch Vacation

Ranches - a definition and introduction

Perhaps 100 years ago the first town people had the wish to spend their vacation on a real ranch far out west. This is how it started. Soon there was need to provide more accommodations for the increasing nnumber of  guests on a ranch. Some ranches specialized in that field and made it their major income. Some others offered just a seasonal opportunity for visitors to spend time on the ranch, mainly when the staff wasn't too busy with the daily routine on the ranch.

Ranch vacation in its most authentic form, on so-called "working (cattle) ranches", means mostly physical work and a lot of hours (lessons) sitting in the saddle.

E.g. you can join a cattle drive and depending on how large the herd is and whether it is scattered to the four winds on the ranch property (sometimes several hundred square km / 10s or 100s of thousand acres) this can take a couple of days.
Other examples of daily routine on a working ranch are: repair fences, keep trails in good condition, feed animals, etc. etc.
In spite of all this physical strain it by far not a cheap pleasure to spend your time on a ranch.

According to the grade of comfort you enjoy (that means the quality of accommodation and service) the price per week is between 700-1.100 US$, sometimes even more.

Naturally nothing is a "must". The visitor who is simply seeking nature, peace and relaxation wil be welcomed in the same manner. 
On a ranch everything happens on voluntary basis. 
In addition, many ranches offer recreational activities like BBQ's, campfire evenings, rodeo's, lasso lessons, fishing excursions, horse riding and lessons (just for leisure), accompanied walking tours, horseshoe throwing.

They more a ranch offers they more it is considered as a Dude/Guest ranch or even a lodge or resort. Latter ones provide mostly no longer this original cowboy experience as working cattle ranches do, but they are fully guest-oriented and make your stay a very luxurious pleasure.

Provided that one knows what one wants to do it's important to know the differences between ranch types, the meaning of classification you read: then it should be easy to find the 'perfect fitting ranch'.


  Fundamentally following categories of ranches are distinguished: 

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