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Planning a ranch vacation this summer?

"Take a boy and a girl to the beach for a week and ask them 10 years later the name of it--they will have forgotten. Take them to a ranch, and they will remember its name and the name of their horse for the rest of their lives."

--Eugene Kilgore, Ranch Vacations If you've been dreaming of taking a ranch vacation this summer, it's time to make plans. In order to find a place with the right balance of rustic and civilized amenities to please all members of the family you'll have to do some homework. The groups and publications listed here are good sources of information. You might also check the Sunset Travel Directory starting on page 48. Look for ranch listings under state headings, then write for brochures from ones that might suit your interests and needs.

Finding the right ranch: organizations

The following sources offer detailed U.S. or Canadian listings. Alberta Tourism, Box 2500, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5J 2Z4; (800) 661-8888. The free Adventure Guide describes six ranches in Alberta. American Wilderness Experience, Box 1486, Boulder, Colo. 80306; (800) 444-3833; in Colorado, call (303) 494-2922. Old West Dude Ranch Vacations (free) describes 37 ranches in the American Rockies. The company will help you choose, and make reservations. Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association, Box 300, Tabernash, Colo. 80478; (303) 887-3128. The association's free 1990 Colorado Ranch Vacations lists 38 ranches in the state. Mountain Vacations, a Colorado-based travel service, also sends out the brochure and makes reservations; call (800) 441-6060 or, in Colorado, (303) 741-6167. Dude Ranchers' Association, Box 471R, Laporte, Colo. 80535; (303) 493-7623. Dude Rancher Magazine/Directory ($2) lists 92 ranches, most of them in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. Tourism British Columbia, Ministry of Tourism, Information Services, 1117 Wharf St., Victoria, B.C., Canada V8V 2Z2; (800) 663-6000. Two free publications, How do you do? and Accommodation Guide 1990, describe vacation ranches within the province; ask for both.

Two books can also help

Which ranch has rodeos, children's programs, or perhaps a spa? These two guidebooks provide helpful details; check for them in local bookstores. Dude Ranches of the American West, by Naomi Black (The Stephen Greene Press, New York, 1988; $14.95). This 144-page book highlights 29 ranches in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. Four pages of color photography accompany the text for each resort. Ranch accommodations, facilities, and activities are listed in the back of the book. Ranch Vacations, by Eugene Kilgore (John Muir Publications, Santa Fe, 1989; $18.95). An excellent resource, this 344-page book gives detailed descriptions of 200 guest and resort ranches in the U.S. and Western Canada, along with their amenities and activities. Fly-fishing and cross-country ski ranches, wagon trains, special features (such as photography workshops, an air strip, an adults-only policy) are included, as well as details on nearby rodeos and other events. The book has 40 pages of color pictures.
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Article Type:Directory
Date:May 1, 1990
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