March 2012 ? Dude ranch vacations don't have to mean blowing the budget. Top50 Ranches has found 10 unbeatable ranches where you can live the western dream and still have some left over for those cowboy boots you?ve been hankering after.
Top50 Ranches? top 10 bargain ranch vacations
1. Head to Badger Creek Ranch in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, a working cattle and guest ranch where traditional western horseback adventures await. Expect to be an important part of Badger Creek?s cowboy crew, earning your cowboy stripes as you ride fences, and round up, doctor and sort cattle. With nightly rates ranging from just $100 for non-riders to $175 all-inclusive*, and with no minimum stay, this Colorado working ranch offers real value for money.
*7% tax applies to all charges
2. At Free Rein Ranch in the secluded wilderness of British Columbia, Canada, there are thousands of acres to explore and days crammed with adventure to be had. Ride out on horseback, take lessons in the arena, go white-water rafting, hiking and mountain biking, or relax and bathe in secluded lakes. With all-inclusive prices ranging from just $200 per night and a reduced rate for children*, Free Rein offers great value family dude ranch vacations.
*12% HST applies to all charges
3. Mexican working cattle ranch and wilderness preserve Rancho Los Banos caters to a new generation of adventure travellers on its eco-adventure and nature travel guest ranch. With 30,000 to explore, Los Banos offers world-class hiking, horseback riding and trail rides, plus walking and trekking wilderness and box canyon adventures. With prices starting at just $130 per night*, you won?t find better value from any other Mexico adventure vacation.
*All rates inclusive of lodging, meals, activities and transfers to/from Douglas Airport, Arizona
4. Rankin Ranch, working cattle and guest ranch in California, is ideal for families looking for an authentic working ranch vacation on a budget. Flexibility makes this such a great value ranch, thanks to its no-minimum-stay policy and tiered pricing structure ? nightly rates start at just $165 for adults, and $80 for non-riders and children. With meals, activities, lodging, riding* and taxes included, a working ranch vacation here is a real bargain.
*Horse riding not included for non-rider rate
5. Rowse's 1+1 Ranch in Nebraska is another working ranch where guests can experience life as a real cowboy. Think wide-open spaces without crowds, traffic or hassles ? and certainly no nose-to-tail riding. Guests can participate in all ranch activities, including cattle drives, roundups, brandings, team-penning and roping. Included in the rates, which start from $217 per night, are all meals, activities, riding, transfers, lodging and tax ? incredible value considering the endless hours of riding offered.
6. Texas dude ranch Sugar and Spice offers mother-daughter horseback vacations at bargain prices. Moms pay from just $100 per night (from $50 non-rider) and daughters just $50 per night, for a summer dude ranch vacation devoted to bonding mothers and daughters through horses. These bargain rates include all meals, riding*, activities, lodging, tax and evening entertainment.
*Horse riding not included for non-rider rate
7. To get more for your money, head to Sweet Grass Ranch in Montana, a working cattle and guest ranch with a horseback riding program tailored to your interests. >From just $225 per night on the all-inclusive riding package, embark on all-day rides moving cattle or to majestic alpine lakes where you can be out riding from 6am to 7pm. Non-riding packages start from just $180 per night and include all other activities such as hiking, fishing and golf. The reduced kids? rate of just $160 means amazing value for all the family.
8. Immerse yourself in western cowboy culture at authentic working ranch Texas Ranch Life, where you can explore 20 miles of rolling hills and vistas, on horseback, by bike or with an ATV. The Texas ranch?s highly flexible pricing structure accommodates every budget ? riding and non-riding activities are charged separately, so you only pay for what you use. Nightly rates start as low as $140 and you can even bring your own horse, just one other way to cut the cost.
9. If it's real value you're after, head to the super-luxurious and family-friendly Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge on June 17-24, and save 25%. And it's well worth the dollars ? renowned guitarists Jody Fisher, Doug Smith and Andrew Leonard will be giving private performances during the Family Week, and amenities, accommodations and meals are all included. Rates start at $257 for adults and $199 for children, meaning a family of four will make a saving of more than $2,000 with this special offer.
10. Last but by no means least is Echo Valley Ranch and Spa ? perfect for families looking for a little luxury. This might be more of a splurge than a save, but if it's value you're after then it doesn't get better than the Canada luxury dude ranch?s customizable packages, where you only pay for what you use. Deluxe accommodations, gourmet family-style meals and use of all luxury ranch facilities are included in the price, while spa activities and eco-adventures offered on an ?a la carte? basis, so you can spend as much or as little as you like. Try not to baulk at the adult rates which start at $235 per night ? with kids? rates starting at just $40 per night, travelling with family really does even out the spend.
For more ranch vacations to suit every budget, visit Top50Ranches.com