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Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
Dude Ranches Offer Memory Making Family Experiences. All-American dude ranch vacations combine classic cowboy traditions with fresh air, open spaces and plenty of bonding opportunities. Expect horses, hospitality, cowboy music and good old fashion fun. No two days on a ranch will ever be the same but every day is guaranteed to be rewarding.French Broad River Ranch Horse Encounter 

A dude ranch vacation guarantees family time sharing new experiences, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. How do I know this? I married the son of a rancher and while we did not remain on the ranch, our family has enjoyed many campfires with sing-a-longs in Wyoming, starry nights with coyotes calling in Arizona, trail rides and cowboy poetry in Alberta. Our daughters learned to saddle and ride, shoot skeet, and identify scat. 

Here’s the scoop. No matter which guest ranch you choose, there will be plenty of time to share unique experiences creating memories that will last a lifetime.  The variety and scope of the all-inclusive fun a dude ranch family vacation offers varies by location and season. Our family has been to Elkhorn Ranch and loved the vintage American southwest atmosphere free from TV and telephones. We have enjoyed mountain music and cowboy antics at French Broad River Ranch. And because any vacation in the Canada’s Kootnay will be five-star terrific, I suggest Three Bears Ranch. It’s on our family dream list.French Broad River Ranch Lodge in Tennessee
French Broad River Ranch – Classic American family fun in Tennessee. It is not essential to cross the Rockies to find an authentic dude ranch family adventure. French Broad Outpost Ranch, about 45-minutes from Gatlinburg, is all-inclusive and family friendly, the wranglers and staff create adventures for all ages.  Sleeping choices include chalet type units and cabins. Naturally on a dude ranch daily horseback riding is all part of the experience so each guest is assigned a horse for the week. The ranch has access to thousands of acres so trail rides are different each day. During the summer months young guests may engage in horse painting, enjoy arts and crafts, and try their skills at treasure hunting. Each week the wranglers conduct several team-penning events. Bonus Points: Every evening there is live entertainment that often includes bluegrass band, guitar picking, sing-a-longs, bonfires, or line dancing. Friday nights bring great square dancing and hoedown. Wait for it! During the summer season the French Broad River provides river rafting thrills. (French Broad Outpost Ranch 461 Old River Road, Del Rio, 37727. 1-800-995-7678 or  Elkhorn Ranch Trail Views

Elkhorn Ranch – Remember "Riders of the Purple Sage"? Framed by the Baboquivari Mountains and the awesome Arizona-Sonoran Desert southwest of Tucson, Elkhorn is a perfect family vacation escape. From November to April they offer a comfortable, rustic setting where it is easy to chill out with your kids. I love this ranch because it works well for three generation. We can be together, yet have our own vacation space. Amid blooming sage and ocotillo, it is a little bit like stepping into a Zane Grey novel. Cabins are equipped with private baths, electric heat, reading lights. Some have separate sitting rooms or fireplaces but none have televisions or phones. Families ride together or separately and have the chance to enjoy gentle or loping rides through the desert or more vigorous trails along mountain trails. The sunsets are world-class rivaled only by the dawn. Bonus Points: There is no charge for children age five or younger. Wait for it! The ranch is less than 30 minutes to the awesome Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum. (27000 W. Elkhorn Ranch Road Tucson, Arizona 85736. (520) 822-1040, (970)583-2410 or Bear Ranch Trail Ride British Columbia

Three Bears Ranch – Old-fashioned family fun in British Columbia.   Located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains between Banff and Glacier National Park, the ranch offers an abundance of nature, fresh fast moving water, green fields, glorious cowboy sunsets, and awesome starry nights. It is the perfect destination for three generations to share. The ranch features one, two or three bedroom log cabins. Most meals are served as a buffet, with available family style and private table seating. Kids to learn about nature, catch frogs, go horseback riding, feed the sheep, goat and gather eggs. Bonus Points: They offer riding opportunities for all ages and skill levels. Wait for it! Weekly breakfast rides include fresh blueberry pancakes cooked on an open grill. (9500 Wycliffe Perry Creek Road Cranbrook, British Columbia V1C 7C7. Toll-free 1-877-426-5230 or 

Content by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images credited to each ranch mentioned. Copyright 2018.

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