How to Plan the Best Vacation at a Dude Ranch in Montana

It is never too early to start planning your next vacation. Vacations are a wonderful way to unplug, unwind and regroup. Relaxing when you’re stressed is vital to overall health.

For some, a vacation means hackneyed trips to theme parks or cruises. For those who really want the benefits of a vacation, however, a ranch in Montana could be just the ticket.

According to a New York Times article, “ranch life taps into the American desire for space, freedom and a connection with the land.”  Many Americans are buying ranches to use as vacation homes and investments (There are several Montana ranches for sale if you are looking for a regular getaway).

Choosing a Ranch in Montana for Your Next Vacation

There are variables involved in choosing a ranch in Montana as your vacation venue. For some, budget is the initial criterion that drives the other decisions. For others, the available time frame is the primary factor.

Regardless of priorities, here are some universal considerations.


Both cost and window of time can determine the ranch in Montana that best suits you. Transportation costs can escalate as you travel further from a major urban center.

Some ranches close during the winter season, while others are open year-round. If you would enjoy beautiful scenery on snowshoes or from a snowmobile, you will need to travel during winter.

Maybe time and cost are not limiting factors. You may envision certain landscape that you want to wake up to each morning.  If you want to enjoy any nightclubbing you will want to be closer to the city (and find a ranch with child care options).

Perhaps you are tying this trip into a visit to a national landmark or visiting relatives. Or you want to be able to meander into the nearest town to soak up the local culture.

Type of Ranch

Ranches range from working to luxury. If you want a more structured and authentic experience and personalized attention you may enjoy a working ranch.

If massages and gourmet meals help you relax, you may wish to be at the more luxurious end of the spectrum.

Somewhere in the middle, you can find rustic accommodations and comfort food. Be sure to inquire of a reservations specialist about dietary accommodations for anyone with allergies.

How You Want to Spend Your Time

Your vacation might be an opportunity to learn new skills like fishing or horseback riding.  You can also find adventures in water sports and rodeos.

Maybe you want to relax by a pool or take leisurely hikes to enjoy scenery. If you are traveling in the winter you can snowshoe or snowmobile. ATV riding is popular among older children.

When considering a ranch in Montana think about whether you want a flexibility of scheduling (or not) your own days, or whether you want to enjoy guided activities. Perhaps you can ask each member of your family for 1-3 (depending on family size) of their dream activity.

Ask reservation specialists about minimum ages for participation in certain activities and whether you are required to supply any equipment.

Whether you are looking for a vacation getaway or a permanent retreat, a ranch in Montana will not disappoint. Giddy up!

Leave a Reply