Dude Ranch vacations began about a hundred years ago when the west was still a pretty wild wide-open country. City dwellers back east became enamored with the idea of seeing the Wild and Woolly West for themselves. They caught a train headed for Wyoming, Montana, or Colorado and found their way to the nearest cattle ranch where they might stay for as long as a month, riding, roping, and in general living very close to the earth – like a cowboy. Usually living conditions were quite primitive.
Dude Ranch vacations have come a long way since then. Most Dude Ranches are still what we call working ranches, meaning there are still cows, horses and cowboys. However, living conditions at the Dude Ranches are much improved over those available in the old days.
Spending a week at a Dude Ranch is a great way to unwind, get away from it all, enjoy the great outdoors, meet new people – oftentimes from other countries – enjoy some beautiful scenery, sleep soundly in the quiet countryside and enjoy some delicious ranch food.
Guests will often develop new friendships during their stay and many will return year after year to their favorite ranch!
The most important activity on a Dude Ranch is the riding. First time riders, intermediate riders and those who have ridden all their life will find a variety of riding activities to choose from. Anyone with an interest in horses and riding will fit right in, so you need not be concerned about your riding experience.
We do offer riding instruction for guests who have never ridden or would like to improve their skills. Horse safety is a priority, so you will be matched to the appropriate horse and given all the necessary instruction to make your riding safe, comfortable and fun.
At Long Hollow Ranch our guests can observe the spring branding in early April, and later in the month they ride can along as cattle are being moved to the range in spring or when we “bring em home” in late summer. Sometimes there may even be an orphan calf to feed. And, the horses do appreciate a good brushing down now and then.
At Long Hollow, meals are served family style, and the food is legendary. We also do our best to cater to those with food restrictions of any kind. We do serve Long Hollow Ranch raised all natural beef and the vegetables that are grown on the ranch in season when available.
This year cookouts will occur most every week during the summer guest season. Guests will ride their horses or walk (or ride with the cooks) to a scenic location on the ranch for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. These meals are typical Western fare; the kind that remind you of Grandma’s made from- scratch cooking.
Dude Ranch vacations differ in several ways from Bed & Breakfast (B&B) stays. B&B stays are just that: bed and breakfast, and generally are for only a few days. Dude Ranch vacations are traditionally booked for a six day week, but sometimes for only three to five days, depending on the guest’s schedule. They are what we call Full Service stays: three meals a day plus all the activities offered that week. Dude Ranch vacations here are limited to the time of the year when it is normally pleasant to be outside all day, while B&B stays are appropriate year-round.