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Family Fun and Adventure at Colorado’s Dude and Guest Ranches

Shawnee, Colo. (April 28, 2009) – Colorado’s dude & guest ranches provide the perfect getaway for a family vacation. You’ll find something for everyone in the family with this mini-destination experience. The 30 certified ranches offer everything from riding, river rafting, fishing, hiking, tennis and mountain biking to crafts and photo workshops, swimming, hay rides and much more. Many even offer treats such as massages to soothe muscles unaccustomed to having so much fun. And the best part is these activities are included in the quoted daily rate. You pick how you want to spend the week.

Guided horseback rides, llama pack trips, overnight pack trips, chuckwagon cookouts and campfire cuisine are among the various Western experiences available to guests. A dude ranch pack trip doesn’t mean roughing it. Plenty of delicious (and often gourmet) hot food is served and dry and comfy tents with warm bedding provided. Overnight trips mean campfire singing, ghost stories, hot chocolate and original campfire treats, which the kids really enjoy!

In addition, all the ranches offer extensive and “edutaining” children’s programs. Both educational and entertaining, the programs feature Old West activities from horseback riding and gold panning, to campfire building and archery. The kids can enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and more. Family rides allow everyone to saddle up together, while Kids’ game night gives parents some pampered time alone at a candle light adults-only dinner in the dining room. All children are matched up with others their own age and are led by trained, qualified counselors.

Here’s what your week at the ranch might look like:

-Typically, most ranches begin the week with a welcome campfire or staff introduction and they make sure guests are comfortable in their accommodations.

-The second day begins with horse orientation and training. You can ride as much or as little as you like. Experienced wranglers match guests to the perfect horse and make sure they ride trails equal to their ability and desire.

-Each day guests are offered different types of rides: short, 2-hour rides, half-day rides, full-day rides, etc. Often, the various rides will meet up in the mountains for a trailside breakfast or brunch. After eating, everyone enjoys the rest of the day according to their individual desire. Most ranches also offer guests the opportunity to participate in an overnight pack trip in the backcountry.

-The rest of the week is generally organized so that guests can go river rafting one day, take an excursion to a nearby National Park or historical site on another day, etc. Guests get to decide how they want to spend each day - some like to ride in the morning, fish in the afternoon, and read by the fire or play board games in the evening.

-The week culminates with a send off dinner, barn dance or cookout, and other activities.

The Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association (CDGRA) is comprised of about 30 certified ranches located throughout the mountains and mesas of Colorado. For more information and/or request your free Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch vacation guide and DVD, visit http://www.duderanching.org


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