Vacations should be something special and going on a fun Dude Ranch vacation Colorado is not a bad way to start. Everyone dreams of being a cowboy at some point; there is just something about the freedom of the range that appeals to almost everyone. The cowboy is one of the most romanticized figures in American history, with the ideal that the cowboy runs on the edge of civilization where one makes their own rules. It is with this in mind that one starts planning dude ranch vacations, in hopes that a family can re-knit away from all of the distractions of modern life.
Most dude ranches work on the premise that they need to work as a hybrid between the ranches of yesteryear and the hotels of today. They are designed to give city folk people a taste of the past while not throwing them completely out to the wolves. This usually means that the guests must endure a few days of boot camp where they learn some of the basic skills needed to survive on the range even while enjoying some modern advantages. Once the boot camp is over they become functioning members of the ranch for a few days even as they enjoy one of the various dude ranch vacations.
Dude ranch vacations do come in a variety of flavors, and that spectrum is based on the level of immersion; each dude ranch has made a decision how far they will allow guests to become part of the Old West. At one end of the spectrum are those that are more like hotels just with a western flavor. The guests are encouraged to simply lay back and enjoy their stay, while they are offered all of the advantages of a modern hotel with some of the Old West flavor gingerly applied. This means riding horses, caring for animals, and possibly helping in the kitchen during the day and massages, saunas, gyms, and a heated pool at night.
At the other end of the spectrum is the full-immersion dude ranch. The guests are given a few days of boot camp in order to learn all of the necessary skills in order to function as a rookie cowboy. This means not just riding but also how to care for the horse and how to properly fit a saddle. This sometimes also means how to herd, lasso, and brand cattle. The guests are not coddled as much as they would be at other dude ranches, and there is the possibility of actually going on a cattle drive. Dude ranch vacations here are truly a change from the life most guests are used to living.
A change is as good as a rest, and the best dude ranch vacations definitely offer guests a change. At best they offer a glimpse into what the Old West was and why it continues to fuel the imaginations of the modern man. Sometimes it takes exploring another era in order to appreciate your own and allow you to really separate from your life to take a real rest.