The essential guide to dude, guest, and working cattle ranches worldwide.
Arizona Ranch Vacation Guide
Why Arizona Dude Ranch Vacations?
Dude ranches in Arizona have a long history. In the late 1800s American settlers started the first ranches in Arizona raising horses, cattle, and other animals to support the mining towns in the mountains. Today there are many working dude ranches that can trace their history back one hundred years or more, and offer dude ranch visitors to stay in historic cabins and become a part of the ranch for the length of their trip. On an Arizona dude ranch vacation, the whole family can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, fishing, home-cooked dinners, and so much more right on the ranch.
Stunning Landscapes Abound
Though Arizona’s nickname is the “Grand Canyon State,” the Grand Canyon is not the only unique view that Arizona has to offer. Arizona ranches look out onto some of the most memorable landscapes in the nation. Beginning 650 million years ago, the land was covered by inland seas, and then later dried out, followed by another period of violent volcanic activity that covered the terrain by seas again. Finally, the land lifted up forming the many Arizonan mountain ranges as well as the Grand Canyon beginning some 20 million years ago. These periods of change give Arizona its unique and spectacular display of grasslands, mesas, cliffs, hills, and mountains.
Entertainment Off The Ranch
Many visitors who come to enjoy Arizona dude ranch vacations never leave the ranch, but, for those who want to, there are innumerable opportunities for entertainment across the state. Arizona has 27 registered scenic roads, and four of the most famous routes can be done in a day trip:
- Vermillion Cliffs
- Historic Route 66
- Joshua Forest
- Organ Pipe Cactus Parkway
Since these drives are short, there will still be plenty of time to head back to the ranch afterwards. Or, visitors can extend their day trip by visiting one of the many unique geologic features of Arizona. Popular destinations include:
- The Grand Canyon
- Meteor Crater
- Grand Falls, a seasonal waterfall taller than Niagara Falls
In addition to scenic drives and short hikes, outdoor activities include fishing for trout, walleye, largemouth bass, and other species in the Colorado River and stocked reservoirs. Certain reservoirs allow boating and water skiing as well as swimming. Arizona is also renowned for rare big game hunting, issuing permits for elk, black bear, javelina, and other challenging game.
Arts & Culture Abound
Arizona ranch vacations are about more than just the scenery. Arizona offers arts and culture for any taste, and many of its attractions are kid-friendly. More land is designated Native American Tribal territory in Arizona than in any other state, so there are many opportunities to see Native American art and settlements. Festivals and fairs are a year-round activity in Arizona. Popular festivals are the Arizona Annual Renaissance Festival, Country Thunder, and the Annual Folk Arts Fair.
Whether visitors spend their dude ranch vacations on the ranch or take time out for a day trip or two, Arizona has a lot to offer. From outdoor activities that aren’t found anywhere else in the world to historic settlements and contemporary arts and culture, children and adults alike will be thrilled by their Arizona dude ranch vacation.
View our listings of Arizona ranches to begin planning the perfect ranch vacation today!