Before you book that flight to the Caribbean for your next girls’ trip, you’d be wise to consider another travel option for resetting your mind and recharging your batteries. Many areas of the American West are a vast, open, and sparsely populated, which makes a country western ranch vacation a great setting for enjoying some R and R.
Beyond being picturesque spots for relaxing to the max, these spots offer unique adventures that aren’t readily available to experience in many bigger cities (think: horseback riding through pastures, fly fishing in creeks and rivers, ATVing in the mountains, hiking rock formations). If all of this sounds up your alley, get yourself a pair of hiking boots and round up your crew for a luxe western ranch vacation. Below find eight stellar options.
Read on for 8 luxe western ranch vacations begging to be your next girls’ trip getaway.
1. Magee Homestead in Saratoga, Wyoming
At this adults-only ranch, a Relais & Chateaux property, you won’t really be roughing it. Located on 7,000 acres in Saratoga, Wyoming, the upscale all-inclusive experience is unlike the one you might have had for spring break, with weak drinks and mediocre food. (To be fair, along with the quality boost, you’ll also notice a price surge, with room rates starting at $1,000 per person per night.)
With a greenhouse, ranch-raised Wagyu beef on-site, plus various winemakers holding residencies, every meal will be memorable. Activities like horseback riding (for all levels), ATV experiences in the nearby Medicine Bow National Forest, rock climbing, mountain biking, fly fishing, and more are also available. Essentially, you’re much more likely to run out of time than things to do and adventures to take at this respite .
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Wish you were here? The unparalleled views from Costilla Lodge, a stunning timber-framed 8 bedroom lodge located in the high country at @VermejoParkRanch. 🏠 #Vermejo #VermejoParkRanch #VermejoPark #photographer #photography #TedTurner #TedTurnerExpeditions #Wildlife #GreatOutdoors #Outdoors #Wilderness #Resorts #Retreats #InstaTravel #Travel #NewMexico #NewMexicoTrue
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2. Ted Turner Reserves in Raton, New Mexico
While there are four properties in the “reserve” collection with locations throughout New Mexico, Vermejo in the northeast is the one to visit in order to be closer to Mother Earth. You’ll find 1,200-plus wild bison roaming the property’s more than half a million (!) acres. Animal lovers would be wise to sign up for Wildlife Tours, where guests set out with guides in the later afternoon to spot mule, deer, wild horses, and even mountain lions. Protecting the wildlife and stunning scenery is built into this luxury eco-tourism destination, and the efforts of the Turner Endangered Species Fund has resulted in the restoration and preservation of much of the wildlife you’ll see on property.
Bonus: This western ranch, also inclusive of meals and select activities with rates starting at $1,300 per night per double occupancy, is open year-round, meaning there are both summer adventures (hiking and horseback riding, among others) and winter activities on offer. In the colder months, try ice fishing and snowshoeing, then warm up at the spa or at the stove for cooking classes.
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3. Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona
This country western locale is surrounded by arid, desert landscape just waiting for you to explore. Established in 1868, the ranch is an old-timer, but you’ll be more than happy with the comfortable, present-day accommodations, which start at $135 per night. For a truly authentic experience, sign up for the penning activity. You’ll saddle up, get into groups, then head out to the nearby penning ring to attempt to corral young calves into their pen.
If sleeping under the stars is more your vibe, opt for a rental from $120 per night at Under Canvas Tucson, which is adjacent to the ranch but still offers access to all its amenities. With luxury tents (king-size bed, wood burning stove, some with private baths) surrounded by brush, you’re not far from the ranch’s main buildings, but just removed enough to hear the javelinas at night.
4. The Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado
Another Relais & Chateaux all-inclusive property—with rates starting at $845 for double occupancy in the winter season—this 14-room ranch is intimate and quiet. In the summer, you can take part in activities such as horseback riding, sing-alongs, and barn dances with live music. And fall offers adults-only programming such as “Yoga and Horse and Bikes and Brews.”
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COWGIRL UP WEEK | September 29 – October 4, 2019 This fall, the ladies take over the ranch! Lone Mountain Cowgirl Getaway at Lone Mountain Ranch is exclusively for the ladies, bring your best friends, your sisters, mothers, daughters or visit solo and make a few new girlfriends along the way for this fun filled week of ranch adventures. Guests enjoy farm-to-table cuisine, evenings around a glowing campfire, scenic horseback trail riding, guided tours into Yellowstone National Park and live western music to name a few of the experiences that leave the girls returning year after year! Start your day with an early morning yoga session followed by a hearty breakfast before heading off for a full day of adventure. Spend the day in Yellowstone National Park, hike through the Greater Yellowstone Eco System or spend your day on the back of horse all while disconnecting from your daily life while reconnecting with your ladies in nature. End the day with a trail ride to the ridgetop just in time for sunset with a glass of wine in hand. Join us by clicking on “call” or “email” above to reserve your cabin! (Image @claudiaschmidt11)
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5. Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana
Just a few miles from the famed Yellowstone Park and near Big Sky Resort (both very worthy of a side trip, by the way), this ranch in Montana is real-deal Americana. In the fall, there’s a dedicated Cowgirl Getaway package, and the weeklong trip is complete with farm-to-table meals, campfires, yoga sessions, a tour of Yellowstone, and more. Has there ever been a better (or more on-the-nose) excuse for your next girls’ trip?
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6. Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte, Oregon
This rustic retreat located just outside Bend, Oregon, highlights the simplicity of the Oregon desert for rates starting at $220 per night. But it also has resort amenities that you’ve grown accustomed to expect. An on-site 2,000-square-foot fitness studio opening in early 2020 is ideal for those who are keen to kick off their mornings with downward dog and views of the Cascade Mountains, and when it’s time to wind down, sit by the fire, enjoy a cookout, and roast some s’mores.
7. The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City, Utah
There are year-round reasons to visit this lodge, which just opened in May: clay shooting, fly fishing, and catching a herd of wild elk grazing in the Wasatch Range mountains, to name a few. There are three different types of accommodations (from $700 per night) from which to choose: The Sky Lodge, which is the main building, offers access to all the property’s amenities under one roof. The Earth Suites include a private terrace, outdoor fireplace, and views of the Alexander Canyon. And a stay at the Creek Houses guarantees you’ll fall asleep to the sound of the creek that runs through the property.
8. Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Thanks to the property’s Adventure Center, you can curate your getaway, from $340 per night, to ensure you pack in as much (or as little) as you’d like. Go white-water rafting, hop in a hot-air balloon, get outfitted for rock climbing and rappelling, or buckle up for an off-road Jeep tour. Santa Fe Sky Basin is just 35 miles away for snow bunnies seeking to shred, and mountain bikers will love the half- and full-day experiences on the trails that meander through the Santa Fe National Forest. Visit Georgia O’Keeffe’s mountain muse, the Cerro Pedernal for a worthy dose of culture, too.
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