Photo courtesy of Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge.

Vacations are one of the most anticipated parts of a person’s year; what’s more fun than traveling to a new place and discovering a different culture, a new favorite food dish, or trying an activity that you never had the chance to try before.

Think about how exciting vacations are and then add to that, horseback riding up beautiful mountains and by gorgeous, flowing rivers and you have yourself the vacation of a lifetime.

Dude ranches throughout the United States are the businesses responsible for making those once in a lifetime vacations come true for thousands of people each year.

There are so many breathtaking ranches that it can be intimidating to choose which one you’d like to stay at which is why I have made a list of five stunning ranches to make your selection choice easier.

Photo courtesy of Smith Fork Ranch.

Smith Fork Ranch:

The Smith Fork Ranch, located in Crawford, Colorado, provides guests with luxurious accommodations and heart-stopping views. The ranch has many activities for guests to participate in, including horseback riding, fly fishing, archery, hiking, and mountain biking. The ranch has a very popular children’s program that allows both parents and their kids to have an equally great time at the ranch.

Photo courtesy of Zion Mountain Ranch.

Zion Mountain Ranch:

This dude ranch, located in East Zion National Park, provides everything a person could possibly want on their vacation, from guided horseback tours, relaxing massages, to thrilling canyon tours! A huge bonus of staying at this ranch is that you might catch a glimpse of some buffalo since a herd of them call Zion Mountain Ranch their home.

Photo courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek.

The Ranch at Rock Creek:

For every lover of the outdoors, this is the ranch for you! Approximately 20 miles away from Philipsburg, Montana, this highly acclaimed destination offers fun activities such as horseback riding, a ropes course and shooting sports. The ranch has a wide variety of lodging choices, including glamping cabins!

Photo courtesy of Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge.

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge:

Horseback riding plus unlimited water recreation; I’m sold! This historic guest ranch, located only 40 minutes away from the breathtaking Glacier National Park is the perfect place to stay if water activities and horses are your jam. Canoes, kayaks, and ski boats, oh my!

Photo courtesy of Gros Ventre River Ranch.

Gros Ventre River Ranch:

Situated in good ole Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this ranch is home to incredible views, miles and miles of trails to ride horses on and fun activities such as whitewater rafting for the most adventurous of travelers.