How Much Does a Dude Ranch Vacation Cost? (& Why Are They So Expensive?)

Several moving parts to this type of question, so bear with us as we break it down…

TL;DR VERSION: most dude ranches charge anywhere from $400/day – $1,000+/day, per-person. That rate typically includes 3-meals a day and all activities (horseback riding, fly fishing, mountain biking, & more). The meals & included activities are a primary reason for escalated rates (but note, dude ranch rates are often lower than other traditional vacation industries (cruise lines, beach trips) when accounting for secondary activity fees paid out-of-pocket. Children typically receive discounted rates at dude ranches. Also note, ranches often add a 15% service charge onto the final bill, along with state & local taxes. A 35% deposit is typical to reserve a reservation, and credit cards are widely accepted (sometimes with convenience fee added). It’s best to call each ranch to verify all stipulations above, as all ranches are different.


Dude ranch vacation rates vary widely across our industry, based on accommodation settings, meal prep, activities offered, and more. Let’s go over each aspect quickly:


Lodging accommodations are often – what we refer to as – ‘rustic refined‘. There’s an aspect of coziness that we’ve experienced at all ranches we’ve visited over the years. Where your ranch lies on the accommodation spectrum entirely depends on your daily budget constraints. Luxury dude ranches will mimic any 5-star hotel you’ve visited over the years, and traditional dude ranches often provide rustic, cozy elements like buck stoves, mountain views, & wood burning fireplaces. Internet access is rarely provided in each cabin/room ~ it’s typically provided in a main lodge, or library.


As mentioned above, virtually all dude ranch vacations include 3-meals a day. Breakfast, lunch & dinner. No additional cost. Beer, wine, & liquor are often the guests responsibility (typically brought in by guest), but there are rare cases when it’s included in the daily rate (see Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming). Meals can be as basic as you prefer (meat & potatoes), to elegant offerings with Relais & Châteaux status. The chevron between those options will directly impact your trip costs. Simply ask each ranch to describe their meal prep & you’ll quickly determine if that aspect meets your needs & budget.


Activities are also included in the base rate of a dude ranch vacation. Do note: One activity is standard across virtually all dude ranches: horseback riding. Guests can often ride 2 to 3 times a day, once in morning, and once in afternoon. Evening rides are also offered, leading to cookout meals & evening sunsets to enjoy. But note, riding is not required for guests. Non-riders can oftentimes receive a discounted rate. Aside from riding, activity offerings widely vary across ranches, ranging from mountain biking, fly fishing, spa treatments (on-ranch), private golfing, trap & skeet, UTV rides, and river rafting float trips. The more activities offered, the more expensive the daily rate. Some ranches alternatively lean on 3rd party outfitters to provide adventures off-ranch (see river float trips), so they’re able to keep rates lower than normal, as that price is not baked into their daily rate, but paid for directly by the guest. Ranches will often help with the booking process, though.

Search Dude Ranch vacations by price range:

To sort your dude ranch vacation choice by rough price range, simply visit our homepage & choose a budget dollar sign within your search query. Or, alternatively, you can click a link below to be taken directly to each budget indicated: Hat