Yee-haw! Gallop With Fido at a Pet-Friendly Dude Ranch

Posted by Billy Francis

Dude ranches are all-American, action-packed vacations that invite guests to trot down memory lane to a simpler time when “cow good boys and girls” ruled the roost. In the early days, rich socialites, who were nicknamed dudes, took trips out west to sample ranch life without truly “ruffing” it. Instead, they were offered comfortable accommodation at established ranches. The legend of the dude ranch was born, and it still lives on across the West today. It’s time to grab Fido’s biggest Stetson and head over yonder plains to these beautiful pet-friendly dude ranches.

“Waggin’ by the wagon!” Photo by @missmonica89

Lazy C Ranch is home to three different homes that can be rented together for larger groups or individually for smaller packs. Spend your days hanging out with goats and horses in traditional surroundings that have been expertly curated to give Fido an Old-West feel. Located just minutes from downtown Palm Springs, there’s plenty to see and do beyond the ranch, too.

For a change of pace, step back into modern times and enjoy a walk around Moorten Botanical Garden & Cactarium, followed by brunch at Spencer's.

1928 Historic Dude Ranch

Rimrock, AZ
Sunset views from the ranch. Photo by Airbnb

While many dude ranches give the feeling of living through history, this 1928 Historic Dude Ranch can say that it’s a part of it. Fido won’t be the first A-lister to stay here, either. The ranch, along with two other buildings and an airstrip, used to make up the “Bar Lazy R.” In the heyday of Western movies, stars like Victor Flemming, Bette Davis and Clark Gable who were filming in nearby Sedona would hole up in the stone and log house. The home offers guests the same perks it has for generations: spectacular views, sunsets, stargazing and tranquility.

Covered Wagon Ranch

Gallatin Gateway, MT
“Your nose smells!” Photo by

Saunter up to Covered Wagon Ranch in the land of dude ranches, Montana. This historic spot was established in 1925 with the construction of the first guest cabin, and has been a place of family fun for everyone ever since. The ranch is within spitting distance of Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin River and miles of stunning Montana backcountry that you can explore with your pooch.

Greenhorn Ranch

Quincy, CA
“Aren’t there supposed to be horses here?” Photo by

Greenhorn Ranch welcomes well-behaved, socialized dogs (who won’t chase livestock) to enjoy a California dream vacation. Located in the beautiful Plumas Sierra Mountains, the property has access to lots of trails over 600 acres of its own land and beyond into Plumas National Forest.

Riverview Ranch and Resort

Galena, IL
You can’t beat those ranch sunsets. Photo by Airbnb

Saddle up with your pup at the Riverview Ranch and Resort. Horse lovers are treated to front row-views of the large riding area from the lobby and dining room. With seven horses, three dogs, three chickens and two guinea pigs taking up permanent residence at Riverview, Fido will never feel lonely on this ranch vacation.

The Resort at Paws Up

Greenough, MT
“I’m having a wagon wheelie good time!” Photo by Melissa

The Resort at Paws Up is the creme de la creme of all-inclusive pet-friendly dude ranches. Sprawling over 37,000 acres, you and your pooch can go forth and conquer 100 miles of pet-friendly trails on foot or ski together through the expansive backcountry in winter. Dogs are welcome in the luxurious private vacation homes on the property, where they’ll have use of The Last Best Doggie Bed and food bowls during their stay. Four-legged guests also receive treats, a hiking map, a tennis ball and a welcome card from canine mascot, Coco. The Paws Up Reservations department is at Fido’s beck and call while he’s here, available to book walks, hikes and even daycare for pups who can’t join more rigorous ranch activities.

High Meadows Farm

The Plains, VA
Horsing around in the ring! Photo by Airbnb

High Meadows is a working horse and cattle farm that encompasses more than 500 acres of land. You and your pooch can stay together in a renovated stone estate cottage dating from the 1800s and featuring a wood-burning stove and ample porch. Spend your days hiking on trails, biking on country roads, fishing in the two ponds on the premises, playing tennis (not fetch), or simply taking a dognap in the hanging daybed on the porch.

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

Yucca, AZ
“Now who’s the cool one?” Photo by

Get a taste of seclusion at Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch. Located in the Mojave Desert, this pet-friendly dude ranch is an hour from the nearest town and offers unobstructed views across vast desert plains. While you’re here, take part in ranch activities including wagon rides and nature walks. Stagecoach Trails also holds a special permit that allows you to explore the protected area that surrounds the property.

Sweet Grass Ranch

Belt, MT
“Snow down!” Photo by

Guided hikes, skijoring and geocaching are just a few of the activities on offer at Sweet Grass Ranch. This pet-friendly wooden lodge is equipped with an authentic wood-burning fireplace and amazing, unobscured mountain views.

Will you and Fido be visiting a pet-friendly dude ranch this year? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by Kim Newman Photography.