When it comes to ranches, Wyoming has several thousand farms and ranches. In fact, the number totaled 11,500 in 2013, down slightly from the year before. While ranked only number 15 in cattle production in the United States, cattle is still the major agricultural commodity in this state. Yet, while cattle ranches are still going strong, a ranch for sale in Wyoming can be a working ranch of a different type. It can be a Dude Ranch.

What Is a Dude Ranch?

The word “Dude” refers to someone who is not a Westerner is, in fact, someone from the city – a city slicker. As a result, the term “Dude Ranch” indicates this is a type of Western-themed vacation resort for urbanites. Another term for Dude Ranch is Guest Ranch.

History of Dude Ranches

Dude ranches are not new. They have been around for at least a century. In fact, they actually date back to the 1880s when people first moved to places such as Wyoming and Colorado. Their ranches would often act as guest houses for their friends and visiting family. The experience became popular as the railroad expanded. It soon branched out to include anyone who wanted to “experience what it would be like to be a “cowboy” or “cowgirl.”

In the 1900s, some people who lived in Wyoming and other Western states began to see the advantage of turning their ranch into a business proposition for Dudes. It was better than putting up the family ranch for sale. In Wyoming, you can now find more than two dozen Dude Ranches in operation, including the Bar A Ranch which dates back to 1926. It, and other ranches of this type are affiliated with the Dude Ranch Association (DRA) and been certified by them.

Types of Dude Ranches

Dude ranches come in different shapes and sizes. They can cover thousands of acres or be a small holding. They all tend to offer some of the same experiences. These include:

  • Horseback riding – You cannot have a Dude Ranch without this activity
  • Fishing – depends upon the location
  • Spa services – available at the resort style ranches
  • 4-wheeling – at many ranches
  • Cooking classes – at some of the ranches
  • Skiing and snow-shoeing – for those with mountain locations or who take in winter guests

While some activities clearly indicate the type of Dude Ranch, some are common to both types. Yet, not all Dude Ranches are run the same. There are two basic types:

1. Guest Ranches: They offer a wide variety of activities. They may have log cabins for the guests to live in together with a basic lodge for dining. On the other hand, they might have luxurious residences, spas and an upscale restaurant.

2. Working Ranches: The events involving a guest revolve around daily working routines typical of a ranch. A guest, under supervision, may take part in cattle herding, a round-up and feeding of the animals. They take care of their horses. They must get up early to perform such chores. For some of these working farms, you have to commit to a specific amount of time and work it into the schedule of the ranch – not your own. Moreover, the level of riding required by this type of Dude Ranch tends to be of the more experienced kind.

Ranch for Sale in Wyoming

If you find a ranch for sale in Wyoming, you can make it work. You can let it remain a working ranch. You can also turn it into a Dude Ranch. Another option allows you to do a bit of both. If you have the skill, the patience and the time, you can create a Working Dude Ranch.

If you are looking for a Ranch For Sale In Wyoming, talk to the professionals at Western United Realty. In the business since 1972, they can provide the expertise to help you find that one piece of property perfect for a Working or Dude Ranch.

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