Beautiful weather and sunny days are a year-round natural luxury in Arizona. One can easily argue that the weather and the scenic beauty of the state are best enjoyed in the saddle of a horse. Arizona dude ranches offer the opportunity to do precisely that, and much more.
Horseback riding is the main event at dude ranches, but it definitely isn’t all a visitor will find. Swimming pools and tennis courts can be found at many ranches, and some even offer health spas and massages. Activities often include cattle roundups, hayrides, and cookouts. There is always something to do, or not do, depending on the pace the guest prefers.
Some Arizona dude ranches are operating working dude ranches. Guests may enjoy working alongside the ranch hands, roping and feeding cattle. Of course, no one is ever required to work, but the opportunity is there for those desiring to take an active role, and those willing to get dirty.
Other ranches in Arizona are known as “guest ranches”. They’re not currently operating cattle ranches, and instead the primary focus is on the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. Guest ranches offer the usual dude ranch activities, and provide a wide range of modern amenities. The type of dude ranch to visit depends entirely on the experience the traveler is looking for.
Fittingly, the Spanish influence is clearly seen in many Arizona dude ranches. The American cowboy has roots that directly trace back to the Mexican vaqueros, and Arizona itself has very strong Spanish ties. The western hospitality you will find at Arizona’s dude ranches can be easily summed up: “mi casa es su casa.”


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