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August 28, 2013

10 Top Guest Ranches

Courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

These rustic resorts throughout North America take glamping to the next level.

A vacation on a guest ranch is like nothing else. Spending days on horseback and evenings around a campfire, guests can take a break from civilization and reorient with nature without sacrificing comfort—perhaps now more than ever before. Boutique resorts throughout North America are continually elevating the standards of dude-ranch accommodations, pairing ultra-inviting-yet-rustic lodging with unparalleled outdoor adventures.

Suites in main lodges and cozy cabins are expected, but “glamping” (glamorous camping) has added a new dimension to the experiences. The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana, is known for pioneering the luxury tent trend with private riverside campsites complete with a personal butler and a chef. In June, Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, Colorado, added a separate resort—Cresto Ranch—in the form of eight canvas tents, in which you can be at one with the wilderness without roughing it completely.

Those seeking an authentic, intimate escape will find it at Smith Fork Ranch in Crawford, Colorado—home to generations of ranch culture. Nestled deep in Gunnison National Forest, the 285-acre property sleeps just 26 guests. And Siwash Lake Ranch in British Columbia emphasizes adventure in the remote Canadian wilderness. Wherever you choose, don’t forget to bring one essential element: a pioneering spirit.