Saddle Up at Arizona’s Dude & Guest Ranches

See Arizona's Old West landscape as it was meant to be seen—from atop a horse. Leave your plugged-in life behind for the quiet of Arizona's wide-open spaces and warm, laid-back Western hospitality at one of the state's famous dude ranches.

Tanque Verde Ranch
Tanque Verde Guest Ranch near Tucson

Get inspired to "cowboy up" with the following sampling of guest ranches ranging from the luxury of a full-service resort to working ranches and bunkhouse living where you can herd cattle through warm deserts, pine-scented forests or wavy grasslands.

Western Ways

Enjoy the Ride

More than 160 horses at Tucson's Tanque Verde Ranch provide riding adventures through the Sonoran Desert, including a mounted scavenger hunt. You also can relax at the pool or spa or hike, mountain bike, fish, play tennis or visit the nature center. Book a stay and experience for yourself why Tanque Verde Ranch consistently ranks among the top 10 Southwest resorts by readers of Condé Nast Traveler.

Further south is Tombstone Monument Ranch, a guest ranch designed to resemble an 1880s Western town. There's horseback riding, yes, but also archery and shooting practice, as well as tours to the towns of Tombstone and Bisbee, the nearby Dragoon Mountains and Chiricahua National Monument.

A top-rated year-round golf course, plus a seasonal full-service spa and elegant dining speak to the luxury of Rancho de Los Caballeros in Wickenburg, located just 50 minutes northwest from Phoenix. From October through May, some 100 horses ply trails that crisscross the resort's 20,000 acres of rolling hills and desert.

Also in Wickenburg, the historic 1918 Kay El Bar Guest Ranch maintains the original ranch's adobe structures, which can house a maximum of 28 guests. Rates at the intimate ranch include lodging, three meals a day, and all activities such as swimming, live entertainment, hiking and horseback riding through the Sonoran Desert.

Special riders get attentive treatment at the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch in Yucca in northwestern Arizona. In what may be the world's only completely handicapped-accessible guest ranch, disabled riders can easily mount up for trail or arena riding. Other amenities include a swimming pool and fireside evening entertainment.

Working Ranches and Cattle Drive Vacations

Get Immersed in Ranch Life

Longhorn cattle roam the 3,000-acre White Stallion Ranch near Tucson. Learn how to herd cattle in team-penning contests, and watch cowboys and cowgirls show off their skills at weekly scheduled rodeos. For a more relaxing time, opt for the Wine and Cheese Ride or the slightly more relaxed Beer & Cheetos Ride.

Team penning is also popular at the 20,000-acre Flying E Ranch where cows and calves are raised.

arizona horseback riding
White Stallion Guest Ranch near Tucson

The guest ranch, established in 1946, is open year-round to take advantage of the warm Sonoran Desert winters near Wickenburg. Cattle drives are available seasonally.

Milk a cow or help lead a colt at the Sprucedale Guest Ranch near the White Mountains community of Alpine in northeast Arizona. This granddaddy of Arizona dude ranches—it's been around since 1921—is open from Memorial thru Labor Day, and also offers seasonal horse drives and cattle roundups.

About the Author

Elena Acoba

Since moving to Tucson in 1988, freelance writer Elena Acoba has enjoyed traveling to the four corners of Arizona. Her favorites spots in her adopted state: the natural wonders and the rich historical sights.

Recommended Partners

Guest Ranches

3C Ranch

3C Ranch provides a wonderful setting for almost any occasion, with 500-plus acres, tranquil surroundings, breathtaking views and...

Guest Ranches

Circle Z Ranch

This is an all inclusive vacation, including 3 meals a day, comfortable lodging, horseback riding, tennis, hiking, bird watching, nature...

Guest Ranches

El Rancho Robles Historic Guest Ranch

Who has not had the urge to visit a ranch in the old West where one can enjoy western life to his heart's content? Where the glorious...

Guest Ranches

Flying E Dude Ranch

Flying E Ranch is a historic guest and cattle ranch with 20,000 acres to ride and roam. Located four miles west of Wickenburg, two hours...

Guest Ranches

Grand Canyon Western Ranch

Located just 15 minutes from the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon Western Ranch is a guest ranch rich in history, adventure and...

Guest Ranches

Historic Hat Ranch

Located 70 miles south of Grand Canyon, the Historic Hat Ranch offers horseback rides and lodging in a real, autentic ranch house...

Guest Ranches

Rancho de la Osa

Rancho De La Osa is a sportsman's paradise situated on 590 acres and surrounded by an additional 120,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge....

The Old West

Tanque Verde Ranch

Tanque Verde Ranch is one of America's top old-time cattle and guest ranches. We're located on 60,000 acres of Tucson's most breathtaking...

Guest Ranches

Tombstone Monument Ranch

Our guest ranch is situated amidst ancient boulder formations and the Dragoon Mountains and is set up like an 1880s Western frontier town....

Horseback Riding

White Stallion Ranch

At White Stallion Ranch, the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch are carefully blended with the service and...