Let me tell you about my favorite vacation ever. My family has been fortunate to go on three different dude ranch vacations.
When I say we still talk about the experiences that are now almost 3 years old, I am 100% serious. To this day, on the conservative side, we talk about our time off the grid at Rawah Guest Ranch, at least once a month.
My family and I were chatting about how without much effort at all a getaway at Rawah Guest Ranch, would be the perfect vacation during the pandemic (or any other time).
Why is a dude ranch vacation perfect when you are trying to social distance?
Well, I am glad that you asked! Naturally, the activities that are offered have an element of ‘being apart’.
What dude ranch activities support social distancing, you ask?
I am glad you ask. To me, it seems that the very large majority of the activities are perfect for practicing social distancing.
Think about it, when you are on the back of a horse, you aren’t close enough to another human that they could breathe on you. And, frankly if you are that close the horses are likely going to be agitated and things won’t end well anyway
There has been an influx it seems, of people hiking since quarantine has kept us primarily at home. Hiking was a built in activity when we were at Rawah Guest Ranch. There were two choices, you could go on a guided tour or grab a map and some directions and head out on your own. Either option would allow for space, and since I tend to be at the back of the pack, I know that I would be totally fine.
Again, fishing in general is not one of those activities that you would want to have people very close anyway. You know, the whole bit about disturbing the fish with excess noise and also potentially hooking people with your fish hook. When we were at Rawah we took part in fly fishing, which I found that I absolutely loved.
Target Practice, with both guns and bows
Two things, I had never done target shooting with my husband. I learned very quickly that I will never be able to duck hunt (or hunt any other flying creatures). But, the hubs? He impressed me with his skills.
I did, however realize that I really, really enjoy shooting a bow and arrow. What’s more is that I was pretty darn good at it.
Curling up with a good book
I realize this activity doesn’t have to be exclusive to a dude ranch vacation. But there is something about reading a book, when there isn’t a pile of laundry to tackle or any other household chore taunting you.
Plus, reading a book with a mountain backdrop on a porch in a rocking chair is about as close to perfection as possible.
If you want to read about any of the activities that we took part in during our dude ranch vacation at Rawah Guest Ranch, check out this post.
Lodging at a Dude Ranch
While this isn’t the same for all dude ranch situations, I can only speak from my experience at Rawah.
The ranch has cabins that each family uses for the duration of their stay. So, contact with other guests is none at all while you are in your room. Cabins are also spaced pretty far apart.
I also assume that should you feel more comfortable without housekeeping for the duration fo your stay, you could decline the service.
Dining at a Dude Ranch.
This was the only factor that frankly gave me pause. Because, traditionally, in the times that we had visited before, meals were served family style with the rest of the guests who were staying on the ranch. It was a great way to get to know the other guests.
However, in this climate, I reached out to the fantastic ranch managers at Rawah and asked if there were plans to change meal service.
Here is the response that I received:
We are not doing any buffets, all served dinners. Large groups at the ranch we have scheduled lunch and dinner times. So one group will eat at 11:30 and the next group eats at 12:30.
We are also offering outdoor dining and the screened in back porch. Trying to keep the social distancing between families. Families seem to respond well to it.
Additionally we are taking temperatures and doing a health check for guests upon arrival.
Have you and your family considered a dude ranch vacation? If not it might be the perfect time to check it out.
Take a look at these other articles that we’ve written about our experience at Rawah Guest Ranch specifically.