While some dude ranches invite guests to join in the regular ranch activities, such as feeding the cattle or exercising horses, others use the dude ranch design style to provide luxury accommodation surrounded by unspoiled nature, with activities such as horseback riding and hiking. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
© Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort brings to life the spirit of the West in their rustic but upscale 10,000-acre working cattle ranch snuggled in California’s beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Only half an hour’s drive from Santa Barbara, the resort is a world away from the modern fast-paced life with 50 miles of horseback riding trails, two world-class 18-hole championship golf courses, a 100-acre spring-fed lake, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a spa. The rustic but luxurious accommodation includes wood-burning fireplaces, Western-style art and furnishings, free Wi-Fi, and mini-fridges. There is a gourmet restaurant on site. Minutes away from the ranch, guests can visit over 75 renowned vineyards and wineries and the charming Danish village of Solvang.
1054 Alisal Rd, Solvang, CA 93463, Phone: 805-693-4208
2.Bar SZ Ranch
© Bar SZ Ranch
The Bar SZ Ranch is perfect for those who would like to experience the life their ancestors lived hundreds of years ago. In this 660-acre real working family ranch only a few miles from Pinnacles National Park, guests get the opportunity to try roping cattle, feed animals in the morning and evening, and enjoy hayrides, archery, creek walking, and hiking. For those who enjoy more activities, there is horseback riding, skeet, and trap shooting. In the evening, when the sun goes down, just as any rancher would do, the guests sit around the campfire, enjoy grilling meat on the wood BBQ, watch a movie outdoors, spend some time stargazing or line dancing, and much more. The accommodation is rustic and facilities include two showers, a potty, a wash station, and a camp kitchen with stove, oven and, microwave.
10001 Willow Creek Rd, Paicines, CA 95043, Phone: 831-201-2593
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3.Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables
© Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables
Circle Bar B Guest Ranch and Stables is a one-of-a-kind 1,100-acre dude ranch in Los Padres National Forest, less than a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles and 25 minutes from Santa Barbara and scenic Santa Ynez wine country. Surrounded by the majesty of California’s Central Coast, guests enjoy horseback riding, a full-service spa, true home-style dining, and much more. The rustic lodging includes Western-style rooms with wet bars with mini-fridges and a shared deck. Private cabins have their own porches and cozy wood-burning stoves. The rustic-chic cottages offer more space with a separate living area with hardwood floors and satellite TV. The ranch also has two-story houses with stone fireplaces. The guests enjoy complimentary meals and a well-stocked bar, a live dinner theatre, an outdoor pool, a games room, and a library. Horseback riding can be arranged for a surcharge.
1800 Refugio Rd, Goleta, CA 93117, Phone: 805-968-1113
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4.California Dude Ranches: Coffee Creek Ranch
Located within the Trinity National Forest and Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, Coffee Creek Ranch is a 367-acre historic dude ranch founded in 1900. Coffee Creek, which runs through the ranch, is excellent for gold-panning and fly-fishing. The accommodation at Coffee Creek Ranch’s 15 secluded cabins is rustic only from the outside. Inside, the cottages are cozy and each is decorated with a different theme, like bears, butterflies, or Bigfoot. Most cabins have ceiling fans and wood-burning stoves. The ranch offers horseback riding for all skill levels and lessons for the beginners. Home-made meals are included in the stay at the ranch and the guests can enjoy family recipes and meals cooked with fresh, local ingredients. A supervised summer children's program is offered from mid-June to Labor Day.
4310 Coffee Creek Rd, Trinity Center, CA 96091, Phone: 530-266-3343
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© Coram Ranch
Located on the banks of the Sacramento River, near Shasta Lake and north of Redding in Northern California, Coram Ranch is a 40-acre family ranch established in 1998. The charming guest ranch has five homes with large yards. It is a perfect rustic retreat for families with plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, hiking, fishing, swimming, or playing basketball, horseshoes, or bocce ball. There is also an indoor game room. There is a large kitchen and dining room where guests can prepare meals and dine together with the whole group or family. Some of the homes have private kitchens too. The ranch is a perfect place for family reunions, company retreats, and other group gatherings. Each group gets the entire ranch, no sharing with other guests. The ranch can sleep 46 people.
14251 Coram Rd, Redding, CA 96001, Phone: 530-275-5510
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6.California Dude Ranches: Greenhorn Ranch
© Greenhorn Ranch
Greenhorn Ranch is a genuine 600-acre working dude ranch in California’s Lost Sierra. With 60 horses, riding and taking care of the horses are the main activities. The ranch provides its guests a true ranch experience, where cowboy living is still the way of life. They will work and eat together with wranglers and greenhorns, who will teach the guests how to ride a horse or improve the skills of those who are already comfortable in the saddle. The accommodation in rustic cabins and rooms is cozy and comfortable. Besides horseback riding on the miles of scenic trails, guests enjoy family-style dining, a fun saloon with line dancing in the evening, swimming in the heated pool, fishing, and hiking.
2116 Greenhorn Ranch Rd, Quincy, CA 95971, Phone: 530-283-0930
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7.California Dude Ranches: Hunewill Guest Ranch
Hunewill Guest Ranch is a 26,000-acre historic ranch founded in 1861 and located on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains next to Yosemite National Park. Hunewill is a working cattle and guest ranch with 1,200 head of cattle, 190 horses, and an assortment of goats, llamas, and sheep. Horseback riding on their well-trained horses through scenic mountain trails surrounded by old forests and a vast expanse of lush green meadows provides life-long memories. The guest participate in all the activities of a traditional ranch in the American West. There are special cattle events featured during the year, such as the Big Fall Cattle Gather and the traditional fall cattle drive to their winter ranch in Nevada. The home-style meals are served in the dining room of the Victorian ranch house and the lodging is provided in rustic but comfortable cabins.
1110 Hunewill Ranch Rd, Bridgeport, CA 93517, Phone: 760-932-7710
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8.Knob Hill Ranch
© Knob Hill Ranch
Knob Hill Ranch is a dude ranch and serene desert retreat located about a mile and a half from Black Rock Canyon, at the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. Horseback riding through the beautiful Yucca Valley, the Mojave Desert, and Joshua Tree Park on well-trained horses is the main activity on the ranch. They offer a range of trail rides of different lengths, to different destinations, and at different times depending on the season. Guests who want to stay overnight can rent their charming one-bedroom guest house with spectacular views of the mountains and the desert. The house has a queen-sized bed, living room with two sleeper couches, dining area, fully equipped kitchen, large bathroom with shower, and spacious outdoor patio with dining table and chairs.
57840 Cortez Dr, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, Phone: 760-333-1771
9.Lyn-Mar Pond Guest Ranch
Lyn-Mar Pond Guest Ranch is located in North Fork near Oakhurst, surrounded by the magnificent Sierra National Forest in the Sierra Nevadas, with Yosemite Park only half an hour’s drive away. The ranch was built in 1928 and was opened as a dude ranch in 2005. It is a perfect location for a family vacation, a company retreat, a family reunion, or a small wedding. Guests can enjoy fishing and swimming at Bass Lake, the San Joaquin River, Mammoth Pool, and Redinger Lake. Horseback riding is offered about 10 miles up the road from the ranch, and guests can ride through the woods or a stream. The ranch can accommodate a maximum of 20 people at a time in rustic but comfortable rooms. Continental breakfast is prepared upon request.
60072 Mammoth Pool Rd, North Fork, CA 93643, Phone: 559-877-7260
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10.California Dude Ranches: Marble Mountain Ranch
© Marble Mountain Ranch
Marble Mountain Ranch is an all-inclusive “Raft & Ride” or "saddle and paddle" family-owned dude ranch established in 1968 on the slopes of Marble Mountain in California's Klamath National Forest. Marble Mountain Ranch offers vacations that meet the interests of all members of a family or group. There is horseback trail riding along mountain trails, in small groups of up to eight riders, along more or less challenging trails. There is a spectacular equestrian programs, whitewater rafting, kayaking, ATV rides, trail hiking, paintball, sporting clays, fly fishing for steelhead, or jet boat tours all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The ranch meals are homemade every day by members of the ranch family. The accommodations include beautifully furnished luxury homes and cottages with full kitchens and smaller cabins with kitchenettes.
92520 CA-96, Somes Bar, CA 95568, Phone: 530-469-3322
11. Rankin Ranch
© Rankin Ranch
Rankin Ranch is a 31,000-acre 155-year-old working cattle ranch near Caliente, California, owned and operated by six generations of Rankins. They raise white face Hereford cattle just like their ancestors and enjoy sharing their lifestyle with the guests. The guests can spend the day horseback riding through scenic terrain, such as mountains, meadow cattle country, rolling hills, open fields, and through oak and pine forests. There is also hiking, fishing in the pond full of trout, and swimming. Homemade meals are prepared daily by the ranch staff. Lodging is offered in the rustic but comfortable mountain cabins, secluded and private but a short distance from the ranch main recreation area.
23500 Walker Basin Rd, Caliente, CA 93518, Phone: 661-867-2511
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12.Dude Ranches in California: Reed Valley Ranch
© Reed Valley Ranch
Reed Valley Ranch is a secluded 835-acre cattle ranch covered with lush valleys, oak groves and rugged hills located a short drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. Remote and private, the ranch has the Spanish-style ranch house with a bunkhouse, several ponds, and historic barns. The ranch was originally established in 1867, and it has retained the charm of days gone by. For the last 65 years, the same family owned and operated it, breeding and selling high-quality Angus cattle. The ranch is also frequently used for photo shoots and filming. For overnight guests, it offers a bunkhouse and a couple of RV hook-ups. The bunkhouse has a bathroom and can sleep eight. A rustic barn has a fridge, stove, and barbecue. There is a large arena for working with cattle as well as wonderful trails for horseback riding.
36521 Reed Valley Rd, Hemet, CA 92544, Phone: 951-767-0524
13.California Dude Ranches: Ricochet Ridge Ranch
Located on the magnificent California Mendocino coast, Ricochet Ridge Ranch offers horseback riding along the deserted Pacific Ocean beaches, through bluffs along the ocean or through California’s ancient redwood forests. They offer a range of rides of different length, to different destinations, and for different riding skill levels. Their superbly trained horses are suitable for riders of any age, including children six years old and above. Ricochet Ridge Ranch also offers private rides as well as riding vacation packages. The guests can choose among many local B&Bs, hotels, and inns and combine their riding activities with visits to local wineries or with boat charters.
24201 CA-1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, Phone: 707-964-7669
14.Dude Ranches in California: Running Horse Ranch
© Guillaume Tunzini/stock.adobe.com
Located at the edge of the Angeles National Forest not far from the international airport in Los Angeles, Running Horse Ranch attracts horse riders from all over the world. They find it great fun to go for a panoramic ride along trails 6,000 feet in elevation in the morning and then go strolling through glamorous Beverly Hills in the afternoon. The ranch offers a range of rides of different length and to different destinations, easy or challenging depending on the riding skill of the guest. They also offer riding vacations, with accommodation in rustic cabins and luxury tents with full camping gear, beds, and a cooking stove. There is a cowboy pool for cooling off in the heat of the summer as well as a barbecue for dinner and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows in the evening.
25000 Pine Canyon Road, Lake Hughes, CA 93532, Phone: 818-437-3546
15.Dude Ranches in California: The Guest Ranch at Pacific Crest
The Guest Ranch at Pacific Crest is located in the Angeles National Forest, near a charming mountain town of Wrightwood and about 75 miles outside of Los Angeles. Calm and graceful, snuggled in a valley between the slopes of San Gabriel Mountains covered in fragrant evergreens, it is a perfect place for a wedding or a special event. The ranch sits on 300 acres of pristine wilderness with hiking trails, wild animals habitats, and manicured lawns. The design of the ranch is inspired by a classic dude ranch, with rustic wooden cabins with rough stone walls. Surrounded by rocky riverbeds, quaint wooden bridges, and small brooks trickling into calm ponds, it provides a perfect background for romantic weddings and a serene sanctuary for couples looking for a quiet escape.
78 Big Pines Hwy, Wrightwood, CA 92397, Phone: 760-249-5093
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16.California Dude Ranches: V6 Ranch
© V6 Ranch
Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in the Cholame Valley, the V6 Ranch occupies 20,000 acres of the most delightful nature found anywhere in California. The beautiful ranch offers a retreat that can satisfy a guest seeking peace and quiet as well as the one looking forward to riding the trails, joining cattle drives, or horse camping. The 50 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails are surrounded by wildlife, more than 200 species of wildflowers, and a large number of bird species. The accommodation is provided in Parkfield Lodge, with its nine guest rooms. The lodge was built in 1991 and was constructed with logs and up-cycled materials. All rooms have full modern amenities including Wi-Fi, refrigerator, satellite TV, coffee maker, air conditioning, and private bathrooms with tubs and/or showers.
70410 Parkfield-Coalinga Rd, Parkfield, CA 93451, Phone: 805-463-2421
18 Best California Dude Ranches
- Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, Photo: Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
- Bar SZ Ranch, Photo: Bar SZ Ranch
- Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables, Photo: Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables
- California Dude Ranches: Coffee Creek Ranch, Photo: cpdprints/stock.adobe.com
- Coram Ranch, Photo: Coram Ranch
- California Dude Ranches: Greenhorn Ranch, Photo: Greenhorn Ranch
- California Dude Ranches: Hunewill Guest Ranch, Photo: Studioli/stock.adobe.com
- Knob Hill Ranch, Photo: Knob Hill Ranch
- Lyn-Mar Pond Guest Ranch, Photo: levalex/stock.adobe.com
- California Dude Ranches: Marble Mountain Ranch, Photo: Marble Mountain Ranch
- Rankin Ranch, Photo: Rankin Ranch
- Dude Ranches in California: Reed Valley Ranch, Photo: Reed Valley Ranch
- California Dude Ranches: Ricochet Ridge Ranch, Photo: leszekglasner/stock.adobe.com
- Dude Ranches in California: Running Horse Ranch, Photo: Guillaume Tunzini/stock.adobe.com
- Dude Ranches in California: The Guest Ranch at Pacific Crest, Photo: cindygoff/stock.adobe.com
- California Dude Ranches: V6 Ranch, Photo: V6 Ranch
- Cover Photo: Janis Tremper/stock.adobe.com
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