NorthwestTop Nature Vacations

6 Places Where The Wild West Still Reigns

By , May 12th, 2014

Trapped in the city, perhaps you’ve found yourself hankering for a taste of the wild, wild west. Regardless of whether you’ve always wanted to try it or not, we guarantee that these spots will have you packing your chaps and cowboy hat and hittin’ the road to try your hand at the dude ranch life.

Gallop across a meadow during sunset in Wild Wyoming

Wild West at Bush Creek (CC) Bush Creek website

The landscape at Bush Creek (CC) Bush Creek website

Saddle up! Wyoming is know as the Cowboy State. Explore the Platte River Valley on horseback and stay at the uber luxurious Bush Creek Ranch near Saratoga, Wyoming . If you’re looking to catch your dinner, the opportunities for fly fishing and hunting are boundless! Wyoming is one of the least populated States in the US so don’t be surprised if you see more trout than humans during your visit.

Silence is golden beside the doorway to Yellowstone

Yellowstone National park Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park (CC) Kevin Mullins

Whether you want to call it “Big Sky Country”, the “Land of the Shining Mountains” or “The Last Best Place”, Montana promises silence, solitude and striking beauty. Call it a return to nature: in Yellowstone National Park you’ll be sharing 2.5 million acres of wildlife and geysers with no one  else besides your area naturalist guide. A mere six miles from the entrance of the park is the Bar N Ranch with a cool two hundred acres of riding, fishing and rafting.

Follow the dirt road HERE for more info

Glamping under the Big Montana Sky

Sky filled with Stars in Montana

The view of the stars in Montana. (CC)

Experience life at a working Montana cattle ranch. Cattle ranching has been essential to Montana’s history and economy and we can vouch for the delicious taste of beef fattened in fertile Montana valleys. For all the wannabe cowboys and cowgirls, stay at the Paws up Resort in Greenough, Montana in a luxury cabin or  a safari tent (with en suite bathrooms!). Yes, this is your opportunity to do glamping right!

Hike over HERE to get there

Test your cowboy skills in Arizona

Wild American West at White Stallion Ranch. (CC) White Stallion Ranch website

The Authentic American Wild West at White Stallion Ranch. (CC) White Stallion Ranch website

Arizona is home to some stunning desert scenery. The White Stallion Ranch in Tucson has been around since the early 1900’s and retains that turn-of-the-century Wild West feel. They own one of the largest private horse herds in Arizona so be prepared to put your cowboy skills to the test with team penning activities in the stunning desert climate.

Trot on HERE to find out more

You can’t use Google Maps in the Montana mountains

Trapper Peak and the Big Montana Sky (CC)

Trapper Peak and the Big Montana Sky (CC)

Many places in Montana are remote enough to lose cellphone service, so you’ll be forced leave the office behind! Trapper Peak is one of the highest mountains in Western Montana, and home to Triple Creek Ranch. Take a helicopter tour of the nearby glaciers and Yellowstone National park if you want to make sure you see it all. There are activities to keep you occupied year-round, so don’t limit your dude ranch experience to just the summer months.

Snowshoe HERE to get more info

The excuse you’ve been looking for to get a Stetson hat is Arizona

Los Caballeros Ranch horses

Horses running wild at the Los Caballeros Ranch (CC) Los Caballeros Ranch Website

All you’ll need to pack here is a broken-in pair of Levi’s and a pair of cowboy boots before hittin’ up some team penning exercises in the stunning Sonora Desert. You’ll learn how to round up and rope and sit around a campfire at night taking in the starry desert sky. Remember that the desert gets cold at night though, so you may want to retire to the Rancho De Los Caballeros in Wickenburg, unlike the real cowboys who tough out the freezing wild west nights.

Chase that cow over HERE to find out how

Featured image courtesy of Eniko Polgar, Unsplash