Wellness travel meets horses at a particular subset of guest ranches, which focus on eco-experiences where you will be inspired to heal yourself and the planet, activities such as "wild yoga," and of course exhilarating horseback rides powered by Mother Nature. If this appeals to you, here are ten wonderful ranches to consider in the United States and Canada:




Triple Creek Resort Ranch, Montana

This 30,000-acre Relais & Château retreat has mastered the fine art of healthy holiday hedonism by mixing tailormade ‘adult only’ adventures with luxury since the late 1980s. More red carpet than rugged, Triple Creek´s’s 25 beautifully appointed accommodations, set in the Bitterroot mountain range of the Rockies in the west of the state, feature wood-burning fireplaces, original Western art work and hot tubs. Horseback rides, cattle penning and even hatchet throwing are just some of the authentic activities, and since the owners don’t allow hunting, large herds of elk are often spotted on the guided four-wheel scenic drives and back at the ranch. Year round departures.




Vista Verde Luxury Guest Ranch, Colorado

This mountain retreat just outside Steamboat Springs takes the dude ranch experience up a notch or two, and you can expect a few additional perks in your private cabin, including Italian linens, plush robes and even a hot tub to soak away any saddle sores. Guided horseback riding, fly fishing, rock climbing and even hot air ballooning make this the perfect stay for anyone craving adventure, and in June, sessions of the ‘"wild yoga" quite literally bring the outdoors in. Saddle up for a trail ride to a secluded aspen grove, your nature fuelled downward dog grounding you and awakening your senses.  Departures May to October.




Siwash Lake Luxury Guest Ranch, British Columbia

Sitting on 80,000-acres of pristine wilderness, the property boasting boutique lodge rooms and luxurious safari-inspired glamping tents. Horseback riding, fly-fishing, and lake swimming are just some of the refreshing pursuits on offer, and the guided eco-adventures will leave you in no doubt as to nature’s regenerative powers. Billed as an “Indiana Jones”-type experience, the "Waterfall Ecology Hike" is part reflection – the journey detailing the devastation of the 2017 wildfires – and part inspiration – the adventure prompting you to heal yourself and the planet after giving you the rare opportunity to see the real effects of climate change. There's also the opportunity to tune into your own natural rhythm at the Star Camp (set in its own private dark sky reserve) deep in the Cariboo wilds.  Departures June to September.




Historic Reesor Ranch, Saskatchewan

Uniquely positioned for horseback safaris, Reesor adjoins the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Wilderness Area (home to more than 250 bird species and 47 mammals), and ATV rides on the ranch’s private lands will take you through winding trails and deep into spruce and pine forests. Cattle work is also available at this Provincial Heritage Property, your day in the saddle followed by cosy campfires and soulful readings from a genuine cowboy poet. When  it comes to accommodation there is a choice of rough-and-rustic rooms located in the old barn, or more upscale hillside cabins complete with refreshing Jacuzzi tubs. Book the "Cypress Hills Cowboy Adventure Package,¨ one of their curated "Canadian Signature Experiences."  Departures June through September.




Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Idaho

Meet challenges head on and build a whole new you at Idaho’s this adventure-on-tap property located on 560 acres (with more than 150,000 acres of permitted outfitter area) in the town of Harrison, a seven-hour drive from capital Boise.  Raw and exhilarating, the mega zip will take you across the valley floor – your final destination, the spring-fed pond. There’s also a high element challenge course and a climbing wall available, but a horseback adventure through the wooded and secluded trails is sure to blast away any remaining Covid cobwebs. The ranch’s longest trail ride is "the Huckleberry," a refreshing picnic lunch in a picturesque meadow breaking up the journey. The perfect health and wellness getaway you can also start or end the day with a full body massage. Departing May to October.10590192086?profile=RESIZE_710x


Burnt Well Guest Ranch, New Mexico

They say a change is as good as a rest, so why not swap your city lifestyle for a week as a cowboy at this ranch in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains, outside Roswell (yep, it´s more than just UFOs up here!), around four hours south of Albuquerque  It´s every bit the real deal, and your time will be spent rounding up cattle, checking fences, helping with branding calves (seasonal) or assisting with more general cowpoke chores. It´s  chance to visit simpler times, end your day round the campfire, and enjoy some cowboy camaraderie under a blanket of twinkling stars. The ranch is closed mid June to mid August and mid-November through mid-January.




Greenhorn Guest Ranch, California

A little over four hours northeast of San Francisco, in the little known and aptly named Lost Sierra (hidden between the larger Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges, the name coined at the time when Pony Express riders galloped through Northern California to deliver the mail). Fitting then, that this is the only dude ranch in the Golden State that allows its guests to go faster than a walk on a horse – riders hitting the trail and breathing in fresh mountain air scented by the pine, fir and cedar forests. Fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and archery are alternative pursuits, every adventure undertaken in spectacularly scenic surroundings. Departing May to October.




Zapata Cattle and Bison Ranch, Colorado

The 103,000-acre spread on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley in the south of the state, a 3⅓-hour drive from Denver.  Composed of meadows, wetlands and cottonwood groves the backdrop is scenically therapeutic, the property overlooking the Sangre De Cristo mountains and the huge rolling sand dunes that make up the Great Sand Dunes National Park. A genuine working operation, there is always plenty of cattle work to be done, and on Zapata´s "Restorative Retreat" you can combine the cowhand lifestyle with daily guided breathwork and restorative movement. Taught by a licensed therapist and master coach in the wellness modality XPT, this is an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of how your body responds to stress and anxiety, the retreat equipping you with the skills you need to move through life confidently and peacefully. Offering a boutique retreat for everyone, at Zapata, the ranch's special stays focus on everything from branding and horsemanship through to writing and painting.  Departing May to October.




Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, British Columbia

At this 160-acre  there is an "East-meets-West" approach to wellness,  for example many of its spa treatments taking their cue from traditional Thai medicine and its twice-daily yoga classes from the Thai practice known as Ruesri Dat Ton. The owners claim to have sensed a spiritual connection to this portion of the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, just over five hours north of Vancouver, and guests have also noted this same earthy bond. Whether you´re fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, or horse riding, you are certain to feel at one with the wilderness. Your spiritual journey will continue back at the ranch, with resident Gitxsan artist and Native American, Michael Blackstock, whose.artworks are showcased in the ranch’s rooms and cabins, his mask carvings in room 12 depicting the faces of his tribal ancestors. Departing May through October.




Paradise Guest Ranch, Wyoming

Located in the heart of the Big Horn Mountains near the town of Buffalo, halfway between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone and an hour and a half from the nearest big airport, in Casper, this is a haven for anyone in search of respite. Saddle up to the sounds of birds chirping, bask in the sunshine and breathe in the scent of lupines, with the spectacular wildflowers blanketing the Bighorns from late spring through summer. Ride and recharge in the wilderness with horse riding, fly-fishing and hiking. And, a hoe down that will energise your spirit, get your honky tonk on at the weekly square dance. Seven nights with Ranch Rider from £2,200pp (two sharing) including  accommodation, meals, most ranch activities, taxes and gratuities. Departures June through October.


​Ranch Rider is a specialist tour operator is part of the Frontier Travel collection, which also includes Frontier Canada, Frontier Ski, Frontier America, American Round-Up, Holidays 2, and Independent Traveller's Africa programme. The company offers tailor-made skiing holidays, bespoke itineraries, including fly-drives and escorted holidays, and ranch holidays (also in Argentina, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania.



E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Tripatini to add comments!

Join Tripatini


  • Wellness is also part of some of these upscale guest ranch recommendations from Forbes (and one of these is on both lists): https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogersands/2023/05/07/saddle-up-with-t...

    Saddle Up With These Unique Equestrian Travel Experiences
    There are many benefits associated with horseback riding. Interaction with horses has been known to have therapeutic benefits, such as reducing stres…
  • As someone who´s into both horses and wellness, this strikes me as the perfect combination!

    • Thanks for your comment. These are truly holistic ranch holidays Barbara, with some great riding opportunities - and there's nothing better than returning from your adventure feeling like you're ready to take on the world!

This reply was deleted.