(part of Forbes Travel Guide)- January 2012

Saddle Up for Luxe Cowboy Getaways

  • Posted by Startle Editor Caroline Patek
  • January 11th, 2012 03:00 AM

What if you could learn the ins and outs of life as a cowboy (or cowgirl) while on a luxury vacation? Strap into your stirrups and get your best wrangling arm ready, because we’ve got three ranch getaways to check out:

The Little Nell. This year, the Five-Star Aspen hotel will introduce “Cowboy Camp 101,” a new overnight horse pack trip catering to families who want to experience the rugged outdoors. Try out backcountry living by creating your own fire, catching your own fish and horseback riding to Snowmass Lake. Kids will learn fly-fishing, about insect life and how to clean and cook their catch.

The Resort at Paws Up. You’ll have plenty of space to explore the outdoors at this 37,000-square-foot working cattle ranch in Greenough, Mont. The resort is chock-full of ranch activities and outings: Wrangle a herd during a cattle drive or practice your hatchet throwing. Competitive types can sign up for one of the resort’s big game-hunting or fly-fishing adventures, where you’ll survey the surrounding lush land and hone skills like trailing your prey and casting a line.

Vista Verde Ranch. Head to Steamboat Springs, Colo., to relax on a dude ranch. Aside from gourmet food, personal service and cozy-chic accommodations, the all-inclusive ranch also offers its fair share of outdoor activities to satisfy your inner John Wayne. During the fall, participate in a weeklong cattle roundup. First, immerse yourself in various cattle drive clinics, and then go out on the trail, searching out cows on 16,000 acres in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests.