When you hear “dude ranch,” what do you think? Do you think of a rustic retreat spent in the heart of nature? Horseback riding through wildflower-dotted meadows? Or perhaps a relaxing escape away from the constant humming of technology?

One thing is certain:  you don’t think of ziplining and extreme mountain sports. Not yet, at least. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas lassos both high-flying adventures and Old West hospitality to create one of the country’s most exciting dude ranch experiences.

Start your vacation on a high note with Iron Horse, the longest zipline in Arkansas. Stretching 2,300 feet, featuring a 277-foot vertical drop, and reaching speeds up to 50 miles per hour, this adrenaline-pumping adventure puts the “zip” in zipline. Overlooking the picturesque Horseshoe Canyon valley from up to 300 feet overhead, Iron Horse combines speed and scenery to provide one of North America’s best ziplining expeditions.  

Strap on another harness and ascend the Ozark Mountains on a via ferrata expedition. Italian for “iron way,” via ferrata is a mountain route equipped with fixed ladders, cables, and bridges that allows climbers of every level to traverse otherwise difficult routes. Explore sandstone bluffs, breathtaking caves, and ruggedly beautiful peaks with any amount of climbing experience.

More traditional ascenders will appreciate guided rock climbing tours. Providing all the necessary gear and more than 300 routes to choose from, everyone from expert scalers to beginners will find a trail to fit their talent.

True thrill-seekers must have a go on the Big Swing, which is aptly nicknamed “The Screamer.” Using the natural features at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, this tremendous swing sends you soaring over the breathtaking landscape like a swinging pendulum.

“The Screamer lives up to its name,” ranch owner Barry Johnson said. “I can attest to having filled the ranch valley with my own piercing cry.”  

Offering all of these white-knuckle adventures on an a la carte basis, the ranch gives you yet another reason to scream for joy. Kids and adults can enjoy all the excitement the ranch has to offer whether they’re staying for a week or just taking a day trip.  

All ages will also enjoy the all-inclusive ranch property, which preserves the Old West spirit with rustic yet refined cabins, horseback riding adventures, and a side of Southern hospitality.

“Staying at the ranch is like joining up with another family,” Johnson said. “Everyone makes long-lasting relationships and memories. That’s probably the most rewarding thing we do.”

These long-lasting family memories, along with plenty of high-flying fun, make Horseshoe Canyon Ranch an unforgettable Old West adventure.

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Jasper, Arkansas

Lodging in or near Jasper

4.1 miles away