Top Texas Dude Ranches
Twin Elm Guest Ranch
Need a break from your hectic schedule? Try the happy-go-lucky lifestyle of the old West at Twin Elm Guest Ranch. Since 1939, this 21-unit ranch has been helping buckaroos both young and old unwind with rodeos, horseback rides and Southern home-cooked meals.
You don’t have to be a cowboy (or girl!) to enjoy this Texas ranch overlooking the crystal clear Medina River and Indian Creek. But you probably should love the lifestyle. Let’s divulge. How does waking up to the warmth of the early morning rays with a mural of a content cowboy smiling down at you from your bedroom wall, a ride upon a horse or a wagon full of hay after lunch and a nighttime rodeo sound? And don’t worry, you won’t miss your meals either – the grub is ready when you here the bell ringing! Every Friday, Twin Elm’s rodeos begin with a star-spangled grand entry. Watch intense bull riding, steer riding, barrel racing and roping and then gather ‘round the campfire and rehash the evening’s activities with a roasted marshmallow in hand. Relaxation at it’s finest!
To help you completely relax, there are no TVs or telephones in the units at Twin Elm.
Take Bandera Road (Hwy. 16 North) to Bandera, to the stop light in town (Main Street). Take a right to follow Hwy. Take a left on Hwy. 470 and cross the river. Twin Elm Guest Ranch will be on your right.
Related Onsite Offerings
Pool, hammocks, recreation area, dining hall, outdoor pavilion and river swimming.close
Joshua Creek Ranch
Experience a dude ranch getaway unlike any other in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
Joshua Creek Ranch brings together the rustic charm of a western-style ranch with the modern luxuries of a five-star hotel. Come with family, friends, or colleagues and indulge in an exceptional ranch experience. Join them on an award-winning wing-shooting and hunting adventure that includes everything from quail and pheasants to deer and turkey. The ranch also offers excellent fly-fishing trips on both Joshua Creek and the Guadalupe River, both of which are accessible right onsite. And in-between all your adventures, Joshua Creek Ranch offers elegant accommodations to make you feel right at home. Book one of their three beautiful ranch houses which feature full kitchens, a charming single/double occupancy guestroom, or a lovely suite. All of their accommodations are impeccably furnished and feature modern touches including wireless internet, flat-screen television with DVD/CD players, and offer large outdoor patios with stone fire pits.
132 Cravey Rd. Boerne, Texas 78006
Keep yourself energized throughout your vacation with the incredible dining available at Joshua Creek Ranch. The ranch offers four-course gourmet dinners that are sure to satisfy every craving. Lunch is also complimentary for hunting guests with reservations.
The famous Guadalupe River features a 1.5-mile-long isolated stretch of water right along the border of Joshua Creek Ranch! This is the perfect place to enjoy tubing, kayaking, fishing, and more!close
West 1077 Guest Ranch
West 1077 Guest Ranch is THE place in Bandera, the “Cowboy Capital of the World”, where the old west meets today’s modern outdoor adventurer. West 1077 isn’t the typical dude ranch: no mass tourism, no schedule to follow! Go hiking, rent one of the mountain bikes, book a private horseback ride or even bring your own horse along – enjoy all activities at your own leisure.
The ranch is on a mission to provide guests access to some of the most beautiful, challenging, and matchless trail systems in Texas. With direct access to the neighboring 5,500 acre Hill Country State Natural Area there are over 50 miles of breathtaking trails in unspoiled nature to explore. Guests can also scout the area on horseback: "Juniper Hill Stables" is conveniently located on the property offering guided trail rides. The private rides allow for a very personal level of attention and all care will be taken to cater the trip for an individual experience. The ranch is small by design and guests will feel right at home after a day of outdoor activity when they can relax in the swimming pool, enjoy delicious meals in the stunning old-world-style cowboy lodge, play a game of pool or just meet new friends. Enjoy the privacy of your own, comfortable cabin – each of them equipped with handcrafted cedar furniture and lovingly decorated in their own unique style – and relax on the porch soaking up some of the best unobstructed views you’ll find anywhere in the Hill Country. For those who wish to enjoy the outdoors without leaving behind the pleasures of all-day convenience West 1077 Guest Ranch is perfectly situated to offer the best of both worlds. You will not leave disappointed.
9061 Bandera Creek Road, Bandera, Texas 78003
After an array of on-land adventures, enjoy some water-fueled fun in the Hill Country State Natural Area's secluded creek pools, where Texas travelers can swim and fish in the pristine waters.
The ranch's property includes 230 scenic acres for hikers, joggers, bikers, and general explorers. For some off-site excursions, ascend canyons that reach up to 2,000 feet in elevation.close
Mayan Dude Ranch
Get ready to experience the ultimate “horsepitality” at the Mayan Dude Ranch. You know we’re all a little rootin’ tootin’ cowboy at heart. So don’t be an old grey mare – giddy up to Bandera and experience 348 acres of trails and the tastiest, Texas and Mexican cuisine in the Southwest!
It may sound silly, but this Texas ranch is serious about creating a one-of-a-kind cowboy getaway for you and your family – regardless of if you were country-born and -bred or have been a city slicker all your life. From its little Western town of Hicksville to the massive horse corral, Mayan Dude Ranch takes full advantage of the Medina River lowlands. Included in your stay are two 50-minute horseback rides a day and three daily cowboy-size meals, including sizzling thick-cut bacon, BBQ brisket and Texas-sized steaks – who could ask for more? One-, two- and three-bedroom native rock cottages and lodge rooms offer a soft, warm bed and quiet surroundings when you decide kick off your boots for the night. And the best part? You can get up and do it all over again the next day. Yeehaw!
During the summer, Mayan Fiesta nights include Mayan margaritas, a five-piece mariachi band, a pinata, a hayride and a banana split buffet.
The Mayan Ranch has been owned and operated by the Hicks family for more than 50 years.
Related Onsite Offerings
Swimming pool, fireworks, bingo, hayrides, country music, a mariachi band and Mayan Fiestas.close
Hill Country Equestrian Lodge
You’ll be whinnying in delight when you step your boot-wearing foot into Texas’ Hill Country Equestrian Lodge. With its unique interactive, educational riding program, this horseback riding destination offers so much more than other dude ranches. And Hill Country State Natural Area is next door!
You won’t know whether to check out the family programs or go straight to the stables so you can explore 6,000 acres of beautiful Southwest countryside on horseback. What makes this lodge so special is the bond between horse and rider that is nurtured before and during each ride. Brief lessons, small groups and attentive tutors help you get the most out of your experience. You can even learn about your prospective four-legged riding partner on the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge Web site! Whole Horsemanship Riding Clinics and summer riding camps are perfect if you’re looking to improve your skills or learn more about riding. And you don’t have to be on horseback to experience the natural grandeur of Bandera. Aromatic junipers and towering oaks provide shade and privacy to your cabin, reminiscent of the bygone homes of Polish and German immigrants. Luxury suites are also available. And all accommodations are stocked with breakfast food.
There are more than 40 miles of trails in the 5,500-acre Hill Country State Natural Area.
The Hill Country Equestrian Lodge’s beloved horses are Molly, Socks, Impy, Tuffy, Mandy, Jack and Smoky.
Related Onsite Offerings
Biking, hiking trails, nature activities, swimming, tubing, kayaking and spa services.close
Calf Creek Ranch
Drive. Stop. Get out. Now relax. You’ve arrived at Calf Creek Ranch. At this home-away-from-home situated within the gently rolling knolls of Texas Hill Country, you don’t have to worry about your hassles. And you won’t want to when you see how vivid the stars look from the porch at nightfall.
The Ranch House at Calf Creek was built in the 1890s, and you’ll be able to tell through the attention to detail in both the structure itself and the decoration. Take one of the three bedrooms, for instance: old-fashioned floral wallpaper, dainty lace curtains and a fireplace with vintage portraits of a Southern belle hanging elegantly above. That doesn’t mean that the house isn’t equipped with modern day amenities, however. Air conditioners and a fully-stocked kitchen make your stay comfortable. You’ll especially love Calf Creek Ranch if you’re looking for seclusion. The 7,000 acres ripe with blossoming wildflowers and wildlife – including deer, turkey and migratory birds – affords you privacy as well as a place to hike and nature watch. And if you’re looking for smaller accommodations or need extra space, check out the ranch’s Bunkhouse. It’s a three-person, authentic renovated bunkhouse with a kitchenette.
To help you stay relaxed, there are no phones at Calf Creek Ranch.
Calf Creek Ranch is about 160 miles northwest of Austin.
Calf Creek Ranch is on property that has been in the same family since the 1800s.close
“Bar M” Ranch
Isn’t it annoying when all you want to do is have a peaceful vacation and instead you are surrounded by a bunch of whining youngsters, paper-thin hotel walls and crummy continental breakfasts? Not at the “Bar M” Ranch. Tranquility, solitude and the ultimate Texas horseback riding await you.
Perched upon a Hill Country plateau near Bandera, this one-lodge ranch offers 360-degree views of the gorgeous Southwest countryside and the neighboring city of Bandera. One lodge means only you and your family are the main guests. Unlike a dude ranch, you won’t have to eat at designated times when the chow bell rings or follow any type of activities schedule. Nope, this is your time to do what you want – ride along more than one mile of wooded trails skirting the San Julian Creek, bird watch or just sit beside your campfire and roast up some weenies for dinner. The guest lodge also has a fully-stocked kitchen to prepare homemade meals in or Bandera and its tasty restaurants, bars and cafes are only minutes away. All the trail rides are on private land, meaning you won’t be bumping into other riders, either.
“Bar M” Ranch offers one- to three-hour private horseback rides for all experience levels.
The “Bar M” Ranch is located two and a half miles southwest of Bandera on Ranch Road 1077.
Related Onsite Offerings
Hiking, birding, wildlife feeding stations and campfires.close
Silver Spur Ranch
Throw on those blue jeans and saddle up for the two hours of guided horseback riding on trail each day! Silver Spur Guest Ranch presents a Texas ranch experience that will let you forget about your daily worries and indulge in the Western peace of mind. With nearly 300 acres of incredible Hill Country surroundings to explore, Silver Spur is a ranch experience you'll never forget.
Open all year round, Silver Spur Guest Ranch welcomes you to a fun and authentic Western ranch vacation. Their guestrooms and cabins are uniquely decorated and are named after famous or notorious western legends. Stay in the Jesse James room or Wild Bill Hickok cabin and enjoy the spacious and comfortable environment. The ranch's 14,000 square foot lodge is the perfect place for relaxation; warm up by the fireplace, play a game of pool, and enjoy hearty meals in their 100-seat dining room. Now this wouldn't be a ranch getaway without some exciting Western-style activities. Silver Spur knows how to have fun and you'll be sure to have plenty of it during your stay. Explore the beautiful natural surroundings on horseback; there are miles of trails around the property for you to enjoy. Take a hay wagon ride around the ranch, or spend an afternoon at the fossil pit looking for fun treasures. Hiking is another guest favorite; grab a map from the lodge and hit the trails! After a day of excitement, there's nothing better than returning to the ranch and gathering around the campfire for an evening of story-telling and marshmallows.
Silver Spur Ranch 9266 Bandera Creek Road Bandera, TX 98003
Experience the best of the west with Silver Spur's fun live entertainment. From trick roper shows to cowboy singers, there's plenty of incredible shows to enjoy. Or, learn how to line dance and two-step dancing during one of their saloon nights!
Related Onsite Offerings
Silver Spur offers a spacious junior Olympic-size pool that's perfect for relaxation after a day of fun. They offer pool floats and games for kids to enjoy as well.close
Flying L Hill Country Resort & Conference Center
Unleash your inner cowboy at Flying L Hill Country Resort & Conference Center, filming grounds of the iconic television show Cisco Kid. This 542-acre dude ranch set in the heart of Hill Country combines Western yesteryear with modern-day amenities, including a waterpark, golf course and delicious Texas cuisine.
Jack Lapham, the namesake of the Flying L, started this ranch in 1946. Hang your hat in one of the Ranch Villas designed by associates of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and stroll the grounds that John Wayne, Slim Pickens and Willie Nelson relaxed upon during one of their many stays. The ranch’s villas, golf suites and waterpark suites are decorated in Texas-style décor and are close to the outdoor Lone Star Lagoon Waterpark and 40-horse stables. Once you’ve saddled up and rode along the trails throughout the grounds, check out the award-winning Flying L Golf Course or the mini golf course, “Par”dners Putt Putt. Your stay includes breakfast and dinner, kids activities, nightly entertainment and even s’mores – Flying L is the perfect all-inclusive Texas family getaway!
The outdoor Lone Star Lagoon Waterpark features a lazy river, waterfalls, a splashdown center and zero-entry pools.
Flying L Hill Country Resort & Conference Center is located one hour northwest of San Antonio, two hours southwest of Austin and about four hours west of Houston in Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World.
The Flying L originally had an airstrip and flight school.close
Located 10 miles from Bandera, the historic "Cowboy Capital of the World," you can expect a getaway at Rancho Cortez to fulfill all of your dude ranch dreams.
At Rancho Cortez you can truly escape from the hustle-bustle of the cities and indulge in a much more peaceful way of life. The breathtaking scenery of Texas Hill Country is just outside the door for you to explore. Go on a guided hike or horseback riding trop through the area; the Hill Country State Natural Area borders the ranch and offers 5,500 acres of beautiful trails! Onsite you can also enjoy activities such as hayrides, campfires, and more! Or, for a ranch experience that's a little different, come to Rancho Cortez for their incredible Fitness Program. Their weight loss camp offers you a true ranch getaway blended with a rigorous workout regiment that's sure to show you results. Rancho Cortez understands that a fitness program is not just about losing weight but also about discovering new ways to think and live. Here, you will focus on exercise, eating right, and becoming a healthier person. With their onsite gym, obstacle course, pilates and yoga lessons, combat kickboxing, hiking, and cowboy bootcamp, you'll be sure to leave feeling like a completely new you!
872 Hay Hollar Road Bandera TX 78003
Horseback riding at the Hill Country State Natural Area includes a $5 park fee.close