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October 31, 2023

The Best Luxury Ranches in the US

These beautiful ranches are perfect for immersing yourself in nature.

By Elite Traveler

Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. And where better to slow down, unwind, and forget about the stresses of everyday life than at one of these gorgeous luxury ranches?

Our carefully curated list of US ranches (plus a British Columbia-based property that was too beautiful to miss) is ideal for fully immersing yourself in nature and exploring the great outdoors.

Best of all, just because the ranches included in our roundup are secluded, they don’t compromise on luxury. Whether you’re seeking an action-packed adventure, or something a bit more laid-back, these are our favorites.

[See also: A Guide to All Green Michelin Star Restaurants in the US]

The Ranch at Rock Creek

Philipsburg, Montana

With room for only 29 accommodations, The Ranch at Rock Creek is a serene escape nestled in a Montana valley (see our Remote Suites of the World piece). It’s a ranch-style experience through and through from its cuisine at Blue Canteen (think bison burgers and Montana ribs) to a ropes course and shooting sports to exploring the endless, untouched nature around you via foot or horseback. You’d be remiss not to book one of seven luxury homes ranging from one- to five-bedrooms.

Bear House is one of our personal favorites and each is decorated in Western-style decor where no detail has gone unnoticed. Don’t miss summer rodeos from June through August on Tuesdays: Watch professional cowboys ride broncos or steers at The Ranch’s very own Camp Roosevelt Arena. We promise this is about as Western as it gets. 

Brush Creek Ranch

Saratoga, Wyoming

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Brush Creek Ranch houses myriad experiences for every type of person on a 30,000-acre stretch of land that also is a working cattle ranch. Brush Creek houses The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek, a family-friendly accommodation with plenty of activities; Magee Homestead, the ranch’s Relais & Châteaux counterpart that offers seclusion and renewal throughout outdoor yoga and spa treatments; and French Creek Sportmen’s Club with 15,000 acres of land for wingshooting, fly fishing and Big Game hunting trips.

[See also: Top Suites in the World – Taupo, Caldera House] 

Stay in one of the Cabin Residences, the largest and most luxe of all the amenities. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but for large families and groups, the Homestead Residence is the most private of them all and can be combined with Jo’s Cowgirl and Stagecoach residences for the ultimate private experience. Each has massive floor-to-ceiling windows in a log cabin with Western decor and jaw-dropping views.

Go for Independence Day Week, the biggest week of the year. Culinary experiences at the resort’s Cheyenne Club await, as does a performance by country group Runaway June. 

The Resort at Paws Up

Greenough, Montana

Luxury ranches
Courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up is one of the most storied luxury ranches in Montana bringing together glamping and luxury cabin homes, exclusive culinary events with celebrated chefs from all over the country and, of course, so many outdoor activities you wouldn’t be able to fit them all in during the course of a week.

Choose from the classic hiking and horseback riding and experience archery lessons, cattle drives, helicopter tours, hot air balloon rides, a fitness trail in the woods with a full obstacle course, horse whispering and more. Kids programming is extensive here, from a supervised Junior Wrangler Program and paintball and pony riders to go karts and geocaching to arena horse lessons for kids. Anyone can participate in the Paws Up Mustang Rescue Program that helps protect public lands and relocates mustangs.

[See also: The Most Luxurious Dog-Friendly Hotels]

Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa

Gateway, Colorado

Courtesy of Gateway Canyons

Located in southwest Colorado just a short drive from Grand Junction and along the Utah border, Gateways Canyons is one of Colorado’s most luxurious resorts and hard to miss, flagged by the giant and deeply hued red rocks surrounding the resort.

The 6,000-acres of land the hotel is situated on was once used by ranching families to support the mining community in the 1800s. Gateway Canyons plays host to classic ranching activities (scenic tours on horseback, cowboy school and hiking) but it also has a rich history of Native American culture and a huge number of fossils and dinosaur footprints you can discover nearby.

In addition to the resort (including an expansive spa), the resort has a classic car museum, five restaurants easy access to a number of Colorado and Utah National Parks nearby. You can’t miss the Kayenta Lodge, an adobe-style lodge built around the resort’s courtyard.

[See also: Save Everything – Eco-Tourism at Vermejo, A Ted Turner Reserve]

Smith Fork Ranch

Crawford, Colorado

©Smith Fork Ranch

This rustic property, available for exclusive use only, is a serene escape nearly two hours east of Grand Junction and two hours west of Aspen and is set on 300 acres of land surrounded by the Rocky Mountains.

Near the property are vineyards and the Black Canyon at Gunnison National Park, home to some of the oldest rock in the US and plenty of wildlife. Each stay is completely tailored to your group’s preferences, but you can enjoy a range of activities including archery, horseback riding, shooting, hiking and off-ranch excursions like rafting, kayaking and paddle boarding.

In addition to adventure, gourmet culinary experiences are a hallmark of Smith Fork Ranch’s ethos with the owners utilizing local suppliers to deliver authentic farm-to-table cuisine.

Sorrel River Ranch

Moab, Utah

Sorrel River Ranch Lodge | Courtesy of Sorrel River Ranch

If it’s the hoodoos and the gorgeous red rock in Utah you’d like to explore, Sorrel River Ranch is where you should rest your head. As the only luxury ranch in Moab, the resort pairs scenic solitude with gorgeous accommodations so you can explore the West in style.

The quaint but spacious Moab Ranch House Estate is indeed your best option – it has four bedrooms with a two-bedroom guest cottage and has views over Castle Valley. People also come for the resort’s spa, which includes a complete wellness guide for detoxing and renewal.

Enjoy yoga, the infrared sauna, energy therapies you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else and massages using local ingredients. While here, book skydiving and hot air ballooning with experts or try your hand at canyoneering at Arches National Park nearby. You will never run out of things to do. 

The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection

Wanship, Utah

Earth House SUite | The Lodge at Blue Sky

This 3,500-acre ranch just outside of Salt Lake City forgoes traditional ranch decor in favor of something modern and sleek. Part of Auberge Resorts Collection, The Lodge at Blue Sky promises all of your classic ranch activities including horseback riding on private trails, fly fishing, shooting on a private clay course and heli adventures only housed in neutral-hued rooms with limestone walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and furniture made with locally sourced natural materials that act as an extension of the land that surrounds you.

Stay in one of the Sky Lodge’s Two-bedroom Signature Suites offering 2,240-sq-ft of space over two levels. Each is named after Utah’s birds: Eagle, Kestrel, Falcon, Red Tail and Osprey. The hotel also offers Earth Suites complete with a living-grass roof. For a unique experience, plan your trip around a full moon. The resort offers Full Moon Adventures where you can explore the ranch, mountain and streams via hiking, horseback riding, fishing or rafting lit by the full moon.

Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

British Columbia, Canada

siwash lake luxury ranch
Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort | Courtesy of Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

This luxury ranch might not be in the US, but it’s special enough to be included on our list. Just a few hours north of the US-Canada border. Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort is a working dude ranch that pairs rustic style with five-star amenities. Described by the resort as an ‘ultra-private hideaway,’ you have access to 10,000 acres of untouched wilderness when staying here. The resort prides itself on its eco-adventures, as it aims to honor the land around it (and it is certified by Green Tourism Canada for its sustainable practices).

Explore the area on horseback – Siwash has one of the most regarded equine programs in Canada – or go fishing for rainbow trout with an expert guide. While here, glamp at Siwash Star Camp, reopening this summer after a 2017 forest fire. It’s a fully furnished 17′ x 14′ tent with a wood-burning stove, solar lighting, stargazing platform with a telescope and a campfire pit. You’ll have access to a private camp host who can set up nearly any adventure you can conjure up. While here, take advantage of the gourmet dining – the fresh ingredients and artful display is more Michelin than mountain. 

[See also: The Most Beautiful Wineries to Visit in California]

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