Dude Ranchers Gather in Arizona in January for 96th Convention

The end of the year is here and it’s time to start looking forward to events in 2022. If you

Dude Ranchers

The end of the year is here and it’s time to start looking forward to events in 2022. If you live the life of a cowboy – or would like to – you may be interested to know that there’s a Dude Ranchers’ Association Convention coming up in just a few weeks. So strap on your chaps, grab your hat, and head to Arizona – for the 96th annual convention, being held at Rancho de los Caballeros. 

96th Annual Dude Ranchers’ Association Convention

Dude Ranchers

Wickenburg, Arizona, is about to play host to the biggest gathering of Dude Ranchers in the country. Does that sound like the place to be? It does to us. Here are the details.

Wickenburg, AZ, is known as the Team Roping capital of the world, and not too long ago it was known as the Dude Ranch capital. That’s why it’s the perfect place for the Dude Ranchers’ Association to gather for their 96th annual convention, from January 17-20. 

In a statement, the DRA shares the mission behind the annual meet-up, ” For the last 90+ years (aside from 2021), convention attendees have been coming together to exchange ideas, discuss new topics, and plan for the future of keeping dude ranching alive and well for many years to come. The DRA expects this all to take place once again, plus so much more! After almost two years of being apart, these ranchers, vendors, sponsors, speakers, and corporate members are ready to come together to conduct business, prepare the industry for a busy year ahead, share ideas, and have some fun. All while enjoying a great Dude Ranchers’ Association member ranch, Rancho de los Caballeros. There will be many opportunities for networking and socializing, learning from speakers, visiting with vendors in the trade show, and having a great time at the annual DRA auction!”

Vendors and speakers from around the world will gather to share their wares and knowledge with enthusiasts. Vendors include stalls for everything from western apparel to digital marketing firms and everything in between. Topics for speakers include:

  • What to Know About Working with Travel Agents in the Current Market
  • How to Roundup and Retain Seasonal Employees
  • Tack Management and Best Practices for Getting Horses Ready for the Trail
  • Wildfire Mitigation Strategies for Dude Ranches.

It’s a wonderful opportunity for the industry leaders in Dude Ranching to come together and share knowledge, passion, and fun. 

Rancho de los Caballeros

Dude Ranchers

It all goes down at Rancho de los Caballeros, in Wickenburg. The breathtakingly beautiful desert ranch was founded in 1948, and spans 20,000 acres. The property stretches across the High Sonoran Desert with views of the scenic Bradshaw Mountains. The ranch is founded on the soul of the gentleman cowboy, a Spanish caballero. 

Although it’s a ranch with all the rustic experiences you’d expect, you can still enjoy luxury in one of the 67 rooms, including 12 high-end suites with all the comfort of the modern world. The rooms are decorated with hand-crafted furniture in a Southwest style, with touches of Wild West and Kiva fireplaces to warm those cool desert nights. 

While on property, enjoy scheduled trail rides, 18-hole golf, trap shooting, off-property jeep tours, day spa, outdoor stone labyrinth, 4 tennis  courts and pickle ball court, swimming in and outdoor heated pool, Guided Nature Hikes, Hassayampa River Preserve Tours, Armchair Nature Hikes, Bird Watching, Trips to Wickenburg for Shopping and to see the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, plus Transportation to Vulture Peak Trail Head for Hiking. 

Enjoy bird watching or yoga between ranch activities, pamper yourself in the spa or catch a few holes on the back 9. It’s the perfect blend of luxury, comfort, and a bit of wild. To plan and book your stay, visit Rancho de los Caballeros’ website

Just Dude Ranchin’ Things

Maybe you’ve heard the words Dude Ranch before but never really knew what they represent. Dude Ranches are ranches that have opened up to visitors. Some are still working ranches, herding cattle or other livestock, and others are purely for visitors. In the late 1800’s, Americans turn their eyes West and looked for opportunities to experience the Wild West – but maybe with a little bit of comfort.

They exploded in popularity under the administration of our most outdoors-loving president, Teddy Roosevelt. Pictured often enjoying hunting, fishing, and riding, Roosevelt helped bring publicity to the West’s tourist gems. C Lazy U Ranch explains, “Since their beginnings, dude ranches have prided themselves on the unique, authentic experience it delivers to city-dwelling guests in need of an escape outdoors. These special ranches all have deep histories and local traditions, and they take their hospitality very seriously. Ranches are a country home for their visitors, where guests feel like family among the staff and ranch hands.

Ranch life keeps itself entertaining in creative ways – costume parties, friendly competitions, stunts, pranks, inside jokes – and guests are always invited to join in! Combine those antics with good home cooking, fun outdoor activities, and big-sky western sunsets, and it’s no wonder why dude ranches have thrived as healthy, soulful retreats for city slickers generation after generation.”

The Dude Ranchers’ Association represents a variety of these ranches across America, from rustic and no-frills to luxury ranches with 5-star accommodations and spas. There are now 90 DRA-accredited ranches across the United States and Canada, and guests to these properties can be assured of quality, comfort and customer care and satisfaction. So next time you feel a wild hair and the need to hop in a saddle and ride for those yonder hills, consider a Dude Ranchers’ Association-certified ranch like Rancho de los Caballeros; you won’t regret it.