The Wild, Wild West was once the domain of lonely settlers, shady outlaws, and cocky cowboys with questionable sartorial taste (spurs, chaps and bolo ties? Just no). Flash forward and an old American fantasy is playing out across today’s five star luxury dude ranches, tucked away in the mountains of Montana, Wyoming (where GIRLS star, Allison Williams, recently got married - in Oscar de la Renta, no less), Colorado (location of Ralph Lauren’s Double RL Ranch) and even the deserts of Arizona, where you can become at home on the range without forgoing a drop of decadence.
At any of these thoroughly authentic encampments, you can channel your inner cowgirl while learning the ropes from a handy (and often handsome) dude - damsels in distress need not apply. Horseback riding takes center stage at the ranches, but these magnificent destinations also offer outdoor explorations reticent of childhood summer camp memories, albeit souped-up and sumptuous (glamping, anyone?), as well as glamorous spas and golf, and some of the top gastronomical experiences West of the Rockies. Modern day dude ranches attract equally modern guests, seeking to disconnect from a hectic life at home, aiming to soak up the fresh air and dramatic vistas of the All-American frontier instead. So what are you waiting for? Get packing and mount up –now the West is the best.