A cowboy and horses on the range
Photo by: Gayle Lindren (Stock Exchange)

Hello, everybody!

Today I’m dipping into the Disabled Travelers mailbag to check out one of your recent questions. After our trips around the world, I thought it might be nice if we stopped back in the U.S. for this edition. Quite a few people have been hunting for a wheelchair accessible dude ranch lately, I notice, so I went out and found us some good resources around the web on just that topic.

Dig in!

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch out of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado is our first stop. This place has some amazing facilities, and it’s all wheelchair accessible. One of the smaller guest ranches around, it’s also one of the most comfy, flexible, and full-featured. The lodge, jacuzzi, rifle range and virtually all other facilities are completely barrier-free. There’s a selection of nice suites that accommodate wheelchair users, as well as mobility impaired access for users of other assistive technology. Sundance also has arrangements with medical suppliers in Ft. Collins to help accommodate your needs.

Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch has been a fixture here on Disabled Travelers for a good while, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again. Based in Yucca, Arizona, all facilities have been purpose-built for maximum accessibility. All guest rooms, bathrooms, the lodge and the dining area are intended for easy use by wheelchair users and are quite large and spacious. If your ability allows, you can ride horses with confidence thanks to Stagecoach’s quick and accurate testing to ensure your safety. Stagecoach is dedicated to the riding experience, and disabled travelers can hit the trail with full assistance and guidance from the ranch staff to whatever extent is needed.

RanchWeb.com is a useful general resource for finding a wheelchair accessible dude ranch, though it does not currently have a category especially for handicapped travelers. You can browse through dozens of ranches around the United States, including offerings in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, and more, and find out a good deal about their facilities from one convenient stop. There’s something for everyone here: traditional dude ranches, fishing lodges, hunting lodges, and more, with most places offering a good number of photographs. Naturally, if you see one you like, you can get in touch with ranch staff to find out what kind of facilities are available for your situation.

Check out the Colorado Dude Ranch Association for quality information on dude ranches in that state, including several with wheelchair access. Colorado is practically the nation’s dude ranch capital, and has many to choose from. One option is Lake Mancos Guest Ranch, nestled in the San Juan Mountains a short ways from Durango. Lake Mancos offers pickup from the two nearby airports, Durango and Cortez, both about 40 minutes away. In addition to the accessible rooms, amenities include spa, massage, and wireless internet service. Like many ranches, horseback riding is a favorite activity.

Though there are a growing number of ranches out there that cater to disabled travelers, one thing you should definitely be aware of is the elevations involved. Depending on where you’re headed, be aware that a lot of ranches are situated on highlands, surprising since the land can still be pretty flat. It’s normal to feel a little loopy at first as your body adjusts. It’s usually a good idea not to plan anything too strenuous the first day – luckily, there are lots of ways to relax on these classy guest ranches.

Thanks for the great questions, and, as always, thanks for reading! Adventure on!


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Comment by Mobility Specialists

Posted on March 24th, 2010

Yayyy!! Who says you have to stay home and be bored just because you are disabled! Gone are those days when being in a wheelchair made vacation planning a right royal nightmare. New age wheelchairs and scooters that can be customized for your requirements coupled with hotels and ranches that are going all out to facilitate their wheelchair bound guests heralds a brand new era for all wheelchair users. “Have wheelchair; will travel” is easily the new mantra for all wheelchair users. Look out world, here we come!

Thank you so much for this informative article. Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch and Sundance Trail Guest Ranch sound equally exciting. I can’t wait to check them out.