The Different Types of Ranches

Wyoming cattle ranch

When people think of ranches, they generally envision grazing animals in sprawling picturesque fields that epitomize old school thoughts of ‘life on the prairie’. But in reality, there are a couple different versions of ranches, each with their own purpose. Here is a simple breakdown of the four main types of ranches.

Dude Ranch

These ranches are meant for tourism, and are chocked full of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. They are generally based around the idea of the wild west, and have trail rides, cowboys, rodeos, country dancing, and barbecues. Families tend to stay on site, and can visit the barns and livestock at their leisure. There are also many different options for riders of all levels, from simple trail rides, to barrel racing, so this is a great place to hone in on your riding skills!

Guest Ranch

Guest ranches are like dude ranches but without the theme. They are designed primarily to focus on just the visitors and the livestock, and will have many trail rides to choose from. But the majority of activities offered are given on an informal basis, like grooming the horses, fishing, and ranch tours. The ranch is a person’s home, and it is a working ranch so the visitors will be able to experience the everyday going-ons that happen.

Cattle Ranch

Cattle ranches are meant to raise livestock for meat or wool. Cattle ranches are typically very large, but they do not focus on farming. The animals on the ranch will be used for the farmer’s benefit and will be either bought or sold, so in general one can find thousands of animals on one single ranch.

Hunting Ranches

You would go to a hunting ranch to practice the sport of hunting. It is a place that has free range animals, and hunting ranches are meant for those looking for a safe, legal place to practice their craft.

In addition, it is important to understand the difference between farmland and ranches. Where ranches only raise animals, farms are used to grow crops and may only have smaller animals like chickens, pigs, and a couple cows. But typically these animals are use to help run the ranch, and are not for the profit of the farmer.

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