A dude ranch is a working ranch that allows city folk to stay for a week or two and experience ranch life first hand. Guests are taught cowboy ways (horseback riding, branding, roping, and cussin') and are expected to help with ranch chores and the cussin'.

Before the rise of the Iron John/Wild Man Weekend thing in the '90s, dude ranches were a popular get away for men in the '70s and '80s seeking bonding experiences. In the '90s, the dude ranch industry took a cue from Vegas and Hooters and became much more family oriented. Dude ranches became less rustic immersions into the real cowboy life and more resort like, focusing on horseback riding, cook outs, and swimming in kidney shaped pools (not muddy watering holes).

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