Planning Your Next Vacation? Get a Taste of Cattle Ranches in Utah
You can’t separate cowboy culture from Utah culture, the two are practically synonymous. Before the arrival of pioneers and industrial development, vaqueros (i.e. cowboys) cared for their livestock and roamed the open lands. Cattle ranches in Utah span the four corners of the state, from the southwest to the eastern border and in the hundreds of miles in between.
Whether you’re just looking for a rest from the break-neck speed of life in the city or you’re fascinated by the cowboy lifestyle and doing some research for your own ranch purchase, you can find a great vacation spot for you and your family on a western cattle ranch.
Cowboy Culture Perseveres
In the mid-1800s, Mormon pioneers came to the land of Utah and began to form settlements. Now, with the prevalence of the Church of Latter Day Saints in the state, people often focus on their history and role in the state’s culture and ignore the importance of the ranching industry and how it started.
In fact, the vaqueros played an important role in the development of Mormon life in the area. Four months after the first Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847, a cattle operation was purchased and became a part of the Mormon settlement of Ogden. Cattle soon became a critical part of the pioneer economy, groups of cattle were taken to and from California, Colorado, and Texas and were often used in a bartering system.
With the westward expansion of the railroad, the cattle industry was transformed. Livestock was being shipped back east as well as imported from other areas to improve the quality of the herd. During this time, investment in the cattle ranching industry boomed with both domestic and foreign investors seeing its potential.
Through this change, and more, cowboy culture persisted and remains a part of life on cattle ranches in Utah today.
Experience a Working Ranch in Utah
As with most things, the best way to understand the ranching culture in Utah is to experience it for yourself. Before investing your money in your own ranch, you may want to test out the lifestyle. One way that you can do this is by visiting a dude ranch. The concept of ‘dude ranching’ comes from around the same time as the boom in the livestock industry when exploring the western frontier became the ideal way to spend a week.
Spending your R&R time on a dude ranch, you will be given lodging, food, horseback riding, and other activities typically for one flat rate. Although some of these ranches now see much of their income come from the hospitality end of business, they are still working ranches and most will truly offer guests a genuine “cowboy” experience.
The landscape of Utah is rich and diverse. In every direction you look, you will discover something new. Visiting a dude ranch will also be able to give you a better idea of the kind of ranch you might like to invest in. More than anything else, these ranches offer a unique way to enjoy the beauty of the state of Utah.