Video: Dude Ranch History

In this dude ranch history video clip from the Emmy winning Equitrekking TV show, ranchers describe Jackson Hole’s Bear Paw Ranch where the Roosevelts, Rockefellers, DuPonts and other famous names of the time vacationed.

Host Darley Newman narrates this video clip from Equitrekking Great American Ranches, a Public Television special TV episode broadcasting on Create TV Wednesday, April 20th at 9:30 am, 3:30 pm and 9:30 pm EST. Interviews include Ken Neal from T Cross Ranch in Wyoming and Gene Roberts from Wilderness Trails Ranch in Colorado.

Video Transcript:

KEN NEAL, T CROSS RANCH: Teddy Roosevelt was one of the first dudes, and also my family, I know that when my Uncle Jack was running the Bear Paw Ranch in Jackson Hole that we had Roosevelts.

We had Rockefellers. We had DuPonts. We had every well known name that you could think of that was well to do during the Depression and afterwards came to the ranches in the West and it was kind of an escape. I remember riding to town in the Rockefellers limousine, sitting on the footstool, because that was the thing to do.

GENE ROBERTS WILDERNESS TRAILS RANCH: All of a sudden, people wanted to come and see the animals. They wanted to hunt and they wanted to fish from New York City and the word that was contrived for those folks was dude. Dude at that time meant new to the West.

KEN NEAL: They were the only people that could afford to have fancy clothes. They came out and they got all the regalia. They had the chaps, the vests, the fancy shirt and the big hat, so they were duded up. It was a term that just came out and it was not a derogatory term. It just meant that they were better dressed and you can duded out still.

Learn more about dude ranches that you can visit on vacation in’s Vacation Guide, a resource for horseback riding vacations around the world. Visit or

Watch the Equitrekking dude ranch episode on CreateTV, Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 9:30am, 3:30pm and 9:30pm EST.

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