An Arizona Dude Ranch Adventure | Experience the Old West in Tombstone

Are you looking to have a classic Old West cowboy adventure on a dude ranch? I’ve always wanted to have a real-life dude ranch experience, and I finally got to do it!

I recently visited Tombstone Monument Ranch near the town of Tombstone, Arizona, and spent several days riding horses, doing archery, mining for gems, and so much more fun stuff. See everything I did in my YouTube video below, and keep reading for a breakdown of what it was like and how to book your own experience.

My Unforgettable Arizona Dude Ranch Experience in Tombstone

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting an Arizona dude ranch and the town of Tombstone, Arizona. I’ll share where I stayed, what I did, what I saw, what I wore, and more. It was an absolute dream come true for this horse-loving, cowboy-boot-wearing Texas girl.

I hope you get inspired for your own trip to Tombstone, Arizona!

I flew to Arizona for free with my favorite travel credit card! Click below to learn how you can, too.

Where I Stayed: Tombstone Monument Ranch

Tombstone Monument Ranch is a working cattle and guest ranch about 2.5 miles from one of the most iconic cowboy towns: Tombstone, Arizona. This ranch has been around since the 1880s, y’all! They raise Criollo cattle on the property, and guests can actually participate in certain cattle ranch activities during their stay.

This Arizona dude ranch is modeled after an Old West town, complete with a saloon, stagecoach office, blacksmith’s, a jail, and more. It’s so fun-looking! The property is surrounded by beautiful, rugged terrain with cacti, colorful plants, brush, and even old, historic mines and wells. There’s plenty to explore here at Tombstone Monument Ranch.

If you’ve always wanted to visit a dude ranch and get a taste of what life was like back in the Old West (but with modern plumbing and comforts, thank you), then this is a great spot for you!

There are several options to book your trip, including room and breakfast only, meals but no activities, or all-inclusive with meals and activities.

Book your stay today and get ready for some laid-back, casual cowboy or cowgirl living!

Tombstone Monument Ranch - Old West style Arizona dude ranch with horses

Dude Ranch Accommodations

Immerse yourself in the charm of the ranch, styled like a classic Old West town, complete with the Marshall’s Office, the dentist, the newspaper building, and the jail. Each building houses a different guest room for a truly neat experience. The jail room even has a fake jail door at the entrance!

There are 17 rooms in total, including standard rooms, deluxe rooms, junior suites, and premium suites. The standard rooms are a good size, the deluxe rooms include a private terrace, and the suites have additional bedrooms. All accommodations come with private bathrooms and super comfy beds (which you’ll be happy for after a long day in the saddle!).

There’s also a coffee maker in each room (which I definitely need first thing in the morning!) as well as bath amenities and free WiFi access.

Rooms - Standard_from TMR website

Photo Credit: Tombstone Monument Ranch

Dude Ranch Activities

There’s a little something for everyone at Tombstone Monument Ranch. Whether you love horses, being active, exploring, or relaxing, you’re sure to have a good time on the ranch.

Here are some of the things you can look forward to doing while you’re here:

  • Horseback riding
  • Hiking
  • Target shooting (with some 1800s-style guns)
  • Archery
  • Guided UTV tours
  • Corn hole
  • Lasso practice

You can also help out with some working ranch activities, like checking on the cattle, fixing fences, and checking the wells and ponds on the property. (You need to book the Working Ranch package for this experience).

Or, if you’d rather relax and hang out by the pool, they’ve got a small area for that with a heated hot tub, depending on the weather.

There’s also nightly entertainment, from live music and dancing to poker (not for real money!) and an old-school card game of Faro. This all takes place in the saloon, the main hub for check-ins, meals, drinks, games, and socializing!

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Meals

Breakfast is served 3 days a week down by the fire pit at the chuckwagon. This is where Arizona Bill serves up eggs, bacon, beans, and tortillas with cowboy coffee and tea! The rest of the week, breakfast is served in the main dining area at the saloon.

Expect hearty, home-cooked style meals for lunch and dinner, available daily in the main saloon (depending on what package you book for your stay).

Arizona Bill at the Chuckwagon Breakfast at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

Everything I Did in Tombstone, Arizona

Not only did I have so much fun on the dude ranch, but I also did some exploring in the nearby town of Tombstone, Arizona. With my cowgirl hat, boots, and western wear, I truly felt like I fit in here!

Here’s everything I did over the three days I was there.

Of course, the first thing I did was say hi to the horses! They’re all in corrals at the front of the ranch, so you see them as you drive up. I definitely walked down here a lot during my stay to say hi and pet the horses.

Horses lined up in the corral and ready to ride at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

Since I arrived in the afternoon, all the activities for the day had already started. (You need to sign up for activities the day before. I recommend checking the activity schedule the day before you arrive and contacting the ranch to sign up for that day). 

So, I checked out the saloon and met our lovely bartender, Cliff! I also got to know some of the other guests and find out what they’d enjoyed so far. Dinner was served right there at the bar, so I didn’t have to stop chatting! You can eat in the dining room if you want, but I found it was more social in the bar area.

Kim and Cliff, bartender at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

After dinner, we moved into the poker room, where Cliff taught everyone how to play an old-school game of poker called Faro. I did not win, but I had a lot of fun learning! Then I called it an early night and was off to bed for a good night’s rest.

Faro, Old West Poker, at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

Want to know what to expect on a dude ranch vacation and how to have the best time? Check out my other post on everything you need to know before you go to a dude ranch!

The next morning was an Old West-style breakfast with Arizona Bill down by the chuckwagon. This was so cool! There were plain eggs, eggs with chorizo, bacon, beans, and tortillas with some much-needed cowboy coffee. What a great way to start the day!

Cowboy Breakfast at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

After breakfast, it was time to meet my horse, Buddy, for a morning ride into Tombstone. We took a leisurely ride into town, had about 15 minutes to walk around, and then made our way back to the ranch. 

Tombstone Monument Ranch does their best to keep you with the same horse, so Buddy and I got to know each other well during my time there! He is a beautiful sorrel and such a sweet, sweet horse; he’s actually an ex-barrel racer.

Kim, The Abundant Traveler, on her riding horse, Buddy, at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

After a quick lunch of burgers and fries, I got a ride into the nearby town of Tombstone, Arizona (the ranch staff were very nice to drop me off). I got a taste of it on the morning ride and knew I needed to explore more!

It looks like an Old West town and there’s even a horse-drawn stagecoach that you can ride around in. There’s so much to see here, from gun fight reenactments and a historical museum to the old printing press and gem mining.

Stagecoach Ride through Tombstone, Arizona

The most iconic thing you can do in Tombstone, Arizona is go to the O.K. Corral gun show experience. It’s based on the historical gun fight, but is infused with humor and audience participation. (The actors hang out on the main street when the show isn’t taking place, so you can get a better photo with them there).

I recommend buying your ticket for this first, then going down the street and around the corner to the Epitaph. Here, you can show them your ticket and pick up a free copy of an old-timey newspaper that talks about the O.K. Corral shootout.

O.K. Corral Show in Tombstone, Arizona

When you enter and exit the O.K. Corral show, you pass by a water mining setup, just like the old prospectors used. I highly recommend you do this – it is so much fun!

For just under $6 a bag (in the shop where you bought your O.K. Corral ticket), you can get some pretty cool gems to take home as souvenirs. And panning for them is just too much fun!

Kim "mining" for gems in Tombstone, Arizona

After an afternoon exploring Tombstone, it was back to the dude ranch for a delicious dinner of stuffed chicken and veggies. There was live music tonight, a one-man band with 3 different guitars, including an 18-string!

So cool. I had another lovely evening chatting with the other guests and hearing what everyone did that day.

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The next morning, I took a slow historical ride around the area surrounding Tombstone Monument Ranch. We learned all about the area’s history, the iconic Tombstone Monument, and the various wells and mines around the property.

We rode up and down hills, in and out of brush, past a gorgeous old wooden bridge, and even saw some of the cattle roaming the property!

Historical Wooden Bridge at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

After a delicious lunch of french dip sandwiches, it was time for an archery lesson behind the barn! They have recurve and compound bows to shoot with and there are foam dummy targets to aim at.

I did pretty well and it was so much fun, even when I was missing my target. It was really windy, so I’ll just say that’s why I missed a few!

Kim with her archery target results at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

I did another ride in the afternoon that took our group past a really cool rock formation that looks like a Gila monster. It’s so cute! Watch out for the real ones, though, they’re poisonous. (I didn’t see any while I was here, though).

I wrapped up my last evening at Tombstone Monument Ranch by hanging out with my fellow guests, catching up on our day, and playing games. They introduced me to some fun new games that are perfect for traveling.

I learned how to play Penny Drop and a dice game called Left, Right, Center. I had the best time, and these are now some of my favorites!

a rock formation that looks like a Gila Monster sitting on another rock - at Tombstone Monument Ranch, an Arizona Dude Ranch

Other Things to Do in Tombstone, Arizona

For such a small town, there’s so much to do in Tombstone, Arizona! There were several things I wanted to check out that I just didn’t have time for. I’d love to go back some day and spend more time exploring the town and its history.

Here are just a few other things you can do while visiting Tombstone:

See (Another) Historical Gun Show

There’s another gun fight show in Tombstone that I heard from the locals is worth checking out. This one is at the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park and is known to be more historically accurate. It also mixes comedy with historical facts and adds in some cool stunts, too.

Book your tickets here!

Join a Haunted History Tour

Walk through Tombstone at night while you hear spooky legends and learn about figures that made the town what it is today. You’ll get to visit haunted spots around town, like the Bird Cage Theatre, known as one of the most haunted places in America!

If you’re into haunted history and spooky stories, then this ghost tour is for you.

Check Out Four Deuces Saloon

I actually did get to go to the Four Deuces Saloon, and I’ve got to rave about it! This is the best local’s bar, hands down. Everyone knows everyone here and they’re all unbelievably nice.

Stop by for a drink or a shot and say hi to Bill for me!

Plan Your Own Tombstone, Arizona Dude Ranch Vacation!

Ready to have a dude ranch experience of your own? Book your stay at Tombstone Monument Ranch today and start packing with my dude ranch packing guide!

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