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Dude Ranching in Arizona by Russell True


Dude ranches were Arizona’s first destination vacation. The earliest were built on working cattle ranches, stage stops, mining claims, and homesteads. Early dudes were typically wealthy and stayed for a long time, some for so long that one ranch had a school for its guests’ children. Dude ranches were built around unspoiled country and offered spectacular views, “healthy” weather, and the chance to experience the cowboy life. Hollywood filmmakers came and, with them, some of the biggest figures of their time. Among those who were guests at dude ranches were John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Dean Martin, Tom Hanks, Walt Disney, and US presidents.


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