Welcome to the Oldest Dude Ranch in America

The oldest dude ranch in America began way back in 1879 when three brothers, Howard, Willis, and Alden Eaton established their horse and cattle ranch near Medora, North Dakota. Their friends from the East began to visit them almost immediately. Some of these early guests stayed for months at a time. Finally, one of the guests recognized the expense these extended visits entailed and prevailed upon the Eatons to charge for room and board, so “folks can stay as long as they like.” Thus, the family dude ranch business was born and an industry started.

In 1904, to provide a more suitable and varied riding terrain for their ever-growing number of guests, the Eatons “pulled up stakes” in North Dakota and moved to the present ranch location on Wolf Creek near Sheridan, Wyoming. Eatons’ Family Dude Ranch has always been in the hands of the Eaton family and is now operated by the fourth and fifth generations of Eatons.

Reading Wranglin’ Notes: A Chronicle of Eatons’ Ranch 1879-2010 by Tim Ringley will enhance your stay by providing you a detailed rich history of Eatons’ Ranch. Available in our Gift Shop!


Historic Sites Near Our Family Dude Ranch

Yellowstone Park is only half a day’s drive away from Eatons’ Ranch. Battle of the Little Bighorn National Monument, Fort Phil Kearny, Fetterman Massacre site, battlegrounds of the Wagon Box Fight, Tongue River Canyon, Bradford Brinton Memorial, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art and the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody are all within easy driving distance as well. Learn more about area attractions on our Area Attractions Page.


What our guests have to say:

“This incredible guest ranch is a walk back in time as the ranch buildings have remained much the same as they were when the ranch was established … with, of course, updates for comfort. Eatons is the oldest dude ranch in the US and history abounds here. It is also the only ranch which allows good riders to ride the range solo without the common ‘nose to tail’ trail ride. Their horse stock is certainly quality and the wranglers knowledgeable and fun! Instruction is also available. All day rides and summer overnights are popular for a good reason. Eatons has 7,000 acres to explore from wide open plains to mountain peaks of 10,000 feet and breathtaking alpine meadows abounding with wildlife from trophy elks to bears, antelope and an occasional mountain lion!”