purveyors-of-old-west-double-e.No Jacuzzi. No swimming pool. No special vegetarian diets. No “nose to tail” horseback riding … say, what kind of dude ranch is this, anyway?

First off, owners Alan and Debbie Eggleston don’t operate their Double E Guest Ranch for dudes. It’s a working cattle and guest ranch for folks who want to gather, tag, wean and move cattle, especially Texas Longhorns, which the Egglestons run on their nearly 30,000-acre New Mexico ranch on the Western edge of the Gila Wilderness.

Alan and Debbie purchased the ranch in 1996, intending to raise cattle, but the bottom fell out of the beef market, and the Egglestons quickly realized they had to open their ranch to guests or it would soon be in receivership. In 1997, they added guest quarters and began offering guests—15 maximum—horseback riding, roundups and spectacular mountain scenery.

In addition to its regular vacations, the Double E also has a women-only cowgirl camp, a working cowboy college and cowboy mounted shooting clinics. And for those of you with a cast iron butt, the Egglestons suggest their Wild Bunch rides, where you’ll spend six to eight hours a day in the saddle, covering 15-25 miles of rough, but grandiose, country. Of course, in the evening you’ll have to get the stiffness out of your muscles with something other than a hot tub.

— R.G. Robertson

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