American Dude Ranch

American Dude Ranch

The dude ranch is America’s original Western vacation, and in my new book I trace the history and cultural importance of this buckaroo getaway.

Available from,, or order a signed copy for $25 by using the PayPal link below.

Reviews of American Dude Ranch:

“The American West defies simple description. As my grandfather used to say, ‘The West is not a place; it’s a state of mind.’ As Wild West shows brought the West to the world, dude ranches brought the world to the West. Lynn Downey’s book fills a special place in an overlooked area of western history. This book helps us appreciate the region’s rich history and culture.”

– Steve Weil, President and Chief Creative Officer, Rockmount Ranch Wear, and author of Western Shirts: A Classic American Fashion

“Lynn Downey has a passion for not only telling stories but revealing amazing historical facts too often buried by new trends. In this book she dives deep into the minute details that have made dude ranching what it is today. A great read showcasing an amazing industry.”

Bryce Albright, Executive Director, Dude Ranchers’ Association 

“An interesting, fun read for anyone that places dude ranching and dude ranchers in their proper place in the history of the West.”

– Russell True, past President of the Dude Ranchers Association and author of Dude Ranching in Arizona and Dude Ranching in Wyoming

Dudes Rush In

It’s 1952, and restless war widow Phoebe McFarland decides to change her life and leave her home in San Francisco to spend six months on her sister-in-law’s dude ranch in Tribulation, Arizona. But Tribulation soon lives up to its name when secrets from the town’s past collide with a shocking revelation of her own, leading Phoebe down a trail to both discovery and danger.

Available from,, or order a signed copy for $20 by using the PayPal link below.

Reviews of Dudes Rush In:

Dudes Rush In is the touching story of two bereft women, separated by decades, whose lives cross in the most unexpected manner.”

– Donis Casey, author of The Wrong Girl and Valentino Will Die.

“This page turner of a novel truly captures and illustrates the hospitality and ambiance of an Arizona dude ranch in the 1950s and even today.”

Bryce Albright, Executive Director, Dude Ranchers’ Association.

Now Available from

Lynn Downey

2020 WILLA Literary Award Winner in Scholarly Nonfiction.

Life in California’s Lung Resort for Women

Buy from your local bookstore or order a signed copy for $24 by using the PayPal link below.

My Books

The novelist wants to know how things will turn out; the historian already knows how things turned out, but wants to know why they turned out the way they did.

–Michael Korda



See the Publications tab for my complete works.


My consulting work has given me the opportunity to work with great organizations. Here is some information on a few of my recent projects.