Git along little dogies! Cattle drive at Paws Up. Photo: Krista Rossow

We just launched our Best Spring Trips 2012 list and yesterday on IT we gave you three ideas for yoga-centered trips. But if the longer spring days are awakening the inner adventurer in you, then strap on some spurs, saddle up a horse, and read on for three trip ideas that will take you out of your element and into the wild.

If you’re hankering to get your cowboy or cowgirl on, head to the resort at Paws Up near Missoula, Montana. You can rent your very own home on the range (but with much more luxurious amenities than the first pioneers) and curl up by the fire in between outdoor excursions. Take a horse ride through the wilderness or put your equestrian skills to the test by driving cattle with longtime Montana cowboys. If you prefer four wheels to four legs, sign up for an ATV tour through the stunning landscape or take to the river and try your hand at fly fishing for an authentic A River Runs Through It moment. Plan your stay around Memorial Day weekend and be spoiled at the Montana Master Griller’s event with the best BBQ around…which can all be washed down with excellent bourbons and whiskeys.

Outdoor music in the Great Smoky Mountains. Courtesy Cataloochee Guest Ranch

The bloom-inducing spring weather makes it an optimal time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains. Make Cataloochee Guest Ranch your home base near the national park’s North Carolina side. Enjoy wildflower walks and birdwatching, horseback riding (starting in April), mountain hikes, and live mountain music in the evenings. It’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Asheville for dining and shopping — or swing by the Biltmore Estate to see how the Vanderbilts once lived.

If you’re craving something more epic, head to Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina on a 21-day overland trek with Dragoman to get a double shot of adventure and culture. On their La Paz to Buenos Aires trip (or vice versa), you can ride through the Pampa like a real Argentinian cowboy, or gaucho, while staying at an Estancia. You’ll also traverse breathtaking mountains and plateaus, including the famous Uyuni Salt Flats, and have time to explore the historic cities of La Paz and Cordoba. If you plan it right, you might even be able to squeeze in a tango in Buenos Aires.

For more inspiration for your spring trips, check out the rest of our Best Spring Trips 2012 list.

Head to South America to see Argentine cowboys, or gauchos, in action. Courtesy Dragoman

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