Wyoming Lodge and Working Guest Ranch riding holiday in USA - Far and Ride
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Wyoming Lodge and Working Guest Ranch, USA





Reviews



Best vacation ever! Most unique experience. Both accommodation and food exceeded my expectations. (Favourite memory?) Seeing wild mustangs.

Jeanette F.
Kind hospitality, good horses, the staff have control of all details. Very nice!

Hilde B.
Excellent location, such a nice variety of rides, desert,river rock, meadow and amazing scenic views wherever we went. Fantastic in every way and just as depicted. Wonderful cabins, facilities and amazing healthy food and drink/wine. Excellent horse care and horses all in very good condition and saddles in excellent condition.

Virginia F
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mostly Quarter Horses, Mustangs and Rocky Mountain Gaited Horses

Nature of horses:

Horses are trained with Authentic Horsemanship methods. This results in brave, safe horses who are able to tackle difficult terrain and work the cattle.

Height of horses:

Approximately 14.3 - 16hh

Weight limit:

104kg / 230lbs

Tack type:

Western.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This authentic working dude ranch combines a touch of luxury with fantastic horse riding, horsemanship and cattle working opportunities. Situated in Shell Valley, Wyoming, the ranch focuses primarily on horse riding and provides excellent horses for all levels of rider - those just starting out are treated with patience and given the help of professional trainers, whilst the seasoned rider will be matched to a responsive mount and can enjoy the company of experienced guides and talented cowboys. Approximately 250,000 acres provide spectacular scenery for trail rides whilst the 1200 head of Black Angus cattle mean that there is plenty of cattle work and drives to be done. This is genuine cattle work required to keep the ranch in operation! Non-riders can enjoy excellent fly-fishing or other activities such as hiking, cycling, mountain tours or a trip to the shooting range. Stays are geared towards adults or families with older children who have some equestrian experience and who can enjoy the same activities as their parents.

The horses at this ranch are trained using Authentic Horsemanship (AH) methods and the trainers provide horsemanship clinics regularly. The wranglers are trusted professionals and skilful at matching guests with a horse which will provide them with a safe but enjoyable experience, whether out exploring the scenic Wyoming landscapes or working the stock. These horses must have the athleticism required to work cattle and the sure-footedness to tackle challenging terrain, as well as the confident attitude needed to face new things. The riding here is not "nose-to-tail" - the rides are tailored to suit the groups and are designed to be rewarding and varied. A diversity of scenery is also encountered during the cattle drives where authentic ranch work is combined with spectacular countryside. With around 80 horses and roughly 25 guests per week, the horses are regularly rotated and given the opportunity for rest. The cattle are dealt with in a low stress manner with good horsemanship playing a key aspect. During this cattle work you may even have the chance to see some wild horses who share the grazing.

Aside from the sensational horseback opportunities, holidays at this ranch bring a host of other delights. Guests are accommodated in western-style log cabins which provide a warm and well-maintained base from which to enjoy their stay. Beautiful lawns surround the cabins and the main lodge, hot-tub and swimming pond. There is also a choice of casitas or, for those wanting even more luxury, there are separate "homes" about a 10 minute walk away (see accommodation details below for more information). Food is an important aspect of this ranch stay with hearty western fare and gourmet dinners playing an enormous role. Delicious homemade breakfasts, tasty sandwiches (for the all day rides) or high class lunches and dinners are served in the dining room. The loft bar is the perfect spot to meet for cocktail hour every evening and to sample the complimentary appetisers!

The ranch strives to offer world class hospitality in all regards and prides itself on the quality of the staff, all of whom are treated as part of the ranch family. As an authentic 100-year old working cattle and horse ranch, with four generations of ranching experience in this same valley, you can be assured of the "real deal". All-inclusive stays combine outstanding horse riding, excellent food, quality accommodation, pampering and great hospitality for the ultimate western vacation.

NB. The ranch horses have Saturday afternoons and Sundays off work so there is no riding then.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Guests are accommodated in western-style log cabins which were built in 1992. These are kept well-maintained and are furnished to a high standard and decorated in warm colours. The five duplex cabins are connected to the Main Lodge, other cabins, hot tub and swimming pond by asphalt pathways which are well lit and surrounded by lawns.

Every cabin features a modern bathroom with a shower, a choice of a queen size bed and pullout sofa or two twin beds, a loft, air-conditioning and heating, wireless internet, satellite TV and phone, a guest handbook and complimentary snack basket, a mini-fridge with complimentary beer and soda (wine and spirits can be bought in the gift shop) and an outside porch with rocking chairs. Cabins are cleaned everyday with sheets changed mid-week. There are also bathrobes and complimentary toiletries.

If you wish to have a little more space then you can choose a casita instead - these are one-bedroom, modern western apartments and they are located in a two-story, four-unit log building with back porches and views over the orchard and Shell Creek. They are a short walking distance from the Main Lodge and as well as having all the amenities of the normal cabins, they also have an individual living room and kitchen, a king-size bed and pull-out sofa and a washer and dryer.

Separate luxury homes are also available on request.

The ranch serves hearty western fare and gourmet dinners. Fine dining is a large part of the experience here and each item is prepared using the best and most fresh ingredients. Many of the vegetables are grown by the chef in the ranch garden and a lot of the ingredients come from local farmers markets. The food is healthy with all meals made from scratch.

Breakfasts are designed to fuel you for a day in the saddle or your other chosen activities. Choices include eggs, pancakes, french toast and a breakfast buffet selection. Lunches are either tasty sandwiches (for the full day rides) or a proper meal served in the lodge dining room. Dinners are western-style gourmet food with either wine or a beverage of your choice. The dining room has large tables where you eat with fellow guests.

Once a week (depending on the weather) there is an outdoor cook-out. Here you can enjoy treats such as juicy Angus Beef.

Every evening there is a cocktail hour in the loft bar, prior to dinner. Complimentary appetisers are served whilst you enjoy a drink of your choice. Once a week there is after-dinner entertainment in the form of cowboy singers!

 

Activities

Non-riding partners can always be introduced to horse riding if they wish, but there are also a host of other activities available for both adults and kids.

Fishing and Fly-Fishing:

Some of the best trout fishing in the area is available here. Native cutthroat, rainbow, brook and brown trout are all found here and overnight guided fishing trips can be arranged. The Shell Creek runs through the property and Trapper Creek runs through further private property in the Trapper Canyon. There are also three stocked fishing ponds which are spring-fed. Lakes and streams can be found further up in the mountains and there are no Grizzly bears in the Big Horn Mountains so you don't have to worry about you or your catch getting eaten! There is an experienced, local fly-fishing guide and instructor as a member of staff.

Trapshooting:

Guests to the ranch have access to a trap shooting facility situated on site. Clay targets are shot up into the air and there is a choice between 12 and 20-gauge Beretta shotguns. Several wranglers are fire-arms instructors.

Overnight Stays in the High Country:

Depending on the guests and the weather, overnight stays in a mountain lodge can be offered. A minimum number of participants is required.

Dinosaur and Fossil Hunting:

The Red Gulch track site contains thousands of rare Middle Jurassic age dinosaur tracks embedded in limestone. The tracks were laid approximately 167 million years ago.

It is also possible that you can get involved in digging up dinosaur bones though this depends on the season and if palaeontologists are working at that time.

Mountain Biking and Hiking:

This unique location in the Big Horn Mountains offers a great variety of terrain and scenery for mountain bikers. Staff can suggest trails to suit your appropriate wishes, physical condition and map reading skills. Let us know ahead of time so that appropriate bikes can be arranged.

If you'd like to hike with a group instead of riding then that is also a possibility (or the two can be combined).

Activities for children who don't want to ride:

During the summer months the ranch welcomes families with children (7+). For children who don't want to ride there are plenty of other interesting activities such as floating on the Shell Creek, building dams, fishing, learning about horses and livestock, 4x4 tours, taking part in ranch tours, learning the basics of wilderness cooking, making fires etc. There is no strict 'children's programme' but if families with children come then the ranch try to suit activities to all. Children are treated as young adults.

4x4 tours in the Big Horn Mountains:

Mountain trails are open during the summer season and guests are regularly taken out to explore the scenery of the mountains. A picnic can be packed (to include wine, cheese and fruit) and this make a nice break from riding if you're tired or your muscles are sore. The ranch has two off-road vehicles available for these trips and a knowledgeable guide to tell you all about the wildlife and history of the area.

Rodeos:

Cody in Wyoming is the rodeo capital of the world and from June through August there are 90 rodeo shows, one each day.

Guided tours to Yellowstone, Big Horn Canyon and Big Horn National Forest:

Guided tours can be arranged using specialists who know the area. Please ask the ranch for more information.

Cookery Lessons:

The ranch chefs (culinary schooled) can teach you some of their culinary secrets if you're interested in learning how they cook up such a storm!

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, French and some German.

Health requirements: None specific.

Age limit: 7+. During the summer months (mid-June to mid-August) the ranch welcomes families with children. During the rest of the season the activities tend to be more adult-oriented. Children are always treated as young adults. There is no specific 'children's programme'.

Tuition: Lessons can be organised at the ranch for all levels of rider. Guidance, training and instruction is also provided on the trails.

Included: Accommodation, meals, wine with dinner, snacks and appetisers, ranch activities (inc. horse riding and cattle work), cocktail hour prior to dinner, state taxes and gratuities.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers and drinks and extras not mentioned.

 

Travel Information

The ranch is located in north-central Wyoming, at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains. Most guests fly into either Cody (Wyoming) or Billings (Montana). It is recommended that you hire a car at the airport so that you can make the most of other local attractions. We can provide driving directions.

If preferred then we can provide airport transfers from Cody (Wyoming): 70 miles from the ranch (1 hour drive), $225 per reservation.

Airport: Cody

Alternative Airport: Billings

 

Programmes


Classic Cowboy Guest Ranch Programme



This classic ranch stay programme incorporates horse riding with other ranch activities such as trapshooting, hiking, fishing etc. Riding can include trail rides, cattle work, team penning and horsemanship instruction and it is not a 'nose to tail' riding programme as you might find elsewhere. The emphasis remains on horse riding but you can do as much or as little as you like whilst non-riding partners can enjoy other experiences.

During trail rides and cattle work you can experience a variety of different terrain. This includes the high desert and canyons with altitudes ranging from 4200 - 5400ft. You will also explore mountain pastures, high alpine meadows and extreme upper country - you can reach as high as 9200ft!

Some of the grazing is shared with wild horses and during cattle work you might encounter some. Rides range anywhere from 2 - 6 hours and can be lengthened or decreased depending on your wishes. Cattle drives and cattle work are always full days. 



Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Beginner - Experienced.
Type of ride: Based stay with cattle work and trail riding.
Total riding time: Daily riding available. Trail rides range from 2 - 6 hours in length but cattle drives and cattle work are always full days.
Departure dates: 2018: Flexible from April to early November (Inclusive). Four night minimum stay.

Winter dates available from mid February to end March with a min booking of 8 persons. Contact us for details and prices.
 
Pricing: 2018:

Spring (1st April - 3rd June):
4 night stay (Sunday - Thursday): £2066. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £1756
6 night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £2346. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £1994
13 night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £5089. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £4326


Summer (10th June - 16th September):
4 night stay (Sunday - Thursday): £2202. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £1872
6 night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £2795. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £2376
13 night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £6051. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £5144


Autumn (23rd September - 4th November):
4 night stay (Sunday - Thursday): £2132. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £1812
6 night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £2505. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £2130
13 night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £5304. Child 11yrs and younger OR adult non-activity programme: £4509

Single supplement:
4 night stay: £182
6 night stay: £350
13 night stay: £817

Prices include accommodation, meals, riding orientation, horsemanship lessons, daily riding with real cowboys and cowgirls working cattle, daily scenic rides, all meals, cocktails (at cocktail hour), wine at dinner and on-premise recreation and entertainment (trap shooting, archery, hiking and biking, fishing, hot tub). Dinosaur track and site visits are included in June and July, and canoeing is included from June to September inclusive.

Please note that our prices already include 5% Wyoming state taxes AND 15% gratuities. The prices are per person.




Advanced Riding Programme - All About Riding!



A programme for the more advanced rider who want their holiday to be all about riding! This is ideal for those that want an intensive riding holiday or who would like to improve their western horsemanship skills. It is designed for experienced riders who are looking for more challenging riding with cattle work and trails at a faster pace.

Those wanting to take part in this programme are tested at the beginning of their stay in order to show that they can control a horse at all paces and over different terrain. You will have the chance to ride with some of the more experienced cowboys and wranglers who always use natural horsemanship methods which respect the horses in all circumstances.

This programme was added as many experienced riders have been disappointed with the riding opportunities at other guests ranches, which often do not allow loping or which restrict guests to 'nose to tail' rides to suit less experienced guests.

If you choose this programme then you can still participate in the other riding from the Classic Programme, should you wish to take it easy once in a while or join friends on that programme.



Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Experienced riders only.
Type of ride: Based stay with trail rides and cattle work.
Total riding time: Trail rides vary from 2 - 6 hours in length. Cattle work or cattle drives are always full days.
Departure dates: 2018: Flexible dates from April to November. Four-night minimum stay.
 
Pricing: 2018:

Spring (1st April - 3rd June):
4-night stay (Sunday - Thursday): £2066.
6-night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £2346.
13-night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £5089.


Summer (10th June - 16th September):
4-night stay (Sunday - Thursday): £2202.
6-night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £2795.
13-night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £6051.


Autumn (23rd September - 4th November):
4-night stay (Sunday - Thursday): £2132.
6-night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £2505.
13-night stay (Sunday - Saturday): £5304.

Single supplement:
4-night stay: £181
6-night stay: £350
13-night stay: £816

Prices include accommodation, meals, riding orientation, horsemanship lessons, daily riding with real cowboys and cowgirls working cattle, daily scenic rides, all meals, cocktails (at cocktail hour), wine at dinner and on-premise recreation and entertainment (trap shooting, archery, hiking and biking, fishing, hot tub). Dinosaur track and site visits are included in June/July and canoeing is included from June to September inclusive.

Please note that our prices already include 5% Wyoming state taxes AND 15% gratuities. The prices are per person.