Ask a Question

Check Availability

Bitterroot Ranch (Wyoming)

Overview

This family-run working ranch, set in a remote valley bordering Shoshone National Forest, offers 50 square miles of unspoilt mountainous wilderness. Near to Yellowstone Park and with snow-capped mountains always in view, the ranch provides a variety of riding opportunities including tuition with ce…

Highlights

  • Ride through stunning unspoilt wilderness of Wyoming
  • Admire snow-capped mountains and beautiful forests
  • Choose to try cattle work or take lessons if you wish
  • Non-riders are offered superb fly fishing and hiking
  • Enjoy spectacular home-cooked and ranch-produced meals

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 12 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2lbs

Description

This family-run working ranch, set in a remote valley bordering Shoshone National Forest, offers 50 square miles of unspoilt mountainous wilderness. Near to Yellowstone Park and with snow-capped mountains always in view, the ranch provides a variety of riding opportunities including tuition with certified instructors, a cross country course, team sorting, herding cows, cattle drives, roundups, pack trips and trail rides. The Fox family have been running this operation for more than 30 years and provide a relaxed and friendly holiday atmosphere for their guests.

Although a dude ranch offering traditional cabin accommodation and real cowboy experiences, this destination is less typical than most due to its suitability for a riding holiday and the staff's passion for horses. Quality riding is the aim of the game and the hosts are especially proud of their stunning purebred Arabians, many of which are trained and raised on the ranch. As a family farm, the ranch is also home to sheep, llamas, ducks, geese, chickens, peacocks, dogs and cats.

There is a wonderful family ambience on the ranch as the Fox family join their guests at meal times and lead many of the rides personally. The owner, Bayard, also enjoys joining his guests for some fly fishing, another favourite sport at the ranch. The cuisine here is of a high standard and features ranch-raised beef and lamb, homegrown salads and freshly baked bread, with delicious wine to complement it. After enjoying a meal with newfound friends, guests retire to their individual log cabins which are located along the river and offer spectacular views.

Horses & Riding

Tack

For the most part, guests will be using Western tack for trail riding (unless a very experienced rider) and English for XC jumping and lessons if desired. Tack is all well-maintained and of a high standard.

Horses

The Fox family ranch is home to a 135-strong herd of horses, containing a mix of breeds including their prized pure-bred Arabians, Quarter Horses, Mustangs, Appaloosas, Percherons and Welsh ponies. There certainly is a horse for everyone here!

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • Ranch Stay is a based ride
  • Range Rider Week (with Cattle) is a based ride
  • Riding & Yoga Week is a based ride

Ages

None for guests, riders must be 4+ (there are some lovely Welsh ponies for older children riders)

Health

Fit & healthy

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Good food is seen as an important part of life on the ranch and salads are picked fresh from the garden, bread is baked in the kitchen ovens and the beef and lamb are ranch-raised to ensure their quality. Below are some examples of meals, yum!

Breakfast: Eggs cooked to order, bacon, sausages and toast. Also on offer is fresh fruit, muffins, cereal, orange juice and traditional steel cut oats which are cooked overnight (a house favourite).

Lunch:

- Rainbow, Cutthroat or Brown Trout, (fresh from the line of Bayard or his guests!) baked in White Wine, Almonds and Parsley
- Sun Dried Tomato, Feta and Thyme Quiche
- Organic Home Reared Beef Bolognese, with Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Home Baked Olive Rosemary Bread
- Organic Home Grown Green Salad with Arugula, Beet Leaves and Frisee Lettuce
- Twice Baked Cheddar Soufflé
- Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Lemon Hazelnut Biscotti.
- Fresh Mango Syllabub

Dinner:

- Organic Home Reared Natural Beef Fillet with Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes, Fresh Vegetables and a Red Wine Jus
- Stuffed Pumpkin with Wild Rice and Mushroom Risotto
- Spinach, Pear and Stilton Salad with Raspberry Walnut Dressing
- Honey Baked Ham with Cheese and Parsley Baked Potatoes and Sugar Glazed Carrots
- Organic Home Reared Natural Lamb Chops with Roast Vegetables and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Seared Fillet of Salmon with Lemon Dill Hollandaise, Steamed Asparagus and Braised Portobello Mushrooms
- Belgian Chocolate Pots
- Fresh Raspberry and Blueberry Millefeuille
- Sticky Toffee Pudding and English Custard

Accommodation

Accommodation is in a series of traditional style cabins, all of which have been modernised over the 40 years that Bitterroot has been a dude ranch. All the cabins feature electric heating and showers, some also having wood burning stoves and most being equipped with bathtubs. There are a variety of sleeping arrangements available within the cabins and they are designed with authenticity in mind, keeping the rustic charm of a the bygone cowboy era. The main lodge (where guests gather for meals and to socialise in evenings) features a large stone fireplace and broad porch, the perfect setting in which to enjoy your ranch experience and to talk with new friends.

Itineraries

Ranch Stay Standard accommodation.

Range Rider Week (with Cattle) Standard accommodation.

Riding & Yoga Week Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

The second biggest passion at the ranch (after the riding of course) is fly fishing. There are wonderful opportunities here to fly fish for trout in the ranch's private stream and stocked pond, as well as in neighbouring lakes and rivers.

The East Fork Wind River runs through the ranch lands for over a mile and is home to many Cutthroat trout between 8 and 14 inches long, some having been caught as big as 20 inches. There are also excellent gorges and two ponds which house rainbow trout of up to 5Ibs. Your host has caught trout up to 10lbs and as well as the Cutthroat and Rainbow trout, Brown and Brook trout are also living in local waters.

Hiking in the area is top notch and destinations include a former hideout of Butch Cassidy from the 1890s and visits to the cedar sheep traps made by the Sheep Eater Indians 150 years ago. Other hiking opportunities include trails to old Indian campsites, a trip to Castle Rock and even the chance to see the petrified bones of a coryphodon, a mammal which roamed the lands 45-60 million years ago.

There is a variety of wild flowers and trees on the ranch, the most notable of course being the Bitterroot after which the ranch is named. This is a nutritious root which was prized by the Indians who dried and stored them over winter. The roots were too bitter for Europeans! Guests can also see Evening Primroses, Larkspurs, Mountain Bluebells, Cushions Flox, Mountain Strawberries, Lance Leaf Stonecrop, Lupines and Indian Paintbrushes. Some of the stunning trees and shrubs which add to the ranch's beauty are Quaking Aspen, Cottonwood, Rocky Mountain Juniper, Limber Pine, Engelman Spruce, Sagebrush, Willow and Silverberry. These plants and the other fascinating wildlife of the area make Bitterroot a beautiful environment in which to enjoy some top class riding or fishing.

Travel

You should ideally fly to Riverton (Wyoming) or Jackson Hole. We can suggest transport companies to transfer you to the ranch.

Testimonials

Lisa D., Aug. 25, 2011

The trip of a lifetime, absolutely amazing. Fantastic scenery, amazing horses, great people, delicious food, a week was no where near long enough. Breathtaking! The staff were brilliant and the service was spot on all the time, I was made to feel very welcome, couldn't fault it - perfect. The wranglers were all amazing, knowledgeable, great people.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Sunday - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive and settle into your accommodation. There is no riding on Sundays, but you can make yourself at home and relax in the beautiful surroundings.

Days 2 to 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

A typical week at Bitterroot begins with a short demonstration of riding techniques and then guests are evaluated for their riding style and ability. There is a broad selection of horses and the hosts will match horse and rider carefully to ensure safety and maximum enjoyment. Experienced guides lead out small groups (which are divided by ability) for 2-3 hour morning and afternoon rides.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings there are video taped lessons available for anyone wanting to improve their riding. The cross country course is available for experienced riders who will first be assessed in a school to check that they will not interfere with their horse's jumping ability. Friday afternoons bring friendly team sorting competitions which introduce guests to cattle work. Saturday is a final all day picnic ride. During July, August and September this often involves moving cattle to different parts of the grazing in the National Forest.

Day 8 - Sunday - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Depart after breakfast.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in one of the guest cabins at the ranch, with private bathrooms.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

Beginner to Experienced (riding groups are divided by ability)

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

At any time during: May 30, 2021 - Sept. 26, 2021  (Arrive/depart on Sundays)

Pricing

2021
Non-Rider, sharing
£1360 $1925 €1580
2021
Rider, sharing
£2135 $3025 €2485
Included Accommodation, all meals, wine with dinner and some soft drinks, daily riding (except Sunday), fishing, taxes and gratuities
Not included Flights, transfers, other drinks, travel insurance & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement £230 $330 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Child discount Children aged 4 - 15 years: 25% discount
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

Arrive at the ranch and settle into your comfortable log cabin. You can join fellow guests for cocktails on the porch of the ranch at 6.30 pm, a great chance to get to know everyone. This will be followed by a BBQ and bonfire by the river (weather permitting).

Day 2 - Monday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After a hearty ranch breakfast, everyone will gather by the corral at approx. 9.15 am for an introduction to the wranglers and a short demonstration of the riding techniques used on the ranch. Mount up for a ride in the ring and a brief evaluation to ensure you are well matched to your horse, tack, and fellow riding group. Once everyone is happy and comfortable, it is off on your first trail ride of the week! Returning to the ranch in time for lunch at approx. 12.30 pm, you'll have a bit of time to relax before getting back in the saddle for the afternoon session. This time you may be exploring a different area of the vast empty range that surrounds the ranch. Getting back from your ride around mid-afternoon will give you time to shower and change before cocktail hour.

Day 3 - Tuesday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

This morning will give guests the chance to take a western riding lesson, which can also be videotaped so that you can see your own improvements. For those who are now more comfortable in the saddle, there will be a long ride into the National Forest followed by a shorter, faster afternoon ride. Cocktails are at 6:00 pm with dinner soon after in July and August, which will accommodate those who wish to join the weekly square dance event in Dubois, starting at 8.00 pm.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today you might set off into the National Forest to the East Fork basin section of the ranch range. You might be checking the fences along the border with the Indian Reservation, riding through groves of aspen, hidden meadows and open pine forest before heading over into the Alkali section of the range.

Day 5 - Thursday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Again, today may consist of checking fences and cattle movements in the Alkali section, perhaps heading up high near the base of Castle Rock to get a good vantage point over the lay of the land. You will be riding through vast open meadows, interspersed with pockets of aspen and pine. The spectacular Wind River Mountain range can always be viewed on one side, with the Absaroka Mountains on the other. In the afternoon you will make your way back to the ranch for cocktails and dinner.

Day 6 - Friday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today, a long morning ride may be followed by a friendly team sorting competition in the afternoon (in July, August and September). After gathering the cattle and driving them to the arena, four team members will attempt to drive ten Highland yearlings in numerical order from one end of the ring to the other, in under 4 minutes. You will find that the cattle never comply with the best-laid plans... Cocktails are at 6:00 pm and dinner will again be early in July and August so that guests can make it to Dubois by 8.00 pm to watch the local rodeo!

Day 7 - Saturday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today may comprise an all-day picnic ride that takes you high into the National Forest. There is often an opportunity to herd cattle from pasture to pasture this day, depending on their movements over the range.

Day 8 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast and a sad farewell to new found friends.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in one of the guest cabins at the ranch, with private bathrooms.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

Beginner - Experienced riders accepted; Riding groups are divided by ability, but those of an intermediate level or higher will be able to make the most of this experience.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

Aug. 1, 2021 - Aug. 8, 2021

Aug. 29, 2021 - Sept. 5, 2021

Pricing

2021
Rider, sharing
£2215 $3135 €2575
Included Accommodation, meals, wine with dinner and some soft drinks, daily riding (except Sunday), taxes and gratuities
Not included Flights, transfers, other drinks, travel insurance & personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement £230 $330 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

Arrive at the ranch and settle into your comfortable log cabin. Cocktails will be served on the ranch porch at approx. 6:30 pm followed by a BBQ dinner and the chance to get to know your hosts, fellow guests and yoga instructor.

Day 2 - Monday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

c. 7:30- 9:00 am: Breakfast will be made to order during this time period each day.

c. 9:30-11:30 am: Join your yoga practitioner for the morning yoga session - this practice is designed to wake the body up and begin to connect your mind and being. You will practice postures from the Vinyasa system with a focus on alignment and breath.

c. 12:30 pm: Gather at the main lodge for lunch.

c. 2:45 pm: Meet at the Corral for an introduction to the wranglers and a short demonstration of the riding techniques used on the ranch. Mount up for a ride in the ring and a brief evaluation to ensure you are well matched to your horse, tack, and fellow riding group. Once everyone is happy and comfortable, it is off on your first trail ride of the week! There are seemingly endless and diverse destinations with varied terrain to be explored and no ride will be repeated during your week-long stay.

c. 6:00 pm: A light evening yoga practice will allow you to focus on post riding stretches.

c. 6:30 pm: Cocktails before dinner.

Day 3 - Tuesday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

c. 7:30 to 9:00 am: Breakfast will be served at the main lodge.

c. 9:15 am: You will meet at the corrals for a morning trail ride or you may choose to take a lesson centred around riding technique. During your lesson, you will begin to recognise the comparisons between balanced riding technique and body awareness developed through yoga practice.

c. 12:30 pm: Lunch back at the ranch.

c. 3:30 pm: You will meet at the large Yurt in order to practice additional postures from the Vinyasa system and build on your repertoire.

c. 6:00 pm: Cocktails and dinner at the main lodge.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

c. 7:30 - 9:00 am: Breakfast at the main lodge.

c. 9:15 am: This morning you can choose between a trail ride or another lesson in the arena, as per your preference.

c. 12:30 pm: Lunch back at the ranch.

c. 3:30 pm: Another afternoon yoga session to help ease out any post-riding tweaks.

Day 5 - Thursday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

c. 9:00 am: Following breakfast today, you will head out for a long picnic ride into the high mountains surrounding the ranch. Once you arrive at your picnic spot, you will have the chance to take a long break in the wilderness for a Yoga/meditation session followed by a tasty picnic and a gentle ride back to the ranch in the afternoon.

c. 6:00 pm: Another light Yoga practice focusing on post riding stretching.

c. 6:30 pm: Cocktails and dinner at the lodge.

Day 6 - Friday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

c. 7:30 - 9:00 am: Breakfast at the main lodge.

c. 9:30 am: You will enjoy a morning yoga session to wake up and refresh the mind and body.

c. 12:30 pm: Lunch at the lodge.

c. 2:45 pm: In the afternoon you will spend some time helping the wranglers to move the ranch cattle and even participate in a team sorting competition - an opportunity to use your new found riding skills with a fun old cowboy game!

c. 6:00 pm: Cocktails and dinner at the main lodge.

Day 7 - Saturday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

c. 7:30 - 9:00 am: Breakfast served at the main lodge.

c. 9:15 am: You will have a chance to enjoy a last morning trail ride around the ranch or a lesson if preferred.

c. 12:30 pm: Lunch back at the ranch.

c. 3:30 pm: An afternoon yoga session allowing you to practice what you have learnt from all your experiences during the week.

c. 6:00 pm: Cocktails and dinner at the main lodge.

Day 8 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast and a sad farewell to new found friends.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in one of the guest cabins at the ranch, with private bathrooms.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All levels of riding and yoga ability are welcome

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

July 12, 2021 - July 19, 2021

Aug. 22, 2021 - Aug. 29, 2021

Pricing

2021
Rider, sharing
£2330 $3300 €2710
Included Accommodation, meals, wine with dinner and some soft drinks, daily riding (except Sunday), yoga practice with qualified instructor, taxes and gratuities.
Not included Flights, transfer, additional drinks, travel insurance & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement £230 $330 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.