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Wyoming Lodge and Working Guest Ranch

Overview

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…

Highlights

  • Fantastic horses with groups split for all abilities
  • Horses trailered to different areas for lots of variety
  • Glorious landscapes to discover on horseback
  • Plenty of non-riding activities on offer too
  • High-end accommodation and quality food

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 25 riders per group
  • Average of 2 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: Strictly 102kg / 225lbs / 16 stone

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.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Western.

Horses

Mostly Quarter Horses, Mustangs and Rocky Mountain Gaited Horses.
The horses at this ranch are trained using Authentic Horsemanship (AH) methods and the trainers provide horsemanship clinics regularly. These horses 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.
With around 80 horses and roughly 25 guests per week, the horses are regularly rotated and given the opportunity for rest. The ranch horses have Saturday afternoons and Sundays off work so there is no riding then.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Classic Cowboy Guest Ranch Programme is a based ride
  • Advanced Riding Programme - All About Riding! is a based ride

Ages

8+. Children are treated as young adults. There is no specific 'children's programme' offered and family time is encouraged.

Health

None specific.

Weight

Strictly 102kg / 225lbs / 16 stone

Food & Accommodation

Food

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!

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 outdoor heated swimming pool by paved 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.

Itineraries

Classic Cowboy Guest Ranch Programme Standard accommodation.

Advanced Riding Programme - All About Riding! Luxury accommodation.

Other 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. These include swimming in the pool, fishing/fly-fishing, trapshooting, dinosaur and fossil hunting, mountain biking, hiking, children's activities, 4x4 tours in the Big Horn Mountains, rodeos, guided tours (Yellowstone, Big Horn Canyon and Big Horn National Forest) and cookery lessons.

Please contact us for more detailed information about these activities.

Travel

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) for an additional charge.
Pick-ups are available between 12:30 and 5pm only on Sundays.
Drop-offs are available on Thursdays or Saturdays only and earliest departure is 7am.

Check-in is after 2pm (14:00) on Sunday and Check-out is by 10am the following Saturday (6/13 night packages) or Thursday (4 night packages).

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

Check-in time on arrival day is 2pm or later and there is no riding that afternoon, but you will be offered a ranch tour followed by cocktail hour and dinner.

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 2 - 6 hours

The itinerary is flexible and you can ride as much or as little as you like.

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. 

If staying for two weeks (13 nights) then there is no riding on Sunday.

Day 7 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Check-out is 10am and no riding is offered on departure day.

Accommodation

Each night is spent 5 guest cabins comprised of two guest quarters which may be connected to house families or groups. Each cabin has a modern bathroom and private porch.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities welcomed

Minimum group size 6
Maximum group size 25
Departure windows

At any time during: April 4, 2021 - Nov. 10, 2021  (Sunday arrivals. Four night stays only possible in Spring and Autumn.)

At any time during: March 27, 2022 - Oct. 30, 2022  (Sunday arrivals and Saturday departures)

Pricing

2021
Adult sharing; 6 night stay; Autumn (19th September - 10th November)
£2575 $3560 €3055
2022
Adult sharing; 6 night stay; Autumn (2-30 October)
£2835 $3920 €3365
2022
Adult Sharing; 6 night stay; Summer (29 May - 25 September)
£3120 $4315 €3700
2022
Adult Sharing; 6 night stay; Spring (27 March - 22 May)
£2595 $3590 €3080
Included Accommodation, meals, snacks and aperitifs, cocktails (at cocktail hour), wine at dinner, riding orientation, horsemanship lessons, daily riding, working cattle and all ranch based activities 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. Prices already include 5% Wyoming state taxes AND 15% gratuities.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, airport transfers, drinks and extras not mentioned.

Extras

2021 - Cody Airport Transfer £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
Cody airport transfers, return. Price is based on one passenger. Each additional passenger pays an extra USD$ 50 Please contact us for 2022 rates - if you cannot prove vaccination status and wear a mask in the vehicle then you have to hire a car and drive yourself.
2022 - Single Supplement £415 $570 €490
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Single Supplement (6 night stay) £410 $570 €490
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Non-Activities stay 15% discount for those choosing to stay on a board and lodge basis only (no activities included)
2021/2022 - Child discount (aged 11 years and under) 15% discount on the adult rates for children aged 8-11 years.
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.

Check-in time on arrival day is 2pm or later and there is no riding that afternoon, but you will be offered a ranch tour followed by cocktail hour and dinner.

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 2 - 6 hours

The itinerary is flexible but includes 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.

If staying for two weeks (13 nights) then there is no riding on the middle Sunday as this is a rest day for horses and wranglers.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

Check-out is 10am and there is no riding before departure.

Accommodation

Each night is spent 5 guest cabins comprised of two guest quarters which may be connected to house families or groups. Each cabin has a modern bathroom and private porch.

Experience Experienced

Experienced riders only

Minimum group size 6
Maximum group size 10
Accommodation for up to 25.
Departure windows

At any time during: April 4, 2021 - Nov. 10, 2021  (Arrival Sundays. Four night stays only available in Spring and Autumn.)

At any time during: March 27, 2022 - Oct. 30, 2022  (Arrival Sundays and departure Saturdays)

Pricing

2021
Adult sharing; 6 night stay; Autumn (19th September - 10th November)
£2575 $3560 €3055
2022
Adult sharing; 6 night stay; Autumn (1-30 October)
£2835 $3920 €3365
2022
Adult sharing; 6 night stay; Summer (29 May-25 September)
£3120 $4315 €3700
2022
Adult sharing; 6 night stay; Spring (27 March-22 May)
£2595 $3590 €3080
Included Accommodation, meals, snacks and aperitifs, cocktails (at cocktail hour), wine at dinner, riding orientation, horsemanship lessons, daily riding, working cattle and all ranch based activities 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. Prices already include 5% Wyoming state taxes AND 15% gratuities.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, airport transfers, drinks and extras not mentioned.

Extras

2021 - Cody Airport Transfer £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
Cody airport transfers, return. Price is based on one passenger. Each additional passenger pays an extra USD$ 50. Please contact us for 2022 rates - if you cannot prove vaccination status and wear a mask in the vehicle then you have to hire a car and drive yourself.
2021 - Single Supplement (6 night stay) £410 $570 €490
Paid to Far and Ride
2022 - Single Supplement (6 night stay) £415 $570 €490
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Non-Activities stay 15% discount for those choosing to stay on a board and lodge basis only (no activities included)
2021/2022 - Child discount (aged 11 years and under) 15% discount on the adult rates for children aged 8-11 years.
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.