My husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary in August and thought that going to a guest ranch , riding , and seeing wilderness out West might be nice. Any suggestions? Do you think it would be safe to go?
Check out Bitterroot Ranch in DuBois, WYO --other COTH peeps have been there as have my daughter and I. Owned and run by the same family for 50 years (I think, or pretty close).
When I was there in 2017 with my daughter, we met people from all over the world --NZ to Scotland, France, and Belgium.
The owners were comfortable speaking with each family n their own language! How cool is that! There are choices and chances for riders and non-riders to enjoy the ranch --the French family did a lot of trout fishing --and insisted that I sit with them to enjoy their fresh catch–my French is lousy but I remembered enough to tell them their fish were beautiful!
The horses are splendid --they are very proud of them --Arabs and QH. The staff is chosen from all over the world.
The Fox family really goes out of their way to become friends with all the guests. Daughter is a 3-Day rider, and I am a fox hunter --we were well-mounted on suitable horses as were our friends from Scotland who were rather non-riders.
We took a 4 day pack trip into the Wind River Mountains with Richard Fox, son of the owner, who grew up on the ranch as our guide. I have been waiting for a second longer pack trip to be scheduled (Richard’s wife Hadley had a baby, then COVID, and finally in 2022 there will be the 7 day pack trip I’ve been waiting for --they were only doing the 3 and 4 day trips in the past couple of years and not sure they did one at all in 2020.)
Other stuff: each guest is assigned 3 horses; there is a riding evaluation with you and your horses to make sure you are comfortable. One can ride two or three times a day (guests decide how often they ride) on the 20+ trails that cover the 80,000 acre ranch that shares a boundary with the Shoshone Reservation of 2 million acres where the pack trips go.
I always felt safe and comfortable on the horses I was assigned. If you have questions, Hadley answers all the emails --you’ll find a contact form on the website. She is very nice. https://www.bitterrootranch.com/,
Rainbow Trout Ranch in Antonio, CO. The owners are horse people and do a great job of matching horses and people. If you know how to ride you get a suitable mount and lots of freedom. The scenery is amazing and the hospitality is too.
Echo Valley Ranch in British Columbia. You will have to google it. It is close by where I live, but I haven’t been out there for several years now. Trail riding, western oriented, rides are geared to riding ability and experience, among many other options for recreation and activities. Top class accommodation I hear, but I haven’t stayed there. I did some “trail sweeping” for them about 10 years ago for a couple weeks. Expensive. They have their own air strip for private planes, or they used to pick people up at the Kamloops airport with their own plane. Don’t know if they still do that. Many international guests.
As for safety??? You mean from covid? Perhaps by then, many people will be vaccinated and travel will be allowed, and things will be as safe as they ever are. Individual cabins. The place has been for sale, I don’t know if it has sold or is still operated by the same people, but the owners lived there year round at the time I was out there. It’s remote.
Several other options also in this area, Big Bar Guest ranch, quite close to Echo Valley Ranch. Not as “fancy”, not as expensive as far as I know. Flying U Guest Ranch at Green Lake- it’s a fly in, land on the lake, or their air strip, or drive- it’s not far off the highway. People seem to like it, I haven’t been there myself.
Our area is well known for guest ranches.