Archive for January, 2012

Ranch Dogs…A Cowboys Best Friend

January 31st, 2012 by Amy Worster

After a long hard day of working in the great outdoors, where Mother Nature can throw anything at you, it’s nice to have some down time with your coworkers.  The wonderful thing about being a “cowboy” – is that your coworker is also your 4 legged friend.  In the Wild West – cowboys still use horses, and working dogs to help with their livestock operations.  The best part is… your K-9 coworker doesn’t require much other than a little love, some food, and they never worry about tomorrow.

There are a number of different types of working dogs, many of which have become household pets.  These dogs have the knowledge, and ability to work stock imbedded into their DNA.  You might notice the Australian Shepherd in your neighborhood  nip at your children’s heels and chase them around…this is natural behavior for these types of dogs.  They are merely trying to “herd” the kids.

Working dogs are very high energy, and very intelligent.  They require lots of exercise and mental stimulation.  This is why ranch life is great for them.  They get all the activity needed to keep them in good health, as well as, the challenge of moving large animals.  These amazing creatures with big hearts need proper training to perfect the skills that come naturally to them.  They can be dangerous and hard to handle without boundaries and training.

At Goosewing Ranch we have a couple of, what we call nontraditional ranch dogs.  Though both are working dogs, you can also trace the heritage back to use in herding and working stock.  Ruthy is past her days of catching much of anything other than a few winks, and it is dangerous and difficult for Concho because of his size. We will leave these two ranch dogs on chiseler patrol and greeting duty.  A special thanks to all of our furry K-9 friends and partners.

Come share this corner of North America’s wildest country with us! At Goosewing Ranch, we combine the Wyoming wilderness ranching lifestyle with many of the modern refinements in life. It’s sure to be an amazing, memorable “Dude Ranch” vacation here in amazing Jackson Hole!

Horseback Riding At Goosewing

January 30th, 2012 by Trina Packard

From our herd of 50 horses you will be assigned your own horse for the duration of your stay. Our head wrangler will match the horse and rider according to ability, physical requirements and horse temperament. Goosewing wranglers are experienced horsemen & women and will instruct you in our arena and on the trail on how to ride well. If all you want to do is walk and enjoy the scenery or beautiful Jackson Hole Wyoming, we have the perfect trail; if you want to trot and lope, we have rides appropriate for this as well.

  • Each ride is limited to 6 or 7 horses per wrangler
  • Riding lessons available in the arena or on the trail
  • Trail rides fit to your riding ability, beginner to advanced

Typical Goosewing Summer Itinerary

January 30th, 2012 by Trina Packard

Goosewing Ranch Archery

Sunday

Arriving late afternoon, you’ll have time to check out the ranch before dinner. With our wranglers teaching “Horse 101″, you’ll be excited to ride the following morning!

Monday

In the morning, explore on horseback the beautiful wilderness surrounding the ranch. Watch for deer, antelope, coyotes, bear, eagles, and more.
In the afternoon, you’ll have time to relax by the beautiful outdoor heated swimming pool before participating in archery. After dinner, enjoy the sunset fireside.

Tuesday

Start the morning off by trying your hand at fly fishing on our stocked pond and Gros Ventre River that runs through the ranch. By the afternoon you’ll be ready to get back on your horse! We offer morning rides today as well.
Enjoy cocktail hour by the pool, under the pergola overlooking the pond. After 0dinner, our lodge staff will get everyone on their feet for an evening of western dancing!

Wednesday

There’s still so much to see on horseback! Today may take you to Soda Lake- through canyons and plateaus, by old authentic cowboy cabins- or to the Grey Hills, which will offer you a stunning perspective on the valley, from atop cliffs overlooking the Gros Ventre River.
Perhaps this afternoon you’d enjoy a trip into Jackson for whitewater rafting and the rodeo.

Thursday

If you’re ready for a full day horseback ride, Teepee Creek or Bacon Ridge provide absolutely fantastic scenery. The Teepee Creek trail offers riding through the forest, canyons, and ridges with views of the Teton and Wind River mountain ranges, while the Bacon Ridge trail offers wide open spaces ideal for loping alongside the Gros Ventre River.
Spend the afternoon showing off your new cowboy skills with Horse Games in the Arena. Games include roping, bareback riding, and more! Enjoy a campfire under the stars after dinner.

Friday

Perhaps this morning you’d like to take out a Polaris Ranger to access excellent trout fishing upstream from the ranch. Or maybe you prefer another day in the saddle!
Dinner is by the River tonight with a special presentation by a mountain man. Expect cowboy poetry, stories of life in the 19th century, and a few surprises, all while we enjoy the campfire.
Saturday
Enjoy one last trip into the wilderness on horseback and take in the Western beauty! Participate in target shooting in the afternoon after a soak in the hot tub.
After dinner, join in the pool tournament, try your hand at poker, or just sit back and enjoy a slide show with pictures from the week’s adventure!

Swimming Pool & Hot Tub

January 30th, 2012 by Trina Packard

Goosewing Ranch has an outdoor heated pool, an outdoor hot tub and a brand new sauna and massage room. Our pool area has a deck with lounge chairs, perfect for sun tanning. Under the pergola, a shaded cocktail area overlooks the pond. Bring your swim suit and flip flops. Towels are provided, and robes are provided for adults. Spa treatments are available 2 days a week by appointment (Not included in the package.)

Overnight Pack Trips

January 25th, 2012 by Trina Packard

Riding the RiverA 2 day/1 night pack trip is included in the price of our 5 night package: 3 nights in your cabin at the ranch, then leaving the 4th morning for a full day of riding up Goosewing Canyon, night at camp high in the mountain, then a full day of riding through Teepe Creek, and last night back to civilization at the Rustic Inn in Jackson Hole.
A 3 day/2 night pack trip is included in our 10 night package: 7 nights in your cabin at the ranch, then leaving the 8th morning for a full day of riding up Goosewing Canyon, night at Teepe Creek camp high in the mountain, then a full day of riding following Bear cabin creek, 2nd night at Jagg Creek camp, last day of riding down Crystal Creek, and last night back to civilization at the Rustic Inn in Jackson Hole. Sorry, no children under 6 may participate in the pack trips.

Great people sharing a common passion

January 23rd, 2012 by Amy Worster

Goosewing Ranch is excited to be involved with the Dude Ranchers Association, or the DRA.  We recently returned from the DRA convention in Cody– where we met and mingled with fellow “dude ranchers”.

The DRA has been around since 1926.  Being a part of such a great organization brings us pride.  To become a member – the ranch must go through a two year inspection and approval process.  All DRA ranch members are required to represent the highest quality of western hospitality, while ensuring that all guests have a wonderful western ranch experience.  DRA ranches are also kept to the highest safety standards.

It was nice to get off the ranch and enjoy Cody Wyoming in January.  We enjoyed the company of our fellow ranchers – and shared knowledge of the industry, and of course good cheer!  We visited the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the DRA headquarters at the Heritage Center, and other historic hotels.  Cody Wyoming is a wonderful place… It is full of history, great hospitality, and located just outside the East entrance of Yellowstone National Park.   From wild mustangs to big horn sheep – Cody also has amazing opportunities for viewing wildlife.

Throughout the convention we enjoyed guest speakers from all around.  Some spoke about horse safety, and how to better prepare our wranglers for the summer, others about marketing and the latest trends.  We also meet with different venders that all have our guests’ best interest in mind.  They shared information on products such as cozy towels and linens, belt buckles and  souvenirs, as well as travel insurance.  (Look for our next blog on travel insurance).

The core principles of the Dude Ranchers Association are the “6 H’s”: Horses, Hats, Hospitality, Heritage, Honesty, and Heart.  Each one of the previous words beginning with “H” represent what dude and guest ranches are about.  Though our guests’ expectations have changed over the years, and we have evolved with them, the core principles of dude ranching remain the same.

We hope that with Goosewing Ranch being a part of this great association we can provide our guests with the best possible experience.  Remember dude ranches aren’t only about horses and rustic cabins; they offer many adventurous outdoor activities, classic culinary experiences, and modern amenities.  Come and let us share with you our passion for horses, hats, hospitality, and adventure, all while making lasting memories.

Come share this corner of North America’s wildest country with us! At Goosewing Ranch, we combine the Wyoming wilderness ranching lifestyle with many of the modern refinements in life. It’s sure to be an amazing, memorable “Dude Ranch” vacation here in amazing Jackson Hole!

A walk in the Park…

January 16th, 2012 by Amy Worster

For those of us at Goosewing Ranch once the snow starts accumulating, we start closing up shop.  Just because Goosewing is closed during the winter months doesn’t mean the Gros Ventre valley isn’t booming with life.  For many species, the Gros Ventre is a good place to call home for the winter.

As one might imagine winter in Wyoming can be brutal.  Now think what it might be like if you had to dig through a foot of snow every time you needed a meal.  The Gros Ventre might border Grand Teton National Park, but surviving out here is no walk in the park.  Elk don’t have the luxury of putting on a winter snow suit to stay warm, or opening the refrigerator for a meal.  They must use their front legs and paw at the snow until they dig deep enough to find the grasses underneath.  This will usually burn as much energy as they receive from the meal.  Though the Gros Ventre valley will see extremely cold temperatures, and high winds throughout the winter, it typically receives less snow fall than some of the surrounding mountain ranges.  Lighter snow pack and abundant grasses from the summer make this area a wonderful place to spend the winter, that is, if you‘re an elk.

Life isn’t easy being an elk – you have to deal with weather and deep snow packs, you need to avoid wolves, and be healthy enough to fight off diseases.  Finding an appropriate place to winter is the difference between life and death.  Ranchers have been feeding elk in the Jackson Hole area for close to 100 years.  This still holds true today in the Gros Ventre.  The Gros Ventre valley is home to 3 out of the state’s 22 elk feeding areas.  It makes sense to supplement feeding for them here since elk are naturally drawn to this area.   About 3500-4500 elk will spend the winter around Goosewing Ranch, and the feed grounds.  That number varies depending on the amount of snow fall in the area.  There is a lot of controversy about feeding the elk, but, right or wrong, it is wonderful to see them in our backyard.

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Come share this corner of North America’s wildest country with us! At Goosewing Ranch, we combine the Wyoming wilderness ranching lifestyle with many of the modern refinements in life. It’s sure to be an amazing, memorable “Dude Ranch” vacation here in amazing Jackson Hole!

Connect with us at Goosewing Ranch!

Our Website – http://goosewingranch.com
Facebook Community – https://www.facebook.com/GoosewingRanch
Twitter Handle – http://twitter.com/goosewingranch
YouTube Videos – http://www.youtube.com/goosewingranch
Blog - http://ranchstyleliving.wordpress.com/

“As the gateway to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the epicenter of guest-ranch vacationing in North America. If one acknowledges that this is the area that sets the standard, then the Goosewing Ranch sets the gold standard.”
100 Best Ranch Vacations In North America

Ever wanted to be John Wayne…

January 10th, 2012 by Amy Worster

Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming employs about 25-30 employees each summer.  Our staff is made up of full-time, returning and rookie employees from all over the world.  And, just in case you were wondering . . . you don’t have to be a REAL cowboy to get a job at Goosewing Ranch, just a cowboy or girl at heart!

Goosewing Ranch employees are able to spend their summer doing things most people only dream about.  Yes, you will have to work hard – but, you will be interacting with people from all around the world with exciting backgrounds.  Imagine: You are surrounded by wildlife and vast mountain views, where you can smell the aroma of horses in the cool morning air.  Goosewing Ranch gives you an opportunity to experience life on the ranch, while making friendships and memories that will last a lifetime!

Goosewing Ranch provides it employees with room and board, and the tools needed to succeed.  There are a variety of positions available.

So!  If you have ever thought about living in the Jackson Hole area, near both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks, and want to help others make their dream vacations come true, than we invite you to spend your summer with Goosewing Ranch.

Click here for more information.

Or email us your resume, work references, and photo to info@goosewingranch.com

Come share this corner of North America’s wildest country with us! At Goosewing Ranch, we combine the Wyoming wilderness ranching lifestyle with many of the modern refinements in life. It’s sure to be an amazing, memorable “Dude Ranch” vacation here in amazing Jackson Hole!

Experience Ranch-Style Livin’ – with Goosewing Ranch!

January 2nd, 2012 by Amy Worster

Deep in the Gros Ventre valley near Jackson Hole, Goosewing marks the entry point to a protected, pristine wilderness.  At 7,400 feet, the valley is host to some of North America’s most spectacular game: deer, elk, moose, antelope, bear, and eagles, plus fantastic scenery.  The location, surroundings, and spectacular views make Goosewing Ranch a unique, secluded and magical place.

This location, which so many of you have shared with us, is the main reason for Goosewing to begin this new adventure of blogging.  Thanks for joining us in learning more about our beautiful ranch, and the experience of ranch style living!

With a smaller capacity at Goosewing Ranch, our guests become like family.  We ride horses, dine and play together – creating memories that last a lifetime.  Our guests are the heart and soul of the ranch experience, and we would like to share some of your encounters, as well as keep you included in what is happening here at Goosewing Ranch.  We are excited to pass along some interesting information about the ranch in general to the world as well!

A big THANK YOU goes out to all of our guests for helping make Goosewing what it is today.  You have embraced Goosewing and made us a part of your family.  Your helpful suggestions and praise have helped us to better host the special families that come to visit us.  Now, Goosewing Ranch is able to give something back to our past, present and future guests – via a very personalized blog.

We invite you to share in our ranchstyleliving blog. Let us know about your experiences and we will continue to share with you the world of ranch style living in the amazing Grand Teton Park area of Jackson Hole!

_________________________________________________________________________
Come share this corner of North America’s wildest country with us! At Goosewing Ranch, we combine the Wyoming wilderness ranching lifestyle with many of the modern refinements in life. It’s sure to be an amazing, memorable “Dude Ranch” vacation here in amazing Jackson Hole!

Connect with us at Goosewing Ranch!

Our Website – http://goosewingranch.com
Facebook Community – https://www.facebook.com/GoosewingRanch
Twitter Handle – http://twitter.com/goosewingranch
YouTube Videos – http://www.youtube.com/goosewingranch
Blog - http://ranchstyleliving.wordpress.com

A family guest-ranch vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

January 1st, 2012 by Trina Packard

Goosewing Ranch Main LodgeThis summer, my family took a summer trip to Goosewing Ranch near Jackson Hole, WY. The ranch’s location is close to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, yet is very remote, situated in the Bridger Teton National Forest and bordering the Gros Ventre Wilderness.

Getting to Jackson Hole was surprisingly easy. I checked into flights into several different airports. I felt this was a once in a lifetime trip, so although I looked for the best deals (as times are tight these days), I didn’t want to take away from the overall experience.

I found that although flying into Salt Lake City and renting a car was an option, all of the major carriers do fly into Jackson, so we went that route, as it seemed much more convenient. The ranch quoted us $150 for a round trip shuttle, which was much better than spending over $500 to rent a car for the week.

We flew in on Saturday around dinner time, took the Alltrans shuttle into Jackson, and stayed the night at the Lodge at Jackson Hole, and I would definitely recommend this option for other families.

We explored town on Sunday morning; Jackson has some great museums and shops, antler arches, and the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The Boot Barn has cowboy boots and hats, essential items that we picked up before heading to the ranch.

Goosewing came to pick us up from our hotel in the afternoon around 3pm. The drive out to the ranch took just over one hour. Bison crossed from one meadow to another, heedless of our vehicle and ourselves. Their massive, shaggy heads and sharp horns kept us from the temptation to step out, but we were able to look back at the Tetons behind us.

The sites at the ranch were immediately inviting: the horses grazing in the pasture, the beautiful swimming pool area and pond, the lodge with its huge deck, and the adorable cabins. What an adventure the week would be.

The staff was introduced at dinner, and afterwards Tyler, the head wrangler, gave a talk about the safety and care of the horses and how to saddle them, since the first horseback ride would be in the morning.

On Monday, as we headed to the main lodge for breakfast, raindrops still clung to the wildflowers. As the sun began lifting the moisture from the hillsides, the mist blurred the vast landscape’s edges for a few minutes, making it seem even grander that it already was.

After breakfast, wrangler Kristen provided a riding lesson in the arena on Goliath, one of Goosewing’s horses. From there we took the trail toward Cowboy Cabin, an old log cabin that was used by real cowboys driving cattle through the area.

The history of the Goosewing is dated in centuries. The first Indians came without horses around three centuries ago, while the first French trappers wandered through with horses about two centuries ago. And this genuine line shack cowboy cabin has probably been used for a century.

On Tuesday, Goosewing’s fly fishing guide Kevin gave fly fishing instruction on the stocked trout pond on property. The location of Goosewing Ranch provides easy access to the Gros Ventre River, which runs through the property, as well as Crystal Creek, Fish Creek, and Soda Lake. These turned out to be great fishing spots for the amateur (me) or the fly fishing enthusiast (my husband), fiddling with his flies and determined to land a few Cutthroat trout, native to the area.

Horseback rides were also offered today, and the trail took us up Goosewing Creek and around to Soda Lake. The trail back to the barn through the sage brush was ideal for loping on the horses, and we crossed the Gros Ventre River on horseback, with the water coming all the way up to the stirrups. We felt like real Wyoming cowboys and cowgirls, yeah! And even more at night: after dinner around the grill on the deck, western dances kept everybody entertained for hours.

On Wednesday, some of us gave our horses a break and took the ranch’s Polaris Ranger out to check out the area. The road went all the way to the top of Gunsight Pass. From there, the perspective on the Gros Ventre valley was stunning and revealed the twisted path carved by the river. Inside this moose and elk territory, we felt we were part of a privileged few allowed to step back in time and explore nature the way our ancestors found it. This is what the Goosewing is about; people who leave nature pretty much the way they found it and take their rightful place among the creatures.

In the afternoon, we went into Jackson Hole to go whitewater rafting on the Snake River. Afterwards, the local rodeo provided the opportunity to see real cowboys- roping, racing, and bull riding. Wyoming weather took some getting used to; as soon as the sun set, we needed an extra layer to put on.

After a few days on horses, by Thursday the wranglers were ready to take us on a full day ride, up Teepee Creek, which allowed for the most splendid views of the valley as well as some steep climbs. Horseback riding in the Gros Ventre mountain range offered a variety of terrain and amazing views that seemed to go on forever.

Luckily we remembered to wear sunscreen because the high altitude caused the sun to be very intense. The air was dry too, so chap stick was a must have on the trail.

The activities at the ranch were sure to entertain the kids, while allowing the adults to feel like kids again too. Throughout the week, we tried our hand at target shooting, roping, and archery. The evenings had us on our feet line dancing or simply enjoying a camp fire outside the lodge. There was always something going on, but the atmosphere was very relaxed and the staff very personable.

On Friday, Goosewing’s own knowledgeable, professional guide took us to Yellowstone National Park. Getting an early start allowed for seeing lots of sites like Old Faithful, Lewis Falls, and West Thumb Geyser Basin. Our guide Duane knew all the best places to go, so no time was wasted trying figure out which spots to hit or skip. The drive to Yellowstone is through Grand Teton National Park, a great way to start the day.

Arriving back at the ranch, dinner was a cowboy cookout by the Gros Ventre River- barbecue brisket, roasted potatoes, creamed corn, baked beans, corn bread, cherry pie, and s’mores. A surprise guest showed up to entertain everyone by the camp fire and tell stories about real mountain men who first explored the Rocky Mountain area.

At dusk, we stood near the fire and watched a cow moose step out of the willows along the bank, nibbling on the branches as she went. The Milky Way was gleaming bright above our heads…

On Saturday, for the final day of horseback riding, the wranglers chose another full day horseback ride, this time to Bacon Ridge. A buckrail fence led my eye across the foothills and disappeared into the horizon. Craggy red cliffs emerged from the lifting haze, in sharp contrast to the violent blue of the Teton’s shadow.

The scenery was stunning as always, there were several areas where the horses were able to gallop, and more creek and river crossings on the way back to the barn.

Goosewing’s lodge host had compiled a slide show of photos from throughout the week -at the ranch, on the horseback rides, by the fishing pond, on the Polaris Ranger ride- to show after dinner, which we and the other families thoroughly enjoyed. I laid in my bed that night with the window open, listening to the river, imagining all the days and nights it flowed with no one around to hear or see it.

On Sunday, after breakfast it was time to say goodbye to the ranch, the horses in the pasture, our new cowboy and cowgirl friends, the casual dinners on the deck, cocktail hour by the pool, and the incredible sunsets over the Tetons. We headed to Jackson Hole in time to catch our flight.

On the way home, horseback rides and hikes were compared with elaborate stories about all the animals that had been sighted- elk, antelope, moose, deer, geese, herons, cranes, and swans were all confirmed. There was disagreement on whether a pair of trumpeter swans flew over, or if their necks were too short for that unique specie.

We love Goosewing Ranch, Yellowstone, and the entire Jackson Hole area.

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