Uniquely Wild

March 3rd, 2014 by Amy

Mountain sheepsLooking for a unique vacation experience filled with adventure, activity and western hospitality?
Even before you arrive at Goosewing Ranch, you get a taste of the beauty and glimpse of the wildlife the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has to offer.
Turning off of Highway 89/26 onto the Gros Ventre Junction Road, herds of “buffalo” (American Bison) roam leisurely through the grasslands on either side of the road. Bulls weighing approximately 2,000 pounds make a memorable and somewhat intimidating sight. You have entered their homeland as a welcomed guest. The numbers of these massive animals are on the increase after almost becoming extinct due to over hunting for their hides, horns and other valuable trophies. This is the start of your family’s adventure, a step back into the time of mountain men, Indians and the creation of this remarkable wilderness.
On your drive to the ranch Pronghorn Antelope are spotted in abundance, welcoming you to this land rich in history and unspoiled beauty. But this is only a small taste of what is waiting for you at Goosewing Ranch. Life slows down and you are engulfed in the magnificent surroundings.
While dining in the lodge you get a panoramic view of the splendor of the area. Horses leisurely graze in the lower pasture. Behind that is the Gros Ventre River, home to cutthroat trout and various river fish. Beyond the rapidly flowing water is a meadow, nestled between tree covered mountains. It is common to spot herds of Elk sauntering down out of the foliage to graze in the flat, grassy field. Then stroll back to the cover of the dense, lush vegetation. If you are lucky, you might spot a bald eagle perched on a tree branch, or fence post watching the activity in their territory.
At night, sit under the stars and listen to the wolves as they break the silence of the night. Imagine what the calls mean to their pack and to other woodland animals.
While horseback riding or exploring the area on your ATV, it is not unusual to see a moose and her calf. Or a bull lingering close.
The Bighorn species of sheep generally inhabit dry upland areas, from craggy mountains into semi-deserts. This species’ colors range from white to grey and dark brown. During the summer the males travel apart from the females and their young.
Bears are a little more difficult to find but are residents in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Bridge-Teton National Forest, all surrounding Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Black bears are likely to be spotted in forested areas near the edge or in clearings. Grizzly Bears are more prone to be found in large or open meadows. Last summer a mother Grizzly and her two cubs were seen several times in grazing land around the ranch. Remember if you see a bear, never approach it, keep your distance, they can run 25 miles an hour. The general speed of a horse is 25 to 30 miles an hour. That really isn’t a race you want to risk losing.
Don’t forget your camera. The opportunities to capture the presence of wildlife around the ranch are endless. Wyoming supports an abundance of wildlife in national parks, forest and wilderness. The geologic processes that resulted in varied terrain of Yellowstone and the Tetons have also determined where plants grow that feeds the wildlife.
Plant eating animals, survive where their food source can be found. Meat eating animals, follow their prey. Millions of years of geologic activity created the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and in the Jackson Hole valley, and account for the abundance of wildlife and plants found here.
The staff at Goosewing Ranch never tire of opportunities to share this wilderness experience with our guest. Are you ready for an experience of a lifetime?
Jay, Goosewing RanchTrout2012-07-18 04.06.09

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