Posts Tagged ‘Jackson Hole Wyoming’

Survival of the Fittest

June 3rd, 2015 by Amy Worster


Gros Ventre Slide seen from Shadow Mtn.

On June 23, 1925, a landslide on Sheep Mountain dammed up the Gros Ventre River with a high tower of rocks and dirt. Lower Slide Lake was born in the following flooding, only six miles from the town of Kelly, Wyoming. Over the next two years, the lake filled in, and the nature-made dam held. But in May of 1927, just before a huge election between Kelly and Jackson, a portion of the dam broke. The town of Kelly—which was favored to win—suddenly found itself under six feet of water, at least temporarily, and Jackson “won by a landslide.”

When you drive by Slide Lake, the scar of earth is still apparent on the mountain; an ugly welt of naked dirt among a landscape of crisp green pines. At the edge of the road above the lake you can see the gravel and rocks that were pushed as far as they would go and then abandoned, broken and forgotten about. Long-dead trees stand in solidarity near the center of the lake, barren and eerie but still very much present. There were things interrupted here, and the land can’t forget it yet.

Coming to Goosewing Ranch, I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to fall in love with the area, but I wasn’t sure if it was possible. I dreamed of being so happy here that I would stay, and that has a lot to do with where my life is headed: straight into a tunnel of Unknown, where thinking of my future is exactly like being caught in a landslide. When I got here, it almost felt like this was life pushing the pause button. Work here… and then what?

There is a group of trees at the base of Sheep Mountain that were not always there. Their place of origin was at the top of the mountain. When the landslide happened, the trees went with it. But instead of dying, uprooted, they replanted themselves. And we’re not talking a few trees, but a square mile of them. They found a safe place and stuck with it. The trees you can see today are the same ones from 1925, and that says something about these trees’ commitment to existence.

That’s the thing about sliding down a mountainside, or flying across the country to live in a new place: it’s foreign, it’s terrifying, but it’s most definitely survivable. And maybe it’s better than where we started, even if we don’t know how long this haven is going to last.


This is Sara Massery’s first season at Goosewing Ranch, where she is the Office Assistant. She hails from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has just completed her B.A. in English Writing and Literature at Emmanuel College. She’s very excited for the summer ahead!

The Beginning of a Journey

May 26th, 2015 by Amy Worster

sara at yellowstoneI graduated from college on May 9th, and six days later I was on a plane headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The time I spent in the airport—a total of about four hours across two layovers—didn’t feel real, and my impending adventure was suspended above my head. I had flown alone before to visit family, and this didn’t feel any different. When the plane touched down in Jackson—that was when it hit me: I was in for one unique summer. I walked off the ramp and almost stopped short.

Growing up in the western part of Massachusetts, I was used to the way the mountains encircled the town. We were in the foothills of the Appalachians, after all, and I liked their rounded tops and the way they protected my town from bad weather. These were different. These mountains were so sharp they could cut the sky if it got too close. Home, spring was in full bloom. Here, the air was crisp and light and there was still snow on the mountaintops.

On the day I arrived, the trees clung to the fog. The tops of the mountains were obscured by fat clouds that yearned to touch the ground. We passed Slide Lake and the Grey Hills, and around every corner I kept wondering, how close are we?

I know the distance of forty miles. On a highway, it would take less than forty-five minutes to drive. I thought the wilderness of the Gros Ventre River Valley and the Grand Teton National Park might be exaggerated, but nothing could have prepared me for the trek to Goosewing Ranch. The road passes the small town of Kelly and climbs upwards into the park. From there, it could be equated to a mild roller coaster ride. Sometimes you can see the road extend into the distance for a mile; other times you might question if it even continues after this hill; it is always winding and twisting. And my perception of forty miles changed—it took nearly an hour and a half to drive that distance here. Finally, there it was: the ranch spread out in front of us, as glorious (even in the rain) as the pictures that I had pored over during the previous months.

I wake up each morning excited for the day ahead, for the work we’re doing to make this ranch the best it can be for our guests. I am nearly bursting with excitement waiting for the guests to arrive, because they’ll make my new home come alive with activity. I’ve been here for almost a week, which is the same amount of time most of our guests will be here, and I know that’s not enough for me; I’m not done with this place yet. And I can bet you will feel the same.



This is Sara Massery’s first season at Goosewing Ranch, where she is the Office Assistant. She hails from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has just completed her B.A. in English Writing and Literature at Emmanuel College. She’s very excited for the summer ahead!

7 Reasons your next Family Reunion should be at a Jackson Hole Guest Ranch…

March 6th, 2015 by Amy

wagon ride family reunion 2014Planning a family reunion for any size gathering can be stressful.  With such a wide range of ages and diverse interest, it is hard to choose a venue that will please everyone.  Well, we believe we have found the solution to pleasing all.  Goosewing Ranch, in Jackson Hole Wyoming, has something for everyone; no matter their age or interest.

1.  Activities:  Having something that can keep everyone entertained is key.  Goosewing Ranch has activities for all ages and abilities.  There is horseback riding for beginners and advanced riders.  Target shooting, archery, UTV exploring, hiking, wine tasting, pool and spa facilities, arts and crafts, and even cattle work.  Let us handle the details and you can just relax and enjoy your family.  All these great activities are found right on the ranch.

2.  Menu planning:  From the young to the refined to the just plan picky…we have a menu option to that should satisfy all.  We know that you all want to eat together and enjoy each others company over a savory meal, but that not everyone enjoys the same type of foods.  At this Jackson Hole guest ranch you can eat together and enjoy the food of your preference.  With a menu for children, adults and the ability to accommodate dietary requests and restrictions, we have something hearty and delicious for all taste-buds.  The dining experience is also second to none, with breakfasts made to order, adventure based lunches, plated dinners and even cookouts, you will get a variety culinary options and dining experiences.

3.  A Place to Disconnect to Reconnect:  A family guest ranch is a great place to bond with your extended family through activities you might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.  Goosewing Ranch allows for families to talk without the constant distraction of phone calls and text messages, a place to escape the daily grind.  This is a place where you feel safe letting the cousins run free, while the adults reminisce their childhood around a glowing fire with a glass of wine.  This is a place where kids can be kids and adults can disconnect and reconnect as a family. Embrace each other and enjoy growing as a family through the various ranch activities and experiences.

4.  Making Memories through Adventure:  What better way to bond and embrace each other than through the many adventures you will experience on and around a ranch.  Watch each other shine while trying something new.  You might just find an adventure based activity you can’t live without.

5.  An exclusive all-inclusive Family Vacation:  With so much included in your package you won’t have to worry about what is for dinner, where you will explore tomorrow, or who is paying for the activity.  Goosewing Ranch is an exclusive guest ranch with all-inclusive package deals.  You will have meals, lodging, activities, and spa treatments for the entire family included in one package rate.

6.  Give the gift of Memories:  The world we live in seems to be all about staying connected and instant gratification.  A family reunion at a guest ranch is a gift you give yourself and your family, it is a gift that will last for generations.  The gift of memories!  We have been fortunate enough to watch families grow as they return year after year, generation after generation.  This is a special place made for creating special family memories.

7.  Educational Fun:  From the historic western frontier town of Jackson Hole to our nations first National Park, Yellowstone.  You are sure to leave with many fun facts.  The best learning environment is a fun and activity one, so what better place to get a little vacation education then in Jackson Hole Wyoming at a Guest Ranch.  You will learn about the wildlife, the cowboys and Indians, and the mountain men that were as wild and free as the wind blowing across the top of the Tetons.

Come join us at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming for your next family escape!

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Romance on a Jackson Hole Guest Ranch

February 12th, 2013 by Amy

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With it being Valentine’s Day and all we thought it was a good time to talk about Romance on the Ranch.   Yes, a Guest Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming can be very romantic, in many ways…  Goosewing Ranch has been host to just a couple of very special weddings, but have embraced many honeymooners, and couples looking to escape and enjoy each others company in a very beautiful place.  We aren’t talking about the mushy stuff here, we are talking about experiencing new adventures together, horseback riding, wine tasting and relaxing by the pool and spa, treating yourselves to couples massage, dancing,  photography and more.

While at the ranch we encourage couples to get out and explore the area.  Whether on one of the Polaris rangers for a picnic lunch in the National Forest, or to either Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks.  No matter where you explore  there are endless options when it come to photography.  This is a great way to make those special moments last,  we can also arrange for some spectacular couples photos, with a natural back drop that you must see to believe.

What could be more relaxing and romantic than spending a long weekend filled with exciting days and warm evenings cuddled up with your sweetie, and a glass of wine by the fire…  That is what you get with a romantic weekend at a Jackson Hole Guest Ranch.  BUT…Goosewing Ranch is more than just a great place for couples, it is also a great place to celebrate your true love with the entire family.  This is a great way to make lasting memories that all your loved ones will cherish for years to come.  With lots of daily and evening activities everyone is bound to be fully entertained.  This is a great way to get the family together to celebrate and anniversary or reunion.  We will even prepare your favorite cake for all to enjoy.

Try something different this year; do something that your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers will be jealous of… embrace your love in a beautiful area, filled with natural beauty and adventure.  We can provide all your meals, lodging, ranch adventures, and a romantic setting for any occasion.  Let us help make your dreams come true at Goosewing Ranch.

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What’s Cookin’ at Goosewing Ranch…

May 19th, 2012 by Amy

Woohoo… We are so excited to announce that the construction on our outdoor kitchen is finally coming together.  We hope that you will agree with us that this will be a wonderful addition to the ranch.  The new kitchen area or “Gazebo” as we are referring to it, is scheduled to be completed June 1, just 2 days before we open to our guests.

This is going to be a beautiful attraction with great views into our pool area, and horse pasture.  We will be able to serve meals, drinks, and just plain entertain in this great space.  I am most excited about the brick oven that will be going in soon.  Bring on the homemade breads, pizzas, and bake goods!

Now for those of you asking about weather, temperatures, and bugs:  we will be doing our best to make this an enjoyable space all season long.  The structure will be fully roofed, with lighting, a sound system, and inferred heaters.  For the mosquitoes, we have purchased numerous types of traps and killers.  We will be spraying the area early spring/summer, as well as operating mosquito traps during the season.

Come join us for some family fun in the Gros Ventre.  Our chef, Angel Garcia, will be serving up some amazing cuisine from basic ranch style food, to more gourmet meals.  Dude Ranching in Jackson Hole Wyoming has taken a turn and better dining is at the first corner, and it is no wonder.  With all the activities to do while on vacation out West you will develop an abundant appetite.  From hiking in the Grand Tetons, touring through Yellowstone National Park, horseback riding in the mountains surrounding Goosewing Ranch, or just relaxing at our Sleeping Indian Spa you will enjoy the delightful meals being served from our new Gazebo!

What the Heck is a Lariat?

May 4th, 2012 by Amy


The lariat is one of the most versatile tools a cowboy has at their disposal. I’m sure you know what a lariat is, even if you have never heard that term used. You would instantly know what I was talking about if I referred to it as a ‘lasso.’ Although most people use it as a noun ‘lasso’, is actually a verb. There is no faster way to flag yourself as a layman than calling a lariat a ‘lasso.’ Most of the people who actually use a lariat, however, often refer to it as a rope, and the act of using it, ‘roping.’

There are about as many sizes, styles, and options for ropes as there are for cars. You can get them in a variety of lengths, colors, levels of softness, and made out of a range of materials. The main thing lariats have in common is that they are slightly stiffer than ‘regular’ rope. A lariat needs to be stiff so the loop will stay open when it is thrown, and so the person using it can open and close the loop easily with one hand. The standard rope you see used at most rodeo events is made of braided nylon and is between 30 and 35 feet. These ropes are almost always used in the sports of team roping and tie-down roping. The goal in both of these events is to rope the cattle as quickly as possible. Although these ropes can be used for ranch chores, it is common to have what is known as a ranch rope for work around the ranch.

A ranch rope is a type of lariat that is much longer than its rodeo cousin. Ranch ropes can easily be between 50 or 60 feet long, and are generally not as stiff. Ranch roping is almost never the fast paced action you see in the rodeo arena. The big difference is that in ranch roping you have to deal with a herd of animals, instead of 1-on-1 in an arena. Ranch roping focuses on accuracy and controlling the movements of the animal. Much like a baseball player, ranch ropers employ a variety of different throwing styles. There is everything from your basic over hand throw to something called Johnny Blockers*.

You might be thinking that this all sounds good and well, but that it seems like an awful lot of work to learn how to lasso something. You would be right, but at Goosewing Ranch we would be more than happy to teach you. I have taught many people how to throw a rope in Jackson Hole Wyoming and it always seems like everyone else picked it up faster than I did. If you can throw a ball of any kind, I know we can get you lassoing something. I’m sure by the time your guest ranch vacation is coming to an end you will be hard pressed to stop lassoing your spouse, child, or dog. (In fact I can almost assure you that they will be politely asking you to stop).

*A Johnny Blocker is where you throw the lariat slightly in front of the calf, and then pull the loop back onto their head.

Wildflowers, the best in Jackson Hole…

April 2nd, 2012 by Amy

As the snow begins to melt and I am hearing all the birds chirping throughout the day, I can’t help but dream about the wildflowers in bloom.  No matter where I see wildflowers, they always seem to take my breath away, and cause me to stop and enjoy the moment.  But, in my mind there is no comparison to the wildflowers in the Gros Ventre.

Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Park are home to many spectacular sights and creatures; Goosewing Ranch is fortunate to be located in an area where we are surrounded by these things daily, and get a little of everything!  Wildflowers will bloom during different times of the summer depending on the elevation.  As you increase in elevation spring and summer can be slow to come into bloom, but as things dry in Jackson new life is forming in the mountains.
I have been fortunate enough to have ridden through many fields of wildflowers, and still the sheer beauty takes me by surprise…  A feeling of happiness and peace just seems to rush through me when I crest a hillside to see all the colors of summer opened to the sun.

While at Goosewing Ranch you won’t want to miss the opportunity to horseback ride, and enjoy a picnic in a field full of lupine, Indian Paint Brush (Wyoming’s State flower), Columbine, and more.  Not only are the flowers a beautiful sight and smell, but they also make for great photography opportunities.  Different flowers are blooming at different elevations throughout the summer, but the prime time to view them close to the ranch is from late June until mid-August.  The higher you venture the later you can see them.  Visit Goosewing Ranch and get more than just a vacation get an experience that will live in your heart for years to come.

Moose in the Gros Ventre…

March 20th, 2012 by Amy

As the winter is winding down and the locals in Jackson Hole are dreaming about their May vacations… the moose in the valley are still struggling to survive.  Goosewing Ranch is home to all sorts of wildlife during the year and especially in the winter.  We feel very special to be sharing our back yard with some of Wyoming’s most spectacular wildlife.

There is a lot said in the winter about wolves, and elk in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but at Goosewing Ranch we think that our Wyoming moose are equally as important.  Moose are sort of a gangly creature, but their design isn’t without purpose… Moose are designed to be able to move through deep marsh lands and snow packs.  Moose will feed on such plants as willows, and at times consuming up to 40lbs of the fibrous branches daily.  The males grow antlers called paddles, for their shape. They shed these antlers annually. Moose are typically solitary animals, but will at times be found in small groups during mating season, or when calving.

We are fortunate to have moose in the Gros Ventre. I think the best part about being in the Jackson Hole area in June is that the moose are calving. It is a special moment when you get to see a mother with her newborn calf standing underneath her. Remember that moose can move quickly and are very protective of the babies. Always give them plenty of space, and never allow your dog to chase or harass them. Like with most wildlife in this area winter takes a toll on the moose. They need to be left alone and not disturbed. It is very taxing on their bodies to be chased or pushed through the deep snow. The amount of energy and calories they burn during the winter can be the difference between life and death in the spring. Give them respect and space to ensure their survival. Remember to be kind to the wildlife and don’t poach the powder, so we can always enjoy the moose…


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 –

Facebook Community –

Twitter Handle –

YouTube Videos –

Blog –

“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

Unbreakable bond…Horses and Humans

March 2nd, 2012 by Amy


To many it might seem that skilled horseman (women) just jump on a horse, go, and make it look effortless…But there is an art to riding these magnificent creatures. Whether you are riding bareback in the Wyoming mountains, on a trail ride through Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park, or galloping through the country side somewhere else, the bond between humans and horses is unbreakable!

Horseback riding isn’t about breaking the beast; it is about becoming a part of that animal, and working together. Riding a horse is like trying to communicate with someone when neither speaks the same language. You must overcome insecurities, boundaries, and give each other the respect deserved. When we speak of communicating with horses it isn’t in words. It is in body language, movement, and pressure. I find it absolutely amazing that these massive animals will let us on their backs. If you look at it from the horse’s perspective, we are predators, and they are the prey. Their natural instinct should be fight or flight when they see us approach, however, they are trusting, and forgiving animals.

It takes a lifetime to truly understand horses, one is never too old to learn from a horse, or become a better horseman. How do we get a 1000+ pound animal to do what we want? First of all, we are not teaching horses anything that they don’t already have the skill, and natural design to do. We are simply asking them to correctly use their body, and do a certain task when we ask. Horses respond to pressure, and reward. Ask a horse to move to the left by putting pressure on the right, and reward the movement be removing the pressure.

Horses and humans have been communicating, and working together for centuries. We both have evolved and adapted to one another. Life in Jackson Hole without horses would be no life for me. The bond between human and horse is strong. It has been said that the cowboy who didn’t cry at his friends funeral, wept when his horse passed away. Horses teach us more than we could ever teach them. Humans have tried to break the horses’ spirit, but horses have seen into our soul and strengthened our spirit.

Come form a lasting bond, and experience the spirit of the horse first hand at Goosewing Ranch. You’ll never forget your first horseback ride in the Gros Ventre!


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 –

Facebook Community –

Twitter Handle –

YouTube Videos –

Blog –

“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

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