Posts Tagged ‘National Parks’

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!

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!

2011 Girl and honeymooners 250Specials FI


All-inclusive and National Park vacations..Jackson Hole has it all!

April 5th, 2012 by Amy

Planning a family vacation or personal getaway can be a very overwhelming… Just deciding a region to visit is difficult. What will everyone enjoy, what is our budget, where should we go, what do we want to do, what does the area have to offer; these are just a few of the questions that help narrow the search. Then the more people and different age groups you throw into the mix only seems complicates things. When choosing a vacation for a family reunion, or just a private getaway, western Wyoming has a lot to offer…This year escape to Wyoming, where there is something for everyone!
The United States has 58 National Parks, and Wyoming is home of the Nation’s first, Yellowstone National Park. Bordering Yellowstone is Grand Teton National Park, with breath-taking mountain views, and abundant wildlife. Touring the country’s National Parks is a great way to get in touch with nature, have an educational experience, and see some of the most spectacular parts of our country. Another great option while visiting Yellowstone or Grand Teton is to visit guest or dude ranch. Ranches are typically all-inclusive vacations, including everything from taxes and gratuities to lodging, meals, and activities. Some of the basic activities one might experience on a guest ranch are horseback riding, tubing or rafting the rivers, roping, line dancing, target shooting, hiking, mountain bike riding and much more. Guest Ranches that are members of the Dude Ranchers Association are held to many high standards of service and operation. By choosing a ranch from the DRA you are practically guaranteed to have a wonderful vacation. At Goosewing Ranch we provide our guests with abundant, savory meals prepared by our in house chefs, authentic western hospitality with modern amenities, activities to keep everyone entertained, and a spa for those who wish to relax or relive sore muscles after a day of exhilarating experiences. Also, enjoy viewing wildlife in the Gros Ventre valley, or exploring the Bridger-Teton National forest on one of the Polaris Rangers. Guest ranches aren’t just horses, and barbed wire, it’s more of leather and lace, a rustic setting with resort amenities.
It is important to remember that there are many different types of vacations available out there. Why limit yourself to the same beach vacation, when you can have an all-inclusive guest ranch vacation and visit a historic National Park? Don’t think “City Slickers”, think of a true family vacation with experiences that will keep you smiling for years to come.

Preparing and Packing for your Goosewing Ranch vacation:

March 28th, 2012 by Amy

The countdown has begun and your summer vacation is quickly approaching. Now begins the task of preparing and packing. Packing for any vacation can be a challenge, and a guest ranch is no different. Whether you plan to pick up some essential items in Jackson, or bring them from home, we would like to give you some suggestions on what to pack and expect…

Remember, Goosewing Ranch is located at 7,400 feet in the Gros Ventre Mountains, the sun is very intense, and the weather can change drastically very quickly. Typically the summer months in Jackson Hole are very enjoyable, with mild temperatures and a dry climate. Expect, warm, and dry days, with chilly temperatures in the evenings and nights. The weather can be very different as you travel from Yellowstone to Jackson to the Ranch. We recommend always carrying an extra layer with you while traveling through western Wyoming. The ranch, town, and surrounding National Parks are all very causal and laid-back… You will be welcomed into most establishments in causal summer attire, or your cowboy getup.

Aside from you cowboy or cowgirl gear we suggest that you bring along… sunblock of SPF 15 or high, lip balm with SPF, and make sure to apply throughout the day. Hats are a great tool in keeping you cool, and aid in sunburn prevention. A cowboy hat works well, because it keeps the sun off your face and neck, just make sure it is a snug fit or purchase a stampede strap to keep it on your head. We also recommend bringing a thin long sleeve shirt; this will also help keep you cool and from getting too much sun exposure. We have found that fishing or western button up shirts work the best. For horseback riding, you will want to have a comfortable pair of jeans, and slick soled boots with about a ½” heel. We recommend this style of boot for safety reasons; bulky hiking boots could get stuck and shoes without heels can slide to far forward being very dangerous for the rider. Boots are fun for a night of dancing also. There can be a drastic temperature fluctuation between day and night, so we suggest that you bring a fleece or light jacket, for those of you coming in June or late September, bring a heavier jacket or more layers. Don’t forget your bathing suit, shorts, t-shirts, and comfortable hiking or walking shoes for touring the local area and parks. If you are planning on rafting the Snake River or floating the Gros Ventre bring a pair of water shoes or sandals that will stay on your feet. We have a guest laundry facility located near our cabins for your convenience. We will provide all riders with rain slickers, in case of an afternoon shower. We also have a number of items available for purchase in of gift shop, such as, gloves, hoodies, vests, lip balm, bug spray, sunblock, ball caps, and more… In your cabin for your pleasure are hair dryers, robes, mini frig, coffee maker, and eco-sential bath products. If you are planning on going on an overnight pack trip we suggest bringing wool socks, warm hat, and an extra warm layer. Please feel free to contact at 1-888-733-5251 or 1-307-733-5251 us or visit our website for more information.

Suggested Items to pack:                                                                                                                   Camera (w/ extra batteries or charger)
Western style clothing
Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
Lip Balm w/ SPF
Bug Spray
Hat (ball cap or cowboy hat)
Light jacket or Fleece
Slick soled boots with ½” heel (great for riding and dancing)
Thin long sleeved shirt (recommend fishing or western button shirts)
Jeans (comfortable to horseback ride in)
Bathing suit
Water shoes (make sure they will stay on your feet in the river)
Hiking or walking shoes
Personal items
Summer attire                                                                                                                                                                             Phone Card (for placing long distance calls from the ranch phone line) there is free Wi-Fi available

Average Temps:
June High and Low: 68 / 35
July High and Low: 76 / 42
August High and Low: 75 / 43
September High and Low: 65 / 33