All Inclusive Family Vacation

_SRS2021As a general rule of thumb, parents have a lot of questions for us, even after they’ve made a reservation.

What will we be doing? How does a typical day go? Will there be enough good food?

It makes sense to me to want to question these things. On the parent’s end, they’ve been planning, planning, planning. What to pack, when to leave for the airport, flights, and rental cars… the list goes on. But once they arrive at Goosewing Ranch? What should they expect? How should they prepare?

At Goosewing Ranch, guests disconnect from their hectic lives to reconnect with each other. Our remote location lends a helping hand to parents whose teenagers (or spouses!) won’t put down their phones. We want our guests to create lasting memories with their families through experiences and adventures.

We are an all-inclusive guest ranch, designed with families in mind—and the “all-inclusive” part relieves stress in our guests. In our rates, you’re securing your lodging, three meals a day (plus snacks!), and all the on-ranch activities you want to do. This means your schedule could be packed, from trail riding to archery lessons or skeet shooting; or you could have a trail ride in the morning and take a packed lunch in a cooler on your UTV (utility task vehicle) and go picnic down the road at Soda Lake. Or, hey, it’s been a busy week – relax by the pool in the sun.

But perhaps the best part of this all-inclusive ranch vacation is that you won’t have to fight the crowds.  Goosewing Ranch is a small guest ranch with a max capacity of only 35 in-house guests.  This allows us to customize your family’s dude ranch vacation package to fit your family’s needs, and fulfill all your cowboy desires.

This isn’t a cookie cutter vacation; this is a memory making, tradition changing experience that has something different for everyone in your family to excel.  Moms beware, you will have time to relax and enjoy a massage while you let us handle all the details; and Dads, you should note that the fishing is exceptional and only a short walk from your cabin. With activities like hiking, UTV exploring, mountain biking, horseback riding, team penning, fly fishing, target shooting, clay pigeon shooting, archery, hatchet throwing, roping, pool, spa, sauna, and lots of other adventures to be had we will have something for your whole family to enjoy together!


This post was written by Sara Massery.

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

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


Goosewing Ranch Main Lodge

A family guest-ranch vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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.