Goosewing Ranch

Sustainability: A Way of Life at the Goosewing Ranch

The ranching tradition has forever been built upon the intimate relationship of people and the land. Nowadays we call it sustainability, though the practices of good stewardship have always been a part of ranch life. The more respect and care is shown for the land, the more the people who inhabit that land benefit.

The Goosewing Ranch carries out a philosophy of environmental respect, with a multitude of programs intended to minimize impacts, promote concepts sustainability and live in harmony with the land.  The sustainability mission demonstrates the concepts of reuse, recycling and reducing throughout the many functions of the ranch.

“Our sustainability mission is to lessen our daily footprint and leave our environment in better condition than we found it.  To leave a lasting impression in the hearts of our guests, but not on the land we call home.  To improve the experience of our guests, neighbors, community members for generations to follow.”

 So how does a ranch achieve a sustainable operation?  Carefully constructed and well thought out plans have been implemented in just about every area of the ranch functions. Reducing waste is a key feature. In the office, the staff strives to conduct as much paperless business as possible. The ranch’s composting program reduces the amount of material sent to the trash, and much of the food scraps are used to feed the pigs and chickens.

Reuse of materials is another method used at the Goosewing Ranch to encourage a lighter impact. Guests are encouraged to use the towel reuse plan and are given a waterbottle for their stay that eliminates single-use water bottles. Used motor oil is used for heating, and in the evenings the ranch switches to a smaller power source generator that reduces propane use.

Recycling is a part of everyday operations and includes an educational component to teach both guests and staff about all of the green practices in place at the Goosewing.

The philosophy of maintaining a peaceful relationship with the land is observed in the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products, utilizing downed and dead trees for ranch projects as well as catch and release fishing. A stay at the Goosewing Ranch provides guests with many enriching experiences, all within harmony and balance of the beautiful landscape.

Working at a Dude Ranch

Interested in working in the Jackson Hole area this summer? Goosewing Ranch may be the perfect place for those looking for an unforgettable experience off the beaten path. Just beyond the busy summer streets of the town of Jackson, this dude ranch offers an alternative to the hustle and bustle with its solace and exceptional work environment.  Imagine hiking through meadows of wildflowers with spectacular mountain views, casting your fly rod as rays of sunlight filter through the crystal clear waters of the Gros Ventre River, or horseback riding along a ridgeline while the gentle breeze blows the tall grasses – the Grand Teton mountain range towering in the distance.

Flanked by the mountains of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and the Gros Ventre Wilderness, Goosewing Ranch is an all-inclusive ranch nestled in a pristine valley 40 miles northeast of Jackson. The unique dude ranch has a variety of jobs available for their four month season extending from May 15 through September 30th. The full-service ranch employs kitchen workers, lodge staff, ranch hands, and activities personnel – just to name a few. Lodging at the ranch is provided as well as opportunities to make life-long friends, learn and improve workforce skills, and explore the breathtaking terrain of the Jackson Hole valley. The close-knit staff works together to provide a high level of hospitality to guests, implement sustainable missions, and have a lot of fun. You can learn more about employment and the application process on our website.

Jackson Hole Glamping

Do you want to experience the wilderness? Do you want to escape the mundane daily struggles and reconnect with nature? Are you looking for a unique vacation experience that will create a lifetime of memories? Well, we have the solution! How about making your next holiday a glamping adventure in Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Goosewing Ranch is now proudly offering all inclusive glamping packages in the Gros Ventre Valley and Bridger-Teton National Forest. Let our cowboys help you experience the west in comfort and style.

This rare experience will allow you to disconnect from distractions and reconnect with family without sacrificing comfort. Our glamping accommodations are in authentic, custom, handmade wagons. Each wagon contains a king bed and personal detached bath house with full shower and hot water. For the larger family, there are also deluxe wagons with two additional sets of twin bunk beds! Throughout the day, prepare to be indulged with some classic, hearty western meals, snacks, and hot or cold beverages. Did we mention? Each wagon also comes with a Polaris Ranger UTV exclusively for you and your family to explore the beautiful Jackson Hole Valley! Plus, all of the activities on the ranch including horseback rides and equine activities, hiking, fishing, wildlife spotting, shooting sports, family adventures and spa treatments will be included as well.

Our glamping is offered in six night packages only, running Sunday – Saturday from June 18 – September 2, 2017. These packages are great for couples, groups of friends, or families. No experience required, just a desire for adventure and western charm.

Jackson Hole Wyoming Family Reunions

Family time has always been important, but getting together for an extending family vacation now is as important as ever. Families are living farther apart than ever before. Yes we have the technology to stay connected, but is that really enough? It is no longer the era where cousins are spending entire summers together at the Grandparents farm; sometimes we are lucky to get together during the holidays. This is why multi-generational vacations are so needed. We need our children to know how fun it can be to play for endless hours with siblings and cousins making connections through experiences, and how cool and adventurous grandma and/or grandpa can be. This is a time to grow as a family and create lasting memories through adventure, education, experiences, and time spent together. This is a family reunion where you will disconnect from daily distractions and reconnect as a family making memories together.

There are a few key points to consider when planning a family reunion. Here are a few that we think are important to make this the best vacation and the easiest to achieve. Making lasting impressions and memories is the end result, but we want this to be great for even the planner. We love hosting family reunions and have had a many great experiences bringing families together from all over the world.

Planning: This can seem very daunting, how am I going to schedule 10 – 30 people a vacation and ensure all will have something they will love and enjoy. The best part of planning an all-inclusive family reunion at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming, is that the planning ends when your vacation begins. Once you are on the ranch everything will be taken care of for you. From meals and lodging to activities and equipment. Let us help you plan your next extraordinary family reunion.

Choosing dates: Once you have the list of family members who are interested in attending you will need to have a list of the dates that they are available. Don’t forget that we are a small property and can book out 6 months to a year in advance. Something else to consider is the season on which to visit. If you have young children (ages 0 – 15) we recommend visiting us in July or August. For more mature families you might be able to find great options in either June or September. Each season comes with different weather and activities. Also, how long should you stay to make the most out of your time together.

Gathering Details: We are happy to send information via mail or email about what to expect, weather, activities, packing tips, food details, and more to all members of your family or just you to disperse. We feel the more information provided the better to ensure everyone’s expectations are met.

Choosing accommodations: Depending on your group size you might have the entire ranch to yourself or you might need just a few cabins. We are here for you to help arrange the best accommodations possible. What we will need would be age, gender, and desired lodging accommodations for each immediate family.

Helpful Information: It is very important for us to know as much about each family member as possible. We are interested in know if there are any dietary restrictions, allergies, medical conditions, special needs/requests, horseback riding level/interest, other activity interest, if there are any special occasions (birthday’s, anniversaries, graduations), or unique activities we can arrange (National Park trips, photographer), who is the main contact for us. All of these details will ensure that you are provided with True Western Hospitality and all your needs will be met.

Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend travel insurance to all our guests, but when you are dealing with multi-generations traveling together we feel it is even more important. When making a reservation with us you can opt into additional travel insurance that will cover all members of the traveling party and extended family member emergencies. It is always better to be prepared so you can be worry free.

Selling the “Dude Ranch Reunion” idea: There is something for everyone, from horseback riding to fly fishing and spa days to exploring days there is something for all ages and abilities to enjoy. We have a wide variety of activities that are great for those ages 6 to 86. For the younger children under six they can enjoy a nature walk, a UTV ride, pony rides, finger painting the horses, wagon rides and Indian arts and crafts. For those older a few activities are archery, target shooting, horseback riding, team penning, hatchet throwing, hiking, and UTV exploring. We are also able to organize a family photo shoot, this can be a group picture with matching tee shirts or cowboy hats, or a costume party for the holidays. This is a stress free holiday, where everything is taken care of for you. Trust your family with our family. Dude ranches were founded on the idea of bringing families together and opening our home to you so you can become a part of our extended family. These family excursions are important for child development and building of family relationships. If you have never experienced a dude ranch vacation, let us show you some true western hospitality and help you plan your next adventure.

Why Wyoming?

Wyoming tends to fly low on the radar when it comes to vacations. However, there are several gems that make this state stand out. In the northwestern corner lie Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park, which attract tourists in the summer and avid skiers and snowboarders in the winter. As a result of these famous spots, Jackson Hole has flourished.

Wyoming has a low population, clocking in at just over 580,000 people (as of 2014), but the national parks draw a big crowd to Jackson and the Greater Yellowstone area. Yellowstone alone entices about 4 million people per year; the heaviest concentration falls between May and September.

Just recently the Wyoming Office of Tourism launched a new slogan, “That’s WY.” Focused on bringing up tourism percentages, the slogan highlights all the beautiful, rugged, and wild things Wyoming has to offer.

Brian Ganther, the group creative director at BVK—the Milwaukee ad agency that created the campaign—says, “Wyoming takes Western culture and kicks it up a notch… You aren’t going there for an urban experience, although there is a growing amount of good food, music and culture.”

#GreatOutdoorsMonth #MountianBiking #Vedauwoo #ThatsWY

A photo posted by Wyoming Tourism (@visitwyoming) on

The hashtag has come alive on Twitter and Instagram, with a steady stream of pictures posted online that showcase the adventurous side of Wyoming. Whatever image comes into someone’s head about Wyoming, this new campaign is solidifying a positive perception.

Goosewing Ranch, located northeast of Jackson Hole, provides a perfect slice of Wyoming that is hard to replicate, and not often seen by visitors of the area.

Aside from being close to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the ranch sits on the Bridger Teton National Forest and is the perfect entry point into the Gros Ventre Wilderness. (True to its name, the wilderness has remained untouched by all motorized vehicles – accessible only by foot or horseback.)

So if you ask us why you should pick Wyoming, or why you should pick Jackson Hole as your vacation destination, just take a look at this piece of country that is still truly wild. Not many people get to experience our isolated paradise. That’s why.

Celebrate Your National Parks with Goosewing Ranch!

morman barn and tetonsThis year, the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday, and to celebrate, fourth graders are being given free park passes for them and their families.

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest park in the United States. It was established in 1872 as an Act signed by President Grant. It wasn’t until August 25, 1916 that the National Park Service was created to protect and preserve our beautiful parks, and since 1916 over four hundred parks have been created. The NPS has grown tremendously over the years. They rely on 22,000 employees and 221,000 volunteers to maintain the parks—and no wonder they need so many people, as Yellowstone alone draws over 4 million visitors a year, usually between the months of May to September.

Goosewing Ranch makes an ideal location to stay while visiting the parks. Not only can you take advantage of the free park pass given to your fourth grader—visiting the parks with ease from our location—you can enjoy the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the beautiful, untouched wilderness that surrounds the ranch, as well. The UTVs available for guests are a fun way to get off the ranch and explore everything nature has to offer.

This is a historic year for the parks. By celebrating 100 years of service, the NPS campaign has shifted public focus to the future, and preserving National Parks for another 100 years to come. This will be a celebratory year to visit Jackson Hole.

For your child to receive his or her park pass, go to everykidinapark.gov. Passes are valid until August 31, 2016. This year’s third graders are eligible to receive their park pass starting in September 2016.

 

This post was written by Sara Massery.

The Whiskey Gentry meets Goosewing Ranch

The Whiskey Gentry

The Whiskey Gentry

Just over a month ago we had a very special band come visit us at the ranch. The Whiskey Gentry boasts an excellent collection of covers and original songs which they serenaded our guests with while they were here. It started with Jason, guitarist and overall band savant (on occasion referred to as “head honcho” if you will), and his arrival at Goosewing Ranch nearly two months prior. Then, he did not come as a rising superstar, but as one of two sons celebrating their father’s birthday.

Jason with his guitar and cowboy hat

Jason with his guitar and cowboy hat

It was easy to befriend Jason and Tim, as well as their enigmatic father, Bob. Soon enough, we learned of the Atlanta-based band, whose music shines a modern and edgy light on the blend of bluegrass and traditional country, and Jason’s casual mention that they would be in the Jackson area in a mere handful of weeks. Bob and his sons departed the ranch a few days later (not without style: never did I imagine my job would include banging on their cabin door at four thirty in the morning so they wouldn’t miss their shuttle to the airport), and three weeks passed before it occurred to me that The Whiskey Gentry should be passing through our area soon.

Price, quite happy about the double rainbow

Price, quite happy about the double rainbow

A few emails later, and we shook electronic hands that they’d come stay with us for two nights and give our guests some good entertainment. The ranch quivered with excitement; most of the staff recalled Jason and Tim with fondness, and knew the company he kept couldn’t be that bad. We were greeted with grins, and quickly introduced to the five strangers spilling out of the van after Jason; Lauren and Rurik, Price, Sammy, and Jeremy. Their energy was infectious, snaking through the ranch as they took it all in; it carried through to their performance.

Lauren and Jason

Lauren and Jason

We took them on a trail ride; besides being good musicians, they were funny, kind, and easy to get along with. They took goofy pictures and one brought home a souvenir: a baby elk leg we found along the trail next to some wolf prints. Overall, these were some pretty cool dudes, and you should check them out.

 

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This post was written by Sara Massery, who is experiencing her first season at Goosewing Ranch,as the Office Assistant. She hails from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has just completed her B.A. in English Writing and Literature at Emmanuel College. She was looking for an adventure, and she found one.

Survival of the Fittest

gros_ventre_slide_large

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.

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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

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.

 

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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!

Winter in Wyoming

Amy and Concho at GWR Dec 2013

Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming may be closed during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean we are not enjoying the beautiful area.   The ground is covered with feet (yes, feet) of snow, the air is a bit frigged, and the rivers and lakes are all frozen solid.  So you might ask what we are doing here… Well, we are not just surviving we are living life to the fullest.  The feeling of riding a horse in the snow is like no other.  It is almost like swimming, but with a lot more clothes on.  We are watching the wildlife fill the valley, we are snowmobiling in and out of the ranch, and we a enjoying the cozy warm fire.  With both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks in our back yard we have great wildlife viewing and snowshoeing or cross-country ski trails.

Winter in Western Wyoming doesn’t have to involve cabin fever.  You just have to get up, get dressed and go out and enjoy this beautiful time of year.  Yes, we do have days/weeks of negative temps, but that is what makes us strong and gives us the cute rosy checks.  Our horses survive these cold days and nights by growing long, thick coats, and enjoying lots of rich hay.  Horses stay warm from the inside and require more roughage on these cold days to keep their body warm.

We hope you are enjoying the winter to the fullest.  Don’t worry summer isn’t far away.  Cozy up next to a warm fire and book your sunny summer family vacation at Goosewing Ranch, in Jackson Hole Wyoming.  WP_20140222_15_03_06_Pro