Goosewing Ranch

Finding the Road Less Traveled By in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes many popular spots such as the city of Jackson and Grand Teton National Park. But the road less traveled may also be nestled in its same valleys and along the Gros Ventre River. See why Robert Frost could have been writing about Jackson Hole and specifically Goosewing Ranch when he penned the words “the road less traveled by.”

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Jackson and also places on the road less traveled by such as Goosewing Ranch. Views overlooking the Gros Ventre River for miles.

Each year, three to four million people visit Yellowstone National Park. Many of those people continue south to Jackson Hole. Just a short 60-mile drive through the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway and Grand Teton National Park, and you wind up in one of the true mountain towns of the American West. Jackson Hole is a town built on a history of people traveling to the free expanse of the mountain landscape to find a moment of solace, a place to reclaim the busy mind, and indulge in some relaxation.

So what’s the difference between Jackson Hole and Jackson, Wyoming? Jackson Hole is the larger 48-mile long valley and includes the towns of Kelly, Moose, Moran, Wilson, Teton Village, and of course, Jackson.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Jackson and also places on the road less traveled by such as Goosewing Ranch. Our draft horses know the road less traveled by heart!

Evolution of the Dude Ranch

In its early history, Jackson was known as a place where fur trappers could trap, buy, and trade. Later, as the fur trapping industry waned, a few people began developing the area’s first dude ranches. In 1872 when Yellowstone became the country’s first national park, the interest in the West increased. Easterners yearned for the chance to experience the frontier, and dude ranches provided this avenue, albeit in a safe and comfortable fashion.

The term “dude” was coined as a description of those who paid for the ranching service. Through the legacy of dude ranching, people began to see the benefit settling in, and spending some time “living on the ranch.” Thus, a long-standing tradition of people coming to spend time in the Tetons was born.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Jackson and also places on the road less traveled by such as Goosewing Ranch. Jackson's elk antlers are fun to see.

Today, the town of Jackson retains a touch of its western heritage as it has been enveloped in the new western traditions of outdoor sports, art and gastronomy. There are endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, a myriad of art galleries to inspect, and wonderful restaurants to satisfy the palate. You will always enjoy something in Jackson. But in busy summer months, you will be doing it with a lot of other folks.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Jackson and also places on the road less traveled by such as Goosewing Ranch. Views from one of our cabins.

Jackson Hole: Choosing Jackson or a Dude Ranch

Imagine all those three and a half million people driving their cars, wagons and RV’s from Yellowstone in a vigilant procession to get to the next flag on the vehicle’s fancy navigation system. Imagine yourself in that procession when suddenly you see a road leading in another direction. Off to a quiet vista of red rolling hills, majestic mountaintops where a crystal clear river rolls through the valley of uncompromised beauty.

As all those people are checking in to their hotels and motels, you are sitting on the porch of your cabin, taking in the landscape of open wilderness as far as the eye can see. As the cars move through the town, the people swarm the town square, and wait for dinner reservations. Meanwhile, you walk to the deck for a decadent BBQ dinner masterfully cooked accompanied by a full bar and scenery that is beyond compare.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Jackson and also places on the road less traveled by such as Goosewing Ranch. The BBQ feast plate.

The Road Less Traveled

One cannot help but think of Robert Frost’s classic poem, The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Not everyone has the opportunity to stay at a guest ranch in the heart of the Gros Ventre River Valley. Not everyone knows about such a magical place. And not everyone will ever know the wonder and peacefulness of spending time in the wilderness. Goosewing Ranch offers weary travelers a respite from the busy chatterings of life. A chance to jump out of the line of status quo into a fresh unique way of discovering nature.

Days on the ranch are filled with horseback riding, fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, sunbathing poolside, amazing meals, and time to unwind. No lines to wait in, no cash registers, no buses filled with tourists. And when you do get to Jackson, you will do so with a smile on your face. The furrow in your brow will not be quite so deep because you took the time to slow down, breathe in the expanse of the wild, and stare at a star filled sky.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Jackson and also places on the road less traveled by such as Goosewing Ranch. Horses kicking up a storm.

So, when you are making your summer plans, think of Frost… “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Jackson and also places on the road less traveled by such as Goosewing Ranch | Our entrance along the road less traveled.

Survival of the Fittest


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!

Treat yourself to an All-Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation….

For many a Dude or Guest Ranch vacation seems like a good way to spend a lot of money for doing work instead of relaxing.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Yes, some Ranches are a bit pricy, but once you take into account that most are All- Inclusive than the sticker shock is greatly reduced.  Guest Ranch vacations have been a part of our history and our economical evolution since the 1880’s.  Guest Ranch vacations are a family friendly environment about Hats, Hospitality, Horses and more.  Try a new adventure this year and discover the the cowboy in you.

Like many cruises and beach resorts, Guest Ranches are a package deal with something for every traveler, and family member.  Why should Mom have to sacrifice doing what she enjoys because Dad wants adventure, and face it the boys don’t always enjoy having to follow their sister around all vacation either.  At Goosewing Ranch we have activities and adventures for everyone, from the single explorer to the diverse family reunion.  Let Mom enjoy reading a book by the pool or treating herself to a massage (included in a 7 night package), while the boys go fishing or exploring on the Polaris Ranger, and little Suzie goes on a horseback adventure with like minded young ladies.  Experiencing the Wild West together is also a great way to reunite a family or bond the vows during a honeymoon.

With an all-inclusive package you will receive lodging with modern accommodations and amenities, meals prepared by an expert culinary artist, entertainment and activities.  Guest Ranches have all the hospitality and charm that is expected of a Southern B&B, with the activities of a top notch resort, and service of a high end hotel, with scenery and views worth escaping the real world for.

Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming is a member of the Dude Ranchers Association ensuring an authentic ranch experience from start to finish.  We have a season fitting for singles, groups of friends, couples, families, or reunions.  Go ahead make your neighbor jealous and book your Guest Ranch adventure at the base of the Tetons and bordering Yellowstone National Park at Goosewing Ranch, in Jackson Wyoming.  Where you will enjoy everything from horseback riding through the mountains; fly fishing the streams and Gros Ventre River, to target shooting, archery, hiking, and more.

Just remember you get more than sand in your shorts with a Guest Ranch vacation, you will go home with lasting memories and experiences that the family will talk about for generations.