Goosewing Ranch

Dude Ranch Family Reunion

2011 Tipi with Jeremy 111

Our ranch—with 11 cabins of varying sizes and maximum capacity of 35 people—is the perfect place for your family reunion. Whether your family is 4 people or 20, you will enjoy cabins that are within easy walking distance to visit your loved ones.

Goosewing Ranch is remote: an hour from the nearest town, with only one road in and out, nestled in the Gros Ventre River Valley. We are surrounded by natural, untouched beauty.

Our all-inclusive packages remove the stress from the family members trying to plan the reunion. The lodging is cozy and clean, we provide three delicious meals a day (plus snacks), and all ranch activities are included. We take the worrying out of your vacation—the only major decision your family has to make is which activities they want to do the next day.

Celebrate with Goosewing, where there’s something everyone can enjoy. Tour the area, with scenic views of the Tetons and other impressive landmarks; enjoy a family trail ride all together with knowledgeable wranglers; go explore the lakes and roads off the ranch in the UTVs provided at each cabin; try your hand at fly fishing, either taking a rod out on your own or taking a lesson on our stock pond; hone your aim and competitive nature (or simply have fun) with skeet shooting, archery, target shooting, and hatchet throwing.

We encourage guests to disconnect from their hectic lives and reconnect with each other. It’s easy to build memories that will last a lifetime when you can truly step away from your phone, tablet, and computer. Focus on the people who are most important in your life: your family.

Horseback Riding Vacations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Goosewing Ranch, Riding the River sweet

Ever dream of being a cowboy or cowgirl, but couldn’t seem to swing it in the city (or suburbs) where you grew up? Here is your chance to test it out with an all-inclusive vacation to Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! We feature three to seven nights deep in the beautiful Gros Ventre wilderness only accessible by horseback—just like in the old days.

How it works:
You will arrive on the ranch, check in, and then head down to the tack room to meet your horse for the week. Having your own horse lets you become comfortable with your mount and develop a bond that will have you saying “Remember Josh? He was a great horse,” for years to come.


Josh posing for the camera with a teenage guest

From beginners to experienced, we have a horse for everyone. This wide variety ensures guests can enjoy all aspects of riding, both on the trails and in the arena, as well as feeling safe and secure with their horse partner. Plus, our kid horses take their job very seriously—the quintessential babysitter when a child is out on a ride.

Catch a glimpse of the impressive landscape surrounding the ranch on different length trail rides, and either return to the ranch for a hot lunch or eat a boxed lunch on the trail with unbeatable Wyoming views.

Goosewing Ranch, Riding the Meadows 3

For people wanting to spice up their trail rides and have the necessary riding experience to do so, we offer advanced rides. Get a chance to go on a loping ride or swim with your horse in the river! And if you don’t think you’re capable of loping or riding bareback, take a lesson from one of our experienced wranglers and work up to it.

Whether you’ve never been on a horse or were riding before you were walking, this horseback riding vacation is the perfect getaway if you want to experience the vast remoteness of the Jackson Hole Wyoming region from the saddle.



This post was written by Sara Massery.

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 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.

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.

Top Six Reasons Why to Plan Your Escape to Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming This Summer

specials pic

Goosewing Ranch is a place to disconnect from your daily struggles and reconnect with what is really important: Family, friends, nature, and your inner self.

Here at Goosewing Ranch, we combine the lifestyle of ranching in the Wyoming wilderness with many of the modern refinements that make your visit with us especially enjoyable.

At 7,400 feet, the valley is the host to some of North America’s most spectacular game: elk, moose, mountain sheep, antelope, bear, eagles, geese, cranes, and much more–not to mention fantastic scenery. The Gros Ventre River, home to native cutthroat trout, runs through the meadows of our historic ranch.

With many different package options, we can truly customize the perfect all-inclusive vacation option for you. From pack trips to nights in Jackson, let us help make this year’s vacation the best ever. We invite you to come share this corner of North America’s wildest country just as it has been for over a hundred years – a working ranch reborn as an isolated retreat deep in the Gros Ventre River Valley.

1. Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th Birthday! Stay at Goosewing Ranch and include a visit to our nation’s first National Park: Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park is near Goosewing Ranch, and we can help you plan your self or guided tour of this historic and amazing National Park. From wildlife viewing to hiking around thermal features there is much to see and do.

2. Yes, there is Yellowstone, but there is also Grand Teton National Park. With many spectacular Grand Teton views from the Goosewing Ranch trails, you won’t have to leave your saddle to experience this mesmerizing mountain. I can already imagine your new profile picture…you on a horse with the Grand Tetons towering behind you.

3. Historic Jackson Hole is a great place to stay before or after your package with Goosewing Ranch. While in town you will want to take in the shopping, dining, and history, but don’t forget about a white water rafting trip, scenic float trip, the rodeo, and the old west shoot out on the town square. Let the Goosewing Ranch staff take care of the planning so you can relax and enjoy your true Western Vacation.mg_5628f

4. It is an exclusive and all-inclusive vacation. Goosewing Ranch is a small unique property that offers packages that are all-inclusive of lodging, meals, ranch seasonal activities, taxes and gratuity. Being all-inclusive makes planning and organizing your vacation much easier; just tell us what you want to do and we can arrange the details. You won’t have to make dinner reservations, plan daily activities, and think of things to do that will please everyone, we have you covered. Goosewing Ranch has a wide variety of adventure based activities for all abilities and age ranges.

5. A chance to experience the Wild West and get a taste of it all. We have a great package that offers a bit of everything from a luxury night in Jackson Hole, a one night/two day spectacular pack trip, and three nights of rustic charm and all-inclusive activities at the ranch. Don’t fight the summer crowds, escape to beautiful Goosewing Ranch.

6. Make memories through adventure and experiences. Goosewing Ranch offers guests many opportunities to create life long memories and new family traditions through adventure and experience. This is a place where you can disconnect from distractions and truly relax and recharge.

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!

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.



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!

Wild Western Weather



When thinking of the Wild West one tends to imagine hot sunshine, beautiful mountains, majestic wild horses, and dusty old cowboys.  While some of those things are true and others have been somewhat tamed; the wild western weather still remains untamed and unpredictable.

Jackson Hole Wyoming is one of those places that is still a little wild yet filled with wonderful adventure.  Being in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem the area is prone to diverse weather patterns.  One thing you can count on with the weather in this vast area, is that no matter the season it could always snow on you.  Now, don’t let this turn you off and make you start thinking about that sandy beach vacation again….  Just because it could snow in July doesn’t mean that your experience will be any less amazing.

Weather in any mountain region can be difficult to understand.  Mountains produce their own weather and also make it difficult to see weather moving in; you just never know what to expect when setting off for a fun day hike or family horseback ride.  Most of the summer months are filled with warm, arid (dry) days and clear, cool evenings, and if weather moves in it is usually gone as fast as it arrived.  Some thunderstorms may only last about 10 minutes, and just because it is storming doesn’t mean the sun won’t still shine.  Then after the storm has passed the dust is gone, the air is fresh, the grass is green, and all is right in the Gros Ventre again.

This diverse weather pattern can turn the average day into a great story making adventure.  Just think about what the real cowboys and mountain men went through year after year, and take the weather in stride.  The horseback riding, and many other activities can still be enjoyed even when the weather is less than favorable.  A snowy June day can also give you a chance to relax by the fire, catch up with family and friends, and a reason to treat yourself to a soothing massage.  So, next time you are planning a vacation to the Jackson Hole area, remember pack a bit of everything, leave for activities prepared for anything, and take the weather in stride, because after the storm comes the most amazing rainbows!  Remember our guides and wranglers at Goosewing Ranch are trained to keep you safe, they have gear available for you to help you stay warm and dry, and will do their best to always make the best out of any situation.

Rainbow over Goosewing Ranch

Rainbow over Goosewing Ranch

Snowy Tipi at Goosewing Ranch

Snowy Tipi at Goosewing Ranch

Fire in the sky at Goosewing Ranch

Fire in the sky at Goosewing Ranch


Hats off…

cowboy hat

The American cowboy hat, as we know it today, didn’t exist in the 1840’s.  Hats worn by those legendary mountain men were generally made of pelts; a few of wool for the hunters and trappers who ventured into town for supplies.  Moving west hats were generally a sign of a profession, or reflections of cultural practices.  Hardy men trailing cattle wore a variety of styles, shapes and materials to fashion their head gear.

The traditional Chilean horsemen wore what is called the Chupalla.  They were first made of a plant named the bromelia which locals called achupalla.  Now they are made of rice and wheat.  The Chupalla was also used for a traditional Chilean folk dance.  However, with the high cost of hats now a day, it is difficult to see any wage earning cowboy stomping this valuable accessory into the ground with dirty boots and spurs.

Today there is a well-respected cowboy and one of the original “horse whisperers” who is generally seen wearing a version of the Chupalla.  Buck Brannnaman has long been admired for his skill with a horse.  Perhaps Brannaman’s easy going mannerisms; laid back way with horses is symbolized perfectly by the phrase “por la chupalla” which loosely translates to “what the heck”.  Or perhaps he is a great Chilean dancer.

Around 1865 John B. Stetson traveled west in search of a drier climate for health reasons.  He was the son of a Philadelphia master hatter and learned his skills working with his father.   Although hatters were not well thought of in that time period, looked upon as lazy and unreliable, Stetson eventually proved that myth wrong.

During his journey west he demonstrated to his companions how he could create felt out of working fur and shaped it into a large brimmed hat.  Even though his friends made fun of his extreme design, Stetson liked the way it protected him from the elements, created a unique image and perhaps covered a bald spot.  The hat was later named, “The Boss of the Plains”.  Perhaps Hollywood’s Tom Mix carried on the daring fashion statement of the 10 gallon hat to woo audiences.

John B. Stetson changed the berated image of a hatter to become a successful, influential and respected business man.

In 1872 Montgomery Ward opened, offering store bought clothing to rural America.  At first only selling a wide brimmed hat called the “Men’s Panama Hat”; four years later they introduced the “Men’s Planter’s Hat”.  The rounded crown and smaller brim could be molded to adjust to the individual personality of the cowboy.  The smaller brim was also a better fit for the winds of the prairie.

In the 1920’s, millionaire E.R. Byer invested in hat maker Harry Rolnick.  His unique creations caught Byer’s eye and in 1927 Byer-Bolnick started their business in Dallas, TX.  Later they would create the Resistol hat line meaning resistant-all weather.

Now hats come in a wide range of styles and colors.  There is a style for everyone.  Some interesting ones say a lot about a person.

No matter what your style is, be comfortable and enjoy your cowboy experience.  Jackson Hole has a variety of outfitters that want you to be comfortable on your family vacation.  Look around and find the hat that says, “I’m having a great time here”.   And, if you forgot your hat for your Guest Ranch Vacation we have a variety of sizes at Goosewing Ranch to help protect every buckaroo!

Cowboy lore: never put your cowboy hat on your bed.  Also, don’t eat peanuts before a rodeo but that really doesn’t have anything to do with style, just thought it was interesting.

By: Janis Wright


Jackson Hole Antler Arches, an iconic symbol…

The Grand Tetons, the Mormon Barn, The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, and the Antler Arches on the town square downtown Jackson Hole are just a few of the most memorable and most photographed features of the valley.  As Jackson transformed from a mountain man town into a dude ranch town the antler arches grew in popularity with family travelers and locals alike.

There are four antler arches, one marking each corner of the town square.  Though there isn’t an exact date of when the first arch was built and placed on the town square, most sources cite 1960 as the year the first antler arch was added to the town square.  In 2007 they began to replace the arches, and auctioned off the old weathered ones.

Each arch contains about 10,000 pounds of elk antlers.  Don’t worry not one elk was harmed in the making of the arches.  Elk grow antlers that they shed annually.  Unlike horns that must be cut off and are hollow inside, antlers, fall off naturally and are solid.  Starting May 1 locals, tourist, and the local Boy Scout club hit the National Forests and Elk Refuge in search of the all the antler sheds.  Each year at the Old West Days the Boy Scouts put on an auction where they sell their antlers.  Others sell them to jewelers, furniture makers, private deals, dealers from overseas, or just keep them to enjoy in their own homes.

Next time you are in Jackson Hole Wyoming on vacation, make sure you stop by the town square and get your iconic picture in front of the JH Antler Arches.