Goosewing Ranch

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.

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!

Welcome Back!

The excitement is building.  Goosewing Ranch Staff started arriving several weeks ago.  Fortunately the weather has cooperated to help speed up preparation for guest.   With the sunshine comes an early snow melt pushing water over river and stream banks.   This morning from the lodge, a herd of Elk were spotted on the far side of the river; with a backdrop of Aspen trees and evergreens.  A magnificent scene for the privileged few who get to experience the moment in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, bordering the Gros Ventre Wilderness.

Wranglers how worked to repaired fences and hay racks preparing for the horses arrival.   Tack has been cleaned and checked for any necessary repairs.  Goosewing is fortunate to have a knowledgeable team of Wranglers.  Their keen eyes will match the guests with a perfect mount to make their vacation experience the best we can provide.  Guest comfort, happiness and well-being are the priorities of the entire staff at the ranch.

This week brought the arrival of the ranch horses.   The trucks pulling the trailers were spotted a couple of miles from the ranch.  Everyone headed to the barn to help unload and get the horses settled in to their accommodations.    They were like kids returning to summer camp; anxious to greet old friends and make new ones.   You could feel the Wrangler’s eagerness to climb on the back of a horse and get going.  

Welcome Back

Welcome Back

Returning and new guest  will appreciate   the scenic drive along Gros Ventre Road as it overlooks Slide Lake on your right.  Continuing on you will cross over the Gros Ventre River and Crystal Creek.   The rugged road allows you time to take in the breathtaking countryside as your mind drifts back to the difficult life of the Mountain men who walked through this wilderness.  The slower pace prepares you for your time at the ranch to, at your choice, relax, participate in new activities, make new friends and create memories to last a lifetime.

Hey look, the gangs all here!

Hey look, the gangs all here!




The horses’ thoughts are more of

when do we get out to eat!


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.

The Cowboy Hat…

They come in all shapes, sizes, heights, and colors…Some faded, some misshaped, and others perfectly formed.  What is it that is so special about a cowboys/girls hat?  To completely understand the bond between the buckaroo and their signature piece, one must understand the uses of the cowboy hat.

Unlike many other styles of hats the cowboy hat is quite functional.  With its larger brim it makes a very useful sunshade for the face, neck, and shoulders.  This same large brim also protects you when it rains or snows and you can turn your hat into the wind to protect yourself from the blowing dust storm, or hide your eyes in a poker game in Jackson Hole.  A light straw hat will keep you cool in through the Wyoming summer and a heavy felt hat will keep you warm in the winter.  Not only are hats great for protection, but they also serve a useful purpose as a bucket (we have all heard of the 10 gallon hat), or storage area…Cowboys are known for keeping pictures, poems, cash and tooth picks in their hats.  Now if you have never had the pleasure of wearing a cowboy hat and experiencing the versatility then it is hard to explain why some cowboys get so attached…Breaking in a new hat is like starting a colt.  You’re gonna have your good days and your bad days, but after you each get dirty, and take a few spills together you will be working as a team for years to come; and a cowboy never forgets his first hat or colt.

Jackson Hole has a lot great hat shops, but you don’t have to get a custom hat to fit in at Goosewing Ranch.  A good hat should fit well, be comfortable, and serve the above purposes.  I want my hat to be able to stay put on my hand while I am riding a bucking, runaway horse in a windstorm.  But, the snug hat shouldn’t cause pain or discomfort; your hat should form to the shape of your head.  A general rule of mine is if I can bend over like I am picking a horse’s foot and my hat stays on then that’s a good start.  Hats come in all shapes…some are more round with a tall crown, while others are oval with a low crown.  Each region is known for a different shape of cowboy hat, all serving the same purposes but each adding its own flare and style.  If your hat isn’t a sure fit make sure you also purchase or construct a stampede string to go along.  The stampede string secures to your hat and then is tightened under your chin to keep your hat on your head whether you’re in a wild horse chase through the mountains or just horseback riding in some mild Wyoming wind.  Most western stores have a person on staff that can help you find the perfect hat; this person usually will be able to custom shape the hat to fit your head and your personal style.  Take your time shopping, remember you and your hat will make many memories together, from galloping through the Gros Ventre, being smashed to the ground from the winds off the Grand Tetons, to surviving  the family vacation into Yellowstone National Park.  Each adventure takes you one step closer to forming that bond between cowboy and cowboy hat…Where will yours take you?