Three Reasons to Choose a Wyoming Vacation

Are you searching for new travel destinations? Checking new states off the bucket list? Then Wyoming should be way up there on the priority list. From Jackson Hole’s attractions to the nearby national parks and Goosewing Ranch dude ranch, this is the trifecta of reasons to try a Wyoming vacation.

A Wyoming vacation wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Grand Teton National Park to see the Grand Tetons.

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: Just the Facts

Capital: Cheyenne

Nickname: Cowboy State, Equality State

Motto: Equal Rights

Admitted to Union: July 10, 1890 – 44th State

Size: 97,914 square miles, 9th largest state

State Sport: Rodeo

Highest Point: Gannett Peak, 13,804 feet

Lowest Point: Belle Fourche River, 3,100 feet

Average Annual Precipitation: 14.5 inches

Population (2010 Census): 563,626

Three Reasons to Choose a Wyoming Vacation

1. National Parks

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.

Wyoming is home to two national parks: Grand Teton and Yellowstone, as well as national monuments, historic sites and trails.

Did you know? 96 percent of Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming!

With 563,000 residents among 62+ million acres, there’s one resident per every 111 acres. 

The Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone is one of many reasons to travel to Wyoming this year.

Learn more about Yellowstone National Park:

Visiting Yellowstone National Park: Tips for What You Should Know

Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton links:

Grand Teton National Park Things to Do

What to Expect on a Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari

2. Jackson Hole

You may have heard about this region named Jackson Hole. Did you know it is just a popular nickname for the entire Wyoming valley and not an official location on a map? Back in the late 1800s, Davey Jackson was a famous tracker, and people referred to a valley surrounded by tall mountains as a HOLE. So that’s how Jackson Hole’s name came to be.

The antler arches in Jackson's Town Square are a sight to behold on a Wyoming vacation.

The town of Jackson is a historic Western town. Its Town Square and its famous antler arches are the hub of the town, along with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Learn more about the area at Wyoming Office of Tourism and read more about what sets Jackson Hole apart from other destinations.

3. Goosewing Ranch

Aside from being close to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, our 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, horseback, or UTV.)

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.

Learn more about Goosewing Ranch:

8 Reasons to Take a Dude Ranch Vacation

Jackson Hole Glamping

Checking new states off the bucket list? Then Wyoming should be way up there on the priority list. From Jackson Hole's attractions to the nearby national parks and our dude ranch, this is the trifecta of reasons to try a Wyoming vacation. #Wyoming #thatsWY #vacation #duderanch #nationalparks

Horseback Riding Vacations in Jackson Hole

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.Horseback Riding in Jackson Hole may include a dip in the Gros Ventre River

Horseback Riding Vacations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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.

Jackson Hole horseback riding is available for little buckaroos ages 6 and up at Goosewing Ranch.

From beginners to more experienced riders, 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.

The scenic views are all around during horseback riding in Jackson Hole on Goosewing Ranch.

 

 

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.

Horseback riding in Jackson Hole is a wonderful way to explore this area.

–This post was written by Sara Massery.

Need more information about Jackson Hole or riding? Check out these resources:

See Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce

Horseback Riding

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!

From our head wrangler, Kris…

Well another spring has arrived and life on the ranch is as exciting as ever. The tack room is cleaned, and ready for a fun filled summer of horseback adventures into the Wyoming back country. We have 62 head of horses on the ranch, with mostly familiar faces, but a few new ones to learn. The horses have all wintered well and are looking fit for our guests. It is always a happy reunion when the horses return, both for them and the wranglers. We all get a good laugh watching them wonder around the ranch showing the new horses the routine of their life on a guest ranch.
All of the horses have been ridden and taken out on different trails into the Gros Ventre wilderness and Bridger-Teton National Forest. The new Goosewing Ranch wranglers are as fun to watch as the new horses. They are in awe of the terrain and vistas surrounding the ranch and on the trails we ride. They all are excited to learn more about the area and the horses they will be caring for throughout the summer. Every day is a new adventure. They remind me of myself and the reasons why I started leading trail rides. With eight wranglers this year we will be able to provide excellent service and a variety of trail rides daily.
The wildlife has been abundant both on, and near the ranch and on the trail rides. We have spotted numerous herds of Elk, mule deer through the thin foliage, and watched as the antelope move back into the valley. We have also spotted wolves, badgers, grizzly bears, eagles, and a few moose. The horses have handled the wildlife spotting’s, new wranglers, and various trail conditions like old pros. One never knows what to expect in western Wyoming where we are part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
We are all looking forward to the vacation season starting in the Jackson Hole area, and can’t wait to entertain all of our guests by taking them on horseback adventures, touring Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and enjoying all the a resort ranch has to offer. The horses are “rearing to go”, the trails are drying out, and the wranglers are saddled up and waiting for all the different guests to arrive. We still have cabins available, so, it’s not too late to book your Dude ranch vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Come and enjoy our western hospitality!

All-inclusive and National Park vacations..Jackson Hole has it all!


Planning a family vacation or personal getaway can be a very overwhelming… Just deciding a region to visit is difficult. What will everyone enjoy, what is our budget, where should we go, what do we want to do, what does the area have to offer; these are just a few of the questions that help narrow the search. Then the more people and different age groups you throw into the mix only seems complicates things. When choosing a vacation for a family reunion, or just a private getaway, western Wyoming has a lot to offer…This year escape to Wyoming, where there is something for everyone!
The United States has 58 National Parks, and Wyoming is home of the Nation’s first, Yellowstone National Park. Bordering Yellowstone is Grand Teton National Park, with breath-taking mountain views, and abundant wildlife. Touring the country’s National Parks is a great way to get in touch with nature, have an educational experience, and see some of the most spectacular parts of our country. Another great option while visiting Yellowstone or Grand Teton is to visit guest or dude ranch. Ranches are typically all-inclusive vacations, including everything from taxes and gratuities to lodging, meals, and activities. Some of the basic activities one might experience on a guest ranch are horseback riding, tubing or rafting the rivers, roping, line dancing, target shooting, hiking, mountain bike riding and much more. Guest Ranches that are members of the Dude Ranchers Association are held to many high standards of service and operation. By choosing a ranch from the DRA you are practically guaranteed to have a wonderful vacation. At Goosewing Ranch we provide our guests with abundant, savory meals prepared by our in house chefs, authentic western hospitality with modern amenities, activities to keep everyone entertained, and a spa for those who wish to relax or relive sore muscles after a day of exhilarating experiences. Also, enjoy viewing wildlife in the Gros Ventre valley, or exploring the Bridger-Teton National forest on one of the Polaris Rangers. Guest ranches aren’t just horses, and barbed wire, it’s more of leather and lace, a rustic setting with resort amenities.
It is important to remember that there are many different types of vacations available out there. Why limit yourself to the same beach vacation, when you can have an all-inclusive guest ranch vacation and visit a historic National Park? Don’t think “City Slickers”, think of a true family vacation with experiences that will keep you smiling for years to come.