Adventure vacations in Wyoming

Bitterroot Ranch


The broad range of horseback riding activities during this ranch vacation in Wyoming includes riding lessons with certified instructors to the intermediate level, a cross country jumping course for experienced riders, team sorting, herding cows on the grazing allotment in the national forest, cattle drives, roundups, and pack trips. Wyoming trail rides include cantering on open plains, winding through pine and aspen forests, clambering up rocky gorges and crossing rushing streams that pour out of the mountains. Antelope, mule deer, elk, coyotes, and the occasional bear can be spotted. It is little wonder that the Bitterroot Ranch is featured in 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz.

This is a working cattle ranch as well as a dude ranch and you will have frequent opportunities for cattle drives and roundups during the summer when the ranch cows are grazing in the adjacent national forest. This is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem which is the largest wild area left in the lower 48 states, providing a vast expanse of unspoiled country. Ranch guests can try their hand at cutting cows in weekly team sorting competitions. Many find that the teamwork between horse and rider provides a new dimension to the riding experience. The ranch brood mares produce a new crop of friendly foals each spring and guests often enjoy interacting with them. The Bitterroot has been owned and operated by the Fox Family since 1971.

Please enjoy our trip video from this ride and see our other Western riding vacations.

Guests stay in comfortable log cabins on either side of the river which are situated for privacy and to afford magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

Meals are taken in the main lodge and particular attention is paid to the cuisine and wines served.

  • Overview:
    There are over 120 riding horses on the ranch, consisting mainly of Arabians and Quarter Horse crosses (14-16hh). The Arabian horses are raised and trained exclusively for the use of the guests, who often like to visit the mares and foals. The ranch also has some excellent Welsh ponies for children. The horses are trained western and are used to being neck reined; they do not go on contact. All guests are asked to post the trot and to stay in two point or galloping position for the canters and when climbing hills. This is important to us as it keeps the horses from getting sore backs. Those who do not comfortably adapt to riding in this manner will be kept on slower rides.
  • Equipment Required:
    Helmets are required, there are some available to borrow.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Quarter horses, Arabians, draft crosses
  • Trip Pace:
    To suit riders
  • Tack:
    Western and Endurance
  • Weight limit:
    The ranch has a limited number of horses for riders over 180 lbs.

There are no separate activities planned for non-riders, who can take advantage of this unique location to fly fish, hike and visit with the ranch animals. With a rental car the town of Dubois is about 40 minutes away.

Hadley teaches four flowing yoga classes a week in the ranch’s yoga yurt, Monday and Wednesday afternoons, Friday mornings, and Saturday afternoons. The classes are designed to stretch the muscles that typically become sore during riding. They are friendly for people without much (or any!) yoga experience, but they also offer something to the more experienced yoga practitioner.

At the ranch. We can provide details for services for transportation from the Jackson Hole airport or the Riverton airport.

Trip Itinerary

The horseback riding program at the Bitterroot Ranch caters to all levels of ability. Groups are kept small and are divided according to experience. Hiking and trout fishing are options for non-riders, making this a perfect family vacation. Stays at the ranch typically last a week, from Sunday to Sunday, but half week stays are also an option if you have less time available. The following itinerary gives an idea of a typical week, but there is much flexibility according to the needs and desires of guests.

Day 1

Sunday – Arrive and settle into your comfortable log cabin before meeting the other guests for cocktails and a BBQ dinner by the river.

Day 2

Monday, AM – Orientation and evaluation in the arena to determine that you are well matched to your horse and group. This is followed by an introductory ride through open plains and woods to the west of the ranch. 3 hours
Monday, PM – Set off along Meadow Creek and then climb up onto the high sagebrush plains which offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. 1 ½ hours

Day 3

Tuesday, AM – Optional videotaped lesson (1 ½ hours) or ride to a breathtaking outlook in the Shoshone National Forest, returning by a different route. 2 ½ hours
Tuesday, PM – Set off along the river, then enjoy some fast riding along trails through the sagebrush with spectacular views of the snowcapped Wind River Mountains in the distance. 1 ½ hours

Day 4

Wednesday, AM – Ride along the East Fork of the Wind River and Pine Creek on forest trails to Butch Cassidy’s hideout, returning across open sagebrush plains. 2 ½ hours
Wednesday, PM – Steep gorges with amazing views characterize the ride this afternoon. 2 hours

Day 5

Thursday, AM – Optional videotaped lesson (1 ½ hours) or explore the Mountain Meadows area above the ranch with its aspen groves, pastures and old cow camps. 2 ½ hours
Thursday, PM – Enjoy a spectacular fast ride on the open plains of the Game & Fish habitat. 2 hours

Day 6

Friday, AM – A long ride clinging to the hillside high above the East Fork of the Wind River negotiating steep mountain trails before breaking out into flatter sagebrush country with chances for some good canters. Sometimes we visit a site where 60 million year old fossils are found. 2 ½ hours

Friday, PM – Team sorting competition in the arena after the cows have been gathered (July, August, September). 2 ½ hours

Day 7

Saturday – Set off on a picnic ride high into the Shoshone National Forest. In July, August and September the more experienced riders will check on and move cattle. 6 hours

Day 8

Sunday – Departure after a good, hearty breakfast.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be changed at your hosts's discretion due to unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

May 23 – September 23 with week-long stays running from Sunday to Sunday. Half-week stays (includes 4 nights and 3 days riding) are also an option.
Additional Pricing Information:
A 10% gratuity charge will be added to the total. Rates include accommodations, all meals, fishing and daily riding except for Sunday. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.

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Preferred Trip Dates

Bitterroot Ranch
May 21, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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Of all our ranch vacations, this one offered the most variety of terrains and rides. Every day a different surprise - Wind River and Absaroka ranges, Elk range, river canyons, volcanic ash hills, cattle driving, riding lessons, yoga, fly fishing, easy hikes to great scenery between rides, very well cared for horses,... Read more  

Ferguson, 2019