A pack trip in Wyoming is a unique experience as you set off into the wilderness where you will be completely self-sufficient for six days thanks to the pack horses which carry all your food and gear. You will be riding through the more remote areas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, following sparkling streams through grassy valleys surrounded by pine clad slopes up to the high mountain passes where they have their source. Each day has its own character; there are mountain meadows blue with lupine, sheer cliff faces and dramatic mountain peaks which change from grey to rose as the sun follows its course. Great herds of elk on their summer range can sometimes be spotted and you will become familiar with the ubiquitous grey Canada jay or “camp robber”. There is a camaraderie that grows from sharing tales around the camp fire and an appreciation for a simpler way of life.
Slowly you forget the pressures of civilization and achieve harmony with nature in a leisurely way which will restore your spirit. You will learn to appreciate your equine friends and bond with them as they carry you surefooted through this awe inspiring land. You may well be gone for a week on one of our pack trips without seeing another human.
The first and last nights are spent at the Bitterroot Ranch, where you can leave any excess gear. The ranch borders the Shoshone National Forest and you will be riding in the wilderness two hours after departing.
Please take a look at our other destinations that offer pack trips.
Hot breakfasts will be cooked and served each morning before packing up camp and riding off for the day. Lunches will be picnic stops along the trail. Dinner each evening will be cooked over an open fire. Wine will be provided with dinner but guests are asked to bring their own supply of hard liquor. Remember this is a pack trip so limited space is available.
The horses are mainly Quarter horses and quarter horse crosses. They are trained western and are seasoned mountain horses. Tack is western. Riders are required to neck rein, and we also ask participants to be up in the stirrups for steep climbs so as not to sore the horses’ backs. The pace of this ride is SLOW. Given the rugged terrain and demanding nature of the trek, we consider it best to make this a walking only ride. This trip is a great fit for anyone seeking a ride through challenging (and beautiful) terrain but is not advisable for riders with a need for speed.
Helmets are required, there are some available to borrow.
At the ranch. We can provide details for services for transportation from the Jackson Hole airport or the Riverton airport.
Arrive at the Bitterroot Ranch for overnight accommodation. In the evening you will meet your guide and prepare for your adventure into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact wilderness areas left in the world (any gear you won’t need on the trip can be left at the ranch).
Mount a well trained and experienced horse in the morning and ride into the remote Absaroka Mountain range with a string of pack horses carrying a week’s worth of food and supplies. By lunch time you will have left the last dirt road far behind as the route passes through alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, along sparkling mountain streams, and over mountain passes far above tree line with views that seem to stretch to eternity. It is not unusual to spend an entire pack trip without passing another person on the trail. Camp the first night in the green meadows of Teepee Creek and enjoy your first dinner cooked over the wood fire. A meal made all the more delicious by an appetite built by the day’s adventures.
Today’s route takes you over the first mountain pass of the trip. As we ride above timber line there are often big herds of elk grazing on the tender grass. If you listen carefully you might hear the distinctive chirp of the young elk calves calling to their mothers. After a picnic along the banks of Bear Creek the trail runs parallel to the rushing water and gently climbs to the very head waters of the creek. Spend the night surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks and wide open vistas. You will very likely never want to leave this magical spot.
The camp will remain on Bear Creek until the following day so you can ride out to explore this magnificent valley without the pack horses, or just relax and enjoy the country around camp. Today’s ride takes the group along the Absaroka Trail and over the highest pass of the trip. In addition to Yellow-bellied Marmots, Bighorn Sheep are often seen in these remote and little traveled stretches of trail well above the altitude trees can grow. In the afternoon the trail takes us back into the green meadows of Bear Creek.
Climb out of Bear Creek heading eastward. In the morning you will traverse Nine Mile pass and cross into the headwaters of the East Fork of the Wind River. After admiring the dramatic peaks and high alpine meadows the trail takes you down a long, narrow valley ringed by steep mountains and thick forests. Tonight’s camp is situated on the edge of a lush meadow with a dramatic cliff face rising towards the sky on the far side. A lovely trout stream runs behind camp and offers a nice place to bathe for those that don’t mind the brisk temperature of water fed by freshly melting snow from the surrounding peaks.
The camp will remain in the East Fork for an additional night to allow for further exploration of the area. If the lure of trout fishing doesn’t tempt you then today’s ride will venture back into the high country, passing an abandoned shepherd’s cabin in an idyllic setting perfect for a picnic lunch. Sheep have now been replaced by grazing elk in the surrounding meadows.
Today you will ride back out of the wilderness towards the Bitterroot Ranch. It is the first permanent human habitation you will have seen for six days. The trail gradually takes you from the meadows and forests of the mountains into the foothills and sagebrush plains below. Dinner and overnight back at the ranch.
Depart the ranch in the morning after breakfast.
**This itinerary may be modified to adapt to weather conditions, grazing quality, forest fire or other unforeseeable circumstances. Accommodation at the Bitterroot Ranch depends on availability.**
Trip Dates & Pricing
Please inquire for availability for 2021
Additional Pricing Information:
A 10% gratuity charge will be added to the total.
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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
The Bitterroot ranch in Wyoming offers excellent riding for a broad range of ability levels. Everyone can enjoy varied trail rides through stunning scenery, with options for lessons weekly... Read more