Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


Fun Travels Across the United States 

WYOMING

News
Buffalo
Jackson Hole
Jackson Town

Kirby
Laramie
Little Kirby
Shoshone National Forest
Sweetwater
Wapiti

NEWS (Cities & Towns Follow the News)

Jackson Hole’s Bentwood Inn Awarded TripAdvisor® GreenLeaders Status

Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is offering a chance for guests to intimately view one of the world’s longest land migrations of many of North America’s wildlife with their “Bighorn Sheep and the Pathways of Migration” package.

Sweetwater County Names Top 5 Campgrounds  

Benchmark Hospitality International has added Jackson Hole To Growing Portfolio of Properties

For Dog Lovers Who Want to Travel With Their Dogs

Grand Teton National Park in Moose welcomes leashed dogs anywhere except hiking trails.

While dogs are not allowed to roam Yellowstone National Park at large, they are welcome to accompany their owners to the Old Faithful Geyser.

If you want to let pets run free, there are 6 large off-leash dog parks located in popular Wyoming cities such as Cheyenne, Casper, Jackson, Sheridan, Cody and Rock Springs.

If hiking is on the vacation to-do list, Medicine Bow Trail in Routt National Forest welcomes dogs, as do all the trails in Bear River State Park. Families vacationing near Cody can contact Cody Wyoming Adventures, which offers whitewater rafting on the Shoshone River or Wild Mustang horse tours that allows dogs to tag along. For those who wish to visit more of Yellowstone National Park with dogs in tow, Cody Wyoming Adventures also offers a Yellowstone Wildlife and Photo Tour where leashed pets are welcome.

For something a little different to preserve memories of the trip, visitors can bring pets to the Red Velvet Swing in Jackson for some old time photos that include the whole family. Lastly, don't worry about where fuzzy friends will stay -- in addition to 54 campgrounds, there are 148 hotels in Wyoming that welcome them.

The burgh of Kirby, Wyoming has been bustling for a few years now

Hot Springs Haven at Little Kirby

Wild Horses Sanctuary

Just a mention of wild horses in the West, and management of the herds, has an immediately polarizing effect on people. Some believe the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can do nothing right and others favor many of the federal agency’s actions with regard to the herds. Thousands of the independent creatures roam Wyoming and the newest idea to help remove them from range the government believes overpopulated is an eco-sanctuary. The first one in the country will open this fall 30 miles west of Laramie, WY and it is on the 4,000 acre Deerwood Ranch owned by Rich and Jana Wilson. “We’re very excited about this opportunity,” said Jana Wilson. The family has been spending a good deal of time with fence work and de-installation of cattle guards to ready for the horses. A herd of about 250 animals will have the beautiful Centennial Valley as their new home. “It will be something new for us. Our whole family lives on the ranch and
most of us will be involved in some way,” Wilson added. Tourism is an important aspect of the sanctuary in order to defray costs of operating it so visitors will be allowed to see and photograph the herd. Details are still being worked out but October. A BLM report on the project says Deerwood will provide “long-term, humane care” for non-reproducing wild horses. Wilson says she’s been assured the animals brought to Deerwood will be gathered from rangelands within Wyoming.

Yellowstone in Winter

Visitors to the country’s first national park during the winter season, beginning in December, have a number of packages from which to choose. Many of the tours are offered in partnership with the non-profit Yellowstone Association Institute. Winter in Yellowstone is a truly unique experience especially near all of the hot spots where mud pots bubble, geysers erupt and steam crystallizes in the air. One of the more popular packages is the “Winter Wolf Discovery” option. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns ventured out on a similar adventure for the first time a couple of winters ago. “This has been a huge treat,” Burns said afterward. “I’ve had the opportunity to see my first wolves in the wild; lots of elk and buffalo. This is a ten on a scale of one to ten.” To review all of the Yellowstone in winter options and look over the plentiful winter lodging locations, go to www.travelyellowstone.com For general Yellowstone information check www.nps.gov/yell.

BUFFALO

Where to Stay

Paradise Guest Ranch

Few places remain that embrace the days of old, offer wholesome family fun, and celebrate the West as it once was. Among these precious few is Wyoming’s Paradise Guest Ranch, which celebrated its 100th year as a guest ranch in 2007.
 
“Paradise Guest Ranch sits smack-dab in the middle of the Old West,” say owners Clay and Leah Miller. “This is the perfect year to sample the rich western history, and to share in our little piece of Paradise in Wyoming’s scenic and un-crowded Bighorn Mountains.”
 
This area has drawn visitors, some famous, some infamous, for more than 100 years due to its unmatched beauty, Miller says. Owen Wister once paid the ranch a visit to gain inspiration for his time-honored book The Virginian. The Johnson County Cattle Wars took place just outside nearby Buffalo, Wyoming. And most notably, the infamous Hole-In-The-Wall hideout of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid lies just down the road from the ranch in the southern Big Horn Mountains.
 
Modern day visitors leave with the same lasting impression that inspired Owen Wister. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "There is a paradise that can claim the name without blushing or apologizing. It is a nearly mystical niche where the owls call at night and the eagles soar over the peaks in the cool clearness of the day.”
 
The ranch will mark its 100th year beginning May 28, offering visitors a selection of weekly special activities including a period-dress western fashion show, old time cowboy music, western swing dance instruction, cowboy poetry, a historical multi media slide show and surprise events throughout the week.
 
These special celebrations are in addition to some of the best hiking and fly fishing in the country, not to mention overnight camp trips, wildlife viewing, and one of the top horseback riding programs that the ranch already boasts. The ranch is also known for its comprehensive youth program, so parents can take part in all of these activities with the peace of mind that their children (infants to teens) are being well cared for and having the time of their life.

Kids Reconnect to Nature at Paradise Ranch in Wyoming 

Kids are increasingly disconnected from the nature. Paradise Ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming is striving to change this trend by offering programs that encourage children to get back to nature through hiking, fishing and horseback riding in the wilderness. 

In today's world, where computers are commonplace, grade-schoolers have their own cell phones, and video games often replace outdoor play, Paradise Ranch is a western retreat where families can come to unplug from electronics in a gorgeous wilderness setting in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

Clay and Leah Miller, owners of Paradise Ranch explain, 'Paradise Ranch is well-known for having one of the best ranch programs for children in the country.' Four full-time employees are devoted to overseeing the daily activities. Infants to teens have their own programs at Paradise Ranch, with age-appropriate activities supervised by specially trained kid wranglers. Babysitters are on hand to watch the youngest guests up to age 3 every day from 8:15 a.m. to noon, while kids over age 3 can participate in a full-day program (parents pick up their kids to accompany them to the dining hall for lunch). 

Preschoolers have fun on pony rides, while children ages 6 and up can participate in the daily horseback-riding program. Of course, children can opt in or out of daily activities as needed, depending on family plans. 

Here's a sample Kids' Program schedule for a typical weeklong stay:

Monday: Horse Day

Morning: Introductions and ice breakers, outdoor games, roping and pony rides for kids under 6.
Afternoon: Beaver Pond hike, arts & crafts, calf feeding.

Tuesday: Fishing Day

Morning: Arts & crafts, swimming, outdoor games.
Afternoon: Make fishing poles, fishing at the pond (parents are encouraged to attend), talent show practice.
Evening: Kids‚ dinner and games.
Night: Teen Social (movie and ice cream).

Wednesday: Native American Day

Morning: Make dream catchers and headdresses, talent show practice.
Afternoon: Talent show practice, totem pole making, calf feeding.
Evening: Kids‚ dinner and games.
Night: Talent show.

Thursday: Tie-Dyeing Day

Morning: Calf feeding, tie-dyeing.
Afternoon: Off.
Evening: Pack trips for teens; campouts for ages 3-12; dinner-time babysitting for babies and toddlers, so parents can enjoy Gourmet Night in the dining hall.

Friday: Nature Day

Morning: Hikes, outdoor games, pony rides.
Afternoon: Treasure hunt, rock painting, cookie making.
Evening: Chuckwagon Dinner.

Saturday: Rodeo Day

Morning: Chicken-chasing competition, swimming, outdoor games.
Afternoon: Bookmark and bird-feeder making, kids‚ rodeo.

For additional information, visit www.paradiseranch.com.

About Paradise Ranch 
Paradise Guest Ranch is tucked in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains in north-central Wyoming near the historic town of Buffalo. 
To arrange a week-long stay, call 307-684-7876 or email fun@paradiseranch.com. 
Visit online at www.ParadiseRanch.com.

Gourmet Cowboy Cuisine at Paradise Guest Ranch guests anxiously listen for the dinner bell 

When guests hear the dinner bell ring for mealtime at Paradise Guest Ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming, they know itís time to enjoy some hearty cowboy cooking with gourmet flair. Meals are served at the dining hall at the heart of the ranch, and guests make new friends at long, communal tables.

'We go beyond the expected dude ranch food,' says owner Clay Miller. 'Everything is made in the ranch kitchen with a western flair. Guests can literally experience a different cowboy dish at every meal.' Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 9 a.m., with a plentiful buffet spread of fresh fruit, juice, cereal, oatmeal and yogurt. Guests can also order off the hot breakfast menu (from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.), which includes pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon and sausage, as well as a daily special, which might be biscuits and gravy, eggs benedict or chocolate-chip pancakes.

Lunch is buffet style and served at noon. Salad and sandwich fixings are available, as well as daily hot entrees, such as blackened chicken breasts, hickory grilled burgers, pork and veggie stir fry, pizza, taco bar and pasta. Lunchtime sweets include peanut butter cookies, lemon bars, homemade granola bars and bread pudding.

Dinner is served at 7 p.m., with main dishes plated individually and accompaniments on the table, passed around family style. Delectable entrees served regularly at the ranch include herb-roasted prime rib with roasted red potatoes and citrus green beans; grilled pork chops with balsamic-marinated black-eyed peas and Southwest cornbread; Cajun shrimp kabobs with bacon and cheddar polenta and oven-roasted asparagus; and BBQ ribs with charred corn on the cob and slow-roasted baked beans . Save room for dessert: New York cheesecake with berry sauce, homemade apple dumplings with ice cream and cinnamon sauce, homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Childrens' dinners: On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the kids are served an optional early childrenís meal at 6 p.m. Food is geared toward picky palates, and the meal is supervised by activities staff, who then play with the children until 8:15 p.m., allowing mom and dad to enjoy a kid-free meal themselves.

Special dinner events: Typically, an outdoor Cookout on the Hill takes place on Monday night, where everyone gathers for an al fresco meal, followed by a sing-a-long around the bonfire. A grownup Gourmet Night takes place Thursday night (when the kids are at their campouts) with hors díouevres and special dinner menu followed by western music and dancing. The whole family rides horses to a special site for a Chuckwagon Dinner on Friday night (a mule team and wagon transport little buckaroos and those who are not able to ride a horse to dinner).

Wine, beer & cocktails: A full bar is available at the French Creek Saloon; alcoholic drinks cost extra. A selection of bottled wines and beers may also be pre-ordered and are delivered to guest cabins upon request.

For specific details on a week-long stay, special itineraries, and photos, visit www.paradiseranch.com. Call 307-684-7876 or email fun@paradiseranch.com for reservations.

Summer will quickly come and go, and the fall fishing and hunting season in Buffalo, Wyoming will be in full swing.

Buffalo and Johnson County are nestled between the rolling plains of the "Old West" and the foothills of the breathtaking Big Horn Mountains and Big Horn National Forest. This area offers endless outdoor adventure opportunities like hunting and fishing for those that want a fall getaway that includes fresh air, active freedom, and endless action in this vast outdoor playground.

Hunting

Johnson County offers marvelous hunting opportunities for several types of big game species including elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear, mountain lion and pronghorn antelope. There are also a variety of upland game birds. Outfitters in the area are available for guided hunts, but visitors can also choose to go on a hunting expedition solo.  With the crisp mountain air, breathtaking scenery, and the advantages of not having to deal with overcrowded hunting spots, Buffalo is a great hunting vacation find.

Fishing

There are over 200 lakes in the Big Horn Mountains and Bighorn National Forest and provide ample opportunities for fishing adventures. Some lakes are easily accessible by hiking - others are best accessible by horseback. Guided fishing trips, pack trips and drop camps are available in the Buffalo area. Many of the area’s streams and lakes provide excellent trout fishing. Fish species include brook, brown, and cutthroat trout, and grayling. Fishing opportunities abound in the Middle Fork of the Powder River near Kaycee, area reservoirs, and the mountain streams and lakes within the Bighorn National Forest and Cloud Peak Wilderness Area near Buffalo. Two of the most popular fishing sites near Buffalo are Lake DeSmet and Healy Reservoir.

More Information

Hunting is allowed on National Forest lands but, Wyoming statute requires that nonresidents must have a licensed guide or resident companion to hunt big or trophy game in national forest wilderness areas. The resident companion will need to obtain a free non-commercial guide license from a G&F office. The law does not prohibit nonresidents from hiking, fishing or hunting game birds or coyotes in wilderness areas. Only nonresident big and trophy game hunters must have a licensed guide or resident companion. For Wyoming License information, telephone (307) 777-4600.

For more information or to plan your hunting and fishing getaway, contact Margaret Dunfee at 307-684-5544 or go to http://vocuspr.vocus.com/VocusPR30/Url

JACKSON HOLE

Where to Stay

Jackson Hole’s Bentwood Inn Awarded TripAdvisor® GreenLeaders Status

The award-winning Bentwood Inn (www.bentwoodinn.com) has proudly announced it has been accepted as a Platinum (highest level) GreenLeader into the GreenLeaders™ program, which helps travelers around the world plan greener trips by highlighting hotels and B&Bs engaging in environmentally-friendly practices. TripAdvisor GreenLeaders properties have met a set of environmental standards developed for TripAdvisor by a leading environmental consulting firm, with input from expert partners. The more green practices a hotel has in place, the higher its GreenLeader level, which is shown on the property’s listing on the TripAdvisor site.

“As a long standing Gold level GreenLeader, we are especially honored to be recognized by TripAdvisor as a Platinum GreenLeader – their highest certification - for our continuing focus on operating a sustainable luxury inn in Jackson Hole, and helping preserve the unique Yellowstone Ecosystem we are privileged to share with guests,” said Innkeeper Bob Schrader.

Travelers can now search for accommodations that have TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status on the TripAdvisor site, and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can expect at each location.

“TripAdvisor GreenLeaders are leading the hospitality industry in making efforts to improve their environmental footprint,” said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. “We greatly applaud these hotels and B&Bs, and are pleased to share their eco-friendly practices with our online community of more than 260 million travelers who visit the site each month.”

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program was developed in consultation with the United Nations Environment Programme, the U.S. Green Building Council, ENERGY STAR®, and the International Center for Responsible Tourism Canada, among other leading environmental organizations. For more information, please visit www.tripadvisor.com/GreenLeaders.

About The Bentwood Inn
The Bentwood Inn is a four season, award-winning luxury log lodge nestled on 3.5 acres of Jackson Hole solitude where all year long wildlife can be seen passing through the property. Built in 1995, the Inn was constructed with massive 200 year old logs sustainably harvested after the Great Yellowstone Fire of 1988. There is over 6,000 square feet of luxury to enjoy; including the Great Room with a three-story river rock fireplace and baby grand piano. Each guest room has a private fireplace and personal deck or porch, and most have a king bed and jetted spa tub. The large outdoor back deck facing the Grand Tetons is perfect for relaxing and socializing in warm weather, and ideal for hosting weddings and events. In addition to in-room private fireplaces, quests are pampered with plush robes, Wi-Fi and unique and natural bath amenities. Each stay includes a full breakfast, gourmet appetizers each night and bottomless plates of home baked chocolate chip cookies.

The only Select Registry lodge in Wyoming, the inn was recently featured on The Today Show. Ski Magazine selected The Bentwood as “Inn of the Month” and Outside Magazine recognized the lodge as, “One of North America’s Top 10 Ecolodges.” In the summer of 2015 The Bentwood teamed up with Tesla Motors to provide a Tesla Destination Charging station at the inn.

For more information on Bentwood Inn call 307-739-1411; e-mail info@bentwoodinn.com; or check web site www.bentwoodinn.com

Benchmark Hospitality International has added Jackson Hole To Growing Portfolio of Properties

Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading US-based independent hospitality management company, has announced that Snow King Resort, located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has joined the company’s portfolio of prestigious, independently-branded properties. Burt Cabañas, chairman and CEO, made the announcement.

Snow King Resort is located in Downtown Jackson Hole at the base of Snow King Mountain, just minutes from the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. In the heart of Wyoming's legendary ski country, Snow King Resort features comprehensive all-season recreational opportunities, superb dining, outstanding social and corporate gathering spaces, and diverse lodging choices: Guests of the resort can select from the Snow King Hotel, the adjacent Snow King Condominiums, and the Grand View Luxury Lodge.

Snow King Resort is as ideal for social and corporate gatherings as it is for summer vacations and ski holidays. The hotel features 30,000 square feet of event space and is supported by skilled catering and conference service teams. Three outdoor event areas provide 9,000 additional square feet of function space for weddings, receptions and meetings, complemented with inspiring views of the surrounding landscape. With a 9,000-square-foot ballroom on site, and access to the 25,000-square-foot Snow King Center, the resort provides the most comprehensive meeting amenities of any property in the region.

Superb dining will be a focus at Snow King Hotel, as a transformed Atrium Restaurant will re-open in the spring. In the interim, the hotel will continue to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. Snow King’s banquet and catering team ensures every social and corporate event is skillfully executed and long remembered.

What is most inspiring about Snow King Resort, however, is its distinctive setting in the heart of America’s legendary “Old West.” Located at the base of Snow King Mountain with views of the Grand Tetons, outdoor adventures abound. Numerous activities are available to guests, and include horseback riding in the foothills of the mountains, white water rafting on the nearby Snake River, scenic chairlift rides to mountain tops, the famed Alpine Slide -- an exhilarating ride through the wooded mountainous surroundings, as well as some of the nation’s most breathtaking hot air ballooning high above the Grand Teton Mountain Range. 

Winter sports feature sought-after snow skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Also available to resort guests are ice skating at Snow King Center, snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park, and so much more. Close by is the world’s first and arguably most beloved national park, Yellowstone, with all-season outdoor adventure and wildlife excursions that have inspired generations of travelers. 

For those needing a break from nature, charming Jackson Hole provides superb shopping and dining choices, as well as art galleries, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and an historic Town Square. Airlift into the destination is through the Jackson Hole Airport, which is serviced by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Skywest Airlines and United Airlines with direct service to Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, and Los Angeles.

About Snow King Resort

The Snow King Resort, which includes the Snow King Hotel and the Grand View Luxury Lodge, is located just six blocks from the Historic Jackson Hole Town Square and near the gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, providing an ideal setting for leisure vacations or productive business meetings. A full-service resort, the property features a restaurant, lounge, concierge, 30,000 square feet of event space, 204 guestrooms, over 100 Grand View Luxury Lodge units and 45 one-to-four bedroom condominiums. In the winter, guests enjoy Skiing, Snowboarding and Snow Tubing. During the summer, on site Scenic Chairlift, Alpine Slide, Miniature Golf, Horseback Riding, Mountain Bike and Hiking trails make every stay an adventure. A visit to Snow King Resort is a retreat to the distinctive western hospitality of storied Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

About JMI Realty

JMI Realty is a vertically integrated hospitality investment company with deep acquisition, development, construction and repositioning expertise. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with a satellite office in San Diego, California, the firm is headed by John Kratzer and is perhaps best known for its role as the master developer of the ballpark district in downtown San Diego. The firm recently began a significant joint venture relationship with Siguler Guff out of New York. This is the second in a series of investments for the Fund. For additional information please visit www.jmirealty.com.

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM. The independent company, launched in 1980, is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations. Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Benchmark Hospitality is also a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers. The company's eastern regional office is in New Jersey, western regional office is in Washington, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark's properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com.

What to See & Do

Don't Worry About the Weather for Skiing

Weather is always a concern when it comes to planning the ultimate ski vacation. But it
hasn’t been a concern for Jackson Hole. Last year Jackson Hole Mountain Resort received 373 inches by closing day (in a drought year); more snow than anybody in the Rockies and California. Now with more flights and the new Casper High Speed Quad, visitors have easy access to great snow and some of the best intermediate terrain in the country. New air service provided by United Airlines from Newark and San Francisco, along with new winter service by Delta Air Lines from Minneapolis complements existing service provided by American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth, Delta Air Lines from Atlanta and Salt Lake City; and United Airlines from Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles. Thats a total of 9 US cities with direct flights to Jackson Hole this winter.

The new Casper, high speed, 4-passenger detachable chair will wisk skiers and snow-
boarders up the mountain reducing the ride time to 3.5 minutes from 10 on the original
lift. Along with the new lift, the Casper intermediate trail network has received extensive
summer grooming to widen and improve two major runs, Wide Open and Lift Line (now
renamed Sundog). This expansion of intermediate terrain is part of an overall plan to
attract more intermediate skiers and riders, and help the resort retain more of its guests.
Intermediate skiers and snowboarders are the largest segment of the United States skiing
and riding population.

The Casper lift replacement is part of a series of capital improvements including an up-
graded and larger snowcat fleet, expanded snowmaking acreage and capacity which has
helped the resort open more terrain early in the season and also allows for more exten-
sive grooming. Additionally, the new Marmot Lift, installed last summer, services inter-
mediate terrain from the top of the Gondola to the base of the Thunder lift. Fore more
info, visit www.jacksonhole.com.

JACKSON TOWN

Where to Stay

Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa

In the heart of Jackson Town at the foot of the Grand Teton Mountain Ranges of Wyoming, Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa is ideally located for you to enjoy the atmosphere of an American Ski Resort while still offering a peaceful respite after a long day in the snow. This charming, rustic lodge indulges in spacious, sumptuous rooms with open fireplaces and decadent bathrooms. With three fantastic ski fields in close proximity you have a variety of different ski terrain to choose from. If you need a day’s rest from the slopes embark on a wildlife expedition, snow shoe tour or spend the day snowmobiling nearby. The hotel’s award winning Wild Sage Restaurant offers exceptional regional cuisine paired with your choice of wine from the hotel’s extensive cellar. To top off an unforgettable stay, relax in the outdoor hot tub under the stars or indulge in a reviving treatment at the highly acclaimed Body Sage Spa.  

For more information, check web site www.slh.com/rustyparrot. (All ski lifts running)

Jackson Fork Ranch

How to Reach Jackson Fork Ranch
Regularly scheduled service on American, Delta, Frontier and United Airlines, comes via Jackson Airport, offering easy connections from key markets across the U.S. Guests with more time and looking for some scenic, road trip bonding also have the option of doing the 4-hour drive from Salt Lake City.

About Jackson Fork Ranch
Situated 40 miles south of Jackson Hole, Wyo., the Ranch is adjacent to Bridger-Teton National Forest and includes 6.5 miles of private Upper Hoback River access, home to native and wild Snake River Cutt-Throat Trout. Jackson Fork Ranch is also one of only a handful of fishing lodges that features Wyoming Cutt-Slam, offering guests the opportunity to fish all four native Wyoming Cutthroat trout in their native waters. For added fishing and recreational diversity, dozens of different rivers and lakes, as well as Grand Teton National Park, are within an hour‚s drive from the Ranch, with Yellowstone National Park 90 minutes north.

In addition to its famed fly-fishing school and packages, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking activities are also available. The Ranch and lodge can also be booked for private holiday getaways, weddings, reunions or special events.

Reservations & Information
The Ranch's summer season runs May 1 -mid-October. A number of seasonal and extended stay fishing packages are also available. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.jacksonfork.com or call 866-953-1290

KIRBY

The burgh of Kirby, Wyoming has been bustling for a few years now --

because it’s the home-town of Wyoming Whiskey – the first legal distillery in the state. Public tours are offered at no charge. Company owners hired a former master distiller at Maker’s Mark in Kentucky. Steve Nally and his wife, Donna, have been working hard at product development. Their 38-foot tall copper still was built specifically for Wyoming Whiskey. Tours include discussions about the use of locally grown corn, wheat and barley in addition to the very pure artesian well water from a limestone aquifer near Manderson, Wyoming. To make tour reservations call: 307-864-2116. Go to www.wyomingwhiskey.com and be sure to click on “Distillery” to watch a cool time-lapse video of the main building going up.

LARAMIE

Where to Stay

Wyoming's Historic Vee Bar Offers a Great Home Base for Legendary Snowmobiling and Skiing Vacations

Nestled in the shadows of the Snowy Range Mountains along the banks of the Little Laramie River, the Vee Bar Guest Ranch has a rich history that stretches back over a hundred years. Located just 2 1/2 hours north of Denver, it offers the ideal home base for an unforgettable winter vacation. Every winter season, the Snowy Range Mountains lure winter sports enthusiasts to explore the vast winter landscape where skiing and snowmobiling opportunities are plentiful.

Just a short trip from the city of Laramie are miles of well-groomed cross country skiing trails and the Snowy Range Ski Area offers renowned downhill skiing and snowboarding with over 25 trails that range from novice to expert level. Miles of snowmobile trails wind through the forests, and many forest areas are open to traveling by snowshoe. The entire Snowy Range area has over 160 miles of groomed trails and seemingly limitless amount of land is available for snowmobiling throughout Medicine Bow National Forest. Often less crowded than other winter recreation destinations and much more economical, this area of Wyoming can be an attractive choice for winter vacationers who are looking for something unique.

The Vee Bar Guest Ranch, which operates as a Bed and Breakfast during the winter months, is a great starting point for a winter getaway. This cozy respite features easy access to area winter recreation activities along with quaint accommodations, a full breakfast each day, optional pre-arranged fine dining, a hot tub for soaking after a day of winter fun, wireless internet, and much more. With a past that at various points in time includes being a stagecoach stop, a post office, a freight line to local mines, and a government training school for boys from low-income families, the fascinating Vee Bar has warm accommodations that make it a great place to keep warm after a day of powdery bliss.

For more information about the Vee Bar Guest Ranch, visit www.veebar.com or contact Kari Kilmer at 307-745-7036.

LITTLE KIRBY

Check Out Little Kirby for Great Close-by Adventures

Little Kirby (population 57) is just a dozen miles north of the biggest mineral hot springs in the world which is the calling card of the town of Thermopolis. There is a public bathhouse where the soaking is free. Privately operated water slides and soaking spots are close-by in Hot Springs State Park where a state-managed bison herd roams year-round. Thermopolis is also home to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. A couple of sites are helpful – www.thermopolis.com & www.wyodino.org

SHOSHONE NATIONAL FOREST 

Where to Stay

Brooks Lake Lodge Offers Fun For The Whole Family

Located at 9,200 feet, and within the Shoshone National Forest, nestled in a valley between the Pinnacle Mountains (part of the Absaroka Range), the Continental Divide to the west and the Wind River Mountains to the South, Brooks Lake Lodge offers the perfect escape for families looking to break out from everyday life. Families are welcomed during either season at Brooks Lake Lodge but summer is a special time for children. Brooks Lake Lodge present summer children’s programs that include horseback riding, canoe trips, fishing lessons, story telling around the camp fire, and arts & crafts. Families are invited to Indulge on the gourmet meals prepared by only the finest chefs, or pamper mom at the complete Spa which features massage, facials, body treatments guaranteed to relax, refresh and rejuvenate! Amazing activities are ever present at Brooks Lake Lodge. Hike thru the wilderness surrounding the Brooks Lake Lodge, take a historic tour of the area, challenge the sense of nature by perfecting casting techniques with expert fly fishing instruction, and witness the incredible world of Wyoming wildlife on horseback. If a rustic wilderness experience in the West is desired, family horse pack trips are available with profession guides leading guests to the wonderful wilderness camp in the backcountry of Wyoming.  Winter also offers an array of activities for families including Skiing, Dog sledding, Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling,  and the newly added Ice Fishing, that includes a personal guide escorting guests to Brooks Lake, drilling the hole with an auger, and even supplying the cocoa or coffee to see that everything is in perfect order for an ideal day on the ice.
 
The upscale accommodations include family vacation cabins as well as luxuriant lodge rooms. Rates vary; please click here to view. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Brooks Lake Lodge combines history and luxury to provide the perfect retreat for families.
 
For more information, call Theresa King at 307-455-2121 or e-mail her at theresa@brookslake.com.

SWEETWATER

Where to Stay

Sweetwater County Names Top 5 Campgrounds        

Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism today announced the top five campgrounds near Rock Springs and the town of Green River. This area, characterized by high desert country landscape and wide open spaces, is conveniently located right at the junction of I-80 and Highway 191. This makes Sweetwater County the perfect pit stop for those traveling between national parks or road-tripping across the American West. With over 10,500 square miles, there are plenty of places to pitch a tent – or hook up an RV – in Sweetwater County.

Hideout Canyon Boat-in Campground
This popular camping enclave right on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir gets its name from a hiding spot used by Butch Cassidy and his gang. It is accessible only by boating or hiking in, and offers all of the water sports the gorge is famous for, literally at your backdoor. The campground is surrounded by scenic cliffs and offers 18 single-family sites, each with its own cabana, picnic table and fire ring.

The Travel Camp
Located just two miles outside of the town of Green River, this clean and friendly campground offers 72 camper spots. There are pull-through, back-in and tent sites. The proximity to Green River means great family fun and fishing is there for the taking.

Buckboard Crossing Campground
Located on the far northwest shore of the fabulous Flaming Gorge Reservoir and 25 miles from Green River, this campground consists of 66 single-family campsites, most of which can be reserved. Most sites have a cabana shade over a picnic table, fire rings and grills, while others offer electricity. Buckboard Marina is nearby for boat rentals, fuel, slips, fishing license, bait and groceries. 

Firehole Canyon Campground
Located 29 miles southwest of Rock Springs and adjacent to Flaming Gorge Reservoir, this desert-like campground is decorated with Russian Olive plants and sagebrush. The campground boasts beautiful views of the reservoir and surrounding red rock formations. Fishing, boating, canoeing, water skiing and swimming are all just a stone’s throw away! 

Mustang Ridge Campground
This site – on the Utah side of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir – is perched on a high desert bluff overlooking the water. This campsite sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet, offering expansive views of the surrounding countryside and is situated among a dense piñon pine and juniper forest.

About Sweetwater County

Sweetwater County, located halfway between Yellowstone and Canyonlands National Parks in southwest Wyoming, is home to 10,500 square miles of pure, high desert adventure. Known as “Flaming Gorge Country” the area is characterized by the 91-square-mile Flaming Gorge Lake, the famed Green River, expansive deserts and rugged mountains. Activities include camping, hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, hunting dinosaurs, shopping, and just plain getting away from it all. A perfect place to explore American history, Sweetwater County is also home to petroglyphs, pioneer trails and historical museums.

WAPITI

Where to Stay

UXU Ranch! -- Where There's Lots Going On

(For more information, contact the UXU Ranch at 1710 Yellowstone Highway City, Wapiti
WY 82450; 800-373-9027, or at web site www.uxuranch.com/adventure.cfm and Email:
info@uxuranch.com

UXU Ranch is Drenched in Natural Beauty

Spend an inclusive week at the UXU Ranch in the midst of what Teddy Roosevelt called “the most scenic 52 miles in the United States.”
 
Cross the North Fork River onto UXU Ranch property and exist in a world of no television, phone, or email. For the minimum stay of six nights (Sunday to Saturday), guests are immersed in fresh mountain meadows, soaring pines, and the tumbling river in this quiet western retreat from the outside world. Take a guided horseback journey through the trees, mountains and river to explore the untouched country while possibly spotting wildlife such as grizzly bears, moose, eagles, big horn sheep, and mountain goats to name a few. The itinerary also includes, but is not limited to, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, golfing, and one day is set aside to visit nearby Yellowstone National Park.  
 
Ten deluxe guest cabins ranging from one to three bedrooms are situated amongst the towering trees and include custom made western furniture, lavish bath robes and hand-made soaps. The Hollister Cabin has two open air, river rock showers that give guests a chance to freshen up while experiencing the crisp mountain air and amazing landscape.
 
Two resident Chefs combine New American Cuisine with Southern flare to serve delicious four-course meals thrice daily. Tasty appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, and the Ranch’s extensive wine list add even more to the guests dining experience. And for the kids there is an old fashioned marshmallow roast with hot chocolate around an evening campfire. 
 
The summer guest ranch has been operating since 1929 and sits on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, 17 miles from Yellowstone National Park and 35 miles west of Cody, WY. Reservations for 10-30 guests can be scheduled for corporate meetings, family reunions, weddings, and other events.
 
The UXU Ranch and its owner, Grant “Tuff” Flaharty, are members of the Dude Ranchers Association.

Gourmet Culinary Delights & Extensive Wine Cellar Satisfy the Palate

The UXU Ranch’s gourmet western food is prepared by two chefs, Cary Wolfe and Jon Campagna, who come from South Carolina and have worked at several high-end southern bistros and restaurants. New American Cuisine is mixed with Southern flare by combining regional and southern ingredients in dishes such as: buttermilk fried trout with green onion grits, elk tenderloin with blackberry-merlot reduction and seared pacific halibut with smoked tomato butter.
 
Every evening the dining experience starts with ‘cocktail hour’ where guests can taste test some of the more than 60 different wines, most of them out of California. Mouthwatering hors d'oeuvres made from scratch such as smoked trout mousse are also served to wet the appetite. All breads, pastries, and desserts are loaded with high quality ingredients and baked fresh daily. 
 
Guest may choose from a selection of dishes that change daily for four out of the six evenings spent at the ranch. The other two meals will consist of a traditional barbeque with baby-back ribs, blackened catfish and barbeque chicken and a lamb, turkey, and duck feast at the Old Trail Town Museum. A wide selection of beer, wine, and premium spirits are available at the honor bar.
 
Horsing Around at the Ranch
 
Take a guided horseback ride across the open Wyoming countryside each day and witness the awesome mountain views, colorful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife such as: buffalo, deer, elk, moose, wolves, eagles, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and grizzly bears. The UXU Ranch boasts fifty head of trail horses, one for every level of rider. Leisurely guide the horse through streams, around mountain ridges and back country trails while breathing the fresh country air and discovering nature.
 
Bike Riding at the Ranch

Bike riders may grab one of the six Specialized and Gary Fisher mountain bikes and head out onto one of the many intermediate to advanced trails only to discover rushing streams, giant rock formations, and overlook the towering Absaroka Mountains. Also one night can be spent at the annual Cody Rodeo where everyone will get to witness an authentic ‘old west’ competition complete with a ‘wild calf chase’ where the children get to participate in the action. Play a friendly game of softball or golf, head to the Shoshone River for some fishing, take the family hiking, river rafting, and to nearby Yellowstone to be inspired by the Grand Canyon.
 
Fly Fishing with UXU’s Experienced Guide

UXU Ranch has a resident fishing guide that will take guests to his favorite fishing holes to catch trout, cutthroat rainbows, and the occasional German brown trout.

There are many noteworthy nearby rivers to choose from such as: Madison, Yellowstone, Firehole, North Fork and the Shoshone (which just happens to wind right through the ranch). The knowledgeable fishing guide will provide instruction to help everyone have a successful trip on the river and can also arrange for fishing in other local waters, including the Clarks Fork and Big Horn rivers.
 
They do promote catch and release however if guests would like to have the chef cook their trout they will gladly do so. Fishing is best in late July and all of August.
  
Luxurious Western Beauty Inside and Out
 
Families, honeymooners, and seniors will all appreciate the beautiful surroundings, western hospitality, and luxurious accommodations at the UXU Ranch. With ten cabins total it has room for up to 35 guests but enough heart for hundreds.
 
Five of their deluxe guest cabins come with fireplaces and all ten have decks adorned with porch swings and custom made chairs. Down comforters, fluffy robes, crisp linens, and all the amenities from Q-tips to plush towels are provided for each guest.

The Deluxe ‘Hollister cabin’ was a stagecoach stop on the way to Yellowstone Park in the late 1800's. The 100-year-old cabin was purchased in 1999 and moved to the UXU log by log and re-assembled. It has been restored into a deluxe two bedroom, two bathroom cabin overlooking the Shoshone River and features a river rock fireplace in the master room and a wood burning stove in the other. This luxurious cabin which can accommodate up to six is also decorated with cozy award winning furniture from New West, and two open air showers that were made from river rock found nearby. These unique showers were built with rock wall that is three quarters of the way up, leaving the rest wide open for a showering experience like none other.
 
White Weddings in Green Pastures
 
The bride is escorted to the countryside isle by horse and carriage then walked down the grassy path to the groom while being surrounded by family, friends, and amazing mountain views. Then the party gathers under an enclosed white tent beautifully decorated with candles, lanterns, and fresh flowers. After toasting the newlyweds with champagne the guests savor gourmet dishes such as; pork tenderloin with fennel sauce, spinach and artichoke stuffed mushrooms, and smoked duck canapés. Then finally the happy couples’ first dance is followed by a horse and carriage ride to a private cabin nestled in the trees.
 
A destination wedding at the ranch can be planned for a day, week, or something in-between. The staff at UXU can assist in the planning process along with wedding planning partner Juniper Events.  Plan a one day celebration that includes the wedding, reception, and food. After the nuptials guests may nibble on hors d’oeuvres such as; smoked salmon, fruit, and shrimp cocktail, then feast on varying dishes such smoked turkey breast with mango chutney and pork tenderloin with fennel sauce served buffet style (sit down dinners are available at an additional charge).

From the bridal shower to the newlywed’s first dance—all can be arranged for a full weeks stay. The plans include use of all of the facilities, three delicious meals daily, one to ten cabins, all activities, and full wedding and reception for up to 50 people. Starting at *$50,000 for the week during the main season (June 15th thru Sept 15th) and *$40,000 during the off (May 15th-June 14th and Sept 15th thru Oct 1st), the bride and groom can plan the week to their specifications. Cabins may be rented individually to wedding guests to cut down on the costs to the couple and their families. Daily cabin rates start at $250 per night per person based upon a two night minimum stay and that includes all meals, wine and cheese hour, and Ranch activities throughout the day. Prices for second, third, or fourth person per cabin are lower.
 
*Pricing for tents, tables, chairs, silver will be in addition depending on the styles chosen.
 
Girlfriends Getaway
 
Horseback riding, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and crisp mountain air are just some of the essentials offered at the UXU Ranch in order for women to truly ‘get away from it all’.
 
Ride horseback, hike or mountain bike in the Absaroka Mountains, or walk in the vast countryside, all in the crisp mountain air. Recover from the eventful days in the hot tub, or in the underground sauna. Then gather on the large deck at the main lodge for lounging and catching up on ‘girl talk’.
 
Cuisine is expertly prepared thrice daily by gourmet chefs and served with wine and champagne. Leave room for one of the decadent desserts made with only the freshest fruits and finest ingredients.
 
Find retreat in the luxurious, private guest cabins, each with down comforters, custom made western furniture, and amazing forest views. Fluffy robes, fireplaces (in some cabins), and wood burning stoves keep the guests warm on the cool evenings (lows at night can get down to 40 degrees). All ten cabins at the ranch are complete with decks and porch swings, perfect for taking in the natural beauty and stillness of UXU.
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What's in a Name?
 
In 1929 Bob Rumsey, a Yale graduate with a colorful background founded UXU Ranch. The smart and eccentric Rumsey was experienced in education, cattle ranching, dairy farming, politics and dude ranching.
 
Rumsey and his wife Elizabeth ran a boys camp four miles up the road from what is now the UXU Ranch. After a bitter divorce Bob started his own ranch down the river and called it the ‘U Bitch U’ Ranch. His thinking was that Beth would have to pass the unsightly sign every time she had to make a trip into town. The rangers of the Shoshone National Forest however were not going to allow language of that nature and painted a large ‘X’ over the offensive word, thus the name ‘UXU Ranch’.

 Up until the 1960’s Mr. Rumsey made sure that the only way for guests to enter and exit the ranch was to cross a four-foot-wide swinging bridge that he built himself. Travelers would need to ring the front desk for assistance with luggage before they could enter the property. Bob, being a sly businessman, figured his guests would stay longer in order to put off crossing the precarious bridge again. The bridge has been replaced with an old railroad truss bridge and is now passable by automobile without any trouble.
 


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