Guest & Dude Ranches – Guided Activities
Page Summary: A guide to Guest Ranches, Dude Ranches & outdoor guided activities around Pinedale, Wyoming.
A huge variety of guest ranches, dude ranches and outdoor guided activities awaits the visitor to Pinedale, Wyoming, from a rustic cabin retreat where you're on your own, to spacious and civilized lodges where every comfort is catered to. You can snowmobile the backcountry to a cozy winter camp, relive the adventures of Oregon Trail pioneers on a wagon journey, learn to cowboy on a real cattle roundup, hunt your favorite wildflowers in brilliant alpine meadows or stalk the bull elk you'll talk about the rest of your life. For people who love the outdoors, Pinedale, Wyoming can make dreams come true.
Personalized service, experienced guides, and the awesome landscape of Pinedale, Wyoming are what make these once-in-a-lifetime activities worth paying for. Listen to the coyotes howl, watch deer or moose from your window, breathe the sweet mountain air and enjoy a simple life for a while. The guest ranch locations are all unique, with their own histories and tales, making it a real treat to relax in the evening and chat with hosts. Our night skies are among the clearest in the nation - we can rightly brag that we grow more stars and galaxies than just about anybody else.
Mid-June through mid-August is considered summer at this high elevation (approximately 7,000 feet above sea level in the valleys), with autumn stretching into early October. These months are excellent for horseback riding in the mountains. You can book half-day or all-day rides, or go for an extended wilderness pack trip - all with safe mounts, experienced wranglers and guides who know the way. Participatory pack trips are also available, in which you assist with some of the day-to-day chores when you are not fishing high mountain lakes or absorbing the breathtaking views. These trips provide a good opportunity to learn a few packing skills of your own and to become more self-sufficient in the wilderness.
If you'd like an extended horseback, hiking, or camping trip in the spectacular Wind River Range, but don't want to deal with pack animals or gear, consider a progressive pack trip, gear drop or spot pack. Most outfitters can provide a wide spectrum of services, from simply transporting your equipment, all the way to cooking meals, maintaining your camp, dealing with horses or mules, and making sure you don't get lost. They also know where to find the wildlife and scenery for great photographs.
If you're in the mood for a working vacation on horseback, you can saddle up and push them doggies like the ranch hands do - with a little training from friendly cowpokes. Find out what brandings are all about, eat hearty home-cooked meals and hone your riding skills in the vast panorama that is Pinedale, Wyoming's hallmark: sagebrush, rivers and towering snowcapped peaks. Or sign up for a unique five-day living history trek, traveling the Oregon Trail by iron-wheeled wagon. Visit the graves of those who perished along the trail. Ride a gentle horse, sit in the wagon or walk the trail. Make camp, eat a Dutch oven dinner and fall asleep under the open sky, just like 150 years ago, when some of our ancestors headed West.
A low-impact option for hikers and backpackers is the llama trek. Llama outfitters may provide pack trips into the backcountry, or for people who can navigate their own route, the outfitter simply leases the animals and packs, providing easy instructions on handling the animals. A llama can carry about 60 lbs. of gear, so you can enjoy walking without a burden. Llamas are smaller and lighter than horses and are easier to handle and care for. They are ideal for people who are intimidated by the size and temperament of a horse. Because llamas are not shod and have feet similar to that of an elk or deer, they don't tear up trails. In fact, the U.S. Forest Service recommends them because they leave almost no trace of their presence.
Fishermen who love to pull trout from rivers and lakes will love the pursuit of happiness in Pinedale, Wyoming. Knowledgeable guides are familiar with all fishing regulations and know the best places for the fishing you want to do. Outfitters can take anglers on a day-long float down the famous Green River, find a great spot to fly fish from the bank of a crystal-clear stream, or pack passionate trout scouts on an overnight safari to sparkling high mountain lakes. Some guides offer fly fishing instruction as well. Fry up a freshly caught rainbow, brown, Mackinaw, cutthroat or golden on your campfire! Some lakes also harbor Kokanee, a freshwater salmon. Don't forget to come back during the winter for ice fishing! See fishing & ice fishing pages for more details.
Hunting season (the fifth season of the year) generally lasts into November, depending on the critter you seek. Many of Pinedale, Wyoming's hunting guides have spent their whole lives outwitting antelope, mountain lions, bear, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and moose. Whether you are a bow hunter or rely on your rifle, you are bound to have the hunting adventure of a lifetime here. Local outfitters can help prospective hunters navigate the process of applying for a license from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and what to do when - and if - you draw a tag. In the Wyoming system, applying to hunt does not guarantee a tag, and Wyoming outfitters are not allowed to apply for licenses on behalf of clients. Be sure to apply by the deadline stated in the regulations, and be aware that you may have to apply for several years to draw the tag you want. For hunting regulations, visit the WG&F website at http://gf.state.wy.us/admin/regulations. See hunting page for more details.
Winter in Pinedale, Wyoming brings the delights of snowmobiling on hundreds of miles of open trail and vast expanses of virgin powder, with the best snow generally blanketing the hills in February and March. Depending on weather conditions, there is the potential for sledding bliss from December into April. Many guest ranches and outfitters provide winter getaways and snowmobile trips with cabins or lodges as accommodation. Whether you book a snowmobile adventure in the Wind Rivers, Wyoming Range or Gros Ventre, you will find yourself in unforgettable world-class snowmobile terrain with experienced guides who care about your safety and comfort. Rental equipment is available in Pinedale and Big Piney. Outfitters who don't supply equipment can help you rent it from a reputable dealer. See snowmobile page for more details.
Any time of year, family reunions, weddings, artist retreats and other group functions can book entire facilities where peace and quiet, lots of outdoor options, plus great natural beauty add up to great memories. Additional advantages include friendly people, slow pace, and no crowds.
In Pinedale, recreation is the reason for any season, and a guest ranch, outfitter or guide service can be found to match just about anyone's plans. Book well in advance for best results.