Road Trip Around the West, Visiting Ranches Along the Way

BY Jody Dahl | Tue 03 Jun, 2014

When the semester was over at the University of Wyoming, I figured it was a proper use of time to do a road-trip in this beautiful region of the country.

The following two weeks I drove through five states, visited family and friends, explored the outdoors and went as a social media representative for Top50 to four different ranches.
After spending the first couple of days in Pinedale and Jackson Hole (WY) soaking up long sought-after sun (there was a snowstorm the day I left Laramie!) and hiking, I drove over the mountains into Idaho. What met me were endless fields of green with the mountains as a backdrop, and rolling hills with rich soil awaiting spring potato planting. Despite Idaho’s beauty and warm weather I was longing to see familiar faces in Montana. I spent the night sleeping in the back of my car, by the foot of Lake Ennis, with the mountains in the background. I ate cold chicken noodle soup for dinner, it was glorious and I was in my element! I was back on the road.
 

I knew I would be back to the “Scenic Potato State”, so I happily drove northwest to Runamuk Ranch the next day. I worked at the ranch four years ago, and it is where I fell in love with ranching and that way of life. Which is, for sure, a certain reason for me choosing to study at the University of Wyoming for a year.
Moving some cattle at Runamuk

The three days I spent in Montana was filled with fun, but I was ready to hit the road and do some more exploring. First stop was Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch.
The "honeymoon" cabin
I had spent the night camping along the Salmon River just north of the ranch, and woke up to heavy fog that quickly evaporated and the sun shone brightly for the rest of the day. At Idaho Rocky I was met by a smile and fresh coffee from manager, Sandra. We spent the morning together, and Sandra happily talked about the history of the ranch, its endless outdoors exploration opportunities, the delicious food they serve and the lovely staff they have. I would love to go back and spend some time, hiking and mountain biking in the surrounding Sawtooth Mountains, sipping a glass of wine or fresh lemonade at the porch watching the sun set after a long day of activities. A dip in the natural hot springs pool they have at the ranch is not far away from a perfect ending to the day either. 
 


Back on the road, I headed to Moab (UT) where I spent two days hiking in the Arches National Park. It was fantastic to move my legs after many hours of driving, and with the sun high I sweated my way trough the trails.

Sleeping in my car was quite nice, but when I came to High Lonesome Ranch in Colorado, I realized how much I had missed an actual bed. At High Lonesome I was a happy camper, and the following 24 hours were filled with delicious food, good company, a great tour of the ranch, and despite the heavy rain I had a lovely time. Ame, head wrangler and manager of the dude ranch, is dedicated to not only giving the guests a good time while at the ranch, but also give them memories and lessons for life.The wide variety of guest cabins, from very rustic to luxurious, and the many activities you can choose between, welcomes all ages with wide variety of interests.
 
 
The next morning I drove to Vista Verde Ranch, a scenic drive from Steamboat Springs, where I spent the afternoon walking around the ranch, talking to the staff, enjoying the beautiful setting and had dinner with the staff. With an individualized focus, set among luxurious surroundings, allowing people to relax as well as participate in the many activities offered, the ranch is popular both among families and singles.
 
 

Another drive through and among the mountains, which were of great abundance throughout my whole road-trip, brought me to Latigo Ranch. At 9,000 feet the ranch is at a unique location, very remote and private, with amazing views. This is the perfect ranch vacation for people seeking a smaller-scale, individualized and family oriented.

 
This visit perfectly rounded up my two-week road-trip, before I drove back to sunny, although windy, Wyoming.

I am headed home to Norway for the summer, but I am already excited to return to the great west come fall.

The ranches I visited were all different, and offer their own kind of ranch vacation experience, but one thing is for sure, if you go to either one of the Top50 ranches, you will not be disappointed.

Vivian

 

 

TAGS: idaho rocky mountain ranch, high lonesome ranch, vista verde ranch, latigo ranch

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