Welcome to Double Rafter Cattle Drives. At Double Rafter we are an authentic working cattle ranch offering you the opportunity to join us on our mountain cattle drives.

6 times throughout the summer we move our cattle to new pastures as a part of our rotational grazing. We give you the opportunity at a trip of a lifetime - to join us on one of the most authentic vacations available: 6 days of camping, moving cattle and riding freely in the beautiful mountains of Wyoming.

You will experience nature, incredible country, great stock and freedom to ride. Our cattle drives are not made up for something to do, this is a real drive that we would be doing with or without our wonderful guests. As featured in the 'New York Times', this is reality. We don't schedule phony stampedes, cloudbursts, blizzards, rodeos, wagon wrecks, or brush fires. They happen all on their own!  If you really want a taste of the challenges that the early trail herds experienced, then this trip is for you!

Cattle drive dates 2015: June 21-June 25 (ladies only); July 5-July 10; August 2-August 6; August 23-August 27; September 13-September 18; September 29-October 4.

So, give us a call and book your trip! And, please contact us or visit our website for a list of 'What to Bring' and 'Travel Tips'.

Good to know

  • Works with travel agents?

    yes

Lowdown

  • Owner(s)

    Dana & Alice Kerns
  • Address

    box 490, Ranchester, Wyoming, USA, 82839
  • Tel

    800-704-9268, 307-655-9539
  • Capacity

    20
  • Open

    Jun-Sep - view details
  • Nightly rate

    $363-499 - view details
  • Ranch Type

    Working Ranch, Authentic, Hands-On
  • Great for

    Action & adventure, Solitude, Diverse scenery, People of all ages

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Highs

  • Authenticity of the cowboying life; thoughtful, gracious hosts and food cooked outside in nature
  • If you've watched that Western movie and wanted that authentic experience since you were a kid, this is it - you'll be gathering and moving cattle in the mountains and sleeping under the stars
  • What the Kerns do is so much more than just letting cattle graze, moving them from time to time. There is a mutual respect between the ranchers, cattle, horses, land and mother nature and they share this with their guests
  • Many challenges for moving cattle; The mountain country that the ranch is apart of has breathtaking beauty
  • The way the trip unfolds allows everyone the opportunity to get to know his/her horse, care for the horse and develop a relationship with the horse. The importance of this becomes apparent on the last legs of your journey and the difficultly of the trails leading the cattle out of the mountains

Lows

  • For some, considered a rough trip, but if you're looking for the read deal, no-frills cowboy lifestyle and lots of riding freedom in beautiful country, this is it.
 

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Open

    Jun-Sep
  • Nightly rate

    $363-499   view details on lodging rates
  • Minimum stay

    6 days
  • Preferred arrival day

    Sun
  • Preferred depart day

    Fri
  • Booking Policy

  • A 25% deposit is required to hold your spot at the time of booking. The non-refundable balance is due 90 days prior to the trip. Due to enormous pre-trip expenses all monies are non-refundable. We take MC, Visa personal check or money order. Trip cancellation insurance 1-800-348-9505 CSA Travel; 1-800-826-1300 Travel Guard. Standby: If a trip is already full a deposit of 12% is required to be on standby. If no spot opens up the 12% is applied to the trip of your choice the following year. All monies are non-refundable but credit will be given for two years.
  • Included in your stay

  • meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, Riding, Price includes ground transportation to and from Sheridan, Wyoming all food, soft drinks, beer, saddle, tack, horse lease, and guide service. There will be a $185 per person round trip delivery charge from Billings to Sheridan. This service is available one day before the trip and one day after the trip. We also offer single teepee occupancy during the week for an additional $250.00
  • Extras

  • Other

    There will be a $185 per person round trip delivery charge from Billings to Sheridan. This service is available one day before the trip and one day after the trip. We also offer single teepee occupancy during the week for an additional $250.00

Weather

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Avg Temp (°F):

242636415158696858453622

Avg Rainfall (in):

.711.82.53.52.61.41.11.51.71.1.7

Lowdown

  • Elevation

    4500 ft.
  • Generate power

    Most of our trips are on the mountain so there is no electricity. We have a portable generator to run some refrigeration. It can also be used to recharge camera batteries if needed.
  • Remote Location

 

Nearest Airports

  • Sheridan County Airport, Sheridan, Wy.

  • Nearest town / city

    Sheridan, Wy.
  • Distance to ranch

    30 miles
  • Time to ranch

    45 mins
  • Airlines

    United, There is a shuttle flight from Denver to Sheridan operated by United. It is Great Lakes Aviation
  • Billings Logan International, Billings, MT

  • Nearest town / city

    Billings, MT
  • Distance to ranch

    120 miles
  • Time to ranch

    2 hours
  • Airlines

    Delta, United, Skywest, Northwest, United Express
  • Ranch shuttle

    $135.00 per person

Nearest Town / City

  • Sheridan, Wy

  • Population

    18,000
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Facilities

    grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum
  • Shopping

    boutique shops, western wear
 

Our riding stands out

  • It is not nose to tail. This is the real experience, not fabricated.
  • You choose the pace and where you are riding.
  • The wrangler will only speak up if it becomes a safety issue.

Our horses

  • guest horses

    35
  • horse types

    Quarterhorse, Thoroughbred, Paints, Geldings, Mares

Our Riding

  • Riding Freedom

    You are free to ride where you want and the speed you want. We will speak up if we feel you are in danger. However, generally the pace of the cattle set the pace. We also reserve the right to change horses with anyone at anytime.

Lowdown

  • Type of riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride, Rides dictated by ranch work
  • Since we are gathering 100,000 acres of mountain we will suggest to certain people that maybe they should go on this circle but not that circle . The beginners really welcome that input.
  • Max riders per ride

    21
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope

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You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle

    Morning - 3 hours, Afternoon - 4 hours, Evening - n/a
  • There are no set times for riding. The day finishes when we reach the destination for the day and the number of hours is not a consideration. You will never be in the saddle less than 5 but it could be as many as 12. We don't stop until the work is done.
  • Riding

    Openly through property
 

Cattle work - pasture gathers

  • When

    Jul, Aug, Sep
  • Frequency

    Weekly
  • No. of yearlings

    200
  • No. of cow/calf pairs

    350
  • Interaction

    Guests participate
  • This is the reason you are here - to help us gather and move our cattle to new pastures. This is the real experience.

Arena Work

  • Type

    outdoor arena
  • We only use the arena on the one trip which is the one on the way to the mountain; we use this for lessons and to ensure your safety on the horse. There are no arenas on the mountain.

Horsemanship Clinic

  • Clinician

    Chris Ellsworth
  • Details

    Included in package
  • Focuses on

    It is only a half day event and the primary purpose of it is to make sure we have people matched up with a horse that fits their skill level. A beginner doesn't want a horse with a Ferrari engine nor does an advanced rider want a horse geared for a beginner.

Sample Riding Itinerary

  • Arrive in Sheridan(no charge for shuttle) 1 day prior to each trip. We pick you up in Sheridan after a night's hotel stay.

    Day 1-Half day horsemanship clinic, followed by 2-4 hours in the saddle either starting to gather cattle or riding to where we are camped.

    Day 2- The group splits up into 2-5 different groups to gather cattle and throw what they find to a central location.  You will pack a lunch and probably be out a minimium of 6 hours.  Everyone will meet back at camp.

    Day 3- Early morning breakfast and then gather the herd and start trailing towards your destination, or it could be a reride of the previous day if you are short lots of cattle.  Again you will pack a lunch and be in the saddle all day.  Most days are closer to 8 hours in the saddle than 6.  On the mountain you will trail the herd anywhere from 4 to 13 miles a day depending on our pasture rotation.  You will ride at least double that everyday on your horse.  You are coming to do the real thing so you do as much cowboying as you want. You are not coming to watch us work.

    Day 4- Again you will pack a lunch and be out all day.  Camp will be moved on either the 3rd or 4 day so you will be in a different camp tonight.  Since there are no small pastures on a 100,000 acre allotment it always takes a while to get the previous days herd gathered from where you dropped them the previous day.  Each of these days will be a go rain or shine.  Sometime you get to stop for lunch but it is not uncommon to push right on through lunch so you eat as you go.  If you stop it will be in a spot the herd can't get away from you.

    Day 5-  Finish the push to the destination.  Our hope on this day is to be back in camp by 4:00pm so that we can take everyone back to civilization for a much needed shower.  We then finish with a big banquet that night and have some fun.

Setting

  • Public Land - more than 50k (acres)

  • When on the mountains we run from an elevation of just above 6,000 feet to above 9,000 feet, so consequently we have a large variety of topography. Lots of pine trees and Quaken Aspen trees up to about 8400 feet. Above that strictly pine until we get above timberline. Most years there will be be snowbanks still visible on some of the higher points until late August. Lots of Alpine meadows with springs and sage brush. The meadows run in all different sizes and shapes. Anything from a half acre in size to several hundred acres in size. The terrain can be very challenging depending on your desires and riding skills. In some places it is steep but for the most part very ride-able for all level of riders. There are only one or two areas on the trails that can give people with a fear of heights a problem. For those areas, we generally have the guests walk across instead of ride across and those few spots are not over 100 yards long in any one place. There is a enough rock that we do keep the horses pretty well shod up, but the grass is lush and knee high in the spring as our soil is relatively deep for a mountain range. Snow is certainly a possibility every month of the year up there. It truly is gorgeous.

What's better than food prepared and eaten in the outdoors!

The food is absolutely fantastic and all the cooking is done using the 16 inch cast iron dutch ovens using hot coals, a barbecue, and a propane burner. The dutch ovens weigh close to 40 pounds when filled with food.

Our cooks do everything from breakfast casseroles to Upside Down Pineapple cake in the cast iron dishes. Our chefs also do a dessert in them for every dinner and we of course serve beef, pork, chicken during the evening meals. We generally cater to 2-3 vegetarian diets during the summer. There are enough side dishes and various salads to always meet their needs.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    buffet style, meals roll with days activities, everyone eats together
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    vegetarians

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Guest Favorites

  • Our beef is always a favorite no matter how it's cooked
  • Pineapple Upside down cake cooked in a dutch oven
  • Baked potatoes cooked over open coals
 

Sample Menu

    Our meals range from pork, chicken and beef to fresh salads and desserts - all cooked outside in the dutch ovens over coals or on our propane stove. It's very authentic and guests rave about the quality. You're working hard on this trip, so we believe you should eat well!

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 13 and over



This is the real deal and truly authentic. It can be a very strenuous trip best for older children and adults.

We don't accept anyone under the age of 12. With the early mornings we find children younger than 12 are just too exhausted to enjoy it.  Since we are the reality, tired kids can become difficult for the parents.  We all have a real job to do with the livestock and days can be long, but rewarding.

My family homestead the ranch in 1887 and came by covered wagon from Missouri.  

The barn that was built in 1888 is still standing and used today.  The origianl beams are still in the barn. In 1932 when my father was born, a new house was built. They tore the logs out of the original cabin put them on a wagon with the stove out of the house, and freighted the logs and stove to the mountain to build a cowcamp.  They figured it was easier to haul the logs up the mountain than go to the work of cutting them and then having to let them cure for a year.  

On the way in, the weight of the wagon and logs was more than the horses could hold and the wagon overan the team injuring the team to the point they had to be put down. Those original logs are still in the walls of the cow camp in the Dry Fork.  

In about 1992 or '93 we decided we had to generate more income on the ranch or get out of the cow business, so we started the cattle drive business. 

Lowdown

  • Ranch established

    1887
  • Ranchers for

    6, I believe generations

Our Staff

  • hard working
  • honesty and integrity
  • personable
  • We have 9 wranglers on our staff, aged 18 to 65

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Dana and Brendon Kerns
Ken Kerns, enjoys visiting with the guests
Brendon and Trent Kerns

Owner Info

  • Owner - Dana & Alice Kerns

  • Languages spoken

    english

Our Wranglers

  • Wrangler - Trenton Kerns

  • Age

    29
  • Hometown

    Ranchester
  • Languages spoken

    english
  • Middle son, outstanding horseman and cowboy. His honesty, hard work and sincerity make him a favorite.
  • Wrangler - Taylor Kerns

  • Age

    21
  • Hometown

    Ranchester
  • Languages spoken

    english
  • Absolutely loves life, outstanding horseman and cowboy and very entertaining to the guests, youngest son

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates

  • Teepee | Tents$328-$383n/a

    • Description

      People are sleeping in the 10x10 range teepees. We put 2 people per tent unless someone one wants to pay for single occupancy. Husbands and wives will be put in the same tent. We use the short legged cots in the tents. The cots only go to the camps that are vehicle accessible; for those that are not we sleep on the ground. While camped on the Little Horn River or Pass Creek, people are always free to go swim in the river to get cleaned up. At all the other camps we set up a solar shower unit.
    • Rooms

      1
    • Max occupancy

      2
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      5 nights
    • Bathrooms

      Outhouse
Rock Cabin Park
Rock Cabin Park
Rock Cabin Park

Services

Communications

  • SAT phone on trips if needed

Cell Networks

  • There is intermittent cell service on the trips

Onsite

Good to know

  • You can borrow

    Saddle bags
  • You can rent

    Saddle bags, Rain coats
 

Local Attractions

  • We've only highlighted attractions that may add to your stay!
  • Cody WY and Yellowstone Park

  • Old west history and Oldest National Park
  • Distance

    180 miles
  • Time from ranch

    4 hours
  • Rental car

    Required
  • Battle of the Little Big Horn & Battle of the Rosebud

  • These two Indian battles were a week apart and the battle of the Rosebud had a huge impact on the Battle of the Little Big Horn
  • Distance

    60 miles
  • Time from ranch

    1 hour
  • Rental car

    Required
  • Mount Rushmore, Black Hills & Reptile Gardens

  • Mount Rushmore with the faces of past presidents carved into the rock. The Black Hills were noted for Deadwood, Buffalo Bill Cody and Gold being discovered. Lots of western history as well as reptile Gardens.
  • Distance

    240 miles
  • Time from ranch

    4 hours
  • Rental car

    Required
  • Historic Downtown Sheridan& the Mint Bar

  • Voted #1 western town by True West magazine.
  • Distance

    30 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Rental car

    Required

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    No.
  • Children:
    No.
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Check Availability

Tel 800-704-9268, 307-655-9539

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Gathering cows above Robinson
Trailing down the Little Horn Canyon
Little Horn Canyon Rims
Leaky Mountain
Doctoring a calf
 

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