Owned and run for 40 years by the Fox Family who also started Equitours International Riding Vacations, Bitterroot Ranch is the place for those who are serious about riding. Whether taking lessons in the arena or out on the trail we place an emphasis on improving riding skills. The top quality horse program includes breeding and training and there are mounts suitable for all levels of riders. Rides are kept small and are separated according to ability. Tack is carefully fitted to both horse and rider and, for those who prefer, there are English and endurance saddles available.

The Bitterroot is situated in a remote mountain valley which offers an incredible variety of terrain; sagebrush plains and rocky gorges give way to pine clad forests and Alpine meadows. We are surrounded by public lands and can ride for miles in any direction without seeing another soul. In the spring the elk are calving on the adjacent Game and Fish land. Our proximity to the Shoshone National Forest enables us to leave on scenic overnight pack trips into the largest wild ecosystem in the lower 48 right from the ranch.

This is also a working ranch and our cattle herd grazes on our allotment in the forest for the summer. Guests do all the cattle work – there is no ranch crew! This entails moving cows around on the allotment, checking for wolf and grizzly kills and an annual cattle drive and roundup. For those with non-riding partners there are wonderful trout fishing opportunities. A private stream runs through the ranch and there are numerous other rivers and lakes a short drive away.

There is always an interesting mix of guests at the ranch, which leads to lively conversations at meal times and the cocktail hour. Your hosts come from eclectic backgrounds: Bayard had a first career with the CIA, Mel is from a British colonial background in East Africa and Richard (who grew up on the ranch) met Hadley while guiding her on a riding safari in Kenya.
 

Good to know

  • Works with travel agents?

    yes
  • Good time to go

    Late May and June are the times to see game animals such as bear and calving elk. Late June and July are when the hillsides are covered with wildflowers. August has settled weather and is never too hot at 7,500 ft. In September the aspen turn a glorious gold, there is a crispness in the air and occasional snow flurries.

Lowdown

  • Owner(s)

    Bayard, Mel, Richard and Hadley Fox
  • Address

    1480 East Fork Road, Dubois, Wyoming, USA, 82513
  • Tel

    307-455-2778
  • Capacity

    30
  • Open

    May-Sep - view details
  • Nightly rate

    $250-320 - view details
  • Ranch Type

    Guest Ranch, Working Ranch
  • Great for

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

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Highs

  • Serious riding and horsemanship program, offering Centered Riding, TTEAM and Natural Horsemanship clinics
  • Diverse riding activities include team sorting and a cross country jumping course; Opportunities to trot and canter through the changing landscape
  • An interesting mix of guests at the ranch, which leads to lively conversations. Your hosts come from eclectic backgrounds: Bayard had a first career with the CIA, Mel is from a British colonial background in East Africa and Richard (who grew up on the ranch) met Hadley while guiding her on a riding safari in Kenya
  • Not to be overlooked: their cuisine features home-grown beef, lamb and fresh salads from the garden
  • Riding helmets are mandatory

Lows

  • Few additional activities other than riding, fishing and relaxing; Quite remote and hard to reach, but absolutely gorgeous riding scenery and terrain
  • Bayard and Mel are very direct in their teachings on how best to ride their horses, but you'll come away with more confidence and insight
 

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Open

    May-Sep
  • Nightly rate

    $250-320   view details on lodging rates
  • Nightly rate (non-rider)

    $185-185
  • Nightly rate (children)

    $250-320
  • Minimum stay

    4 days
  • Preferred arrival day

    Sun
  • Preferred depart day

    Sun
  • Booking Policy

  • Booking policy - $800 non-refundable deposit, balance due 45 days prior to arrival. 3% discount when paying with check.
  • Included in your stay

  • meals, activities, lodging, Riding, riding lessons, beverages, wine, fishing, fly casting lessons, hiking
  • Extras

Weather

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

Avg Temp (°F):

303032355060787567564335

Avg Rainfall (in):

.3.3.51.11.4.9.8.81.6.4.3

Lowdown

  • Elevation

    7500 ft.
  • Remote Location

 

Nearest Airports

  • Jackson Hole Airport, Jackson

  • Nearest town / city

    Jackson
  • Distance to ranch

    110 miles
  • Time to ranch

    2 hours 30 mins
  • Airlines

    Delta, United, American, Southwest
  • Riverton Airport, Riverton

  • Nearest town / city

    Riverton
  • Distance to ranch

    81 miles
  • Time to ranch

    1 hour 30 mins
  • Airlines

    Delta, United

Nearest Town / City

  • Dubois

  • Population

    996
  • Distance

    26 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Facilities

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

    small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops, western wear
 

Our riding stands out

  • We breed and train top quality Arabians exclusively for use of our guests; TEAM, Centered Riding and Natural Horsemanship clinics, conducted by outside clinicians who are world class leaders in their field
  • Diverse riding opportunities include: lessons, trail rides at all levels, cross country course, cattle work, pack trips
  • Rides are kept small and guests are divided according to ability; plenty of opportunity to trot and canter

Our horses

  • guest horses

    120
  • horse types

    Quarterhorse, Appaloosas, Draft Cross, Paints, Arabians, Welsh Pony

Good to know

  • Riding considerations

    Up to 210 lbs, We recommend a good level of physical fitness, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight
  • Saddles

    Western, English

Lowdown

  • Type of riding

    Western Riding, English Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Ability
  • Western riding with an emphasis on being centered and moving with the horse. Minimum riding age for children is 4 years.
  • Max riders per ride

    6
  • Wranglers per ride

    1
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • All riders are required to wear a helmet.

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You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle

    Morning - 3 hours, Afternoon - 2 hours
  • Picnic rides and cattle drives average 6 hours.
  • Riding

    Openly through property, On specified trails
 

Riding Lessons

  • Details

    lessons come with package, basic riding lessons
  • Lessons given by

    ranch owner or manager
  • Lessons located

    in the arena
  • We offer formal videotaped lessons on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to intermediate level given by Hadley Fox who is CHA certified.

Cattle work - pasture gathers

  • When

    Jul, Aug, Sep
  • Frequency

    Weekly
  • No. of cow/calf pairs

    220
  • Interaction

    Guests participate
  • Cattle are driven onto our permit in the national forest on July 1st and are gathered the last week of September. In the intervening weeks they need to be monitored, to make sure none of have been killed by wolves or grizzlies and they need to be moved around on the grazing allotment. Only competent riders can participate in the cattle work because of the rough nature of the terrain and the necessity to move independently on occasion.

Pack Trips

  • Details

    overnight trips, weekly trips
  • Extras

    Additional charge for pack trips. We head out from the ranch into the Shoshone National Forest and are riding in wilderness an hour and a half after leaving the ranch. This is part of the largest wild ecosystem in the lower 48 states. We cross high, mountain passes over 11,000 ft. and drop down into valleys where some of America’s great rivers have their source. You will be accompanied by a guide and a cook and all equipment is carried on pack horses. 1-2 night or week-long trips available. Please visit with us about your preference prior to your stay.

Arena Work

  • Type

    outdoor arena
  • Activities

    sorting
  • Team sorting every Friday afternoon

Horsemanship Clinic

  • Clinician

    Donna Snyder-Smith and Sue Faulkner; Linda Tellington-Jones and Robyn Hood; Anna Twinney
  • Details

    Clinics occur in the arena
  • Focuses on

    TEAM with Linda Tellington-Jones and Robyn Hood. Annual Starting Young Horses clinic. This approach to training emphasizes the development of trust and partnership between horse and rider. Reach out to Horses with Anna Twinney. Through demonstrations, lectures and exercises you will experience how all contacts with your horse form a communication system. The clinic also includes Healing Horse Sessions through the use of reiki. Centered Riding with Donna Snyder-Smith and Sue Faulkner-March. These clinics provide insights into how you can improve your riding and enhance communication and cooperation with your horse.

Setting

  • Public Land - more than 50k (acres)

  • The terrain is incredibly varied with sagebrush plains, rocky gorges plunging into rushing rivers, aspen and pine forests and alpine meadows. We are surrounded by the Shoshone National Forest and by 60,000 acres of Wyoming Game and Fish land, so can ride in any direction from the ranch and not see another soul.

We make a great effort to provide healthy, well balanced, appetizing meals.

All our red meat is home raised. We take care to provide our Scottish Highland cows and Navajo Churro sheep with a stress free, quality life and everything they eat is grown on our farm. We have a large vegetable garden which has been producing for 60 years, but we are limited by our climate as to what we can grow. We are self-sufficient in salad from early July and have fresh herbs, greens and a selection of root vegetables.

Expect fresh baked goods, oatmeal, locally cured bacon and eggs cooked to order, washed down with freshly brewed Ethiopian coffee to start off your day. A lighter lunch of pasta, salads, soup is followed by a heartier dinner using the best ingredients and with a European touch.

The cocktail hour on the deck or around a roaring fire in one of the stone fireplaces in the lodge is always a highlight. Appetizers and dinners are accompanied by a fine selection of red and white wines from Argentina, California, South Africa, France and Italy.

Good to know

Alcohol

wine provided with dinner

Snacking

BYO snack

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    family style, everyone eats together
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef, ranch garden, fresh daily bread, Guests enjoy ranch raised lamb as well as breakfasts cooked to order.
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians

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Guest Favorites

  • Roast Highland beef
  • Fresh caught trout
  • Gazpacho
 

Sample Menu

    Bitterroot guests start the day with a breakfast of eggs cooked to order, bacon, sausage and toast, if they wish. There are also fresh fruit, muffins, cereals, orange juice and a house favorite, our traditional steel cut oats cooked overnight (far better than the instant variety).

    Lunch
    Rainbow, Cutthroat or Brown Trout, (fresh from the line of Bayard or his guests!) baked in White Wine, Almonds and Parsley

    Sun Dried Tomato, Feta and Thyme Quiche

    Organic Home Reared Beef Bolognese, with Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

    Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Home Baked Olive Rosemary Bread

    Organic Home Grown Green Salad with Arugula, Beet Leaves and Frisee Lettuce

    Twice Baked Cheddar Soufflé

    Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Lemon Hazelnut Biscotti.

    Fresh Mango Syllabub

    Dinner
    Organic Home Reared Natural Beef Fillet with Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes, Fresh Vegetables and a Red Wine Jus

    Stuffed Pumpkin with Wild Rice and Mushroom Risotto

    Spinach, Pear and Stilton Salad with Raspberry Walnut Dressing

    Honey Baked Ham with Cheese and Parsley Baked Potatoes and Sugar Glazed Carrots

    Organic Home Reared Natural Lamb Chops with Roast Vegetables and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Seared Fillet of Salmon with Lemon Dill Hollandaise, Steamed Asparagus and Braised Portobello Mushrooms

    Belgian Chocolate Pots

    Fresh Raspberry and Blueberry Millefeuille

    Sticky Toffee Pudding and English Custard
     

Ranch Recipe

    Beef Bourguignonne

    2 tablespoons bacon drippings
    6 ounces (4 to 5 slices) bacon
    1 1/2 pounds beef steak
    2 tablespoons flour
    3/4 cup red wine
    1 cup beef stock
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 teaspoon thyme
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    salt and black pepper
    4 ounces button mushrooms
    4 ounces button onions
    4 carrots, chopped

    Fry diced bacon until brown. Remove from pan and place in casserole dish.

    Fry steak in bacon drippings until browned on all sides. Remove and place in casserole dish with bacon.
    Blend flour with fat remaining in skillet and cook gently. Stir in stock and wine and bring to a boil.

    Pour over meat in casserole dish, add herbs and seasonings. Cover and stew slowly for 1 1/2 hours in oven, 350 degrees F.

    Add mushrooms, onion and carrots. Continue to cook for one hour. Adjust seasoning and serve with parsley garnish.
     

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 4 and over



Children enjoy the freedom at the ranch.

Children are free to roam wherever they please. A very popular activity is spending hours with the friendly young foals. And, we have a number of Welsh ponies children enjoy riding.

Detailed Activities

  • Games

    board games, pool table
  • Riding based activities

    animal care, horse care, trail riding,We offer lead line rides for little ones. We have a number of Welsh ponies and rides depart according to the age and ability of the child. If the child is up to it, he/she can join in with whatever the adults are doing.

There are artifacts, sheep traps and other signs of habitation left by Sheepeater Indians and others who inhabited this valley until the mid 19th century.

The first white men settled here in 1900. It was hard to make a living in this harsh environment at 7,500 ft., but they began irrigating the fields and raising livestock over a century ago. The central part of the lodge, several cabins and the barn were built in the 1930s.

Extensions were added in the ‘50s and ’90s. Some of the cabins have been relocated to the ranch and all are in keeping with an old world, understated feel. Bayard purchased the place in 1971 with the intention of creating a dude ranch.

Lowdown

  • Ranch established

    1971
  • Guest ranch since

    1971

Our Staff

  • Bright, young college graduates
  • Courteous, Caring
  • Hard working
  • We have 10 wranglers on our staff

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Alex grooming
Danielle
Rochelle, Ada and Rebecca

Owner Info

  • Owner - Bayard, Mel, Richard and Hadley Fox

  • Languages spoken

    english, spanish, french, german
  • A cousin of Bayard’s owned the old White Grass Ranch and he learned to love dude ranching at an early age. After retiring from the CIA he scouted out locations and found the perfect spot in this peaceful valley. The sagebrush slopes were covered with a profusion of pink bitterroot flowers when he arrived in June, hence the name. Mel grew up on a cattle and dairy farm at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. When the farm was expropriated, the family moved to Kenya and Mel worked for 5 years in famed Tsavo National Park. Always keen on riding, Mel has fox hunted in England and Ireland and was the original inspiration for Equitours International Riding Vacations. Richard grew up on the ranch, but spent many months in the winter with his grandparents in Kenya. He is in charge of the cattle operation. Hadley is originally from North Carolina, attended Yale and was on her way to Harvard Medical School before meeting Richard on a riding safari in Kenya and moving to the ranch, where she supervises training young horses and all the riding lessons.

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates

  • Cabin | Bitterroot Cabins$250-$360n/a

    • Description

      Our rustic log cabins(1-5 rooms depending upon the cabin), some of which are 80 years old, have been well maintained and tastefully furnished. They all have electric heat and some have wood burning stoves. They are separated widely apart on either side of the river and all have private decks with chairs for the quiet contemplation of nature. There are 17 cabins total.
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      3 nights
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom

Services

Communications

  • wireless internet
  • telephone

Onsite

Outdoor Activities

  • bird watching

Good to know

  • You can borrow

    Saddle bags, Rain coats
 

Fishing & Wildlife

  • Fishing

  • Types of fishing

    spin, fly, river, stocked pond, lake, guided inclusive, guided non-inclusive, unguided, instruction available
  • Bayard is a keen fly fisherman and often accompanies interested parties. You can step right out of your cabin and cast a line into the pristine private water of the East Fork of the Wind River. There is also good fishing for cutthroat trout up river in the Shoshone National Forest and down river on Wyoming Game & Fish habitat. A short drive to the spectacular Wiggins Fork gives you opportunities to land brown, brook, rainbow, cutthroat trout and whitefish (which make delicious smoked fish pate!). A little farther away are the bigger waters of the Wind River and Bull Creek as well as a number of Alpine Lakes.

    We have gear that we can lend out, but serious fishermen should bring their own equipment. There are excellent fishing guides in Dubois that can be booked with prior notice.
     

  • Wildlife and birding

  • This varies greatly according to the season. Early in the summer you can always spot elk with their calves before they move higher in the mountains. Mule deer, antelope and coyotes tend to stay near our valley year around. Less common sightings include grizzly and black bears, wolves, the elusive mountain lion, moose, bighorn sheep and badgers. Squirrels, chipmunks and ground squirrels are always in evidence along the trails. There are often golden eagles riding the thermals and red tailed hawks, marsh harriers and prairies falcons soar overhead. Great horned and great grey owls can sometimes be spotted and there are numerous smaller birds which nest around the ranch from the ubiquitous magpie to robins, hummingbirds and, everyone’s favorite, the Western bluebird.

Local Attractions

  • We've only highlighted attractions that may add to your stay!
  • Dubois

  • This small town has retained its Western flavor. There are a number of art galleries and gift shops, some selling fine American Indian handicrafts. The Dubois Museum has some old, preserved buildings featuring the life of a bygone era, as well as interesting locally related exhibits. The National Bighorn Sheep Center provides an in depth look into these animals, whose habitat just a few miles from town supports one of the largest herds in the US. Although they are usually in the high mountains during the summer, it is worth visiting the Indian petroglyphs in that area. On Tuesday evenings at the height of the summer there is square dancing in town and on Friday nights a local rodeo brings in participants and visitors from the surrounding country.
  • Distance

    26 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Wind River Indian Reservation

  • Pow wows in late June through July at various locations.
  • Distance

    55 miles
  • Time from ranch

    1 hour 15 mins
  • Grand Teton National Park

  • Known for the incredibly spiny ridge of mountains that rise abruptly straight out of the plains. There are also regular encounters with wildlife such as buffalo, moose and grizzly bear right on the main road leading from Jackson Hole to the ranch.
  • Distance

    80 miles
  • Time from ranch

    1 hour 45 mins
  • Yellowstone National Park

  • It is well worth spending at least one day in this spectacular area that was the first gazetted national park in the world. On a day’s drive from the ranch you can take in Old Faithful, the geyser basin, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Yellowstone Lake, where large herds of buffalo commonly roam.
  • Distance

    100 miles
  • Time from ranch

    2 hours 30 mins

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Tel 307-455-2778

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