Since 1971 your hosts, the Fox family, have been sharing this unique location with guests. Get away from it all in simple well-appointed accommodations and enjoy healthy cuisine using home raised ingredients. Spend a week at the ranch enjoying the vast landscapes with great company and responsive, friendly horses.
A Working Cattle Ranch
The Bitterroot is a working ranch and during your vacation you will have opportunities to help drive cattle, which graze in high mountain meadows during the summer. You can hone your skills during the weekly team sorting competition. Working cattle on horseback can give new meaning to the partnership between horse and rider, adding another dimension to your riding holiday.
If cattle work is your main interest, you could choose a week with the most opportunities, as drives and roundups take place throughout the season. We are especially proud of our many home bred horses and we also have sheep, llamas, poultry, dogs, cats and an extensive vegetable garden, contributing to a feeling of self-sufficiency.
A Remote Getaway
The Bitterroot Ranch is located in northwest Wyoming’s Wind River valley in an area of vast expanses, attractive scenery and very few people! The ranch is almost 30 miles from the nearest small town and is nestled between the Shoshone National Forest, part of the largest wilderness ecosystem in the contiguous US and a large area protected by the state of Wyoming for wildlife habitat. This setting offers you an exceptional variety of terrain, fantastic vistas, and an escape from the pressure and stress of everyday life.
The ranch is ideally located for exciting and varied horseback riding. Some trails wind through cottonwood and spruce trees along the river; others take you through the sagebrush of the high plains desert, where the sandy soil provides good footing for spirited canters. Still others climb up through aspen groves, which become a glorious gold in the fall. In the high country, the rugged pine clad mountains of the Shoshone National Forest give way to Alpine meadows.
Although riding is the main focus at the ranch, the location is also ideal for fly fishing, hiking and relaxing and there are many nearby attractions, including Yellowstone and Teton National Park. We look forward to hosting you in this beautiful corner of the world.
Visit our Getting to the Ranch page for more information on the ranch location and how to get here.
Our horses are trained Western so they are used to neck reining and going on a loose rein. We mostly use Western saddles, but there are endurance and English saddles available for those who prefer them and have an independent seat and hands. We are very careful to check that the saddles fit each horse well, are in good condition and we are happy to share our expertise in this area with anyone who is interested. We recommend Fallis Western saddles, Sharon Saare endurance saddles, and Arabian Horse Company English saddles, all of which fit the horses well and provide a balanced seat for the rider.
Horseback Riding Safety
Your safety as a horseback rider is of vital concern to us. We keep rides small, carefully match horses to riders, see that people of similar skills ride together and train ride leaders carefully. We insist that everyone wear a hard hat and our trail guides carry mobile phones to summon help in case it is needed. For more detailed information about our philosophy on horse riding safety, read this article on equestrian safety by ranch owner Bayard Fox.
The Fox Family feels that the quality of our equestrian program is of paramount importance; therefore Mel, Bayard, Hadley and Richard lead rides personally, nearly every day, which shows their dedication.
I researched a riding facility that would focus on horses, not ersatz “cowboy” experiences. For our limited riding experiences Bitterroot was perfect. Vivi was a superb and encouraging instructor. All of the wranglers kept us within our boundaries, yet let us progress. The horses were well chosen for our skills and I really appreciate the benefits of riding in groups where the animals are familiar with one another. –Ralph Cooper, PA