Over the years…

Karl and Tina

As the summer of 2012 approaches, we wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit of the history of the Gros Ventre River Ranch and what it has meant and still means to the Weber and McGough families over the last 25 years.

We purchased the property, known as the Flying V Ranch, from Roy and Becky Chambers in October 1987. We bought 158 acres, four small cabins and a lodge. Our vision was to make it a place that families and individuals could come and share with one another this remarkable natural beauty called Jackson Hole. First came the addition of the log lodges and a year later, the main lodge overlooking the river. The barn across the road opened up a world of trails and activities. Some may remember those first years when the horses we bought from Roy Chambers would jump the fence and head down the road to their previous winter residence in the pastures off Mormon Row, creating some early morning roundup duties for our wranglers! One of our repeat guests pointed out that the old metal shed across from the lodge was an eyesore and so the “Mary Picarillo Maintenance building” was built. Another eyesore was the gravel pits located at the far end of the property and after much frustration with how to properly engineer them, we produced two decent fishing ponds for anglers to cast a line. Later came the arena and many afternoons filled with laughter as we have gathered up those “doagies” into the pen. In 1997 we constructed the Osprey Bridge which paid homage to the Osprey family that had nested on the banks of the Gros Ventre for 10 years. What fun we had christening the occasion with champagne, speeches and cigars! Today, it is most enjoyable, as we cross the bridge daily on foot, on horses or in one of Karl’s old cars to see what adventures await us on the other side. Chuck and Buzzie Smith shared so many of these early memories, as they managed the ranch for us for several years and became part of our family. In 2001, Chuck and Buzzie decided to retire, but did not venture far, spending their summers on the Teton Valley Ranch in Kelly and visiting often to catch up with old friends and sit awhile with Karl and Tina. Chuck’s passing last year has left an empty saddle in our barn and in our hearts and we are forever thankful for his friendship, his big smile and his love of the western way of life.

Also in 2001, we welcomed our daughter, Tori, and son-in-law, Sean, to the ranch to take over as managers. Tori and Sean have brought much to the ranch over the last 11 years– including three children, five dogs and a cat! It is a special experience to share this ranch with them and to watch our three granddaughters walk in the footsteps of their mother- always at the barn or on a horse!

We have so many memories of the past 25 years and our guests and staff are the thread that runs through it all, for it is the people that gives life to the Gros Ventre River Ranch. Be it “Rosie’s Trail”, “Lucy Hill” or “Wooden bridge”, it is all of you sharing your stories, laughter, tears and friendship that gives this ranch, our home, its character. We look forward to sharing more time with you in the future and give thanks for the time we have had together so far.

May your trails lead you back to friends and family…

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A View from above

An all day ride on the Gros Ventre River Ranch may seem daunting–8 hours in the saddle can do that to a person that only rides once a year. However, if you choose to partake in one of our two all day rides, you will likely never forget it. Recently, our guests took advantage of a beautiful August day to settle into their saddle for the opportunity to travel further than our usual two-hour rides take them. Destination was anywhere they wanted to go. After meandering through meadows of wildflowers, crossing creeks, navigating through dark timber and climbing hillsides, our guests and their wrangler arrived at the top of a mountain with magnificent 360 degree views of the entire Jackson Hole valley. After a satisfying lunch and maybe a quick nap, it was time to return slowly to ranch. Afterall, they had the rest of the day to get there.  What did they like most about their day?  Everything.

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why should we visit a guest ranch?

evenings by the campfire

It has been awhile since the world has been encouraged to take their families on a “dude ranch” vacation. Long gone are the days of John Wayne or the Lone Ranger –even the movie City Slickers is a distant memory. So for us in the dude ranching industry, what are we doing to get our name “out there” and express the benefits of vacationing on a guest ranch?  It is all about our guests. Guests that come to our ranch will be provided with good quality accommodations, food, horses and activities. But most of all, they will be treated like one of the family. In this day in age of texting, emailing and indirect/non-intimate communication, we are amazed to see our guests relish in the face to face interaction and authentic attention that guest rancher’s provide. Evenings around a campfire…just talking and listening. Knowing your children’s birth date; knowing that you just had a loss in your family; knowing that you bought a new house; knowing that you are allergic to peanuts or don’t like lamb; or knowing that you count down the days from the moment you leave our ranch until the day you will arrive next year.  These are things that bond us together.  These are the things that matter and evidence to the fact that guest rancher’s care about what they are doing and how they are doing it.  And these are the things that hopefully keep our guests talking about their ranch experience to their friends, their co-workers and people that are wondering where to go for their next vacation.  So…choose to visit a guest ranch in the near future and hopefully, the hospitality and genuine consideration that you will receive from us will make you feel that you made the right decision. ( True Grit, Buck and the fact that Modern Family will be filming on a guest ranch in Jackson Hole this summer might help too)!

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A day in the life…

A day in the life….

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First week at the ranch

We are nearing the end of our first week since opening on Sunday and it has been terrific! We started the week off with a tremendous group of guests, some visiting for an eighth time, some for the first time, but it is just like we’ve all known each other forever. The sun shined for the first couple of days and the riding and fishing was great. Thursday brought snow, but our guests didn’t let it stop them from enjoying the day. Thursday also brought in a few more guests, who jumped right in on all the activities with both feet. It will be hard to say goodbye on Sunday. Happy Trails to you all!

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Reduced Rate for week of June 12, 2011

The snow has definitely fallen this winter and the rain will not let up this spring…therefore, the Gros Ventre River Ranch is expecting extraordinary wildflowers in June! In celebration, we are offering guests a 20% discount on their stay with us during the week of June 12-19, 2011. Please contact the ranch for more details and availability. Don’t miss the chance to experience the best of Jackson Hole and the Gros Ventre River Ranch in June! (Please mention this offer when contacting the ranch).

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American Civil War

For those of you that may not have known, today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Lots of things happened. Too much for my brain to contain at this time and or expel. So I’m going to leave it to the experts and history buffs to do so.

Here are some links to brush up on your knowledge.

Wikipedia-Amercian Civil War



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