We stayed at Goosewing Ranch for 3 days/nights in early August 2012.
Goosewing Ranch is approximately a 75-90 minute drive from the Jackson Hole airport. The latter half is over an unpaved/gravel road. We followed the directions from their website and found them to be accurate. It is remote - no cell coverage and extremely limited wi-fi.
Upon our arrival we checked in and received a brief orientation on meal times, ranch activities and sign-ups, and how to use the ATVs.
Our cabin was nice, though small and the bathrooms could really use a make-over. During the evenings we left the cabin windows open and took advantage of the cold night air. In the morning we turned on the gas heat stove for quick warmth, which was very nice. The cabins do warm up quickly.
The first afternoon we honed our archery skills with Will, the activities director (not on him). We then took a drive with the ATV. Before dinner Goosewing offers up hors d’oeurves which are very nice, though they charge extra for beer and wine. Dinner that evening consisted of a salad, chicken cordon bleu and long beans. Dessert was raspberry sorbet. I would have expected the chicken to be better yet it seemed to be a Costco style chicken breast (that was over cooked) with deli style ham and a packaged hollandaise sauce. Yuck.
Breakfast the next morning (and all mornings) was cooked to order…eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit, yogurt, cereal, muffins, coffee cake, juice, coffee. Very nice and a great start to the day.
We signed up for a 2-3 hour horseback ride the next morning. One of the nice advantages of Goosewing is the horses are assigned to the same person for the entire stay. Additionally, they will tailor the ride to the skills of the riders. We took advantage as we wanted to go on a more adventurous ride and have the horses galloping instead of just walking. Laura (a recent college graduate) was our wrangler. Safety was definitely her top priority, followed closely by making sure we were having the type of ride we wanted. She was also very knowledgeable about the area and that made the ride very enjoyable.
That afternoon we went on a long ATV ride. Driving along the trails we were looking for signs of wildlife and animal bones. Will then taught us how to throw hatchets and knives which was very fun.
Dinner that evening was served by the river and consisted of food all cooked in a Dutch oven. The beef was actually very tough, the veggies were ok, the mac/cheese was very good as was the apple cobbler. One nice touch was Goosewing brought in a local cowboy musician to sing Western songs throughout dinner.
The next day we signed up for the breakfast horseback ride. We started with a quick breakfast by the tack room at 6AM, then we started our ride. It was probably in the mid-30sF at start time. Keep in mind this is August. We had to wear layers of clothes because we knew it would get warmer in the afternoon (80sF). The ride was very nice taking us through all types of terrain and culminated with a walk along high mountain cliffs with the Grand Tetons in the background. After a sandwich lunch we headed back to the ranch. Total ride time was about 7 hours but it was well worth the time and I highly recommend it. Unfortunately we did not see much wild life though this is apparently one of the best opportunities to do so. Laura and Katie were our wrangles and both were fantastic.
The afternoon activities included another ATV ride, taking the canoe out on the small pond, and shooting .22 rifles at targets.
Dinner that evening was salad, beef ribs, and mashed potatoes. The ribs were tough and fatty. Dessert was a capable NY style cheesecake. That last evening Will started a bon fire and everyone roasted marsh mellows. They ran out of chocolate so we couldn’t have smores.
The next morning we checked out and were on our way.
One dynamic we found nicely interesting was the international (French) influence. Francois, the friendly owner, is French and returns to France each year where he seems to recruit staff and drum up new visitors. Several of the ranch staff are French students and many of the other guests are French.
Overall we had a very enjoyable time; I went to be exhausted each evening. Our biggest disappointment was the dinner entrees - all the meats were actually very poor, a surprise particularly given the French influence (this is what kept me from giving Goosewing an Excellent rating). Amy, the GM was extremely friendly and provided us the best directions for getting to Yellowstone along with recommendations for stops along the way. I’ve already mentioned how helpful Will, Laura, and Katie were. All the food servers (cannot remember names) were extremely friendly, helpful, and efficient. If there is anything you need, just ask. There is also a nice heated pool on the property, but we were so busy with everything else we didn’t even use it.
Tips: remember sunscreen; drink lots of water
We recommend Goosewing for anyone looking for this type of experience.