I found this place because I had two main criteria to be met. 1) close to Yellowstone East entrance and 2) Allow less than 8 year olds on trail rides.
I called and talked to Tonia and the only cabin they had left was 'The westerner' that would work for us. I was worried about when we would or wouldn't make it back to the ranch in time for dinner and such and she suggested we only buy a single day of 'all-inclusive', so I did.
This turned out to be great advice as we missed dinner all but our last night and we only had breakfast there the once also. Both meals were very nice. We got our other all inclusive meal on a day we had them pack us some bag lunches to eat while roaming YNP. More than adequate.
So the 'all-inclusive' thing usually comes with scads of restrictions, not here. When I enquired about how that worked out the nice girl at the counter basically told me they simply comped the 3 most expensive meals. OK, that's simple.
'The Westerner' is a 2br one bath cabin with a porch. The shower is quite nice (keep spinning the handle if you want hotter and stronger pressure, yes, past where it seems to stop the flow). We were able to get on the wifi from the lodge on the porch which made for some nice nights out there talking about the days adventures and uploading pics/videos.
We did two. The 4 hour with lunch and the 2 hour up the valley from the corral. The 2 hour was nice with lots of creek crossings and lots of shade. If you just want a short and easy ride, this is it. We got saddled <he he he> with some obvious n00bs who couldn't keep their horses out of trouble and moving, so our poor wrangler on this ride had to dismount and help out numerous times.
But the 4-hour ride was phenomenal! I had scouted out where I thought the rides went using google-earth, and I was right about some of it and it was as amazing as it looked like it would be. You get to ride up a nice valley and then along a ridgeline and the views are amazing. The lodge is here 44.456808,-109.551904 and I think we ate lunch about here 44.443095,-109.550879. The 4-hour is a bit more technical, but we are not true horse-folk and no issues. Listen to your wranglers and do as they suggest and you will be fine. Lunch was burgers over an open fire, the wrangler only dropped one and he ate that one. Lacey, the wrangler that brought up the rear on the way up answered all the questions we asked and was most informative and fun. Again, the scenery was simply stunning.
The horses are very well trained and we didn't see any unruly ones, though like all trail ride horses they seem to take advantage of weak-willed riders (and my daughter nicknamed the one in front of her 'Sir toots-a-lot'. They are trained well and can be easily steered with the reins.
Well, they were there when you needed them. I wasn't there to be coddled, so I wasn't looking for them all the time, but I never went looking for someone to help and didn't pretty much instantly find someone willing to get what I needed. Need some Ice, no problem. Kids are out of smores makings, no problem. This beers empty, no problem.
We live in Georgia...so honestly the odds of us making it back out there soon are slim. So I am glad we stayed here because nothing went wrong and plenty went right. If you're looking for a nice laidback place to stay, ride horses, see the park, and maybe Cody...this is a good location. I'd book here again in an instant if the opportunity arose.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A guest ranch located in the Shoshone National Forest between Cody, WY and the East Entrance of Yellowstone. Lodging, trail Rides, and dining available to guests and to the public. Est. 1925. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bill Cody Ranch Hotel Cody
- Bill Cody Hotel
- Bill Hotel Cody