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“A wonderful experience in an outstanding place”
Review of Bitterroot Ranch

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Bitterroot Ranch
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Dubois
Reviewed September 15, 2013

My stay at Bitterroot has been one of those precious life experiences. The Fox family, the wranglers, staff, horses, dogs, llamas, ......... everyone so caring and professional. You feel completely safe while riding thanks to everyone's professionalism and the way the ranch is run.Horses are beautiful, landscape fantastic, food excellent, Fox family amazing.
Thank you
Margaux

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Margaux H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 7, 2013

Bitterroot Ranch is all about the horse riding. If that is your primary focus, you will love it. If not, there is not much for you here.

The horses are well-trained, lovingly cared for, and well matched to their riders. If you are an expert rider, you will especially like it here. Mel seems to give special attention to the best riders. Riders of more limited abilities can improve their riding greatly, with expert instruction from Hadley. I also understand that this is one of the few ranches where they allow you to canter, once you prove your abilities. I learned so much during the week, that I was cantering by week's end. And they have miles and miles of beautiful trails thanks to their location backing up to the Shoshone National Forest. The scenery was amazing and I never grew bored on the rides.

If you don't ride though, there is not much to do. Unless you are a fly-fisher like my husband. Very good streams in the area, but you must have a car. And if Bayard has a free day, he may take you fishing, which was a fantastic experience. But if you don't ride or fly-fish, there is nothing. At all.

The food was good and plentiful and the chef very accommodating. I mentioned that I hoped we had lamb during our stay and he said it was not scheduled for that week due to their rotating menus, but that he might be able to do a swap. And sure enough, we had lamb at the next barbeque! Some other guests were disappointed by the meat heavy menu, but it is a ranch...

The accommodations were a bit on the rustic side. Mostly in a good way, but they could use a little attention. Our cabin was spacious with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths and lovely Native American artwork. However, the bedspreads and curtains looked like they were from Granny's house 20 years ago. And there were broken screens and spacing in the log joints (especially near the roof) that allowed many bugs to come in. We heard from other guests that this was not unique to our cabin. But the worst issue we had was that apparently a pack rat had made a nest in the ceiling of our cabin and the cabin smelled like skunk (though it was really pack rat urine and feces). They tried sprays and airing out, but it really did not remove the stink. And Mel seemed a bit non-chalant about it, asking "what do you want me to do?" Never apologizing or acting like it was the major issue that is was. Never offering to move us. I could not sleep breathing in the stink. I finally resorted to taking a sleep med and burning sage. My husband has a CPAP machine, so he could not smell it. That issue really put a damper on my enjoyment of the week.

Because of my family, I tried to be more tolerant than I would otherwise be of the situation, which I think for most people would be a non-starter. I tried to just focus on the riding.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank traveldiveski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

We had a perfect family vacation this summer. Each of our 3 kids, my husband and myself fell in love with Bitterroot Ranch and it's people. The family owners are a national treasure who have chosen quality staff and keep a close eye on the daily operations of everything. They raise and train wonderful horses and led us out on truly amazing trail rides. The family and staff were warm and kind to our kids, who are all curious and were novice riders. They walked away from the ranch understanding a whole lot more about horses, feeling confident riding a horse, and in love with the adventure of a dude ranch. Oh and did I mention the wonderful food? We were all treated fabulously without it being over the top. They are real horse people who know how to roll out hospitality.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Kat D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

I have so many great memories from my vacation last week at the Bitterroot! It would take way too much space to write down everything, so here is the condensed version: (1) Riding is the central focus of the ranch and it is fantastic. The horses, many of whom are bred on the ranch, are well-trained for the trail and are a pleasure to ride. (2) The scenery is nothing less than epic. It ranges from forests and mountains to sagebrush meadows and sandy "hoodoo" formations. (3) I loved my little cabin. It was cozy, warm and so peaceful. (4) The food is delicious. Bitterroot has an excellent chef and much of the food comes from the ranch's garden. I don't eat meat, but they use their own cattle and sheep. FYI - The nice chef always made a vegetarian entree for me. (5) The Fox family, the young lady "wranglers" and all of the staff are wonderful company. The other guests were great, too. Many came from Europe with one guy all the way from Japan. I would advise any other riding enthusiants of any level to do themselves a favor and visit the Bitterroot Ranch! You won't be sorry!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank Rexanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

This past year I had popped out a baby, completed my Masters and was being slowly driven insane from my husband who had gone on 3 hunting trips since our son was born. I came across the Bitterroot Ranch in the book "1,000 Places to see before you die" and told my husband I was long overdue for a "mommy vacay." After contacting the ranch via email and discussing what I was looking for, I was impressed by the immediate responses back and forth to every question and email I had. I originally was looking at the pack trips but after talking to Hadley, she suggested just a week at the ranch instead since my riding frequency was only about once a year when I could sneak away.

After arriving at the ranch, I was taken to my single, loft cottage which is basic, rustic, and perfect. You are in the middle of nowhere so do not be surprised if there are some flies in the cottage or things looking a little weathered, but after the first night, you will feell like a regular true westerner in the middle of some of the most amazing countryside.

All meals are served community style in the Master lodge and a cocktail hour is held before dinner where the amazing family serve you wine and blow your mind with all of their amazing stories. I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed this time with the owners, ranch hands, and other visitors. By the end of the week I felt as if I was one of the family.

Now the horseback riding..... ahhhh. If you have the opportunity to take a riding lesson with Hadley DO IT! After 10 years of riding and bad habits, I had the best, lesson ever with her on the second day I was there. Within 1 hour, she had corrected my form and given me tips that were priceless for the rest of the trip and I am proud to say that even after not being on a horse in over a year, I walked away from a week of riding with hardley any soreness thanks to the lesson I had on the second day. Other visitors didn't do the lesson and were suffereing pretty bad so in the best interest of your butt and knees if you want to do every ride (they do 2x a day) TAKE THE LESSON!

I could go on and on about this trip, but essentially it was nothing short of amazing. I went alone with no husband or baby and had a blast. Everyone is so welcoming, you never ride the same trail twice, the wranglers are excellent riders and are constantly looking for ways to make your experience the best you have ever had. I would do this trip a thousand times over and can't stress how perfect it was. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

Room Tip: They have lodges assigned to you, if traveling solo though, there is one single loft cottage that ha...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank acswanny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I just returned from my 2nd trip to Bitterroot Ranch; it gets harder to leave every time! The staff and owners go above and beyond to make everyone feel welcome. The owners truly care about matching the appropriate horse to the rider and make sure you have several different mounts throughout the week. The horses are great; very well maintained and personable. Riders are divided into groups based on experience which makes rides comfortable and fun for everyone. There is a morning ride and an afternoon ride every day, and a longer picnic ride on Saturday.

I can't say enough about how relaxing the trip was. The scenery is beautiful and you have the opportunity to see gorgeous panoramic views on the rides. It is a great trip for those who travel alone; you can either enjoy alone time or spend time with the wonderful guests and friendly staff from all over the world. Also, the food is terrific! You eat very well all week and mealtime is the perfect time for getting to know the other guests. This trip exceeded my expectations both times I have visited. It is so much more than a typical dude ranch and worth every penny. I miss it the minute I drive away. I love visiting Bitterroot and I plan to go back for many more years to come.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank TarHeelGirl07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

For my 60th birthday, my family gave me a trip to the Bitterroot Ranch as a gift. Little did I know how special that gift actually was and is. The next year after that, my sister went back with me for her first experience there and my second. Since that second trip, we have both gone back to ride during the cattle drive in the fall. This fall will be our 6th cattle drive. Bayard, Mel, Richard and Hadley treat as like family and we anxiously await the 23rd of September each year so we can load up and head west. During our trips to the Ranch, we have met folks from all over the world, and many of them have also made multiple trips back. The quality of the staff, food and lodging are all exceptional. Wine on the deck prior to dinner is anxiously awaited by all after a full day of riding especially after riding in occasional snow and rain. While that is the exception and not the rule, it does give one a great sense of satisfaction to have that experiece and meet the challenge. The Bitterroot Ranch is a calming place where great memories are bulit, new friendships are formed and old ones renewed. Go--you will love it!

Room Tip: In Cheyenne, don't miss the Plains Hotel for lodging and dinner. In Dubois, book a room at the T...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Wayne145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bitterroot Ranch

Address: 1480 E. Fork Rd., Dubois, WY 82513
Location: United States > Wyoming > Dubois
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Dubois
Price Range: $3,150 - $3,500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ranch is a 640-acre spread where the guests help with the fall cattle round-up. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bitterroot Dude Ranch Hotel Dubois

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