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Review of T Cross Ranch

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T Cross Ranch
Ranked #8 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Dubois
Reviewed September 9, 2012

T Cross is a trip to the 1800's. From the handmade decor in the log-cabin lodging to the untamed wilderness, you will take a trip to a distant place and a distant time.

Most of these reviews focus on riding and hospitality, and they were great. But I'd like to start with fishing. If you own a fly rod, this place is for you. Someone said that TCross is a 3 hour drive to the nearest stoplight. Then, you can ride another 3 hours into a wilderness area. There are no other ranches in the area. Bottom line: there is no fishing pressure. At the closest pool to the ranch, on my first walk out, I caught my biggest trout ever. Further up the trail...much further...in a meadow surrounded by snow-capped marvels named "5 pockets", one cast was greeted by three (!) large trout jumping out of the water competing for my fly. I should note: I'm not much of a pro; others there did better than I. My only complaint: I wish I had more time in the backcountry after the long rides. It was pristine, beautiful, unmarred nature. It could have been 1885.

On to other topics I don't see well covered in the reviews...
Dubois is a hoot. We went to the square dance, expecting older tourists and the boring do-si-do lessons. Well, there was some of that, but the real surprise was the diversity of the crowd. The dance is the only thing going on in town on Tuesdays. All the locals, teens, adults, tourists, and more show up. It was a blast with a lively crowd. It could have been 1885.

The rodeo in Jackson is a big, commercial affair (we only drove by it). I'm sure it's fun. But the rodeo in Dubois?? It's amateur locals in honest year-long competitions in time-honored events like riding and roping. We rooted for our wranglers (go Cody & Conner!) who were in the running for first place in the team roping. Some of our braver guests even tried their "skills" in the arena trying to catch a 600-lb "calf". Where can you do that? It was like, er, 1885.

Some advice if you go:
Leave the electronics behind. The only useful things with a battery are a camera and a kindle.
Leave the bug stuff at home. High, dry, don't need it.
Bring sunblock. And a big-brimmed hat. And a very lightweight long-sleeved shirt.
Do try the "shovel race", but expect to be covered with dirt and, er, fertilizer.
There are no locks on any doors. No need, either.
I'm a runner; going it alone miles from the ranch is beautiful. But there are wolves and grizzlies. The risk is minimal, but carry bear spray (they will lend it to you), and don't expect to really relax. It's hard to get into the zone when taunted by thoughts of nature, red of tooth and claw.
Don't miss 5 Pockets.
The cooks are amazingly accommodating. But this is probably not the best place for a vegetarian. We don't usually eat red meat. We made an exception this trip.
It's not really 1885. It just looks that way. It has modern plumbing, lighting, etc. (Although all the lights are inside appliances that look like gas or oil lamps).
I didn't discuss the horses, staff, food, or activities. They are all excellent.
My horse was Howard, one of the "troublemakers" who likes to jump. If you get him, and you aren't much of a rider, give him a chance. My kid had Bridger...a real gem. My wife had Eddie, a good steady Eddie (or maybe "special Ed" :-)).
The location is also special. The other ranches, even those around Dubois, aren't nearly so remote.
If you've taken French, you won't like how the locals all pronounce the "s" in Dubois. Je n'ai jamais pris l'habitude de cela.
You will feel like you're staying with a family.

Room Tip: Try not to get Diamond G unless you can use the whole place with your family (3br). There's no...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Stan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 45 of 61 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2012

Our family of four just returned from a week at T Cross Ranch - our very first ranch experience and first time in Wyoming. We had high expectations of T Cross and we were not disappointed. We knew it was outside of Dubois and off the beaten track.. and I have to admit that we were at first daunted by the road from town getting to T Cross. But as soon as we arrived, we were blown away by the beauty and spectacular views from every part of the ranch. We were welcomed warmly which was an indication of what the week would be like. Our kids are older, and we were all continuously amazed that the ranch staff knew our names, and really took the time to get to know us and what we expected from the week. The owners Gretchen and Mark could not have been kinder - setting up several times for target shooting for my son who really wanted to learn how to shoot a gun. Both really went out of their way to get to know our family, eating dinners with the guests and riding with us on the first day. Their presence made a difference and we felt more like family than guests. The ranch is small - much smaller than others that we passed, allowing the guests to really get to know each other. We enjoyed the dinners - the food is fabulous and as creative as the chefs cooking it. We loved getting to know both chefs.. and wow what a treat when you walk by the kitchen door and are greeted with warm peanut butter cookies ! Food was a highlight ! meals were always a highlight as the guests gathered together to share stories about the day. This allowed us to get to know each other, and definitely made the riding trips more enjoyable. The ranch itself is very comfortable - the cabins rustic and very basic. The wood burning stoves in the cabin were a nice touch and very toasty on the first cold morning. Our favorite was our front porch, with a few of the pasture and the mountains and a fabulous breeze. We thoroughly enjoyed the porch, especially with the nice addition of the ranch calf, Ella, who wandered over to say hello on many occasions. The wranglers were very good with horses, and we were all impressed with the way they showed an interest in the guests, taking the time to talk to each of us about our riding experiences, and really making every effort to make sure that we were having a good time. Our cabin was near the stables and my son spent several afternoons and evenings practicing with a lasso on the practice horses and cows. Every single time that a wrangler saw my son with the ropes, they would stop what they were doing, even if headed to their dinner, and take the time to teach him how to lasso. It was obvious that these young men love their job, and really want their guests to learn and have a good time. Though we were all novice riders, we were never made to feel like beginners, or tourists even. After a few days, we all felt like cowboys with the dust on our boots to prove it. As for activities, they are spot on. We loved the BBQ by the river one evening , with very tasty food and branding of our cowboy boots by the fire. We enjoyed having the staff of ranch girls (they were awesome !) and the wranglers and of course the owners join all the guests for dinner by the river. My family loved the rodeo (our first) and it was a blast rooting for our wranglers and some of our guests as they attempted to pull a ribbon off a young steer. Quite a night! As a family, this trip was different from anything that we have ever done before. Only two of us had experience with horses and we had no idea what to expect. What we found at T Cross far exceeded any expectations that we could have ever have had. As a busy family we loved nothing more than unplugging for a week and experiencing the beauty that Wyoming has to offer. What a great group of people they have at the T Cross Ranch! You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Travelingtheworld27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

My daughter and I spent the second week of July at T Cross Ranch this year. After a fabulous experience with a ranch in Arizona last year we doubted we could top that, but we were wrong! T Cross was the most amazing experience. Gretchen and Mark are so attentive, caring, hospitable and down to earth. They genuinely are interested in their guests and make you feel like family right away. It really sets the tone for wonderful interaction and socializing between the guests both on rides and at mealtime. By the second day, pretty much all the guests were relaxed and comfortable together, already recalling each other’s names. The cabins are rustic, but oh so comfortable and full of charm. Even in July we set a couple of fires in the wood stove to take off the chill. Meals were down home cooking with the guests eating together with great conversation about each other’s lives and the events of the day. For us, this was a key part of the trip; we really enjoyed getting to know such an interesting and diverse group of people.
The staff of the ranch from the wranglers to the cooks, to the young ladies who served the food and cleaned the cabins were wonderful. They obviously love the ranch and their work. The scenery is almost indescribable. From every direction, including looking from the porch of your cabin, you’ll see the best scenery our great country has to offer. You can see a few samples in the attached pictures.

The ranch horses are excellent. They have some seventy horses and will work hard to match you to a horse of your liking. They are well trained, sure footed and enjoyable to ride. The riding itself is rather diverse as well, depending on the direction you take from the ranch. Ambling through thick, deep woods, rolling meadows out in the open or steep mountain climbs; it’s all available and part of your menu of riding opportunities. You don’t have to be an experienced rider to enjoy yourself. The ranch hands will take as long as you need orienting you to your horse and offering instruction. Obviously, you need to have a level of physical fitness necessary to get on and off the horse and stay in the saddle for 2-3 hour rides – or their all day rides if you choose. By no means to do you have to be an athlete, though.
The ranch is very secluded; miles down a dirt road (very negotiable by your rental or personal car). The only thing you’ll hear are nature’s sounds, no traffic and even very few air planes. The summer weather is classic Wyoming; cool nights and mornings, warm days and the occasional afternoon thunderstorm barreling through – then clearing again by six o’clock. Simply brilliant.

This may all sound like a paid advertisement, but it’s not. It’s just what I and my daughter experienced. T Cross is a place where you can really disconnect from the rat race of the world and our busy lives. I actually forgot the password to my work PC and had to think for several hours before it came back to me. Now that’s a vacation! Thanks to Gretchen, Mark and the whole team for a fabulous time!

Room Tip: All the cabins are great!
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank rfarhm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

T Cross is neither the largest, nor the flashiest ranch in Wyoming, and the great thing is that it doesn't try to be. It is a beautiful, remote, and incredibly accommodating ranch for people who love horses, scenery, friendship and good food. It's history goes back 100 years. The hosts, Mark and Gretchen, are the epitomy of hospitality. They are smart, savvy ranchers who make it their priority to know and make welcome each of their guests. But even more, they are surrounded by an incredible staff of true cowboys and cowgirls, not to mention their gourment chefs, Jay and Will. Be prepared for incredible meals accompanied by fresh homemade breads and desserts each day. Other high points are the horses and scenery. No matter what level of rider you are, T Cross will find a horse (from their 60+ head) you are comfortable with and that you will not want to leave by the end of the week. The rides are scaled to start out slow and short to build your confidence and comfort.The cowboy wranglers ensure that you are safe and properly seated on each ride, and are extremely adept at improving your horsemanship. By the end of the week, the all day rides up into the high country take you places you never thought you could get to. You truly will not want to leave T Cross, nor the friends you will make while you're there. I can recommend the Moose Belle cabin for couples, although all cabins are quaint and well-appointed. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

I just got back from an amazing week of riding and roping at the T Cross with two other friends. Mark and Gretchen were gracious hosts. The entire staff were warm, welcoming, and oh-so-very kind! I truly felt like I was leaving family when our stay ended. The scenery is breath-taking, the cabins are delightfully cozy and the food! - oh, my! I've never eaten so well! I can't wait to go back and share this phenomenal ranch with more friends and family!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank hmrmiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

Not only was the view incredible, the ranch in a beautiful valley, the food phenomenal, one trip better than the other but what really made it outstanding was the staff!
The wranglers were amazing, the kitchen staff funny and so lovely and Marc & Gretchen made you feel home! The cabins were great. We had fun at the Gymkhana, Square Dance & the rodeo in town. The Horses were excellent and something for every riding level. Be prepared to have a vacation of a life time. I will be back - next time with my daughter!

Thanks for everything, you are truly amazing!

Room Tip: Cox is excellent for families!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kirsten1012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2011

I went with 2 friends, we all ride back home and were looking for an opportunity to ride good horses into the mountains......this was the perfect place for that!
Wonderful staff....the wranglers were amazing.
We took over 1000 pictures...and love every one of them!
thanks for wonderful memories.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank diane c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about T Cross Ranch

Address: 82 Parque Creek Road, Dubois, WY 82513
Location: United States > Wyoming > Dubois
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Dubois
Price Range: $250 - $300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The T Cross Ranch, located in the greater Yellowstone area, has been providing guests with an unforgettable all-inclusive experience for close to 100 years. Comfortable cabins are furnished with rustic elegance. Fabulous meals featuring made-from-scratch breads and organic ranch-raised beef satisfy every appetite. The surrounding country is unforgettable, with the Absaroka mountain peaks soaring to over 13,000 feet around the ranch. This land has been carved naturally by water, wind, and glaciers. Horseback is the only way to see this pristine country. With a string of over 60 horses, there’s the perfect mount for every guest. Our wranglers are experienced cowboys with literally thousands of miles on horseback under their belts. This is western riding in its purest form, the way it originated, the way few people experience it. ... more   less 

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