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“The Vacation of a Lifetime”
Review of Medicine Bow Lodge

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Medicine Bow Lodge
Reviewed September 28, 2012

We did a lot of research on various ranches throughout Wyoming before we booked our vacation at the Medicine Bow Lodge. We narrowed down our choices to several candidates and I called each of the ones we were considering. I actually spoke with both Tim and Debbie and they were very friendly and answered all of my questions fully. We chose the Medicine Bow Lodge because of the comfortable and laid-back feel.

Upon arriving we were greeted by one of the nicest and helpful staff member, Laura. She showed us the layout of the lodge, helped us get setup in our cabin. We were looking to get away from the hustle and stress of life for a while and this was just the place to do it. We started to feel relaxation and calm as soon as we arrived. Our cabin was very comfortable and we settled in right away.

We walked down to the stable and Tim greeted us as we got there. He talked with us for a few minutes and then asked if we would like to join the afternoon ride. Of course we said yes. After a little more discussion, he saddled up a couple of wonderful horses for us (Geronimo and Popcorn). These would be our mounts for the rest of the week. It is interesting that Tim was able to match us both with horses that matched our personalities so well. The ride that afternoon was nothing short of breathtaking.

Every meal that we had went above and beyond what we were expecting. The food was excellent and the variety was amazing. The fresh baked breads, home prepared cooking and scrumptious desserts were just what our souls were searching for. We thoroughly enjoyed the company and conversation with the other guests and the staff. They all made us feel so welcome.

The rides throughout our week there were a variety of terrains and scenery. I’m not normally the photographer, but I took hundreds of pictures as I tried to soak in the majesty of the area. The rides for the week culminated with a longer ride to the top of one of the peaks. We packed lunches on the horses and just had a wonderful day wandering lakes and meadows and trees as we wound our way up the mountain. Tim showed us sights that were some of his personal favorites, and after seeing them, I can understand why. The termed it “The Ride of a Lifetime”, and it certainly was.

I have never been saddened when having a vacation come to an end, until now. I just didn’t want our time there to end. This was definitely “The Vacation of a Lifetime”. If you ever get a chance to experience the hospitality of the Medicine Bow Lodge, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Neil H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 - 68 of 86 reviews

Reviewed September 27, 2012

We drove 12 hrs from our home in Kansas to the Medicine Bow Lodge. When we pulled off the hwy, the first thing we noticed was that their sign was almost unreadable due to fading and disrepair, hanging loose and partially on the ground. We arrived at the lodge at approx. 3:10 on Friday, Sept 20. Check-in time was supposed to be 12:00. When we pulled up to the lodge, we noticed several obviously abandoned cabins which had tall weeds/brush and trash all around them. (One had an abandoned stuffed bear propped up on the porch.) We also noticed several other cabins which were not abandoned but were in obvious need of repair. These also had trash and weeds around and under each of the cabins and the area had no grass except the dry, sage brush of Wyoming. We entered the reception area of the main building/lodge/living quarters/game room/dining room & kitchen. We were greated by a lady whom we believe was the owner, and who asked if she could help us. We gave here our name and told her we were there to check in. She looked surprised and went into the kitchen to check the reservation books (I guess) and then she called out and said it would be a while. (No explanation was given of what was going on.) She told us to have a seat & make ourselves at home. My husband was obviously disappointed and didn't even want to enter the lodge at all but finally decided to look at the quarters they were going to put us in. He left the checkin area and walked around for a few minutes, walking around the yard, cabin area, back patio and other areas including the horse corral. He came back and asked me to walk and look at the area while we waited to be checked in. I walked with him and also was deeply disappointed to find that the entire area looked nothing like the website and what we thought we were getting. We went back to the reception area and waited for more than 20 minutes and still had not been checked in or acknowledged that we were still waiting. The lady whom we assume was the owner did not come back to the reception area but kept working in the kitchen. We overheard a few conversations which lead us to believe that someone was trying to prepare a room for us. We walked back outside to one of the small cabins where there were 3 young people who were trying to clean a room. One of the young ladies working in the room introduced herself and explained to us that they had someone show up which they were not expecting. She also stated that there was a nearby guest ranch hosting a wedding and the nearby ranch's employees were being housed at the Medicine Bow Lodge. They had moved someone else out of the room which was supposed to be reserved for us. She apologized for taking so long and stated she would check us in and give us the tour. My husband told her that before we checked in we would like to talk to a manager. The lady who we assume was the owner came out of the kitchen with a frustrated, agitated look and asked what we wanted. My husband asked the manager about a refund and we told her that we were deeply disappointed and felt that they had misrepresented the entire reservation. She was immediately defensive, made no apology and said she would not give us a refund. She stated they were preparing for a banquet for 80 people and she did not even try to work something out with us, but was rather rude. I explained that I also worked in a resort which provided much larger cabins with much nicer rooms and amenities for much less. She stated that they offered exactly what their website stated and that they were not a "hoity-toity resort and did not want to be". She told us that no one else had ever complained about their ranch and we were had unreasonable expectations. We shook her hand and advised her that we would not be checking in and politely left. The following is a list of things that we found unsatisfactory: 1. Not what was represented in the pictures. There are no pictures of the rooms whatsoever on the website. (The only building pictured on the webpage looks new, the building was actually the bathhouse that we were told was for employees only, it was extremely nasty with a toilet that had been dismantled, smelled of sewer, had a nasty hot tub area and 1 small weight bench. This building was disgusting. We walked through this building before finding out it was for employees only.) All the other buildings on the grounds were much older and smaller than the bath house. We understand that seasons change but we saw none of the beauty depicted on the website. 2. All cabins were approx. 12X24 or smaller, each was divided into 2 units. Inside the cabin we were going to be put in (which we were told had been recently remodeled) was very dark, smelled musky and had no amenities whatsoever. There was an ajoining door (made of thin plywood?) with cracks that lacked privacy. The bathroom/shower was very small and the entire room was cramped. 3. There were no sidewalks, only wooden planks leading to different areas which were all old and rickety. Everything was old and worn out. The wood was old, had never been painted or sealed in any way and most of it should have been replaced as a safety hazard. The deck of the lodge overlooking the river was uneven, had rotting wood and the handrail on the deck and bridge crossing the river was extremely loose and shaky. 4. We paid extra for the horse rides and the only horses we saw were 4 horses which looked very scruffy and uncared for. The corral was small and the only water available for the horses was one water tank which had approx 4 inches of water that was so green with slimmy moss that you could not even see the bottom of the tank. 5. The areas around the cabins were overgrown and unkept. There were peices of junk, (not for decor) in several areas including a shed which was falling down, a hammock that had a large ripe in the middle, and a horseshoe area which was covered with dog poop. After leaving the ranch, we drove to Laramie, WY, rented a motel room, and drove to Estes Park, CO, the next day. We put up a tent and slept in sleeping bags for the next two days. We rode trail horses there and hiked, biked and enjoyed the remainder of our trip, despite the bad start. We are not unreasonable people and would not have driven 12 hours just to complain. We only wanted what we paid for.

Room Tip: Don't look too closely, the pictures are very deceiving.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank oldfashionedfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2012

The Wyoming State Historical Society held their annual dinner here in late September at the height of the fall color. It was a marvelous meal with great atmosphere and the compliments were outstanding. I would recommend this place to anyone seeking a real western setting along the creek tucked in the Snowy Range Mountains. We could not have had a better location or meal.
They served 68 people.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Johnbbq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

If you are serious about "kicking back", eating great food with a delightful host and hostess, not to mention wonderful guests, you HAVE to spend a week, a weekend, a day at the Medicine Bow Lodge. We ventured up on a Friday, oogling the fall scenery and found the lodge nestled in apricot colored aspens and the sound of a babbling river. Our accomodations were rustic (what we expected); but ample and clean. Debbie's great cooking and passion for serving up a comfortable, congenial time were embracing. Her husband, Tim's warmth and easy comraderie told stories that made all of us gasp, laugh and lovingly wonder, "could a moose really do that?" Any time of year would be a GREAT time to enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience. Don't miss it!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Alexa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2012

What a great way to start our 2012 trip in The US. My wife and I travelled from New Zealand to stay at the Medicine Bow Lodge, and it was the absolute highlight for me. We haven't ridden for years, but Tim and his staff were superb at getting us back in the saddle again. The scenery, wildlife, horses, other guests, and meals all comined to make a most memorable vacation. We would love to come back. Thanks to Tim, Debbie and the girls for looking after us so very well. All the best.

Room Tip: Log cabins - awesome!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Our 2012 family vacation brought us to Medicine Bow Lodge outside of Saratoga, WY. The entire staff works hard to make you feel like you are part of the family. Breakfast is a wonderful time at the lodge. They offer "anything your heart desires" from pancakes to omelets. Everything is homemade in the kitchen and it is wonderful. All the guests and staff eat together for every meal.

If you are looking for a place to "get away" out west and ride horses, this is the place for you! Our 8 year old son rode every day at 10 AM and at 2PM. The 22 horses are truly beautiful. Our 2 year old son got a pony ride from the owner himself!

What we liked the best was the food, the horses, the ping-pong table, the creek, family friendly atmosphere, fly fishing, the pancakes with berry sauce, feeling like part of the lodge family, visiting with Tim and Debbie, the babysitters and the great-room in lodge.

What we liked least was instant access to Sponge Bob in the living room and getting the kids in bed, they wanted to stay up and have more fun!

Room Tip: Tips: In the cabin in August open the windows during the day to let the warm air in and close them...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Libby C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

My daughter and I stopped in for a trail ride. The location and lodge are gorgeous but the service is what convinced me my next trip to Wyoming I will be staying at the lodge. My seven year old daughter got scared while riding and the staff, Jordan and Madison, were so helpful to talk her up and even rode with her. The owners were so nice about the situation and cut the cost of the ride as we didn't do a whole hour. I will be coming back to the lodge to stay for sure!!

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank jenndorough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Medicine Bow Lodge

Address: 5556 WY State Hwy 130, Saratoga, WY 82331
Location: United States > Wyoming > Saratoga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Saratoga
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Medicine Bow Lodge is a dude ranch where guest stay in their own private cabin. Our lodge is open 24 hours for guest to enjoy. All activities and meals are included in our price. Enjoy daily horse rides, hiking, fishing and for some guest overnight camp trips when available. Guest staying 6 nights or more can experience a scenic float trip on the north platte river. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Medicine Bow Hotel Saratoga

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