Located in the Medicine Bow National Forest in the true wilds of Wyoming, Medicine Bow Lodge celebrates 100 years next year. That a dude ranch can last that long is special in itself, and upon a visit to ride, eat and enjoy this historic property, a longtime member of the Dude Ranchers Association, I realized why it’s just so special.
Good ranch horses at Medicine Bow Lodge.
Located at the west end of the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, this ranch rests along a rushing creek and features a historic log lodge, complete with a big stone fireplace and welcoming ranch dogs to greet you.
Ranch guard dogs.
Cinnamon rolls freshly baked by ranch owner Debbie Bishop. Delicious!
I saddled up on a twelve year old bay horse and owner Tim Bishop rode his sassy mare, Millie. We set off first to a nearby glacial carved valley dotted with wildflowers including Wyoming’s state flower, the Indian Paintbrush. As Tim pointed out flowers, geology and ranch history, I got more comfortable on my mount, including crossing a babbling brook several times.
Tim points out wild flowers and other natural elements on the trails.
We then ventured deeper and higher into the forest, where trails vary between wide and smooth and more rocky, but nice enough for intermittent canters. We rode fast, slowing down once we reached what seemed like a private oasis. It’s riding places like this, trails within our public lands open to riders, that make me want to cherish these special forests for generations, too.
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