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Gros Ventre River Ranch
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Reviews (140)
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Reviewed 6 September 2011

We'd never done the dude ranch thing before and didn't quite know what to expect, but we had a wonderful time at Gros Ventre River Ranch. The setting is spectacular --one of the few places that exceeds its website photos. We were a family of four with no riding experience, but managed to go happily on several trail rides, thanks to some very patient wranglers. The "lodge" we stayed in was huge--more than enough room for the four of us. Food was simple but good, and there was plenty of it. The staff was very accommodating, and the ranch seems to anticipate every need -- including loaner boots, hats, fishing gear. It's expensive, but it's a vacation we will not forget.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank lmp51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2011

I have to say at the outset that after reading all the glorious reviews on Tripadvisor the bar was set pretty high for our expectations of the week we planned to spend at GVRR. Between the reviews posted here and that great article that appeared in the travel section of several newspapers across the country it seemed we couldn't go wrong.
So very pleased to report that not only did Gros Ventre River Ranch meet our expectations, but exceeded them on all counts. Temendous value for the vacation dollar! This is a long review, but I wanted to address some of the questions I myself had prior to deciding which ranch to visit.

I knew this would be a special place even before we got there when my email inquiries were answered within a day of sending them. And I had plenty of questions as someone who had never done any horseback riding aside from a weekend trip to a dude ranch in NY 20 years ago. Tori and Amber certainly gave a great preview of the level of care we could expect during our stay.

Location:
The grounds surrounding GVRR are breathtaking. The location is so convenient. It is not terribly far from the airport and the town of Jackson and yet it feels like it is a million miles away. Just what you want when you visit the beauty that is Wyoming. It is also a very short drive to the visitor center for the Grand Teton National Park.

The Riding:
The horseback riding was incredible. Each day brought a different trail with varied terrain and all of the trails had spectacular views. The wranglers were incedibly helpful and encouraging. We started as uber-beginners (having only taken a few lessons at home before our trip so that we didn't completely embarrass ourselves) and by the middle of the week we were able to ride with the more advanced groups. You have a choice as to whether you want to ride half day, full day, morning or afternoon. Each half- day ride is about 2 and a half hours long. The groups are small and the staff does a great job of evaluating who should ride with whom. Your horse is your horse for the week.

The Dining:
When you are not riding you are feasting on the sumptuous , lovingly prepared and beautifully presented meals that chef Danna provides. Danna is a gem. His level of caring is obvious from the very first night when he takes the time to personally greet each guest and welcome them to GVRR. We had some special requests as my husband is not a red meat eater and Danna always made sure there was something as an alternative. For me, it was carnivore heaven! And it wasn't just the entrees that were so delicious. There were crisp salads with a variety of dressings, excellent fresh fruit selections each morning along with the breakfast du jour. Nicely done veggies and side dishes accompanied each dinner as well. Quinoa ? Check!!

Accomodations:
I have read a lot of what's been posted previously regarding whether to stay in the cabin or the lodge and I guess I'll add my 2 cents as well here. We opted to stay in the cabin but also spent some time in one of the lodges .The cabins are definitely more rustic. They are very roomy and very comfortable. Also they are located right next to the main building and the playground and cookout area so that may be a plus for families with young children. Each cabin is actually a duplex with a king bed in one of the units and two single beds in the adjoining unit. The two singles can be made up as a king and that is what is what we had since there were no true king bed cabin units available for the week that we booked. I had a little bit of misgiving about this but it proved to be a non issue. Our room was perfect and if I didn't know those beds were pushed together I wouldn't have known. The cabins also have a little sitting area outside the door.
The lodges are a whole different ball game. They are quite well appointed and downright luxurious. A little more of a walk to the main lodge and the cookout area but the view from the deck is unobstructed and magnificent. It's like your own private haven overlooking the Grand Tetons.
The lodge also has its own washer and dryer. (The main lodge is equipped with washers and dryers for use by guests who are staying in the cabins)
So which to chose depends on what you want out of your week. If you are going to ride/fish/ hike all day every day the cabin is certainly more economical and pretty much perfect . If you want to spend part of your vacation sitting out on the deck reading, relaxing or just contemplating nature the lodge is certainly well worth the cost.

The Staff of GVRR:
I titled this review "Home" on the range because that is how the guest is made to feel. We got to know just about everyone who works on the ranch, including the owners , and all them went out of their way to make us feel like we were at home. Outstanding staff.


Finally, please feel free to contact me with any questions I may not have answered. Is that even possible? I think this the longest review I've ever written! It is always my pleasure to answer fellow travelers. I know how heavily I rely on the information I find in these postings and am always happy to pay it forward.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank BBE2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

The dining was superb, staff courteous and helpful, the accomodations were very nice and the horseback riding was great. The horses are well cared for and so were we. This was a mom/son trip (my son is 10) and there were lots of other kids to play with and they didn't need close supervision due to the layout of the ranch. There were opportunities to have cocktail time with the other adults without the kids so the mix was perfect. I can't really think of a better place to go for singles, couples or families who like to experience a high quality accomodation but be casual and relaxed.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Martha B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2011

Whether you're looking for an action packed vacation with horseback riding, fly fishing and/or cattle sorting, sightseeing and the rodeo in nearby Jackson, Wyoming, The Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks, the choices are limitless. The setting is like a real life fairy tale. Situated in the Grand Teton Forest no matter where you look, you see beautiful mountains and the river after which the ranch is named.

To top this off, you instantly sense the western hospitality from everyone connected with the ranch whether it be the owners or the staff; within no time everyone calls you by first name. The staff is very accommodating from the office manager answering each and every question to the wranglers dealing with my naïveté at horseback riding. Your enjoyment and relaxation are paramount to them.

My vision of a dude ranch was a totally rustic setting. That's a small part of Gros Ventre which has a well-balanced feel of a ranch and a high end resort with very nice amenities such as beds being turned down each evening, appetizers and wine before dinner.

Wait, having written critiques of restaurants for over four years, it would be remise of me to not say something about the food. If your thoughts of a dude ranch bring basic trail-style food to mind, you could not be further from this place. Sure, there area couple of basic trail-style meals to give everyone the feel of the old times but the main theme of food at this place is more akin to a resort with a gourmet kitchen. Chef Danna’s creativity comes through with each meal, from eggs Benedict one morning to prime rib one evening and Cornish game hen another. His kitchen staff is very proud of what they present and rightfully so, for everything from the simplest dish to the most complex are wonderful. Perhaps what impressed me most is the visibility of the staff. They often are seen in the dining room conversing with the guests not hiding in the kitchen. In fact, not a meal went buy without Danna asking each table how they liked dinner.

If, like me, a dude ranch is on your bucket list, this is the one to visit.

Room Tip: Be ready for a truly wonderful vacation
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2011

What a special place.! My wife and I came with our three kids (13,11, and 8) and we had a great time. The food is incredible and the staff could not be nicer. Danna took care of us in the dining room, while Sarah and Caci made sure all my kids were comfortable on the horses. The Ranch situated on the Gros Ventre river. It has a great view of the Grand Tetons and it is located only 20 minutes outside of Jackson. Since the ranch is centrally located, my family was able to visit Jackson, Jackson Hole Mountain and we even got a afternoon of white water river rafting in. It was really nice to have this option. Tori and Sean treat everyone, including their staff, like family. I cannot say enough about how special this place.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank jim r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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