My 13 year-old daughter and I just returned home from a 5 day stay at the Medicine Bow Lodge and had the time of our lives. To be honest, we are usually more "high-end travelers"-- not to be obnoxious, but our family usually travels in more comfort and with more diversions. But, my daughter and I felt that it was time for a true Western vacation... with days filled with horses and adventure and nights of quiet comfort and hanging out. And, we truly got what we desired.
The accommodations are somewhat spartan-- but that is the reality of a vacation where you should NOT be hanging out in your room. Except to sleep and change clothes, we were always about. The riding was exceptionally good and safe. My daughter is quite an accomplished rider. And, I can pretty well fake it. But, they found the right horses for us and we did no "nose-to-tail" riding, which I hate. We were able to enjoy a myriad of environments and rides of great variety. And, when appropriate... and to use my daughter's words... we were allowed to "really haul butt." I have never had such a thrill as to watch her take off on a huge beast and hear her delight at recounting the story again and again. (Note: she is an experienced rider and they made sure that such "craziness" was ok with her and me!) They let you ride to your ability and comfort. (And, as a note to parents of very young kids-- they made exceptional efforts to help the really young ones get horse time twice daily in a very safe manner.)
The lodge is small and the sense of community quickly becomes very real. Everyone ended up watching the littlest kids and no one was unruly. The pre-teens and teens were able to split off and hang out in the safe environment. We all ate together in a jumble of families and new friends. They do not serve alcohol, but we all shared what little we had--- not to excess in any way, but rather as a hanging out medium to share and laugh together after a long day's riding and before dinner. The food is great "cowboy fare" and they will accommodate your needs within reason.
There is little late night activity, except for sitting around the fire or playing pool or foosball in the lodge. But, we were so bushed from hours of riding that we passed out earlier than we usually do.
A truly peak part of our time there was the overnight horse camping trip. We rode out to a nearby area and set up camp. We all worked to get wood, arrange the food preparation, and take care of the horse. My daughter and I slept outside under the stars and were so happy to be together and sharing the time together with no technology or diversions.
So, in summary, if you are looking for a (1) low-tech, (2) no stress, (3) activity-oriented, family-friendly, (4) true Western dude ranch experience-- you need to go to the Medicine Bow Lodge.
You will connect as a family. You will learn to love horses. And, you will reacquaint yourselves with how nice it is to just be together and doing something new. And, any pretenses and "neediness" you have will just float away. Just ride. And, talk. And, enjoy.
See you there next summer!
--Michael and Sage
(Denver, CO 8/2011)
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Odigeo and Priceline so you can book your Medicine Bow Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Medicine Bow Hotel Saratoga
- Medicine Bow Lodge Saratoga, Wyoming