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Wyoming Ranch Vacation Guide

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Wyoming Dude Ranches & Fly Fishing Lodges

Wyoming’s slogan “Forever West” comes from its history as the half-way point for pioneers heading west and the stopping point for many during the Gold Rush. This conjures up visions of a dusty trail for some, but Wyoming definitely does not deserve its reputation as a dry state. With over 4,000 lakes and tens of thousands of miles of streams and rivers, Wyoming is a great destination for family vacations with dude ranches, fly fishing lodges, and luxury resorts.

Pioneer History

Thousands of pioneers crossed Wyoming in the 1800s, and visitors today can view displays of their travels in museums – or right outside. Independence Rock, near Casper, is an enormous boulder that was an important milestone for pioneers. Families etched their names and the date they passed onto the rock, and these markings are still visible today. Visitors can also still see wagon ruts that were dug into the soil by the huge numbers of wagons passing through. One of the most traveled routes near Guernsey dug ruts several feet deep into the limestone!

Fly Fishing Opportunities

Wyoming fly fishing lodges proudly display state and national record fishing trophies on their walls, which is not surprising given the innumerable fly fishing opportunities Wyoming offers. Yellowstone National Park and other preserves are known for:

  • Trout
  • Bass
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch
  • Salmon

Fly fishing lodges are located in many towns around Wyoming's wilderness preserves, and there are a select number of lodges within the preserves with luxury accommodations for the family. Outside of the preserves, there are plenty of places to stay whether families are looking for all-inclusive luxury resorts or cabins on working Wyoming dude ranches.

Other Daytime Activities

The classic Wyoming vacation involves staying on a Wyoming dude ranch. Ranches may breed horses, herd cattle, raise goats and sheep, or work with any combination of these and other animals. Guests who stay on a Wyoming dude ranch are invited to take part in the lifestyle as much or as little as they please, so day trips outside of the ranch are always possible for the adventurous.

Consider some of these opportunities to explore Wyoming:

  • Drive the Beartooth Scenic Byway. This byway traverses miles of gorgeous Wyoming backcountry, crossing Beartooth pass at almost 11,000 feet of elevation.
  • Explore Bridger Valley. Accessible by the Bridger Valley Historic Byway, the byway takes visitors for a drive where Indians, pioneers, and cowboys of the Pony Express once rode. The route passes many important historical sites.
  • Visit on Wyoming Free Fishing Day. Every year on June 4, Wyoming Free Fishing Day welcomes fly fishing and angling in almost all bodies of water without a permit.

Arts and Culture

Farmers markets are a way of life in Wyoming, and visitors will find one in almost any town they visit. Delicious produce and baked goods from Wyoming and nearby states fill entire parks and streets during these farmers markets, and they welcome all guests.

Wyoming is also an entertainment destination. Guests can enjoy free summer concerts in Rawlins, visit the University of Wyoming Art Museum in Laramie, or marvel at the massive allosaurus fossil known as “Big Al” at the University of Wyoming Geological Museum.

Wyoming dude ranches and fly fishing lodges offer a little something for everyone in the family. From pioneer history to modern art, from horseback rides on the ranch to angling in the back country, every moment in Wyoming has something to offer. Enjoy a Wyoming dude ranch or luxury vacation with the whole family.

View our listings of Wyoming ranches to begin planning a memorable vacation today!