Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch … you can vacation in comfort and rustic style in Northern Wyoming


Photo: Della Frederickson

If you grew up watching Westerns and followed the on-screen antics of stars in Stetsons, such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart, you’ve probably imagined what life on the ranch (or the range) might be like.

Why not try it out? Other than the absence of gunslingers dueling at noon, Paintrock Canyon Ranch, in the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming, offers everything you can dream of and more.

Ranchlands, a family ranching business in the American West, has opened the luxury guest ranch on an 80,000-acre range that extends toward Cloud Peak, the highest mountain in the Bighorns. The land includes creeks, springs, meadows and canyon walls along with plenty of wildlife, plus great fishing.

Photo: Rebecca Stumpf

Guests get to immerse themselves in ranch life, explore the surroundings on horseback, try fly fishing, go hiking and experience the natural world in this unique landscape.

Accommodations are designed for people to be as close to nature as possible, but with all the creature comforts of home. Yes, this is glamping—Wild West-style. Large, safari-style tents are cosily furnished with full-sized beds, bedside tables, dressers and chairs.

Photo: Rebecca Stumpf

And you don’t have to catch your own supper, either. Meals are prepared by a private chef and incorporate locally sourced ingredients such as beef, produce and dairy whenever possible.

Ranch vacations here include five nights on the ranch and four days of riding. Activities include taking a long canter to the top of Lumen Canyon or Courthouse Rock, spending an afternoon learning about the ancient Native American petroglyphs at the Medicine Lodge archaeological site or fly fishing at one the many fishing holes.

Photo: Della Frederickson

Seven-night pack trips allow you to explore Paintrock Canyon Ranch before heading into the backcountry of the Bighorn National Forest on horseback. Mountain camping is based out of backpacking tents but includes the comforts of a hot shower and meals prepared by a private chef over a campfire.

“Days will be spent visiting surrounding lakes, hiking and riding miles of trails and riding out to the Ranchlands cow camp to spend the day with the ranch team,” says Duke Phillips III, founder of Ranchlands. “Evenings will be spent around the fire with new friends under a carpet of stars.”

The season runs from May through September. Ranchlands has been offering stays on ranches for 24 years. For details, see or email