The History of Our Jackson Hole Dude Ranch ~ Vintage Gros Ventre River Ranch

The secluded property on which our Jackson Hole dude ranch sits became a homestead property in the early 1900s, and operated as a working ranch. The original owners grew a variety of crops to feed their families, and raised cattle and other stock on these same lands that we now call home.

The ranch made the transition to a dude ranch when it was purchased by Roy and Becky Chambers in the 1950s ~ at that time, the culture in America was shifting towards Western vacations, and they thought that this special property would be an amazing place to share with guests from all over the world. They brought 5 rustic log cabins from the Bar BC ranch (the second oldest dude ranch in Jackson Hole!) to their Flying V Ranch to serve as a main lodge and accommodations for their guests. The log cabins still serve as accommodations for our guests, and are now Kottonwood, Turpin, Teton, and Sourdough cabins, as well as Homestead House.

Karl and Tina bought the ranch from Roy and Becky in 1987 (we celebrated our 25th anniversary last year!), and increased the size of the ranch. The first addition that they made were the buildings that serve as our log lodges  ~ a year later, our main lodge and barns were built. (Before the main lodge and barn were built, Homestead House served as the main lodge, guests parked their cars right outside their cabins, and horses were tied up were our cookout area is!)

Lodge, Barn Construction at the GVRR

The lodge under construction…what a view!

Jackson Hole dude ranch main lodge construction

The main lodge under construction under the Tetons

 

The Gros Ventre River Ranch barn under construction

Our barn towards the end of construction

Other notable additions that we can’t imagine the ranch without :

Our arena, where guests participate in team penning and sorting ~

Arena Construction (2)

Our main arena being built

Arena Construction

Sean, Karl and Tina at the finished arena

The round pen (above the barns), where our wranglers work colts ~

Round Pen Before

The GVRR round pen: before

Round Pen After

The GVRR round pen: after!

The Osprey Bridge, built in 1997 to allow easier access for our horseback riders and hikers alike ~

Karls Fork Construction

Construction of the Osprey Bridge: before

Karls Fork Construction

The finished Osprey Bridge!

Needless to say, this property has seen a lot of history ~ from operating as a working ranch, to becoming the Flying V Ranch, and then the Gros Ventre River Ranch. And while many things have changed, with many structural additions to make the ranch more comfortable and maximize the beauty and accessibility of the land, there are many things that have stayed the same…This land on which our Jackson Hole Dude Ranch stands continues to be a place where families and friends can come together and enjoy a relaxing vacation, eat wonderful food, horseback ride on breathtakingly beautiful trails and enjoy each other’s company!

 

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