Gros Ventre River Ranch Photo Journey in Jackson, Wyoming

Manuela Stefan of Graceful Horses visits an authentic Jackson Hole dude ranch to photograph and experience beautiful horses and iconic Western scenery.

While exploring the area around Jackson, Wyoming and exhibiting my equine art at the Western Design Conference in town, I had the privilege to live in a place that is hard to even begin describing–– the Gros Ventre River Ranch.

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Gros Ventre River Ranch wranglers going for a ride.

wranglers riding at gros ventre wyoming ranch

The Gros Ventre River Ranch pasture offers spectacular views over the Grand Teton mountain range.

Remotely located in the Teton National Forrest with the Gros Ventre River running right through its grounds, the ranch offers spectacular views over the Grand Teton mountains. I vividly recall the scenic drive from Jackson, during which I always seemed to have a hard time focusing on the wheel as I was constantly in awe of what was unfolding around me–– breathtaking landscape and abundant wildlife.

grand tetons wyoming photo

The Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are easily accessible from the Gros Ventre River Ranch.

People visiting the ranch seem to return, some year after year. And I am not surprised. Contributing to a truly one-of-a-kind experience is the special atmosphere created by a family who embraces the idea of simple living, enjoying special moments in good company, savoring delicious meals while honoring the surroundings.

Owner Karl Weber collection of classic trucks is a familiar sight at the ranch

Owner Karl Weber’s collection of classic trucks is a familiar sight at the ranch.

Amazing owners and managers, dedicated and passionate wranglers, talented cooks and of course, last but not least, some of the most beautiful horses I have seen, all come together and co-create an energy which wraps around everyone who steps into the ranch. Well taken care of and loved, the GV horses invite guests on great riding adventures, revealing superb trails and unbelievable views to those who choose to hop on their welcoming backs.

Manager Sean McGough and horse Hootchie

Manager Sean McGough and horse Hootchie.

Wranglers crossing the Gros Ventre River

Wranglers crossing the Gros Ventre River.

In 1987, current owners Karl and Tina Weber purchased the property which had been previously operated as a dude ranch for 30 years. They have done an incredible job enhancing it step by step. Back in the 50’s, rustic log cabins were moved here from the second oldest dude ranch in Jackson, the Bar BC, and still serve as cozy accommodations for guests. The Webers increased the size of the ranch from four cabins to eight, added a main lodge overlooking the Gros Ventre River, as well as a beautiful barn and horse facility.

gros ventre river ranch main lodge wyoming

The main lodge at Gros Ventre River Ranch.

gros ventre river ranch interior

 Original western art, sculpture and furniture, the main lodge sits on the banks of the Gros Ventre River.

gros ventre river ranch meals

Gourmet meals are prepared daily by the ranch’s talented chefs.

Today, the ranch is managed by the couple’s daughter Tori and her husband, Sean McGough. I want to thank the Weber and McGough families for their amazing hospitality and for their sustained efforts to offer an authentic, unforgettable experience to those who step through their door. I very much look forward to visiting again! 

gros ventre river ranch horses running

Gros Ventre River Ranch’s beautiful horses coming in for supper.


How you can go: Learn more about this authentic Jackson Hole dude ranch with horseback riding in the Gros Ventre Wilderness, Teton National Forest and Bridger Teton Park, private fly fishing, hiking and more on the Gros Ventre River Ranch website and on their page in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide, an online guidebook dedicated to great dude ranches, guest ranches, cattle drives and horseback riding vacations.

About the Author and Photographer: Manuela Stefan is a Toronto based lifestyle and equine photographer with a keen eye for capturing the spirit of the horse in interesting locations worldwide. Her love for travel and horses has brought her to spectacular locations in France, Romania, Canada and the U.S. She has exhibited her large format equine images in Toronto and Collingwood, Ontario and Montana. Her adventures continue. Check out her Equine Blog and find her on Facebook and Twitter @GracefulHorses.