McGarry Ranches, LLC- Idaho Working Ranch Vacations

People come from all over the world to live the life of the American Cowboy. This is a great place for quality time with anyone that is special to you.––McGarry Ranches, LLC

by Jocelyn Pierce

Theron McGarry oversees the daily cattle operations at McGarry Ranches, LLC, a fourth generation ranch in southeastern Idaho along the Snake River that has been welcoming guests to lend a helping hand since 1988. The ranch is a member of the longtime Dude Ranchers' Association. If you’re looking for a vacation with tennis courts, hot tubs, and a four-course meal awaiting you at the end of the day, this is not the retreat for you.

mcgarry ranches cattle work

Your safety and enjoyment are uppermost in our minds. Our goal is to ensure your vacation is one that you will always treasure in your memories. Our cowboys will help you to learn to rope, work cattle and ride safely. Feel free to join in the work or just go along for the ride. ––McGarry Ranches

Between the three McGarry Ranches, their herds of cattle run on 55,000 acres of rugged mountain country. Vacationers stay for a full week and ride six days. McGarry Ranches has about 30 horses to aid in their operation. Guests are matched with one or two horses for the duration of their stay. 

Travelers that visit are part of the family at McGarry Ranches, and Theron McGarry admits they see a 75 percent return rate. One of the advantages of having such a small group is that people get to know each other better and many find long lasting friendships. 

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The McGarry Ranch is actually three ranches located in southeastern Idaho in the upper Snake River Valley and along the South Fork of the Snake River, approximately 90 miles west of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Each day starts at 7 a.m. when guests come down and pour themselves a cup of coffee, help themselves to a homemade breakfast and pack their own lunch to take on the trail for the day. 

“It’s a homey and personal atmosphere,” said McGarry, “most people don’t come here to be waited on, they want to be a part of it.” 

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Theron McGarry oversees the daily cattle operations at McGarry Ranches, LLC, a fourth generation ranch that has been welcoming guests since 1988.

After breakfast, horses are saddled and loaded into trailers as the group sets off for the day to check on the cattle, gather strays, and drive them up the mountain from the creeks where they take respite. McGarry and his team might also move cows to different pastures, mend fences, or a slew of other odd jobs. After a hard day of work, guests return to the main ranch and eat a hearty homemade meal. By the day’s end, a warm bed is a welcome sight. 

Learn more and search for authentic working ranches in Equitrekking’s Vacation Guide, an online guide featuring great dude ranches, guest ranches, working ranches and cattle drives.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pierce is an avid equestrian and lover of travel and photography. Her passion for adventure has led her on numerous excursions throughout North America and Europe. When she’s not riding and competing her homebred mare, she enjoys hiking, camping, and snapping photographs.