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History, Hats, Horses and Hospitality: WDRA demonstrates unwavering commitment to providing authentic Western experience

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

In 1917, the historic Pitchfork Ranch of Meeteetse purchased Timber Creek Ranch and made it the headquarters of their dude ranching operation. 

A few years later, in 1926, the Wyoming Dude Ranchers’ Association (WDRA) was established, and Irving H. “Larry” Larom of Valley Ranch took over as president. 

Today, the association is still going strong with their commitment to ensuring guest ranches throughout Wyoming that carry the WDRA Seal of Membership demonstrate an unwavering commitment to provide an authentic Western experience for their visitors from all over the world. 

“WDRA is all about history, hats, horses and hospitality,” reads the association’s website. “We have a commitment to the quality of each ranch that is a member of our association. Individuals can be assured they have been inspected and work hard to uphold the quality we all represent.” 

Wyoming dude ranches

Twenty dude ranches across the state of Wyoming carry the WDRA Seal of Membership, including three within the borders of Park County.

These include the 7D Ranch, the Crossed Sabres Ranch and the Shoshone Lodge and Guest Ranch, all located in Cody.

Other affiliated dude ranches in eastern Wyoming include the Paradise Guest Ranch in Buffalo, the Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch in Shell, the Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Laramie, Eatons’ Ranch in Wolf and the Medicine Bow Lodge in Saratoga.

The western side of Wyoming is home to the majority of member ranches.

These include Absaroka Ranch, Bitterroot Ranch, CM Ranch and the Lazy LB Ranch in Dubois; Flat Creek Ranch, Goosewing Ranch and Spotted Horse Ranch in Jackson; Lost Creek Ranch and Spa, Moose Head Ranch and Triangle X Ranch in Moose; R Lazy S Ranch in Teton Village and Red Rock Ranch in Kelly.

Types of dude ranches

According to WDRA, there are various types of dude ranches in Wyoming, offering a variety of different experiences depending on what visitors are looking for. 

Rustic Wyoming dude and guest ranches offer basic accommodations. Guests may sleep together in a bunk-style building with other guests or in cabins or lodge-style rooms. Vacations at these ranches are priced accordingly. 

Comparatively, working Wyoming dude and guest ranches come with different levels of accommodations and services. 

“Some are rustic, some are traditional and a few are upscale,” explains WDRA. “Guests may choose to be a cowboy during the day and pampered at night at an upscale working cattle ranch or be a full-time cowboy at a more rustic working ranch.” 

The majority of Wyoming’s guest ranches fall under the category of a traditional style ranch. These types of ranches combine modern amenities and private cabins. 

“There are several levels of service dictated by price in this category,” notes WDRA. “As with the other categories, there are Wyoming dude, guest and working cattle ranches in this category.”

The association continues, “The choice is up to travelers to decide which type of Wyoming dude ranch will work best for their family vacation or adventure getaway.” 

For more information on WDRA or for a detailed list of affiliated ranches, visit or call 888-996-9372.

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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