Heritage & Hospitality

The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch offers guests a warm welcome in an authentic Western setting

When critters were discovered living in some of the dilapidated cabins on the property that is now The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, it must have crossed owner Bruce White’s mind that it would be a heck of a lot easier to tear everything down and rebuild from scratch. Instead, White resolved to meticulously restore the timeworn buildings—some of them nearly 130 years old—where families and ranch hands once lived on the Saratoga, Wyoming, cattle ranch. The vintage logs were carefully removed, numbered, refinished and reassembled. New foundations were poured, electrical and plumbing systems were added, and present-day features like heated floors were installed to create the resort’s luxurious lodging.

“The ranch is Bruce and Beth White’s passion,” says executive vice president and COO Michael W. Williams. “They both have a love of hospitality and entertaining, and a dedication to preserving the history of the ranch.” The property was settled in 1884, when the Sterrett brothers built the original homestead with logs from the adjoining national forest. Today the ranch has more than 40 buildings, including the Trailhead Lodge, a bunkhouse, seven new log homes and 19 original cabins—each unique and outfitted with modern amenities and comfortable interiors created by Simeone Deary Design Group of Chicago.

Entrees featuring prime steak and fresh seafood are served in the Trailhead Lodge’s dining room, where guests can select their bottles of wine from a large wine cellar. Seating is family-style at community tables to encourage conversation. “People become friends as they break bread together,” Williams explains. For a taste of the Old West, meals are also prepared at an outdoor, open-fire chuck wagon. Weekly “creekside” dinners feature al fresco dining accompanied by live music.

With 15,000 private acres bordering a million acres of federal wild lands, the ranch offers dozens of outdoor activities ranging from fly-fishing, horseback riding and hunting to cattle round-ups and wintertime sleigh rides.

“One of the ranch’s core values is a commitment to sustainability,” Williams says of the company’s decision to keep the majority of the property undeveloped and protected as open space. “We’ve cleaned up rivers and streams to restore fish habitats, and made other enhancements like replanting native vegetation and improving roads. Our vision extends to the stewardship of the entire ranch.”

Home on the Ranch

To encourage relaxation, televisions and phones are intentionally absent from the luxurious guest rooms, which feature 400-thread-count sheets, Egyptian cotton towels and nightly turndown service. Dining options range from elegant sit-down meals in the lodge to outdoor chuck wagon dinners and “sundowner” cocktails at the ranch’s hilltop viewing platform. Spa treatments have a decidedly Western twist, from a Wyoming river stone massage to a Native American smudging ritual in a private teepee. One- to three-bedroom accommodations range from rooms in the main Trailhead Lodge to log cabin rooms, suites and residences. Lodge rooms start at $720 per night, off-peak season. Meals and most activities are included.

The Ranch Experience

The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch’s mission is “to create and deliver authentic experiences and indelible memories as vast as the Western skies,” and in keeping with this, the property offers a host of activities and experiences for people of all ages. Fly-fishing enthusiasts enjoy 10 miles of private water access, and the ranch’s equestrian program offers trail rides, individual instruction, arena riding and cattle round-ups. The ranch has a private gun club including a shooting range and sporting clays course, and other popular activities include archery, horseshoes, a rock-climbing wall, mountain biking, orienteering and, in the winter, snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and snowcat tours. 307-327-5284, brushcreekranch.com

Categories: Mountain Travel