Jackson Wyoming to Gardiner and Hells a roaring Outfitters

Flag of USA, the Stars and Stripes
My family travelled to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks - this is what we did and what we enjoyed (and didn't!).

Tell others about Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Montana and Wyoming

Read about our holiday experience in Sri Lanka, Egypt, China, New York and Niagara, Yellowstone and Montana, Turkey and Bosnia

Recommend this page on Google

Day 4 and what a fabulous day. Great scenery, hair-raising rides and a ranch trip! We headed out of Jackson early (well early for us! - about 8am). The Sat Nav was showing the fastest route to Gardiner where we were planning to drop the RV before going onto the ranch trip organised by Flying Pig Outfitters but what is the point of travelling around one of the most beautiful parks in the world! And we were so glad we did.

20120812-223841.jpgWe passed through Grand Teton with its wide open spaces and mountains on either side leading into the forest and up to Yellowstone. It cost us $25 to get in and while we were literally driving through (the pass is good for a week but by the time we get back here it will have expired) but it was worth every penny. The stunning scenery provided many great photo stops including Gibbon Falls but we had to pass many of the real attractions such as Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake by without a visit - we are back here in about 5 days and we'll have plenty of time to explore, no need to rush it now! The roads were surprisingly quiet. I had expected heavy traffic but despite the time of year we saw queues only at the biggest attractions. The roads were in a bad state of repair in places and there were roadworks fixing them but we had little trouble. Just north of Yellowstone is Gardiner and we were headed for Rocky Mountain RV park at the north-end of town. It seems a quiet park and the owner was very friendly and efficient. Her husband helped me back the RV into place (first time I'd done it!). The we packed our bags and headed about 400 metres to the Flying Pig Outfitters....only to walk back again 15 mins later.

The documentation had said check in at 2.30, but had not said we were required to make out own way to the ranch. Worse, the ranch was 'about 20 mins' from the store - possibly in an SUV but it was about the worst road I'd been on and as we climbed the first hill the RV was shaking and we wondered whether we'd make it. We feared the plates would crack an everything would fall out of the cupboards Lisa and Kate kept them all in one piece while Callum helped navigated.

20120812-223913.jpgIn the end I had to drive slowly - pretty much in first gear all the way - it took us more like 40 mins. We were happy to get there all in one piece! The end of our destination was the Hells a'roaring Outfitters just past Jardine (once a small gold town). We were greeted by friendly cowboys and settled into out tent. I had prepared the children for a tent but in fact this was definitely luxury camping with a wooden frame, wooden door and raised wooden frame draped with canvas and containing 2 singles and a double bed.

The owners said they'd 'add a cot' for tom who was eventually relieved to find that in American a cot doesn't mean a baby's cradle! We then set out on the horse ride. 20120812-223950.jpgNone of us have ridden anything seriously or recently so it was with trepidation that Tom climbed aboard a large horse called Frank and the rest of us saddled up (Hollywood, Soda Pops, Sargent and Spitfire) and set off with our friendly you guide Riley and another family for company. The day was hot but the trees were shady and beautiful. It was surprisingly quiet in the forest and we had a happy 2 hours riding in the Montana countryside! Frank was a little troublesome for Tom, always stopping for something to eat and Spitfire seemed to have little spacial awareness but we never felt in danger and returned to the ranch safe if a little saddlesore.

Unfortunately there is a fire ban in place due to lack of rain (ironic seeing that we'd left England drowning in the stuff!) so there was no campfire. However the food that was served was super. After dinner our 4 young guides sang and played the guitar and we listened while the sun set behind the mountains before setting off for bed! Another great day, full of experiences!