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The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

Our Cattle Work…More than just a Cattle Drive!

Many guests from all over the world travel to The Hideout for a unique and authentic working cattle ranch experience. Aside riding, fly-fishing, horsemanship and an array of non-riding activities, cattle work is one of our signature activities and experiences we offer.

The Hideout shares 300,000 acres of ranching, riding and adventure property with the Flitner Ranch which has been in existence for over 100-years.
With 1200 Black Angus, their calves and yearlings there are close to 3,000 animals to herd on this ranch. The ranch is located in one of the most remote but beautiful regions in Wyoming with a population of 2 per square mile.

Due to the many exposed formations and elevations ranging from 4,200 feet to 13,200 feet this area enjoys a rarely seen diversity of scenery and country.
In terms of ranching this is one of the most challenging areas to ranch.
The good news is that you will be riding and herding cattle in a variety of country which makes each cattle drive on this ranch a scenic ride. Depending on the season you will herd and move cattle in the wide open plains, green spring pastures, BLM, National Forest, green and rocky canyons, through pine forest, creeks and streams, in red Sedona alike country, see billion year old granite formations and ride across century old life stock and mail trails.

Experience what cowboys do on these big ranches

At The Hideout you will experience pretty much what cowboys do on these big ranches stretching across hundreds of thousands of acres and some places on the ranch 80 miles apart. Each of the cowboys has a heavy duty truck and stock trailer combination with flatbed.

Most of the morning’s cowboys load up their horses for the day’s job and head in to the mountains and park their trucks at the trail heads where they unload their horse(s) and ride out to the life stock for a day of cattle work. Most of this country is only accessible on foot or by means of well trained and athletic horses. Several of the cowboys and wranglers have working cow dogs like border collies to help work life stock. The dogs are especially handy in area’s with steep hills, canyons, fallen timber and in dense pine forests or places where not even a great horse and experienced rider can go. And since most cowboys work alone the dogs are also great partners alerting them in case of moose, black bear, rattle snakes, mountain lions and other critters hang out in the area
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After a day’s work, the cowboys return to their truck, load up the horse(s) and drive back to the home base.

Your cowboy experience at The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

The same way, each of our wranglers has his / her truck and trailer and takes max. 5 riding guests and their horses on a day’s cattle work. And just like the cowboys we unload the horses, saddle up and ride out to return to the trucks and trailers in the evening after our days work for the ride down.

Much has been written about loading and unloading problems with horses. No such thing here. You will be surprised how easy all these horses load and unload without issues and how surefooted they are both in the mountains as during the trail ride up in the trailers.

All our equipment is well maintained, clean and equipped with radio’s, trailer and exhaust brakes to keep you safe and comfortable. On arrival at the barn we unload, unsaddle and feed the horses. In your cabin you enjoy a nice hot shower prior to heading to heading to cocktail hour to share the stories of the day with the other guests.

During spring when the Flitner calves are born in the valley pastures, prairies and gullies we sometimes will ride out from the ranch on horseback to check on the new born calves or check on the fences and waterholes in the area’s the herd will be driven later in the season prior to moving them up the mountain.
During during summer and autumn when the entire herd is spread across the mountains, National Forest, BLM and private lands, there is little riding out for a day’s work on horseback from the barn on big ranches like this ranch.

Some days we trailer out in the morning but you ride back to the valley on horseback. Some days you ride out from the ranch and we trailer back. It all depends what cattle work needs to be done where and when we need to help out the ranch.

None of our cattle work is made up just for tourists. All the cattle work you participate in is the real deal and needs to be done to keep this 300,000 acre ranch going. This means you might right the entire day looking for 20 pairs and only find two. So the next day we will be searching to find the other 18. As a guest you do not have to, however if you would like to you come along again the wrangler on duty.

We might be gathering and moving hundreds of cows and their calves to find at the end of the day, when we push them through the gate or bring them to a water hole that a couple mama cows and their babies have escaped. So the next morning the guests who want ride back up with us to finish the work.

The Flitner Ranch and The Hideout practice rotational grazing to protect the grazing lands which measn that every week there is cattle work to experience “the Cowboy Way”.

More cattle work….
Aside the full day cattle working days we organize team-penning and stockman ship initiation in our outside arena. Throughout the season we also have some 20 yearlings grazing in our lower pastures which guests can round up and bring in through the creek and pastures up the hill to The Hideout arena.
This is a great way to practice working cattle prior to going out on the real job for a full day’s work on the range.

Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Riders

On the contrary to what many people think, a full day’s cattle work can be enjoyed by all levels of riders given you are in good shape.
Our less experienced riding guests will start out holding the herd together while moving it forward. The intermediate and advanced riders will ride out to gather pairs and move them towards the main herd.
Some of the rides are more challenging and only intermediate and advanced riders will be able to participate. Late fall we ride the entire area looking for strays and lost cattle. These are long days in the saddle, covering a lot of territory not necessarily seeing a lot of life stock.
During some of these days you might start out at 8,000 feet in the snow, cross 9,500 feet longing for a hot coffee to warm you up. The last part of your ride coming down to Trapper Creek Ranch in the red dust and Sedona like desert you will long for a fresh drink to cool you down. Part of this ride is on century old life stock trails and it is challenging but very unique experience.

Some weeks there is a lot of cattle work to be do; some weeks there is less to do. But we usually have at least 2 days per week. And throughout the season there are weeks with so much cattle work, that even our most die-hard cattle working guests have seen enough cattle and enjoy participating in the non-riding activities we offer such as trapshooting, fly-fishing, canoeing, hiking, biking, archery, visit the local dinosaur track and dig sites, a 4x4 tour or go on one of the many spectacular trail rides. Since this is your vacation you can also just relax, enjoy your beautiful cabin or sit on the porch in your rocking chair reading a book, take a nap or admire the endless views.