2017 Eclipse – View from a Dude Ranch

The first total eclipse to span the United States in nearly four decades – The Great American Eclipse – will take place on August 21, 2017. The center of the eclipse path – where the moon completely blocks out the sun, creating a few minutes of night in the middle of the day – will pass slightly south of Dubois, Wyo.

The most dramatic scenery for the eclipse can be found in Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park is squarely centered in the eclipse path. Countless visitors will no doubt flock to the area to try and find a prime viewing spot. The BEST destination for eclipse viewers is one of the area’s dude ranches. Why? Wyoming’s dude ranches are located in some of the most tranquil, untouched areas of the country. Away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, you’re that much closer to nature. And there is a very good chance for clear skies in Wyoming in August.

All five of the below Dude Ranchers’ Association ranches are located in or near Grand Teton National Park:

  • Moose Head Ranch is the last privately owned guest ranch located completely within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park.
  • R Lazy S Ranch is located on the southern boundary of Grand Teton National Park, walking distance from your cabin. Most of the views of the ranch look directly upon the Teton Mountain range.
  • Heart Six Guest Ranch is located just three miles from Grand Teton National Park. You will actually travel through Grand Teton National Park on your way to and from the ranch.
  • Lazy L&B Ranch is nestled in a valley that is less populated now than when it was homesteaded over 100 years ago and surrounded by 80,000 acres of wildlife habitat.
  • CM Ranch, one of the oldest dude ranches in the country, dates back to 1927 and is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Rocky Mountains meet the High Plains in the state of Wyoming. This is true cowboy country, with few people and vast, open spaces. It is a land that inspires dreams of riding horseback across the plains. Wyoming luxury Dude Ranch vacations help guests realize that dream.

The bulk of Yellowstone National Park is in Northwest Wyoming. Grand Loop Road provides a wonderful overview of the park, from the steaming geysers to majestic waterfalls and deep canyons. Hundreds of trails traverse the park, providing access to deep backcountry areas, remote lakes, and scenic overlooks. Many Wyoming Dude Ranch vacations include excursions into Yellowstone.

Grand Teton National Park is also in Northwest Wyoming. The first glimpse of the jagged mountains that explode out of the Jackson Hole Valley may take away the breath. Pristine lakes and grassland dot the valley floor. Glaciers slide down steep rocky peaks from elevations of more than 12,000 feet. Moose, elk, and bear inhabit this stunning area, and are frequently spotted during guided dude ranch excursions.

Jump to eastern Wyoming and find Devil’s Tower, a massive, monolithic volcanic neck that rises out of the Black Hills. Visitors circumnavigate the tower and try to spot climbers – of which there are many – or play hide and seek with the prairie dogs that reside within the park boundaries.

Wyoming Dude Ranch vacations may be rustic or luxurious. Guests may ride all day and herd cattle, or soak in a hot tub and enjoy a massage. Activities may range from angling to river rafting and hiking, or lounging on a porch with a book. Wyoming Dude Ranches strive to create the perfect vacation for guests, whether that means non-stop activity or sleeping late.

Article and images credit to Wyoming Dude Ranchers' Association