Accommodation at the ranch is in comfortable log cabins each with private bathroom and electric heat, some also have wood burning stoves. The cabins are well separated to ensure maximum seclusion and some have wonderful mountain views and a wooden veranda to relax on. Evenings are spent at the main lodge where meals are served. The lodge has a large dining room, sitting area with comfortable sofas and chairs set around a large open fireplace. There is a library and a games room with pool table. There is a fridge where you may store alcohol if you want to bring your own (wine is offered at cocktail hour and dinner only).
There are no TVs or telephones in the cabins and only one telephone line is available to the guests in the lodge. Due to the remote area and surrounding mountains, mobile phones often do not work well at the ranch. WIFI is available in the main lodge for guests with their own laptop.
High quality meals, prepared with imagination, are all served buffet style in the dining room where you will eat together with your hosts. Enjoy their own ranch raised Scottish Highland beef and lamb, salads come fresh from the garden and bread is baked in the kitchen. Most special dietary requests can be met; please provide us with this information prior to your arrival.
The ranch water is monitored by the EPA and it is not necessary to bring a supply of plastic bottles. Since the ranch does not have a liquor license, please bring your own hard liquor, beer and sodas. Wine is provided at cocktail hour and with dinner.
Breakfasts are composed of eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, muffin, cereals and juice.
Wine is provided at cocktail hour and with dinner.
The climate in Dubois is semi-arid. It is a mountainous zone with distinct season with weather that can be changeable and unpredictable due to the high altitude (7,500ft). The 'hot' season is therefore quite short. The days in May, June and September are sunny but are prone to showers. The majority of rain in the region falls from March to May.
During the 'mid-season', temperatures are mild ( 15°C) and the evenings cool (5°C).
Summer, July and August, are sunny and rain is rare. The average temperature is between 20-25°C - with the temperature reaching 30°C at their peak. Nights remain cold, around 10-12°C on average.
Guide and local team
Not your usual cowboy, Bayard is a Yale graduate who lived for years in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the South Pacific, while Mel was brought up on a farm in Tanzania and spent some time working with wildlife in East Africa. They have been running the ranch together for more than thirty years.
Richard returned to the ranch after graduating from Bowdoin College in Maine. He and his wife, Hadley, now manage the pack trips, cattle and farming operations. Hadley, also a Yale graduate, was born and raised with horses in North Carolina. The atmosphere at the ranch reflects the melding of their eclectic backgrounds.
Tips are compulsory in USA. In all restaurants (except certain self-service restaurants), it is customary to leave a 10-12% tip. In certain tourist spots, the tip is added before you receive the bill.
It is also customary to leave a 1 or 2$ tip to taxi drivers.
Gratuities (obligatory tips included in the salary of employees on the ranch) are included in the price of the trip but you can leave an additional tip if you wish.
- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable. You also have the option of buying protective shells to go under your hats (Ranch & Rider, Lexington Safety Products) or western hat helmets (Troxel)
- Sunhat (indispensable especially during the mid and sunny seasons)
- High-protection sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun, wind, dust or rain
- Informal evening wear
- T-shirts in cotton and long-sleeved shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or t-shirt made from a material that wicks away moisture
- Casual clothes for the evening
- A lightweight fleece or equivalent
- A warm fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket (waterproof and breathable in a Goretex-type material) OR a long, thigh-length waterproof. DO NOT bring a poncho
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or riding appropriate jeans
- A change of trousers (riding trousers, jeans or equivalent)
- A swimming costume may come in useful (swimming in the lake, washing in the river)
- Underwear in cotton of synthetic non-irritant material
Hands and Feet
- 1 pair of comfortable riding boots. We recommend short riding boots with half chaps OR cowboy boots - possible to buy them in Dubois
- 1 pair of trainers or lightweight shoes for the evening
- Several pairs of thick socks
- A pair of sandals or flip-flops
- A pair of gloves - to protect your hands for the sun, cold and chafing from the reins whilst riding
Other useful items
- Travel bag 60-80 litres (hold luggage)
- Travel bag 25-30 litres (cabin bag)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- A pair of binoculars
Make sure any allergies (to medication or otherwise) and clearly stated in your medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhea medication
- Vitamin C tablets
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Eye drops
- Hydrating/ soothing cream
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lip balm etc)
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Hand luggage mustn't contain any sharp objects (knives, scissors, nail file or nail scissors, etc.) and the quantity of liquid allowed per passenger is limited to 100ml per container.
- Travel with a copy of your passport and insurance policy.
In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- If you wish to travel light and wash your clothes throughout the trip, please think to take ecological washing powders/ soaps/ shampoos etc.
If you are planing a packtrip in the mountains additional items to bring:
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Thermal trousers
- Waterproof over trousers
- Sleeping bag. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 5 celsius, but we would recommend at least minus 8 or 10 celsius
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Even if foam mattresses are provided, you may pack your inflatable mattress for comfort sake.
Other useful items
- Towels - camping ones will both dry and pack more easily
- Swiss army knife (to be carried in your hold luggage!!)