RanchVacations.com

Loading...

Lowdown

  • Established

    1887
  • Owner

    Dana & Alice Kerns
  • Tel

    800-704-9268, 307-655-9539
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $363 - $499
  • Minimum Stay

    6 days
  • Maximum Guests

    20
  • Works with travel agents?

    Yes
  • Great For

    Action & adventure, Solitude, Diverse scenery

Welcome to Double Rafter Cattle Drives. At Double Rafter we are an authentic working cattle ranch offering you the opportunity to join us on our mountain cattle drives.

6 times throughout the summer we move our cattle to new pastures as a part of our rotational grazing. We give you the opportunity at a trip of a lifetime - to join us on one of the most authentic vacations available: 6 days of camping, moving cattle and riding freely in the beautiful mountains of Wyoming.

You will experience nature, incredible country, great stock and freedom to ride. Our cattle drives are not made up for something to do, this is a real drive that we would be doing with or without our wonderful guests. As featured in the 'New York Times', this is reality. We don't schedule phony stampedes, cloudbursts, blizzards, rodeos, wagon wrecks, or brush fires. They happen all on their own! If you really want a taste of the challenges that the early trail herds experienced, then this trip is for you!

Cattle drive dates 2015: June 21-June 25 (ladies only); July 5-July 10; August 2-August 6; August 23-August 27; September 13-September 18; September 29-October 4.

So, give us a call and book your trip! And, please contact us or visit our website for a list of 'What to Bring' and 'Travel Tips'.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 13 and over

This is the real deal and truly authentic. It can be a very strenuous trip best for older children and adults.

We don't accept anyone under the age of 12. With the early mornings we find children younger than 12 are just too exhausted to enjoy it. Since we are the reality, tired kids can become difficult for the parents. We all have a real job to do with the livestock and days can be long, but rewarding.

Ranch History

My family homestead the ranch in 1887 and came by covered wagon from Missouri.

The barn that was built in 1888 is still standing and used today. The origianl beams are still in the barn. In 1932 when my father was born, a new house was built. They tore the logs out of the original cabin put them on a wagon with the stove out of the house, and freighted the logs and stove to the mountain to build a cowcamp. They figured it was easier to haul the logs up the mountain than go to the work of cutting them and then having to let them cure for a year.

On the way in, the weight of the wagon and logs was more than the horses could hold and the wagon overan the team injuring the team to the point they had to be put down. Those original logs are still in the walls of the cow camp in the Dry Fork.

In about 1992 or '93 we decided we had to generate more income on the ranch or get out of the cow business, so we started the cattle drive business.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    buffet style, meals roll with days activities, everyone eats together
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    vegetarians

What's better than food prepared and eaten in the outdoors!

The food is absolutely fantastic and all the cooking is done using the 16 inch cast iron dutch ovens using hot coals, a barbecue, and a propane burner. The dutch ovens weigh close to 40 pounds when filled with food.

Our cooks do everything from breakfast casseroles to Upside Down Pineapple cake in the cast iron dishes. Our chefs also do a dessert in them for every dinner and we of course serve beef, pork, chicken during the evening meals. We generally cater to 2-3 vegetarian diets during the summer. There are enough side dishes and various salads to always meet their needs.

Guest Favourites

  • Our beef is always a favorite no matter how it's cooked
  • Pineapple Upside down cake cooked in a dutch oven
  • Baked potatoes cooked over open coals

Lowdown

  • Address

    box 490
    Ranchester
    Wyoming
    82839
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    4500 ft
  • Public Land

    more than 50k

Nearest Town - Sheridan, Wy

Sheridan, Wy has a population of 18,000 (approx), and is situated 30 miles / 45 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Sheridan, Wy include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum.

For shopping Sheridan, Wy offers: boutique shops, western wear.

Nearest Airports

Sheridan County Airport, Sheridan, Wy.

Distance

30 miles / 45 mins

Airlines

United, There is a shuttle flight from Denver to Sheridan operated by United. It is Great Lakes Aviation


Billings Logan International, Billings, MT

Distance

120 miles / 2 hours

Airlines

Delta, United, Skywest, Northwest, United Express

Ranch shuttle

$135.00 per person

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride, Rides dictated by ranch work
  • Max riders per ride

    21
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

    35
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Thoroughbred, Paints, Geldings, Mares
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 3 hours
    Afternoon - 4 hours

Our Riding

Riding Freedom

You are free to ride where you want and the speed you want. We will speak up if we feel you are in danger. However, generally the pace of the cattle set the pace. We also reserve the right to change horses with anyone at anytime.

Riding considerations

We recommend a good level of physical fitness, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight

Hours in the saddle

There are no set times for riding. The day finishes when we reach the destination for the day and the number of hours is not a consideration. You will never be in the saddle less than 5 but it could be as many as 12. We don't stop until the work is done.


Why our riding stands out

  • It is not nose to tail. This is the real experience, not fabricated.
  • You choose the pace and where you are riding.
  • The wrangler will only speak up if it becomes a safety issue.

Sample Riding Itinerary

Arrive in Sheridan(no charge for shuttle) 1 day prior to each trip. We pick you up in Sheridan after a night's hotel stay.

Day 1-Half day horsemanship clinic, followed by 2-4 hours in the saddle either starting to gather cattle or riding to where we are camped.

Day 2- The group splits up into 2-5 different groups to gather cattle and throw what they find to a central location.  You will pack a lunch and probably be out a minimium of 6 hours.  Everyone will meet back at camp.

Day 3- Early morning breakfast and then gather the herd and start trailing towards your destination, or it could be a reride of the previous day if you are short lots of cattle.  Again you will pack a lunch and be in the saddle all day.  Most days are closer to 8 hours in the saddle than 6.  On the mountain you will trail the herd anywhere from 4 to 13 miles a day depending on our pasture rotation.  You will ride at least double that everyday on your horse.  You are coming to do the real thing so you do as much cowboying as you want. You are not coming to watch us work.

Day 4- Again you will pack a lunch and be out all day.  Camp will be moved on either the 3rd or 4 day so you will be in a different camp tonight.  Since there are no small pastures on a 100,000 acre allotment it always takes a while to get the previous days herd gathered from where you dropped them the previous day.  Each of these days will be a go rain or shine.  Sometime you get to stop for lunch but it is not uncommon to push right on through lunch so you eat as you go.  If you stop it will be in a spot the herd can't get away from you.

Day 5-  Finish the push to the destination.  Our hope on this day is to be back in camp by 4:00pm so that we can take everyone back to civilization for a much needed shower.  We then finish with a big banquet that night and have some fun.

Natural Horsemanship Clinic

Clinician

Chris Ellsworth

Details

Included in package

Focuses on

It is only a half day event and the primary purpose of it is to make sure we have people matched up with a horse that fits their skill level. A beginner doesn't want a horse with a Ferrari engine nor does an advanced rider want a horse geared for a beginner.

Cattle work - pasture gathers

This is the reason you are here - to help us gather and move our cattle to new pastures. This is the real experience.

When

Jul, Aug, Sep

Frequency

Weekly

No. of yearlings

200

No. of cow/calf pairs

350

Interaction

Guests participate

Arena Work

We only use the arena on the one trip which is the one on the way to the mountain; we use this for lessons and to ensure your safety on the horse. There are no arenas on the mountain.

Type

outdoor arena

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $363 - $499
  • Minimum Stay

    6 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Sun
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Fri

Double Rafter Cattle Drives can cater for up to 20 guests. See below for details and indicative rates.

Teepee | Tents

Rates (Per Person)

$328 - $383

Minimum Stay

5 nights

Description

People are sleeping in the 10x10 range teepees. We put 2 people per tent unless someone one wants to pay for single occupancy. Husbands and wives will be put in the same tent. We use the short legged cots in the tents. The cots only go to the camps that are vehicle accessible; for those that are not we sleep on the ground. While camped on the Little Horn River or Pass Creek, people are always free to go swim in the river to get cleaned up. At all the other camps we set up a solar shower unit.

Rooms

1

Bathrooms

Outhouse


Booking Policy

A 25% deposit is required to hold your spot at the time of booking. The non-refundable balance is due 90 days prior to the trip. Due to enormous pre-trip expenses all monies are non-refundable. We take MC, Visa personal check or money order. Trip cancellation insurance 1-800-348-9505 CSA Travel; 1-800-826-1300 Travel Guard. Standby: If a trip is already full a deposit of 12% is required to be on standby. If no spot opens up the 12% is applied to the trip of your choice the following year. All monies are non-refundable but credit will be given for two years.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, Riding, Price includes ground transportation to and from Sheridan, Wyoming all food, soft drinks, beer, saddle, tack, horse lease, and guide service. There will be a $185 per person round trip delivery charge from Billings to Sheridan. This service is available one day before the trip and one day after the trip. We also offer single teepee occupancy during the week for an additional $250.00

Extras

Other

There will be a $185 per person round trip delivery charge from Billings to Sheridan. This service is available one day before the trip and one day after the trip. We also offer single teepee occupancy during the week for an additional $250.00

Lowdown

  • You can borrow

    Saddle bags
  • You can rent

    Saddle bags, Rain coats

Fishing & Wildlife


Local Attractions

Cody WY and Yellowstone Park

Old west history and Oldest National Park

Distance

180 miles / 4 hours

Rental car

Required


Battle of the Little Big Horn & Battle of the Rosebud

These two Indian battles were a week apart and the battle of the Rosebud had a huge impact on the Battle of the Little Big Horn

Distance

60 miles / 1 hour

Rental car

Required


Mount Rushmore, Black Hills & Reptile Gardens

Mount Rushmore with the faces of past presidents carved into the rock. The Black Hills were noted for Deadwood, Buffalo Bill Cody and Gold being discovered. Lots of western history as well as reptile Gardens.

Distance

240 miles / 4 hours

Rental car

Required

Our comments

Highs

  • Authenticity of the cowboying life; thoughtful, gracious hosts and food cooked outside in nature
  • You'll be gathering and moving cattle in the mountains and sleeping under the stars, just like in the old Western movies
  • What the Kerns do is so much more than just letting cattle graze, moving them from time to time. There is a mutual respect between the ranchers, cattle, horses, land and mother nature, and they share this with their guests
  • Many challenges for moving cattle; the mountain country that the ranch is a part of, has breathtaking beauty

Lows

  • For some, it would be considered a rough trip, but this is the nature of the experience. If you're looking for the read deal, no-frills cowboy lifestyle and lots of riding freedom in beautiful country, this is it
  • Some may find some of the trail riding challenging, so a reasonable level of fitness is required