Nestled in the high country of Wyoming’s Sierra Madre Mountains lies an area that cannot be adequately described in words. A property and facility so incredibly stunning that those with experience here struggle to find the proper adjectives that relay the awe-inspiring beauty and ruggedness of the landscape. Add to this a lodge operation whose comfort and elegance exceed the worlds’ 5 star hotels and a staff that does not understand the word “No” and you have a small sense of the finest dude ranch operation in the world that you’ve never heard of. This is Brush Creek Ranch.
Brush Creek Ranch is simply every western guest ranch experience you’ve ever dreamed of. The number of activities available will take years to fully experience. Lodging options alone ensure that there’s a facility custom tailored to your every desire. Whatever it is you desire for your family vacation Brush Creek Ranch can and will fit the bill.
Brush Creek Ranch is located in southeastern Wyoming, approximately 15 miles from Saratoga, WY.
Just like everything else at Brush Creek Ranch, their fly fishing program is vast, varied and in a class by itself. With more than 20 miles of essentially private rivers and streams and multiple still water venues, Brush Creek Ranch can keep a serious fly angler fishing new quality waters for weeks. This is not a program put together as an afterthought to a dude ranch experience, but rather one of the pillars of what the ranch holds dear. The Ranch employs a team of dedicated professional fly fishing guides that take great pride in guiding some of the wildest and least-traveled trout waters in the American West. If you’ve never held a fly rod but have some interest in giving it a try this may be one of the best places we know of to give newcomers to the sport a positive first experience. Remarkably, the majority of Brush Creek’s guided fishing trips are included in the package price while certain float trips on more distant public waters are treated as add-ons. The following is a detailed look at some of their key fisheries.
North Platte River
The North Platte is a discreet Western gem and one of the most under-appreciated trout rivers in the Rockies. The sections of the North Platte accessed by Brush Creek Ranch are wild-flowing blue-ribbon waters that have not been stocked since the late 70’s. This is true wild trout fishing and, as such, offers the promise of both world-class catching and head-scratching difficulty. Conditions on the North Platte change constantly, meaning that on any given day one might fish dry flies for an hour of match-the-hatch fishing, toss a light nymph rig to suspended fish, and even lob big lead-eyed streamers. Holding a mix of brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout the North Platte boasts an impressive 4,000 – 6,000 fish per mile, offering the distinct possibility of catching a Rockies Grand Slam as well some truly impressive catches of fish in the 14 to 22-inch class. Brush Creek Ranch offers full day floats, half day floats and walk/wade half day trips on the North Platte. Float trips allow visiting anglers to access the greatest variety of water as well as the ability to wade fish as little or as much as one likes.
Flowing wild beneath a canopy of towering cottonwood trees, Brush Creek itself is the centerpiece of the Ranch’s fishing program. The ranch contains approximately four miles of Brush Creek and all guests even remotely interested in fly fishing should spend some amount of time experiencing it. While relatively small, Brush Creek holds an impressive number of brown and brook trout in the 8 to 14-inch range with occasional fish up to 20 inches. Much of the creek is characterized by riffles, pocket water and an occasional long-tailed plunge pool. Dry flies and dry/dropper presentations tend to be the ticket.
Less than 25 feet across, magical little French Creek is considered by many the crown jewel of the Brush Creek Ranch fishing program. For those that like unenhanced, truly wild brown trout fishing, this system offers four miles of exactly that. Don’t think for a minute that the size of this intimate walk and wade stream is indicative of the size of its fish, as this creek has some beauties.
The Encampment River is the most significant North Platte tributary that most people have never heard of. That’s because it’s the river that local anglers don’t like to talk about. Brush Creek Ranch owns two different properties on the Encampment River, totaling about three and a half miles of riverfront. The Encampment is available as a half day walk-in option for anglers, though the river truly deserves a full day of floating it in a raft with a fishing frame. Due to the nature of the stream bed, wading opportunities are limited during the full day float trips. During June, July and August the Encampment River offers visiting anglers the best shot at hatch-specific dry fly fishing as well as opportunities to catch some truly impressive trout in the 15 to 24-inch range. The green drake hatch on the Encampment enjoys near-legendary status, though hatches of stoneflies, caddis and other mayflies keep things interesting throughout the majority of their season.
In addition to the many miles of free-flowing river and stream fishing, Brush Creek Ranch has seven still water ponds that are brimming with willing trout. For someone who wants to try fly fishing for the first time, a kid that wants to catch a fish by any means necessary, or a seasoned angler looking for a few hours’ worth of relaxation, we strongly encourage you to sample some of these great ponds.
Beginning with horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, indulgent spa experiences, or fully outfitted fishing, shooting and hunting programs, Brush Creek Ranch offers quality options for every conceivable guest.
Irrespective of age or ability, Brush Creek offers all who are interested the ability to ride well-trained horses in the heart of the true west. From their stately 28,000-square-foot indoor riding arena and stables to over 50 miles of private trails and endless open range, Brush Creek Ranch provides a memorable and quality riding experience.
Hiking and Mountain Biking
Brush Creek Ranch has more than 50 miles of groomed single and double track trails for guests to experience on foot or on bike. The Outfitter’s Center offers high-quality full-suspension mountain bikes and all other necessary equipment.
The Trailhead Spa offers a full range of massage, skin, and salon services as well as saunas, steam rooms, an outdoor hot tub and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Brush Creek offers venues for rifle, shotgun, pistol and archery enthusiasts alike. With competition rifle and shotgun courses, a five-stand competition shooting course, and an eight-station walking sporting clays course with multiple shooting scenarios, they have it all. In addition, the Ranch offers standard rifle and pistol ranges as well as mechanical targets. Archers enjoy two separate 3-D archery courses, one with 3-D animals and the other with less walking and more concentrated targets.
In the fall, the ownership’s Brush Creek Ranch Outfitters offers guided hunts on selected reaches of their vast 20-square-mile property. With an unsurpassed variety of terrain and an utter absence of outside competition, their fully outfitted, fully guided experiences are a rare and productive treat.
If, in the back of your mind, you have ever wanted to try paintball in a safe, non-threatening setting there is no better place than this. Brush Creek’s private paintball course is positioned along a hilltop meadow with unique rock outcroppings that provide interesting cover and hiding spots.
The ranch offers two full ropes courses, a high course and a low course. Both include obstacles that you must negotiate through, over and around.
Yoga and Fitness
In addition to stunning indoor and outdoor yoga locations, guests also enjoy access to a full state-of-the-art fitness center with cardio equipment, free weights, strength training circuit, stretching area, private showers, sauna and steam room.
The Ranch has a 30-foot artificial climbing wall with multiple self-belay cables.
One of the best ways to ensure that parents and grandparents have a good time is to ensure that the youngsters are having an even better time. Brush Creek understands this and proudly offers a truly remarkable experience for kids through their Lil’ Wranglers program. Over the course of the week, the Lil’ Wranglers experience archery, arts and crafts, calf scramble, capture the flag, fort building, geocaching, hay rides, hiking, low-impact paintball, low ropes course, mountain biking, ranger tours, pond fishing, horseback riding, roping lessons, scavenger hunts and zip-lines, making it the most dynamic and multifaceted kids program we have encountered.
Accommodations and Meals
The lodging options at Brush Creek Ranch are vast and varied, ensuring your stay at the Ranch is perfectly suited to the size and needs of your group. Guests can choose from elegant lodge rooms, intimate cabin suites, or larger cabin residences. For larger groups looking to have a private fully-staffed ranch experience, the Magee Homestead offers the ultimate in exclusivity and comfort, and for those wanting to rough it a bit, Brush Creek even offers a great night of remote “glamping” with advance notice.
The centerpiece of Brush Creek Ranch is their 38,000 sq ft Trailhead Lodge. This impressive facility boasts an elegant dining area, single and double occupancy lodge rooms, a vast included wine cellar open to guests daily, a full-service spa/salon and a wellness center. Trailhead Lodge houses 13 luxurious guest rooms with captivating ranch views, expansive rooms and refined western décor. For couples seeking additional privacy, their Cabin suites, situated close to the Trailhead Lodge, offer guests the same amenities (including heated bathroom floors and 400-thread-count sheets) as the lodge rooms with additional living areas. For groups or families, Brush Creek Ranch also offers a series of 10 deluxe cabins with unique room configurations, ensuring that there’s a finely appointed residence that meets your party’s exact needs.
For the ultimate in large family and private party gatherings, the Magee Homestead at Brush Creek Ranch offers a secluded hideaway with a full service facility and dedicated staff. Located just five miles from the main lodge, the Magee Homestead features a private lodge and seven historically restored cabins in a tranquil, creek-side setting. A full complement of private staff will ensure that private parties of up to 24 are able to enjoy all that the ranch has to offer in privacy and unmatched comfort.
Day 1: Guests fly into Laramie, WY where they will be picked up by the ranch. Alternately guests may fly into Denver, CO and rent a car for the two and a half hour drive. Private air transportation may land in Saratoga, WY only 13 miles from the ranch.
Days 2 - 7: Full days of guided and un-guided activities.
Day 8: On your departure day you will leave the ranch after breakfast.
Typical Daily Schedule:
7:30 AM - 8:45 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Morning activities
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM Lunch
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM Afternoon activities
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Cocktails
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Dinner
2020 Rate: $7,070 per person for a 5 night/4 day package including tips and gratuities
*Variable length stays welcome, please inquire for rates.
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, alcohol, 2 hour guided fishing, on-site activities and amenities, fishing equipment, fishing licenses.
Not Included: Airfare, full day guided fishing, other full day guided activities, transportation to/from the ranch.
Species: Brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout
Season: May - October
Capacity: 150 guests
Map: Brush Creek Ranch, WY
Time: The time in Wyoming is Mountain Daylight Time.