Log Cabin Accommodations
at Our Wyoming Dude Ranch
Our log cabins at the Bitterroot Ranch have been carefully furnished and decorated throughout the nearly 40 years the Bitterroot has been run as a dude ranch. They have been modernized over the years; all the log cabins have electric heat, some have wood burning stoves, all have showers and most have bathtubs. There are a variety of choices as far as sleeping arrangements go; a few cabins have a double or queen bed, several have two twins and there are some duplexes designed for families with a double or queen bed on one side and twins on the other. An attempt has been made to retain the authenticity and rustic charm of a bygone era, which is reflected in the atmosphere of the old main lodge with its huge stone fireplaces and broad porch where guests gather for meals and relaxing evenings.
Your log cabins are perfect for the surroundings - just rustic enough with all the necessary comforts. --Tricia Allison, PA
Cabins are charming and comfortable. --Pam Pintchuk, OH
A Brief History of the Bitterroot Ranch and the Log Cabins
The main lodge at the Bitterroot Ranch
Raising turkeys was one way of making ends meet on the Bitterroot.
The first white man to settle in the valley of the east fork of the Wind River, was Henry Olsen, known as “Dirty Ollie” who built the trapper’s cabin in 1900. He filed for the land, but never proved up and was probably forced out by the Scots. He moved over the hill to Spring Creek on land that is now owned by the Wyoming Game and Fish and borders the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Gavin Duncan, one of four brothers from Ayrshire, Scotland, built the original HOMESTEAD cabin. When it was renovated in 1972, Scottish newspapers from 1903 were discovered insulating the walls. The east side of the river was part of the Wind River Indian Reservation until 1906 when an act of Congress allowed the government to purchase the land and open it up for settlement. In the late 1930’s the President gave the land back to the Indians, but questions remain regarding the legality of this move.
Robert Campbell, a friend of the Duncans, first owned the land on the east side of the river. He sold out to his brother, John, and the land changed hands several more times until Ben Butler acquired both sides in 1927 and named the ranch the Flying T. John Lambert, a wealthy and flamboyant easterner, arrived in 1937 and built the lodge and the barn. He had several cowboys working for him and they all participated in rodeos and gambling in Dubois. In 1950 the Trester family from the Midwest purchased the land, and built an airstrip so the family could fly in for the summer. It was leased to several different people in the 1960’s before being acquired by Harold Goodell in 1967. Bayard Fox purchased the land in 1971 with the idea of creating a dude ranch, and renamed it the Bitterroot after the pink flowers that carpet the sagebrush plains in June.
This is a harsh environment and one of the early inhabitants remarked that the only thing that grew successfully here was jackrabbits. Gavin Duncan raised Hereford cattle, horses and turkeys and most of his successors ran a few cows. Trester used RIVERSIDE cabin to rear chinchillas. CEDAR, COTTONWOOD and SPRUCE were outbuildings, originally located near the vegetable garden, which has been producing for 60 years. STUDIO was a chicken house by the river; it was moved to its present location and was Bayard's office in the early days of Equitours before being converted to a small guest cabin with an unbeatable view.
JUNIPER was constructed in 1972 by Bayard's cousin, Fran Fox, who had helped find the ranch and was the manager while Bayard extricated himself from business interests in the Solomon Islands. ASPEN was originally located up Bear Creek at the old Dennison Ranch and was moved to the Bitterroot in 1975. Of interest are the hand hewn logs reflecting the tie hack heritage of the area. CORRAL was transported from Togwotee Lodge in the late 1970's and renovated for guests in 1992. PINE and SAGE were constructed on the ranch in the 1980's. The last cabin to arrive was WILLOW, which was moved in from Pinedale in the 1990's.
In the early days there were no cars in the valley and going 27 miles to town was a major undertaking.
An old picture of a homestead cabin built on the ranch by the original Scottish settlers.