Magee Homestead: An Intimate, Luxe Guest Ranch
Horseback riding, archery, even sporting clays – whoever thought this city gal would be a cowgirl. Turns out I took quite readily to life out West at Magee Homestead with its luxurious lodging, gastronomic cuisine and some of Wyoming’s most stunning landscapes. Not to mention the cushy amenities including their pampering spa for ultimate indulgence after a day out on the range.
Magee Homestead, a luxurious, 9 cabin, adults only Western retreat shares 30,000 acres with Brush Creek Ranch, its big sister just down the road. With a new policy this year, the property is now available to individual guests. Previously the only option was a total buyout. This exclusive guest ranch set in the Platte River Valley between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Medicine Bow Forest deserves a visit for the ravishing scenery alone. It’s an ideal place to laze, enjoy a dip in the pool, read a book on your porch, or take in a gorgeous, golden sunset. Magee is a perfect girlfriends’ getaway as well as a private romantic escape.
All of the cabins, former residences of cowpokes working this cattle and hay-producing ranch in the 1990’s, have been magnificently restored and redesigned with ultra stylish Western decor by the Simeone Deary Design Group in Chicago. Think: fabulous cowboy- chic.
The revamped main lodge with cozy fireplaces in the dining room and bar is all tricked out with a hand carved billiards table, animal print chairs and sofas, antler chandeliers and striking Western artifacts and paintings.
It’s all about enjoying the outdoorsy splendor here and there’s no shortage of activities. These include hiking or biking with 50 miles of trails plus fly-fishing and float trips on the North Platte River. Whether you are a beginner or an avid equestrian, saddle up and enjoy a 1-on-1 ride through the stunning property with an excellent wrangler. (The ranch provides Western hats and boots.) Riding atop one of these beautiful creatures, I felt completely relaxed and in tune with nature. And who knew yours truly would be an ace archer.
For adventure enthusiasts seeking to bring out their inner cowgirl ( or cowboy ) you can go on a real cattle drive as the properties are still working cattle ranches. You may see their reddish brown Akaushi cattle, a breed of Japanese Wagyu, among the herd.
And for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation, head to the new Magee Spa. Here you’ll find excellent wellness treatments, massages and facials using top organic products, a grotto soaking tub plus a pool with poolside saloon and Western cabanas.
The wind river hot salt stone treatment and wildflower fields aromatherapy massage with lavender using therapeutic poultices of fresh, native plants and herbs, were superb.
Yoginis will love the yurt for sunrise yoga and meditation.
As to the food, the farm to table Rocky Mountain–inspired cuisine is exceptional. I still dream about the rich, mouth watering Akaushi burger I savored at lunch. I dined al fresco on standout dishes including beef tenderloin in a Cabernet reduction, crab cakes in a fennel beurre blanc and Rocky Mountain Elk all paired with fine wine.
This was accompanied by the sweet sound of a cowboy crooning and strumming his guitar against the backdrop of the Wyoming prairie and the starry night sky. After dinner, sitting by the fire pit felt very home on the range.
Snake River Sporting Club
Situated just south of the majestic Grand Teton Mountains and the fashionable city of Jackson, The Snake River Sporting Club recently re-launched following a multi-million dollar reinvestment plan. Wyoming’s premier private club with a variety of membership options and luxury cabins as homesites is offering overnight hospitality for the first time where guests can enjoy all of the member amenities.
This breathtaking property is set on 1,000 acres of lush woodlands surrounded by the Bridger Teton National Forest, with the Snake River running through it. The many offerings include the prestigious Tom Weiskopf Championship 18 Hole Golf Course with teaching clinics and private instruction, skeet shooting, trout and fly fishing, an equestrian center, archery, a new pool and more.
As I floated in a boat down the trout-rich Snake River with Will Hobbs, angler extraordinaire, he said “I love sharing the magic of this special place.’’ This may well be the best outdoor adult playground around. Stay tuned – more homes are being built for sale to those who want this idyllic Wyoming experience year-round; some will be available for overnight rental.
Another perk is it’s proximity to Jackson for exceptional restaurants such as Rendezvous Bistro where I relished the tastiest tuna tartare with avocado and pickled cucumber followed by a delectable pork chop with corn salsa, and Bin 22 for yummy tapas.
Here, you’ll also find trendy boutiques with snazzy riding boots and cowgirl hats, Native American jewelry shops and the famed Cowboy Bar.
Additionally the Tetons are just a short drive away, and well worth it with their spectacular views.