No matter where I travel to, I am always looking for new adventures to embark on. Anything that is unique to the area, new to me to try, or something you just don’t see every day is the adventures I like to check out. When we were on vacation in Wyoming I definitely found myself on a new adventure.
The name of the place was Wagons West Wyoming. They are a family owned business that gives people the opportunity to be a part of an Old west wagon ride adventure for 2 to 6 days depending on what package you choose. We decided to go with the 4 days 3 nights package.
On this adventure you will get to ride in an authentic replica of a pioneer covered wagon train. They are clones of the wagons that were used by the early settlers in the 1800s who traveled them to find settlement. But for comfort of the guests they were tweaked a little bit with foam padded seats and rubber tires to make the ride smoother.
I was so excited to go on this adventure. It was something unique that you don’t get the opportunity to do in Wisconsin. The business sends a van to the hotel to pick you up the morning of the trip and then take you back to the hotel when the adventure is over, so you don’t have to worry about how you are going to get there.
The pioneer covered wagons were pulled by well trained horses. The driver of our wagon was a local rancher who was born and raised in the area and was really informative of the history he shared with us. He had a great sense of humor and made the trip truly memorable for all of us by joking around, telling stories and sharing past experiences with all of us.
Wagons West also gave you the option of riding a horse instead of riding in the wagons. They fit you for a saddle before you leave so you are comfortable. If you go on the wagons though everyone gets their turn driving, even the kids!
As the wagons took off, the squeaks and creaks of the wagon, dust that was kicked up in the air from the horses, and the smell of surrounding nature took your mind back in time as you were trying to imagine yourself in the old West. I think everyone’s adrenaline was pumping in excitement for what we were all about to experience on the trail ahead for the next few days.
The horse drawn wagons took us on scenic gravel roads that zig zagged us through the foothills of the Rockies, through the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Mount Leidy Highlands. The highlands are well known for their great hiking opportunities and the Bridger-Teton National Forest is the second largest National Park consisting of 3.4 million acres.
The temperature when we went was about 75 degrees, but the cover on the wagons protected you from the sun beating down on you the whole trip. It did rain a little bit a couple of the days, but not for long and it was a light sprinkle. It cooled the temperate down for us and made rainbows appear in the distance.
The scenery was absolutely beautiful. Along the trails we had the opportunity to see so many things such as a herd of elks in the distance, a large moose drinking from the stream, lots of mule deer running through the meadows, coyotes running and howling in the distance, bighorn sheep hanging out on rocks, and many birds and eagles flying overhead.
Throughout the trip, we stopped frequently for rest stops, to take an opportunity to walk around and stretch out, and it gave us the chance to take pictures and just take a step back and enjoy the picturesque scene that we were all surrounded by. It was simply breathtaking and peaceful being out there – if you don’t run into any Wyoming military.
For lunches and dinners we were served items such as an amazing beef and vegetable stew, steaks, hot dogs, chicken, ham, or beef roasts that were all cooked over an open fire with a Dutch oven. Then along with the main meal options we had choices of different salads, beans and breads. They had tables and benches set up in the area for us to eat on. In the morning we awoke to breakfasts that consisted of hotcakes, ham, bacon, scrambled eggs and sausage.
Before and after meals they gave you enough time to explore the area on your own on the hiking trails, which was really nice. The whole trip you never felt as if they were rushing you to stay on their schedule. One of the people on our trip found a huge rack of Elk antlers in the woods that they brought back with them. Luckily they didn’t have to go hunting.
At the end of our trip each night we stopped to set up camp. All of the camping spots were an outdoor lover’s heaven. It was simply beautiful being out there in the middle of nature’s paradise. The green grassy meadows and forests went on for miles all around us. At the first camp site a picture perfect stream filled with large rocks that the water crashed over brought the sounds of water flowing that made you feel relaxed.
During the evenings we all circled around the camp fire and told stories, roasted marshmallows, sang songs like “Home on the Range” with a cowboy, took in the view of the brightly lit stars, and got to know the other people on the trek. It was a blast.
After everyone was ready to get some sleep, you had the option of sleeping in your sleeping bag under the stars, in a 2 man tent with foam mattresses, or in the covered wagon. Now you may think that sleeping in a wagon does not sound comfortable at all. But the wagons actually converted to deluxe bunks at night, and with the padded seats, it was very comfortable. A lot of people chose to sleep in the wagon, but the view we had of the clear sky and stars, we choose to sleep close to the fire under the stars. It was about 40 degrees at night so it was comfortable being out there.
Overall, this was definitely a memorable experience and I am so happy we had the opportunity to be a part of it. I could just imagine all of the history that took place in some of the areas we were at throughout the trip. Being outside surrounded by nature in a picturesque setting, the people we experienced this adventure with, our drivers/tour guides, the home-cooked meals over the fire, falling asleep under the brightly lit stars each night, the horses and authentic wagons, the stories around the campfire, it was all perfect. I would highly recommend this adventure for people of all ages.
The price depends on how many days your adventure is. For our 4 day 3 nights adventure it cost us about $1000, so about $500 per person. With everything I think it was well worth the money.
Make sure you pack items like insect repellent (insects are not as bad though as I thought they were going to be) , sanitizing wipes, towels and wash cloths, clothes for warm or cold weather, comfortable hiking shoes, a flashlight, camera, sunglasses, rain gear and anything else you think will be beneficiary for you on the trip. They do offer beverages on the trip like water and juices, but no beer or soda. But if you do want to bring beer or soda, it is completely allowed.
I would definitely go on this trip again in the future. It is an experience I will never forget.