Activities at Ring Lake Ranch

Horseback Riding

Our horses and riding them have been important parts of Ranch life for over 40 years. The wranglers announce trail rides usually at the end of breakfast - Monday through Friday. Longer rides may be announced at supper the night before.


Canoes and a rowboat can be found below Cabin 8 on the beach of Trail Lake. Paddles, oars, and lifejackets are stored under the porch of Cabin 8. State law requires that life jackets be worn while in a boat.  CAUTION: Strong winds come up suddenly, particularly in the afternoon, so steer clear of the middle of Trail Lake where cross currents can pull a boat in circles.  Boating close to shore invites you to see more wildlife and is safer. Avoid Torrey Creek and the Lily Pond near the Ranch; the water is too shallow. Please let someone know if you take out a boat.

Hiking & Walking

Guided Hiking opportunities led by a staff member are offered each day, usually after breakfast, however, individuals and groups who know the trails do hike independently.  Here are some pointers to make your walks more enjoyable and safer:
  • Most of the areas in which we hike are in National Forest Wilderness areas.  A topographical map with the trails marked is available.
  • Wildlife guides are available in the Dining Room. 
  • Feel free to request food for a packed lunch, preferably the night before.
  • We ask that guests always let someone know where they are hiking and when they expect to arrive back. Write your name(s), trail, and return time on the chalkboard on the back porch of the Dining Hall.

    • Plenty of water: at least 2 quarts for longer hikes; some water bottles are available in the Dining Room. 
    • A lunch for hikes of longer duration. 
    • A hat and sunblock – and please use them. 
    • Sturdy, rough-soled boots or shoes. 
    • A warm fleece or waterproof jacket since weather can change quickly.
    • First aid materials and matches.

Common sense is the best guide. Guard against sunburn, fatigue and altitude sickness.  Remember that it takes time to become adjusted both to altitude and exercise. Heed the Forest Service advisories. Always hike with a companion, especially in high country.  When with a group, don’t wander off, and avoid off-trail hiking.  Should you become lost, the best solution is to stay where you are.


Some Popular Trails:
There are several pleasant, short hikes right around the Ranch site. 

Fossil Ridge: This prominent ridge overlooks the meadow near Cabins A & B. It is a former seabed, 250 million years old, containing abundant brachiopod fossils. The trail angles off the road near the Shop/Hay Barn area. Round trip is about a quarter of a mile.

Trail Lake: The walk around Trail Lake is pleasant and mostly flat, and takes about 75 minutes to complete the 3 mile walk.  Start near the boat beach below Cabin 8; proceed through the gate beyond the dock and along the shore to the upper side of our adjoining neighbor’s property (though the sign says “No Trespassing” the trail is open for RLR guests). Follow the trail outside their fence, not through the residential area; it joins their private road and continues over Torrey Creek to the main road. Turn right to return to the Ranch entrance and home.

Ridge Trail: This moderate-to-steep hike starts at Top Cabin and has several confusing junctions, so going with someone who knows the trail is best. However, Trail Lake, Ring Lake, and Torrey Lake should always be in sight, so you can always head towards them and then find your way back to the Ranch. The Trail hike is about 4 miles. The top of the Ridge offers superb views.

Little Whiskey or Torrey Rim Trail: For this more strenuous, 4-mile hike, leave the Ranch and walk toward town on Trail Lake Road. About .1 mile before the cattle guard near the top of the first hill, the Trail leaves the road on the left (look for a prominent dead tree where the trail begins). The well-traveled Trail climbs rather steeply for about 1000 feet to an open meadow that stretches toward Whiskey Mountain. Up here you have great views all around.

Lake Louise: This picturesque glacial lake is approximately 3 miles beyond the Glacier Trail trailhead and takes approximately 2 – 3 hours each way.  It involves a drive to the trailhead and then a climb of about 1000 feet over some fairly rough terrain. The rewards are great views and good fishing!

Other Activities

Fishing: A fishing license is required and may be obtained in person in Dubois at several locations. Because of WY Health Department regulations, the cooks may not preparefish caught by guests. So, please follow a catch-and-release policy.

Swimming: Hardy guests do swim occasionally in Trail Lake or Ring Lake. Ring Lake is the warmer and more shallow of the lakes.  Ask the staff for directions to the best swimming spot.  Trail Lake is colder and has a dangerous shelf and undertow.  All swimmers should remember the potential for giardia infestation and not ingest the water.