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The Great Outdoors


 

    A Bar A Ranch

    GUEST

    GUIDELINES

 

    The Great Outdoors

    The Great Indoors

    Children��s Program

    Horse Riding Advisory

    Anglers�� Advisory

    Traveling to the A Bar A

 

 

GUEST GUIDELINES ~A Bar A Ranch

 

The GreaT Outdoors

The A Bar A Ranch is located on 140,000 acres surrounded by national forest and wilderness area. The map on the back of the brochure shows our location in the Medicine Bow Mountains of southern Wyoming.

If you like sunny days and cool nights, you��ll love our moderate 7400 feet elevation. The days are warm and clear with average daytime temperatures in the 70s while nights are in the low 50s. Two of the most popular pastimes for guests are fishing and horseback riding but there are activities for all ages, including comfortable hammocks in the cottonwood grove for reading and relaxing.

General information about activities other than riding and fishing is as follows:

    Golf

       The nine-hole, par-three course is fun and challenging. Clubs are available for your use, stored in the box by the first Tee, and balls are for sale in the Ranch store. An adult must accompany children under 12.  

    Hiking

    We have dozens of miles of perfect hiking trails. Each week, Lissa Howe leads guests on explorations of those trails as a wonderful way to experience part of this stunning country and meet new friends. Free trail maps are available in the office. Hikers do not need to worry about rattlesnakes, poison ivy, or poison oak; they do not occur here.

    Check ��A Week at a Glance�� for hiking times.

    Picnics and Cookouts

       Each week we schedule breakfast, lunch and dinner rides. There is an optional Tuesday morning breakfast ride (breakfast is also served in the dining room). The only way to get to this ride is by horse or on foot. The Wednesday Big Creek lunch ride and Friday Slim��s Draw dinner ride are served only as picnics (the dining room is closed), but we provide cars to these cookouts. Children in the children��s program get to the lunch and dinner cookouts on our 1946 vintage fire truck. 

    Box Lunches

         These may be ordered from your waitress or in the office for an extra charge. The kitchen would appreciate 12-hours notice.  

      Skeet, Trap and Sporting Clays

         Our sporting clays range is for intermediate and advanced shooters only. Special hours will be posted. We have .12, .20 and .28 gauge shotguns, and shells are available at the range. Arrangements for shooting can be made at the Ranch office. Shooting instruction and use of the ranges is included as part of your stay.  There is an extra charge for the shotgun, shells, and clay targets used (see our current tariff sheet for information). Please note that because our ranges are by wetlands we can SHOOT ONLY STEEL SHOT.

      Swimming

         Our heated, filtered, outdoor pool is open daily. Lifeguard hours are posted.  The pool is closed from 1:00-2:00 p.m. for lunch. Towels are available at poolside.  
       

      Tennis

         We have two all-weather tennis courts. High altitude balls are available at the Ranch store. Please bring your own racquet (we do have a few racquets available for you to borrow if needed). 

      Yoga

         We offer yoga sessions that are suitable for all levels.  Yoga mats are supplied.  Check ��A Week at a Glance�� for the times and location of these sessions. 

      Massage

         Both One-hour and chair massages are available for an extra charge that will be added to your bill. Please check with the office for schedule and sign-up.  Watch the bulletin board for times when chair massage is available on the front porch of the Hub. 
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      THE GREAT INDOORS         

      The Hub

      Located at the heart of the ranch, the Hub is home to the Ranch office and store. The mail and news (Wall Street Journal and New York Times Digest) are delivered to the store daily. You may also purchase your fishing license in the office. The office staff seeks to answer your questions and requests, and handle lost/found items. The office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on most days.

      A Bar A Ranch Store

      Our store carries a complete line of fishing gear, a variety of jewelry, a large selection of clothing and hats, tennis and golf balls, postcards and stationery, gifts and forgotten sundries. Come in and relax between activities.

      The Round Room 

      This is the center of adult indoor evening activities and houses the bar. Bottled liquor and wine are available here at fair trade prices. Well-behaved and/or supervised children under 21 are welcome in the Round Room but not in the bar. The Round Room bar is open from 6:30 p.m. until midnight, and will usually close earlier on Sunday.

      Poolside Bar and Wine Service

      There are 2 bars, open at different hours of the day. At lunch time the bar is open at poolside from 12:45 until 1:45 p.m. We serve only wine in the dining room, but you are welcome to bring drinks from the Round Room bar when you come for dinner. Our wine list features more than 150 excellent quality wines at reasonable prices. Because of our relationships with a number of fine vintners, we often have wines that are available almost no place else. You are welcome to bring your own wine, if you prefer, with a corkage fee of $16 per bottle.

      The Lariat 

        This is the center for teen activity, a recreation room with a pool table and ping-pong and a perfect place for all ages to gather with their family to play games. It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. Children under 12 are welcome if they are accompanied by an adult.

        We offer special activities for teens and these will be advertised in time for all who would like to participate.

      Telephone Messages/Faxes

      There are several phone booths located near the office. Phone messages, faxes and package notices are posted on the bulletin board outside the office. We ship through UPS anywhere in the world. After hours, emergency calls are relayed to you by the Ranch manager.

      Laundry

        Free, do-it-yourself laundry facilities are available in the cabin next to the Lariat. Detergent and bleach are provided. 

      Internet and Library

      Our ranch library is well stocked with books that you can borrow, featuring novels, books about the history of the area, field guides, and western history. Feel free to borrow what you��d like but please return it to the library at the end of your stay.

      There is also a computer in our library with a high-speed satellite connection so you can check your email. If you have a laptop with wireless capabilities you can use it in certain areas of the ranch. We ask that you not use your laptop in public areas other than the Round Room prior to the bar opening at 6:30 p.m.  The Library is always available for computer use.

      Emergencies

        After-hour emergencies should be reported to the manager at his home – the last house on the right across from the barn as you leave the Ranch, or dial the extension listed by the Ranch phone. 
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

        CHILDREN��S PROGRAM – ��The Gopher Hole��      

        The Children��s Program is designed for children between the ages of 3 and 12. A child must be aged 3 at the time they are at the ranch. Children, younger than 3, are welcome to participate if accompanied by their own babysitter. Your child can expect safe care as well as fun and educational experiences. 

        Schedule 

        The Children��s Program hours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day except Thursday and Sunday when it opens at 3:00 p.m. Thursday is Family Day, which gives you a chance to do something together with your children. Our children��s program is available from June to the Sunday before Labor Day.

        Meals 

        Your child is welcome to eat with the Children��s Program for lunch and/or dinner. Children��s Program dinner is a child-friendly meal served at 6:00 p.m. We will assume that your child will eat with the Children��s Program for both meals unless you let us know otherwise in advance. If your child would like to join you in the dining room, please communicate these plans with the Children��s Program staff so they can notify the kitchen and dining room. Any special children��s cookout will be listed on the weekly schedule so that you may sign your child up.

        During the Big Creek Lunch cookout and Slim��s Draw Dinner cookout, all children will be their parent��s responsibility from the Children��s Program arrival until its departure. Please be sure they are safely aboard the fire truck for the return trip.

         

        Children��s Program Activities

         

        In addition to regular activities there are a number of special events planned during the week. These may include: riding our own ranch fire truck to the cookouts, nature walks, treasure hunts, fishing in the specially stocked kids�� pond, craft projects, outdoor games, and an obstacle course. Horseback riding is a popular activity for the Children��s Program. The children��s riding program is described in more detail in the Horse Advisory section.

         

        Babysitters

         

        The A Bar A is a family-oriented experience and you are very welcome to bring children younger than three years old. There is no charge for children younger than three years unless you use the hourly babysitting services mentioned below.

         

        If you do not bring a nanny and need babysitting services, there will be an hourly charge of $12. This service will be provided by our Children��s Program staff and charged to your bill.  This will eliminate the need to pay your baby sitter individually (and please no tipping as this will be part of their regular duties).  

         

        If you bring your own nanny, they will stay in your cabin and the charge for the nanny will be $160 per night.

         
         

        Know where your children are

         

          We provide fun and safe activities for children aged 3 to 12 with our Children��s Program. If your children are not in the program you are responsible for them and you should know where they are at all times. If they are not in the Children��s Program we will assume that they are reporting to you.

         

        Teenagers

         

          There are several teen activities planned each week that are reserved exclusively for those 12 and older. The Big Creek and Slim��s Draw cookout rides are also open to those 12 and older. While freedom at the A Bar A is a privilege we all enjoy, please be aware of what your teenager is doing and where he/she is.  We suggest that you consider setting a Midnight curfew.

         

        The LARIAT, our teen recreational center, is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. It is open for those aged 12 and older, but younger children are also welcome to use it with their parents.

         
         

        One of the best parts of the A Bar A is the many generations represented. We look forward to sharing the ranch with your children.

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

        HORSE RIDING ADVISORY         

        Our riding program is designed to give you the greatest enjoyment in the safest manner. It is unique in that you may ride without a wrangler if you are over 18 years of age and have good riding skills. We do have wranglers on hand who are ready to guide you on rides, give you instruction, and help you to have a great overall experience on horseback.

        On Sunday evenings, a wrangler will greet you in the dining room to learn your preference and abilities. After Sunday you may sign up at the corral for the next day��s riding, or on the list that will be available in the dining room.

        CHILDREN��S RIDING

        • For those under the age of 12 we have a carefully selected group of children��s horses. The youth program provides riding daily for those who wish to participate.
        • All riders under 12 years will be evaluated each Monday morning to determine their ability. If a child has good riding skills, he or she may be assigned an adult horse and be able to ride with his or her parents or attend the Children��s Program riding activities.
        • No matter what their skill level, a child must be at least aged 12 to ride to the Friday��s Slim��s Draw cookout. No exceptions.
        • We offer special rides and activities for teenagers. Check at the corral for what is scheduled for the week.
         

          Under Wyoming law, equine professionals are not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent and assumed risks of equine activities, pursuant to Wyoming statue 1-1-126. A Bar A, its wranglers and counselors are equine professionals. In almost anything you do that involves a horse, pony, donkey or other member of the equine family, you are a participant in an equine activity.

         
         

          A TYPICAL WEEK��S riding SCHEDULE

          9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00-4:30 p.m. are regular riding hours.                  

          MONDAY  9:30 a.m. corral orientation for new guests who are planning to ride at all. If you spend time with us, we guarantee you��ll enjoy your A Bar A riding even more. 

          Children will be evaluated at 10:30 on Monday to determine their riding ability. If they check out to be able to ride an adult horse, they will be assigned one and are welcome to ride with you as well as with the riders in the Children��s Program.

          TUESDAY Optional breakfast ride departs at 7:30 a.m. Other rides follow the normal riding schedule above. For non-riders, breakfast is served in the dining room at the normal times. Please note that we do not have arrangements for child care at this time.

         

          WEDNESDAY      Big Creek lunch ride. 10:30-3:30 is the riding schedule. If you do not wish to ride to the cookout, a suburban will leave from the office at 12 p.m. and Children��s Program participants leave in the fire truck at 12:30 p.m. 

          THURSDAY  -  Family Day. Children��s Program is closed until 3:00 p.m. today. Rides are at the regular riding hours listed above

          FRIDAY Regular riding is from 9:30-12 p.m. Afternoon riding begins at 4:30 p.m. for those who wish to ride to Slim��s Draw for the cookout. Suburbans leave the Hub at 5:30 p.m. and children leave in the fire truck at 6:00 p.m.

          SATURDAY Kid��s Rodeo is 2:30-3:30 p.m. Regular morning riding hours for all others.

              SUNDAY   -   Arrival/ Departure Day. No riding, shooting, or fishing guides.

        On most days you are welcome to take an all-day ride if you wish. This can be arranged with the Head Wrangler. You may arrange for a box lunch from the dining room staff by filling out a box lunch form the evening prior to your all-day ride.

        If you do not plan to be back by 12 p.m. (lunch ride or not) let the wranglers know what time you expect to return.

         

        THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE RIDING

        • To ride you must wear proper riding boots that are smooth soled with a heel (not eventer style). You may not ride in hiking boots or tennis shoes. We do provide a limited selection of loaners at the corral.
        • Unless mounting, please stay out of the corral where the horses are tied. A wrangler will bring your horse to you, help you mount, and make adjustments to the equipment as necessary.
        • We recommend use of a ��stampede string�� (available in the office) to hold your hat on in a Wyoming breeze.
        • Mountain weather is very changeable. Sweaters or rain jackets are good to take with you. You can either tie them on your saddle or the wrangler can loan you a saddlebag. If you need to put a jacket or sweatshirt on, dismount. A flappy jacket or other sudden movements can spook even the gentlest horse.
        • If someone dismounts to open or close a gate, all others in the group must wait after going through the gate until that person is fully mounted. This pertains to any time a rider is dismounted.
        • Remember that our terrain is rough and often steep. Give your horse periodic breathers so he can rest and you can enjoy the scenery.
        • Please do not allow your horse to eat grass or shrubbery while on your ride. This is an annoying habit and difficult to stop once it has been allowed.
        • Sorry, we do not allow our guests to use spurs while riding our horses. No exceptions.
        • Horses do not like to be crowded. To avoid being kicked, keep a horse��s distance between you and the next horse.
        • Do not trot or lope to pass another horse in your group. This upsets the horse in front of you and may cause them to bolt.
        • When you meet other groups on the trail, remember that the outgoing group has the right-of-way. Returning rides must stop their horses, move off the trail as far as possible and wait until the other group has passed by.
        • Trotting or cantering is not permitted going uphill, downhill, or in sight of the corral. Be sure to allow a 15 minute warm-up period for you and the horse before you do any trotting or cantering. Racing or galloping is never permitted.
        • Always walk the last ¼ mile to the corral.
        • Check the tightness of your cinch periodically. Heat and compression of saddle pads allow for slippage.
        • When returning to the corral please stop your horse outside of the corral, dismount and stay with your horse until a wrangler comes to take it from you.
        • No smoking on horseback or at the corral.
        • As always, if you have special needs or questions, ask us. 
         

        Children��s and Teens Riding Groups:

        All riders under age 12 are evaluated each week and will be placed into a riding group according to their ability.

         

        Cheyennes are beginning riders. They groom, lead, and can ride and control their horse at a walk without assistance.

         

        Apaches are intermediate riders. They can tack and untack their horse and control it at a walk and a trot. Apaches may ride to the breakfast and lunch rides, but not to the Slim��s Draw dinner ride.

         

        Comanches are advanced riders. They have mastered all the skills above and can also control their horse at a lope (canter) and open and close gates from horseback. If over age 12 they may ride to the breakfast, lunch and dinner rides.

         
         

        ANGLERS�� ADVISORY         

         

        The ranch has almost 6 miles of frontage on the North Platte River plus another almost 3 miles on an improved stream called Big Creek. 1 ½ miles of Big Creek is stocked for your catch-and-keep enjoyment and the remainder are wild fish in a catch and release environment. It is a virtually unmatched fishing opportunity.

         

        You are welcome to keep one fish per day. Our fishing guides will be more than happy to clean your fish and our chef will prepare it for your dinner.

         

        Our philosophy: We are encouraged that today more of our guests are enjoying fly-fishing, a truly relaxing and challenging sport. We have a continuing program of stream management, which is a major factor in preserving the excellence of our fishing. Our goal is to teach you to fish, so you can enjoy it on your own.

         

        SOME RULES: While we do not like rules in general, some are necessary in order to maintain the best possible angling environment.

        • All fishing on the ranch is limited to fly-fishing. This means the use of an artificial fly on fly line on a fly reel on a fly rod. 
        • A valid Wyoming fishing license is required at all times. This may be purchased at the Hub, and must be carried by you while fishing. 
        • Do not kill fish unless for personal use. Please do not give fish to others. It is illegal under Wyoming law to give fish to anyone who does not have a valid Wyoming fishing license. 
        • Unwanted fish should be returned to the stream carefully. Fish should be handled gently but firmly and be returned to the water in an upright position. Large fish, particularly those over 2 pounds, are apt to be very tired when returned to the water. A careful angler will cradle them in his or her hands in an upright position heading upstream until the fish recovers and swims away. This can take 3 or 4 minutes, sometimes more. If you have a question about this procedure, please discuss it with the Ranch Fishing Guides who can demonstrate proper techniques. 
         

        NORTH PLATTE LIMITS: Keep only 2 fish, one of which may be over 16 inches. Release all fish between 10 and 16 inches.

        BIG CREEK LIMITS: One fish per day any size.

         

        CATCH & RELEASE:

          • Never handle a fish you are going to release until you have wetted your hands because dry hands remove the protective ��slime�� that keeps the fish healthy. 
          • Certain ranch waters have been declared ��Catch and Release�� only. These areas are posted. 
          • We are glad to remove the barbs from your flies at no charge. Barbless hooks make it easier to release the fish without harming them. 
         

        STREAM COURTESY:

        Since guests�� experience in trout fishing ranges from first-time fishermen to grizzled veterans, some words about stream courtesy:

        • Never start fishing closer than 100 yards from another person traveling in the same direction you plan to go.
        • If in doubt, inquire of a fisherman whether he is fishing up or downstream. If he is going in the opposite direction from the one you plan to take, it is permissible to start near him.
        • If, in your progress up or down a stream, you come to another fisherman who is traveling in your direction and you wish to pass him, you should do so by getting as far back from the river as possible and passing around him. Leave the entire hole or run he is working to him and go back to the stream no sooner than the next riffle, provided it is 100 yards away. Walking near the banks of a stream can put the trout down for an indefinite period.
        • If you come upon another person fishing downstream while you are moving upstream, be sure not to cast near him and, if possible, stay on the opposite side of the river while you are passing. At times there will be signups for certain stream locations. Please be considerate of other fisherman who may work the same water as you. A good angler never cleans out a hole; he proves he can catch them and then moves on.
         

        THE FISHING GUIDES      

         

        They provide GROUP-fishing lessons to help you to learn how to fly fish. Groups are usually 2-3 people. Our goal is to help you learn to fish on your own.

         

        Fishing Guides are available Monday through Saturday to provide transportation to and from the Platte River and Big Creek, to give information about stream conditions and fishing areas, and to help prepare your kept fish for the chef. Their work area is down the street from the office, in the Fish Shack. An assortment of fly-fishing equipment, including special flies for this area, is available in our Ranch store.

         

        SCHEDULING A GUIDE

         

        A sign-up sheet is in the office for guided group trips. All sign-up sheets are put out each night at 5 p.m. and at 3 p.m. on Friday.

         
         
         

        MORE INFORMATION         

         

        WHAT TO BRING

        Most guests wear western clothing day and night. In the evenings, skirts, jeans, or pants are all appropriate. Sweaters and coats are often needed after dark. Bring bathing suits, tennis racquets, fly rod, western boots, and hats, according to your sporting preferences. Dinner dress is casual to somewhat dressy (on Saturday night).

         

        Consider leaving your bottled water at home. Our well water is pure and delicious, right from the tap. Its source is the peaks of the Snowy Range, about ten miles from the ranch. It filters through deep layers of ancient fine- and coarse-grained gravels and is not only healthful, but also its taste is better than the best bottled spring water.  We sell taste-free water bottles in the Ranch Store.   By reducing bottled water use we also reduce landfill waste.

         

        No pets, please.

         
         

        CHECK IN AND OUT

         

        Checkout time is 11:00 a.m. Any later departure must be approved by the Ranch manager. Check- in is after 12:00 p.m.

         

        CHURCH SERVICES

         

        Protestant services are held each Sunday in nearby Encampment. Catholic services are held each Sunday in Saratoga.

         

        GRATUITY

         

        We will automatically add a 15% gratuity to your bill, unless you tell us other wise. Please do not tip individuals.

         
         
         

        TRAVELING TO THE A BAR A        

         

        Driving directions from Denver International Airport to the A Bar A:

        Option 1: Through the Mountains and High Country

        This is a beautiful route that takes about 4 hours. Winter Park is a nice place to spend the night if you��d like to spread out your trip a little.

        From Denver International Airport (DIA), take Pena Blvd. to I-70 West. Take I-70 West from Denver to Hwy 40. This goes over Berthoud Pass through Winter Park. Continue on Hwy 40 through Granby. About 3 miles from town, 40 intersects with Hwy 125. Turn right and continue through Walden and Cowdrey. About 3 miles north of Cowdrey, 125 turns to the west (left) toward Saratoga. Turn left there. You��ll see white buildings with red roofs: the State Line Ranch. Follow this road into Wyoming where it turns to Hwy 230. Mile markers are on the left side of the road. We are on the right side, directly across from mile marker 112. Watch for the A Bar A Ranch sign. Turn right onto our road and we��re 8 miles in. At the 2-mile marker you��ll come to our airstrip. Be sure to stop when the sign says ��Whoa�� and watch for airplanes landing or taking off.

        Option 2: North through Fort Collins

        This is a lower-elevation route than Option 1, but is still beautiful. This route is fastest and takes between 3 ½ and 4 hours.

        From DIA take Pena Blvd to E-470 North (to Fort Collins). This is a toll road and worth the fee. It will drop you off at I-25 just south of Fort Collins. Take the 3rd Fort Collins exit (Hwy 14/287), which winds through town but is well marked. Follow Hwy 287 towards Laramie, about 50 miles. In Laramie get on I-80 west for 1 mile, exiting at the Snowy Range Road Exit (Hwy 230). Take Hwy 230 south towards Woods Landing. You will cross briefly into Colorado and Hwy 230 becomes Hwy 127. Watch for Hwy 125 north and turn right there. After about a half mile, you will see the State Line Ranch on your right. Stay on Hwy 125, which changes back to Hwy 230 when you again cross the Wyoming state line. Watch the mile markers on the left. Our sign is directly across from mile marker 112. Turn right onto the ranch road and follow it for 8 miles to the ranch.

        BY AIR

        DIA is served by most major airlines. Charter planes are available at Denver��s airport for direct flights to the Ranch airstrip. Call us if you would like suggestions of charter companies.

         

        AIRSTRIP

        The Ranch��s own, 5,704-foot paved airstrip is located 6 miles from the Ranch buildings at an elevation of 7,780 feet. There is a Unicom radio (frequency 122.8) and your cell phone will work at the airstrip if you need to call the ranch (307-327-5454). Use the Unicom before landing to arrange for transportation. Pilots should exercise great caution in approaching the runway since the main road to the Ranch cuts across the airstrip; and on occasion, the airstrip has deer, antelope, or cattle on it. When notified, we can quickly clear the runway. Flying time from Denver is under one hour. Planes up to the size of the largest Lear Jet can utilize our strip. The Saratoga Airport is a short distance away and you can arrange for us to pick you up there for an extra charge.

         
         

          A Bar A Ranch

          ENCAMPMENT, WYOMING 82325

          307-327-5454

          LISSA AND JUSTIN HOWE

          www.AbarARanch.com

         

         

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