The Country Surrounding the Dude Ranch
Small Cattle Company Dude Ranch horses grazing
The Small Ranch is located along the eastern edge of Idaho, northwest of the small town of Dubois. It’s west of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and not far from the Continental Divide that marks the boundary between Idaho and Montana.
The cow camp that serves as the base of operations for the dude ranch is found in the Dead Horse Hills area. Much of the land where the Small’s cattle graze and where guests ride is part of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The forest totals three millions acres grouped in several sections that stretch across southeastern Idaho, from the Montana, Utah and Wyoming borders. Most of the forest is a part of the 20 million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
A view from base camp
The Dubois Ranger District is the section of the forest that includes the grazing lands around the Small Ranch. This district has over 460 thousands acres of wide open country that ranges from sage dotted high desert to forested high mountain slopes. Diamond Peak, the third highest point in Idaho at over 12 thousand feet is within the district. You can also find over 400 miles of back roads here and over 220 miles of trails.
Just north of the cow camp a southern segment of the Bitterroot Mountains form the Continental Divide. The Bitterroots are actually considered part of the Northern Rocky Mountains and are a rugged and beautiful range. (Further north it was these same Bitterroot Moutains that gave Lewis and Clark so much trouble on their journey of 1804.)
The landscape surrounding base camp
If you’re looking for adventure, solitude and scenery this is the place to find it. It’s big open country where you won’t see a lot of other visitors. You will discover gorgeous rivers and valleys, ridge upon ridge of mountains, campgrounds, wilderness, and wildlife. The mountains and hills near the ranch are filled with animals, including moose, bear, sheep, elk, deer, antelope, grouse, eagle, falcon, fox and wolves. With few fences, endless room to roam, and variety of terrain it’s great country for riding a horse.