Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Summary: Located in Teton Valley, Idaho, Dry Ridge Outfitters offers 1/2 day, full-day and multi-day rides with the western-side of the Tetons as a backdrop. While this outfit sits 1-hour from Jackson, Wyoming, we think the drive is well worth it. Not only is the cost comparatively modest ($100/rider for 1/2 day), the ride is highly personalized from horse selection to the private outing with our family of four. The horses, beautiful well-trained Morgan horses, expertly handled the tough terrain and were great with our inexperienced teen riders. We had such a great time riding with Dry Ridge Outfitters. We highly recommend this experience.
Choosing Dry Ridge Outfitters. During our visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, we knew we wanted to go horseback riding. It was my birthday during this trip and when asked what I wanted to do, this former horseback rider of course suggested riding. After all, we were in pioneer country. The options near the parks, though, seemed a bit commercial. While we cannot say that we would not have enjoyed our time with the places close to the Parks, we can say that we absolutely have no regrets choosing a small company located in Teton Valley, Idaho instead. In doing so, we had hoped that we would get a more personal and authentic experience. In fact, it was so much better than we expected.
Dry Ridge Outfitters is run by a husband and wife team, Kevin and Deb. Their ranch is located in Tetonia, Idaho, which is about an hour from the City of Jackson, Wyoming. They offer 1/2 day, full-day, and multi-day rides at competitive prices as compared to those outfits closer to the National Parks. The Western side of the Tetons is visible from this ride.
Kevin and Deb breed and train their entire herd of horses. The ones we were given to ride were well-trained and impressively handled the tough terrain. Kevin personally led our private outing, and additionally brought two ranch helpers on horseback as well. With three riders managing our group of four, we felt well-cared for and secure.
What Gear You Should Bring. Long pants (jeans preferred) and closed toe shoes are a must and sun shirts, like a long-sleeve SPF protection shirt is recommended. Pack a lunch (we brought sandwiches), water and bug spray for mosquitos. Other than that, everything else is provided, including safety helmets which we recommend using. There are large rocks on this ride and even the most experienced riders, in our opinion, should not risk an avoidable head injury.
Getting Fitted. Upon arrival at the Ranch, we were fitted with helmets. Kevin also consulted a form we had completed in advance that advised him and Deb of our respective riding experience. He then loaded the horses and equipment into the trailer.
Dusty Drive, then Saddle-Up. The trailhead we used was a roughly 30 minute dusty drive down a dirt road. Upon arrival, the horses were led out of the trailer and each of us were fitted in our saddles and our lunches were added to our saddle bags. Side note: we took our rental car through a car wash afterwards. It was that dusty!
Beautiful Ride. The ride itself is gorgeous. We rode through the woods; down and up canyons; through creeks; and then eventually to a space where the Grand Tetons could be seen. Here, we stopped for lunch, giving the horses a break. The Dry Ridge folks did a great job of keeping us aware of our rider safety, while also chatting and pleasantly passing the time as we rode through the woods.
The Horses. Dry Ridge's horses bear additional mention. This author has years of horse experience but our kids have next to zero experience. Despite the disparity in experience, Kevin selected just the right horses for each of us to use. All of them were talented at navigating the rocky and hilly terrain. We were truly impressed with these beautiful horses. (First photo below: Happy Birthday Girl).
Highly Recommend. Though we can't compare this experience to others in the Teton/Yellowstone area, we think it is still fair to say that you will not regret skipping those outfits and going with Dry Ridge. We had a blast with Dry Ridge and highly recommend choosing them. Even our inexperienced and horse-wary teens had a great time.