Last summer, when Visit Cheyenne put Terry Bison Ranch Resort on my agenda, I wasn’t sure what to think or what to expect. I’d driven by the ranch a dozen times while on my way to Wyoming via I25, but I knew nothing much about it and thought it was a tourist trap.
It turns out, Terry Bison Ranch is a tourist trap but it’s also a hoot and unlike any other place that I’ve visited. Where else can one ride a homemade train here being flanked by running camels? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Our visit to the ranch occurred over several days and our first stop was for breakfast at The Tombstone Cafe, open June through August at Terry Bison Ranch. It’s a cozy little diner snuggled under the trees serving up comfort food like biscuits and gravy and French toast. Our first “taste” of Terry Bison Ranch was downhome goodness.
Located about 15-minute drive south of our bed & breakfast in Cheyenne, we visited again the next day. This was the day we were exploring things to do at Terry Bison Ranch and were signed up for both a Bison Train Tour and a horseback ride.
Terry Bison Ranch has a rich and interesting history that I’m not going elaborate about here, but if you’re interested in learning more visit their website. You will also hear a bit of ranch history during the Bison Train Tour.
I’ve been on a lot of trains but none like this. It’s a purpose built tourist train that went into service in 2004, and tours run every day of the year except Christmas.
Camels & Baby Bison, Oh My!
We boarded the train along with many families and other tourists; some from the area and others just passing through. As the train started chugging into the pasture, on a track that was laid specifically for this train, we were suddenly flanked by camels, yes camels! It turns out that Terry Bison Ranch isn’t just home to bison, aka buffalo.
I’m not exactly sure why there are camels at Terry Bison Ranch, I wasn’t sitting close enough to the conductor to ask, but you should find out when you visit. I discovered on this outing that there’s nothing funnier than a running camel.
Once the train reached the bison herds the mood in the train cars shift to one of awe. During our June visit, the herd we visited was a group of mamma buffalos and their babies. At the beginning of the ride be sure to purchase buffalo treats so that you can feed them. After all, how many people can say they’ve hand fed a buffalo? I can.
I grew up visiting Yellowstone National Park during the summers so buffalo do not seem terribly exotic to me, but seeing them this close was an interesting experience, and I can imagine that a true city slicker would find this excursion to be extraordinary.
Playing Cowgirl at Terry Bison Ranch
After our entertaining train ride into a buffalo herd, we were scheduled for a horseback ride and we only had to walk a few feet from the train to the stables to do our second Terry Bison Ranch activity.
Our wrangler was Faith, a bubbly and experienced cowgirl who led us down a trail bordered by wild green grass and onto the rolling hills of Terry Bison Ranch. These one-hour trail rides only explore a tiny bit of this nearly 30,000-acre ranch that stretches into Colorado.
The world around us was bright green thanks to our early June visit, and the famous Wyoming wind was barely a breeze. Ryan rode a horse named Louie and I was on Julia; it was a beautiful day for a ride.
A trail ride here is easy and affordable and a great outing for families. They have gentle horses for beginners so no one need feel concerned about getting on a horse at Terry Bison Ranch.
We only scratched the surface of the activities available at Terry Bison Ranch. The ranch has lodging, an RV park, a gift shop, ATV Tours, hosts weddings, offers fishing and is home to the award-winning Senator’s Steakhouse & Saloon. To see all ranch activities go here, and click here to follow Terry Bison Ranch on Facebook.
Thank you to Visit Cheyenne for hosting our activities at Terry Bison Ranch.