Historic Dude Ranch Faces Uncertain Future

One of the oldest guest ranches in the nation hopes to offer guests another 100 years in the saddle!

“We all want this ranch to be here for our children and grandchildren. You love the ranch as much as we do, and now we need your help.”

-Margi Schroth
HF Bar Ranch

The historic HF BAR Ranch in Saddlestring, Wyoming celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. 

The ranch is a cultural treasure in the Bighorn Mountains, a place where families have returned year after year to experience the Old West and enjoy mountain meadows, open prairie, sagebrush flats and rugged canyons. 

But will the HF Bar Ranch be able to offer guests another 100 years in the saddle? 

Places like the HF Bar Ranch are increasingly rare, with subdivision development pressures making it more and more difficult to keep ranching operations alive. 

Fortunately, the HF Bar Ranch is working with The Nature Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on a conservation easement to protect the ranch from future development.  

This strategy will allow the traditional agricultural and recreational activities to continue unchanged for another 100 years and beyond. 

The Conservancy is now seeking critical conservation funds to safeguard the HF Bar Ranch before it’s too late. 

Treasured Wildlife Habitat

The HF Bar Ranch is home to resident and seasonally migratory herds of elk, mule deer, whitetail deer and pronghorn antelope. 

Almost all of the HF Bar is classed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as crucial elk and mule deer winter range. 

Walks along the trout-laden banks of either the North Fork or South Fork creeks reveal a myriad of bird species and might rustle up mink, ruffed grouse or blue grouse. 

Bald and golden eagles soar above and prairie falcons hunt the mesa tops. Moose, black bear and mountain lion also inhabit the ranchlands. 

Conservation in Action

Working closely with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Conservancy is fundraising to secure a conservation easement on 2,300 acres of the ranch. 

The proposed conservation easement will restrict future subdivision while allowing agricultural and guest ranch activities to continue. 

Conservation easements are powerful, effective tools that protect land for future generations while allowing owners to retain many private property rights and live on and use their land for agriculture and other uses. 

Broad support for this project from, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the NRCS through the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund and other conservation groups showcases the project’s importance not only for the ranch itself, but for the abundant wildlife that rely on the land for survival. 

You can help! Join us in this exciting effort to safeguard one of the West’s last dude ranches and a haven for elk and other wildlife.


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