Wyoming’s Historic Gros Ventre Ranch For Sale, Listing At $58 million

Another of Teton County, Wyoming’s, iconic and storied dude ranches encircled by the national forest land has hit the market. The Gros Ventre Ranch is for sale, listing for $58 million.

Renée Jean

September 13, 20235 min read

The historic 118-acre Gros Venture River Ranch in Teton County, Wyoming, is for sale, listing at $58 million.
The historic 118-acre Gros Venture River Ranch in Teton County, Wyoming, is for sale, listing at $58 million. (Courtesy Photo)

Another of Teton County’s iconic dude ranches with a splendid view has landed on the open market for the first time in more than 80 years.

The Gros Ventre River Ranch, rebranded as the Grand View River Ranch, is for sale with a price tag of $58 million. 

Like the Lost Creek Ranch, which was listed for sale in July, it is one of few Wyoming ranches that remain within federal holdings. As a result, it is surrounded on all sides by incredible, pristine views that are not likely to ever change, until the mountains themselves change.

“(The ranch) has had a really interesting history,” Breann Bates, a spokesperson for Jackson-based Neville-Absell Real Estate with Keller Williams Jackson Hole, told Cowboy State Daily. “And the views there are spectacular, truly like nothing else. From the main lodge, there’s a big picture window and when you look out that window, the Gros Ventre River kind of runs along the bottom of your view and then it’s just,  you know, straight views of the Tetons. You don’t see any other houses. It’s just trees and mountains. So it’s pretty magnificent.”

Both banks of the Gros Ventre River are on the Grand View River Ranch, offering private access for nearly half a mile to a popular and scenic float, as well as a fantastic fishery. 

Why The River Runs Through It

The river running through the property’s frontage was pushed there after a massive 1925 landslide, thought to have been triggered by heavy rainfall and unstable geological conditions. 

In just three minutes, 50 million cubic yards of rock and debris a mile wide let loose all at once, rolling down the north slope of the Sheep Mountain at 50 mph. There was so much momentum, the mass rode 300 feet up the opposite slope before stopping. 

The debris blocked the Gros Ventre River, creating a new lake known today as Lower Slide Lake, and forcing a portion of the river to find a new course.

At first, engineers thought the nearby town of Kelly would be safe from further slippage. The landslide had created a kind of natural dam that appeared stable. 

But in 1927, after a particularly severe winter and an unusually wet spring, water topped the dam, ultimately carrying the top 60 feet away. 

The resulting flood killed six people in Kelly and nearly destroyed the town, which had been on a short list for county seat at the time.

As a result of that flood, Jackson was chosen instead, and the town of Kelly never fully regained the size it once had.

Not Just A Pretty View

The stunningly beautiful view that’s so entwined with local and Western history is not the only unique thing for sale with the Grand View River Ranch.

It is a working dude ranch, ready to be a turnkey operation for the new owner, if desired. 

The 118-acre ranch includes more than 24 buildings and accommodates up to 40 guests and about 30 staff members. It is a working dude ranch, ready to be a turnkey operation for the new owner, if desired. 

Several historic structures have been moved to the ranch over the years. Among them are four cabins and the J.O. Lodge from the Bar BC Ranch.

There’s also the Kelly Cabin, which is one of only three structures that survived the 1927 Kelly Flood, and the McReynolds Barn, which came from the McReynolds Homestead near Mormon Row just north of Blacktail Butte. 

The Main Lodge offers a beautiful setting for fine dining, as well as office space and a game room. 

Picture windows surround the seating areas in the lodge, offering fabulous views of the Tetons and the surrounding wilderness.

Both banks of the Gros Ventre reside on the Grand View River Ranch, offering private access for nearly half a mile to what is a popular scenic float and a fantastic fishery. 

The Karl’s Fork Bridge, meanwhile, provides direct access to millions of acres of the Bridger Teton National Forest and National Elk Refuge, which includes both horseback and hiking trails.

History Is In The Cards

The Grand View River Ranch started life in 1910 as the homestead of William Smith.

William Woodward bought it in 1920, then John Barnes in 1932, who used it primarily as a hunting camp.

Barnes lost his property in 1944, during what must have been one heck of a poker game, to Claude Wham, a cowboy who was working for the Chambers on their Mormon Row ranch. 

Wham is the one who brought the Bar BC cabins and the J.O. Lodge to the ranch from the Bar BC, which was one of Jackson’s original guest ranches. 

In 1959, he sold the property he'd won off to his employers, Roy and Reese Chambers, amid a divorce. 

The Chambers brothers opened it as the Flying V dude ranch in the 1960s after road improvements to the area, as well as new phone lines. 

The Chambers family sold the ranch in 1986, and the new owners built three more guest lodges, a barn and the main lodge with the first couple of years. 

Later they added a new maintenance building, and an arena, as well as the bridge over the Gros Ventre River. 

The couple had three daughters and community members recall them riding horses to the elementary school in Kelly sometimes to pick up them up from school.

Renée Jean can be reached at renee@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Renée Jean

Business and Tourism Reporter