UXU Dude Ranch is For Ladies Too
Story by Caroline Hayes
Facts About UXU Ranch:
1710 Yellowstone Hwy
Wapiti, WY 82450
800-373-9027- Dude Ranch
www.uxuranch.com- Web site
Activities to Expect While Visiting:
Not Your Typical
Since you don’t have to plan your daily and nightly activities, what do you have to do? You could sit back and enjoy the famous wine and food selections by the fireplace or on the veranda. All food is prepared by two gourmet chefs. The ranch doesn’t produce any of the food itself but it does provide all of it. “It’s a higher end dude ranch,” said Tuff. “I get my ribs from Denmark and my Brie cheese from Copenhagen.” The menu has recently expanded to include a broader food selection as well as more international wines, which makes for an elegant wedding with beautiful scenery.
Tuff and his wife and co-owner, Heidi Flaharty, have 70 years of experience between the two of them in ranching, hospitality, traveling, guiding and outfitting, which helps to make guests’ stay at UXU Ranch fun and comfortable. Tuff received his first horse at age 2, making him more than familiar with horses today. Horseback riding with guests is his favorite activity at the ranch, he said. Tuff has traveled to more than 52 countries and climbed some of the highest mountains in the United States, such as Mt. Albert in Colorado. With family stretching from Kansas to Colorado, Tuff has thorough knowledge about the plains and mountainous regions of the U.S.
Destination weddings are an increasingly popular trend, providing a unique
way for friends and family to come together and celebrate two people’s love
for each other. Imagine mountains, horseback riding and boating, all just
steps away from the entrance of the beautiful Yellowstone National Park.
That’s what you’ll find at UXU Ranch in Wyoming. Destination weddings at UXU Ranch allow families to come together, relax and enjoy each other’s company before the wedding day. The ranch’s majestic scenery is the perfect way to relax with your new family, and with all the pre-scheduled activities, you won’t have to plan anything.
Ten cabins and a main lodge allow families to rest easy while staying at UXU Ranch. The cabins all range in capacity size and price and can accommodate up to six people in one cabin. The ranch accommodated 35 people in the ten cabins during its first and biggest wedding. Grant “Tuff” Flaharty, co-owner of the UXU Ranch, said they don’t take guests who will not stay a week because the ranch plans a week of various activities for its guests.
Typical week-long events fill a guest’s schedule. Here’s how a typical schedule might look: Arrive on Sunday, take a walk or a horseback ride, become familiar with the area, with happy hour by the river followed by a gourmet dinner. On Monday, take a long horseback ride around the ranch and enjoy an organized softball game. “That’s always a lot of fun,” Tuff said. “Everyone really enjoys that activity.” On Tuesday, spend the day in Yellowstone Park and the Southern Loop, followed by country western singers by campfire at night. On Wednesday, take a long horseback ride and take in some swimming in the Shoshone River with a fancy barbeque lunch. On Thursday, you’ll have a free day to spend at the spa or fishing and a night rodeo. On Friday, it’s another free day to swim in the river, catch up on UXU Ranch history or any of the other activities you enjoyed; Saturday, regroup, pack bags and get ready to leave on Sunday.
And don’t forget the wedding ceremony! Typically, at the UXU Ranch, weddings are outdoor, summer ceremonies. The bride is brought in on a horse or in a horse drawn carriage and walks down a green, grassy aisle. Beyond the bride and the groom, the guests overlook the enormous mountains and luscious tree line. The ranch staff sets up the reception tent, the receiving food line, the dance floor and the bar. Banjo, fiddle and mandolin players are provided for live musical entertainment during the reception.
Although it hasn’t happened yet, Tuff said that he would love to do a winter wedding. His mental picture of a winter celebration is that the guests could snow shoe to the top of a mountain where the ceremony would take place, and if the moon was full with the wolves out, it would be amazing, he said.
The idea of using the ranch as a destination wedding location came about during the first year Tuff owned the ranch. The bride was a wedding planner and everything fell into place after that, Tuff said. There were 125 people at that wedding, “the biggest we’ve ever seen and will ever do,” he said. “We specially ordered boats to for that wedding party and planned a 10K race and mountain bike tours of the land.” These aren’t typical activities at the ranch but at special request, the staff caters to guests’ wants and needs.
The thing about it as a wedding destination spot is that you can bring your whole family and get some serious bonding time. “Weddings can be an extremely tough and nervous time, so having the families come out and participate in different activities gets them together. It’s such a neat and beautiful place here that it helps with reducing stress levels,” Tuff said.
Each wedding is different and has its own style, but the common denominator is that the ranch is located in an area where families can meet up from all over the country, at one destination, and have fun with each other.
Thinking of planning a wedding? Make the destination at UXU Ranch where the owners and staff work with your schedule and budget to accommodate you and your family.