Seeing the impossibly royal blue waters of Blue Miner Lake in the backcountry of the Gros Ventre Wilderness in the Bridger-Teton National Forest is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. Brian and Amy Taylor, owners of Grow Ventre Wilderness Outfitters, would argue it’s one that is even better from a vantage point atop a horse.
A horse packing trip, a popular way for tourists to experience the Wyoming wilderness since the dude ranching days of the early 1900s, is a unique chance to unwind, bond with horses, and disconnect from modern life. Brian Taylor’s family has been helping people experience the backcountry this way since 1950, and the family’s passion for the wild will hopefully keep the business going for generations to come.
When the Taylors aren’t guiding summer pack trips and fall hunting trips, they’re feeding cattle the old-fashioned way, by horse, on their working cattle ranch behind Slide Lake. From July to October, the couple spends around 60 nights in sleeping bags, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“To be able to share the Gros Ventre Wilderness with folks is unbelievable to me,” Amy says. “It’s a little piece of heaven.”
Brian’s grandparents, Verland and Joella Taylor, started Gros Ventre Wilderness Outfitters in 1950, and his parents, Glenn and Marian Taylor, continued
with the business. Glenn, 83, still lives on the ranch and is in charge of the cattle operation, while Brian and Amy run the outfitting program.
Brain and Amy are both Wyoming natives who met while attending the University of Wyoming in Amy’s hometown of Laramie. They have been married for 32 years, and run their ranch and business as a team along with their adult children, Chelsie and Justin, who have been helping out at camp since the ages of 4 and 6.
In their free time, the Taylors enjoy family and their little corner of paradise, where the cell service is spotty but the cross-country ski adventures,
trail rides, cozy evenings, and true connections abound.
“With all the development of Jackson, the Gros Ventre is the only place in Jackson Hole proper that hasn’t seen appreciable growth in my lifetime,” Brian says. “It’s still almost exactly the same as it was ever since I can remember it.”
The Taylors work to give families authentic experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
“I do treasure hunts with the kids, campfires at night with s’mores, we learn to fish,” Amy says. “It’s what Wyoming is all about.”