• Elk Creek Ranch

    An unforgettable summer camp experience for teenagers
  • It is a summer of enjoyment

    with groups sharing the camaraderie of youth and the recreational opportunities of the West
  • It is a summer of challenge

    confronting each individual with rugged wilderness surroundings and a rustic life style.
  • It is a summer of involvement

    with each teenager participating in a small camp community.
  • In the most beautiful place on earth

    located in the Greater Yellowstone area of Wyoming
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Elk Creek Ranch Summer Camp

Elk Creek Ranch offers teenagers a unique summer camp experience combining a traditional ranch setting with a variety of wilderness activities in Wyoming's Northern Absaroka mountains.

Elk Creek Ranch Summer Camp Video

horseback riding summer camp for teens

Horseback Riding

The central activity at Elk Creek Ranch summer camp is western horseback riding. Each teenager is given his or her own horse and riding gear for the entire summer camp experience. The climax comes at the end of each session with a four-day pack-trip that embodies the essence of western horsemanship.



Backpacking wilderness summer camp


Backpacking at Elk Creek Ranch is an extensive and challenging adventure into one of the few remaining wilderness areas in the continental United States: the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountain Ranges in northwestern Wyoming and southwestern Montana.



Summer camp activities

Work Crew

We have always believed that a ranch experience without some ranch work is as unrewarding as it is artificial. The work itself ranges from the normal chores of a ranch operation to ambitious building projects and horse training.

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Elk Creek Ranch is a summer of enjoyment, with groups sharing the camaraderie of youth and the recreational opportunities of the West. It is a summer of challenge, confronting each individual with rugged wilderness surroundings and a rustic life style. It is also a summer of involvement, with each teenager participating in a small camp community.

Elk Creek offers a taste of the Old West through training and riding horses as well as working on ranch chores and projects. Our Ranchers also receive an introduction to the New West, backpacking and packtripping through the high country and wilderness of Shoshone National Forest.

The Elk Creek Ranch experience has been for almost sixty years and remains today many-faceted, appealing to a variety of interests and abilities. Our purpose is to provide a challenging summer for each teen. The challenge is partly physical in that we are very active and mobile. It is partly mental in that the individual encounters a totally different mode of life. The challenge is also environmental in that the ranch is located in one of the few truly wild areas left in the continental United States. In meeting this blend of challenges, each individual gains a widened awareness of himself or herself and a greater appreciation of our western wilderness heritage.

We hope you will join us for a truly unique summer.

Additional Activities

Elk Creek Ranch offers a large number of other summer opportunities and challenges to meet the interests of the Ranchers.

  • Fishing

    Learn to fish in renowned rivers and lakes of the Greater Yellowstone area
  • Yellowstone

    Take an optional 3-day caravan through Yellowstone National Park
  • Barrel Racing

    Hone your riding skills in the western tradition of barrel racing
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  • "Lucas arrived home over the moon happy and so full of wonderful stories"

    We can’t thank you enough for offering him “the best experience of my life”. We are so grateful for all the care, nurturing and ADVENTURE you provided him for 4 weeks. The stories keep coming and we will never tire of listening. Lucas will forever cherish his time and something tells me that you have not seen the last of him. Thank you all for everything!

    Katherine Kaplan
  • "Marina's summer with you will, I think, always be a bit of magic in her heart."

    I've been meaning to write and tell you how much of Elk Creek Ranch Marina still carries with her. She thought she wanted to be a rancher before she left for Elk Creek and now she's completely convinced. Thank you for looking after her so well.

    Suzanne van de Velde
  • "Will got home safe, sound, and happier than I have ever seen him"

    Thank you all for running such a great camp! He is so pleasant now; perhaps that ECR good cheer and helpfulness will last and last. I used to be Will's notion of the best cook in the world, but you can tell Connie that she's it now!

    Grace Hayek
  • "The sense of reward and the linking of effort to outcome was palpable."

    We as parents try to find environments where our children will learn by doing and where the balance of challenge and support will help them develop confidence. You get it right at Elk Creek and we are so grateful to have found you. We want to send our warm thanks for contributing so much to Lucie's life, well-being, and happiness.

    Linden and Scott Wise
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