Magee Homestead: Luxurious Tranquility On The Range

Most likely, you've never heard of Saratoga, Wyoming, nestled in a tranquil valley between the Sierra Madre Mountains to the west and the Medicine Bow National Forest to the east. This is where you will find Magee Homestead, a peaceful respite from the world in the form of an elegant guest ranch. Striking a harmonious balance between luxury accommodations, stellar service, diverse activities, wellness programs, and exceptional cuisine, the ranch offers the ultimate rejuvenating getaway for the soul.

During the westward expansion of the late 1800s, settlers found the Saratoga region to be desirable due to the fertility of the land and the natural hot springs here, and homesteaders built the first log cabin on the land that now makes up Saratoga's Brush Creek Ranch in 1884, when the region was still rugged frontier. Many modern-day travelers, on the other hand, visit the area for the Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection, owned by Bruce White of White Hospitality, which includes the Magee Homestead and two other properties in the Saratoga area, each with its own particular identity and ambiance: The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek, and French Creek Sportsman's Club.

The flagship Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek has garnered many accolades, including being voted the top resort in the USA three years running by the Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards. This property is family-friendly, can accommodate up to 150 guests, and caters to a wide range of outdoor activities.

French Creek Sportsman's Club is located on Sanger Ranch in the Platte River Valley. This exclusive, 12-guest property is where sportsmen can indulge in their hunting and fishing fantasies in this private and exclusive wilderness resort.

Magee Homestead, meanwhile, is an ultra-luxury, adults-only guest ranch on 7,500 acres. The nine cabins, each of which has been historically restored, were named after pioneers of the American West. A maximum of 27 guests ensures an intimate, restful experience in an environment where everything is customizable and centered on your desires.

The cabins, arranged in an oval configuration, are surrounded by lush and verdant landscaping, an oasis in the high desert of Wyoming. Although rustic on the outside, the cabins inside have modern conveniences such as plush bedding, climate controls, heated bathroom floors, upscale bath amenities, and even a large stacked stone shower.

The property includes Magee Lodge with a dining room, an outdoor patio with expansive views of the prairie, a full bar, and a billiard table.

The luxury pavilion has an outdoor pool, private cabanas, a poolside salon, a grill, and a library. Just adjacent is the Spa at Magee Homestead, offering a variety of wellness programs, an exercise room, a steam shower, and the large grotto whirlpool soaking tub.

From the moment you arrive, everything is done for you, and the motto here should be No detail too small, no request too big. In fact, the ranch offers all the conveniences of a five-star hotel along with many of the amenities and all-inclusive factors of a top-rated cruise line. All of your gourmet meals, wine, and spirits (except for some exclusive wines), and most activities are included as part of your three-, four-, or seven-day stay.

After the staff parks your car and takes your luggage to your cabin, they present you with your pre-approved itinerary. You can choose from any number of activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing, ranger tours, mountain biking, clay shooting, and spa and wellness services. Or you may choose to do nothing at all and just relax and totally unwind by the pool or on your own personal creek-side bistro deck.

The culinary program is one of the highlights of any visit, and the chef prepares the menu depending upon the season, and sources what is fresh and available. To ensure that guests receive the highest quality food and produce, the owner and staff have introduced some remarkable programs.

The first is the construction of a dedicated greenhouse with the goal of total sustainability. Using three large bays, staff will grow their own vegetables and produce such as lettuce, potatoes, onions, herbs, tomatoes, and micro greens. Fruit trees, from which they can make jams, jellies, and infusions, are also in the plans.

The second is the akaushi beef program with a dedicated herd of Japanese akaushi cattle. Prized for their buttery flavor and tenderness, this breed of beef also has a higher ratio of healthy fats and is a natural source of heart-healthy oleic acid.

So what would your day look like at Magee? Totally up to you, but a sample itinerary might look like this:

Start with breakfast in the Magee Lodge on the patio with freshly squeezed juice or a smoothie, such as the Golden Child with orange juice, carrots, ginger, and turmeric. Then, try the lemon ricotta pancakes with blackberry compote.

In the morning, you could hop on a mountain bike or take a horseback ride through the ranch's vast trail system. Among the gently rolling hills and sagebrush, you might see some of the local wildlife like the pronghorn antelope (the second fastest land animal in the world), mule deer, mustangs (or bucking horses as they are known here), and even an occasional moose.

Next, you can indulge in a signature spa treatment such as the Wind River Hot Salt Stone Massage or the Infinity Facial, which uses high-performance products designed to rehydrate your skin and reduce fine lines.

At lunch enjoy a signature cocktail, like the Ruby Red made with Myers's Rum, fresh-squeezed grapefruit, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and Teapot Bitters.

Lunch might begin with an iceberg lettuce wedge with sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, corn, sweet pepper, bacon, white Cheddar, and buttermilk dressing. Then get your taste buds ready for the akaushi beef burger with tomato jam, caramelized onions, and white Cheddar cheese.

After a well-deserved nap, you will be picked up for your scenic float down the North Platte River. No whitewater rapids here, just a relaxing and serene float down the river with your guide pointing out some of the local flora and fauna. Of course, the food and beverage staff have thought of everything and provided an insulated bag full of snacks and some of your favorite beverages. If you're lucky, in addition to limestone rock formations, you might even see a bald eagle or two.

When you return, it is time for another great meal while you are entertained by local musicians. Two of the perennial favorites here are a couple known as Davis & Mavrick, who sing and play acoustic guitars. They have a quite a repertoire — don't be surprised if you get caught up in the fun and find yourself singing along with tunes from The Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, and other pop groups.

As the sun starts to recede into a crimson and orange sky, the fire pit outside is ready for you to reflect on your day. The resort staff have thoughtfully provided a large basked filled with everything you need to make your own s'mores as you enjoy the sunset. At nightfall, a blanket of stars and the Milky Way become visible, as the ranch is far from any light pollution. Perhaps this is the way life was meant to be lived — slowly and with each moment savored. Either way, your visit to this boutique guest ranch on the plains of Wyoming will likely be among your most precious memories.

FTC Disclosure: This was a sponsored visit; however, all opinions herein are the author's.