Turner family to continue operating historic dude ranch in Grand Teton National Park

The Turner family has operated the Triangle X Dude Ranch since 1926, before Grand Teton National Park was established. (photo courtesy of National Park Service - click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

A family that for more than eight decades has operated a dude ranch in what is now Grand Teton National Park has been selected to to continue running the ranch as a concessioner, the National Park Service announced Thursday.

The Turner family was selected by the Park Service to provide dude ranch services to visitors under a 13-year competitive contract bid process.

Guests at the Triangle X Dude Ranch in Grand Teton National Park embark on a horseback ride. (photo courtesy of National Park Service - click to enlarge)

The Turners have been operating the Triangle X Dude Ranch in Jackson Hole since before Grand Teton National Park was established, and had filed a lawsuit last year when the Park Service for the first time sought competitive bids for who would operate the Triangle X Ranch.

Brothers Harold, John and Donald Turner claimed in their suit that the federal act that established the park in 1950 guaranteed those who were living and working within the park boundaries at the time that they could remain for life.

The case drew widespread media scrutiny and focused attention on the legacy of the act that established Grand Teton National Park, including the history of the Triangle X ranch, which was bought by the Turner family in 1926 for $1,000. It is the last operating dude ranch concession located within a U.S. National Park.

John Turner, a former Wyoming state senator and former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told the Jackson Hole News & Guide in October that facing the prospect of leaving the ranch had been a “sad and agonizing ordeal for the entire family.”

“Five generations of the Turner family have been blessed to live and work at the Triangle X,” he said.

“We are pleased that this time-honored tradition will continue under a new contract and look forward to working with the Turners as they continue their unique family business,” Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said in a statement released Thursday.

The Park Service Intermountain Region Office solicited proposals to operate the ranch through a prospectus issued September 30, and bid proposals were accepted through December 16.

Triangle X Partnership’s proposal was selected under the provisions of the 1998 Concessions Management Improvement Act, the Park Service said.

The existing concession operation at Triangle X Ranch offers multi-day stays that include lodging, meals, horseback riding, and other ranch activities. Guided fishing and float trips on the Snake River are also available to ranch guests and the general public.

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