Y Not The Box Y?

For die-hard sled enthusiasts, this is a paradise of deep snow, big bowls, massive mountains and endless meadows to carve, climb and jump.
Want a trip that offers riding for every level of rider in your family? Then we have the place for you! This past winter, we had the opportunity to go to the Box Y Lodge and Guest Ranch located 30 miles outside of Alpine, Wyo., just up Greys River Road.

The Greys River carves its way through a beautiful valley in western Wyoming, between the Salt River Mountain Range to the west and the Wyoming Mountain Range to the east. Snowbound in the center of this spectacular area, with access via groomed trails from Alpine, Merna Junction, Smiths Fork, La Barge and Big Piney, is the historic Box Y Lodge, an extremely remote winter lodge and guest ranch.

Ride-in only

We unloaded in the town of Alpine and rode 30 miles in on a groomed road. Part of this road is maintained by Tim Haberberger, who owns Box Y with his wife, Cindy, and their daughter, Megan. Although we rode in from Alpine, there are many different ways to access the Box Y, depending on which direction you are coming from.

If you go in at night, one thing to be mindful of is the area elk herds that like to travel on the groomed roads. I found this out the hard way, as I came around a corner late at night and almost hit an elk that was sleeping in the middle of the road!

At 7,000 feet in elevation, the Box Y Lodge consists of a main lodge and eight cabins nestled among lodgepole pines. Here, winter visitors can find comfortable lodging and delicious meals, as well as gas and oil for their snowmobiles. The cabins each have propane heat and lights and sleep up to six people.

With an average annual snowfall of 380 inches, the Greys River area has spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife that make it one of the best snowmobiling destinations the West has to offer. Novice riders will love the hundreds of miles of groomed trails, while more experienced riders will be challenged by the hundreds of thousands of acres available for backcountry boondocking.

There is something for everyone to enjoy here. For die-hard snowmobile enthusiasts, it is a paradise of deep snow, massive mountains, big bowls and endless meadows to carve, climb and jump. You can download maps of the area to your smartphone, and there are signs posted at the main junctions.

The main lodge has a nice area for lounging and enjoying the ambience, including a wood-burning stove to dry your gear by and plenty of wildlife on the walls to keep you company. They have a giant puzzle for guests to add to, as well as dozens of brain puzzles to try and figure out. Adjacent to this room is the dining area, where you can enjoy an endless supply of hot chocolate and incredible food.

We arrived on our first night later than we originally planned (around 11 p.m.), but we were still greeted by Cindy, who immediately made us feel right at home. She had kept our dinner in the oven in case we were hungry, and she invited us to help ourselves. It was a delicious, home-cooked meal of sirloin, baked potatoes, corn, bread, hot chocolate, and cookies with the Box Y logo branded on them. All of the meals we were served felt like Sunday dinner with ma, pa and the rest of the family.

Tim, Cindy and Megan do it all: cook and serve all of the meals, run the fuel pumps and maintain all of the cabins. They go out of their way to make you feel like part of the family. It’s no wonder so many people make this an annual trip.

The guest cabins are warm and comfortable and well kept, perfect for anyone looking for a getaway with or without the kids.

Up the road a couple of miles is a winter elk range that the Haberbergers help maintain by feeding the elk. This is not a small herd by any means, and the numbers stretch into the 100s.
All year-round

Box Y is not just a winter getaway, it is a year-round destination. In the summer, you’ll find some incredible fishing, and great hunting in the fall. If you are planning on getting married, then you can do that at the Box Y too! In fact, I photographed the wedding of two people who raced snowmobiles together on the RMSHA (Rocky Mountain States Hillclimb Association) circuit.

Box Y Lodge is not your cookie-cutter travel destination; it is true and genuine hospitality given out of love for what the Haberbergers have and a willingness to share it with others. Tim, Cindy and Megan are salt-of-the-earth people who work hard so others can relax and have a fantastic time. It is a rare thing to find these days, which is why it is a local favorite. Call and book your stay ahead of time, as it books up fast each winter.

If you are truly looking for an authentic western experience, anytime of the year, then look no further than the Box Y. You will thank us for it.
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