About the Ranch

The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch operates on the same ground our family came to 100 years ago. The ranch evolved to support the land and the seven generations of family who are so deeply rooted to it. Before the guest ranching operation began in 1991, it was known as the Wood V-X Cattle Ranch. This family cattle ranch is still in operation after over 75 years. We are proud to say that Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is rich in Idaho ranch history.

History of the Idaho Panhandle

In the early 1900s, Humbird Lumber Company owned and logged most of the Panhandle of Idaho, including the Gold Creek area. To transport logs to the mills, tracks were laid for narrow gauge steam engine locomotives to travel into the foothills of the Cabinet Mountains. Today, many of those same railroad grades make up the trails and roads used on the ranch. You will also find old apple trees, still bearing fruit, which grew where the loggers threw out their apple cores. After completion of logging operations in an area, they pulled the rails and burned the area. Today, huge burnt stumps are all that remain of the hand-cut trees.

old black and white photo of a family of 6 standing in front of an old house in the snow
black and white photo of a family in jeans and a white shirt standing in front of a tractor in hay field

Wood Family History

In 1939, Janice’s grandfather, Riley Wood, lived and farmed in Colorado on a leased farm. Riley read about cut-over land for sale in northern Idaho; fine ranch land if only someone would take the time to work it. Riley and his wife Gladys traveled here that summer and looked at property on Gold Creek. They fell in love with the area, went home, gathered the family, and sold all their livestock and equipment. They started their journey to Gold Creek in north Idaho with their four children and few supplies they had left to set up a home in Idaho. They arrived on February 14, 1940, in three feet of snow, under a bright moon, at 10 p.m., at the door of a tiny one-bedroom house. After making the down payment for the ranch property, they had $150 left to make a living and build their dream.

In 1957, Janice’s father, Jim Wood, purchased the 960 acres from his father, Riley. Jim worked and expanded the ranch. In 1978, they purchased a second ranch six miles north of Sandpoint.

Jim’s sons, Steve and Leonard, run about 600 cow-calf pairs, using the lower ranch as the calving grounds and Gold Creek ranch for summer pastures. To learn more about the cattle operation, visit the Wood V-X Red Angus website. Janice’s oldest brother Steve owns and operates Wood’s Meat Processing Plant. Visit their storefront on Highway 95 for more information.

This ranch became a reality through the hard work and pioneer spirit of Janice’s parents, Jim and Virginia Wood. Janice’s father, Jim, designed and participated in every aspect of the log lodge’s construction in 1996.

This ranch is a direct reflection of what one man, Jim Wood (Janice’s father), with the help of a supporting wife, Virginia, can accomplish through a lifetime of hard work and dedication. It is through this same spirit that our forefathers came to this land some 100 years ago.

Sharing a Legacy Through a Dude Ranch

During the summer months, guest ranch vacation packages include lodging in one of our lodge rooms or log cabins, daily horseback rides, three-country gourmet meals daily, evening entertainment, and access to all guest ranch amenities.

In the Fall, Winter and Spring, enjoy a Bed and Breakfast stay in a lodge room or rent a cabin for a cozy getaway. Two hour guided horseback rides are available in the Fall and Spring. When the snow flies, enjoy an old fashioned sleigh ride. Group retreats, family reunions, dinner parties, and holiday gatherings are also available.

Through this ever-growing menu of activities, our family has the unique opportunity to share with the families, couples, and single travelers who visit the ranch, the legacy that began over a century ago. It is this history, hard work, conservation, and dedication that has made Western Pleasure Guest Ranch one of the finest dude ranches in the industry.

Log Lodge in the Summer
large indoor arena in the background with flowers in the foreground

Read More on the Ranch Blog

To hear more about Idaho guest ranch history and the goings-on at the ranch, check out the ranch blog written by Danielle (4th generation on the ranch), “From the Horse’s Mouth.”


Signature Ranch Awards

We are pleased to announce that your hosts, Roley and Janice Schoonover, received the award for Favorite Dude Ranch Hosts from Duderanch.com for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020!

In addition, in 2020, Western Pleasure Guest ranch received Duderanch.com Signature Ranch Award for the following categories:

  • Best Horseback Riding
  • Best Food/Dining/Meals
  • Best Dude Ranch for Families
  • Best Dude Ranch for Kids and Teens
  • Best Dude Ranch to Visit in the Winter
  • Best "Adult Only Week"
  • Best Instagram Account
duderanch.com Signature Ranch gold icon
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Signature Ranch AwardDude Ranch Association2020 Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Top 50 AwardVisit SandpointVisit Idaho badgeHorse Safety Program
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