About the Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch - Idaho Ranch History

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 ranch is still in opperation 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 ownded 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.

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 the livestock and equipment. Then they started their journey to Gold Creek in north 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.

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 get away. 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 everygrowing menu of activites, our family has the unique oportunity 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.

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.”

western history Old black and white historical photo of husband, wife and 4 kids standing with coats and hats on outside of a 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
multi generational family photo with a family sitting in a field with two dogs and a horse next to them
large log lodge set in a snow covered forest
Log lodge with large front windows potted flowers and two chairs in foreground

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 and 2019!

duderanch.com Signature Ranch gold icon

Ranch Maps

cartoon map of the grounds at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch with labeled list of site names
Map showing the trails and topography at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch family picture with 6 adults and 2 children sitting on horses
four generations of women and ranch history in white shirts youngest at front oldest at back