A Visit To The Cheyenne River Buffalo Ranch


Some people say we live in the middle of nowhere. We say, like nowhere on earth.

Wild Idea Cheyenne River RanchFrom mid May to September, we give tours to interested customers who want to see for themselves where their food comes from. We also host groups interested in the science of environmental sustainability.

Cheyenne River Ranch tourThe tours are any where from one person to fifty. Tours include an overview of the ranch, conversation on our regenerative ranching practices and conservation, and a Q&A time.

Dan O'Brien writer rancher

Wild Idea Buffalo HerdBut everyone agrees that the best part is a ride through the buffalo herd - in one of our classy ranch vehicles or on a hay wagon.

Martha Nelson South Dakota
Extras can be added, such as lunch or a charcuterie sampler served up with a little more conversation.

Cheyenne River Ranch Tours

CharcuterieThere is always preparation that transpires before guests arrive and depending on the size of the group determines the help needed. The whole family chips in; from cleaning vehicles, a little lawn mowing, to cleaning the toilets. The snake toilet seat is an attraction in itself, although many prefer not to actually use it!Patrick McMillanWhen the science enthusiasts arrive they are often accompanied by our good friend and Environment Studies Professor, Patrick McMillan from Clemson University. Or, when the French come we call our good friend and former ranch caretaker Gervase Hittle, and when lunch is requested we tap into our staff at Wild Idea or visiting interns (whose pay is lousy but they eat well). Thank you Francis and Ben!

Sometimes the stars align and the buffalo and nature really put on a show, with double rainbows and leaping baby buffalo.

Baby BuffaloOther times it is more subtle and you may catch almost the whole herd taking a rest.

Buffalo Herd RestingRegardless, it is for many a once in a lifetime experience to get so close that you can hear them chew. There is a peacefulness and serenity to be in such a setting. It puts the world and our place in it in balance.

Wild Idea Buffalo & RainbowsWe always want to offer complete transparency in our ranching operation, as well as our meat production. So if find yourself out in the middle of the Great Plains and you are interested in a ranch tour reach out to me for more information. I can be reached at: jill@wildideabuffalo.com

Our sincere thanks to all of you for your interest and support in environmental and food sustainability.


  • Posted on by Bardet Alexandre, Switzerland

    Hey! After Brendan Prairie, Autumns Rites and The Bisons of Broken Heart, Im’ reading Wild Idea. And I came in the area of Cheyenne River 20 ears ago. What a great idea to have built a big ranch in accord with the wilderness! What a pleasure to read Dan O’Brien. Thanks for the Nature of the Great Prairies and have much success.

  • Posted on by Damon White

    “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its loveliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness;”
    Your photos bring “Endymion” to mind so powerfully I smile and cry at the same time.

  • Posted on by Warren Burdett

    Fantastic looking operation and thanks for sharing.

  • Posted on by jill / Wild Idea Buffalo Co.

    Jane – We would love to have you and guests back! Great group! Found memories.

  • Posted on by Jane Baile

    This message comes a little late, but you’ve been in my mind since our June 19th visit at your ranch. What a pleasure seeing these photos. I also want to say that though you have received many people at your ranch over the years, we really felt a sincere, warm welcome, as if we were already friends and not just customers. I think that is very important. My group will always remember this special day during our extraordinary trip to Wyoming and South Dakota. I must confess that I’m already dreaming a putting together another group for next year. Would you be up for another group of French people in 2018? Who knows? Enjoy your summer and my best to all of you.

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