In Jackson Hole, valley locals routinely decamp to destinations around the world. Following their flight paths, we journey to properties within our International Collection through a series of dispatches designed to inspire future itineraries.
A valley laced with rivers. Mountains soaring skyward. Crystal clear waters teeming with trout. Drink too much Argentine wine and a Rocky Mountain traveler might wake up and mistake Patagonia River Ranch for home in Jackson Hole.
Twenty-five years ago, a dream germinated for Ken Gangwer based on the shared splendor he saw in northern Patagonia and his homeland of Jackson Hole—the mountains, the rivers, the glaciers, the lakes. It took eight years to find the perfect property near the quaint town of San Martin de los Andes on the banks of the legendary Chimehuin River and set out to build a world-class fly-fishing guest ranch. Committed to supporting the local economy and creating a truly immersive experience, Ken enlisted only Argentine talents to help him realize his vision. “We used an Argentine architect, an Argentine contractor, all of the subs were from Argentina,” he says.
Even now, two decades on, the entire staff is Argentinean, which means all aspects of guests’ stay reflect the cultural heritage of their hosts. “When guests arrive at the ranch, they are not met by an American, they are met and immersed in the pure culture of Argentina,” Ken says. Guests delight in the immersive experience and religiously return. Every year, 70 percent of guests have stayed at the ranch before.
Much like a stay at one of TCCG’s stateside properties, time spent at Patagonia River Ranch feels less like a vacation, more like a warm and luxurious homecoming. Only 16 guests may stay at the ranch per week over the course of the six-month season (November to April). Guests live in one of the eight gracious guest suites in the main lodge or two cottages, all designed in the spirit of classic fly fishing lodges (yet outfitted with modern comforts such as L’Occitane products and 500 thread-count sheets). Days filled with fly-fishing on one of the six pristine rivers within range of the ranch (or with countless other available activities like mountain biking or horseback riding) are capped by convivial evenings. The two chefs on staff plate gourmet meals from the harvest of the bountiful kitchen garden, with wines paired by the resident sommelier drawing from the copious cellar.
The homecoming is particularly acute for guests with alpine affinities. As a guest and outfitter from Cascade, MT wrote: “I have been blessed to fly-fish in many wonderful spots all over the world. This past month I found my angling heaven… in Argentina in the St. Martin de los Andes area with an operation called Patagonia River Ranch.”
In a continuum of chemistry, the stunning scenery of northern Patagonia resonates with those who love the Rocky Mountain West. For people who live in the mountains of North America, Patagonia offers a respite to winter, a way to trade the cold for summer. “If you are someone who has fallen in love with Jackson Hole, you are naturally going to have the same feeling when you get to Patagonia River Ranch,” Ken says. The similarities are so striking in fact, the leaders of San Martin de los Andes and the Town of Jackson formed an alliance as sister cities 40 years ago. Much like the close relationship forged between TCCG and PRR, siblings in gracious hospitality.
Active in both communities, Patagonia River Ranch regularly contributes auction lots to local fundraisers, including the PAWS’ Tuxes and Tails Gala on June 18. Also stay tuned for the summer event TCCG will host with Patagonia River Ranch. For more information on Patagonia River Ranch, or to book a stay contact the TCCG reservations team.