Back in the day, we spent our time as kids,  heading straight home after school, and making a beeline outdoors every chance we got.

Back then, we didn’t have digital devices to fascinate and monopolize our attentions.   Nope.  We used our imaginations and kid adrenaline to run, ride bikes, swim, climb trees, play with bugs and performing stupid human tricks.   Life was simple back then.

Today, kids are being handed digital devices at very young ages and while it’s a matter of security, and staying connected, our kids are becoming more addicted to technology than ever before.    According to an article by, “Technology, like gambling, is understood as a risk for process addiction, where certain behaviors are rewarded with pleasure. People can become fixated on returning for that reward in a way that disrupts daily life.”

A Nature ¹ survey reveals that 75% of kids “reported they had little if any access to nature through school.” The National Wildlife Federation ¹ says that lately, the trend has been away from “outdoor time and outdoor learning.”

Of course there are pro’s and con’s to our modern day digital lives and probably most of what is lacking in modern kids lives is not just bonding with the outdoors, but really even being exposed to Nature and the wonders of Wilderness.  Business Insider¹ says that “nature offers one of the most reliable boosts to mental and physical well-being.”


Soon we’ll be unveiling one of our newest additions to a collection of annual events that offers your kids the opportunity to disconnect from their devices and immerse into wilderness at Mackay Bar Ranch, while still enjoying ALL the creature comforts like hot showers, comfy beds, hot home cooked meals. We’re calling this new event our   “Kids Wilderness Adventure Outing” suitable for family members of all ages.   The experience will provide visuals like stunning landscapes and wildlife sightings that exist in the real world, and not just a snap on an Instagram feed.

“There is always something mystic, remote, yet infinitely appealing about animals, unsuspecting and undisturbed in the wilderness” – From the diary of Countess Eleanor Gizycka published in Field and Stream for May and June 1923.

Mackay Bar Ranch owners Buck and Joni Dewey have raised their son Dax in the wilds of the Frank Church “River of No Return” Wilderness as they have built their hospitality business into what is a five star experience.   Just check the TripAdvisor reviews and you’ll know for sure that Mackay Bar Ranch is something real special.    Now, this entrepreneurial family wants to help introduce a wilderness experience to other families.    Our “Kids Wilderness Adventure Outing” will become an annual summer event.


Mackay Bar Ranch is a wilderness ranch located on the shores of Idaho’s Main Salmon River and nestled in the embrace of the Frank Church “River of No Return” Wilderness.  Access to this exclusive remote ranch is limited, but don’t worry.  You can drive to the location at Vinegar Creek Boat Launch, located 26 miles from Riggins, Idaho.   Here, we bring you aboard our jet boat along with all your luggage.  Our Coast Guard Certified Jet Boat Pilot takes you upriver through the untamed, rugged beauty of the Salmon River where you’ll journey into a world far removed from anything familiar.

Along the shores and steep rocky canyons of the “River of No Return”,  numerous wildlife sightings and historic outcroppings from days gone by. As we traverse the Salmon river, we are heading toward the white sandy beaches of Mackay Bar, providing a thrilling experience for guests of all ages.


Soon we’ll have a detailed itinerary to share with you, but undoubtedly, this will be an event where Parents have ample opportunity to CHILL, while the kids are involved in supervised activities from the get go.   Of course we’re also planning a fun full day outing on the Saturday portion of the Wilderness Outing when both  kids and their adult counterparts have the opportunity to explore nature and wilderness together.

We’ll also include a stop over at Buckskin Bills where guests will learn about life on the Salmon River back in the day and observe the crude tools and rustic cabin where Buckskin Bill lived a solitary existence for so many years.   We’ll treat ourselves to ice cream cones (yes they actually serve ice cream at this remote location) to cool our palates and venture on back to Mackay Bar Ranch for more fun to come.   The adults may opt to relax on the beach or nap in the privacy of stylish accommodations.  Meanwhile the kids will merge into other fun activities that may include swimming or fishing, and basic survival skills.

Plan to hear more from us about our “Kids Wilderness Adventure Outing”.

Just for extra information, we have a satellite phone at Mackay Bar Ranch, for any emergencies,  but your weekend retreat will consist of a disconnect from technology and a chance to focus on strengthening family bonds, connections and conversation.

A family vacation or planned family reunion at Mackay Bar Ranch has proven time and time again to enrich family ties, strengthen relationships, and mark the time spent together with defining moments that have become treasured memories.

  1.  City Kids Need Nature
  2. The Tech Generation Goes to Wilderness Therapy

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