What’s The Difference?

Dude Ranches

At Montana Dude Ranches horseback riding is the central activity. Fly-fishing and other varied western activities await you.   

Like historic dude ranches of old, these ranches offer gracious western hospitality with a bit of adventure. Horses are the heart of these ranches and there is no better way to see some of the best scenery in the lower 48 states than from the back of a horse. From fantastic kid’s programs to special horsemanship clinics or helping to wrangle in the horses, the horseback riding may vary by ranch but it’s always a delight.

Out of the saddle many of these ranches offer outstanding fly-fishing opportunities, guided hikes, rafting, interpretive tours and much more. Campfires… cook-outs… wildlife… Dude ranches offer the opportunity to step back and reconnect.

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Working Ranches

Montana Working Ranches allow you to experience life as a cowboy – with cattle drives, round ups and ranch work. Life on the ranch is dependent on the season, and this may also decide what’s on the agenda for the week. We might need to move some cattle to a different pasture, check the fences, make sure the livestock have water, or help with other ranch chores. We suggest that you ask your hosts about the schedule for the week regarding the work/riding agenda during your stay.

Riding is the main activity, and ranch horses are used for moving the cattle out in the open country through meadows, wooden canyons, and mountain tops. You are encouraged to ride abreast to enjoy the breathtaking country. Or maybe you’d rather pass on the “work” and just enjoy the beautiful scenery or take a gentle lope through the open meadows.

Working ranches usually accommodate smaller guest numbers. These ranches help preserve the authentic cowboy lifestyle and their families also contribute to the preservation of the heritage of the west. Come and be a part of the legend of the West!

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Resort Ranches

Montana Resort Ranches offer western activities with higher end amenities and dining experiences. Enjoy the “softer” side of the guest ranch stay. The amenities may be a bit plusher, what we like to call “rustic elegance” but these ranches still compliment the western lifestyle. Many resort ranches offer greater ability to accommodate larger numbers of guests and conferences.

It’s a given that our main activity is horseback riding, but resort ranches also offer a variety of other activities to share the great outdoors and all the splendor of Montana. From guided hikes to world class fly-fishing, playing tennis, or soaking in the pool or getting a massage, there are activities for everyone. Perhaps our chef will prepare gourmet delicacies served on linens in our dining room, with a special glass of wine – or a lavish barbeque by the water. We invite you to enjoy western hospitality at its finest.

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