Horseback Riding on a Montana Dude Ranch

Choosing a Ranch Type

Welcome to the Montana Dude Ranchers’ Association inaugural blog!  Thanks for checking in.

Have you planned your 2019 vacation yet? Do you dream of a western vacation on a dude ranch? Have you been inspired by the old west as shown in movies or on TV, or by stunning images of the Rocky Mountains, abundant wildlife, clear rivers and streams, wildflowers galore, or a horseback ride through meadows, plains, and mountains? If so, Montana is calling!

When considering an authentic, all-inclusive, western vacation, there are three ranch types to consider:

At a Dude Ranch, horseback riding is the central activity. These ranches offer gracious western hospitality with a bit of adventure. Horses are the heart of a dude ranch vacation and there is no better way to see some the best scenery in the lower 48 than from the back of a horse. Our dude ranches offer everything from kid’s programs to special horsemanship clinics or helping wrangle in the horses. The horseback riding may vary by ranch, but it’s always an adventure. Many of dude ranches also offer fly-fishing opportunities, guided hikes, rafting, interpretive tours, and more. Dude ranches offer the opportunity to step back and re-connect.

A Montana Dude Ranch | Deep Canyon Guest Ranch

Pictured: Deep Canyon Guest Ranch located in Teton Canyon outside of Choteau

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. They might need to move some cattle to a different pasture, check the fences, make sure the livestock have water, or help with the other ranch chores. Riding is the main activity to move the cattle out in the open country through meadows, wooded canyons and mountain tops. You are encouraged to ride abreast –––––  to enjoy the breathtaking country.

These ranches help preserve the authentic cowboy lifestyle and their families contribute to the preservation of the heritage of the west.

Montana Working Ranch | Sweet Grass Ranch

Pictured: Sweet Grass Ranch nestled in Montana’s Crazy Mountains

Montana Resort Ranches offer western activities with higher end amenities and dining experiences. The amenities will be a bit plusher than on a working or dude ranch, 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.

In addition to horseback riding, a variety of other activities are offered to enjoy the great outdoors and all the splendor of Montana. From guided hikes to world class fly-fishing, playing tennis, soaking in the pool or getting a massage, there are activities for everyone. We invite you to enjoy western hospitality at its finest.

Montana Resort Ranch | Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

Pictured: Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge settled on Flathead Lake

So, what are you waiting for?! Find your ranch today!


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  • Terri September 28, 2020   Reply →

    What season is the best time?

    • Montana DRA October 5, 2020   Reply →

      Hi Terri! Thanks for asking, we usually recommend mid-June through late September 🙂

  • shalon hancock October 12, 2020   Reply →

    Hello, this is Shalon Hancock. I want to plan a trip with my family to your all inclusive Ranch. What are the prices for a week stay with 12 people?

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