Experience Spring on a Montana Ranch
In just a few days the Spring Equinox will occur, ringing in spring. As I write this, we have about a foot and a half of snow on the ground and more snow is falling. Montana has had a tough February and March, experiencing record snowfall and frigid temperatures. A low of 46 degrees below zero was recorded on March 4th in the ranching community of Elk Park, elevation 6,352 feet, in a ten-mile-long valley north which sits on the Continental Divide about 4 miles north of Butte.
Elk Park is just one of the many ranching communities across the state. Any ranch that raises livestock is busy in the dark hours of the winter and early spring nights trying to keep newborn calves warm and prevent them to succumbing to the frigid cold.
Four working cattle ranches are members of the Montana Dude Ranchers’ Association, and no doubt they are burning the midnight oil. Imagine their relief when spring actually arrives in Montana, when snow gives way to green pastures, the temperatures rise, and we are blessed with more hours of daylight.
The ranches use this time of year to dive in and get everything on the ranch ready to welcome their guests. This includes cleaning the cabins that have been empty since the fall, adding bedding and linens back in the cabins, and many more household, barn and tack room duties. Outdoor responsibilities include driving the horses back to the ranch from winter pasture and moving cattle to summer pasture.
Spring also provides the state’s landscapes with a plethora of natural beauty. Traveling throughout Montana offers up a glimpse of calves kicking up their heels in a pasture alive with green grass and no doubt enjoying the changes in their environment. And that’s not all – vistas of wildflowers are prolific around the state, the trees are in bloom, the creeks and rivers are full and weave throughout our diverse geographic features.
So, are you inspired to book a ranch vacation? Did you know that you can book a vacation not only in the spring and summer, but also year-round?
Working Ranches generally run their season from June – September, with the exception of the Dryhead Ranch in southeastern Montana. Dryhead offers cattle drives from late April though late May, and again in late September through late October.
Most Dude Ranches offer their season June through either September or October. Three of our dude ranches, Bar W, Rocking Z, and Rich’s Montana Guest Ranch are open year-round, offering adventures and hospitality throughout the year.
You can find details on all ranches on our website, montanadra.com. Let the booking begin!