Guest ranches have been around since the 19th century. America’s love of the wild west prompted people from cities on the east coast to venture west seeking a reprieve from the bustle and a taste of wide open spaces and life on a working ranch. There is no shortage of excitement at these 5 Montana guest ranches located near Bozeman, MT.
Ranch owners and ranch hands referred to these guests as “Dudes,” prompting the name “Dude Ranches.” Today, these ranches have moved from having their guests help with the everyday work, to offering a variety of outdoor activities. Most still offer horseback riding as a mainstay, but recreation such as fly-fishing, hiking and wagon rides have been added to the itineraries. Ranch grub is still served, sometimes via a wagon ride to special spots, but the classic fare is taken up a notch and most have an impressive selection of libations to accompany the meals.
Summer isn’t the only time you can visit, many are open during the winter with activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There are two world-class downhill ski areas just outside of Bozeman, so pack your gear!
Gettin’ hitched? These guest ranches are perfect for destination weddings and have all the amenities you’ll need. And with Yellowstone National Park just a stone’s throw away, wedding guests will have plenty to explore.
The ranches listed below are all near Bozeman, each with their own unique style, so check out their specialties before making a decision!
This 110 year old former homestead sits right on the beautiful Gallatin River, where portions of “A River Runs Through It” were filmed. Needless to say, the fishing is great and the ranch offers lessons for those just starting out. Trail rides take you to some seriously amazing views and the dessert sleigh rides in the winter are not to be missed.
If you’re looking for a unique adventure, Broken Heart Ranch specializes in guided big game hunting trips, trail rides and photography outings. On the other end of the spectrum, the venue is designed specifically for weddings, including a chapel and banquet facilities that can accommodate up to 300 guests.
Nestled in the mountains next to Big Sky Resort, this guest ranch features over 80 miles of world-class nordic ski trails. After a long day skiing, you can enjoy a sleigh ride dinner and a cozy cabin. Summer adventures include mountain biking, horseback riding, and youth adventure programs.
Located near the Yellowstone River, guests can spend their days rafting or fishing on the famed river. Towering mountains behind the ranch afford spectacular hiking, and the pool and hot tub are excellent ways to relax those tired muscles. Bonus tip, ask the wranglers to teach you some western dance moves, they know how to “cut a rug.”
With rivers in every direction, Twin Rivers is a fly fisher’s dream ranch. Guided trips are their specialty, so whatever your level of expertise, they will put you in front of fish. The ranch also hosts special events such as fishing clinics, horse clinics and dutch oven cooking, to name a just a few.
Keep in mind, guest ranches fill up quickly, so pull up your bootstraps and make those reservations early!
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