CAN I RIDE IF I HAVE LITTLE TO NO HORSE EXPERIENCE?
Absolutely! We have over sixty-five head of horses, suited to all riding levels. We teach western horsemanship, spending as much time in the arena and on the trails as you like. Our goal is to build confidence in you as a rider so that you may comfortably enjoy the beauty of the area.
IS ALL THE RIDING “NOSE-TO-TAIL”?
We are located in the mountains, so to get to the higher country the terrain is such that you must ride in single file. However, this area is known for its spectacular, large meadows, and the open prairie is just on the other side of the mountain. We encourage anyone to ride abreast, whenever possible, and to get to know your horse. This will take some effort on the part of the rider – but very enjoyable.
HOW OLD SHOULD MY CHILDREN BE? WHAT’S YOUR CHILDREN’S PROGRAM?
Our Children’s Program is designed for kids ages 6 to 12. Supervised by enthusiastic Kids Wranglers, the kids will safely learn horsemanship skills through an interactive teaching program with “their own” horse and enjoy a variety of horse games. Kids love to explore the area, fish in the ranch trout ponds, build forts, play, and swim. The Cowboy and Indian Adventure Day features crafts and painting their horse and themselves. Parents have the choice daily to ride with their children. Should parents want a little freedom, our Kid’s Wranglers are ready with special activities such as wildlife hikes, nature studies, scavenger hunts, and arts and crafts. Teens enjoy assisting the wranglers in daily feeding, grooming, and saddling of the horses or to ride with the adults or kids of like ages as well as age-appropriate activities. We are not set up for babysitting children under 6; we offer special nanny rates at 1/2 price.
ARE COWBOY BOOTS NECESSARY FOR RIDING? Yes!
Just as you wouldn’t ski in flip-flops, cowboy boots are the safest shoe for riding. We do not allow riding in tennis shoes (can slip through the stirrup) or hiking boots that have a thick, clunky heel (can stick in the stirrup). There are many different types of boots available these days either online, at a local western store, or in Great Falls after you arrive. Roper, Ariat & Justin brands offer a selection of riding shoes that are also great for hiking (some are called “horseshoes”). And there are many comfortable boot styles available for a reasonable price including lace-up cowboy boots.
FISHING: DO YOU PROVIDE FISHING GEAR?
The Ranch has 3 spring-fed Rainbow trout ponds for fly-fishing instruction (no extra cost) and also spin casting. Just 5 minutes away is the Sun River or Gibson Lake for Rainbow, Brown, or Cutthroat Trout. We provide basic fishing equipment but encourage serious fishermen to bring their preference. We have extra flies for sale in the gift shop. Fishing Licenses: A fishing license is not required for the ranch trout ponds, but anyone who fishes off the ranch will need to purchase a fishing license from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. You can purchase a license for two consecutive days, ten consecutive days, or the season. A Conservation License is also mandatory. You may obtain fishing licenses online from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. *Optimal fishing is late June to early August.*
WHAT ARE THE MEALS LIKE?
Good food and plenty of it! We serve wholesome and hearty home-style meals in our main log lodge. Expect traditional cowboy cookouts, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade breads and goodies just like Grandma used to make. Special diets are accommodated with advance notice. The ranch does not have a liquor license, but you are welcome to bring along whatever you enjoy. Ice and mixers are available.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WILDERNESS PACK TRIP AND A DUDE RANCH VACATION?
Because we offer 2 different types of vacations, it’s easy to get confused. At the ranch, you stay in your own private cabin and take rides and activities daily from the ranch. These are Sunday to Friday weeks all through the season. The pack trips are camping trips (tents) that start and finish at the ranch but travel into the Bob Marshall Wilderness for the duration of the trip. Please visit the specific web pages that describe each vacation in detail, or call with questions.
DO YOU HAVE GUEST LAUNDRY FACILITIES?
It is best to pack for the week; however, if you find a need, there are two guest washers and dryers in a guest laundry room. We also provide detergent and dryer sheets for your use.
We offer high-speed Wi-Fi in the lodge area, but do hope you will unplug for the week!
While the barn and all of the ranch buildings are smoke-free, you may smoke outside, or on your cabin porch, just be polite to others. Ashtrays are provided. In case of fire danger, precautions will be taken. During rides, please refrain from smoking while on horseback or in the company of others.
Because we have so many “pets” of our own on the ranch, we are not able to accommodate other pets. We can suggest boarding facilities in Great Falls, MT or Choteau, MT.
Pregnant women are not allowed to ride.
“WILL YOU ADD A GRATUITY OR SERVICE CHARGE TO OUR FINAL BILL?”
No. Our weekly rates are all-inclusive, which provides each guest’s meals, lodging, and all activities. Gratuities are not required but are left to each guest’s personal discretion if they exceed your expectations. A typical gratuity is 12-18%.
We do have a small gift shop with t-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, leather gloves, cowboy hat selections, jewelry, postcards, and a few other fun items.