Families looking for an unforgettable vacation destination should look no further than a dude ranch in Montana.
Not only are Montana’s ranches incredibly picturesque, but they also offer plenty of activities that families can enjoy together.
Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities while staying at a Montana dude ranch.
Families will have the opportunity to ride through gorgeous landscapes and experience nature up close. Most ranches provide guided and unguided trail rides.
In addition, there are horseback riding lessons for those who want to sharpen their skills. Some ranches even offer special riding lessons for children, allowing them to learn while having fun.
Families looking to spend quality time together should consider participating in hayrides and campfire nights. Hayrides are offered at most ranches, providing a great way to take in the stunning beauty of Montana’s outdoors.
Riding around in an old-fashioned wagon while singing songs and enjoying the scenery is a great way to bond with family.
Here are six dude ranches in Montana that offer an incredible stay under the stars.
Elkhorn ranch is a rustic dude ranch located in Gallatin, Montana. The ranch offers an all-inclusive experience with various activities for families to enjoy. Horseback riding is the main attraction here.
Guests are welcome to ride under the big sky country into the Rockies in groups (of not more than eight ) or with family.
Elkhorn Ranch also provides lessons for children and adults alike and offers unique experiences like breakfast and dinner rides to enhance the riding experience.
In addition, they offer hiking at the ranch or Yellowstone. Meanwhile, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy fly-fishing on one of Elkhorn Ranch’s many blue ribbon streams or on the Gallatin River.
The accommodations vary in size. However, thanks to their long history, they all have that rustic charm.
Other activities available include white water rafting, yoga ladies’ week, sleigh ride, and dinner and day trips into Yellowstone National park.
The Friday night square dance is a favorite among guests, where families are welcome to dance away their inhibitions.
Dining includes hearty, healthy, gourmet western meals prepared daily and can accommodate all diets.
Rates (for a six-night stay)
- Adults -riding $4800, non-riding $4000
- Children 6-18 years -$3000
- Under 6 with a ranch sitter – $2000
- Under six without a sitter – no charge
Need To Know
- Children under 6 enjoy pony rides around the ranch; this acts as an introduction to riding horses.
- Cell service isn’t available in the log cabins to help families disconnect and reconnect
Address: 33133 Gallatin Rd, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730, United States
Phone: (406) 995-4291
Mountain Sky Guest Ranch
Mountain Sky Guest Ranch is an upscale guest ranch in Emigrant, Montana. The ranch offers a variety of outdoor activities for families to enjoy.
With its location on 17000 pristine acres, a stay at Mountain Sky involves hearty meals, incredible staff, and fresh, crisp mountain air surrounded by meadows and rushing waters of the Big Creek.
Horseback riding is one of the more popular activities here. In addition, enjoy fly-fishing on the ranch’s stocked lakes and ponds.
Rides range from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours and are grouped by ability level; this helps each group ride up to their specified level.
For those looking for a longer time in the saddle, the all-day rides and rides into Yellowstone National Park will suffice.
Another added horse activity is cattle penning. Guests are allowed to work on cattle sorting with some friendly competition.
Additionally, the ranch offers a kids’ program that includes theme days, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, lead line horseback games, talent show skits, and so much more.
The ranch’s unique location offers guests the chance to explore Yellowstone National Park by van or horseback, explore the towns of Bozeman and Livingston, and tour Gallatin National Forest.
Other activities open for guests include fly fishing, golf, hiking, clay shooting, archery, white water rafting, and indoor games.
Need To Know
- Trail rides are available to kids aged seven and older.
- Kids aged six and younger are welcome to join in for instructions in the arena.
Address: 480 NF-132, Emigrant, MT 59027, United States:
Phone: +1 800-548-3392
Lone Mountain Ranch
This ranch was established in 1915. Since then, it has given guests an authentic western holiday in Yellowstone.
Lone Mountain Ranch is located in the gorgeous Gallatin canyon, and it’s an excellent place for families to come together and enjoy nature.
Tucked between the Montana Rockies and grasslands, experiencing genuine western hospitality has never been easier.
Lone Mountain Ranch offers a variety of activities for families to enjoy. Guests can take part in horseback riding lessons, year-round fly fishing, skiing over 80 miles of Nordic trails, or exploring the ranch’s trails on a guided ride.
They offer a variety of accommodations ranging from traditional cabins to luxury homes. You can stay in 1 of 27 historic private cabins that feature the elevated comforts of home but in the wild.
In addition, you get tasty food prepared by the onsite chefs in a farm-to-table style.
Activities at the ranch can be tailor-made to fit whatever you want. Some activities include 3D archery, axe throwing, high and low ropes challenge courses, canoeing and paddle boarding, guided hiking, outdoor adventure for the youth, fly fishing, and yoga.
Address: 750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road, PO Box 160069 Big Sky, Montana 59716
Phone: 1-800-514-4644 , 1-406-995-4644
Nine Quarter Circle Ranch
This ranch is a family-owned guest ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana. It’s a rustic ranch that offers a variety of activities for families to enjoy, from rides on horseback and hayrides to fishing and swimming.
As you step onto the ranch, you are welcomed by the friendly faces of the staff and owners who walk with you every step.
You can expect home-cooked meals made with local ingredients as you unwind in one of their rustic log cabins. In addition, guests can explore the miles of scenic trails on horseback or take part in guided hayrides for a more leisurely experience.
Nine Quarter Circle Ranch also provides fly fishing in blue ribbon waters, swimming in a pond fed by a mountain stream, hiking, square dancing, softball, volleyball, and horseshoes.
Other amenities include picnic lunches, a fishing guide, Wi-Fi in the main lodge, and fly-casting instruction.
Need To Know
- The ranch has a 250 lbs weight limit for horseback riding
- Balance is due up checking in at the ranch
- For children aged 0-5, they offer free babysitting
- Kids aged 6-9 will have their horses and receive instruction from their specified kiddie wrangler.
Address: 5000 Taylor Fork Rd Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730
Phone: (406) 995-4276
Bar W Guest Ranch
The Bar W Guest Ranch is one of the best dude ranches in Montana for families.
With its beautiful views of Glacier National Park, Whitefish mountain ski resort, Flathead valley, rolling pastures, and stunning Big Sky Country sunsets, it’s no wonder why many people choose to spend their vacation here.
The ranch offers dozens of activities, including horseback riding, wagon rides, swimming, hatchet throwing, archery, hiking, and fishing. Plus, they also provide evening entertainment in their historic lodge.
The Bar W features family-friendly accommodations like log cabins with full kitchens and bathrooms, RV sites close to all the ranch’s amenities, and smaller bunkrooms for those who prefer a more rustic experience.
All guests also enjoy a hearty breakfast and delicious family-style dinners each night.
Families will love the evening entertainment, which includes campfires with sing-alongs and line dancing that the whole family can enjoy. The ranch is a great place to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Address: 2875 Highway 93 West Whitefish, MT 59937
Phone: 1 406 863 9099
The Ranch At Rock Creek
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive luxurious adventure in the west, look no further than The Ranch At Rock Creek. The ranch is located in Phillipsburg, Montana, and offers an unforgettable experience for families.
Here, guests can explore miles of trails on horseback or enjoy a relaxing hayride through the ranch’s picturesque pastures.
The ranch is rooted in award-winning hospitality, and guests are welcome to leave behind all their worries and indulge in all that Montana offers.
However you choose to spend your six days at the ranch, an activity concierge is available for support in the following activities, archery, mountain biking, fishing, sporting clays, downhill skiing and snowboarding, sapphire mining, and ice skating.
Accommodations are in four distinct styles; luxury homes, glamping cabins, historic barns, and granite lodges.
Despite having distinct differences, they all feature warm and cozy atmospheres mimicking cabins from the old west, cuddle-down linens, Frette pillows and duvets, bathroom kits and curated decor, and robes and slippers, among other things.
Address: 79 Carriage House Lane Philipsburg, Montana 59858
Phone: (877) 786-1545
No matter which ranch you choose to visit, a Montana dude ranch vacation is sure to provide an unforgettable experience for your family.
From horseback riding to fishing, hayrides, campfires, and swimming, there is something for everyone at these stunning ranches.
In addition, there is breathtaking scenery and plenty of activities to enjoy. Families are sure to have an incredible time.