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“A dream fullfilled”
Review of Schively Ranch

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Schively Ranch
maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A dream fullfilled”
Reviewed 19 April 2012

We came to the Shively Ranch in 2002 and four more times since then. The host family was the most welcoming we've ever experienced. A series of health issues has kept us away for the past few years. But we will return SOON. The facilities are rustic....just like we expected in the West. No dude stuff for us...work, ride, enjoy and learn.

Room Tip: If you want a spa environment..go somewhere else. This is a working ranch where one can learn about...
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank batch171
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2011

My first trip to the Dryhead (Schively) Ranch was in 2009. In fact you can read my review here if you want. I have been back twice since then, and each trip just keeps getting better.
Make no mistake, as other reviewers may have, this is a working cattle and horse operation. And I feel you absolutely get what you pay for and take away an experience that is second to none.
The accommodations are rustic. I have stayed in the bunkhouse all three visits and have no complaints whatsoever. In the bunkhouse you do share two bathrooms with other guests so if that isn't your thing then you might not enjoy the rusticity all that much. There are two cabins available at a slightly higher rate that do have their own bathrooms, however. Bathrooms aside, there is no better way to drift off to sleep after a long day in the saddle, than listening to the creek rush by your door.
The food is simple, plain everyday food. I did not go into this experience expecting a 5 star dining experience. You eat what the family eats. And yes this does include cold cut sandwiches when you are headed out for an all day ride, but it also includes some of the best Indian Tacos you have ever tasted, fresh fruit and salads, and fresh baked bread and cookies.
The activités are as varied as they need be. This is a working ranch, not a dude ranch, or a resort. There are chores the family must get done in a course of a day and they welcome you to help in anyway you care to choose. I was lucky enough to take part in driving cattle to and from the ranch, moving horses, branding and doctoring calves, and pairing calves and cows. This is considered a Ranch Week, where the chores are fairly diverse. The best part of all these chores is the magnificent arena you get to perform them in! The 22,000 acres of the Dryhead Ranch encompass some of the most beautiful vistas you will ever want to see.
The Dryhead family is warm and welcoming, but they are a ranch family. There are things they expect a guest to do, and you know what? I am OK with that. It is their ranch and I am their guest. If doing the dishes and saying prayers before meals is a deal breaker than look elsewhere, I guess. But for my money you would have to look long and hard to find a better working ranch experience.
Their website is a straightforward and honest look at what the ranch has to offer. So if you are looking for what it means to live the life of an honest to goodness cowboy (girl). If you want to ride the high open plains where every turn in the saddle offers a breathtaking view or just want to escape the rat race for a quiet week of honest work and simple pleasures, the Dryhead Ranch of Montana could just fill the bill.
As for me, I'll be back!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Rockerh55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2010

So this place is like $1500 per person, yet we ate hamburgers and hotdogs 1/2 of the week and cold cut sandwiches from Costco's everyday for lunch. Also we were forced to pray at every meal, and wash our own dishes which is ridiculous for the amount of money each person is spending at this place. I had been to a dude ranch before this so I kinda figured I knew what to expect but honestly this place sucks. They take every advantage to make money off of you. For example one of the staff takes pictures of the group throughout the week then turns around and tries to sell them to us for $30. Also they insist that they pick you up from the airport and drive you the three hours to the ranch for $125 PER PERSON, and will not allow you to rent a car because they say "you wouldnt make it on the roads".
Other than horse riding between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner, there is absolutely nothing else to do at this place. The whole appeal of this ranch to most people is the thought of open range riding and hearding/cutting cattle, which I'll admit was quite fun when we actually got around to it, but that only happened twice the whole week! And probably the most amazing thing to me is the fact that on the last day we asked what was on schedule and they all said "cattle cutting" but actually they flat out lied. They lead us out to one of the fences on their land that was broken and had half the group sit for 2 hours and hold everyone else's horses while the other half fixed the fence. Now I'm sorry but paying someone to do their manual labor is a little bit ridiculous. They can say it's an authentic working ranch but that doesnt mean bring your guests out and make them do your maintenance chores. Really a disappointing experience overall, because the scenery was quite beautiful at times.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
12 Thank misha1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2009

My recent trip to the Dryhead Ranch near Lovell, Wyoming was a dream come true for this city girl. If you are interested in seeing the real west, the Dryhead (formerly the Schively) ranch is worth a visit. Iris Bassett and her family make you feel at home from the time they pick you up in Billings to the time they take you back. But don't go with expectations of luxury. This is a real working ranch with all that entails. The meals, eaten together in the Cook House are wholesome and nourishing,but not gourmet. The accomodations are rather rustic, but clean and comfortable. Trust me though,after a day chasing cows under the beautiful Montana sky, all you really want is a filling meal and a place to lay your head. I stayed in the bunkhouse and was quite satisfied. The porch that runs the length of the building is the perfect place to talk over the days events with the other guests.
The guests are encouraged to ride out daily with the cowboys to help move herds and round up horses. This is the real deal. If you are looking for a step beyond the nose to tail riding that abounds else where, the Dryhead has plenty to offer. The scenery is so breath taking that a novice rider, such as myself, soon forgot the distinctive aches synonymous with horseback riding. There really is a different view at the end of every canyon and coolie.
REASONS TO COME: All American ranch life. Nothing fancy, just honest people sharing an honest days work with guests interested in learning about how the west was really won. Gorgeous scenery, Montana skies, friendly people, geat horseback riding. The chance to live your dreams and be a real cowboy for a week. And face it, how often do you get to wear a cowboy hat and spurs for a week and not get some weird looks?

One word of caution, the ranch may recommend you stay at the Rimrock Inn in Billings before or after your stay at the ranch. Although, I didn't make reservations there others in the group did and were less than pleased with their accomodations. I stayed at the C'mon Inn and found it most enjoyable and very convenient to restaurants and shopping.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RockerH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lovell, Wyoming
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2004

The Schively-Dryhead Working Guest Ranch is a great place to spend a week. You can experience being a "real" cowboy with the Bassett family. They host cattle drives in April and May where you trail cows 50 miles into the ranch. May to October they offer ranch weeks where you can brand, gather, pregnancy test, wean calves in the fall and join the fall cattle drives in late October to November 10. This is not a dude ranch. We rode 6-8 hours a day moving cows and taking care of normal ranch work. I was part of 12 guests who came to ride and brand calves in the spring. The accomodations are rustic but clean. The horses are well mannered ranch guildings who know their job with cattle. The Bassett family made everyone feel at home and shared a lifestyle not often found at ranches anymore. The food was served in the cookhouse where everyone ate together and talked of the days events. Great for families and horse lovers.

Helpful?
20 Thank schivelyranch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Schively Ranch

Property: Schively Ranch
Address: Prior Mountains, South of Billings, Billings, MT 82431
Region: United States > Montana > Billings
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Billings
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Schively Ranch Billings, Montana

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