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“Yes, it's all true” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Covered Wagon Ranch

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Covered Wagon Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Yes, it's all true”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2011

Don't doubt the reviews, it's all true! My fiance and I stayed 4 nights the last week of August and were so sad when it was time to leave. First, the location is amazing, beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see. When you first pull into the ranch itself, it doesn't jump out as one of the most amazing places you'll ever stay. The ranch was built in 1925 and from the outside it has maintained its original look for the most part. But within a few minutes the real beauty of the place sets in. The cabins are PERFECT. Great bed, wood burning stove, etc. The quality of a shower can make or break a place. There is nothing worse than a weak shower at the end of a long day. The shower/tub in our cabin was AWESOME. The view from our front porch was great. The ranch is located on the main road but the cabins are far enough away that while we did see/hear a few vehicles, it didn't effect the quality of our stay. Make sure you go out at night to look at the stars.

The food was amazing, 3 great meals a day, not a single bad bite. Beef, chicken, pork, shrimp...something new every day. My fiance is a vegetarian and they took great care to prepare special meals for her. They'll even pack you a lunch if you go out for the day! You eat your meals with the staff which is a really cool experience because you they are all such interesting & friendly people.
Riding: My fiance is experienced and i'm not. They will format your riding with your comfort level. I was a little unsure of how much i'd like riding a horse but by our last day i didn't want to stop. Their horses are well trained and the trails they take you on are mind-blowing. My favorite ride was something i've named "Bushwhacking with Lilly."
My main goal for this trip to Montana was to catch a trout. I just started fly fishing a couple years ago so i'm no expert. After two beautiful but unsuccessful days fishing on the Gallatin i landed two rainbows on the Taylor Fork on day 3. I was literally yelling, "YES YES YES!!!" If you have your own fishing equipment, talk to Brian (wrangler) about where to go & what to use. If not, you can hire a guide in Big Sky.

Tami & Chris (ranch managers) and Deb & JT (owners) were great. Every effort is made to ensure you have the Montana vacation you've dreamed of.
We've already started talking to family about a return trip, we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Matt J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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239 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Pgh
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2011

I really don't know where to begin.....and being speechless is not the norm for me!! This was a wonderful family experience from start to finish. Our children (16,14 and 8) were expecting some form of our standard beach vacation this year, but were "shocked" to learn we would be going to a ranch in Montana!! After a big "sell" and some teenage tears and drama, we set out for our western vacation. The only tears at the end of our trip came when our daughters had to leave the Covered Wagon!! They desperately wished for more time at the ranch!! This is a first class operation including: JT and Debi (owners), the staff, the accommodations, the food, and of course the riding. We stayed for 4 nights/5 days and spent most daylight hours on horseback. The wranglers were experienced, fun and professional. We were able to decide what type of ride we wanted every day (scenery, length, location). Because this is a small family oriented ranch, our family of 5 set out each day with a wrangler on a private ride that was amazing from start to finish and tailored to our needs/wants. Each day incorporated something for everyone: beautiful views for Mom and Dad, loping for the teenagers, wildlife spotting for the 8yo. I also want to mention that CW owns all their own horses. Many ranches lease for the season. The horses at CW are well cared for and the staff KNOWs the personality of each animal and can match riders perfectly.

The accommodations are perfect: rustic enough to feel authentic while incorporating all the amenities (comfortable beds, crisp white linens, hot showers with fresh towels). The front porch was our favorite! The food is served family style and the guests and staff eat together which is a great touch. One of our favorite memories is the time spent in the dining lodge lingering after dinner over coffee.

Having never booked a vacation like this, I began investigating as most people do with google and the internet. My criteria included: Beautiful scenery, proximity to Yellowstone (some of the rides actually go into the park), rides that did not separate adults from children (many ranches do this), and flexibility to address what WE as a family wanted from the riding/experience (many ranches are very scheduled). We also wanted a little "luxury." The Covered Wagon met all these needs and more!!

Thank you to everyone for a trip we will never forget!!! WE WILL BE BACK!!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GoSteelers25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwickshire
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2011

We have just returned from 5 days on the ranch.
Maggie and I can only say,that we all know there are a lot of ranches across the USA to choose from,we were lucky enough to find the Covered Wagon Ranch via Tripadvior site.
This ranch is a true refelection of what we wanted a ranch to be,Maggie is a very capable rider and im not !!.This didnt matter at all,it very friendly,really accomodating,small and personal,just want you want when this could be your first experience of riding in the USA.At most 24 odd people staying at most,normally about 18-20 which makes it very friendly.
The trails are outstanding,the views breath taking,the horses are great and the whole experience really does rate at 100%.
Is there a down side - YES - you have to leave and go home !.
We met some great new friends,which we inetend to keep in touch with.
Would be go back - tomorrow if we could,take it from a cynical UK non rider,this place is THE only place to start riding from.
Debbie and JT plus the rest of the team do an excellent job.Stay to see the horse run on Saturday if you can,its very impressive to see 40-50 horses run the canyon and cross the river back to the mountain pastures.
Food will fill youre boots,cabins are fun and comfortable and great to stay in
If you want to tip the staff ,then decided how much and who,we tipped house keeping and our ranglers who took us on the trails plus Jacob,who runs the mules....you wont find a man more enthused about mules than this guy and with a great sense of humour !.(Loves a good scotch,buy a bottle,give him a few shoots and the night will never end !)
Lily (thanks for your patience),Kim (Monument Moutain trail is a MUST - thanks Kim for a great day) and Brian (Laugh a minute on the trails) took us on the trails and we cant thank them enough for making this a Holiday of a life time and we hope to see you all again soon.
Huw and Maggie from Stratford upon Avon UK

Room Tip: If you need Internet - ask for a cabin near the office or sit the libary to get WiFi
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HuwWarwickshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hellertown, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

Montana has a popular bumper sticker that reads in essense, "Montana is Full, go somewhere else!"
That's how we feel about CWR. It's truly a "gem" which our family would like to keep to itself but it and its surrounding beauty would be a sin not to share with others.
From the owners, managers, cooks, staff and wranglers-"top shelf" all the way around.
The views, lodging, food, western hospitality and limitless horseback riding is something not to be missed if one loves nature as our family does.
Turn your cell phones and laptops off and get ready to decompress!
Bears, elk, hawks, marmots, fish, etc. it's a "crocodile hunter's" paradise (minus the crocs)!
Our family went on the 2 day pack trip. Somehow you wake-up in the morning feeling less self-important and more dependent on the wranglers around you (Jacob, Brian and Lily) for your well-being that you care to admit.
I guess they call that,"humanity". And Red Canyon with its meadows ablaze in wildflowers during the height of the season is undeniably worthy of a van Gogh painting.
At the end of 8 days of pure R&R, my family didn't want to leave such people and surroundings however we did so with watery eyes but our photos and memories to last a lifetime!
We'll never forget the experience so THANK YOU CWR!!

Room Tip: Get a cabin with a wood burning stove since nights/mornings get cold at 6,500 feet even during the S...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 85Bruce85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2011

We just returned and are still talking about the great people, great horses and beautiful scenery at the Cover Wagon Ranch. The food, cabins and staff were the very best. Our pack trip with Jacob, Brian and the two mules was a highlight of our trip. If you want great riding, excellent food and friendly people the Cover Wagon Ranch is for you.

All the staff, Chris, Tammy, Debi and JT are very knowledgeable and friendly. The ranch only has a limited number of guests and the staff and horses went the extra mile to make sure our trip was one we will always remember.

We will defintely return.

Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Rob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
155 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2011

We went back as a family to CWR--three in a row. It is now becoming a family tradition and we have nothing but the highest superlatives and praise as a way of describing the welcome, service, food, scenery, riding, hiking, and beauty of this little piece of heaven. We are amazed and impressed by the experience Debbie and JT provide to those that venture their way. The CWR wrangling and kitchen/service crew are the best!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Zoomer2You
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doylestown, Pa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2011

We recently stayed at the Covered Wagon Ranch. Wow. From the time we walked in during lunch til we left, the managers Tami and Chris made us feel like family. The meals by Tim, the cook were great. And of course the Wranglers made the experience fun even for us novice riders. All the folks were very friendly, down to earth. A great place to enjoy riding, the great outdoors, good fun and food. Will definitely look to book again next year.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank corgikids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Covered Wagon Ranch

Property: Covered Wagon Ranch
Address: 34035 Gallatin Road, Gallatin Gateway, Big Sky, MT 59730
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Montana > Big Sky > Gallatin Gateway
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Gallatin Gateway
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Covered Wagon Ranch Hotel Gallatin Gateway
Covered Wagon Ranch Montana/Gallatin Gateway

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