I LOVED it! It's a small ranch - only max of ~24 guests - and it's such personal service. The horse I had was a dream and the wranglers are skilled and personable. You have a private cabin, it's quiet, and meals are served family style in the lodge so you really get a chance to know others. It's a great environment for singles, as the camaraderie of the group includes guests, wranglers, staff, and hands-on owners. Families will enjoy the time together, walking down to the horses, exploring the ranch, and seeing the mares and foals who have the run of the grounds and might just be grazing next to your cabin's shaded porch.
Horses are selected for you based on your experience and preference, but if it doesn't work out the first ride, then you can ask for another (they have over 70!). Same with tack - don't like the saddle? They rustle up another one for you. Everything you need to be comfortable and safe is their priority.
There are many rides to choose from, based on your experience. I would save the steep mountains for those who have riding experience, but there are plenty of vistas on all rides. There are open meadows with trails that meander down to the pristine lakes, rides along the buttes where your eagle-eyed wrangler points out mountain goats, and river crossings that are not treacherous but still thrilling and absolutely beautiful (a car on the highway actually pulled over to take our picture during a crossing at Taylor's Fork).
Ride as long as you like - half days or full days. The Chef prepares your lunch request in the morning which you pack with your choices from an array of tempting treats in a reusable lunch bag which is provided. The wrangler helps secure your lunch and reusable water bottle (provided) in the saddle bags. A slicker is also on the saddle for unexpected rain.
Here's the schedule: Wake in your charming cabin, make coffee in your room if you want, go to a breakfast feast from 7 - 8, and either be at the barn at 9 for orientation on the first day, or hop in the truck at 9 for trailering to the trailhead. Your horse is saddled and ready in the trailer (such luxury!). There are also fantastic trails that leave straight from the ranch. After your ride, your wrangler drops you off and takes care of all the post-ride horse duties, but you can brush and give a treat if you like. Lounge around or explore until appetizers at 6:30. Bring your own wine (stop in Bozeman or Big Sky) as they can't serve alcohol. Dinner is at 7, and afterward there is a bonfire by the lodge.
Want to take a break or have a non-rider along in your group? No worries, Yellowstone is 3 miles away! In fact, you can easily horseback ride in the Park if you want. It's the type of place where you can stay immersed in the oasis among the mountains, or if you have a car you can use it as a base of operations for exploring Yellowstone or nearby shopping.
There are other adventures such as fly fishing, hiking, and tubing that are arranged through the Ranch so you can design a vacation based on your adventure style or family preferences.
Be sure to allow several hundred dollars (at least 15%) in your budget for tip. Your wrangler works very hard to keep you safe and have a experience of a lifetime, as well as doing all the horse chores (including bringing the horses down the mountain at 3:30 AM so they are all ready for guests). Housekeeping services your cabin every day, and there is a Chef and kitchen/dining room staff that is cheerful and accommodating to dietary preferences.
- Also Known As:
- Covered Wagon Ranch Hotel Gallatin Gateway
- Covered Wagon Ranch Montana/Gallatin Gateway