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“Favorite Place Never Lets Me Down”

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Covered Wagon Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Favorite Place Never Lets Me Down”
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Just returned from our family's fourth visit to Covered Wagon Ranch, and consistent with each previous trip everyone hated to leave and tears were shed as we left the Ranch. The only consolation is that we have booked our week for next year. It is rare that you can find a vacation destination that everyone in the family is passionate about and wants to return to year in and year out. CWR has become that place for our family and much more. As we have had the chance get to know Kurt and Melissa, the wranglers, staff, and other guests over the past 4 years, we have come to view this wonderful place as our home in Montana. It is fun to keep in touch while we are away and we are always excited to come back and see everyone. The other reviews on Trip Advisor are very accurate about the amazing cabins, food, service, riding, and scenery, but it is the wonderful sense of community and family that is created by a stay at CWR that we have come to love about the place and the awesome people the work there. Hope that we can continue to return for many years.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank dpjjcl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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241 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Durham , CT
2 reviews
Reviewed 17 July 2014

Our third visit back to the Covered Wagon Ranch, was simply perfect! The weather was spectacular as was the scenery. Even after three years we have not been on the same trail twice. Each ride was unique and offered some of the most beautiful views in Montana.
With that said, the real reason we return to the Covered Wagon Ranch each year is to see our good friends and owners Kurt and Melissa. They are truly the most wonderful hosts you could ask for. We have become good friends with the staff as well. From the chefs and their assistants to the ranch hands, housekeepers, and office help, each person makes sure your stay is a pleasant and memorable one. The wranglers are all incredibly knowledgeable and just plain fun to be with! We have made friends from all over the world and to me this is priceless.
See you all next year!

The Allen's



We hope to return next year with friends from Connecticut.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Darlene A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, SC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We just returned from our second visit to the CWR and it was better then the first, which we didn't think was possible. The staff is wonderful, helpful and very friendly. The meals are delicious and you will not leave the table hungry. The atmosphere is welcoming and no one is a stranger for long. You can be as active and busy as you like with riding, fishing and rafting or just sit in your rocking chair on your front porch and catch up on some reading. The cabins are clean and comfortable and serviced every day. I cannot say enough about the staff, from housekeeping and general handy men all the way to the owners, your wish is their command. I just hope I don't have to wait another 3 years before Reno can take me on a trail ride thru the pine forests, meadows, over and around the mountains and hills surrounding the ranch. I usually do not repeat vacation trips but will visit CWR again and sooner rather than later.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nanette803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Midlothian, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

I have been traveling west for ten years to ride in the rugged mountains and have had the pleasure of staying at the Covered Wagon Ranch seven of those ten years. I have also visited three other guest ranches, two in Montana, and one in Idaho. The Covered Wagon Ranch is by far the best ranch!

Kurt and Melissa make certain that each guest is comfortable and satisfied by providing sound and sane horses, incredible food, and comfortable cabins. The horsebackriding experience is amazing and you will be exposed to beautiful views on top of mountains, in low lying meadows, and spectacular water crossings.

Each day begins with a wonderful breakfast in the main lodge. Kurt circulates to each table to ask each guest what they would like to do for the day. The riding is tailored to the guest and you have many options ranging from all day / half day or no day of riding! This past summer my group included three riders and two non-riders and we all found plenty of activities to keep everyone happy and busy!

Lunch is served either on the trail, at the ranch, or if you are visiting Yellowstone or another site, a lunch will be packed for you to take along. Dinner is served nightly at 7:00 p.m. but all the guests convene earlier to socialize and recount the day's events.

The Covered Wagon Ranch is truly an amazing experience and you will leave counting the days until you return the next year!

Room Tip: Cabins 9 and 10 are my favorite. They are the most secluded and have a propane heater (which you mi...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank My2Mares
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
columbia,sc
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014 via mobile

Service and paying attention to what their guests want is what the CWR does. Great food,
knowledgeable & very capable
wranglers,owners that understand people and a staff that treat you as family("good" family).I have stayed at 3 other ranches(on short notice trips where the CWR was booked) in the Gallatin area & I always come back here.The CWR gets it.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rustytuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesterfield, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

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.

Room Tip: Cabins 8 and 9 have a propane heater and are more secluded, other cabins have a wood stove that they...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank IcelandicHorseRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Morganton, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 June 2014

A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!! Myself and two grandaughters experienced a vacation of a lifetime at CWR. Both girls love horseback riding and wow they got a chance to ride in some of the most beautiful country in the USA. They loved every minute of this vacation. I cannot say enough good things about Kurt, Melissa and the wonderful staff at CWR. Everyone is friendly, courteous, and professional. Great food, comfortable lodging, rustic surroundings, family atmosphere, safe, QUALITY, are some of the accalades I would like to list. What my grandaughters experienced is PRICELESS! Thanks Kurt and Melissa for making this trip SPECIAL.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KenRid
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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