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“Decent place - could use improvements”
Review of 63 Ranch

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63 Ranch
San Antonio, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Decent place - could use improvements”
Reviewed 18 July 2013

Would like to preface this review saying that the staff was wonderful, the location beautiful, and the horses exceeded expectations. I have nothing but positive things to say about the friendliness and helpfulness of the wranglers (AMAZING!!!!) and dining room staff. Horses were fantastic and the views gorgeous.

I came to 63 with high expectations of the experience from seeing Tripadvisor reviews and from their website. Unfortunately, my experience did not quite meet those expectations.

Rooms: Were serviceable. We compared the cabins to 'being at camp'. Basic, functional- nothing fancy. Cleaned once a day. Moths and spiders would get in if you weren't careful about closing windows and doors. The bathroom I shared with the adjoining room (a friend) did not have a tub, but I didn't care.

Dining: The food was a disappointment (meatloaf and sloppy joes were the entree for 2 dinners), though to be fair, I heard the chef had left them unexpectedly. However, for the cost of the week, I expected better than what I received. The website says "With our 21 day menu you would have to stay for weeks to repeat meals" but the breakfast options were the same every day, with the exception of a choice of bacon or sausage.

Activities: There was square dancing with a live band for ~3 hours one night. They offered smores another night (though be warned, this is the only time you will see a campfire all week- no fires allowed.) That's about it for nighttime fun activities, other than the pool table and a 'game room' for kids. The horseshoes & volleyball courts are outdoors and could be played at night... if you have headlamps.

I went during 4th of July week and all the guests went to town for the festivities and rodeo (ranch closed down- no dinner served that day). What surprised me was the poor communication in regards to how we were to get to/from town. I was never once asked if I needed a ride (even though the ranch had picked me up from the airport- I clearly had no car), and other guests who had requested rides in advance were asked to ride with other guests with cars. I had friends with a car, but didn't like that someone had assumed we would drive ourselves. Also, other activities like fly fishing (despite a friend bringing a fly rod), hiking, etc were not actively offered, though perhaps you had to book that in advance.

HOWEVER, the horseback riding is the main attraction of course. And it definitely met expectations. We were able to pick trails for the day and beginner riders were coached on basic trotting and loping with the horses if they desired.

Other: Free Wifi is available in a small area (a slow trickle). You will probably not have any cell reception (blessing in disguise really), but if you take your phone on the trails, you can get reception when you're out of the valley.

All in all, if you meet people you like you will still enjoy your experience. You will love the horseback riding experience. Also, bring booze (it's BYOB) - it will help you make friends! Just don't expect a lot of things to do besides riding.

Advice to management- be more hands on with the guests. If you don't want to be, hire someone to do it. Communicate better with them re: feedback and activities for the week. Pay attention to the details outside of the horses - the ranch has TONS of potential. Please feed people better food. Also, be less paranoid about campfires - it will make a HUGE difference in the experience (who doesn't want to tell/hear stories by a campfire under the stars?).

Room Tip: Cabins are in different locations, with different room configurations and bed sizes, amenities and v...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank NomadTravels L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cupertino, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

It has almost been a year since our time at 63 Ranch. One of the pictures we took is still my main photo on my FB page. Our trip was the four of us my two sons and my husband. Some of us experienced with horses others less so, but we all had a great time. The people, the atmosphere, the food, and of course our hosts were terrific. As a horse person, I really appreciated Jeff's approach to horsemanship. The horses were in great condition and well trained. The Montana mountains were breath taking. It will go down as one of our best family trips. Thank you Jeff and Deanna!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank KMMcCulloch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roslyn, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2012

We just returned from our 8th trip to the 63 & each year it gets better! The Rockies offer calendar-quality views on every ride. The horses are first-rate. The staff is great and welcomes guests as friends. The food is delicious with a Western heartiness. But best of all, the 63 Ranch is such tremendous fun that it lets families and friends reconnect, laugh til it hurts, and love being together. We've had no other vacation that measures up, nor visited any other dude ranch that makes us feel like we're home. The 63 is an amazing ranch experience!

Room Tip: All cabins provide excellent wildlife viewing!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Roger B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 18 August 2012

I have just returned from a very enjoyable week at 63 Ranch! It was my first ranch holiday and I am happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. Although I am an experienced rider (English style) I have had very limited experience riding Western style, so the introductory clinic on the first morning given by Jeff, the owner, was great. No matter whether you are a total beginner or an advanced rider, he was able to explain in a friendly and clear way the natural horsemanship approach he and his wife, Deanna, take, and the way in which they like to handle and ride their horses. My horse for the week, Alibi, was exactly what I had asked for - a sensible yet sensitive horse that was experienced and would look after me on the trails. The scenery was stunning and we went on different trail rides each day. My favourite one was through the forest to a waterfall. We also had a chance to help with some cattle driving and cutting - a lot of fun! There was a great crew to look after us for the week too, and I shall now have to diet because the food was too good to resist! The accommodation is in log cabins with a central lodge for meals and it was very comfortable. The ranch is tucked into a valley and so you feel completely in another world, very peaceful and relaxing. I am hoping to make a return visit soon!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Alison B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pataskala, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed 17 August 2012

This was our first visit to a dude ranch and it was everything I had hoped it would be. The scenery was beautiful and everyone at the ranch went out of their way to make sure your trip was enjoyable. The horses were great and the instructions given by Jeff on Monday were very helpful to a non-rider like myself. A return visit to the ranch is definately on our "to do" list.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kwsingleton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 August 2012

My week at the 63 Ranch in July was the fulfilment of a longstanding ambition to go on a ranch holiday and it exceeded my expectations in every way. The big country of Montana provided a stunning setting for our rides on really fine, sure-footed horses who knew their job but were definitely not the switched off horses you can end up riding on trekking holidays. I was struck by how well the horses were matched to riders, showing that the ranch knows how to cater for riders of all abilities and experience.

We were catered for so well by the friendly team, with three great meals each day, the excellent company of both the staff and our fellow guests, a choice of rides each day and the chance to go out with wranglers to work with cattle.
I never expected to be persuaded to participate in a barn dance, let alone enjoy it, but the 63 Ranch pulled it off!

Special praise goes out to Jeff for his excellent talk which he gives to everyone on the morning before their first ride. I have ridden horses since I was a child and have taken great interest in trying to understand how they think. Jeff does a tremendous job communicating to everyone about how horses are thinking, how what we do can affect their behaviour. He gave great advice and instruction about keeping safe around horses and how we can ride with the horses' wellbeing in mind.

The ranch is only an hour away from Yellowstone, which made it easy to have a day trip there too (another thing ticked off my bucket list).

For me this was a truly special holiday in a. truly special place. Great company, great rides, new friends, hospitable, knowledgeable,welcoming hosts, helpful, courteous staff, Ray and Frank's wonderful cooking, quality horses in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.it is no wonder that many people return, including Bob the wrangler who first came to the ranch on holiday as a teenager and got bitten by the 63.bug so bad he returns to work each season.

My only misgiving - I didn't get to stay another week. I'm planning to return as soon as I can.

Room Tip: Cabins are comfortable and airy, peaceful and quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ElaineD244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2012

We have been spending a week with the folks at the 63 Ranch every year for the past six years. We were attracted by the beautiful surroundings, the promise of horseback riding and a pace of life that lets us enjoy what matters. We return not only because of all these things, but because of the friends, new and old, that we meet at the ranch each year. My sons were 8 and 11 when we started vacationing at the ranch. They came to the ranch as beginning riders and have become confident on horses thanks to Jeff, Deanna, and the other great wranglers along the way. Although they do not ride at home, my sons beg to go back to the ranch each year. I ride a little throughout the year, but am always happy to get back to the 63. After morning and afternoon rides and three home cooked meals a day, spend your evening square dancing in the outside pavilion one night, relax on the porch or your private cabin, or join new friends on the lodge porch for conversation or some impromptu music -- bring your guitar if you have one! Every year this trip only gets better.

Room Tip: Deanna will help you choose the perfect spot for your group when you call or e-mail.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 63 Ranch

Property: 63 Ranch
Address: P. O. Box 979, Livingston, MT 59047-0979
Region: United States > Montana > Livingston
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Livingston
Number of rooms: 16
Also Known As:
63 Ranch Livingston, Montana

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