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?).
- Also Known As:
- 63 Ranch Livingston, Montana