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“Unforgettable”
Review of 63 Ranch

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63 Ranch
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Unforgettable”
Reviewed 2 September 2013 via mobile

This historic ranch is a treasure. Wonderful people - owners, staff, and your fellow guests, who come here from around the globe to live a dream of the American West. Splendid horses, expertly matched to your riding ability. A happy tribe of ranch dogs, friendly cats who will sidle up to you as you head to your cabin on a chilly night and will promise not to tell a soul if you let them sleep at your feet. The lodge where guests gather for meals, billiards, and fireside conversation is on the Historic Register and is authentic down to original hand-made furniture that was built for these rooms in the 1920's. All this, in one of the most breathtaking locations imaginable: rugged mountain trails, high meadows perfect for a long canter on your spunky horse; vistas that have been featured in movies like A River Runs Through It and The Horse Whisperer. Anglers can fish the nearby Yellowstone River, and day trips are offered into the National Park, but I opted for two rides a day (no trail is ever repeated during your week-long stay), with time left over for world-class porch-sitting, and an evening walk beneath the stars. Slept like a baby, saw a bear eating wild berries near one of the cabins before the ranch dogs ordered him off the property, fell in love with my speedy little mare Rushmore - and promised myself that I'd be back someday. It's been some years now, but I'm determined to keep that promise. Simply the most rewarding vacation of my life!

  • Stayed August 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank susansname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

My latest trip to the 63 Ranch started a year ago after my wife and I spent a week there in July of 2012. I remember wondering, as we drove through the ranch gate last year and turned onto Bruffy Road, would I ever see the 63 Ranch again? Then four weeks ago, after I came home on a Sunday night, I listened to an unexpected voice mail from Jeff Cahill. Jeff Cahill described a Western horsemanship program conducted by Joe Wolters that would be held at the 63 Ranch. After Jeff and I spoke, I did some research regarding Joe Wolters, airline flight availability and then cleared my work schedule. I would get my "horse fix" this summer afterall.

What was such a wonderful surprise is that I was the only guest on the ranch for the entire week. However a number of area ranchers, as well as 63 staff, attended the Joe Wolters clinic. I think that everyone picked up pointers about tacking up their horses, cutting and herding cattle and on the last day calf roping. Joe has a unique teaching style that may take a bit of getting used to as he does not come right out and tell you what to do.

Jeff and Dee take a lot of pride in the 63 Ranch and it shows foremost in the well-being of their livestock. It also shows in the quality of their horses. This is a working ranch after all. During the second half of the week Jeff and I moved cattle on three different occassions and also rode into a leased pasture to check the water, salt licks, fencing and how well the herd was grazing the pastures.

The ranch is just that a ranch not a five star resort. Personally, I came here for the spectacular scenery, the horses and to unwind. The rustic nature of the native log ranch buildings adds to the ambiance. I stayed in the "Dutch Door" cabin for the second time (Dutch Door was at one time the cowboy bunk house). Laying in bed I can watch the sunrise and look out over the horse corral. The cabin has a nice wrap around porch with plenty of chairs to sit on and visit with friends or family after a day of riding. The bed is comfortable and the clean bathroom has a tub/shower combination. There is no refrigerator but the cabin across the way has a full-size refrigerator on the right side under the overhang.

The wranglers were among the best I have ever experienced at any similar operation. The lead wrangler, Bob, is a quietly competent man who patiently answered my every question. What I like about these riding vacations is to acquire new knowledge and skills from people for more experienced with horses than I am. The three, young female wranglers were all helpful and knew about handling horses, too. Maybe the ladies were a bit reserved because of there ages but I would take that over an surley wrangler any day.

The food was good. I did learn that the 63 had a bit of a turn over issue with their kitchen staff. That issue had been resolved by the time I arrived. Dee put together a "mean" lasagna one night for just Jeff and I. All in all, the homestyle food was tasty, hot and filling. Just what any "urban cowboy" should expect. If you heart desires something different go to the sushi restaurant in Livingston. The sushi chef looked like he had ridden off the range earlier in the day, Johnny Cash music played in the background and we drank the wine that was purchased next door. It was good but I found it a delightfully ironic atmosphere.

I look forward to going back some day soon.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gordon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alpharetta
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 August 2013

I am late sending this message of thanks and I have to tell you I have been homesick for 63 Ranch all last week as I tried to get back into my life and work routine. (and Georgia weather!)
First, your ranch is beautiful. Every ride took us to a new vista of God's beauty. That was exactly what I was hoping for on my first trip to Montana. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.

The cabins are super clean and comfortable. I wasn't really expecting that but that made it very restful. The food was fabulous. And your staff were all great, interesting people whom I enjoyed getting to know. And the group of guests were so fun and interesting as well. I feel blessed to have been part of that group.

Your horses are healthy, clean and well trained. I can't say enough about how "easy" the week felt. I truly felt like you were opening your home to us, not just running a business.
Thank you both for being such good hosts and running such a great place. I am so glad we chose 63 Ranch and got to finally meet you.

Room Tip: Loved the view from the west cabins
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Paula H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 August 2013

I have loved horses since I was two. Now that I have entered my sixth decade I am finally a cowgirl. I had a great week at the 63. The horses are wonderful and are treated with great care and concern. I could watch Jeff and Dee school their horses all day. We sorted and moved cows for three days. We also rode on great trails. I have hiked many beautiful parts of the U.S., but the 63 is truly drop dead gorgeous.
The staff of the 63 went above and beyond to make us comfortable. Kathie brought my friend a hot pot and teas so she could make a bedtime warm drink. Wrangler Bob told the most enjoyable stories on our rides. Watch out for Claus because he will dance you right into the ground.
The food was home style. We had great salads at both lunch and dinner. The fresh fruit served for dessert at dinner was fresh and yummy. The prime rib was the best I have ever eaten. Dee made a beer bread that I will never forget.
I have gone to three different ranches in the past, but now I have found my "home."

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Teresa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed 4 August 2013

From the minute I arrived Sunday afternoon I was called by my first name. Sunday's evening meal was a buffet style that was excellent, fried chicken and the fixin's. Afterward,the staff and owners introduced themselves along with a short bio. Monday, after a great breakfast, we all gathered for a "horse how to". Jeff gave a very good talk on how to and what to expect from the horses. All the riders were matched to their horses buy the staff based on riding experience. These horses are not only very well conditioned for the mountainous terrain, but ride very nicely. They are not your nose to tail trail rides you get at the local camp ground, etc... There are 2 rides a day, the Montana scenery is post card gorgeous. The meals are family style and the food is really good. The cabins are rustic,comfortable and very clean. This was my 3rd time to the 63. What brings me back other than what I have already said? The service, hands down the best I have ever received. Jeff and Deanna will do whatever is needed to make it right. The staff is attentive to detail and has a "will do" attitude. The wranglers are super! All are capable, knowledgeable,helpful and just fun to be around. The wait staff is awsome, they met us at every meal with a smile and a genuine concern for our satisfaction. The kitchen staff prepared meals that were very good, the meat and veggies fresh. They made us a sack lunch for our day trip to Yellowstone too. The house keeping was supurb, clean rooms, nice thick towels, our own hot tea pot, (thanks, Kathy). This is where I go when I need that mental reset. If you want a vacation you will remember for all the right reasons, I highly recommend the 63 ranch.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 July 2013

As a little girl,I dreamt of riding my white horse through fields of daisys,knowing no boundaries with my best friend at my side.
Two weeks ago that dream came true:-
The open space was 63 Ranch in Livingstone,Montana,my mount was a beautiful,gentle mare who went by the name of Wendy,and my best friend was my husband of 41 yrs,Roger.
Yes it has taken a long time to live the dream,but it was well worth the wait !

If you want to live the dream,63 Ranch is the place to do it.It is not just the beauty of this place that will captivate you,although that is as the Americans say 'awesome',but also the people who own and work there.
Jeff & Deanna are not just charming,perfect hosts,they also know all there is to know about their horse's,all 80+

I went to see handsome cowboys (sorry Jeff & Bob) and instead found georgeous cowgirls,Carole Ann,Sammi and Chelsey,who could grace any 'cat walk',but who have chosen
at least for the Summer months a life on 'the open range' (they also know how to sit a horse),
along with Bob,who will have you hanging on his every word as his tale's unfold,they make up the team of Wrangler's who will take care of you on your ride's.
'I can do the Polka' Klaus,is one hell of a dancer "thank you" for a great evening of Square Dancing Klaus.

But we also have to mention and thank all the staff of 63,the one's behind the scenes:-
Cara,Dorothy,Kathie,Zach,Laura,Tim and Jennifer,who take care of your comfort and provide the nourishment needed for the hours spent in the saddle.You will not always see them,but you will know that they are there.

From arrival to departure we were made to feel not only part of a team but very much part of a family.

Jeff,Deanna and the team take personal care of everyone,matching horse to rider,and what horses,besides there beauty and grace,they are perfectly schooled.

This place caters for EVERY ONE,young,and not so young,novice,and not so novice,and the expert rider.The friends we traveled with had not riden for 40 yrs,my husband underwent a total knee replacement just 15 weeks prior to our arrival,neither of these caused a problem for the experienced team at 63.
But don't imagine that this will slow the capable riders down,after a day or so you can split into groups that cater for all levels of horsemanship.

An added bonus to a Ranch holiday is that you get to meet nice,interesting people,besides the staff we had a great time with our fellow guests,some we hope to meet again.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that before leaving we re booked for next year.

Sure it is a bit of a drag traveling from England to Montana,but once there it's worth every penny and every mile !!!!

I have just read the review of some fellow guests who stayed at the Ranch the same week ,and feel that I must make some coment's:-
Breakfast was rotated with bacon and sausage,but it was also accompanied by fresh fruit,yoghurt,hash browns eggs,toast and oatmeal.The other meals we found good and the homegrown 'steak' was one of the best ever.
We stayed in one of the newer cabins,which for a Ranch holiday was very comfortable,although I understand that some of the older one's could use an upgrade,and
I think you have to accept that fly's and insect's are part of the excperiance.
The subject of camp fire's,or the lack of them although disappointing is understandable, as there is a great fear of forest firess in this part of the world
The one point I do agree on with my fellow guest is the lack of 'other activities' and I have let my views on this subject be known to Jeff & Deanna,who appreciate their guests suggestions.
We had great value for money.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bronwen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NomadTravels L
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
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
63 Ranch Livingston, Montana

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