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Big Horn Cattle Drive, Wyoming, USA

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If you’re up for an adventure and feel that you’ve completely missed your calling as a cowboy or cowgirl, then you need to sign up for the Big Horn Cattle Drive. There is nothing staged about this cattle drive, run by the Kerns family, who have been grazing cattle in Big Horn National Park for generations.

Every year from June through to September they move their herd of cattle (up to 648 cows & calves) from one pasture to the next. It’s remote, staggeringly beautiful, rugged and not for the faint-hearted. As we say, it’s legitimate so it’s long hours in the saddle, a bush toilet, no showers, sleeping in tipis and unpredictable weather. BUT if you’re up for a once-in-a-lifetime, authentic, riding adventure, then THIS is the ride you’ll remember on your death bed!

There is no denying that you’ll be fed like kings and queens on this ride, good ol’ western cooking. Taking into consideration its all camp oven cooking, you’ll be astounded at the calibre of food dished up around the camp fire on this ride. As for the horses, they’re a nifty mob of tough quarter horses that are born and bred to keep shifty cows in line in rugged terrain. You’ll ride alongside tobacco-chewing, wrangler-clad cowboys who can rope a steer quicker than you can blink and are happy to teach their trade as you hold the herd.

This is the real deal globetrotters, there is no molly coddling on the Big Horn Cattle Drive. You’ll saddle and unsaddle your horse daily and both beginner to experienced riders are welcome. There are plenty of opportunities for the expert riders to canter after a breakaway beast and for the not-so-confident to notch up plenty of hours in the saddle and go at a pace suitable to them. If you love the idea of roughing it and getting back to nature than sign up for this authentic 1880’s cattle drive, you won’t regret it!

FAST FACTS

time in the saddle: 6 to 7 hours a day depending on the cattle

breed of horses: Quarter Horses and Quarter Horse cross

pace: varying paces

riding ability: caters for beginners to advanced riders

weight limit: 102 kgs *depending on height, physical condition and riding ability.

accommodation: Guests stay in tipi tents throughout the cattle drive, where a camp stretcher is provided. Long drop toilet facilities, no showers.

seasons: June through to September. The temperature can vary greatly in the Big Horn Mountains where in September it can snow.

duration: depending on the month of departure, the cattle drive is either 5 day, 5 night or 6 day, 6 night itineraries.

2017 departure dates and rates:

SEPTEMBER CATTLE DRIVE

September 9 – arrive into Sheridan; September 10 – 8am pick-up and transfer to Cow Camp; September 15 – return to civilisation; September 16 – return to airport or onward travel. Ride price: $3090 US per person – TWO SADDLE SEATS LEFT FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON!

2018 departure dates and rates:

Please note: These dates for the 2018 cattle drives are preliminary and may change within a day or two, but will be confirmed in late August.

**Reserve your spot on in 2017 with a deposit and you’ll secure the 2017 ride rates!

JULY CATTLE DRIVE

June 30 – arrive into Sheridan; July 1 – 8am pick-up and transfer to Cow Camp; July 6 – return to civilisation; July 7 – return to airport or onward travel. Ride price: $3040 US per person

*TWO globetrotters booked on this departure!

 EARLY AUGUST OPEN RANGE CATTLE DRIVE

August 4 – arrive into Sheridan; August 5 – 8am pick-up and transfer to Cow Camp; August 9 – return to civilisation; August 10 – return to airport or onward travel. Ride price: $2895 US per person

LATE AUGUST OPEN RANGE CATTLE DRIVE

August 18 – arrive into Sheridan; August 19 – 8am pick-up and transfer to Cow Camp; August 23 – return to civilisation; August 24 – return to airport or onward travel. Ride price: $2895 US per person

SEPTEMBER CATTLE DRIVE

September 8 – arrive into Sheridan; September 9 – 8am pick-up and transfer to Cow Camp; September 14 – return to civilisation; September 15 – return to airport or onward travel. Ride price: $3090 US per person

CLEAN UP CATTLE DRIVE

September 22 – arrive into Sheridan; September 23 – 8am pick-up and transfer to Cow Camp; September 28 – return to civilisation; September 29 – return to airport or onward travel. Ride price: $2950 US per person – ONE globetrotter booked

*Ride price includes ground transportation to and from Sheridan, all food, soft drinks, saddle, tack, horse lease, and guide service.

*There is a single supplement of $250 US for single tipi.

*There is also a guardians of the range fee of $25 per person and recommended tip is $100 US per person.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments. Since you’ll be paying in a foreign currency, in this case USD, we believe paying via credit card is the most cost effective and easiest option for you.

Why is the price quoted in US dollars?

With our overseas riding destinations (rides other than in Australia), the currency is dictated by our partner in that country which in this case is America. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

TRANSFER INFORMATION

For international guests we recommend you fly into either Cody, Wyoming or Billings, Montana a day or two before the ride begins. All guests need to arrive in Sheridan, Wyoming the day before the trip starts. Mid-day arrivals and departures work best.

If you’re happy and comfortable to hire a car (driving on the other side of the road) it’s a straight-forward two hour drive from Billings to Sheridan or a three hour drive from Cody to Sheridan. Otherwise there is an airport pick up and drop off from Billings for $235 USD round trip. Please note, this service is only available one day before the trip and one day after the trip.

FURTHER READING AND VIEWING

Keen to find out who will be guiding you on this adventure? Click here to learn about this family run operation.

If you are after a cow horse with a great personality, you can’t go past Johnny Walker, a guest horse on this globetrotting adventure. Find out more here.

Pick your jaw up off the ground after watching this awesome video showing some of the staggeringly beautiful scenery you will get to traverse!

If you’ve arrived in Cody early and are looking for some things to do in the cool cowboy town, you can read our recommendations in our blog post here.

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