Montana, USA

4-6 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom $1,828 USD?Tour costs $1,828 USD which is approximately $2,591 AUD

With its wide open spaces and tradition of exploring the undiscovered, Montana is the ultimate horse riding holiday destination for globetrotters from around the world.

This boutique, working guest ranch lies in the heart of Montana, Big Sky country, where the hats are big and the personalities even bigger. What we love about this ranch are your hosts and owners, June and David Voldseth, who welcome every globetrotter with open arms. As soon as you walk through the doors of their beautifully appointed lodge, fresh lemonade is poured and lashings of western hospitality is dished up from day one to day seven.

We believe the X-factor to this working ranch is there are only ever twelve guests per week and they only accept intermediate to advanced riders. With that assurance, there is no nose to tail riding and plenty of opportunities to lope and canter to your heart’s content.

As for the horses? Well, we fell in love with the Quarter Horses {and paints} on this property, from the horses that we had the privilege of riding (Apatche and Scout) to the horses other guests were mounted on. We couldn’t stop ogling at them all. They were soft in the mouth, shimmering coats, attentive and smart. What more could you ask for in a horse? I say nothing!

Even though it’s a lodge based ride, each day differs – from pushing a mob of cattle to new pastures, trying your hand at team penning on your cow horse, loping along sage-filled prairies to summiting the legendary Crazy Mountain ranges – no two days are ever the same.

With over 25,000 acres of untouched, pristine country to roam, from prairies decorated in wild flowers to dramatic vast mountain ranges, this working ranch is all about the riding and that’s why we love it!

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Quarter horses and paints.
  • Pace:Variable depending on the terrain, with opportunities to trot and canter.
  • Weight Limit:Maximum of 102kg / 224lbs.
  • Type of tack:Western saddles.
  • Seasons:June to September. July and August tend to be days of sunshine at 25 to 30 degrees and little to no humidity and cooler evenings. June and September are cooler with possible moisture from 12 to 26 degrees. June has meadows of beautiful wild flowers and lots of green grass. September offers lots of vibrant autumn days with those wonderful crisp cool evenings.
  • Group size:A maximum of 12 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:3.5 to 6 hours a day. There are morning and afternoon rides and all day rides available including mustering and team penning.
  • Riding Ability:Intermediate to advanced. All riders must be able to canter outside of an arena.
  • Accommodation:Beautifully appointed private log cabins within a grove of trees and walking distance to the stables and main lodge. Each cabin offers a private bathroom, comfy beds with fresh cotton sheets and duvets, a gas fireplace or a wood burning stove, its own deck and seating area, and daily maid service. The guest cabins literally feel like a home away from home. At the main lodge is the dining room, laundry and a large, welcoming family room complete with fireplace, books and board games. The lodge is equipped with WiFi and a laptop is available for guest use. There is a modest shop, where you’ll find some great western clothing and gift items. At the front of the Lodge is a large deck with a superb view of the Crazy Mountain Range.
  • Ride Length:4 and 6 night itineraries are available.
  • Inclusions:All prices include a Montana sales tax of US$42 per adult for 6-night stays, and US$28 per adult and $26 per child for 4-night stays. Prices also include full board starting with dinner on arrival day and ending with breakfast on departure day.
  • Exclusions:The price does not include flights or travel insurance (compulsory).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
All prices include a Montana sales tax of US$42 per adult for 6-night stays, and US$28 per adult and $26 per child for 4-night stays. Prices also include full board starting with dinner on arrival day and ending with breakfast on departure day.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Prices do not include alcohol (BYO is welcome), international flights, travel insurance, transfers to and from the ride and tips. With tips please budget between 15% to 20% on top of your trip price.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments.

Why is the price quoted in USD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    Arrive at the working cattle ranch known as Bonanza Creek between 3 and 5pm on Sunday afternoon and you’ll be greeted by your host, June Voldseth. You’ll be shown to your cabin where you can unpack, enjoy a glass of home-made lemonade before meeting on the deck of the main lodge for drinks and hors d’oeuvres and chat with fellow guests and owners June and David Voldseth before sitting down for dinner at 6.30pm. Please remember alcohol isn’t included in the price but you’re more than welcome to buy alcohol before arriving at the ranch and it will be served to you throughout your stay.

  • Day 2

    Enjoy a hearty breakfast at 8am at the lodge, before meeting at the stables at 9am ready for your first morning of riding. You’ll be matched with your horse for the week according to you ability and you’ll spend the morning on an introductory ride.

    In the afternoon there will be another spectacular ride where you’ll enjoy some cantering.

  • Day 3

    This morning you’ll go straight to the stables where you’ll mount up and ride to your breakfast locale under a canopy of Aspen trees. After your picnic breakfast you’ll snake your way along Bonanza Creek which carves its way through the mountains. There are plenty of opportunities for a canter in this wild-flower prairie before heading back to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you can try your hand at team penning under the tutelage of the wranglers. Massages are available before and after dinner.

  • Day 4

    Today you’ll be reaching great heights where you’ll be exploring the Castle Mountains as part of this 25,000 acre property. In July and August, you’ll take the afternoon out of the saddle and meet Larry, the wagoneer and his team of black-as-coal Percherons. You’ll go for a wagon ride and have a camp-fire dinner at the beautiful hunting camp in the Crazy Mountains. You can try your hand at driving these amazing carriage horses.

  • Day 5

    Today will be an all-day ride with a saddle- bag packed lunch where you’ll ride deep into the majestic, jaw-droppingly beautiful Crazy Mountains. Approximately 6 hours in the saddle. You’ll have a great opportunity to see plenty of wildlife on this ride from prairie dogs to coyotes, bald eagles and rattle snakes!

  • Day 6

    Friday is all about the cattle work. And it’s legitimate cattle work. Don’t forget this is a working cattle ranch and when they have guests to help move cattle they’re not going to say no! So tighten your stampede strap and get ready to eat some dirt and learn the intricate task of cow punching!

  • Day 7

    Enjoy your last hearty ranch breakfast, exchange email address, wave goodbye and head back to civilisation. As they say in the wild west – Round them up and move them out!

    *With so many trails and places to visit it is imposable to list them all. This is just a sample itinerary of what is possible when taking our lodge riding vacation.

  • Transfer Information

    For international guests we recommend you fly into Bozeman on either the Friday or Saturday before the ride starts on the Sunday, so you’re not suffering from jet-lag when it comes time to throw a leg over the saddle. 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 scenic drive through Bridger Canyon to the ranch. Otherwise there is an airport pick up and drop off transfer service available from Bozeman for $200 USD round trip for up to three people (pick up on Sunday is at approx 1.30pm).

David Grounds

‘I was very happy with my ride in Montana, USA. My horse, Banjo, was responsive to aids, neck reining, etc and was under control all the time. Every day was good – the first day trying out our mounts and learning Western riding aids, then the subsequent days of team penning, cattle mustering and trail riding. Both guides were capable and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend this ride.’

Lisa Dasko

‘Our vacation in Montana was absolutely fantastic. The food was gourmet special, the cabins were clean, comfortable and private, the horses were fit and well trained. Overall a 10/10 experience.’

Kimberly Santsche

‘The ride of a lifetime, the best experience I could ask for. Would love to go again next week!!’

Dianne Cordin

‘The Montana ride was one of those lifetime experiences where the views were endless, the food was outstanding, the staff were friendly and the horses were well tended.’

Michelle Geddes

‘Our Montana ride was everything we had hoped for and more. The wranglers were so helpful, the horses were wonderful and the food was superb.’

Katrina Rosier

‘Wonderful experience, beautiful setting, the meals and the accommodation were outstanding. Every little detail or item needed was available to us.’

Chloe Hayward

‘Bucket list, ticked. It not only lived up to all my expectations but exceeded them.’

Ian Underhill

“Incredible scenery, amazing accommodation, fabulous food and salt of the earth locals whose hospitality genuinely made this experience the best time away on horseback. Totally awesome!”

Karena Smith

“I had every confidence this trip was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It certainly was! Absolutely worth every penny.”

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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