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“needs major repairs” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Lazy K Bar

Lazy K Bar
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Lazy K Bar
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P.O Box 1550, Big Timber, MT 59011   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Big Timber
montana
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“needs major repairs”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

when we arrived we were told the cabin we reserved had a broken water heater and we couldn't have it. we were given a cabin that had so many rat droppings all over the beds, furniture, table and even in the bathroom drinking glasses, it was gross and dangerous.. not good since the deathly rodent bourne disease hantavirus, that has recently killed people in yosemite is a strong possiblity......the toilet seat was broken in half when we arrived and fell off every time it was used. we repeadedly asked for a new seat and it seemed like a huge imposition to fix it... we certainly new it was going to be rustic but not disgustingly unhealthy.
breakfast was ok the rest was boring and right out of a can. maybe we were there on a low food budget week. i don't know what the others had that was so good...
we found the owners to be rude and insulted us when they asked where we were from and answered by saying 'i'm sorry....." the place is totally falling apart, it's for sale and it's very obvious that they just don't care anymore due to the fact they have a buyer..

Room Tip: make sure it has no rodent droppings
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Clinton, Ohio
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

We had a wonderful time during our week stay at the ranch. This was our 4th visit and I think it was the best!!!! The food was great.....Carol, Kelly and Tack were so gracious!!! The riding was so much fun and the scenery was spectacular!!!!! I know the ranch is "For Sale" and I hope the new owners continue to offer their guests the same wonderful experiences that we've had over the years!!!!! Thank You Van Cleves for such GREAT memories!!!!!

Room Tip: Each cabin is different, but Miles is my all-time favorite if you can make it up the steep hill afte...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

The Lazy K Bar Ranch is uniquely situated in Big Timber Canyon in the Crazy Mountains. The ranch spans many acres of private land and has been in the family for generations. It also connects to public land, which affords amazing opportunities for beautiful hikes. In short, the scenery is spectacular, as is the access to nature.

I'm not a horse person, so I don't ride, but when I do visit, I spend my time reading, relaxing, and on occasion, hiking. The family can provide rough directions to hiking to the mountain peak, or to some of the lakes in the mountains, including Blue Lake. There is also a beautiful waterfall that is a short hike from the public campground.

Big Timber Creek provides a nice location for lazing around and pondering the meaning of life. One of my favorite spots is sitting on the ranch bridge to the corrals and dangling my legs over the creek.

The cabins are utilitarian and rustic, NOT luxurious, so if you are looking for a typical resort, this is not the place for you. There are wool blankets, cozy quilts and eclectic furnishings. The cabins are cozy, but they ARE cabins, in a wilderness, so adjust your expectations. This is not a place for duvets and massages - this is a place for getting back to nature and the basics and re-prioritizing in our increasingly frazzled and hectic society. There is little to no cell service and no internet access. The cabins do not have televisions - and I would not change a thing. There are too few places like this left.

The food is delicious - generally local and always served family style. There are three scheduled meals. If you are a snacker, stop by the grocery store in Big T and pick up some goodies to munch on. The ranch does have a small store for soda and candy.

Some Saturday nights, the ranch hosts a square dance. There are also the Wednesday cookouts by the creek and the Sunday breakfasts by the creek. All are fun and a great chance to get to know the very interesting guests who frequent the place.

Sometimes cows and horses roam around by the cabins, which is a pretty amazing thing. The resident cats and dogs are also incredibly friendly.

In sum, this is not your average vacation. Get back to the basics... it is well worth the experience.

Room Tip: Some cabins have just a shower, some just a tub, some both, and some none (with use of a community b...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2011

I went to the Lazy K hoping to get on a horse and ride the gorgeous range. It was described as a family owned business that catered to those who wanted the "real experience". They give you three very good meals, but treat their staff horribly. Guests eat in a big dining room at the same time (you actually wait for everyone to make it to the meal so do not be late!) and share stories of the day. Mainly you are told stories from the old days. If you know how to ride well I do not recommend this ranch for you. It IS head to tail. You are given a horse for the duration of your stay - I have to say my horse was awesome. Most of the rides are very slow (very beautiful but very slow) and there is no getting out of line. The wranglers were great - they tried very hard to keep people happy and safe. The cabin I had was very small and the beds horrific. The horses and cows roam around and wildlife abundant - saw a moose! The group I ended up being with were all amazing people so my stay was well worth it. It just was not really facilitated by the Owners -

Room Tip: Some of the cabins are great if you have a big group
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Urbana, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

The Lazy K Bar ranch is an incredible experience in the Crazy Mountains. In short, it's summer camp for adults in some of the most beautiful country in the world. It's a place that you want to return to, year after year -- two of our fellow guests had been coming back for the past five years, every summer. The cabins are charming, the family style dinners with conversation and story telling are something to look forward to, and the horseback riding is well organized, with good horses to ride. Rides go out every day except Sunday, which is a "horse holiday," well deserved for the animals.

This is a working ranch, run by a family of wonderful people. They care about each and every one of their guests and offer the older style of Western hospitality that's rarely found today. To appreciate the experience of a Montana ranch, a guest needs to let go of some of those notions of being on a cell phone all hours of the day (no signal up in the mountains), expecting staff-run entertainment all day, every day, and eating whenever and whatever when one feels like it. Instead, enjoy the magnificent scenery, the quiet of the mountains, and the graciousness of the hosts. The Lazy K Bar is a piece of history and I am glad I got to experience it. Waking up in a historical wooden cabin (very comfortable, with a modern bathroom only lacking a shower, which is offered if you want to walk 50 feet to it) on a clear, chilly Montana mountain morning to the sound of the bells of the lead horses in the remuda coming into the corrals is something I will never forget.

The meals are well cooked, served on lovely blue willow china, with cream and butter from Jersey cows raised on the ranch. The Sunday cookout breakfast was outstanding, stuffing us with pancakes cooked over the fire, bacon, potatoes and onions, eggs cooked to order by our wrangler, and fruit plus coffee or iced tea.

I have rarely been to a working ranch or stable that was as neat and clean as the Lazy K Bar. The Van Cleefs pay attention to the details, which makes a stay so much more enjoyable. Nothing was laying around out of place, the floors were gleaming, and the grounds were tidy.

Carol Van Cleef went out of her way to make our stay comfortable, pleasant, and enjoyable. Her conversation about her home ranch, horses, cattle, and life in the West -- past and present -- is fascinating. Her brother, Tack, is a wonderful story teller and had us in stitches with some of his skunk encounter stories! Kelly, her daughter, is an accomplished horsewoman and excellent teacher. I was so pleased to be able to meet all of them.

For a true Western experience, steeped in history, the Lazy K Bar is the place to go. I hope to return!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sterling, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

I can't say enough about the Lazy K Bar Ranch. Just the ride into the canyon is so beautiful, magnificent, and totally a breath taking experience. The Van Cleves have been sharing thid majestic Dude Ranch and home with us visitors from all over the world for generations and I have met and made many new friends at the ranch from far away places. I have been going to the Lazy K Bar many years also bringing along my friends through out the years and they keep returning to the ranch again with me because of the awesome experience. The horses are fantastic, Love Sam, mares and all the babies, the riding is spectacular and the wranglers just give you their very best attention. It is a very quiet layed back atmosphere. Cabins are of a very old and western feel to them and very cozy. The creek that runs through the canyon is some of the best fly fishing that I have ever done. The ride up the canyon to Twin Lakes is one experience that stands out as one of the very best in my life. I call it heaven. The food is all home made real down home cooking, sunday morning breakfast by the creek with a special family recipe for the best hot cakes you could ever have. A ride to barbeque, camp fires and western cowboy guitar singing with old western story's told by Tack under the starry sky's of Montana, The Last Best Place. I could go on and on but one has to experience it for one self.
I will keep going back. Thank you Van Cleve Family I truly feel part of your wonderful family and life style of the true old west.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FLORENCE, MT
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2010

There is a little bit of cowboy in all of us. No single symbol so evokes a response of wide open spaces and freedom as much as the cowboy. If you have ever wanted to experience what that freedom is like, then the Lazy K Bar Ranch is the place for you. You are cheating yourself out of a life-changing experience if you don't go. My wife and I have been to Ranch several times. I hate to call it a "hotel" because it is more like a second home. Carol, Tack, and Kelley took a couple of "tenderfoots" like us and showed us not only how to ride, but how to appreciate those things we so often take for granted. Things look different from the back of a horse. They look better somehow. I can't explain it. You must experience it for yourself and you will be richer for it. My wife and I have been adopted by Carol, Tack, and Kelley and the welcoming hospitality and the genuine interest is something unique in this modern age. I defy you to remain immune to their infectious enthusiasm for all things equestrian. You are not going to a dude ranch. The Ranch has been in their family for generations. They are sharing their home and way of life with you in such a way that you cannot help but become part of its magic.

To me, a visit to the Ranch always refreshes the soul. What could be better? Great people, great horses, great food (I defy you not to gain a pound or two), all in what might just be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Regardless of your riding ability, from rank tenderfoot to seasoned wrangler, step up in the stirrup and see the world in a new way! I cannot recommend this experience strongly enough. Saddle up, Pardner and have the time of your life!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lazy K Bar

Address: P.O Box 1550, Big Timber, MT 59011
Location: United States > Montana > Big Timber
Amenities:
Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Big Timber
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 49

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