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“Warm welcome, great rides” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Covered Wagon Ranch

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Covered Wagon Ranch
34035 Gallatin Road, Gallatin Gateway, Big Sky, MT 59730   |  
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Hotel amenities
US
1 review
“Warm welcome, great rides”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

Our family just returned from a trip to Montana and Wyoming, which started with five days at Covered Wagon. We are riding novices. We chose Covered Wagon because we wanted a personalized experience in a small ranch. We were very happy with the results, and our 8-year old (who had not ridden a horse before) loved both the trails and the chores after the rides. The horses were a good match for us. We also enjoyed meeting other families as well; our daughter had playmates during our entire stay.

Kurt and Melissa, as well as all the wranglers and staff, were welcoming, helpful, and knowledgeable. We would definitely recommend Covered Wagon!

Ian

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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165 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at CWR as part of a 3 week road trip that included stops in Yellowstone and Sun Valley. When I booked our stay, I must admit, I was slightly skeptical of the huge number of 5 star reviews. As I write this review now, I'm happy to say we have our reservations booked for next year already! The place is amazing!

Not knowing what to expect, we stayed 3 nights at the ranch and I would definitely recommend a longer stay- and indeed, for our next visit, we'll be staying for 6.

The ranch itself is gorgeous in a rustic, authentic way. Guests stay in small cabins and you eat meals communally in the main lodge/dining hall. The cabins are nothing "fancy" but it only increases their charm. They are immaculately clean and well appointed- with cozy linens, thoughtful touches like water bottles and fire starter for your cabins wood burning stove!

The meals are a highlight of the experience- breakfast and dinner are served in the lodge and the food is truly wonderful- everything made in-house and freshly prepared. During our stay we had roast turkey with all the trimmings one evening, plank salmon another, and incredible ribs on the third! The service in the dining room (and everywhere else) is incredibly friendly yet very professional and competent. I travel a lot for both work and fun, and have stayed all over the world- and I can say without exaggeration that the ranch had the most outstanding staff and service that I have ever experienced. Warm, friendly, genuine- they make you feel like a guest in their home!

The riding is amazing and there is something for all levels. My husband and I are horse lovers but in the beginner/intermediate range skills-wise. They never made us feel like we should know more or were impatient with our abilities. During our stay, I observed riders from flat beginner to lifelong horse owner/riders and they ensured everyone had the right amount of variety and challenge to suit their tastes. On top of all that, we have twin 4 1/2 year old girls- and the staff saddled horses and lead them on rides around the ranch everyday (under 6 can't go on trails). They "taught" them basic skills and were so patient and sweet with them. The girls came home with their hearts stolen by the wranglers and the horses!

Finally, Kurt, Melissa, the wranglers, and the house staff (yep, that's everyone), were wonderful! We couldn't have had a better experience. One small thing to keep in mind- the horses (deservedly) rest on Sundays, so no riding- there's TONS of other things to do, but if you are just staying just a few nights and really want to ride, you may want to keep that in mind.

Can't wait to get back there next year!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Doylestown, Pa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

We rarely make plans to revisit a destination but we returned to Covered Wagon Ranch for a 2nd time. We were just as impressed this summer as last summer. Debi & JT make you feel like party of the "family". The cabins are amazing! Super comfortable, the food is delicious. But probably the best part, the great wranglers. Jake, Brian and Mariah were great to ride with, friendly, knowledgeable about the area, great to ride with. Took us on awesome rides. We stayed 3 nights and the last night of our stay was the cookout with the wranglers, JT & Debi and guitarist.
Definitely one of our favorite places! Very relaxing, takes the stress away. We will return!!

Room Tip: No tip needed. All the cabins are super cozy and comfortable with their own front porch and rocking...
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

Absolutely the best--AGAIN! This is our 9th year at Dude Ranches and the 4th to CWR. We LOVE the people, the place, the horses, the overall location, and the weather. The overall experience is nothing short of total relaxation and is therapeutic. We went on new trails and saw a number of wild animals as we do every year. It takes a special type of person to keep this very high standard up and the owners and managers do this every year. Just wonderful!

Room Tip: You can e-mail me and I will respond to your questions.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Well it's been 7 years in a row now and every year they found new trails that I have never been on before. The food is great and different every night. The cabins feel like home now :) The horses are great. The wranglers are lots of fun and they tend to stay a few years which is great!
Kurt the Ranch Manager is outstanding and Debi and JT the owners are just great people and really care about the ranch. Great place to just relax and ride horses like a real dude ranch should be. No regimented schedule they cater your expereince to exatctly what you want to do. You don't have to know how to ride to have a great time, like I said the horses are great for beginers or expereinced riders. I have my own horse at home, so I know well cared for horses when I see them! If you looking for a "Authentic" dude ranch experience this is where you should go!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CHELTENHAM UK
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

I was on a solo trip without much time and count myself very lucky to have found the Covered Wagon Ranch with a cabin available for a couple of nights. It was a marvellous experience and I wish I could have spent longer. Everything about CWR is excellent : the accomodation is generous in size and very comfortable : the catering is first rate quality and most efficient : the horses are a revelation - such a large string and every one known intimately for its breeding, background and characteristics. The riding country is awe inspiring, beautiful, varied and so much of it! Without exception, the staff are knowlegeable, interesting and helpful. Several guests were return visitors which speaks volumes and the whole bunch made for lively and entertaining company. But the whole tone is set by the hosts, Kurt and Melissa, who provide such an enthusiastic welcome - even to an itinerant Englishman arriving without booking or warning! There are not many places to which I am determined to return, but CWR is top of that short list!

Room Tip: Any is good!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlothian, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

We've been to 3 other dude ranches in the west. This was by far the best. Horses were well matched to our ability, the riding trails were unsurpassed, the food was excellent, the cabins were great and the staff was fantastic. They customized the rides to the extent that often it was only the 3 of us and a wrangler on our rides. They have so many trails that you'd never get bored---and the scenery is unequalled. One thing distinguishes them from other dude ranches: every morning at breakfast you are asked what kind of ride you'd like---then they they figure out which trail to take you on. We had choices of morning ride, afternoon ride, all day ride, short all day ride (leave by 9:30, eat lunch on the trail, back by 2 or 3) and everything in between. You describe what you want to do and they figure out where to take you. They frequently trailer the horses to the trailhead---or if you leave from the ranch they pick you up at the end of the ride and trailer the horses back. That avoids always beginning and ending at the ranch and lets you really get to some interesting places. It's much more trouble for them to do it that way but they make it look easy. There's absolutely none of the cookie cutter approach to rides where you have only a few choices. They are superlative and I highly recommend them.

Room Tip: All of the cabins are comfortable. It's really pleasant to sit out on your cabin porch at the e...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Covered Wagon Ranch

Address: 34035 Gallatin Road, Gallatin Gateway, Big Sky, MT 59730
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Big Sky > Gallatin Gateway
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty lodging in Gallatin Gateway
Also Known As:
Covered Wagon Ranch Hotel Gallatin Gateway
Covered Wagon Ranch Montana/Gallatin Gateway

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