I rode growing up and had distant relatives in Montana.
So at 50 I wanted to go fulfill my dreams of visiting a working cattle ranch. You are really made part of the family while you help move the cattle from field to field. You can choose to chase stragglers or just sit in the saddle enjoying the scenery of the Beartooth mountains that are in view at the ranch. The fields can be hilly making this much more exciting riding than the flats of other ranches. I took 6 months of lessons again to brush up before the trip but I was still sore after a full day of riding. They arranged for a truck to pick me up! This is the real cowboy deal.
Then you can come back to your historic cabin. Ours was used as an office in the past and was beautifully decorated with menentos and books on cattle if you want to learn more. When we went 2 years ago they had a chef couple that worked at resorts preparing gormet meals. Or you can go rustic with sleeping bags in a cabin they have in the middle of no where for a night.
My husband enjoyed fishing in Emerald lake with beautiful mountain scenery. My son loved the daily riding even though he only had trail rides before. The staff can also give you brush up lessons if needed. They accomadate your every preference. You can be excorted back to your cabin early if you need a rest. Or you can watch a mini rodeo as the experts rope the cattle to doctor them. One day we even went swimming with the horses.
If you want a real working ranch with beautiful scenery, above average food, beautiful accomodations and a family that invites you into their home to understand what living and working on a ranch is really like, this is the one....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on 12,000 acres next to Yellowstone Park and the Beartooth Mountains, the Lazy EL offers 16 weekly guests (max) a private and authentic Montana ranch experience. Numerous VIP’s have escaped to this 108 year old ranch including Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Guests stay in luxurious antique cabins; ride the range with some 2,000 cattle; fly fish; enjoy 3 delicious meals a day; and steep in the magnificence of Montana’s Big Sky country. ... more less