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“On The Trail With Our Inner-Cowpersons” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Broken Arrow Lodge

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Broken Arrow Lodge
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“On The Trail With Our Inner-Cowpersons”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2010

My wife and I have always had inner-cowpersons despite the disbelief and sometimes disdain that seeps out of our now grown children whenever a hoof or horn shows itself. Nonetheless, we’ve wanted to ride something passing for the range ever since it became clear that Dale and Roy and Gene were wearing neon cowboy shirts in those black and white TV pictures that showed up in our own parents’ rustbelt homes, a dream that finally came true 6 or 7 years ago when we found the Broken Arrow Lodge in the Upper Ruby River Valley near tiny Alder, Montana. The Broken Arrow is located in that part of the Wild West that was the goal for the movie cowpokes from both “Lonesome Dove” and “Open Range,” and while there are no canned cattle drives or bottled gun fights offered at the Lodge, there is the vast rolling sea of wilderness acreage (now called The Beaverhead National Forest) that was the actual goal for the Texas cowboys portrayed in the movies and novel. Riding in the vastness of the mountains and alpine meadows that surround the Lodge, we’ve found, will satisfy even the most demanding inner cowpuncher and leave it wanting more, which is why we’ve come to see Sherry and Erwin Clark, the owners and outfitters, every year since discovering their place 25 miles south of Alder several years ago, a time during which we’ve seldom repeated a ride and never been less than enthralled.
The Clarks, to tell the truth, are the real reason we head down the road to Alder every summer. They combine serious skill with horses and the outdoors with a remarkable talent for making guests feel considerably more than welcome. Searching for a word to describe this talent during our second visit, we came up with “adoption” and have seen no reason to change it since. Sherry and Erwin have found a way to offer the way they have chosen to live to others, and the sense that one has been invited into a charmed circle brings most clients back on a regular basis, meaning that vacations at the Broken Arrow often seem like family reunions. The Clark’s basic all-inclusive price provides all the wilderness trail riding one could want (or his butt stand), all his meals, a clean, attractive, and comfortable room, and a medicinal hot tub when that butt has reached its limits. There is also gorgeous country to hike, a stocked pond on the property and the world-class Ruby River nearby for fishing, an enormous prairie dog village down the road for non-stop varmint shooting, and enough side trips to occupy those who have overestimated the fervency of their inner cowpoke. Yellowstone is a day-trip away; Virginia City and Nevada City, old gold mining towns turned into tourist attractions are 45 minutes down the road, and Sheila Kirkpatrick, a member of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, will make you a custom cowboy hat an hour away in Twin Bridges, Montana. Should you actually want to herd cattle, that’s possible too on almost any horse ride for there are cows aplenty grazing on the surrounding Forest Service land. The critters like to drift down to lower altitudes, and their owners will appreciate your help in pushing them back up high. For a bit more money, the Clarks will find you a fishing guide who will take you to other nationally recognized streams in the area, and there’s even the chance, for still more money, to take a pack trip into the wilderness and spend a couple of nights living in back woods luxury. For the truly committed buckaroo, the Broken Arrow also offers the Ride-a-Rama, a once-a-year chance to spend six days riding from spot to spot and camping out at night. The accommodations and food are comfortable and plentiful, and yet it’s about as good a chance as you’ll find to re-enter the spirit of the 1880s’ Cattle Culture. Back then, men were men, women were few and far between, the accommodations were rough, and the food less than scarce, but don’t worry. The Clarks’ friendly welcome and their beautifully trained string of horses will help you forget that you aren’t suffering in the same way that real cowboys did.
Never ridden? No matter; no experience on horseback is required because the Clarks are very good at getting tenderfeet started and toughened up. Prior to setting off for the first time, they’ll tell what you need to know initially and then offer further tips as the need arises down the trail. These tips are always offered in gentle asides and invariably cause mental light bulbs to glow. Sherry and Erwin are the best, most practical, and efficient equestrian teachers I’ve ever met and have made my wife and I, who were not experience riders when we first came to the Broken Arrow, what we are today—that is, the best mock cowpokes you’re likely to meet.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jnechas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Toledo, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2010

I just returned from a horseback riding pack trip hosted by Broken Arrow Lodge and Outfitters. The homey atmosphere, terrific food, and willingness to accommodate my interests made this a perfect get-away. I spent time in both the lodge and up at the ground camp, where we still had hot meals, wood-stoves in the tent, and great riding through the diverse Montana landscape.

The trail rides nearby and the opportunity to do pack trips in thicker wilderness makes this a great choice for a group looking for diverse options (hunting, fishing, horseback riding). I'm already thinking about my return trip next year (Ride-A-Rama)

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AdventureTraveller97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, PA
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2010

I've been to Broken Arrow ten years in a row. The combination of wonderful hosts, breathtaking scenery, an abundance of animals, and unlimited riding keep me returning every year. Plus the cost compared to other dude ranches is hard to beat. Every year, I'm tempted to try another riding experience, but then I weigh the factors involved in selecting a memorable riding vacation, and Broken Arrow wins out every time.

Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank CowboyNick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, PA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2009

The Clark's were great hosts, the horseback riding was out of this world, the views up in the mountians were like you were in heaven. We saw Elk, bear, moose. antelope,mule and whitetail deer,eagles and even lots of slow elk. I can't wait until my wife and i can go back!!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kkjr1541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2009

Breathtaking views, good home cooking and warm, friendly atmosphere makes this a perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful Montana mountains. Irwin and Sherry are wonderful people that will accomodate any type of horseback riding experience you are looking for. The rides were thrilling and filled with beautiful scenery and wildlife, much more than we expected as novice riders. My fiance and I highly recommend the Broken Arrow Lodge for the perfect, no frills, riding experience. We are excited to return next year.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JohnandJeanMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Broken Arrow Lodge

Property: Broken Arrow Lodge
Address: P.O. Box 177, Alder, MT 59710
Location: United States > Montana > Alder
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Alder
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Broken Arrow Lodge Montana/Alder

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