We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Absolutely Amazing!!”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Gallatin Gateway
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Covered Wagon Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Martinez, California
1 review
“Absolutely Amazing!!”
Reviewed October 29, 2013

For many years, a trip to a dude ranch in Montana was high on our bucket list. So to celebrate turning 60, my husband and I decided the time had come. While researching the various guest ranches in MT, we kept coming back to CWR. We liked the fact it was smaller, more rustic, and fit our riding style (which is next to none). The website indicated a charm and warmth that was confirmed with my first phone call to the ranch. After speaking with Melissa, I booked the ranch for September, 2013.

Our expectations were well exceeded. You are welcomed in a friendly manner, and the hospitality extended by the entire staff makes you feel you are the only guest there. The owners check with you each morning during breakfast to plan your day, which can be as busy or lazy as you wish. They will recommend and help you coordinate activities, such as horseback rides, flyfishing, sightseeing, etc.

Our cabin was charming and tastefully decorated with special touches (horse shaped chocolates, personal notes from housekeeping, delightful shampoos, lotions and even a magnifying mirror), as well as a gas stove, a warm comfortable bed, and a great porch with very comfortable rocking chairs, facing a beautiful view of the Gallatins.

You are spoiled with three meals a day, all spectacular, and served in the cozy lodge where you mingle with the staff and guests and share great stories. We met the nicest people, many returning guests, and you feel like family. The Friday night BBQ was entertaining and delicious.

The wranglers pair you with a horse that matches your ability, and I was able to enjoy two rides during our short time there. During one ride, we met up with the hunting group returning from their week at camp. It was a cool experience to see the mules packed, and travel back with the group and see how they maneuver the trail as a group.

One of the greatest experiences was the "running of the horses", where the horses are led from the stable, across the Taylor Fork River and led up the mountain for their time off. It is a beautiful sight to see the horses running free. I have watched the video several times and each time is as moving as the first. It is evident the horses are well trained, well taken care of and the wranglers love their jobs.

As we scratch off - Dude Ranch, MT - from our bucket list, we have now added: Return to CWR, ASAP!!

Thank you, Kurt and Melissa, and your awesome staff for an amazing vacation in your beautiful part of the country.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kathy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

241 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    238
    2
    0
    0
    1
See reviews for
113
59
25
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Virginia
1 review
Reviewed October 5, 2013

My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary at CWR. Everyone made our special occasion better than I thought it could be. All the staff was friendly and helpful. The owners Kurt and Melissa made you feel like family and that they were here to make your vacation the one to remember. I can't say enough good things about the cabins, food, people and horses, you just have to experience it for yourself. The views were amazing and the horses are matched to your riding ability and personality. They know how to do it right and have so many trails and options for everyone to get the ride that they want. Thank you CWR for an awesome time.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

The experience was more than we could have ever imagined. My wife and I chose CWR from a friends high recommendations. Having some, but not a lot of horse riding experience, we just wanted a nice special wedding Anniversary and riding horses was on our bucket list. Even before we got there, the attention to our needs and information provided via email was exceptional. From the moment we arrived at the airport to the tears that flowed when we left, we feel we made some lasting relationships in the 8 days we were there. Some Major points: The positive attitude was infectious and genuine concern for your Safety and happiness was outstanding. Every staff member we talked to - from the cooks, servers and wranglers, loved their job and loved being there. As one person said "we came as strangers and left as Family". We were met each morning with a great breakfast, great coffee, and a warm "what would you like to do today" from Kurt - the Co-owner. The horses we rode were extremely well cared for, responsive and yet gentle. Our lunches (we chose) were lunch bag style, very tasty and filling. And the Dinners: The dinners alone are worth the trip. I was amazed by the quality and quantity of the food. By day 3, I didn't know how the meals could get any better, and yet they did. It's a week later and I still think of that incredible Pork Tenderloin and that perfect London Broil, and BBQ Chicken, and Cod, and that soup, and the.... The days spent riding took us to places that you could ONLY experience on horseback. Not by car, motorcycle, airplane or hiking. I took hundreds of photos of the scenery and the people just to make sure we can recall as much of this experience as we can. We saw/photographed Grizzly, Elk, Deer, Eagles, Moose, and heard the wolves. Each day was different from the last. And by the time we left, we knew how to saddle, ride, and unsaddle and put away a horse with vigor. And the most valuable take-away we experienced, is the back to basics of no electronics, no cell phone, and no TV. (Well, I did have some internet access on my smartphone - but that was only to check the days weather.) It was all about making people and horses happy. Being friendly and sharing the days experiences and great food. And this "simple life" made us re-think about our own hectic, fast pace in-your-face life we have on the east coast. Our visit to CWR will forever be memorable and we highly recommend them.

Room Tip: The weather got to freezing almost each night and OUR cabin (not all) was heated via wood burning st...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 1, 2013

We're from Chicago and had never been to a guest ranch. We chose this one for our honeymoon on account of all the positive reviews that it's received from previous guests... flawless reviews. Well, it turns out those reviews are very well deserved. Quite possibly the most friendly group of people running an establishment that we've ever had the pleasure of spending time with. You're a guest without the pressures thereof. And along for a ride through the most incredible scenery you may ever see with your own eyes. It feels good to write a positive review because "you" feel like you're writing about friends.

Our personal cabin with a wood burning stove, claw foot tub, and front porch was very comfortable and, for our purposes, romantic. The meals held in the main lodge, prepared in the kitchen right off the dining room, were homemade, varied in sides and courses, and big. My wife is vegetarian and she was provided with a special dish every evening for dinner. The chef even sought us out one afternoon to ask specifics on her diet for that night's meal. He was a nice guy- needless to say at this point. Lunch was to-order. You fill out a sheet to build-your-own sandwich and then stuff whatever else you can fit in your lunch bag for that day's trip. They have a cupboard full of snacks available at all times of the day and more specific lunch items out in the morning for building your lunch to take out on the trail.

The horses were trained to such a degree that many of the guests inquired about purchasing the very horse they were set up with for their stay. My wife rides "hunt seat" but is now also interested in "western" after this trip.

I could go on but someone in a previous review must have covered all of this. I'll end with saying that we want to go back. We'd like to see Kurt and Mellisa again and all the other folks at the ranch making it happen. I definitely say, "give it a shot".

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank 175mikev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed September 28, 2013

My family has travelled a lot and been to many great places.....yet never have we taken time to review anything online. We would be so remiss, however, if we didn't convey our experience at Covered Wagon Ranch. We typically never return to a place for vacation because there are so many places in the world to see. This summer we made our 2nd annual trip back to CWR......and we haven't ruled out a three-peat. The beauty of Montana alone is worth the visit.....but what Kurt, Melissa, Austin, Kayla, Jerry, Tyrell, Keaton....and a host of other great staff did was make the experience personal. The opportunity to experience great scenery on horseback riding a new trail each day and interacting with such humble and genuine folks is exactly what you hoped you would get and more when you sign up for the adventure. The cabins are quaint, the food is good, the views are spectacular, getting to know other guests is a treat, the horses are well cared for, you are catered to in a way you don't expect but greatly appreciate......all of that is wonderful. But all of that actually pales in comparison to the fact that you just feel so at home there. The CWR experience is unique.....and I'm almost reluctant to share that lest your visit makes it harder for my family to book our next trip....but fair is fair......and the effort put forth by this amazing group of people needs to be shared....they've earned that. So if you are looking for a more intimate, personal way of seeing great scenery on horseback, taking a bit of a break from emails and phone calls (which you can still do there,,,,but you won't want to), then you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to hang your hat for a few days. As I said.....the world is full of cool places to travel to...but rest assured that my family will be making a third......fourth, etc. visit to Covered Wagon Ranch. The feeling is like going back to a cool place to see family....but family you really like....and we all know that while we love our families.....we don't always look forward to the visits! :). I hope you trust me when I say you'll love this experience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ccm11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Storrs, Connecticut
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed September 23, 2013

The Covered Wagon Ranch is superb because is allows each guest to design the perfect vacation. This is a very small place (12 – 14 guests when I was there in September 2013), and really caters to its customers. The phrase “it’s your vacation – what would you like?” came up quite a few times, both from the owners and the staff. And they meant it. Each morning at breakfast Kurt or Melissa, the owners, would ask each guest what he or she wanted to do that day. The ranch is on leased national forest service property, so most guests are there to ride. Melissa would ask how long a ride a guest wanted, how difficult and what companions he or she would like. I was there for 5 days and took 5 very different rides – some just with a wrangler, some with as many as two other guests. Sometimes we rode directly from the ranch, sometimes we trailered out. It was completely flexible. They did a good job of matching the horses with the riders too. I’ve owned horses for 40 years and asked for a horse that was sensible but responsive. That’s what I got. There were several beginner riders there at the same time, and they got perfect beginner mounts. This is an equally appropriate place for an experienced rider or a one with little or no experience.

The only scheduled event during the day was the family style meals. The food was great, but the atmosphere was better. This was my first trip as a solo traveler (my kids don’t ride) and I wondered whether it would be awkward. The guests and staff all gathered together at dinner and told stories of what they did during the day. It was a great deal of fun, and most of the folks swapped e-mail addresses before they left. I met some lovely people and fully intend to keep up with them.

I booked this trip sight unseen because of the on-line reviews. They were so good that I wondered if they were edited or exaggerated. They weren’t. So I’m writing this partially as a thank you to the prior reviewers who pointed me to this place. The cabins were lovely, the staff terrific and the scenery incredible. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Room Tip: They're all good - the two bedroom ones have 4 double beds and would fit a family.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Leslie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2013

CWR was great place to spend our vacation. We had a 2 bedroom log cabin w/ a potbelly stove which was perfect. We rode 5 out of the 6 days we were at CWR and everyday was a new a different experience. The food was excellent. We are from Texas so the August weather in MT was such a nice break too. Melissa and Kurt are terrific and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kara77005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Gallatin Gateway
12.0 mi away
Buck's T-4 Lodge
Buck's T-4 Lodge
#2 of 13 in Big Sky
697 reviews
17.5 mi away
The Lodge at Big Sky
The Lodge at Big Sky
#1 of 13 in Big Sky
554 reviews
17.4 mi away
Big Sky Resort Village Center
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
24.0 mi away
Best Western By Mammoth Hot Springs
2.0 mi away
320 Guest Ranch
320 Guest Ranch
#1 of 5 in Gallatin Gateway
327 reviews
15.1 mi away
Lone Mountain Ranch
Lone Mountain Ranch
#3 of 13 in Big Sky
196 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Covered Wagon Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Covered Wagon Ranch

Property: Covered Wagon Ranch
Address: 34035 Gallatin Road, Gallatin Gateway, Big Sky, MT 59730
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Big Sky > Gallatin Gateway
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Gallatin Gateway
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Covered Wagon Ranch Hotel Gallatin Gateway
Covered Wagon Ranch Montana/Gallatin Gateway

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing