If you’re looking for an all-around guest dude ranch vacation that embodies Montana and the spirit of the Old West, the Summer Discovery Package is the ideal choice. Guests enjoy farm-to-table cuisine, evenings around a glowing campfire, scenic horseback trail riding, and live western music to name a few of the experiences that leave guests returning year after year for our Discovery Package. Recently voted “Best Family Ranch” by Top 50 Ranches, experience the adventure of a lifetime your whole family will enjoy!
Horses have long been essential to the way of life in Yellowstone Country. For over a century, Lone Mountain Ranch’s team of horses has brought ranchers and visitors into parts of the backcountry that are otherwise unseen and untouched. From galloping on the ranch to venturing into Lee Metcalf Wilderness and Gallatin National Forest, our experienced wranglers and horses are dedicated to empowering riders of all ages and abilities to discover real Montana.
To provide specialized attention to every guest, adventures are limited to a few riders per wrangler. Wranglers will spend the first full day assessing abilities and matching riders with their best horses. Previous riding experience is not required – our highly trained wranglers can teach beginners the skills they need to enjoy their time on horseback or advance the skills of more experienced riders. To ensure the safety of horses and guests in the mountain terrain, we enforce a rider weight limit of 230 pounds.
Situated between the world famous Madison and Gallatin Rivers, Lone Mountain Ranch is the idyllic place to fish blue ribbon rainbow, brown and brook trout. Our Orvis-endorsed fly fishing guides will provide anglers of all levels with the skills and gear they need to begin or advance their sport.
For some, there is no more relaxing experience than casting a fly rod, for others there is no greater thrill. Every fly-fishing excursion is custom tailored to your interests, skill level and desire to explore.
Lone Mountain Ranch has a century-long tradition of curating Yellowstone Park experiences – from the history and geology to the backcountry and wildlife. Our naturalist guides are also accredited Yellowstone guides, with lifetimes of expertise and the most comprehensive, turnkey access to the park.
Let us take you for a hike, picnic, photography expedition or to see iconic landscapes and geysers such as Old Faithful. These are our roots, so when you visit Yellowstone with us, you get much more than a tour.
The trails behind the property offer both long, spirited rides and heart-pumping adrenaline rushes. Let us set you up with a map, bike and safety gear, plus a picnic lunch and a guide if you’re interested. Montana offers one of a kind mountain biking, and it would be just as easy to spend an hour or a few days navigating the adventure.
At different points and times of year, the Gallatin River offers class I-IV rapids. Rafting trips are available to guests age 6 and older, guided in partnership with our friends at Geyser Whitewater Expeditions. The river offers many challenging sections or spectacular places to gently float through the scenery. Half day and full day trips are available.
Let the scenery inspire your creative side. Celebrated local artist Jackie Rainford offers sharp understanding of drawing and painting fundamentals through oil painting, block painting, nature drawing and other mediums.
During a 2-3 hour class (which includes art supplies and smocks), you will gain the confidence to let your imagination run as wild as the terrain. Photography enthusiasts can be paired with Lone Mountain Ranch naturalist guides to set up the best shots and techniques for landscape and wildlife imagery day or night.
The Ranch is as much a playground for children as it is for adults. This program builds confidence through outdoor recreation, develops an appreciation for nature, and, most of all, gives young people (aged 4-12) the space to roam, have fun, and connect with each other. Kind and energetic staff will lead kids through a variety of experiences geared to entertain and challenge all age groups.
It’s not just a spa treatment, participating in yoga or massage can help you acclimate to the Ranch’s high altitude more quickly, and may even help prevent injury. Unwind your body and mind after a vigorous day, or start the morning with a routine to kickstart the adventure. Certified yoga instructors will take you through Vinyasa style yoga to warm and condition the body while softening and relaxing the mind.
Massage therapists offer a range of soothing styles, from Swedish, Russian and Thai massage to acupressure, shiatsu and sports massage. Add a head massage, Feet Treat or hot stone therapy for extra pampering. Our massage and yoga studios are located in the Ranch’s original B-K lodge. We recommend signing up for these activities at the beginning of your trip to get the most from your time with us.
Deciding what to pack for your dude ranch vacation can sometimes be overwhelming. Since the atmosphere at Lone Mountain Ranch is casual, there is no need to pack anything too fancy. Jeans and comfortable shirts are the essentials during your week at the Ranch.
Summer temperatures can vary greatly throughout the day so we recommend dressing in layers to stay comfortable. As with any outdoor adventure vacation, sunscreen is a must and with over 300 days of sunshine here in Big Sky Country, chances are you will be out in the sun for many of your activities. Staying hydrated is important, as it keeps your body’s systems working properly and can prevent unnecessary fatigue. If you forget your water bottle, we have BPA-Free Nalgene® bottles in our Shop.
In the Ranch B-K (guest lounge area), we have complimentary laundry facilities, so you can rest assured that overpacking is only optional. Also, the Ranch has a convenient Outdoor Shop with t-shirts, socks, cowboy hats, ball caps, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain jackets and more.
So, to help you with your packing list for your vacation to Lone Mountain Ranch, we have compiled a list of suggested items:
-Lightweight, breathable shirts
-Riding boots with a 1″ heel and smooth sole (we also have boots available to borrow)
-Light windproof jacket and fleece jacket
-Long socks for riding, wool or wool blend is ideal
-Riding helmet (we also have helmets to borrow)
-Cowboy/ cowgirl hat
-Lightweight shirt (no cotton preferably)
-Synthetic base layer (Patagonia® or Smartwool) for under waders
-Warm jacket or fleece jacket
-Gloves and hat (for cooler days)
-Lightweight breathable shirt and shorts or pants
-If interested in the overnight backpacking trip, backpack, sleeping pad & sleeping bag
(we also have these items to borrow)
Accessories and Other Items
-Comfortable clothing (yoga or relaxing)
-Socks (wool or wool blend; no cotton)
-Gloves and warm hat (chilly mornings and evenings)
-Lip balm with sunblock
-Flashlight or headlamp (and extra batteries)
-Camera and memory card
-If you are unable to fit everything, try sending us some of your items in advance via UPS or FedEx. Before using another carrier, contact our office to find out whether they deliver to the Ranch. Ship your packages to: 750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road, Big Sky, MT 59716 about 10 days before your arrival to allow plenty of time for the items to get here.
-Be sure to leave some room in your bags for any souvenirs or creative items your children make in the Kids Program
-Wear your cowboy boots or hiking boots the day you travel, as it leaves more room for other items if you are wearing the larger, heavier items
Exploring Southwest Montana Backcountry
Reins, lead rope, cinch, stirrup, pannier….
Until this summer most of these terms were still a little foreign to me. Even though I have been around horses and worked closely with a few wranglers over the last couple of years I have not fully immersed myself into backcountry horseback expeditions until recently. In the last couple of months I have been fortunate to lead, and guide, some epic trips into some of the stunning Wilderness and National Forest areas around Southwest Montana.
In the past, I have done hiking or backpacking journeys into the mountains with the objectives of escaping crowds on the rivers, discovering new bodies of water, or chasing different species of trout. By introducing horses into the equation everything becomes a little easier. Horseback makes the deep backcountry more accessible since they can cover 15-20 miles of terrain, and elevations gains of 2,000-2,500 feet, in a day with ease. Since someone else is doing the hard work, you get the chance to sit back and enjoy all the breathtaking scenery and views. Next, horseback can save your back when it comes to camping and overnight expeditions. Horses give you the option to camp in comfort by bringing along cushy pads, warm sleeping bags, plenty of layers, all your fishing gear and, most importantly, cooking supplies and great food. After enjoying a Prime Rib dinner cooked in a cast iron skillet over a camp fire it will be hard to go back to eating freeze dried meals in the backcountry.
Regardless of how you get there, on horseback or by foot, the fishing is always rewarding! In Southwest Montana we are fortunate to have destinations that hold plenty of Cutthroat Trout, some lakes that hold Artic Grayling and a few lakes that have Golden Trout. Through August and into September most of these trout are more than willing to eat a dry fly, which only adds to the excitement. During a recent expedition to one of the Spanish Lakes three of us enjoyed an afternoon of landing 75+ Cutthroat Trout all on dry flies. Some of my go-to backcountry patterns include the Parachute Adams, Purple Haze and any assortment of ant or beetle imitations. For some reason trout cannot resist those little crunchy terrestrials during the late summer months.
The Madison, Gallatin and Yellowstone Rivers get all the attention in this part of Montana, but you can be rewarded with scenery, solitude and hungry trout by getting off the beaten path and exploring the backcountry!
I’m going to take a second to brag about how lucky I am to live in Big Sky and work with Lone Mountain Ranch for the winter season. Having 85 kilometers of pristine Nordic trails to ski on every day would be enough to keep most people satisfied for the season, but as if that’s not enough, our trails connect to Big Sky Resort’s 5,800 acres of downhill ski terrain. I’m talking about enough area to keep someone on skis busy for season after season.
A short ten minute drive up the mountain from the Ranch will put you right at the base area of the Biggest Skiing in America. With terrain ranging from the magic carpet bunny hills to the steeps of the A-Z chutes and The Headwaters, there really isn’t anything that Big Sky doesn’t have for downhill enthusiasts. Anything, that is, except for world class Nordic trails that allow you to get your legs in shape for those 15 inch powder days that will be here soon.
Enter Lone Mountain Ranch. Nordic skiing, whether classic or skating, is a great way to get your body ready for the demands of downhill skiing. You certainly could spend all day on downhill skis, but after a long summer your legs will usually hate you after the first few outings. A wiser alternative is to come out to the Ranch, free the heel for a few days, and get your legs back in shape while exploring our beautiful trail system. Legs aside, Nordic skiing is also a great cardio workout which will help a lot when you are hiking up ridges to find fresh lines as the season progresses.
If you are a die-hard Nordic skier, I would encourage you to take a day and explore some of the incredible downhill terrain we have here in Big Sky. Likewise, if you spend every day up on the mountain, take a day and come visit us here at the Ranch to get some Nordic skis on your feet. With a full line of rental equipment and experienced instructors, we have everything you need to get back in shape and get ready for the long days of downhill skiing that will be here soon. As a rider who does it all, the skate skiing at the Ranch now is epic-the skating conditions can’t be beat. See you out on the trails.
The Larkspur cabin (named after a summer-blooming wildflower) features an expansive porch that’s perfect for quality family time or cozying up alone with a good book and a blanket. Inside, guests can unwind in the spacious living room beside the wood stove, bathed in natural light. This cabin features one bedroom with a queen bed and vanity/sink and another bedroom with a queen bed, single bed, and large bathroom that connects the two bedrooms.
Yellowstone National Park
Lone Mountain Ranch is located in the scenic town of Big Sky, Montana, just 40 minutes drive from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN). We offer complementary, on demand concierge service to and from Bozeman airport in our fleet of black-car SUVs.
Guests at the Ranch can make themselves truly at home. With meals and activities included in most vacation packages, you’re free to come and go and relax as you please. Summer guests, plan to stay a full week. All guests, make this your Real Montana home.
Big Sky’s premier farm-to-table fine dining experience is located right on the Ranch at the Horn & Cantle Restaurant. Acclaimed Executive Chef Eric Gruber oversees all menus, from breakfast and brunch at the restaurant to happy hour at the Saloon to the historic sleigh ride dinners. We’re delighted to accommodate all dietary needs with special menus as requested.
There are 27 historic log cabins on the property, ranging from 1 to 6 bedrooms. We also offer 5 pairs of adjoining cabins, perfect for families with older kids or group getaways. All of our cabins offer privacy, comfort and top-shelf amenities, beautifully renovated and lovingly restored in 2016. View Cabins
We can help you custom tailor your best Montana experience. Start with one of our packages, from Winter Discovery to Exploring Yellowstone to an Angler’s Dream, then add any adventures you want to explore on our reservations page.
From finding your boot size to curating the perfect trail map, our Ranch Hands are experienced adventurers who thrive on giving exceptional hospitality. Ask them anything about ranch life in Western Montana or what to expect when you visit Lone Mountain.
It’s true… it is the biggest day of your life and the place you get married should reflect the significance of the occasion. Lone Mountain Ranch is that place. A wedding at the ranch, large or small, in summer or winter, will set a glorious stage for the rest of your life together.
A destination for 100 years, Lone Mountain Ranch has a variety of indoor and outdoor venues, accommodations for up to 150 guests, complete food & beverage service capabilities, plus a full range of ranch activities that will leave every guest with a lifetime of memories.
Located in Big Sky, Montana, our historic guest ranch is the perfect setting for your next family reunion, corporate retreat, or annual meeting. The ranch has a variety of private, indoor and outdoor venues. Offering accommodations for up to 100 guests, inspiring food & beverage selections, plus a full range of ranch activities, guests and families will leave filled with a lifetime of memories for years to come.
With our 27 cabins, Lone Mountain Ranch can accommodate families of all ages and all sizes. Book a private tour of Yellowstone for your clan, a game of flag football for the kids, and get lots of downtime to reconnect in one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. Let us help you make it a reunion to remember.