Cattle drive vacations at Lazy E-L Ranch, Top50's newest Montana working ranch

BY Jody Dahl | Tue 20 Mar, 2012

Cattle drive vacations don't come much better than the Lazy E-L Ranch in Montana, USA - Top50's newest addition to its family of guest ranch vacations. For the ultimate cattle drive experience, Lazy E-L Ranch offers riders of all levels the chance to experience genuine and authentic western cowboy culture, with cattle work and horseback riding at the fore of its working ranch vacations.

Cowboy at Lazy EL Ranch Montana

Just outside of Yellowstone National Park near the old cowboy town of Red Lodge, sits the 12,000-acre Lazy E-L Ranch. The 5th-generation working ranch opens its doors to guests wishing to immerse themselves in western cowboy culture, offering working ranch vacations perfectly suited to advanced riders and keen beginners alike. Taking no more than 16 guests at any one time, the working ranch offers intimate horseback riding vacations with a real personal touch. No wonder, then, that the ranch was chosen by Condé Nast Traveler as one of their Top 5 Guest Ranches in the USA.

Steeped in history, Lazy E-L has lost none of its authenticity or its working ranch practices, allowing guests taking working ranch vacations at the ranch to experience the real cowboy lifestyle – not the fabricated kind. This means getting up as early as 6am to head down to the barn to saddle your well-trained ranch horse, before heading back to the cookhouse to plan the day’s cattle work over a hearty breakfast. Each and every morning on your working ranch vacation at Lazy E-L, ride alongside real cowboys as you venture out on thrilling, fast-paced cattle drives, gathering and moving the ranch’s 3,000 head of cattle over 12,000 acres of rolling Montana ranch country to new pastures.

Riding at Lazy E-L ends after the morning cattle drive, allowing both you and your horse to recharge your batteries and relax in the peace and tranquillity of the ranch. Satisfy your appetite back at the cookhouse with a hearty, home-cooked lunch lovingly created by Chef Jesse Montenegro and his team of professionally trained cooks, then spend your afternoons however you choose – whether it’s visiting nearby Yellowstone National Park, exploring the ranch on foot or by mountain bike, fly-fishing for trout in five miles of the West Rosebud River or helping the wranglers doctor cattle. Head to the Lazy E-L Guest Ranch during one of the three Advanced Rider weeks that run throughout the year, and be treated to longer hours in the saddle – meaning even earlier starts and later lunches!

Lazy E-L might be all about the riding and specially cater for keen, advanced riders wishing to get in lots of riding and cattle work on their guest ranch vacation, but that doesn’t exclude younger family members and beginner riders. Scenic trail rides are always available, and the ranch’s team of wranglers provide a gentle, supportive hand to beginner and novice riders, as well as helping more advanced riders improve their horsemanship skills. Children will be shown the ropes and then, if willing and able, included in the morning cattle drives. Those children less interested in cattle work can enjoy arena games, scavenger hunts, horseshoes and many more non-riding activities.

For an authentic, genuine working ranch vacations with an abundance of first-rate riding and cattle work that’s beginners and advanced riders alike - as well as for family ranch vacations - it has to be the Lazy E-L Ranch. The adventure of a lifetime really does start here!

View Lazy E-L's ranch profile on

TAGS: cattle drives, working ranch vacations, cattle work, guest ranch vacations, dude ranch vacations, family ranch vacations, working ranches, usa guest ranches, usa western ranch vacations, montana guest ranches, yellowstone national park, red lodge montana, conde nast traveler, top50ranches, lazy el ranch, lazy e-l guest ranch, fly fishing, childrens ranch vacations

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