Dude ranch vacations and authentic working ranch experiences don’t get much better than the original cowboy country – Montana.
This northern US state isn’t named Big Sky Country for nothing; step spur-clad foot inside its 145,552 square mile radius – a statistic placing it fourth in the list of largest US states – and you’ll probably see more mountain ranges and cattle than you will people. With the third-lowest population density in the US, Montana boasts some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable – largely thanks to its 77 different mountain ranges, the revered Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and the historical Battle of Little Bighorn site.
But its plethora of lakes, rivers, mountains and wildlife aside, Montana is probably most famous for one thing: cowboy culture. And it’s no mere stereotype. Montana’s economy predominantly relies on ranching, agriculture, oil and (not surprisingly) tourism. Montana has become something of a Mecca for ranch vacations and is home to a seemingly endless string of dude ranches, as well as more traditional working ranches, both making for ideal guest ranch vacations. Step foot on Montana’s magical ground and it’s easy to see why the state is such a popular choice for ranch vacations.
Without hint of a gimmick, it offers something for everyone – from those wishing to reconnect with nature at a luxury guest ranch... to Western riding first-timers wanting to ‘dude up’ for a week... to seasoned riders wishing try their hand at real horse ranch work on an authentic working ranch... all the way to families looking to take their annual vacation at a child-friendly, family dude ranch. Montana welcomes its visitors with open arms – from beginner dudes to experienced riders, from young children to adults of all ages, from US locals to European tourists – everyone will find something for them at one of Montana’s guest ranches. When you’re not driving cattle, getting stuck into ranch activities or taking in the breathtaking scenery from a well-worn western saddle, you’ll find yourself in the company of some of the warmest people you’re ever likely to meet.
If it’s great hospitality and a true western experience you’re after, Montana is your answer. Steeped in western tradition, this enthralling state hasn’t fallen into the tourist trap it could so easily have become; even the luxury guest ranches and slick dude ranches come pretty close to an authentic working ranch experience. Whatever your age, wherever you’re from and however much you know (or don’t know) about a horse, you’ll come away from Montana with new friends – both horse and human – new skills and a renewed zest for life. So what are you waiting for? Take a hold of the reins and saddle up for an incredible horseback riding ranch vacation in Montana.