The World's Top Guest, Working, Resort, Luxury and Ultra Ranch Vacations
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Lowdown

  • Established

    1890s. Guest ranch since 1998
  • Owner

    Shayne Jackson
  • Manager

    Desiree Sides
  • Tel

    406-293-5000
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    Summer: $400 - $450
    Winter: $250 - $285
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    $400 - $450
  • Minimum Stay

    Summer: 5 days
    Winter: 5 days
  • Maximum Guests

    20
  • Works with travel agents?

    Yes
  • Great For

    Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Diverse scenery
  • Memberships

    Dude Ranchers Association
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch is an authentic working cattle ranch located in the northwest corner of Montana. Our main emphasis is our horse and cattle program. You'll experience horses that are comfortable working cattle, or just leisurely heading out and exploring country.

Beginner riders to experienced leave here with more knowledge about horses, horsemanship, and cattle, than they've experienced anywhere else. We like to get to know you, work with you individually, and tailor each day to you. It's exciting for us to see how much you progress in the week.

You will find "more" here, from the care put into our lodging and meals, to the care of our horses, fine custom tack, and excellent facilities. "More" in the sincerity of our staff as well as the owner, Shayne Jackson, and "more" in what you find in yourself, and what you can do.

You will experience a well-rounded horseback riding program centered on what these horses can do with cattle and will leave here a better rider wanting "more."

Good time to go

We have specific times in April & May, and then in June & October that are ideal, please keep an eye on our events page. In winter enjoy riding in our heated indoor arena starting colts and fine-tuning your horsemanship skills.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 12 and over

Children are welcome to join us here at McGinnis Meadows, but there are no supervised children's programs. We do not accept riders under the age of 12. Any riders between 12-18 need to have prior riding experience.

Minimum age children can ride

12 and over

Environmental & Social Practices

Conservation

We are proud of their land management practices on our 25,000 acres of summer range. We are a showcase ranch setting an example for proper land management for other ranchers. We have set the standard for the Best Management Practices of the land owner, Weyerhauser Company and as an example to go by for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in training their staff.

Ranch History

Homesteaded in the 1890's by the Davis family, you'll find remnants of the past, such as their original house site, the later used "Davis Place," and the "Old Orr Place." Still used today, little log houses nestled along the edges of the tree line and the meadow. Cattle moved into the valley in the 1920's.

With his love of riding, and carrying on the Vaquero tradition of teaching horses, Shayne established the guest ranch in 1998. Although riding is our main emphasis, this country lends itself to an abundance of outdoor experiences. Hike to the ridge-top from the ranch and see the Cabinet Wilderness Area, mountain bike the abandoned old logging roads, catch a brook trout just before dinner, or just listen to the rustling leaves of the aspens from your private deck. A pleasing mix of the old with the new, we invite you to be a part of its history.

Your Manager, Desiree Sides

Des started riding horses when she was in college and was hooked immediately! She was introduced to Buck who sent her to the ranch for their top notch teachers and horses. Des rides the colts, future guest horses and client horses in addition to assisting Shayne in teaching guests.

Randy left PA when he was 17 and flew to WY. He knocked on a few doors and has been working on cattle outfits, guest outfits, guided for hunters and packed up to 66 horses on 100-mile trips into the Yellowstone area. He even rounded up wild horses for the BLM! He heads up the cattle, the fencing, the haying and more!

Your manager

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Gourmet, Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    buffet style, everyone eats together
  • Alcohol

    wine provided with dinner
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, patio, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, Gluten free

The cheeriest cooks in the West will greet you every morning and evening. Every meal is prepared with pride, and the refrigerator is always open to you. If you're hungry around here, "It's your own fault!" You'll enjoy fresh breads, salads, fruits, and vegetables. Mouth-watering entrees include smoked beef tenderloin, homemade fried chicken, and the most tender barbecued ribs you'll ever find!

We have a selection of drinks, wine, and always a beer on tap.

We can cater to most diets and are happy to talk wioth you about your needs.

Guest Favourites

  • Smoked Beef Tenderloin
  • Homemade breaded fried chicken
  • Grilled ribeye steaks

Your Chef, Holly Hairston

At an early age, Holly began cooking with her mother and grandmother where she grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. She and her aunt co-owned a ranch in Arizona and she cooked for guests there. In 1999, she moved back to Birmingham and in 2000, she began the culinary program at Culinard, The Culinary Institute of Virginia College as she wanted a more formalized culinary education. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program as Valedictorian in 2002 and did an additional baking and pastry program afterward. She was a private caterer after graduating, but then opened her own tearoom in 2007 called “The Ruby Radish” in a small town outside of Birmingham called Remlap.

Following Covid-19, Holly wanted to see if she would still enjoy returning to ranch cooking as much as she did earlier in her career, so she applied for the head chef position at McGinnis Meadows and began this new experience in August of 2021. Holly loves interacting with the guests and doing cooking demonstrations. She is happiest when guests enjoy their meal, so be sure and tell her how much you love her cooking because we know you will!

Lowdown

  • Address

    6220 McGinnis Meadows Rd
    Libby
    Montana
    59923
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    3400 ft
  • Private Land

    1000-5000 acres
  • Public Land

    10,000-20,000 acres

Nearest Town - Libby

Libby has a population of 5000 (approx), and is situated 45 miles / 45 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Libby include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, hospital, atm, gas station.

For shopping Libby offers: small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops.

Nearest Airports

Glacier International Airport, Kalispell

Distance

70 miles / 1 hour 15 mins

Airlines

Delta, United, Skywest, Allegiant, Horizon, Alaska, American Airlines

Ranch shuttle

$200/person roundtrip

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Rides dictated by ranch work
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

    70
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours

The Setting

Private Land (1000-5000 acres)

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch is situated along a wide open meadow at 3,300 feet elevation with a year round creek and surrounded by tall timbered mountains. Our cattle are kept in the surrounding mountains where they graze from May - October.

Public Land (10,000-20,000 acres)


Our Riding

Good to know

We require all guests coming to the ranch who are new to have either ridden with Buck Brannaman OR to watch Buck's In The Snaffle Bit DVD prior to arrival. We require guests at minimum to have watched the dvd so that everyone has a basic understanding of what we teach and comes in ready to build on some basic knowledge of this style of horsemanship.,

Weight limit for riding

Up to 210 lbs

Riding considerations

MUST have riding experience, We recommend a good level of physical fitness, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight

Hours in the saddle

Hours can depend upon ranch work and guest interest. Guests will ride up to 6hrs a day in the saddle.


Why our riding stands out

  • We teach Buck Brannaman Style Horsemanship in depth in a ranch setting. Guests leave as well rounded horseman with more skills than when they arrived.
  • Our horses are all highly educated geldings who can do every job on the ranch as well as the most refined maneuvers in the arena.
  • Shayne our ranch owner & Des our ranch manager have ridden with Buck Brannaman for many years. They offer top quality horsemanship teaching to all levels of riders to push them to be their best.

Sample Riding Itinerary

Check in is at 3 pm. Settle in, get acquainted and meet the crew. Orientation is at 5:30pm on the week's activities and to learn your expectations too. 

Each morning: Come out at 6:15am-9am to watch horses being ridden by Des & Shayne. We'll see you at 8:00 for breakfast. 9:30 AM we'll meet you out by the horses. 

Day 1: The first day is spent in the arena covering the basics of Buck Brannaman style horsemanship and giving everyone a foundation for learning for the week.

The rest of the week: We are flexible. We have horsemanship offered daily in the arena for anyone who is looking to further their horsemanship journey. Outside there's always cattle work to be done on summer range,  further your horsemanship skills, learn to throw a rope from the ground using roping dummies, or find new routes over the surrounding mountains.

Morning of departure: Leisurely breakfast, group photos, and we never say good-bye! It's "Till next time, you're part of our family now!"

Riding Lessons

You will quickly become familiar with your horse through the hands-on horsemanship lessons lead by our ranch manager and taught by our experienced wranglers. With personalized instruction from our team of experts, you'll soon feel comfortable heading out of the arena to explore the ranch and do any job at hand.

Details

lessons come with package

Given by

wrangler, ranch owner or manager

Location

on the trail, in the arena

Natural Horsemanship Clinic

Clinician

Buck Brannaman

Details

Clinics occur yearly, Clinics occur in the arena

Focuses on

Buck Brannaman teaches two weeks of clinics at the ranch in July every other year for guests wishing to attend. 

Cattle work - pasture gathers

At McGinnis Meadows, not only do you learn horsemanship, but you also put everything you've learned to use working cattle. May-Oct. we have steers that you and your horse can track, learn to cut, and ultimately ranch pen. You can also prepare for our cattle drives learning to move our herd of yearling steers in our meadows.  Moving cattle starts when we turn our main herd of cattle out during May. We move cattle all summer long on 25,000 acres of spectacular country surrounding ranch and state land in Northwest Montana. Moving cattle to new pastures, reriding for strays, and pushing cattle up to the high country is a real hoot! We'll teach you about the ways of cattle, and about proper land management. Our Fall Gather runs through October. In the brilliance of the Fall colors, we'll cover a lot of country. You'll learn about tracking cattle, and there will be some waspy ones that don't want to come in too badly! You are welcome to ride and participate as much as you wish. Each evening we come home to the heartiest of meals, and 1st class lodging so you'll experience the best of both worlds!

When

May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Frequency

Weekly

No. of yearlings

200

Interaction

Guests participate

Branding work

When

May

Frequency

Yearly

No. of Branding

200

Interaction

Guests watch

Arena Work

New state of the art indoor riding facility

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBW27aqry8A&feature=youtu.be

Type

indoor arena, outdoor arena

Activities

sorting, roping from the ground, cutting

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    Summer: $400 - $450
    Winter: $250 - $285
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    $400 - $450
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

    $350 - $400
  • Minimum Stay

    5 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Sat, Sun
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Sat, Sun
  • Packages available

    6 night, 8 night
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

McGinnis Meadows can cater for up to 20 guests. Accommodation includes Cabins and Lodges. See below for details and indicative rates.

Cabin | 7 Day Cabin

Rates (Per Person)*

Summer: $523
Winter: $442 - $552
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Minimum Stay

1 week

Rooms

1

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace, washer / dryer

Lodge | 7 Day Lodge Room

Rates (Per Person)*

Summer: $462
Winter: $412
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Minimum Stay

1 week

Description

Lodge rooms are for single travelers only.

Rooms

1

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

hair dryer, plush bathrobes


Booking Policy

To confirm your stay, we require a $750 per person deposit. 60% of balance due by February 1. Final balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Reservations made after February 1 require a 60% deposit.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, gratuity, Riding, Summer season: Kayaking/Paddle boarding on nearby lake, weather permitting, hiking, massage

Extras

Tax

Tax: $4.80/person/night

Gratuity

A 15% gratuity is included in the total of the guest stay.

Guided Fly Fishing

available through local guide

Lowdown

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy hats, Cowboy boots, Riding helmets, Saddle bags, Rain coats
  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi, telephone, free long distance.

Onsite

Shopping

We have an extensive gift shop will all types of branded clothing, Frecker's tack, Buck Brannaman books, and much more.

Outdoor Activities

bird watching, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking


Fishing & Wildlife

Excellent fishing is available on local rivers and lakes just minutes from the ranch. These crystal-clear waters abound with brook, brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout, bass, perch, and pike.

We also have two miles of McGinnis Creek running through the property. Here, both beginning and experienced anglers will enjoy the opportunity to catch the native eastern brook trout that inhabit the creek. With so many excellent fishing holes you may not see another angler all day! Set up a guided trip on the Kootenai River with one of our local guides. The yet undiscovered Kootenai River currently holds the world record for an amazing 33+ pound Rainbow Trout!

Fishing on offer

spin, fly, stream, guided non-inclusive, unguided, BYO equipment

Wildlife

Coyotes, Wolves, Bears, occasional Mountain Lion, Moose, Elk, Whitetail deer, Mule deer, Bald eagles, Golden eagles, Red tail hawks, Wood Peckers, Hummingbirds, Grosbeaks, Rocky Mountain Bluebirds, Ducks, Canada Geese, Ravens, Cottontail rabbits, Ground squirrels


Additional Services

Corporate Retreats

For groups of under 20.

Corporate retreats are welcome for up to 15 people. Make reservations a year in advance to set aside a week exclusively for your group.

Weddings

We can cater for groups of under 20.

Simple weddings are enjoyed by all at the ranch. McGinnis Meadows is a popular place to go for honeymooners!


Local Attractions

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, one of the largest of the national parks in the lower 48 states, is located in the northern section of Montana near the Canadian border. The park is known for spectacular mountains, glaciers, lakes, and a diverse variety of wildlife. Much of the park is backcountry and wilderness, crossed by over 700 miles of trails. Despite its remoteness, the park draws over 2.7 million visitors a year.

Distance

120 miles / 2 hours

Rental car

Required


Kootenai Falls

Kootenai Falls is the largest undammed falls in the state and a major attraction to those traveling through the area. It offers an unforgettable and breathtaking view as the Kootenai River loses 300 feet in elevation traveling a few hundred yards down river. A pleasant surprise to any photographer or nature lover. An attraction at the falls is a swinging bridge that provides access to the opposite side of the Kootenai River, a prime Montana fishery.

Distance

60 miles / 1 hour 15 mins

Rental car

Required

Highs

  • This is a true horse and cattle ranch, and they incorporate guests into their way of life with the added feature of a high-end ambience
  • They follow Buck Brannaman-style horsemanship: The horses are fine-tuned to leg pressure, are trained to work cattle and carry a beginner on a basic trail
  • Highly organized and smooth operation from staff to services, horses, and facilities - meticulous on every detail of your stay

Lows

  • There are no supervised children's programs, however children are invited to ride right alongside the adults

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

Peaceful, tranquil, just amazing.

If you are a horse person or just a person wanting to learn about horses, this place is absolutely for you. The environment is fantastic and relaxing and the teachings of Shane and his staff are wonderful. I am already planning to go back!

5 stars

You can find more reviews for McGinnis Meadows on TripAdvisor