Top50 Ranches

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Lowdown

  • Established

    1863. Guest ranch since 1929
  • Owner

    Arthur M. Blank
  • Manager

    RC Townsend
  • Tel

    800.548.3392
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $633 - $752
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $422 - $482
  • Minimum Stay

    1 week
  • Maximum Guests

    85
  • Works with travel agents?

    Yes
  • Great For

    Action & adventure, Pampering, Diverse scenery
  • Memberships

    Dude Rancher's Association, Montana Dude Rancher's Association, AAA Four-Diamond Property, 2014 World's Best Ranches, Duderanch.com Signature Ranch.

Join us for an unforgettable family getaway where you will spend precious days discovering the adventures of horseback riding, fly-fishing, hiking, private golf, massage, and gourmet cuisine.

The unique and adventurous nature of Mountain Sky Guest Ranch allows guests of all ages to connect with the land and enjoy an authentic guest ranch experience, all within the pristine surroundings of Montana’s Rocky Mountains and minutes away from Yellowstone National Park.

Good time to go

Spring, Summer or Fall!

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 0 and over

Morning and afternoon sessions

Our imaginative kids program ensures that children six and under don’t feel like they’re missing out while parents and siblings are out on the trail. The morning and afternoon sessions offer something for everyone, and feature hilarious theme days, scavenger hunts, arts & crafts, lead-line horseback rides, games in our heated pool, and any other adventure our creative counselors can bring to life for your children. We offer the peace of mind that can only be achieved on vacation when you know that EVERY member of the family is having the time of their life.

Evening sessions

After an exciting day at the ranch, we encourage our younger guests to join our kids program for dinner with their newfound friends, followed by evening programming tailored to entertain every age group. Campfire sing-a-longs, camouflage capture the flag, hay rides and evening hikes are just some of the activities in store for our the kids, and we ensure that there is never a dull moment!

Teen program

Why should the little ones get to have all the fun? Our energetic teen counselors are here to ensure that our guests 13 and older have the vacation experience of a lifetime! Activities include gourmet teen dinners, hilarious talent show skits, and off-site adventures like trips to Yellowstone’s “Boiling River”, thrilling challenges on our high ropes course, and clay target shooting in Paradise Valley.

"I think it is so funny that we were worried how our children (Reid 4, Oliver 2, Nate 4 months) would like it here. The camp is wonderful! All the staff members were great with them all!"

M. Bahnik

Arts & Crafts

play-doh, coloring, sketching

Activities

hiking, outdoor play area, cookouts, whitewater rafting, supervised swimming

Games

scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, horseshoes, soccer, volleyball, badminton, ping pong, pool table

Riding based activities

pony rides, arena riding, trail riding, *must be 7 or older for trail rides.

Baby Sitting

From age 0 to 13. Hourly cost $25.

Baby Sitting Provided By

Our attentive staff.

Environmental & Social Practices

Environment

Since we opened as a dude ranch in 1929, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch has topped the list of the nation's upscale guest ranch resorts, and there is no big secret to our success. While there's no doubt you'll admire the breathtaking views, fine food, amenities and luxury environment, it's our staff who make the difference. When you arrive at the ranch, you become a member of the Mountain Sky family.

Community

Known by guests for caring, attentive service, the staff at Mountain Sky is known by residents in the local community for the same thing. Throughout the year, our staff gives back to the communities in which they live and work — through their physical involvement and through grants made to non-profit organizations by the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund. Established in 2001, the Fund has exceeded $4.0 million in grants.

The mission of the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund is to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Park and Gallatin Counties in Montana. The Mountain Sky staff is especially interested in supporting projects in rural areas where resources and services are limited, to address community challenges.

Ranch History

The history of Mountain Sky Guest Ranch epitomizes the authenticity and romance of Montana's Paradise Valley and the American West.

The warm Western hospitality and superb service enjoyed by today's guests have deep roots in the ranch's history as a working and guest ranch. Serving guests since 1929, the ranch and its historic buildings resonate with the memories and storied lore of the Old West. Through successive ownerships, the AAA 4-Diamond rated dude ranch was officially named Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in 1979.

Today, guests who vacation at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch share in the wonder of the "pretty little canyon" discovered by Nelson Story at the turn of the century (read more here: http://www.mountainsky.com/AbouttheRanch/History.aspx). The romance between the land and its guests continues, warming cabins, lodge and countryside with the same Western-style friendships and conversation celebrated here since 1929.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Gourmet, Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    family style, buffet style, everyone eats together, children dine separately, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

    BYOB, available for purchase
  • Enjoy dining in

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

    ranch-raised beef, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians

For an unforgettable dining experience, just leave it to our gourmet chefs. You will soon discover that Mountain Sky meals are one of the most memorable parts of your stay at the ranch.

Our buffet-style breakfasts offer a wide variety of choices – from freshly baked pastries and muffins, to fresh fruits, yogurt and homemade granola. You can also enjoy more traditional favorites, such as made-to-order omelets, sweet Montana huckleberry pancakes, or eggs Benedict.

Lunches on the ranch are casual, delicious meals served buffet-style, and always include a variety of green and pasta salads, homemade soups, fresh berries, melons and cheeses. Our chefs also prepare a selection of tempting regional dishes, ranging from Mexican enchiladas to Chinese stir-fry to Italian pizza. Have a sweet tooth? Our homemade cookies are baked fresh every day!

After a day filled with ranch activities, dinner is always a highly anticipated event. We kick things off with hors d'oeuvres and drinks in the saloon, where friends share stories of the day's adventure next to a crackling fire. What follows is an unforgettable three- to five-course dinner featuring carefully crafted and regionally-inspired dishes prepared by Chef Jonathan Romans and his talented team. Complement your dinner with a bottle of wine from our fine selection, and do try to leave room for that slice of chocolate decadence or basque cake.

We are happy to accommodate any dietary needs, requests, or allergies.

Guest Favourites

  • Bison Tenderloin
  • Fresh Alaskan Halibut
  • Butternut Squash Soup

Your Chef, Jonathan Romans

Executive Chef Jonathan Romans is a Livingston, Montana native who has spent over two-thirds of his life in restaurant kitchens. He completed his Le Cordon Blue externship at the ranch in 2000, and realized then that his dream was to become the chef at Mountain Sky. Jonathan has spent the last 15 years in some of the top kitchens in Nashville and New York City, as well as traveling the globe to study food cutures. Chef Romans likes to spend his off time traveling and donating his time and expertise to helping local youth boaden their horizons in the hospitality industry.

Lowdown

  • Address

    480 Big Creek Road
    Emigrant
    Montana
    59027
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    5600 ft
  • Private Land

    10,000-20,000 acres
  • Public Land

    more than 50k

Nearest Town - Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana has a population of 45,250 (approx), and is situated 67 miles / 1 hour 15 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Bozeman, Montana include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum.

For shopping Bozeman, Montana offers: small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops, malls, western wear.

Ranch shuttle

285

Nearest Airports

Gallatin Field (BZN), Bozeman, MT

Distance

67 miles / 1 hour 15 mins

Airlines

Delta, United, Skywest, Allegiant, Horizon, Alaska

Ranch shuttle

285


Mission Field , Livingston, MT

Distance

41 miles / 45 mins

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride, Rides tailored to guest requests, Families ride together
  • Max riders per ride

    7
  • Wranglers per ride

    1
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

    140
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Draft Cross
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours

The Setting

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

Mountain Sky sits on nearly 17,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness in the heart of Yellowstone Country. Our property begins near the mighty Yellowstone River on the floor of the aptly-named Paradise Valley, and continues upward through grass-covered foothills, meadows filled with sagebrush, thick pine forests and stands of aspen until you reach the vast Gallatin National Forest at our back door. The trout-filled, rushing waters of Big Creek flow 4.5 miles through the entire property, linking the main lodge and our guest cabins with our working ranch operation down below. With all of this beauty at our fingertips, it can be easy to overlook the fact that one of the world's greatest natural wonders - Yellowstone National Park - is just a picturesque 30 minute drive away.

Public Land (more than 50k acres)


Our Riding

Guided rides

Horseback riding is the most popular activity at the ranch, and for good reason – not only is it the quintessential Western form of recreation, but with nearly 17,000 acres of rugged and varied terrain to explore, there’s always something new to see; with a crew of good-natured and fun-loving wranglers, there’s always something exciting in store; and with 130 head of healthy and happy horses, we’re confident that your new four-legged best friend is here just waiting for the chance to meet you. Riders of every ability level will find what they’re looking for on the trails at Mountain Sky, no experience required!

Hours in the saddle

Some horseback rides are longer when adventure, family fun and authentic western cuisine come together for our three weekly meal rides. We’ll take to the trail (on foot or horseback, and we always offer a shuttle), heading off to historic locations on the outskirts of our property where a hearty meal cooked over the fire awaits. Homestead tours, live music, hayrides and games make this an unforgettable dining experience.


Why our riding stands out

  • Welcoming and easy introduction for beginners
  • Diversity of trails and scenery
  • Flexibility in pace for advanced riders

Riding Lessons

Given by

wrangler

Location

on the trail, in the arena

Wildlife Safaris

Not only do we sit in one of the most breathtaking corners of Montana, but the north entrance to the world’s first national park is just 30 scenic miles from our front door. Our van tours offer a chance for everyone in the family to view Yellowstone’s geysers and wildlife, while our day-long Yellowstone Horseback Ride offers guests 13 and older a rare opportunity to view the splendor of the park from the back of their favorite ranch horse.

When

May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Frequency

Weekly

Arena Work

Type

outdoor arena

Activities

penning, sorting

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $633 - $752
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $422 - $482
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

    $633 - $752
  • Minimum Stay

    1 week
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Sun
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Sun

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch can cater for up to 85 guests. See below for details and indicative rates.

Cabin | A variety of freestanding cabins.

Rates (Per Person)

$430 - $750

Minimum Stay

3 nights

Description

While many of our guest cabins date back to the ranch’s beginnings in the 1920’s, all have been carefully restored and refurbished to provide luxurious comfort amidst rustic surroundings. Each cabin is unique, and we have a combination of one, two and three bedroom units available. Choose from cabins with stone fireplaces, picture windows with breathtaking views, or the sounds of a meandering stream outside the window.

Rooms

30

Bathrooms

Private bathroom, Shared bathroom

Amenities

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


Booking Policy

3 night minimum during May, September and October. 1 week minimum for summer family stays. We would love to chat and answer your questions, just give us a call- 1.800.548.3392!

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, Riding, children's program, yoga, destination meal rides, nightly entertainment and more!

Extras

Tax

Montana State Accommodations Tax: only 1.79%

Massage

starting at $100 per hour.

Other

Airport transport: $285 per group.

Lowdown

  • You can borrow

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

    Wireless Internet/Wifi, telephone, free long distance.
  • Business Services

    computer and fax hookups, printers, common computer.

Onsite

Shopping

We hope that you find time to mosey into the Diamond City Gift Shop at some point during your stay - whether it is to "dude up" in western gear, or simply to appreciate the oldest building on the ranch. The shop is filled with many popular western labels from Stetson and Roper to Ryan Michael, and we work hard to seek out local artists to bring you a very unique western style that you can take home with you. From artwork and home decor to western attire and Mountain Sky apparel, we've got you covered. If there is a specific item you're hoping to find when you get here, or an item that you simply can't find at home, please give us a call. We're happy to help you track down that hard-to-find item!

Outdoor Activities

tennis, Yoga, Golf - 18 hole course, sporting clays, wagon rides

Water based Activities

outdoor pool, hot tub, whitewater rafting-adventure

Spa

relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, rock treatments, couples massage, facials


Fishing & Wildlife

It takes only a few minutes on the lazy current of the Yellowstone River, as you alternate between long looks at the surrounding mountains, and longer looks at the cutthroat, brown, and rainbow trout slowly rising to the surface, to realize why the Paradise Valley is a fishing destination for anglers the world over. Those merely wanting to get their feet wet can opt for fly-fishing instruction at the trout pond – a gentle introduction to casting and technique. Nearby Big Creek, a densely populated Cutthroat Trout fishery, is just a short walk from the lodge.

Fishing on offer

spin, fly, river, stocked pond, stream, equipment available, guided non-inclusive, unguided, instruction available

Wildlife

Elk, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Moose, Black Bear, Bighorn sheep, coyotes, Yellow Bellied Marmots, Mountain Lion, Porcupine, and much more!


Additional Services

Corporate Retreats

For groups of 30-40. A variety of meeting spaces are available at the ranch. Choose our cozy historic log cabin with a stone fireplace, perfect for a gathering of 20-30 people. The Great Room in our comfortable lodge can accommodate up to 70 people, and the conference center at the pool lodge features a grand view of Emigrant Peak as backdrop, and can accommodate up to 40. Group rates are available for your special event.


Local Attractions

Yellowstone National Park

Not only do we sit in one of the most breathtaking corners of Montana, but the north entrance to the world’s first national park is just 30 scenic miles from our front door. Our van tours offer a chance for everyone in the family to view Yellowstone’s geysers and wildlife, while our day-long Yellowstone Horseback Ride offers guests 13 and older a rare opportunity to view the splendor of the park from the back of their favorite ranch horse. Anglers with a thirst for adventure can also ride horseback to some of the park’s remote fishing holes.

Distance

30 miles / 45 mins

Ranch shuttle

Transport included in tour package.


Downtown Bozeman

We invite you to walk the streets of downtown, breathe the fresh mountain air, and enjoy all of the downtown amenities. Whether you are looking for a piece of Western artwork, need a Montana souvenir, or want to grab a bite to eat, you will discover an array of casual and fine dining restaurants, art galleries, unique retail shops, sporting goods for all your outdoor adventures and much more!

Distance

76 miles / 1 hour 15 mins

Rental car

Required


Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies (MOR) is a world-class museum located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Bozeman, Montana. Known for its vast collection of dinosaur fossils, the Museum houses some of the most famous dinosaur specimens in the world including Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. MOR features permanent exhibits on dinosaurs, regional and American Indian history, as well as changing exhibits that focus on “bringing the world to Bozeman.” A planetarium features shows on the night sky, and a living history farm on the Museum grounds is home to magnificent Heirloom Gardens. In 2010, the new Explore Yellowstone: Children's Discovery Center opened as a permanent exhibit designed for children up to 8 years old.

Distance

76 miles / 1 hour 15 mins

Top50 says

Highs

  • You will enjoy a 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio for unparalleled service and detailed attention – you’ll feel very valued and special!
  • They can boast an 80% return rate. Folks return year after year to share unique experiences with fantastic people who become lifelong friends
  • A vast and unspoiled 10,000 acres backs up to the Gallatin National Forest, only 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park for incredible exploration on horseback or on foot
  • Limitless children’s program. From infants to teens, Mountain Sky caters an experience for each age group, specific to their interests (think scavenger hunts and talent shows for your little ones, and skeet shooting and rock climbing for your teens)

Lows

  • Children under seven may not ride the trails, however there are daily lead rope rides in the kids program for fives and under, and a special six-year-olds program, too

Visitor Reviews

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

Can't wait to go back!

After much research we decided to stay at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and were not disappointed! The staff there was incredibly friendly, courteous, and accommodating. A wide range of activities meant that there was never a want for something to do. Dining was top notch, and had a wonderful time meeting and conversing with the other guests. Highly recommend and can't wait to go back!

5 stars

You can find more reviews for Mountain Sky Guest Ranch on TripAdvisor