Pryor Mtns Cattle Drives

Wyoming USA: (CDWY01)

Wyoming USA
This Montana Working Ranch was built in l898 and has run thousands of head of cattle and been the home of many cowboys who have rode and trained hundreds of foundation bred quarter horses over the years.

As you  leave the paved highway and start up the canyon along the rutted road toward the mountain, you actually feel as if you are traveling back in time. Your hosts of this Pryor Mountains working ranch have been in the cattle business for generations. The ranch lies in a very beautiful, peaceful, and quiet country which is located about 50 miles south of Billings, Montana. It is rolling, native grasslands with areas of pines and canyons, laying along the Eastern slope of the majestic Pryor Mountains which run East and West along the Montana and Wyoming border. Very few people have ever invaded its serene and spacious lands. The cattle are wintered just east of Lovell in Wyoming, where the ranch grows the feed to complete the yearly cow and calf operation. In the spring we trail cows through Bad Pass Trail, through the Pryor Mountain Mustang Reserve down into Deadman and north up the trail to the base ranch in Montana and reverse in the fall.

On the late summer cattle drives we will spend two or three days gathering and trailing to the ranch headquarters all the cows and calves on the ranch. They will come from three different directions and we will gather and hold them in the corrals at the ranch. One day will be working and separating calves from cows so that the calves can be weaned and trucked to Lovell to the feedlot. One day will be trailing cows back to Spring Creek where they will stay until the cattle drives in the late fall take all of the cows to Wyoming.


This is a stationary ride, so all nights will be spent at the ranch.

You are accommodated at out Montana ranch, comprising about 33,000 acres, which include a canyon, the original Indian buffalo jump, and different elevations of mountains all around the canyon. During the time at the ranch you will stay in the bunkhouse or in one of the cabins. Normally, each night on the horse drives we pickup our guests at the stopping places and return them to the ranch for a good supper in the cookhouse and an opportunity to return to their rooms and use the bathroom facilities. Towels are provided for the trip. The Lodge is a big meeting room where we give out the pommel bags and accessories and sign the Rider Releases. There is also a small store in the lodge with basic ranch needs, gloves, vests, Tee shirts, cowboy hats, scarves, etc. There is a cookhouse building which is the main gathering place for social things and for meals. Limited WIFI is available at the ranch.

The bunkhouse is a remodeled old milk barn built back in the late 1800 and early 1900. It has been divided into 7 private bedrooms: three on the ground floor and four upstairs, which was originally the hay loft.
There are 2 bathrooms at the end of the porch, and 2 more bathrooms at the end of the porch of the Lodge, just across the road. We have blended old and new in a western way by leaving the old log look and mixing it with hot water, heat, and electricity. The bunkhouse has an inviting front porch to sit on and enjoy a quiet moment to yourself or share cowboy stories with other guests.

Down the canyon from the bunkhouse we have 5 cabins. The cabins are decorated with old ranch pictures decorate the walls from Montana cattle drives gone by. The cabins do have private bathrooms. If they are available, they can be reserved by paying the cabin upgrade cost.

Room Occupancy
The bunkhouse rooms can be shared between up to 4 adults.
The cabins can host a maximum of 3 adults per cabin.

All meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 7 are included. Dinner in Billings is not included.

Our ranch home-style meals are served with hot homemade breads. Meals are served buffet-style, allowing for further interactions as you dine with other guests and the cowboy crew. Breakfast and dinner are served at the ranch while lunch is packed and taken while out the ride.
We guarantee you will not leave with your belt on a smaller notch. Hard work generates vigorous appetites and we promise you will not go hungry during your vacation. Each week we serve tender angus beef steaks, top sirloin roast, healthy vegetables, fresh salads, homemade desserts, and lots of chocolate chip cookies for the kid in all of us. One of the meals we are famous for is our Indian Tacos! We promote beef on our ranch from pasture to plate.

Breakfast is hot and hearty, just the right way to start the day on a cattle drive holiday.
If the day’s work takes us far from our headquarters, our cook will provide sack lunches to pack with you on your ride. Snacks, lemonade and cookies are always available for the raiding anytime you are in need of refreshment. 
Dinner is a time to tell the day’s stories, trade jokes and wind down after a day on the range. It is great fun to retell each day’s adventures and challenges while enjoying specially, prepared home cooked meals.

Since we are located on the Crow Indian Reservation, Government Regulations does not allow alcohol be on the land.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions if given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


Five riding days!!  
On the departure Saturday at the Ranch- guests do not ride.

We are a family owned and operated working guest ranch. We have a normal staff of eight people who live at the ranch throughout the season. We have two full-time cowboys and two seasonal working cowboys or cowgirls. The other family members help out when needed. On occasion, we have neighboring cowboys who come to ride colts, or fill in at peak work times.

The Ranch has been raising registered American Quarter Horses for over 40 years. We gather our mares only a few times a year, and we are proud to say that our foals hit the ground in big, rough country, without human intervention. Before we ever lay hands on them, they already know how to handle themselves in rough terrain, cross water, and navigate the elements of nature. We raise our own foundation bred horses for specific skills in working cattle and traversing mountain terrain so you will enjoy and experience cow working skills and amazing western horse riding satisfaction.
We have cavvy horses, mares with foals, studs, yearlings, 2 year-olds we begin training, and then the riding horses the cowboys have personally or take in to ride for other people. We normally have around 150 horses on the ranch during the season.
We pick horses that will complement each guests riding ability and our cowboy crew shows each guest how to brush and prepare their horse to ride.  You will saddle and bridle your own horse each day, which increases the bond of rider and horse. 
During your stay, you will usually ride two or three horses per week. We usually do not ride the same horse every day. It is easier on the horses if they are given days off from being ridden. This also increases your riding ability as you learn the habits of each horse and test your ability to adapt to each horses personality.

Bringing your own tack
You are more than welcome to bring your own western saddle if you should choose. You can bring it on the plane with you, but we recommend shipping it ahead of time. Just let us know if you plan to bring a saddle and we can plan accordingly.

Bringing your own horse
The ranch is at an altitude of 4800-5600ft with a rocky, mountainous terrain. Most horses cannot travel and work in those conditions without an adjustment period. In addition, we cannot risk the health problems that an outside horse could bring to our herd of horses who are not normally exposed to outside diseases.


Ride out everyday to move, sort and care for mother cows and their baby calves. Four generations of cowboys have taken care of this historic ranch since 1898 and you will ride with our family who owns and takes care of this working ranch since 1998. This adventure takes you away from city life to a remote, quite ranch setting at the foot of the Pryor Mountains where you will ride on 33,000 acres of land.

Our cattle drive weeks are some of our most popular weeks. We trail 800 cow calf pairs between our Montana ranch meadows and our Wyoming winter pastures. 
Each cattle drive takes four days to walk through the historic old Sioux trail, horse thief canyon and Bad Pass trail into the Dryhead country on the Crow Indian Reservation. Each day has its special challenges but keeping all of those calves moving along the trail is the most important work. That is what working ranch cattle drives are all about.

Our day at the ranch begins at daylight as cows like cooler weather to move down the trail.  We do not camp. We drive back to the ranch each afternoon/evening when we are finished getting the cows settled in the designated corrals and pastures where they spend the night.  We drive to the ranch for supper and a comfortable bed to sleep in to rise early again the next morning to get back to where the cows are waiting to walk another day closer to the ranch destination. You will ride several different horses during the week and spend the last day at the ranch driving the cows to their spring grazing pastures.

Sample Itinerary: Spring Cattle Drives - subject to changes
Our spring cattle drive season starts in mid April and ends in mid May. We also offer Fall cattle drives from mid-September to mid-October.
The description below gives a general idea of the itinerary followed during our Spring cattle drive season. The Fall cattle drives, follows the same route, but reverse.

Bring warm winter clothes that can layer for the warm and cold temperatures that bless our wonderful state. Our ranch has a store that stocks items needed to assure guests have items needed to enjoy their stay, this includes: rain slickers, pommel bags, cowboy hats, gloves, sweatshirts, wool vests, sun screen, lip savor and gift items.

Note: We reserve the right to change our schedule when weather makes it unsafe to ride or cattle make it necessary to change our scheduled plans. We have no control over mother nature or horses and cows which are the purpose of this cattle drive and we want the right to alter our schedule to meet these changes if they should occur.
We will take pictures of all the happenings during the week. Copies can be purchased at the end of the week- (about $30)- on CD's to share with your friends. After our Steak dinner on Friday night we take some time to look at these pictures and wrap up our great adventure week.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Pick-up from Billings airport and transfer to Lovell, WY.

Day 2 (Monday): Lovell to Wyoming-Montana Inspection corrals
In the morning, we meet our cowboys and saddle your horses at a set of corrals across the Shoshone River from our farm ground in Lovell. The first day covers the Badlands, just north of Lovell, Wyoming. We end the day at the Wyoming-Montana Inspection corrals for our overnight stop and for the brand inspector to come and inspect all of the brands on all of the cows before we go into Montana. 

Day 3-5 (Tuesday through Thursday): Trailing Cattle to the Ranch
We will be trailing cows and calves the rest of the way to the ranch. You will walk with cows and calves through Horse Thief canyon, near Devil’s Canyon overlook, by Carolyn Lockhart Ranch and across Deadman’s Creek.

Day 6 (Friday): Taking Cattle to Spring Pastures
We will wake up to the beautiful setting of the ranch. We will settle the cows in their new pastures and make sure all the calves have found their mothers. Our ride that day will focus on taking the cows and calves to their spring pasture and enjoy the amazing vistas.

Day 7 (Saturday): Transfer to Billings
On Saturday we will leave at 8:00 in the morning to go back to Billings, Montana by 1:00 p.m.

May 12th - May 18th - Cattle Drive from Wyoming to Montana.
May 19th -25th - Cattle Drive from Wyoming to Montana.
Sept 15th - 21st - Gathering cows and calves to wean calves. Long riding days (big circles)
Sept. 22nd - 28th - Gathering cows and calves to wean calves. Long riding days (big circles)
Sept. 29th - Oct. 5th - Gathering cows and calves to wean calves. Long riding days (big circles)

Non Riders
Non riding companion can join this adventure and follow the riding group by car. Inquire for more information.

Rates and Dates for Pryor Mtns Cattle Drives

Rates include:

Accommodation in the bunkhouses All meals & 5 riding days

Packages and Options

Minimum Deposit: ~$500.00 per person

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2023 Transfer from Billings airport or hotel at 4 pm, pp, return
- to be paid locally
2023 Upgrade to big cabin with private bathroom (dbl), pp $175
2023 Upgrade to big cabin with private bathroom (single) $350
2023 Upgrade to small cabin with private bathroom (dbl), pp $125
2023 Upgrade to small cabin with private bathroom (single) $250
2023 Bed tax - $30 per person per week (mandatory)
- to be paid locally

Dates Note: Additional Cattle Drive weeks will be added as the weather and pasture conditions become known.

Rates do not include:

Gratuities, Taxes & Airport transfers
Alcoholic drinks are not allowed on this trip!

Other Info
Meeting: Billings airport
Airport: Billings MT
Transfer: Billings 4PM on Sunday

                                                Lovell area














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Source: NOAA

As always weather is unpredictable in the mountains. Be prepared for temperatures anywhere from the low 30's F (nights) to the high 70's F (days) during spring and fall. Temperatures sometimes reach the 90s F in the summer, but the nights are cool, particularly in the mountains. Even in summer months, snow in the higher elevations is common.

What To Bring:
We suggest that you bring clothes that will layer easily.  A preference would be long sleeved t-shirts or shirts, vests, heavy jackets, sweatshirts, a cap that would cover your ears, (just in case its cold).  Our cowboys all have chinks and wear them on every ride, however you can make that choice after you get here.  Also, if our weather remains mild, a cowboy hat with a wide brim is best.  You should have gloves, wildrag or scarf, and our horses are used to spurs.  Standard equipment for riding are boots with a heel.  Tennis shoes or anything similar would be a bad choice.  If you have a waterproof slicker, or something heavier, this is the time to bring it.  They will really help against wind as well as any weather.  Rain slickers can be rented for $10 a week. You can bring your own saddle if you wish.  (perhaps you should check with the airlines as they will probably charge you extra, or you could ship it directly to the ranch). Remember any personal medications.

Linens and Towels are provided at the ranch. 

The ranch has a small ranch store, and many of these items are included and are better quality than what you might find at home.  Our most popular items are gloves, (2 pair might be a good idea) scarves or wildrags, well made leather chinks, vests and sweatshirts, both long and short sleeved t’s.  We have a good selection of cowboy hats, both women’s and men’s.  Our selection of slickers are the lighter to medium weight kind, but if you own a heavier one you might want to bring it.  We do have heavier sox, and hand warmers if needed.  The store also has some great gift ideas for family and friends.

We furnish a pommel bag that fits on the horn of your saddle in which you can store items that you might need to have with you.  These pommels will contain a pair of spurs and straps, a scarf and a bottle of water that you can refill at the ranch. 

Bring your guitar, if you want, and share our campfire. Brush up on your storytelling and jokes --- getting to know each other is a #1 priority.

Because we are so remote it is impossible to return to town to pick up extra items. If you don't have some of the items mentioned above, we have a small ranch store, which carries most of these items. In addition, if you don't want to purchase the items listed above, we have rental items available for your convenience.

This list is only a guideline for you...
  • Travel documents and Voucher
  • Flight tickets
  • Passport
  • Visa (check with your consulate)
  • Two Pairs of Riding Pants
  • Riding Boots
  • Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)- not available to rent, so please bring one if you choose to wear one.
  • Riding gloves
  • Sun Hat or Stetson
  • Rain Coat, Windbreaker- available to rent
  • Warm Sweater and Jacket
  • Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
  • Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Pyjama
  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • Sneakers
  • Personal Toiletries
  • Moisturizing Cream
  • Insect protection
  • Personal medications
  • Sore cream (for an emergency)
  • Sewing kit
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Camera and enough extra film and batteries
  • Belt pack
  • Address book and pen (for postcards!)
  • Sun glasses with strap
  • Sun tan lotion and lip balm
  • Flashlight, extra Batteries
  • Pocket Knife (not essential)