Pryor Mtns Horse Drive

Wyoming USA: (HDMT01)

Wyoming USA
The Pryor Mountains Ranch is an authentic working cattle and quarter horse ranch located in the Dryhead Canyon on the east slopes of the Pryor Mountains. We invite you to join us and experience a lifestyle you’ve only seen in the movies - here you can experience first  hand a real horse drive or round up, cattle drive or branding of your own calf and riding an agile and well trained cow horse. Horse drives and round ups in the United States are becoming a rare experience. Working with horses is a wonderful thrill and we want to share this unique love with all of our guests that come to Wyoming to visit the ranch. All of us and all our guests share the common bond of loving horses. The Pryor Mountains Ranch offers a great opportunity to see horses in their natural environment and working with them in a special way.

The Bassett family has raised their horses in this country for most of their lives. They have always been able to winter them at the ranch, however, with the introduction of wolves into the area, and also with sightings of lions during the last few years, they started to experience killings of our colts over the winter. Therefore, it has become necessary to change the schedule by starting to trail these horses out of Montana and into Wyoming for the winter, and back into the ranch in Montana in the spring. We will trail the horses out of the ranch in the fall after all of the fall cattle drives, and we will trail the horses back into the ranch in the spring before the spring cattle drives.
These drives will cover 50 miles - between 8 and 15 miles per day. You’ll be riding between the Pryor Mountains and the Big Horn Mountains along the old Sioux trail or across open grassland prairie like the Indians did 500 years ago. We like to stop and take time to enjoy the historic sites near the ranch so everyone can learn about the buffalo jump or pictograph writings and old homesteads. We enjoy teaching the lost art of roping and will teach any of our guests who would like to learn how to hold, coil, and throw a rope.


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.
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.
Snacks, lemonade and cookies are always available for the raiding anytime you are in need of refreshment.  
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.


We ride from Monday to Friday - no riding on arrival and departure days.

Riding Level
All paces and levels of riding will be experienced during each ride, so riding experience is suggested. Trailing and herding horses gives everyone a chance for a faster pace, as well as times to walk. The riding days can be long and the weather will be variable. We will be riding in all types of terrain. Barren badlands, sage brush and rocks, mountains and canyons, grassland meadows and wide open spaces. All types of horses will be part of the herds we move: mares and foals, young stock colts and fillies, guest horses and studs. Each will have its own challenges and adventures.

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 own 35 head of mares and 5 stallions. We raise 30-35 head of colts each year. 
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 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.


This is an authentic working cattle and horse ranch. Four generations of cowboys have taken care of this ranch since 1889 and you will ride with our family who owns and takes care of this working ranch since 1998. 

There are four specifically designated weeks where we work with nothing but horses: 
- Our first week of the guest season, in mid-April (our most popular week) - a 45 mile Horse Drive from our Wyoming ranch to our Montana ranch.  Horses spend the winter in Wyoming and when it is time to begin our guest season the horses need to be returned to the ranches grassland pastures for our guests to ride them.
- Our second horse week of the season is the first week of June.  We gather in all of our mares that spend the winter at the ranch and make the mare bands that we want for that year.  We add a stallion and then take the group out to a corner of the ranch for the summer.  Our mares are pasture bred and the stallions are removed in late August.  All of our colts are born in the open mountain country and raised by their mothers where they learn how to travel canyon trails and drink from open creeks and ponds. 
- Our third horse week is gathering in these mare bands mid to late October, when we are ready to make the registration papers and wean the colts. This is as great week to ride all the corners of the ranch and gather mares and colts and trail them back to the ranch headquarters. Work them down an alleyway to take pictures for registration papers, do their markings and at the end of the week wean the colts away from their mothers. We immediately take the colts to Wyoming for the winter where we can watch them and halter break them and sell a few of them.
- Our fourth horse week is our final week of the guest season, our memorable Horse Drive.  At this time, we trail 80-100 horses out of the Montana ranch for the winter on a late October Horse drive to Wyoming.

Our horse drives are intended for more experienced riders. Being able to canter for a long period of time is necessary at the start of the day and various times during the day to maintain control of the horse cavvy. A fast pace for a time followed by walking for a time gives horses as well as riders a chance to catch their breath. This is an exciting adventure for our guests and a unique opportunity for horse loving people.
Handling a large herd of horses is a different matter entirely than handling cattle. Loose horses are flighty and fast-moving, and have more stamina to cover longer distances over rough terrain than a horse with a saddle and a rider.
We will show you how to control a herd of horses and move them in a way where we can control them and take them where we want them without hurting the colts or running horses out of control. Western movies make it look like horses can run forever and that everyone runs everywhere but responsible horse people know that a walk or a canter are much more healthy and realistic.

We furnish a pommel bag to keep your camera and gloves and hand warmers in along with other important items you might need as you are riding out all day, like snacks. Most riding days we will take our lunch as most of the time we are riding in terrain that does not allow our lunch suburban to come. We will stop several times each day so you can take pictures or remove a jacket or get things out of your pommel bag or just let everyone get off their horse and rest.

Working with horses is a wonderful thrill. We share this unique love with all of the guests that come to the ranch. All of us and all those guests who come to spend a week at our ranch in one way or another share the common bond of loving horses. The ranch offers some unique opportunities to see horses in their natural environment and work with them in a special way.

Sample Itinerary: Spring Horse Drive - subject to changes 

The description below gives a general idea of the itinerary followed during our Spring horse drive (mid April). The Fall horse drive (mid/late October), follows the same route, but reverse.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival 
We are available to provide pick up for any guest at the airport or the Dude Ranch Lodge or Clocktower Inn in Billlings, Montana, as near to 4:00 P.M. as possible. 
We will drive to the ranch, meeting other guests in Lovell, Wyoming, who have elected to drive and we will all drive into the Pryor Mountains to the ranch for supper and room arrangements.  We will have a orientation meeting at that time for schedule instructions for the week.

Day 2 (Monday): Introduction
Breakfast on ranch schedule, travel to Wyoming for saddling and trailing horses to inspection corrals for first day. Guests are encouraged to participate in all things needing to be done with the cowboys. Lunch is brought to wherever the herd might be at lunch time. In the evening, horses need to be fed and watered and saddles need to be stored for the night. Supper will be served at the ranch at night.

Day 3 (Tuesday)Horse drive to Hough creek corral
Breakfast on ranch schedule, travel to Wyoming for saddling and trailing horses to inspection corrals for first day. Guests are encouraged to participate in all things needing to be done with the cowboys. Lunch is brought to wherever the herd might be at lunch time. In the evening, horses need to be fed and watered and saddles need to be stored for the night. We have corrals at Hough Creek for the horses to be cared for there. Supper will be served at the ranch at night.

Day 4 (Wednesday)Horse drive from Hough creek corral to Ranch
Breakfast on ranch schedule, travel to Hough creek corral to ride for the day. If all goes with plans, we should reach the ranch by late afternoon.  Horses need to be fed and watered and saddles need to be store in the barn for night. Guests are encouraged to participate in all things needing to be done at that time. Lunch will again be brought to wherever the herd might be at lunch time. Supper will be served at the ranch at night.

Day 5 (Thursday): Sorting
Breakfast on ranch schedule, and horses will be worked and trailed to new pastures. There are also horses on the ranch and they will need to be worked and arranged.  Guests are encouraged to participate in all things needing to be done at that time.  Lunch will be wherever our guests are riding at that time.  Supper will be served at the ranch at right.

Day 6 (Friday): Last day on the Ranch
Breakfast on ranch schedule, the ranch comprises about 33,000 acres and horses need to be gathered and arranged to complete the schedule that needs to be done. Lunch will be either at the ranch or wherever the guests will be riding on the ranch. We will hold a farewell meeting and make settlement with store purchases.

Day 7 (Saturday): Transfer to Billings
A light breakfast will be served and loading for the return to Billings. We usually arrive in Billings about noon.  We will take pictures and exchange goodbyes with cowboys and other guests before leaving the ranch.  Any of the guests that have driven their own vehicles will be ready to leave with our vehicle at the same time.
Drop-off in Billings.

* Subject to changes. Weather, an open gate or missing horses can change the schedule immediately.  We encourage our guests to take changes with us whenever they happen. Thank you for understanding.

April 14th - 20th - Horse Drive from Wyoming winter pastures to Montana Ranch.
May 26th - June 1st - Gathering mares and adding stallions for the breeding season.
Oct. 13th -19th - Registration of weanling colts, putting mares out for the winter.
Oct. 20th - 26th - Horse drive to Wyoming.

Roundups (first week of June & mid-October)
These weeks will concentrate on working the horses at the ranch, making mare bands, and checking mare bands.

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 Horse Drive

Rates include:

Accommodation in the bunkhouse, All meals & 4 riding days plus 1 day in Cody

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:

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 Airport or hotel at 4 PM. Return the following Saturday at around 3- 4 p.m for an overnihgt at a local hotel (pre-booked and paid for).

                                                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:
During the summer weather is quite dependable normally, but in the mountain one needs to be prepared for all conditions at all times, since things can change in a very short time. May, parts of June, and parts of September can have cool days. Warm jackets, spare riding pants and riding boots are essential. We also recommend a wind and rain breaker and hat. Rain slickers can be rented for $10 a week. Don't forget your sunscreen! Linens and Towels are provided at the ranch. Bring some cash for gratuities or shopping in the store (they do accept credit cards as well!), but cash is needed if you choose to leave a tip.

We suggest that you bring clothes that will layer easily: long sleeved shirts, vests, jackets, chinks or chaps, sweatshirts, cap or better still a wide brimmed hat, gloves, wildrag or scarf, spurs, and of course your camera. (we do rent a pommel packet with spurs, strap, scarf & water bottle for $5.)
Standard equipment for riding are boots with a heel and perhaps hiking boots when we are not riding. A rain slicker is a good idea or we also rent these. It not only protects from rain but it is great for breaking the wind, if we have some.

The ranch has a small ranch store with all sorts of items and gifts, so it's a good idea to wait and see if you need it. How about sunscreen, chapstick, gloves, slickers (no ponchos), pommel bags, chinks, cowboy hat, wildrags, stampede strings, belts, S belt buckles, and several gift items for your return home. Instead of saddle bags we recommend pommel bags which fit over the saddle horm. The ranch store stocks most items. 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. 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.

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
  • 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 tan lotion and lip balm
  • Flashlight, extra Batteries
  • Pocket Knife (not essential)