Lonesome Spur Ranch

Montana USA: (WRMT06)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/mt_lonesome_spur_ranch.aspx

Montana USA
Come and visit with a real Montana guest ranch family. This is an authentic fifth generation working cattle ranch resting in the Clarks Fork Valley, between the Pryor Mountains and the Beartooth Mountains. From the rustic lodge you can enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets, watch white tail and mule deer, an occasional elk, mountain sheep or moose, the howl of the coyotes and the fleeting sight of the red fox. You are invited to participate in the day to day activities of this working ranch and family, with plenty of riding to fill each of your days. And after the work is done, there is always time to have a little fun! Ask Nicholas Evans, author of the "Horse Whisperer". Mr. Evans stayed at the ranch while doing the research for his best selling novel turned motion picture. The Lonesome Spur was the original model for Tom Booker's grandparents' homestead, looking out over the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River. "From its crest you could see the river curving around like a castle moat and in the distance the snowy peaks of the Pryor and Beartooth Mountains."

Guests are invited to join the wranglers on daily checking the cattle, water holes and fences and the condition of the grass on the range. The summer and fall ranges consist of approximately 30,000 acres and the home ranch is approximately 1,200 acres. In addition to the everyday ranching activities, our guests are also given the opportunity to participate in exciting horseback activities such as team penning, cutting, sorting, team roping and fun games.


This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent at the same location (except for one night out camping).

The lodging on the ranch is varied and is decorated in the western theme with log furniture. Ranch guests can relax in the Cookhouse with satellite TV, WiFi, and a large deck to eat and/or sit on. A bathroom is also available. There are 3 log cabins with deck area and a bunkhouse with 3 rooms. All of our ranch accommodations have air-conditioning, heating, a refrigerator, and private bathrooms. Gift packs of toiletries are provided for our guests' comfort. Some rooms do have Satellite TV available.
Our hot tub is perfect to relax under the starry sky and soak away you aches and pains after a hard day of play at the ranch. 
Laundry is also available.

- The Big Sky cabin has queen bed and a Jacuzzi bathroom.
- The Cottonwood, Beartooth, and Pryor cabins each have a queen, a twin bed, and a private external bathroom.

The Bunkhouse has two twin beds in each of the 3 rooms. All bunkhouse rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Two of the rooms can be adjourned and there is a TV with DVD player, but no WiFi in this area. There is also a washer/dryer in the kitchen/sitting room area of the bunkhouse for our guests use.

During the week, we will spend one night out camping in the Pryor Mountains. For that overnight, we provide you with sleeping bags and sleeping pads. There is a bathroom with hot shower available for our use.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory during high season (June and September). The rest of the year, if we have a single traveler and have spare rooms we will waive the single supplement fee.

All meals are included on this trip from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on the last day.

Meals are served in the lodge, family style. You may need to let your belt out a notch or two after spending time here! Mouth-watering and decadent desserts, salads, locally grown garden vegetables and fruit in season, and good Montana beef and buffalo are on the menu. For the light eater, we have fruit, muffins, salads and many veggies. We also provide complementary snacks and drinks in each room for our guests' enjoyment, as well as coffee makers.
Supper is usually served around 6:30 PM.

Alcoholic drinks are not included but guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages.

Dietary Restrictions
If you have special dietary requests, please let us know in advance, and we will make every effort to accommodate you. But please remember that we are a beef ranch, and most all of our meals are centered around meat.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


Riding Level
We try to match our horses to suit our guests' riding abilities so we have a variety of types of horses from gentle geldings for beginner riders to high performance roping and cutting horses for our more advanced riders. We ask all of our guests to participate in a rider safety lesson in our arena which helps us to find a suitable match of horse for each rider. We invite you to catch and saddle your horse, we can lend a hand to help you do this of course, and then ride the range with us while you are here, daily rides are between 4 to 6 hours.

The horses are mostly American quarter horses; some are home-bred. We also have a Pryor mountain horse as part of our riding herd.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

We usually have cattle work happening May, June, September, and October Only. This happens when the cattle need to be worked (ie. gathered, sorted, branded, and cattle drives to new grazing, etc.) and guests are encouraged to get involved. For the safety of both the guests and the horses, this activity is very much weather dependent and is totally at the discretion of the ranch.

The timing of all rides may vary depending on weather conditions and temperatures. If the forecast is for a really hot day we may depart very early, or later in the evening, when the temperatures are cooler for the safety of our guests and our horses.
It is the ranch owners decision when to make changes to a ride and whether ground conditions are dangerous for the guests and horses. Rides may be cancelled where necessary. However we have the opportunity to ride in an indoor arena if this happens.

During the Spring and Fall, events maybe changed around because of branding and gathering cattle.
In summer months the camp out may change to Friday night, which means you will be departing for Billings or the airport straight from camp. We do have shower facilities so guests will be able to take a shower on day of departure, with all their luggage which you will take with you to camp.

Rides usually starts around 9 AM and return to the ranch at about 3 PM.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Pick up at the airport, or your hotel and quick trip to the Big R western outfitters for anyone who needs boots etc. We also stop at Walmarts for you to stock up on drinks and snacks for your room.
After arriving at ranch between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, we have the ranch orientation meeting and sign riding liability forms. We have a horse safety talk and saddles will be fitted for each of our guests.
Supper will be served at 6:00pm at the Local Bar & Grill, supper on us, drinks on you!

Day 2 (Monday): First Ride & Cody Visit
After breakfast we will select a suitable horse for our guests and we will ride in the arena and around the ranch to get you acquainted. We will be back at the ranch for lunch before we set off for shopping and sightseeing in Cody. 
In the summer (June to August), we spend the evening at the famous Cody Nite Rodeo. Departure is from the ranch mid-afternoon and we return after the rodeo around 11:30pm. As an off-ranch activity we will make supper reservations at the Historic Buffalo Bill Irma Hotel. Supper and rodeo tickets are at guests own expense.

Day 3 (Tuesday): Ride to Cottonwood
We will take a ride to Cottonwood, a high desert area, for a full day ride to see the Indian Pictographs and the famous Weatherman draw.
We'll picnic in some of the most dramatic scenery in the American West.
Supper will be back at the ranch.

Day 4 (Wednesday): Pryor Mountains Ride
After breakfast we'll saddle our horses and trailer them up to the Pryor Mountains, where you will ride up to your overnight camp. We sleep in tented accommodation, or sleep out under the stars if you prefer.
We supply guests with sleeping bags, and sleeping pads. There is a bathroom with hot shower available for our use. Supper is served round the campfire. 

Day 5 (Thursday): Cattle Ride
After a camp breakfast we head out for another ride on the range, checking the cattle. On our return journey we call in to Chief Plenty Coups museum, a small but must see museum.
We arrive back at the home ranch late in the afternoon. Supper at the ranch.

Day 6 (Friday): Riding & Pig Races
After breakfast we saddle up and have an all day ride. After an early supper we head off to the Bear Creek Saloon Pig Races. You can have fun betting on the pigs, you might even win!  The races start at 7:00 pm.

Day 7 (Saturday): Departure
Depart after breakfast. Our transfer leaves the ranch at 9:30 am. If you came by car, please, note that the check out time is by 11am.

Off-Ranch Activities

While vacationing with us, guests have opportunity for off-ranch activities. The availability of these activities depends on the season. No meals are provided by the ranch whilst on these off-ranch activities. We usually visit a selection of these activities once weekly, group transportation (minimum of 4 guests) is provided by the ranch in our own ranch vehicles. If our guests require any private guided off-ranch tour, these are available with ranch vehicles. Guests may also arrange their own taxi with a local company.

In the summer months we visit the famous Cody Nite Rodeo from the 1st of June through 31st of August *. We usually depart from the ranch mid-afternoon and return after the rodeo around 11:30pm. Located at Stampede Park in Cody, this is fun entertainment for the whole family. Offering the full range of rodeo events, bareback, saddle bronc, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and of course the fan favorite of bull riding. For the kids, there is also the calf scramble, which is one of the highlights of the night. Doors open at 7:00pm with the rodeo starting at 8:00pm.
Another option on our Cody excursion is to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum, which has 5 museums under one roof. The Buffalo Bill Museum celebrates the life and legend of Buffalo Bill himself. The Whitney Gallery of Western Art displays art from the western lifestyle. The Native American culture, art, and heritage are all celebrated in the Plains Indian Museum. The last two areas of the museum are the Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Museum of Natural History, which displays the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and their interactions with humans and nature.
*Please note that May, September, and October we take our guests to the Historic Custer Battlefield and Museum instead of Cody.

- Viewing the Wild Horse Range in the Pryor Mountains.
- Visiting the town of Cody touring the Buffalo Bill Museum and visiting the Old Trail Town.
- Rodeos: either watch a local rodeo or whilst visiting Cody, see the Cody nite rodeo.
- Experiencing the breathtaking Beartooth Highway driving thru Red Lodge up to Cooke City.
- White water rafting: Cody, Wyoming.
- Golfing: an excellent 18-hole course is only 23 miles from the Lonesome Spur, right in the shadow of Beartooth mountains.
- Guided Tours of Yellowstone park are available at additional cost and must be pre-booked with the ranch.  The tour leaves the ranch after breakfast and returns in the evening.  Prices can vary depending on which time of year you choose to see the park. Minimum party to do this tour is 4 persons.
- 4th July Home of Champions Rodeo: The festivities start on 2nd July thru 4th July. At the ranch owners’ discretion, guests can ride with us at the Red Lodge Parade on horseback and join us as we watch the 4th July Home of Champions rodeo. Evening entertainment is a campfire party and fireworks!


May - June
Riding on the Open range, check the cattle on the pastures and help doing some branding and gathering of cattle but this activity is dependent on weather permitting – we cannot brand or gather in wet weather please be aware of this.

June - August
Cody Nite rodeo starts June 1st through the end of August. Our guests get the opportunity to go once a week to see the rodeo or explore the historic town of Cody- founded by the famous Buffalo Bill!
We also have 100,000 acres of various landscapes to ride in both mountain and high desert trial rides. The home ranch is approximately 400 acres so we will be trailering guests and horses to some of our riding areas. In addition to everyday ranching activities, we also offer our guests the opportunity of participating in weekly horseback activities such as team penning, sorting, barrel racing, and poles. Our wranglers will also be happy to teach you how to rope our roping dummies. Every week in the summer month’s our guests will help gather in the roping steers from the pastures, sort, and check them. Later in the day the wranglers will team rope the steers.

June - September
We also have a weekly mountain one night overnight camp trip – weather permitting.
The timing of all rides may vary depending on weather conditions and temperatures and may depart either with an early morning start or later in the evening when temperatures are more suitable for the safety of our guests and horses. We also need to make our guests aware that it is the ranch owner’s decision when to make changes to a ride and if ground conditions are dangerous for the guests and horses, ride may be cancelled and other ranch activities will be offered instead if possible.

Is usually a great month to see more wildlife during our beautiful fall rides and can be cooler than our summer months. We will also start to gather cattle from the mountain pastures from Mid-September.

We will be gathering cattle in mountain terrain, as well as doing some daily rides in the high desert. The Nile Stock Show, pro rodeo, and horse sale is in October. We will be attending the evening Ranch rodeo and will also go to the rodeo later in the week. We will leave mid-morning to attend the horse sale and other Nile events and horse clinics. The VIP dinner before the Rodeo in the early evening is optional for guests. This takes place in the early evening and is followed by the by the rodeo itself.

The timing of all rides may vary depending on weather conditions and temperatures and may depart either with an early morning start or later in the evening when the temperatures are more suitable for the safety of our guests and horses. We also need to make aware that it is the ranch owner’s decision when to make changes to a ride. If ground conditions are dangerous for the guests and horses, rides may be canceled. 

Rates and Dates for Lonesome Spur Ranch

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals & 5 horseback riding days
Possible to borrow boots ranging from size 5 to 10 adult boots.

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    20237 days ranch stay$1850
A 10% - 15% gratuity of the total trip cost will be added to your bill, but this is paid locally to the ranch and not collected through Hidden Trails.
Please, note that the gratuity fee can only be paid in cash (no card). % (Tip paid Locally)

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Gratuity: 10 % (to be paid locally)

Transfer and Other Charges:

2023 Transfer from/to Billings (between 1:00pm and 4:00pm - drop off by 10:30am), pp
- to be paid locally
2023 Discount for children 10-16 yrs. old, in double room with adult(s) -- PLEASE INQUIRE $-250
2023 Single supplement $200
2023 Daily rate, dbl, pp $350

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2023 07/23 - 07/29 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 07/30 - 08/05 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 08/06 - 08/12 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 08/13 - 08/19 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 08/20 - 08/26 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 08/27 - 09/02 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 09/03 - 09/09 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 09/10 - 09/16 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 09/17 - 09/23 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 09/24 - 09/30 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Expired
A 2023 10/01 - 10/07 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Reserve
A 2023 10/08 - 10/14 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Reserve
A 2023 10/15 - 10/21 7d / 6n 7 days ranch stay 1 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:
** custom tour dates possible with minimum of 3 nights -- no arrival on Saturdays but any other day is possible with check-out on Saturday

Rates do not include:

Transfers, Fishing for Cutthrout, Brown and Rainbow trout in the stocked ponds ($100 per rod), Rafting trip in Cody (approx. $35 per person), Admission for any off-ranch activities, Rodeos & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Ranch near Bridger
Airport: Billings Logan International Airport (BIL)
Transfer: Billings Logan International Airport (BIL)

                                                Bridger area














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Source: NOAA

During the summer the weather is generally clear, but seldom hot so be sure bring along some warm clothes. Summer is short but very enjoyable. It usually lasts from early June to mid September. Because of the altitude, really hot weather is rare. Evenings are cool enough that you may need a jacket. Summer snowfalls are rare, but during every summer there may be several days when nighttime temperatures approach the freezing point (32 degrees F / 0 degrees C). Thunderstorms are usually brief, and they are seldom violent. A typical summer thunderstorm lasts no more than about 15 minutes, just long enough to soak the ground.

What To Bring:
Upon arrival at Billings, we will give you the opportunity to visit Shipton's Big R ranch supply store.  You can purchase any of the designated items at that time. Bring your own alcohol! Drinking Age for Alcohol: 21 years old (it is recommended for all persons under 35 to carry ID). All rooms are equipped with a small refrigerator to store your perishable items, beer, and wine. There is also a washer/dryer for use during your stay. Please bring washing powder if you want to use the washer.

It is important that you bring warm and dry clothing. May and June can be cool and it can snow around that time of the year. Fortunately we haven’t really had to cope with extremely bad weather – but preparation is everything.

We provide a small saddle bag fitted to the saddle to put your lunch in.

Note: Gratuities and transfers can be paid by cash or credit card- take some cash with you (10% of trip cost) it you'd like to pay by cash.

To make your stay at the Ranch more enjoyable, we have compiled the following recommendations for clothing and essentials.  When considering your clothing, please consider layering.  This is the easiest way to add or subtract clothing during a ride!


Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets


Visa (check with your consulate)



Long Pants for Riding - Blue Jeans *

Riding Boots - smooth sole and a heel required *

Cowboy hat / wide brimmed hat *

Riding Slicker (no ponchos due to flapping of the material around the horse) *

Weatherproof/Warm Jacket

Riding gloves *
Long Sleeve Shirts (recommended for riding) *


Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts



Casual shoes

Underwear and socks


Bag for dirty clothes

Light weight hikers and/or comfortable shoes

Swimsuit (Hot Tub available for use)



Personal Toiletries

Insect repellent and small first aid kit

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

Sewing kit


Camera and enough extra films and batteries

Sun glasses with strap

Sunscreen and lip balm

Medium sized water bottle and small sandwich container
Personal snacks and drinks (ie. bottled water, alcohol, sodas, etc.)