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Montana Ranch Vacation Guide

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Montana Dude Ranches and Fly Fishing Lodges

Montana, home to Glacier National Park and the northern reaches of Yellowstone National Park, provides visitors with year round activities. Places to hike, fish, ski, and explore are abundant in the mountains and open plains, while Montana dude ranches and fly fishing lodges offer visitors a luxurious and comfortable place to stay in the backcountry. Montana’s panoramic landscapes are the perfect setting for a dude ranch or family resort vacation.

Outdoor Exploration

Though Montana has plenty of activities to do indoors, most families visit Montana for the chance to get outdoors. Equestrians can amble or race across the prairie, or take a scenic ride through one of many mountain trails, some of which are peppered with historic abandoned gold mines and ghost towns. Families who prefer water sports can paddle on the Missouri River Breaks, a wilderness preserve appearing much like it did when Lewis and Clark first explored its natural beauty. Luxury lodges and family resorts are never far from these popular destinations, and many fly fishing ranches are located right on the riverbanks.

Fishing and Hunting

Pheasant hunting is a past time in Montana and visitors are welcome to join the pursuit of pheasant as well as grouse and partridge. Montana dude ranches usually have some land set aside for guests to hunt, but during the season ranches across the state open their pastures to hunters no matter where they hang their hat. Fishermen will also be pleased by the fishing in Montana. Russell Country, the northeast part of the state, is known for its ice fishing in the winter and fly fishing in the summer. The fly fishing for trout in Montana is world-renowned, especially along the Yellowstone River. Anglers won’t want to miss fly fishing on the other major waters in Montana, including:

  • Bighorn River
  • Missouri River
  • Blackfoot River
  • South Fork Flathead
  • Rock Creek

Western Entertainment

Montana is well known for the dinosaur fossils frequently found in its prairies and badlands. Some of the most complete dinosaur skeletons ever discovered were found in Montana, and some digs are even open to the public, which is fun for the whole family. One such dig is the Makoshika Dinosaur Museum in Glendive, which also has life-sized dinosaur models on display.

For a true taste of the west, staying on a Montana dude ranch has no comparison. Families can enjoy all of the comfort of home at a luxury resort with authentic Western entertainment that can’t be found anywhere else. Beyond hiking and horseback riding, many Montana dude ranches and family resorts offer weekly or monthly cowboy poetry competitions, where ranch hands and real-life cowboys gather around to read their poetry about the open range and the cowboy lifestyle. Visitors can also visit the annual Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City, which is a rodeo, auction, and street dance all in one.

Many Montana dude ranches and fly fishing lodges go under the simple name of “lodges”, reflecting Montana’s Western history. These lodges can be working dude ranches, family resorts, luxury vacation destinations, and of course themed lodges such as those for fly fishing. Besides cowboy poetry, Montana lodge visitors can expect:

  • barbeques
  • croquet
  • cattle drives
  • trail rides, and
  • many other activities

Montana is a unique destination as much for its spectacular landscapes as for its entertainment and luxurious accommodations. Families looking for a place to vacation, whether they prefer luxury resorts, family retreats, or dude and fly fishing ranches, won’t want to pass up Montana.

View our listings of Montana ranches to begin planning your perfect vacation today!