Travel Guide: Live out your ‘Yellowstone’ dreams at Montana ranch

If you’ve been dreaming of adventures under the big sky of Big Sky, head to the Treasure State

Fans of the popular TV show “Yellowstone” know the state of Montana is a supporting character, providing a stunning backdrop for the ranchers and American Indians alike.

If you’ve been dreaming of riding horses under the big sky of Big Sky, head to the Treasure State and check in to Lone Mountain Ranch. Although the area is known for skiing during the winter, there is more to do in the warmer months.

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“For over 100 years, Lone Mountain Ranch has given travelers the true experience of Yellowstone Country,” the ranch’s website states. “Just 18 miles beyond the northwest border of the park, tucked between the Montana Rockies, rivers and grasslands, and only 40 minutes from the Bozeman Airport, this is where to find and enjoy the good things in life.”

Credit: Lone Mountain Ranch

Credit: Lone Mountain Ranch

Outdoor adventures

Many of Lone Mountain’s summer activities begin in May, with others, such as fly fishing, available all year. Here are a few of the acivities you can expect on your visit:

Horseback riding: From June through early October, wranglers will lead guests into Lee Metcalf Wilderness, Gallatin National Forest and “parts of the backcountry that are otherwise unseen and untouched.” Don’t worry if you don’t know how to ride. Instructors will assess your ability, match you to a horse and then teach you what you need to know to enjoy the excursion.

Yellowstone National Park tours: The ranch’s guides are accredited Yellowstone guides and from mid-May to early October will teach you about the park’s history, geology and wildlife. Packages include hiking, a picnic, photography and geysers such as Old Faithful.

Guided hikes: Naturalists are on hand mid-May to early October to accompany you along one of the trails at the ranch, in Big Sky or in the surrounding wilderness.

Youth Adventure Program: Bringing the kids with you? From late May through August, this “program builds confidence through outdoor recreation, develops an appreciation for nature, and most of all gives young people (ages 3-14) the space to roam, have fun, and connect” with one another, the ranch’s website states.

Yoga: The first Montana settlers likely didn’t practice yoga, but you can. Classes are mostly outside and available for all skill levels. So check one out if you need to loosen up before going horseback riding or if you just need to center yourself after a day of exploration.

Credit: Lone Mountain Ranch

Credit: Lone Mountain Ranch

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Whether you’re traveling alone, with your significant other, family or a large group, Lone Mountain has a cabin for your needs. Although some have been on the ranch for decades, all have been updated with tubs and walk-in showers. A few options include:

  • The one-bedroom, one bath Ouzel cabin is named for North America’s only aquatic songbird.
  • The Meadowlark cabin was the original gatekeeper’s cabin for the ranch’s first caretakers. Its secluded location provides privacy for couples.
  • Once the ranch’s ice house, the Porcupine cabin was built in the 1920s. Sitting on the shore of North Fork Creek, you can sit on the deck and listen to the water tumbling by.
  • Need something larger? Consider the Lame Deer & Canyon duplex, two cabins connected by a lockable door. One of three duplexes, this one was built in 1927 from Lone Pine wood. The Lame Deer has a king-size bed, twin daybed and full bath, while the Canyon side has its original stone fireplace, along with the features of its twin. These cabins can be rented together or separately.
  • Need even more room? The Ridgetop Lodge has six bedrooms, each of which can sleep three people. The lodge is perfect for family reunions, and has a hot tub, pool table, cable TV, wi-fi, kitchen, laundry and more.

Reservations can be made now at