Experience the Finest in Montana Horseback Riding

No image is more closely tied to the Old West than that of the horse. That’s why we make horseback rides into the backcountry a primary activity here at Covered Wagon Ranch. There’s no substitute for the feeling you get when you head out for Montana horseback riding in the mountains or backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. You’ll be guided by experienced wranglers who know the Custer-Gallatin and Madison ranges, the Lee Metcalf Wilderness and Yellowstone Park very well, from wildflowers to wildlife.

The Covered Wagon Ranch proudly operates with a Special Use Permit on the Custer Gallatin National Forest. We also are privileged to provide guided horseback rides into Yellowstone National Park (beginning July 1st each season) under a Concessionaires Permit through the National Park Service.
NOTE: We only offer rides to our overnight ranch guests, we are not a day use riding facility.

Half or Full Day Rides

Each morning at breakfast Kurt makes his way through the Lodge asking everyone what they want to do for the day: hiking, fly fishing, simply relaxing, or riding. Riders choose a half day or full day rides. Morning rides are about 2 hours, and full day rides are from 3-6 hours. Please note: we do not offer the option to go on an AM ride, come back to camp, and go on a PM ride or ride out on the trail and come back and ride in the arena, these things sour our horses and our horses happiness is very important to us – if your desire is to ride a full day, choose the full day ride, you won’t regret it, and lunch on the trail is fabulous!

Return guests usually have an idea of where they want to go, but Kurt can also choose a ride you’re sure to enjoy. We tailor each ride to your preferences and experience, catering to all rider abilities. All rides are guided. We keep our groups small with 4-5 people in a group (on rare occasions 6 if a family or group of friends).

New guests meet at the barn at 8:45AM for orientation, and get setup on horses. Morning and full day rides generally go out between 9:30-10:30AM. Mondays are generally a little later getting out due to getting everyone matched up with their horses. While all rides are filled with dramatic, pristine views of the countryside, the perennial favorite is the all-day ride with unforgettable views of the Rocky Mountains while enjoying a trail-side lunch.

Learn more by watching our riding Video!


2-Night July Pack Trips

Experience nature not just away from the city,
but in its most raw and spectacular form; the heart of the wilderness!

As part of your stay at the Covered Wagon Ranch, you may want to add a pack trip to your adventure. Our Montana pack trips into the stunning backcountry of the Custer-Gallatin National Forest will take you on the journey of a lifetime. Departing by horseback, we will climb steep mountain ridges, ford the cool crystal creeks and streams of the wilderness, and travel through lush alpine meadows before reaching camp.

Our campsites are comfortable and picturesque. You will sleep warm and soundly inside your canvas wall tent or beneath a blanket of stars.  Then in the morning, be awakened by the warm sun tickling your nose and the smell of freshly brewed coffee on the fire. Camp is an excellent place to relax and soak up the wonder of God’s Country. Spend your time exploring the wilds of the wilderness by horseback. If you are a writer, bring your journal; if you paint, bring your easel and canvas. Perhaps you appreciate your surroundings through photography, or simply reading. Whatever your pleasure, camp life on our Montana pack trips will clear your mind, invigorate your spirit and provide you with plenty of time to indulge and challenge yourself.

We maintain our tradition of personal attention to each guest by keeping our pack trips small (no more than four, and a minimum of two).  Due to Montana’s terrain, we require intermediate riders and a minimum of 12 years old. Unfortunately we cannot cater to dietary restrictions on pack trips. If adding a pack trip, you must book as a rider with a minimum 6 night stay and book a pack trip at time of making ranch reservation. We limit our trips to one per week, departing on Tuesday and returning on Thursday. $800 per person will be added to the regular cost of your stay.

The Horses

Covered Wagon Ranch is home to ranch, mountain and performance horses. The horses at Covered Wagon will take very good care of you, too. Many of our excellent horses were raised right here on the ranch, and they know how to ride with everyone from first-timers to experienced hands. When you arrive, you’ll be matched with the right horse that’s yours for the entire visit, then you decide whether the day brings a high-alpine wildflowers or through open meadows. We have an arena on ranch and can even give lessons on Monday to horse beginners. There’s no schedule, and it’s all just what suits you, but we do not offer rides day of arrival (Sunday) or day of departure (Saturday).

What our Guests Have to Say:

Amazing vacation! We went out to the Covered Wagon Ranch for a week in July, and had an incredible time! The vacation started with a 3 day pack trip up in the mountains with three CWR guides, and it was just amazing. We were in a wilderness area, but the camp was really comfortable, and our guides cooked delicious food and made sure we were always taken care of. We experienced all the fun and charms of camping, including seeing 200 elk run through camp, amazing views of Montana mountains, and eating and sharing stories around the campfire. It was truly an adventure, and we had a blast.