What to Expect on your Montana All-Inclusive Vacation

Choose your own adventure and have the Montana all-inclusive vacation of your dreams! That’s what makes us different than so many other ranches – there isn’t a set schedule. This is YOUR vacation so YOU tell us what you want to do every day. Riding is our specialty, but we have lots of activities for the non-riders too! You are on a vacation so let loose, have too many glasses of wine, laugh until your stomach hurts, meet new friends, reminisce with old ones, watch your kids “be kids” but most of all a time to R-E-L-A-X and recuperate.

A Sample Week at Covered Wagon Ranch

Sunday: This is the day most people arrive and depart. Check in time is 4PM, we give you a tour of the ranch, show you your cabin and get you all settled.

Appetizers/Happy Hour is at 6:30pm on the patio. The ranch is BYOB. Love a glass of wine at dinner, beer after a long ride, or whiskey on the rocks? Do it! You are on vacation!

Dinner is at 7 and is served buffet style. Our food is what you would find at a ranch with a touch of fine dining.  We are all about presentation, quality, and quantity. You will not go hungry at the Covered Wagon Ranch!

Dessert is plated and tastes even better with a cup of coffee! After dinner & dessert, every nigh we have a fire outside the main lodge. You decided to skip dessert? Well you have a second chance at smores or join Braxton and fill up on Hershey chocolate-because we all know he will be there!

Afterwards, take a walk to the barn with us to do “critter check” or walk on your own to see the horses (they love the attention). Go fly fishing, play a game of horse shoes, soak in the hot tub or continue drinking and mingling with other guests around the campfire.  Whatever YOU want to do, remember it is YOUR vacation! One thing is for sure, you will have a view of more stars than you’ve ever seen before. The clear skies and the high elevation give you a unique look at the heavens, Montana style!

Monday: Coffee is on at 6AM and breakfast is served between 7:30-8:30. If you are an early riser and the rest of your family aren’t, come join Kurt in the lodge, have a cup of coffee and sit by the cozy fire. The lodge is your living room, a place to relax with a good book, coffee and a warm fire!

Breakfast is to order. There are always hot and cold cereals, breads, a fresh baked pastry and fresh fruit, plus a specialty item each day, such as eggs Benedict. We also always have French toast or pancakes, eggs, and bacon or sausage, just tell us what you want! More about our food can be found on our Dining page.

This is the time Kurt makes his way throughout the room asking everyone what they want to do for the day. Hiking, fly fishing, simply relaxing, or riding.

If you are planning on riding you can choose a half or full day. Morning and afternoon rides are about two hours and all day rides range from 3-8 hours in length. Return guests usually have an idea of where they want to go, if you have no idea, Kurt is incredible about choosing a ride that you will enjoy. More about riding is found on our Horseback Riding page.

8:45AM – if riding, we meet at the barn for orientation (only new guests) and get you setup on your horse. Rides generally go out between 9-9:30. We keep our groups small with 4-5 people in a group or in rare occasions 6 if it is a family or a group of friends. All our rides are guided, and we do offer daily lessons in the arena for those that want to do that.

1:00PM – Lunch is to order unless you are on a full day ride in which you would have filled out a lunch card (what kind of sandwich you want) and filled your complementary lunch bag with goodies that are healthy (and not-so-healthy).

2:30PM – Our afternoon rides try and leave about 2:30 and return between 4-5 (depending on what you want). These rides are designed for those who didn’t want to do a ride in the morning/full day but wanted to take a short ride in the afternoon or someone who checked in on a day other than Sunday (you can ride the day of arrival unless it’s a Sunday).

2-6:30PM – this is YOU time. Some people go to Big Sky to do an off-ranch activity, some are still on a ride, some sit on their front porch and drink, some read, some fish, some float the river, some hike and some sleep!

6:30PM-Appetizers and Happy Hour. Monday’s dinner we do a Margaritas Meet and Greet! A lot of guests check in on Sundays, but some guests choose to wait until Monday to check in. Monday nights are designed to be a load of fun. We serve Margaritas, music is playing and it is a chance to interact with other guests and our crew. It is followed by a cookout on the patio. Monday night is accompanied by a camp fire and your choice of evening activities around the ranch.

Tuesdays & Wednesdays: These days are very similar in you choosing what you want to do that day and dinner is served family style. We love to play board games in the lodge Wednesday evenings!

Thursdays: Day-time meals and activities are similar to the other days of the week.

Thursday night we drink beer and eat pizza! We have Pranzo all’aperto (dining outside) where our chef prepares Artisan wood-fired pizza and serves tastings of local Big Sky Brews.

We bump dinner up an hour early (6PM) so if anyone wants to go to Music on the Mountain in Big Sky or the West Yellowstone Rodeo, they can. The Rodeo is finished middle of August and music the first week of September. You do not have to go to either event, some people like to relax and enjoy the quietness, once again whatever YOU want to do!

Fridays: Day-time meals and activities are similar to the other days of the week.

On Friday night, we have a Cookout at our rec hall (weather permitting). We begin the night with appetizers and live music from a local band. This give you a chance to mingle with other guests, play a round of horseshoes, lawn games, or a game of pool in the rec hall while we prepare your steaks, gourmet burgers, Mountain Sausages and hotdogs over the grille.

After dinner we continue the night with dessert or toast marshmallows and have ‘smores over the fire. Grab your dance partner and show off your moves on the Covered Wagon dance floor.

One favorite activity at the cookout is learning to use a rope and roping a “dummy steer.”

Saturdays: Day-time meals and activities are similar to the other days of the week, including another great day for riding! If you signed up for a full week, this will be your last full day, so soak up all the beauty of Montana. Saturday night stays are no longer available.

Sundays: Morning is the day of departure. We have breakfast to order, shed tears, check-out, make reservations for the following year and say our goodbyes. Check out time is 10AM and then we do it all over again!

There you have it! A step by step schedule of the week for all you adults – who like me, need a plan! Here at the ranch you’ll find we are real people with a love and passion for the outdoors, Montana, horses and people! It is simple, we love what we do and can’t wait to share the adventure with you!

We book 12-18 months in advance, so reach out today!

Puckett family on horseback