How to Survive a Dude Ranch

Let me tell you, being a guest at a dude ranch is a lot of work.  I can tell by watching our guests that they have it rough.  Most nights they’re moaning and groaning after dinner about how full they are, and sometimes they stay in our hot tub so long I’m sure they must feel terrible.  It’s so bad here on the ranch, that some guests are crying by the time they leave!

So if you decide to visit the CWR, here are five important pointers on how to leave intact.

  • Love on your horse. The Covered Wagon is all about horses.  We love our horses and we want you to as well.  Once you get here, we’ll match you with a horse to ride for your entire stay.  When you meet your horse, introduce yourself!  Scratch her behind the ears, give her a treat.  You can even help brush her or saddle her if you want.  You’ll soon be BFFs (best friends forever)!



  • Be kind to the crew. They don’t need their ears scratched, but a friendly “hello” when you see them is nice.  At the CWR especially, the crew is family, and we want you to be part of our ranch family too.   Trust me, your stay at the ranch will be way more fun if you interact with the crew, simply because they’re fun people.


  • Dress the part. I don’t mean you have to wear a cowboy hat and flannel every day (although let’s be honest, those are the coolest fashion choices available).  But you will need cowboy boots or at least riding boots.  And Montana weather is kind of weird, so bring sweatshirts and shorts, even in July.  Be prepared for any weather and you won’t be unpleasantly surprised.



  • Break the diet. Don’t even try to watch your weight while you’re on the ranch.  Just forget about it.  The will power required to resist our chef’s magnificent cooking is more than one human could possibly possess.  Besides, you’re on vacation.  Who diets on vacation?


  • Don’t forget the rec hall.  We specialize in horses, but there’s a lot to do on the ranch besides riding.  Guests often seem to forget that we have a pool table, piano, and plenty of board games in the recreation hall.  You can also borrow some of our fly-fishing rods and go down to the Taylor Fork Creek or the Gallatin River.  We have some tubes for floating down the creek too, on hot summer days.  Or you can take a vigorous hike up the hill behind the ranch to Benson Point, which provides a splendid view of the canyon.  And of course there’s the hot tub.



So there you have it: everything you need to know to survive your stay at the Covered Wagon Ranch.  Happy trails!