Mountain Horseback Riding with Skye


horse at dude ranch
horse at dude ranch
horse at dude ranch


Our painted horse, Skye, is a favorite of our guests.  It could be because of her unique color, but it could also be her petite size.  Also her cooperative disposition and ability to take good care of her rider might be reasons why guests are attracted to her.  Skye was purchased from one of our wranglers who needed money for college a few years ago, and she has been a great asset to the ranch.


If the Montana ghost town of Independence could talk, what amazing stories it could tell!  Independence’s town site doesn’t look like much today, but this area which is about 12 miles farther up the Boulder Road from Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch is rich in history and hidden beauty.  

old post office

A Day in the life of a dude ranch horse...

Don’t you wonder what it's like to be a horse each day? 
It’s a GREAT life for our herd of more than 40 horses, as they only work hard for 4-5 months a year. 
The rest of the time our horses roam free in large pastures, grazing and resting in the wide open spaces of Montana.

montana horses in dude ranch pasture
horse herd in montana wilderness

Got a Hankerin' for a Great Cup of Cowboy Coffee?

We know just the place to enjoy this tasty brew.  Cowboy coffee is prepared twice a week at the Hawley Mountain Ranch cookouts.  

cowboy coffee1

This "coffee making" duty is done by Ron Jarrett every week, and he prides himself on knowing just how to get the job done.  First the water has to be heated until it's boiling in the blue enamel coffee pot that has seen its share of open fires.  Coffee grounds are then stirred into the boiling water, they simmer for a couple of minutes, and then a cup or two of cold water is added to hopefully settle most of the grounds.

Our "Mountain Climbing" Pinzgauer

pinzgauer at monument 1

This vehicle gets a lot of stares from other travelers as it heads up the primitive road at the end of the Main Boulder river valley. It seems to go where most other vehicles would not think of traveling!   

"Multi-Generational" Family Reunions at a Dude Ranch

all-inclusive family reunion vacation

Family reunions at a guest ranch are becoming more common, as it’s a great way for families who live long distances from each other to meet somewhere “in the middle” to spend quality time together.   Our remote location provides a place for people to gather and avoid all the distractions of their busy lives. Instead family memories are formed while spending a week in an all-inclusive vacation with their loved ones. 

Gold Was Found in the Mountains of Montana

mining in montana mountains

There’s “gold in them thar’ hills” caused a rush of prospectors to head into the Upper Boulder Valley hoping to strike it rich.  At the peak of the gold rush in 1892-1893 over 500 men were in or near the mining town of Independence located in the high elevations of the Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness

Contact Us or Request A Brochure

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We are included in badge Visit Montana

Our activities are permitted by the Gallatin National Forest.


There are a wide variety of ranches to choose from. 
For more information that might help pick the right ranch go to the page "How to select a dude ranch".