BRAY’S CABIN in Montana....Now Just a Pond!

Brays Cabin

A very picturesque place in the Upper Boulder area just south of Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch is what used to be known to us as Bray’s Cabin.  Tucked back in the forest by a pristine spring-fed pond was a dwelling built by Robert Bray, probably in the 1920’s, along the old mining road to Independence.  Robert forded the Boulder River near 4-Mile to reach his cabin.

Are You Game for a Unique Ride in the Montana Wilderness?

Have you ever thought of taking a wild ride into a mountainous wilderness?
Our Pinzgauer, an Austrian military vehicle, has provided many people with such an adventure.

mountain jeep ride

Our guests have a hard time believing that the Pinzgauer can travel on some of the very difficult terrain that it encounters.  Crossing creeks, driving over huge boulders, and climbing up steep, narrow, and rocky roads doesn't faze this vehicle in any way.  While traveling to the end of the primitive road views of the surrounding mountains are breathtaking!

Montana "Puddle Jumping" by Horseback or Guests!

Often dude ranch activities will run into some type of obstacle. 
Some are more serious than others.....and then some are just plain "interesting!"

montana puddle jumping1

Springtime in the Montana Mountains

After long months of winter in Montana the first signs of spring are always refreshing, especially in the higher altitudes where winter starts early in the fall and ends late in the spring. May and June are also our rainy months which along with some sunshine help to norish the grass and flowers. 

montana spring flowers2
montana mountain hike


Springtime in the mountains is a perfect time to enjoy a hike in our scenic areas.  What makes it special are the beautiful meadow flowers and the abundance of green meadows.  It's hard to take in all of the beautiful surroundings while walking, so at times it's a good idea to just stretch out in the lush grass and take in all the amazing views that Montana has to offer.

montana mountain hike3

montana mountain hike 2



Near the lodge a crop of buttercups are growing on the southern slope of the cliff.  In the higher elevations the Indian paintbrush is spotted long into the summer season.  Once these flowers are seen in the various areas around the ranch we know that spring has arrived!

montana mountain flowers3
montana spring flowers


Mountain Horseback Riding with Skye

horse at dude ranch1

horse at dude ranch3

horse at dude ranch2

"Hangout" Place for Families at Hawley Mountain Ranch


We can't think of a better place for a family to gather to experience new things, share lasting memories, and spend quality time together than booking a family vacation at a dude ranch.  Lots of smiles and laughter are seen and heard during the guests' week stay at Hawley Mountain.

 family Montana vacation

 family reunion vacation


Each week  guests arrive as a single, a couple, a few good friends, or a family with children.  Some weeks the whole ranch is booked by one large family who gather from all parts of the country to share a special time of reuniting after being apart for a long period of time.  There are few distractions at the ranch due to our remote location, so guests spend a lot of time interacting with each other and sharing lots of experiences.

family vacation in mountains




These return guests found an interesting place for a family photo!  Not for the faint of heart, but it was a hike they had taken before and were well aware of the height issues.  Wouldn't that make a great Christmas card picture?





Sometimes a family member just prefers a little "alone" time!  No high places, no comverations, no cell service, or any other distractions that seem to occupy peoples' lives.  Just "hanging out" can be a perfect way to spend some vacation time in our Montana wilderness....

child on montana vacation


A Montana Meadow Ride Is Fun for Guests

horseback ride in meadow

Let the adventure begin as wrangler Ryan leads the horseback riders from the barn to start a meadow ride.  Some of our most scenic views are found on the easier trail rides in the meadows around Hawley Mountain Ranch.

Montana meadow horseback ride

horseback riding inmountain meadow


 The meadow ride just below the lodge gives riders an opportunity to enjoy the scenery surrounding them without having to deal with narrow rocky trails.  Riding by our stocked trout pond and being totally surrounded by the 10,000 feet mountains is relaxing, especially for those who have not ridden much before their arrival at our dude ranch.    June is especially enjoyable because of the green grass and wide variety of beautiful wildflowers.

ranch horseback ride As the guests leave the barn and head down the hill away from the lodge they anticipate the fun that lies ahead for them on these horseback rides.  So much to see and do in a week's time...let the experience begin!


Each September we have the privilidge of the company of these three fun and "warm hearted" fly fishermen from Minnesota.  Since all three are retired they tend  to take fly fishing less aggressively than most of our guests.  We enjoy watching the process of their fly fishing methods and preparation which includes packing lunches for them which includes peanut butter, onion, and anchovy sandwiches!  

Montana fly fishermen
Preparation takes some time and concentration.

fly fishermen on the Montana Boulder River
A time to take a break before starting.


Montana fly fishing on the Boulder River      Old John has found a place where there is sure to be hungry trout!     

fly fishermen in Montana Contentment after a successful day of fishing.....

                                            These old friends always put a smile on our faces, and we look forward to their visit each year.  Wishing them the best year of fishing EVER!

(Photos by Larry Lewis, another long time friend!)



Please Have a S'more....

smore"s at the campfire 

Twice a week at the campfire a favorite activity is "S'more Time."  Each person has his/her own technique roasting the marshmallow.  Some take a lot of time to roast theirs to a perfect golden brown, while others burn their marshmallow to a crisp.  However, we have noticed that the finished product turns out doesn't really matter.

smore fun at hawley mountain campfires

They all taste good!  Evidence is often found on the faces of the "roasters".  A little dirt on the face and hands from the volleyball game doesn't seem to hamper the experience.  Yum!!

Ranch Tasks in the Fall for the Hawley Mountain Staff

The end of the summer season is drawing to a close the end of September.  However, there remains many things to get accomplished during the next few weeks.  Staff members have already dug into some of  the tasks for fall work.  


First Horseback Ride of the Week

The guests gather on Monday morning at the barn for some safety and riding instruction given by our wranglers before heading out on their first ride of the week.

first morning horseback ride

adjusting tack for first horseback ride Each rider is given careful attention by the wranglers to make sure everything is just right.

first horseback ride of the weekSometimes it takes a little help with a knee boost to get up into that high saddle, but the wranglers aim to help all they can!


first horseback ride of the week

Once everything is set to the wranglers' specifications off go the riders to enjoy some additional training in the arena and then on to enjoy a fun meadow ride.



100th Year Milestone at Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch  

Who would have guessed that the purchase of the Tom Hawley homestead by the Jarrett family100 years ago would result in the present day guest ranch at Hawley Mountain? 2017 was certainly a year to remember up here at the ranch.  A large group of family and friends gathered in July to help celebrate this important part of ranch history. 

100th hawley mountain ranch celebration


people gathering at hawley mountain

people at hawley mountain celebration

Over 130 guests gathered to celebrate with us, and it was a great time for conversations with old friends and share a lot of "memories.      

dinner at hawley mountain celebration


family celebration at dude ranch

    An amazing dinner was prepared by the kitchen crew while the rest of the staff scurried with the rest of the preparations to make the event so enjoyable.  Music was furnished by a talented local group from Big Timber entertaining the guests during their evening meal and afterwards. That same evening owners Ron and Phyllis Jarrett were totally surprised to discover that their 50th wedding anniversary was being celebrated as well.  What a memorable time for all of us!




Horseback Ride to a Mountain Meadow

horseback ride from Hawley Mountain Ranch to high meadow edited-1

Off to a high meadow go the Hawley Mountain horseback riders!  Placer Basin trail is popular for hikers, as well as horseback riders, because of the spectacular view when looking up the Boulder River valley. After a short stop to overlook the impressive Hells Canyon,  the riders continue on up the trail  to reach a lush meadow often covered with alpine wildflowers.

lunch at high meadow

Olenchalks at high meadow edited-1

A saddlebag lunch is enjoyed while taking in the surrounding mountainous scenery. It’s a perfect place to throw a Frisbee, shoot some great photos, or better yet, take a relaxing nap before heading back towards the ranch.This ride has provided many lasting memories for our ranch guests (and countless Christmas card photo opportunities!) for our guest ranch vacationers. 



Dirty Faces....a Sign of a Great Meal!

"Guess what I ate at the cookout?" Bet you can't guess!

dirty face 1

dirty face 3

dirty face 2


"After a wild game of volleyball I'm ready to enjoy a s'more, dirt and all!"

Crossing a Ranch River on Horseback

Why did the horses cross to the other side?  Because it's loads of fun!

Horses are wetting their whistles before heading across the pristine Boulder River.

guest ranch vacation

horseback riding vacation

The horses know their way, so they are able to avoid some of the larger boulders in the river.  Guests enjoy the experience of actually being in the river...without getting wet!  Early in the season the river level is high enough to cause wet boots or pant legs to occur if you have long legs...or a short-legged horse. 

 horseback riding vacation

 There is nothing more enjoyable than taking a river ride on a foggy autumn day.  Beauty is all around you.

100th Year of Jarrett Ownership of Hawley Homestead

In 2017 we celebrated the 100 years that Hawley Mountain has been owned by the Jarrett family. This little piece of paradise was purchased from homesteader, Tom Hawley, bythe present co-owner’s great-great grandfather, Ralph Jarrett, back in 1917.  This photo shows Tom Hawley's  original cabin once located near our present day barn and corrals.



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We are included in 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".