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.



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.

cowboy coffee2

Ready for a little cowboy coffee with your dessert?  Ron happily serves his special brew to whoever is willing to give it a try.


What great experiences for children of all ages who come to Hawley Mountain with so much to do in one short week!  The days pass quickly as they are filled with lots of outdoor activities and things to explore. 

hawley mountain horseback riders
frog catching at hawley pond
trout fishing on boulder river

Riding to Higher Places in Montana....

Off to a high meadow in the Montana wilderness 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.

trail2 HM

overlook HM

group at HM


“Big Sky Country of Montana” 

No other place (in our opinion!) shows off the sky like Montana, thus named “Big Sky Country”. You can’t help but notice the rainbows (which are sometimes double in size) and the various cloud shapes and colors depending on the time of day or weather patterns. 

double rainbow

hawley mountain at sunrise

mountain at Hawley

However, the most frequent comment we hear from guests about our sky is how brilliant the night sky becomes with the bright stars and moonlight hovering above the mountain peaks.  We have no light pollution to spoil the night experience which makes our sky so vivid and clear.


hawley mountain at night



Scurrying Here and There…..and Everywhere! 

chipmunk on log3

What an active year it was for the ranch chipmunk population!  It seems like they could be found everywhere!

Their favorite place to hang out was under the bird feeder near the lodge where they would scavenger seeds dropped to the ground by the finches, grosbeaks, and crossbills.  Hanging around the barn wasn’t a bad idea either, as horses tend to “slobber” some of their corn….a hearty treat for chipmunks!  Often we would see them scurrying from one rocky area to another, but chipmunks are always alert to enemies flying overhead…or to the dreaded ranch cat, Colter!

nature at hawley mountain guest ranch
guest ranch wildlife


Hiking Montana Mountains to the Top of the World!  

If you have ever wanted to feel like you were viewing your surroundings from the top of the world, then join us on a hike up to Monument Peak which lies at the very end of a primitive road.  

"Thumbs Up!"

dude ranch family vacation

Sometimes our young guests are a bit apprehensive when getting on their horse for the first time.  It’s a new experience for many.  

horseback ride at hawley mountain

girl horsback rider

        Our wranglers do a great job of reassuring the young riders and see that they are well taken care of.  Once the nervousness leaves, a sure sign that the child is enjoying the ride is when they give the “thumbs up” sign along with a huge smile.


Hawley Mountain......A Perfect Habitat for Elk


In years past elk herds grazed the meadows below Hawley Mountain Ranch, but the wolf packs that have ventured out of Yellowstone Park have drastically reduced the numbers.  However, elk do still reside in the area, as the massive forests, lush meadows, and nearby water source makes it an ideal location in which to exist. 

elk cow calf
elk herd at hawley mountain
elk in pasture at hawley mountain

Elk calves can be seen in the meadows with their mothers in June, but as the temperatures rise, so do the elk.  They head up into the higher elevations in the summer, with only an occasional sighting by guests of elk in the meadows below. In the fall you can hear the bugling of the bulls during the mating season….a unique sound that we always enjoy hearing!

Visiting Hawley Mountain Ranch Brings Many Smiles

Just look at the grins on the faces of these children!

smiling girls at hawley mountain
smiling cowboy at hawley
girl with horse

It certainly looks like they are having a lot of fun and enjoying a lot of new experiences.  There aren’t too many places in the world where parents can turn their children loose to explore nature and try new things on their own.

girl at cookout
smiling girl at cookout
smiling cowboy at cookout


These faces pretty much sum up their week at the ranch.

Food, Fun, and New Found Friends!!




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