GRAB YOUR BINOCULARS for Bird Watching in Montana!

Bird Watching….. A Popular Activity at Hawley Mountain

western taniger


eagle in flight

One source of entertainment for our guests, especially those living in the cities, is watching the various species of birds that are part of our wilderness habitat.  Depending on the season, the variety changes from month to month.  Perhaps the most unusual bird we see is the Western Tangier, recognized by its bright yellow and orange plumage.  Occasionally a blue bird is spotted, and a bald eagle and osprey are frequent visitors to the pond area eyeing those tasty trout.  


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.

Monument Peak and Blue Lake

 Each week some of our guests, who want to challenge themselves a bit by climbing to the elevation of nearly 11,000 feet, begin their trek near a glacier lake and ascend upwards towards an unbelievable view of the surrounding mountain ranges.  On the way the breathing becomes harder, the muscles start to hurt, and frequent short breaks are needed, but the accomplishment of “getting to the top” is well worth the effort exerted to get there.  

guest ranch hiking vacation

mountain hiking in montana


A “never to be forgotten” experience!  

Wild West Rodeo in Big Timber, montana...

rodeo bulldoggingThere’s nothing like a Big Timber rodeo to experience the old Western way of life in Montana.  Spectators of all ages converge to the fairgrounds near the Yellowstone River to watch the various entertaining events….everything from mutton busting to bull riding!
The last weekend in June is reserved for Rodeo Days in the small town of Big Timber.  It’s a time for family get-to-gethers, class reunions, and an influx of tourists to enjoy the two day event.  People gather in the grandstand in the early evening…and let the fun begin!

Campfire Fun on a dude ranch vacation

Not only is the campfire cuisine enjoyed by our ranch guests, but the variety of activities keeps people entertained. Intense volleyball games occur almost every week (using “mountain” rules, of course!). Roping our stationary steer, Norman, or pitching horseshoes tests skills of accuracy and provides a lot of laughs. Jean branding using our ranch irons sends guests home with a special (and inexpensive!) souvenir from Hawley Mountain.

 roping lesson1



jeans branding7

 family vacation as dude ranch


Top off the evening with tasty “cowboy” coffee", S’mores, and perhaps a little guitar music around an inviting campfire….a perfect time for conversation and relaxation!

campfire conversation1

cowboy coffee at dude ranch campfire

family vacation at dude ranch




Nothing gets the attention of our guests more than the words, “There’s a moose in the meadow!”  This always brings everyone to the lodge windows for a better view. 

montana moose in wilderness

guest ranch wildlife

A cow with her calf can be a hazard to anyone who dares to move too close to the pair, so remember to view from afar!  Occasionally one of these moose critters will venture to the pond to enjoy the seaweed...or simply make use of our meadow as a crossing to get to the river.  At any rate, seeing one of these majestic creatures in the wild is a total delight to experience!



Can Dude Ranch Deer Become "Pet-Like"?

deer closeup2

Roaming around the ranch buildings this summer were some very tame deer.  Not that you could reach out and touch them, but they certainly showed little fear of humans.  These deer could be observed grazing nearby the guests’ cabins, meandering around the barn and corral area, and often were hanging near the paths as guests passed by.  Guess these deer know a “protected area” when they see one! 

montana wildlife at guest ranch

dude ranch wildlife




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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".