Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch Blog

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

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.

Hawley horses in high pasture
Hawley Mountain trail ride
Hawley Mountain horses in pasture

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.

jeans branding7
roping lesson1

Wranglers at Work

A “wrangler” is defined as a person who herds or cares for livestock on a range.  That’s exactly what our wranglers at Hawley Mountain Ranch do….and they do their job well.  Getting saddled up by dawn they bring our horse herd in off the pasture to begin the day.  Then it’s time for the feeding, saddling, and taking guests out on rides to explore the wilderness.  Other tasks fill their days as well, such as fence fixing, trail clearing, weed spraying, and caring for the horses in many ways. 



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. 

2 moose 2

Can Deer Become Pet-Like?

deer closeup2

Contact Us or Request A Brochure

Use this form to request a brochure or more information.
A link to the brochure will be available once the form is submitted.
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(Your email address or contact information will not be shared with others.)

We are included in Travel Montana

Our activities are permitted by the Gallatin National Forest.

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


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© 2005-2018 Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch
All Rights Reserved.

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