Pine Butte Ranch; Nature Conservancy in Montana

Pine Butte Ranch
Pine Butte Ranch horseback riding vacation

Dude ranch vacations – the phrase conjures up images of cowboys on horseback, dressed from head to toe in straw hats, western styled shirts, denim jeans hidden underneath leather chaps and the required cowboy boots with spurs that jingle when they touch the ground.

Many types of horse riding holidays

There are many types of horse riding holidays, from Relaix and Chateau resorts, to multi-day trail rides in the south of France, or family-friendly, all-inclusive horseback riding vacations. Some people enjoy ranches that specialize in trail rides and overnight pack trips with a rustic approach, while others want a spa treatment after a day in the saddle.  As I specialize in equestrian travel, I have learned that the words dude ranch mean different things to people.
Pine Butte Ranch riders
Take a horse riding holiday at Pine Butte Ranch

Connect with nature at Pine Butte Ranch

If you are looking to connect with nature, Pine Butte Ranch in Montana walks the talk on conservation. In fact, Pine Butte Guest Ranch is part of The Nature Conservancy.  A naturalist accompanies guests on nature hikes and horseback rides, the swimming pool and showers are solar heated, and the ingredients from ranch meals come from Pine Butte’s own garden and neighboring ranches.

Pine Butte Ranch
Connect with nature at Pine Butte Ranch in Montana

Horseback riding in Montana’s Rocky Mountains

I have yet to take a horseback riding vacation at Pine Butte Guest Ranch, located along the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains, so I am not speaking from first person experience. While the ranch has been in operation since 1930, it joined The Nature Conservancy in 1979.
I will say that as a traveler on horseback, I appreciate the value of wide open spaces. I support the mission of The Nature Conservancy; to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. What could be more important than that?

Need to know
Pine Butte Guest Ranch summer season runs from early June to September 1. Check the website for current pricing and more ranch details.
Have you experienced a horseback riding vacation at Pine Butte Ranch? Leave a comment below and tell us about your Montana ranch holiday.

Pine Butte Ranch breakfast
Pine Butte Ranch breakfast

If You Go:

Pine Butte Ranch
(406) 466-2158

351 South Fork Road, Choteau, Montana 59422

Article written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Photos courtesy of Pine Butte Ranch. Pine Butte Ranch is a member of Montana Dude Ranch Association.

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4 thoughts on “Pine Butte Ranch; Nature Conservancy in Montana”

  1. I grew up in Choteau, MT, and worked at Pine Butte Guest Ranch for six seasons. Among some of my favorite experiences were working in the garden and a biofuel production project one summer (collecting used cooking oil from restaurants in Choteau). Hiking the foothills around the ranch, and learning about the Métis and Blackfeet history in the area were highlights, too. The valley where the ranch is located is plumb full of history, and it’s an amazing place to learn about ecology, sustainable living alternatives, and wide open spaces.

  2. @Bethann
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding Pine Butte Ranch. As a California girl, I love visiting Montana in the summer. I hope to visit sometime in the winter and would love to go horseback riding at Pine Butte Ranch.

  3. Awesome article….we have visited Montana and Wyoming a couple of times! We hope to plan a visit to Pine Butte Ranch. Sounds wonderful!

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