Although the ranch itinerary may vary depending on the season as well as your interests and riding experience, each week has a basic structure designed to build your ranch vacation into a unique and memorable experience.
Sunday: Arrive between 2 and 5 pm and settle into your comfortable log cabin. Join your fellow guests for cocktails on the porch at 6.30 followed by a BBQ and bonfire by the river (weather permitting).
Monday: After a hearty breakfast gather by the corral at 9.15 for an introduction to the wranglers and a short demonstration of the riding techniques used on the ranch. Mount up and ride to the ring for a brief evaluation to make sure you are well matched with your horse, tack, and fellow riders. Then it is off on your first trail ride of the week! Return in time for lunch at 12.30, have a bit of time to relax and you are back in the saddle at 2.45, exploring a different area in the vast empty spaces that surround the ranch. Return from your ride between 4.30 and 5.30, which will give you time to shower and change before cocktail hour.
“We were made to feel very comfortable from the moment we arrived until, sadly, we had to leave. I feel as though I have been here before.” – Vici Abney, OR
“It was a trip of a lifetime. I left there a brand new person. Words cannot describe my experience or how great I felt.” – Stacy Hawkins, MD
Tuesday: Optional videotaped lessons in the morning. A longer ride into the National Forest for those who are now more comfortable in the saddle followed by a shorter, faster afternoon ride. Cocktails are at 6:00 pm and dinner today is at 6.30 in July and August to accommodate those who wish to join the weekly square dance in Dubois, which starts at 8.00.
“We loved the warm, family welcoming feel of the ranch, and not having to lock doors. Great having no T.V.’s and no noise apart from natural sounds.” – Lynne and Peter Mallen, UK
Wednesday: Morning and afternoon rides with the possibility for more advanced groups to load up into the horse trailer and go check on the cows grazing deep inside the National Forest. There are endless interesting destinations with varied terrain to be explored and no ride will be repeated during your week long stay.
“Bitterroot Ranch got its grips around me and won’t let go ( I still wake up wondering what you had for dinner and whether it rained or snowed ). My stay is one of the most life-enriching experiences I have ever had.” – Tanis Salant, AZ
Thursday: Optional lessons, morning and afternoon rides, perhaps fly fishing or hiking. You can choose to spend your time as you wish on this or any other day.
“A week that I considered to be highlight of my fall quickly became what might be the highly of my year. The Bitterroot Ranch provided a spectacular backdrop, one that must be seen and felt to be believed. From scenery to horses to staff, the environment was perfect.” – Jane Abbey, VA
Friday: A long ride in the morning is followed by a friendly team sorting competition in the afternoon (July, August and September). Four team members attempt to drive ten Highland yearlings in numerical order from one end of the ring to the other in 4 minutes. You will find that the cattle will never comply with the best laid plans! Cocktails are at 6:00 and dinner is again at 6.30 in July and August so that you can make it to Dubois by 8.00 to watch the local rodeo.
“The trip was even better than my high expectations! I had a fantastic time!” – Lucille Durfee, CA
Saturday: An all day picnic ride which allows guests to climb high in the National Forest. There is often an opportunity for more advanced groups to herd cattle grazing on the allotment.
“The Bitterroot Ranch is the perfect place to connect! Beautiful land, animals, people, food and accommodations – you can’t beat it!” – Sheila Trapold, OR
Sunday: Departure after breakfast and a sad farewell to new found friends.