Cattle Drives have been our most popular activity which we share with our guests at the Dryhead Ranch. You will ride with real cowboys and experience an authentic working ranch vacation. We trail cows through Bad Pass Trail, through the Pryor Mountain Mustang Reserve down into Deadman and north up the trail 50 miles to the Dryhead Ranch.
Each spring we bring from winter pastures in Lovell, Wyoming into the rich grasslands of the Dryhead Country 800 head of mother cows with their baby calves. These cows and calves will spend the summer months on native grass which the Dryhead Ranch is known for. The Dryhead Country is rich in Indian history which we will have time to explore once we have the cows at the ranch.
Your Cattle Drive vacation bbegins on Sunday with your arrival at the Billings, Montana airport. We pick up at 4:00 PM at the airport and at the Rimrock Inn and drive back to the ranch that evening. This is a three hour drive that will give you time to get acquainted with the beautiful Montana country, your ranch driver and the other guests. Our cook will have supper waiting and the bunkhouse rooms will be ready upon our arrival.
SPRING CATTLE DRIVES
On Monday morning we saddle in Wyoming and turn the cows out the gate at a set of correls across the Shoshone River from our farm ground in Lovell. This begins the adventure of the best horseback riding vacations in the cattle drive vacation business. The first day covers the bad lands just north of Lovell, Wyoming. We go to the Wyoming-Montana Inspection corrals for our overnight stop and for the brand inspector to come and look at each brand on each cow before we go into Montana.
Tuesday through Thursday we will be trailing our cows and calves all the way to the Dryhead Ranch. We will trail them through Horse Thief canyon, near Devil's Canyon overlook, by the historic Carolyn Lockhart Ranch and across Deadmans Creek. Our home range is on the southern edge of the Crow Indian Reservation. Dryhead Ranch is six miles wide and ten miles long encompassing 21,000 acres of mountains, canyons, grassland pastures and breathtaking scenery your camera will have a hard time being able to capture. Much of this land is untouched by humans and to imagine back 500 years puts you back hunting buffalo with the Indians. Dryhead Ranch gets its name from the Indian tribes who walked the Dryhead Country and used the buffalo jump to provide food and clothes for their families.
Friday we will ride at the ranch. We do all of our cow work horseback. We will get the cows settled in their new pastures and make sure all the calves have found their mothers. Then we will take some time to ride on the picturesque Dryhead Ranch.
On Saturday it's time to get ready to go back to Billings. We arrive in Billings between 1:00 and 2:00 PM.
SUMMER CATTLE DRIVES
The summer cattle drives have a schedule of their own.
All riding levels are easily accomplished.
The late summer cattle drive vacation will be different than our spring and fall cattle drives. We will not camp on these late summer cattle drives and we will do all of our horseback riding on the ranch meadows.
The first cattle drive week will gather the west side of the ranch and bring Jeff's cows into the correls at the ranch headquarters where we will work off the calves and put them in horse trailers and haul them to our Wyoming feedlots. Then we will spend a day pregnancy testing the cows so that we will know what kind of calf crop we will have next year and we can process and doctor the cows for health maintenance and record keeping.
The second week will be gathering cows and calves off the east side of the ranch. All of our cow work is done horseback. We offer horseback riding vacations and an authentic cattle drive vacation for those seeking a real ranch adventure.
Many of these pastures are 11,000 acres of mountain, canyons and lots of beautiful scenic meadows where cows and calves have grazed the summer. It is an amazing site to see 400 head of mother cows and 400 head of their calves come together after four or five groups of cowboys have gathered to spring creek all of the pairs they have found on that days ride. The long line of black cattle moving south is a thrill you can only experience after a day of riding and gathering.
After the calves have been separated and trucked to Wyoming we will then bring the cows back to the spring creek pastures where they will stay until the end of November when they will be trailed back to Wyoming for the winter.
FALL CATTLE DRIVE
We have one fall cattle drive, which lasts for three days. We will be trailing heifers. They spend the summer at the ranch after they have been breed in Wyoming.
Two days of the week we will be gathering our herd and the other three days will be spent trailing them to winter pastures in Wyoming. Weather has a huge influence as to which days we will trail or gather.
Fall is a varied season to ride at a Montana dude ranch. The trail home to Wyoming is full of varied temperatures and varied challenges and rugged awesome beauty. This is what REAL cowboy experiences are made of.
We reserve the right to change our schedule when weather makes it unsafe to ride or cattle make it necessary to change our scheduled plans. We have no control over mother nature or horses and cows which are the purpose of these cattle drives and we want the right to alter our schedule to meet these changes if they should occur.
There is a list of things to bring on the rates page that will help with packing the right things to wear.
Come ride with the Cowboys...........It will change your life.
Here are the Dryhead Ranch Slide Shows,
where you also can find pictures of some of our cattle drives...