Plan the perfect Yellowstone Dude Ranch vacation:
Experience Montana


Spring is upon us.. and we're excited to be gearing up for the summer season here at Elkhorn Ranch!

This quiet winter on the ranch, we spent our time shoveling snow, fireside, and tending to the horses.

We've been slowly gearing up for the summer season where new and old guests return to enjoy the Montana outback and unplug.

Spring is slowly creeping on us, and as you start to plan your summer vacation, we're here to help!

Planning your Yellowstone vacation can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be with a little help from friends and family.

Here are some tips to make sure you're covered for a stress free vacation!


1 / Pick the right time to visit us!

Yellowstone is stunning year round, but making sure you visit at the right time of year can be important. In the winter, temperatures range from zero to 20F (-20C to -5C) throughout the day!!

We do offer Sleigh Riding activities, but recommend for your first time visiting Yellowstone you come during peak season, which runs from June to September. 

There are many activities on the ranch - horseback for riders of all abilities, blue ribbon fishing streams, whitewater rafting, just to name a few. However - unlikely many other dude ranches in the area, we are an authorized concessionaire for Yellowstone National Park.  

That means we can take you horseback riding, on guided hikes + tours of Yellowstone National Park. We're only a mile North of the park, which makes for the perfect day trip for the family.


2 / Make sure there's an activity for the whole group - whether you're bringing the entire family along, just your spouse, or a few friends

If you're bringing the whole family, you're in the right place! Our Montana Dude Ranch is designed from the ground up to cater to families that want closely shared family time without needing to spend every moment together.

Our unique children's program will group children and teens together to enjoy the outback and create new friendships while on ranch excursions. It is truly special, and you'll be shocked to watch your young ones unplug and embrace the beautiful nature of Montana.

The whole family will be busy creating new friendships and memories in the rugged outback, our kids and teens program make Elkhorn an unmatched family ranch experience. 

Each week, we have about 40 guests and we tailor our calendar based on your group to make sure there are multiple groups of kids and teens to organize activities around. Give the teens space to venture on their own and kids room to grow new friendships under our supervision! That means the adults can explore the Yellowstone outback carefree, knowing the whole family is taken care of.


3 / Plan in advance (if you can)!

Most visitors at the ranch have been coming here every year with the family, but if you're new to the Elkhorn family we suggest reaching out sooner rather than later to plan your Dude Ranch vacation!

We still have openings for this upcoming 2024 summer season (reach out to us now to check what weeks are free) but are also getting some asks in about the 2025 season. If you're reading this looking to plan for next year, we're taking rolling reservations so get in touch with us! 

We're always working to accommodate each guest's needs as closely as possible to what they're looking for - grouping families with teens and kids together or guiding adults-only vacation planners towards our Adult Only Weeks! Not to say adult-only vacations are unwelcome during the family summer season, we're just making sure each week creates a special, magical family bond with all our guests!


4 / Embrace Wildlife Safety and Responsible Behavior (we'll guide you through all of this).

Yellowstone is home to a diverse array of wildlife - including bison, elk, bears, wolves, and more. While observing wildlife is an incredible experience, it's essential to do so responsibly and safely!

Always maintain a safe distance from animals, never approach or feed them, and adhere to park regulations and guidelines for wildlife viewing. Remember that Yellowstone is their home, and respecting their habitat is crucial for their well-being and your safety.

While on the ranch, if we venture into the official Yellowstone National Park our guides will make sure you have a smooth, safe, and majestic experience.


5 / Create memories with old and new friends alike! 

Unplug and reconnect with your loved ones and new friends during your week on the ranch. We do have wifi on the ranch, just limited to the main cabin/ office, but most of your time will be spent outdoors fully taking in the outback.

We believe in a screen-free experience, to truly take in the century of ranching tradition that is the spirit of Elkhorn Ranch!


6 / Packing the right gear for a week in the rustic outdoors. 

Leave your Cowboy gear at home, we have Cowboy boots & hats for everyone!

You will want to bring long-sleeve shirts, jeans, and your bathing suit to go on a dip in our fresh water pond on the ranch!

Check out our What To Bring page that spells out everything you need to make sure you're prepared for your Montana vacation.



Reach out to us if you have any questions about planning your upcoming trip! We're here to make sure your Yellowstone trip is as magical as possible.

Scroll to Top