There are those who say Red Lodge is at its best in the...
$50 - $300Red Lodge, MT
DAY ONE. ARRIVAL. Your OutWest trip leader...
DAY ONE. ARRIVAL. Your OutWest trip leader will pick you up at your hotel or the airport. The hour and 1/2 drive will bring us through the ski resort town of Red Lodge, and finally to the Lazy E-L Ranch, at the foot of the Beartooth Mountains.
In 1901, the ranch was homesteaded by Aaron’s great-grandfather, Malcolm S. Mackay. Aaron and his partner, David, are the owners of OutWest Global Adventures. Aaron grew up riding on the place and worked as a cowboy in his teens and during college. Aaron and David have been hosting OutWest guests on the ranch since 1996.
Upon arrival you’ll have some time to get settled in the historic ranch lodge, a log structure built in 1919. The ranch limits the number of guests to 12. The main lodge is called “The Summer Cabin” and each room is unique. The log lodge is not a hotel, but a family vacation home. Rooms are decorated with original western art, old family photographs, and Navajo rugs. The main room has a fireplace. Some bedrooms have private bathrooms and some share a bathroom with the room next door. Bed configurations vary. Rooms have two twins, a queen, or a king bed. The Russell Cabin has a queen bed and a private bathroom. Room and cabin preference is given to those who book first, so book early.
From the lodge porch, you’ll have unobstructed views of the Beartooth Mountains which rise to over 12,500 feet. Throughout the week, keep your eyes open for wildlife. The ranch is home to deer, elk, coyotes, bears, eagles, and sometimes wolves from neighboring Yellowstone National Park. With 12,000 protected acres and six miles of private river access, wildlife on the ranch is plentiful.
In the late afternoon, we’ll take a short hike and take in the views. Before dinner, we’ll kick-back with a cocktail before having dinner at the ranch cookhouse or historic dining room.
DAYS TWO-SIX DAILY HORESBACK RIDING. Each morning, we’ll have a different ride. For those who are new to horseback riding, basic instruction is provided before we head out over the hills and through the open pastures. Unlike a dude ranch, riding on trails is not standard at the Lazy EL Ranch. We don’t ride nose-to-tail, but spread out and learn to control our horse.
Depending on the weather and the location of the cattle, the riding terrain varies. One day we may be riding through alpine forests near the mountains, another day through aspen meadows along a river, and another day in open hill country.
Generally, we work cattle at least once a week. If the cattle herd of two thousand needs moving from one pasture to the next, we often get to go along with the cowboys and participate. Sometimes we “back ride” where we look for missing cattle and put them in the correct pasture. Yes, you too can be a “city slicker!”
RAFTING. One afternoon we’ll do a rafting trip on the Stillwater River. A tributary of the Yellowstone River, the Stillwater River meanders through a one-sided canyon, which was once home of the Crow Indians and buffalo herds. The river offers class II & III rapids and is a great introduction to white water.
HIKING IN THE WEST ROSEBUD VALLEY. With 12,000 private acres adjacent to the Beartooth Wilderness Area, the ranch offers many private hiking trails. One day we head to the west side of the ranch where we walk along the river and head up country to an historic homesteader’s cabin. We’ll have a picnic lunch at the Shorey Cabin. If it’s a hot day you may want to take a dip in the river. Fishing is available to those who purchase a license ($25) and bring their own equipment. A private guide is also available for hire.
THE BEARTOOTH HIGHWAY, DOWNHILL BIKE TOUR, AND RED LODGE. One afternoon, we’ll head up the Beartooth Highway for spectacular views from over 10,000 feet. Then by bicycle we’ll cruise down the highway stopping at scenic spots along the way. This is a thrilling way to experience one of the most beautiful roads in America.
Afterward, we’ll head into the mountain ski town of Red Lodge where you’ll have time to stroll along the historic main street and stop in shops, museums, art galleries, and saloons. That evening we’ll have diner back at the Carbon County Steakhouse or Bridge Creek Restaurant.
DAY SEVEN. DEPARTURE. HAPPY TRAILS! Today, you say good-bye to the ranch and head home or onto your next adventure.
ACCOMMODATIONS. The ranch limits the number of guests to 12. The main lodge is called “The Summer Cabin” and each room is unique. The log lodge is not a hotel, but a family vacation home. Rooms are decorated with original western art, old family photographs, and Navaho rugs. The main room has a fireplace. Some bedrooms have private bathrooms and some share a bathroom with the room next door. Bed configurations vary. Rooms have two twins, a queen, or a king bed. Several other cabins are also available that accommodate two to four people. Room preference is given to those who book first. So book early.
EXTRA ACTIVITIES. Fishing requires a Montana fishing license ($25). Ranch guests are welcome to cast a line in the West Rosebud River. A basic fishing rod is provided, but not fly-fishing equipment. The river is catch and release. Guided fly-fishing starts at $295/day.
Mid-week a massage therapist comes to the ranch. Rates start at $60/hour.
Grab your cowboy hat and boots and head to Montana for an activity-filled week on the Lazy E-L Ranch. Located 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park, the Lazy E-L is a working cattle ranch with 12,000 acres and 2,000 head of cattle. From the lodge porch enjoy views of 12,500-foot peaks and wide open pastures. Each day will offer a different exciting activity- rafting, hiking, biking, and, of course, horseback riding. Kick back, relax, and fun-filled days on this one-of-a kind OutWest Adventure! Happy Trails!