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Montana - Hidden Hollow Hideaway
Hidden Hollow Ranch is owned and run by the Flynn family and is situated in the foothills of the Big Belt Mountains.
At Hidden Hollow Hideaway riders go out together in groups of usually no more than eight. The pace is dictated by the level of those on the ride and in unlikely to be fast. There are 25,000 acres of ranch lands to explore as well as the adjoining wilderness areas. You can ride through open meadows or on more challenging mountain rides or perhaps check on the cattle on the upper pastures.
Cattle work is possible all through the summer. Most of the larger cattle drives are in June when cattle are first taken to the mountains. But there are also smaller cattle drives throughout the summer as cattle are moved between grazing areas.
There are many activities for non-riders or for when you choose not to ride. Something special at Hidden Hollow Hideaway is to try your hand at panning for gold. One of the richest gold strikes ever found in Montana lies within the ranch and you are sure to take some home – maybe not enough to get rich but enough to have some fun.
There are a number of horses to choose from at the ranch suitable for all levels of riding ability from beginner to experienced. The small number of guests means that complete beginners and children of all ages are welcome to join in the fun and to ride if they wish.
Usually you ride for three to four hours after breakfast returning to the ranch for lunch.
When moving cattle the rides may be up to seven hours with a picnic lunch and there are one or two all day rides but on most days you have lunch back at the ranch.
In the afternoon you have time to enjoy some of the non-riding activities. The riding is not normally fast - a rancher wants to be able to ride his horse all day and for it still to have energy at the end of the day if needed.
Depending on the riding experience of the group there may be opportunities for canters.
The tack and style of riding is Western.
There are four cabins at Hidden Hollow Hideaway each for an individual, couple or family groups. They are simply furnished, clean and comfortable. Their Montana heritage is important and the cabins have much of the original furniture and fittings from the 1940s through to 1960s.
The larger log cabin (the Pathfinder) has two separate bedrooms, one bathroom (with tub) and a living area. One room has a double bed; the other a double and single bed.
The small cabin (the Scout) has a double bed and a single bed in one room plus bathroom.
The original homestead (the Pioneer) has two bedrooms (one with double bed and the other with double bed and single bed), two bathrooms and a dining area.
The newest cabin (Wrangler) has two bedrooms which share a shower and loo.
The cabins are cleaned weekly each Saturday. The main lodge has a dining and seating area and is a place to gather and relax.
Guests arrive on Sunday and stay six nights departing the following Saturday.
INCLUDES Six nights accommodation; full board from lunch on day of arrival to breakfast on day of departure; horse and a guide; return transfers from Helena; riding and on-ranch activities.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Payable for single cabin £251.31. No single supplement if you are willing to share a cabin.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Wine beer or canned drinks (you are welcome to bring your own and each cabin has a fridge); off-ranch excursions; transfers from Bozeman; gratuities (as a guideline $150 per adult/$120 per child).
NEAREST AIRPORT Helena or Bozeman.
TRANSFERS Are included from Helena. Transfers from Bozeman can also be arranged for $75 each way (payable locally).
Hidden Hollow Ranch is situated on the eastern side of the great Canyon Ferry Lake in the foothills of the Big Belt Mountains.
May, June and mid September have average daytime temperatures of 15°C to 20°C. and are usually lovely months to ride.
July and August are typically in the high 20°C with cool evenings. The average July temperature is 28°C.
The small number of guests at the ranch ensure individual attention and lots of fun!
The wildlife around the ranch is abundant and Kelly is an excellent guide. Be sure to take your camera and zoom lens to catch some of the mountain wildlife.