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Rocking Z Ranch is a small, family owned and run guest ranch. Your hosts Zack and Patty Wirth are fourth generation Montanans. Zack’s great-grandfather came to Montana searching for gold in 1862 and Patty’s grandfather homesteaded in 1869. Zack is an expert on the history of the area and has great stories of the events that shaped this part of the country.
The itinerary is flexible to accommodate everyone with a mixture of half day and all day rides. You ride over a variety of terrain. Sometimes to higher ground where you can see six different mountain ranges. Parts of the rides are steep climbing but where the terrain is appropriate you may have canters. A favourite ride is a sixteen mile ride to Medicine Rock with the opportunity for lots of canters.
Each week there is usually the opportunity to move cattle from one pasture to the next. Or perhaps bring the cattle into the arena to do team penning. If you are really keen to learn roping and cattle work this can be available on request.
There are a wide range of non riding activities available including floating the Missouri River, target and clay shooting, archery, fishing, hiking, plus bird and wildlife watching. Rodeos take place in nearby towns on a number of weeks from mid June to the end of August. If you’d like to visit them, the ranch staff are happy to take you.
The ranch currently has over sixty horses, all much loved. They are mostly Quarter Horses but also include Appaloosas, Paints, Mustangs, Belgians, and a couple of smaller ponies. Most are trained on the ranch using Parelli Natural Horsemanship techniques.
You are encouraged to be involved in grooming and saddling your horse, the wranglers will show you the Western reining techniques.
The pace is varied from walk on the steeper slopes to a faster pace on the open spaces, which are great for canters.
Riding instruction is available in Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Western riding and reining.
Children six and up will spend much of the day learning to ride and playing games on their horses. If their riding ability allows, children are able to join in with some adult rides.
There are eight spacious guest rooms. Each room has an en-suite bathroom and a covered porch. The rooms have cast iron stove heaters for cool spring or autumn evenings. Air conditioning is available in some of the rooms, as is wifi.
The rooms are of varying size and some can accommodate up to four people on king queen or twin beds.
The main ranch lodge has a communal living and dining area where meals are taken with the family.
The normal ranch stay is six nights; arriving on Sunday departing the following Saturday after breakfast. It is possible to stay for 10 or 13 nights but there are no organised activities and only simple meals provided on the middle Saturday.
It is possible to stay between November and March but due to the weather, the riding may be affected. During this time you can arrive and depart on any day and stay for as long as you like (3 night minimum stay).
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Ranch Stay||10 Jul 2022 - 16 Jul 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,690.62||Book|
|Ranch Stay||17 Jul 2022 - 23 Jul 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,690.62||Book|
|Ranch Stay||24 Jul 2022 - 30 Jul 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,690.62||Book|
|Ranch Stay||31 Jul 2022 - 6 Aug 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,690.62||Book|
|Ranch Stay||7 Aug 2022 - 13 Aug 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,690.62||Book|
|Ranch Stay||14 Aug 2022 - 20 Aug 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,690.62||Book|
|Ranch Stay||21 Aug 2022 - 27 Aug 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,690.62||Book|
|Ranch Stay||4 Sep 2022 - 10 Sep 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,424.13||Book|
|Ranch Stay||11 Sep 2022 - 17 Sep 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,424.13||Book|
|Ranch Stay||18 Sep 2022 - 24 Sep 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,424.13||Book|
|Ranch Stay||25 Sep 2022 - 1 Oct 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,424.13||Book|
|Ranch Stay||2 Oct 2022 - 8 Oct 2022||6 nights 6 ngts||$2,152.50||Book|
INCLUDES Six nights full board; riding and on-ranch activities.
CHILD DISCOUNTS 10% discount for children aged 4 to 12 years.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT The single supplement if payable for single travellers. There are two smallish single rooms available at no supplement (subject to availability). The single supplement for six nights is as follows:
|July - August||$538.13|
PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; off-ranch activities; tips $250 - $300.
NEAREST AIRPORT Great Falls or Helena.
TRANSFERS Included from Helena at a set time on Sunday morning and transfer back the following Saturday morning. At any other time transfers are possible from Helena at $160 per vehicle return or from Great Falls at $300 per vehicle return (payable locally).
There is no charge for transfers from/to Helena at a set time. The collection on the Sunday morning will be between 10:30 and 11:30. Activities will start from around 14:00. The following Saturday you will be transferred back to Helena between 11:00 and 12:00.
Transfers at any other time can be arranged and are payable locally. Transfers from Helena (around 20 minutes) cost USD 80 per vehicle one way or from Great Falls (around one hour) at USD 113 per vehicle one way. Or you may prefer to hire a car and self-drive to the ranch.
Flights from Europe arrive late evening, normally between 19:00 and 23:00 and most people choose to overnight at a hotel near to the airport. Outside of high season, that is for stays between October and the end of May, it may be possible to transfer directly to the ranch in the late evening on your arrival and there is a discounted rate if you arrive after 19:00 in time for dinner or later in the evening.
The ranch is just half an hour's drive north of Helena set in the grassy foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
May, June and 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 team at Rocking Z look after their horses exceptionally well. They know each one individually and we were very pleased with our equine matches. In addition, they really want to teach you to ride which was brilliant for us as beginners - we gained so much confidence with the horses over the week and the horses reward you with improved responsiveness. A wonderful experience. No one should hesitate to holiday at Rocking Z, they were quite simply brilliant all round.
Angharad ,CambridgeshireOverall rating: 5/5
Excellent fun family ranch with a relaxed friendly atmosphere and flexible riding itinerary. Offers great rides for all abilities.
This is the perfect ranch to learn about Natural Horsemanship. It suits those looking for relaxation and to experience a different way of life.