Get On Your High Horse! – Big Sky, Montana



A Montana Dude Ranch Vacation Like No Other


The Bar W Guest Ranch is a year-round dude ranch near Glacier National Park, ready to treat you to true Montana hospitality from the moment you arrive until long after the sun sets.

Nestled between two pine-covered ridges in an idyllic setting at the base of Spencer Mountain, the Bar W Guest Ranch is located just a stone’s throw from the town of Whitefish, Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort.









The Bar W is a small ranch that can host up to 40 guests per week. Guests have the option of arranging 3-night or 6-night package stays, arriving and departing Sunday-Wednesday, Wednesday-Saturday, or Sunday-Saturday.

Horseback riding is core to a week at the Bar W and with our proximity to public land, we are able to ride on close to a million acres.

Other ranch and area activities are boundless as we provide our guests a full western themed vacation complete with skeet shooting, archery, fly fishing, roping, cattle drives, rodeo games, wagon rides, square dancing, cookouts and campfires.





Or you can always just sit back and relax and let Montana surround you with its big skies, amazing wildlife and simple serenity.

They are conveniently located just north of Kalispell and Glacier Park International Airport, which is serviced by several major airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines.





All of this and more is what you can expect from a ranch vacation at the Bar W Guest Ranch, where people arrive here as guests and leave as family.

Montana Horseback Riding

See the full stable of horseback offerings below

A Week Of Trail Rides And Horse Trekking

As a weeklong guest at the Bar W dude ranch, you have access to our all-inclusive horseback riding program. Varied rides and horse treks leave daily and let you saddle up for some of the most exciting, yet relaxing outings into the Montana mountains that you could imagine.

Take your trusted mount over the foothills, into the mountains, across lush wildflower meadows, and to unspoiled viewpoints and back country lakes surrounding Glacier National Park and Whitefish, Montana.

Sway through the Kootenai National Forest on horseback to the pleasant rhythm of creaking leather and clopping hooves.

Tie your horse to a wilderness hitching post near a vivid aquamarine lake with wide, sandy beaches that let you soak in the cool mountain sunlight.

Enjoy a horseback riding program in the Montana wilderness that forms the core of our weekly guests’ experience as well as the highlight.

Trail Riding At The Bar W

Most of our daily horseback rides cater to our weeklong ranch guests, where all rides are included as part of the all-inclusive experience.

However, if you are Interested in a trail ride but don’t have a week to spend with us, we have some options that may suit you. See below for more information.






Horseback Riding For Weeklong Guests


A stay at a dude ranch wouldn’t be complete without all-you-can-ride horseback outings. We form the whole ranch experience around putting you in the saddle as often as you want.

Not only that but since we’re sited just outside Glacier National Park minutes from Whitefish, Montana, you’ll find yourself swaying through some of the most incredible views in the United States. You’ll even get to peer into Canada on some of your rides.

Rides For Weekly Guests Include

Canadian border ride: Hoof it to the border for iconic views of two nations’ natural treasures. Ride along the shores of Lake Koocanusa, a beautiful aqua blue-green lake with wide, sandy beaches where you can recuperate from your saddle time.

Getting to the trailhead is almost as pretty as being on the trail! Timberline trails: Head into the Montana mountains on horseback for rides that will stick with you for a lifetime. You ride through open prairies surrounded by rugged peaks, fragrant wildflower meadows, and even soar above timberline to see what Mountain Life is all about. The ridge lines are calling!

Horseback Riding For Day And Local Guests

Not everyone can spend a whole week at the ranch, which is why we provide trail rides as often as possible based on availability and trail conditions.

We currently offer two-hour and half-day rides on trails through the woods and into the mountains. Your trail ride adventure begins as our wranglers match you to one of our sure-footed horses, followed by an orientation designed to help you feel confident on your horse.

At the Bar W,  emphasis is always placed on your safety and the welfare of the horse. Children must be at least seven years old for our day-trip horseback rides. It can be difficult for kiddos.

Once your reservation is confirmed.

Call the Ranch – (406) 863-9099 – And make reservations for trail riding and other activities.

“I suggest 14 days prior, it’s always better to play it safe. 

These kids are not 7

It’s recommended contacting the ranch within 7 days of your desired outing to check availability of trail rides on the date and time that works best for you.

Horseback Riding Pricing For Day And Local Guests

2-Hour Trail Ride
(Days and times based on availability.)
  $85 per guest
Half-Day Trail Ride
(Sundays, 4-person minimum.)
 $110 per guest
Cowpoke Pony Ride
(Kids under 7, 30-minute ride)
  $60 per child




 Two-Hour Trail Rides Or Half-Day Rides


If you’re not staying at the ranch or are a local, you can still experience the thrill of Montana horseback riding near Glacier National Park. Sited only 10 minutes from Whitefish, our ranch is easy to get to and impossible to forget.

With a 90-horse herd born and bred in Montana, we often have extra horses and wranglers available for two-hour or half-day rides through wooded mountain trails to iconic Big Sky destinations.

We offer trail rides to day guests based on availability and trail conditions. Reservations accepted a maximum of seven days in advance.

Day riders just take a sip of Montana wilderness on horseback, and you’re probably going to want more. We hand weekly guests the bottle with no need to drink responsibly. This is one time it’s encouraged to drink it all in.

Choosing Your Horse

Our experienced wranglers hand-select a horse for every rider based on age, weight, riding ability, and overall riding style.

If this is your first time in the saddle, we’ve got great mounts for learning.

Seasoned loper? You’ll ride a horse that’s more ready to run and take on advanced terrain.

Wherever you’re at in your horseback riding journey, we’ll meet you with a horse that suits you well and give you the confidence you need to take your riding to the next level.

You’ll forge a bond with your horse and feel at ease enough to call it your own throughout the week.

Horseback Riding Lessons

Horsemanship always leaves room for improvement — even for the most seasoned riders. For weeklong guests, you’ll have every opportunity to increase your knowledge and capabilities.

Your lessons will be personalized to your riding level with other similar riders. With a maximum of four riders per wrangler, you’ll never feel like you’re getting left in the trail dust, even if you are a greenhorn.

Watch as your ability to communicate with your horse, steer, and generally feel in charge of your trusty mount increase throughout the week in a genuine, authentic, and first-rate learning environment.

We group riders of similar abilities throughout the week so you never feel out of place.

Horseback Riding Lessons

The Bar W Guest Ranch offers a diverse horseback riding program and some of the best training available anywhere. If you want to enhance your horsemanship skills, our lessons are perfect for adults and children of any age.

We begin by matching you with one of our trained horses based on your ability. During a riding lessons, you learn basic horse safety, how to groom and saddle your horse, the proper riding posture, controlled gaits, stopping, and turning. Our lessons are perfect for riders of all abilities as all private lessons are tailored specifically to the rider’s needs.

Lessons are offered year-round based on availability. We accept reservations for lessons a maximum of seven days in advance. During the summer months, availability is limited and lessons are mostly offered on weekends and select weekdays. 


(60 min)
Roping Hay Bales
(30 min)
Barrel Racing & Pole Bending
(45 min)     

Learn Rodeo Skills

Throughout your week at the dude ranch, you’ll put together horseback riding skills worthy of a rodeo queen or king. Then, with your fanbase of new friends and family cheering you on, you’ll ride in the end-of-week rodeo for some friendly competition.

Whether your goal is to just have fun or to win, you’ll learn the ins and outs of pole bending, cattle sorting, barrel racing, and other arena sports to see how you fare.

RODEO At The Bar W




Once your reservation is confirmed.

Call the Ranch – (406) 863-9099 – And make reservations for trail riding and other activities.

“I suggest 14 days prior, it’s always better to play it safe. 


Weekly guests work all week to improve their rodeo skills, and enter a rodeo competition at the end of the week that pits them against each other. In a non-threatening, friendly way you can take as seriously as you want.

With several events aimed at testing your steed’s fancy footwork, you’ll see how your horsemanship measures up in a fun arena atmosphere.

Barrel Racing

This timed event tests your skills and tactics of riding as fast and as in control as possible.  Clover-leaf pattern barrel racing will have you loping across the arena with your eyes always on the next barrel.

Family Horseback Riding


Bar W has the most extensive kids’ program of any dude ranch in Montana.

Small fries 3 and under will mostly take lead-rope rides around the ranch while under our babysitters’ care, but the fun really begins for cowpokes ages 4 to 6.

For them, pony rides, arena games on horseback, and horsemanship lessons drive the experience.

And for junior wranglers up to age 11, the world opens up. Many junior wranglers choose to do the same rides as their parents, while others choose to hang back with other kids for shorter rides and rodeo arena games.


The Great Western Family Vacation

At the Bar W, we believe experiences are meant to be shared and consider children to be the heart of the ranch. We’ve designed an impressive cowpoke program for cowpokes ages 4-6 years along with our Junior Wranglers 7 years and older.

Throughout the week children can immerse themselves in the rich history of cowboy culture that they’ve read about in books or watched on TV. The kid’s program is designed to allow parents the freedom to experience all we have to offer while being confident that their child is receiving the best care and making lifelong memories with our children’s counselors.

After one of our Horsin’ Around sessions, your cowpokes can explore the ranch or play games in our game room, complete with a pool table and darts. In the West, ranch life starts at a young age; whatever your age, the Bar W has a great vacation waiting for you.





Every Age Is Welcome


Small Fries (Under 3)

For the small fries, under three, we offer limited babysitting (based on availability) so the adults can enjoy the trails together.

Babysitting rates are $20/hour for the first child and additional children (under 3 years) are $10/hour. Age appropriate ranch activities and fun are offered!

Cowpokes (4-6)

Cowboys and cowgirls under seven can become official Bar W Cowpokes. Our Cowpoke program allows kids to enjoy horseback riding and experience a variety of Montana oriented activities.

Cowpokes will enjoy pony rides, arena games on horseback, horsemanship lessons, scavenger hunts, Montana bingo, arts & crafts, and even can become a “Montana Picasso” as they paint a horse!

Junior Wranglers (7-11)

Junior Wranglers, age seven to eleven, will enjoy rides with adults as well as special Junior Cowpokes Rides for any child that does not want to do longer rides with their parents.

Junior Wranglers will enjoy miles of trail rides and games in the arena. Lead by counselors, each cowpoke team will experience great adventures including horseback riding, swimming, fishing, and exploring Montana country.


Handcrafted out of iron by an authentic Brand Inspector, these custom brands can be preordered to arrive before your stay with us, or we can ship to you.