Located snugly between the Beartooth Mountains and the Pryor Mountains in Clarks Fork Valley, 45 miles south of Billings, the Lonesome Spur Ranch is a fifth generation working Montana ranch that offers guests the opportunity to participate in the day-to-day workings of an authentic cattle ranch for fun and personal enrichment. Visitors will also experience the famed natural beauty of Montana, as well as have the opportunity to observe many examples of the native wildlife within their natural habitats. Eagles, elks, whitetail deer, mule deer, and bears are only a few of the many species to be seen and observed.
The Lonesome Spur Ranch was begun by the Schwend brothers Claude and Ed in 1906 on farmland they purchased located 4 miles south of Bridger, Montana. The Schwends were one among many families who first migrated to the west in search of new opportunities and unspoiled land, arriving in the area itself in 1888. Over the years, the land and the ranch evolved into the Lonesome Spur Ranch as guests know it today. Guests were welcomed onto the ranch for the first time in 1993.
Since that time, people have flocked to the Lonesome Spur to share in the day to day workings of an authentic cattle ranch and take in the beauty of the mountain surroundings, clean air, and indigenous wildlife. One of the most notable of these guests was author Nicholas Sparks who stayed at the Lonesome Spur while doing his research for his well-known best-selling novel The Horse Whisperer. In fact, the Booker homestead in the novel and corresponding movie were modeled after the Lonesome Spur Ranch itself, bearing many similarities and common qualities.
Open year round, the Lonesome Spur offers a variety of visitor experiences depending on the season. For instance, during the spring season, guests might find themselves being presented with the chance to help out with the birthing process and care of newborn calves and foals, while the summer sees such activities as the training of young foals and the surveillance of livestock that have been put out to pasture. During the winters, ski trips and winter horseback riding excursions are available.
The members of the ranch itself work year-round on horseback and invite visitors to interact via hands-on participation in activities such as roping, sorting, and penning of livestock as well. There are also a wide variety of additional activities available to visitors to Lonesome Spur depending on the time of year. These include, but are not limited to tours of the Buffalo Bill Museum in nearby Cody, Wyoming; historical reliving and education in regards to the Battle of Little Bighorn; white water rafting trips down on the scenic Yellowstone River; and authentic rodeo shows.
Lonesome Spur is also equipped with a spa facility that is open to guests and which they are invited to visit after a long day at work on the ranch or out riding. Massages, use of the hot tub, and hot wax treatments are all available the better to soothe the aches and pains of tired bones and sore muscles.