Got a question about our rides or activities? Need directions to the Ranch or what to wear on horseback? It's all right here ~ answers to many of the questions our guests have each season.
Of course we're happy to answer any horseback, cookout, or even rafting questions you have ~ simply give us a call at (406) 848-7510, or contact us online. We're here to help you plan your visit.
Q. How old do children need to be to go horseback riding?
A. For their safety, children must be at least 7 years old to participate in horseback rides. Kids are welcome to join us for the Cowboy Cookout dinners ~ where we cook up the kind of things kids like.
Q. Where is Hell's A-Roarin' Ranch?
A. Most of our horseback trips start at the ranch in Jardine, Montana ~ about 6 miles from your check-in at the Flying Pig Camp Store in Gardiner. The gravel roads are well-maintained by Park County and are suitable for automobiles. The drive takes about 20 minutes. We'll provide you a map and directions - as well as answer any local travel questions - when you check in for your ride.
Q. Are drinks or snacks available at the Ranch?
A. Water is available at Hell's A-Roarin' Ranch and you are welcome to bring additional drinks and snacks to enjoy before and after your ride (or to keep the kids happy).
The full-day horseback ride includes a Cowboy saddlebag lunch, and everyone is welcome for dinner at the evening Cowboy Cookout at the ranch.
Q. Will I get saddle sore from riding?
A. Ladies, ever heard the saying "wrangler butts drive me nuts"? Well, in addition to your enjoyment, there is a practical reason Cowboys wear well-fitted jeans. Baggy clothes can cause chaffing, as well as get caught in stirrups and the saddle.
Wear well-fitted long pants and long-sleeved shirts
Your saddles will be of top quality, and your horse will be saddled with an appropriate size for you
Let your guide know if your saddle is uncomfortable when you saddle up
Stirrups will be sized for you when you saddle up
Instructions will be provided for the correct position and posture for riding
Clothing tip for the men: Consider ditching those beloved boxers for your ride and pull on a pair of tighty whities to prevent new-cowboy chaffing.
Q. How rushed will be be if we raft and horseback the same day?
A. For an active group or family, the "paddle & saddle" trip makes for a full, but fun day. You'll have some time between trips to catch your breath and get a bite to eat and drink. There are a number of near-by eateries that serve fresh deli sandwiches and cooked selections.
Check-in at the Flying Pig Camp Store 1-hour prior to all departure times for instructions and directions
All trips are planned for your enjoyment and include appropriate stops for photos, sightseeing and relaxing
The schedule includes plenty of time for you to drive to the ranch for horseback departures
Flying Pig will shuttle you back to the Camp Store at the end of your rafting adventure with plenty of time to get drive to the ranch for horseback riding or the Cowboy Cookout
If you opt to "paddle" first, you'll depart on the 9am river trip, and check in for the afternoon half-day horseback ride at 2pm. For those in the "saddle" first, you'll start on the 9am horseback ride, then hit the river at 3pm. Everyone should be done just in time for the Cowboy Cookout at the ranch!
Q. What wildlife is commonly spotted on a horseback ride?
A. Northern Yellowstone is prime habitat for a variety of western wildlife. Elk, bison, deer and antelope are common and are spotted regularly. Moose and big horn sheep are also common, but are harder to spot. Bear, wolf, fox and coyote generally retreat around human activity. The occasional sighting is a treat.
Your local Montana guides will lead you through areas most frequented by wildlife
Don't forget to look-up! Birds are plentiful and include eagles, falcons and swan
Binoculars can be cumbersome to carry on horseback, ask about the best way to carry them if you bring them along
Remember your camera. You will be in spectacular back country many visitors never see
Full-day and evening rides tend to spot the most local wildlife. Evening rides are scheduled when animals are more active in the summer. Full-day rides explore farther from populated areas and into the Montana backcountry, so there's a tendency to view more big game, bison and other local wildlife.
Please let us know how this website could have been more helpful to you in planning your visit to the Gardiner / North Yellowstone area. Contact us online and your questions may even be added to this page.
Chances are, your horseback trip will take you to Hell's A-Roarin' Ranch ~ set at an elevation of over 7,000 ft in the beautiful Gallatin National Forest. The days are comfortably warm, however the sun can be intense. Wearing hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and long-sleeved clothing helps prevent sunburn. Temperatures cool off quickly in the evenings. A sweatshirt, light jacket or clothing to layer may come in handy.
With top-quality horses, tack and guides, your horseback ride with us should be fun, safe and enjoyable. Well-fitted clothing helps ensure sleeves and pant legs don't get caught on the saddle or stirrups. Closed-cuff sleeves and straight-leg pants may prevent tender ankles and wrists from pesky bug bites. You can even tuck pant legs into boot tops or socks ~ okay, it looks funny, but it works!
Delightful daytime temperatures are ideal for horseback riding in the north-Yellowstone area of Montana. Temperatures cool quickly after sunset ~ just in time for the Cowboy Cookout and campfire!
Shoes with a short heel will help you maintain good position in the saddle. Flip flops, sandals, and open-toed shoes can lead to minor injuries and aren't comfortable on horseback.
With a little advanced preparation, riding in this magnificent Montana area, with sweeping views Yellowstone Park, through the hills of remote backountry, should be a fun and memorable experience.
North Yellowstone Average Temps:
May ~ High: 66° / Low: 38°
June ~ High: 76° / Low: 46°
July ~ High: 86° / Low: 52°
August ~ High: 84° / Low: 50°
June ~ High: 76° / Low: 46°
Source: Western Regional Climate Center
Weather during the Montana riding season is about as good as it gets. Measurable precipitation rare in this part of Montana. A good rain is a welcome relief in the long dry season. Rain gear will be provided if you're one of the lucky ones that get to experience a ride in the rain. Of course, safety is the top concern and rides will be altered appropriately for any flukes in the weather.