Diese Ranch habe ich während meiner Ranchtour'03 besucht, hier gibt es einige Fotos und die englische Vorstellung der Ranch. Weitere Infos und Fotos folgen...

[ Vacation @ the Lonesome Spur | History | Fotos | Montana- und Reise-Infos ]

The Lonesome Spur Ranch isn't a dude ranch. It is a real working cattle ranch, where you are invited to participate in the day to day activities. After the work is done there is always time to have a little fun! Ask Nicholas Evans, author of the "Horse whisperer ".

Mr. Evans stayed with the Schwends while doing research for his best seller novel. The Lonesome Spur was the model for Tom Booker's grandparents homestead looking out over the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River.

"From its crest you could see the river curving around like a castle moat and in the distance the snowy peaks of the Pryor and Beartooth Mountains. "

The Lonesome Spur Guest Ranch is a fifth generation, working cattle ranch lying in the Clarks Fork Valley, between the Pryor Mountains and the Beartooth Mountains. The Schwends love to share the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, white tail and mule deer, an occasional elk, mountain sheep or moose, the howl of the coyotes and the fleeting sight of the red fox from their rustic lodge.

Guests are invited to join Lonnie and Elaine and their crew at branding time the first weekend of May and trailing the cattle to summer pastures around the l5th of May and the l5th of June.

Throughout the summer they work on horseback, monitoring the condition of both cattle and range, and moving the herd from one area to another as often as needed to preserve the health of the ecosystem and the cattle, checking water holes and fences. They round up the cattle for weaning and market in mid October and trail the cows home for veterinary check ups and on out to the fall pastures.

The Ranch's summer and fall ranges consist of approximately 35,000 acres, extending from the Pryor Mountains to the Wyoming border and approximately 1200 acres on the home ranch.

In addition to the everyday ranching activities, the guests are also given the opportunity of participating in horseback
activities such as team penning and O-Mok-See games, when they are available.

While vacationing with the Schwends, guests are also given the options to partake in a variety of activities including. viewing the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, touring the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming and visiting the Old Trail Town, reliving the Battle of the Little Big Horn, experiencing the scenic Beartooth Highway, conquering white water on a rafting trip down the Yellowstone river and a real "whoop um up" rodeo, all depending on the season.

Lonnie is a past bareback and bullriding champion and was quite respected as a steer wrestler in the NRA circuit. He enjoys sharing with our guests many of his adventures and explaining what is "really" taking place during the rodeos. Off ranch activities are of additional cost to the guest by transportation is provided.

A stay at the Lonesome Spur is a visit with a real Montana cattle ranch family. Almost a hundred years ago, in 1906, the first generation of Schwends homesteaded on this land. You are allowed to be a "guest" on The Ranch, but you'll probably end up feeling like your one of the family. The Lonesome Spur Guest Ranch is a "working cattle ranch"... work on The Ranch means doing things pretty much the traditional way; horse back (and they have both beginner riders and more advanced) joining them.

Every guest who wishes to ride receives basic riding and horse safety instruction. No one will be allowed, or expected, to do anything they are not capable or comfortable of accomplishing on horseback. If more advanced riding lessons are desired there is a professional riding instructor who comes to The Ranch for an additional fee. She is highly certified in the Pat Parelli method of horse-man-ship.

The Rancher's advice to all riders:
Sit deep in your saddle, take a long rein and don't spit against the wind!

In a week at the Lonesome Spur, you'll learn to appreciate the value of this wisdom!


These are scheduled around The Ranch and the cattle. Examples are: moving the cattle from one pasture to another; riding through the herd checking health and growth; riding the fence line and at times having to mend a section of it; irrigating hay and oat fields, and so on. But after the work is done there's often time for leisurely rides to see the Indian pictographs or driving up on the Pryor Mountains to experience a panorama of beautiful wild flowers and the wild mustangs of the Pryor mountains.

In The Ranch's new arena, guests are able to ride faster, run barrels, pole bend, and participate in 0 Mok See games, team penning and ranch roping.

The type of work is dictated by the seasons:

The weeks of February and March they are calving out the heifers in the corrals and tending to the cows, they usually ride the pastures and bring the cows in to calve in the corrals, any spare time there is, and if the weather conditions are right, they usually go skiing at Red Lodge.

The weeks in April and May will be getting the mares ready for foaling and working The Ranch's home-bred young stock.

The first weeks of June they'll be out gathering cattle and sorting for branding. This is a family affair with all ages having their assigned duties. In true Western jargon, this is the round-up, so you can brag about it to the folks back home, for branding The Ranch limits the numbers to usually 6 - 8 guests, so book early.

The rest of the summer months will see them checking cattle and horses, moving stock at times during the summer months is dictated to an as and when basis, so if you're here when they need to move stock, you'll be helping!

In October the Schwends prepare for weaning and market. About the 15th they start to gather, and it's a busy time for them as the Nile stock show, pro rodeo and horse sales is on around the second week in October, between the Nile show and gathering cattle, most of October and part of November is filled with things to do.

The horses of the Lonesome Spur Ranch are mostly American quarter horses, some are home-bred, they also have a Pryor mountain horse, which is part of the riding herd. The Schwends try to match our horses to suit their guests riding ability so they have a variety of types of horses from gentle gelding for beginner riders to high performance roping and cutting horses for our more advanced riders. They ask all of their guests to participate in a rider safety lesson in the arena which helps them to find a suitable match of horses to rider.

NEW FOR 2006

There will be an overnight camp once weekly overlooking the Bighorn and the Pryor mountains, where you can sit by the campfire and experience real Dutch oven cooking and hear local folk lore and family history, wake up to cowboy coffee and breakfast, then it's off to catch your horse, check cows and ride the range, and see the herd of 500 buffalo grazing on the open range.

We also have a weekly river float where you can enjoy fly-fishing down the river or just go with the flow and watch the native wildlife on the river banks, whilst enjoying the beautiful sunset the choice is yours!!


The lodging on The Ranch consists of two log cabins, decorated in western theme with log furniture, which each has a separate restroom / shower; a bunk house (each room with a private bathroom and again decorated in western or lodge theme), the bunk house rooms consist of one king room, one twin room and one single room, each room has a private deck. There are Indian teepees and a covered wagon. All ranch accommodation has air-conditioning, heating and a refrigerator provided in each room or cabin, they also provide complementary fresh fruit, snacks and drinks in each room for the guests enjoyment, a gift pack of toiletries are provides for the guests comfort.


They have a Catalina hot-tub, where you can soak away your aches and pains after a hard days play at The Ranch, relax and watch the stars in the evening in the hot-tub, or perhaps enjoy a soothing aromatherapy massage in a real native American teepee.


Meals are served in the lodge, family style01. At the Lonesome Spur, they have a saying: "Keep the cooks happy and everyone will be happy". And this is hard NOT to do --- EAT! You may need to let your belt out a notch or two after spending time at the Lonesome Spur! Fresh-baked breads, mouth-watering and decadent desserts, salads, vegetables out of the garden, and good Montana beef.

A typical days menu:
Breakfast --- golden buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, scrambled eggs, crisp fried bacon, cantaloupe and orange juice;
Lunch (Out On the range) --- deli sandwiches, macaroni salad, apples, chips, banana bars and candy bars;
Supper --- barbequed Steak, twice-baked potatoes, fresh green salad, corn-on-the-cob, and for dessert? -- homemade apple pie! How can you pass up meals like that?
For the light eater, we have fruit, muffins, salads and many veggies. If you have special dietary requests, please let use know in advance and we will make every effort to accommodate you. But please remember that we are a beef ranch, and most all of our meals are centered around meat.


While vacationing with the Schwends, guests have opportunity for off-ranch activities. The availability of these activities depends on the season, usually you could visit a selection of these activities once weekly, and although off-ranch activities are at additional cost, transportation is provided.

A few examples are:

  • Viewing the Wild Horse Range in the Pryor Mountains;
  • Touring the Buffalo Bill Museum and visiting the Old Trail Town in Cody;
  • Reliving the Battle of the Little Big Horn near the Custer Battlefield;
  • Experiencing the breath-taking Beartooth Highway up to Yellowstone;
  • White water rafting --- Cody, Wyoming;
  • Rodeos --- either watch local rodeo or whilst visiting Cody see the Cody nite rodeo;
  • Golfing --- for spectacular scenery, there's an excellent 18-hole course is only 28 miles from the Lonesome Spur, right in the shadow of Beartooth mountains.

Guides tours at additional costs which includes transportation fee.

Guided Tours of Yellowstone park are available at additional cost and must be pre-booked with The Ranch, the tour includes an overnight stay, and takes approx one and a half days to see the park, including old faithful. Prices can vary depending on which time of year you chose to see the park. Minimum party to do this tour is 2 persons.

2006 looks to be a very busy time on The Ranch. We are excited to be able to offer a holiday you won’t forget. We only take 8 - 10 guests at a time on The Ranch, so everyone feels a part of the family atmosphere and ranching lifestyle01.

We look forward to welcoming you to our ranch. As we say at the Lonesome Spur: "Don't be a stranger!"

Kind regards from
Lonnie and Elaine Schwend

[ Vacation @ the Lonesome Spur | History | Fotos | Montana- und Reise-Infos ]


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