United States

T X Ranch Cattle Drive

Join an authentic cattle drive in Montana - each Spring and Autumn, 1200 cows and more than 100 horses are moved over several weeks between their winter pastures and the vast Pryor Mountains. This is an authentic cowboy experience with long days on horseback and camping out each night. Dont just visit the West... live it!
Book now Print the details for this ride
Cattle Drive
11 days/ 6 days riding
From £1,255

Itinerary

Highlights

- Learn to work cattle and live life as a cowboy, enjoying the simple things in life while riding very good horses
- A warm welcome awaits you from the Tylett family, ranchers for five generations
- Enjoy the beauty of the vast Pryor Mountains and the Big Horn Canyon
- There are 1200 head of cattle to collect and move to or from a wild camp high up in the mountains
- Wholesome, home cooked, ranch style meals
  • Day 1 1 : Europe - Billings

    Best Western Clock Tower Inn
    Fly from Europe to Billings, Montana. You will spend a night at the Hotel to get some rest before your US adventure.

    Please note that this night is not included in the cost of your holiday and you are welcome to book your own hotel accommodation if you wish to. We will be happy to provide a quotation.
  • Day 2 2 : Billings - Montana

    Montana Camp
    Free day to explore Billings and then you will be collected from the BW Clocktower inn between 17:00 and 18:00 and transferred to the ranch. In spring, there is a stop at a tack shop in Western Road. Settle into the camp and meet with the horses, cowboys and the family.
    If you would like to extend your stay, you can rent a car, Yellowstone Park is only 2hr:30 drive from the ranch.
  • Day 3 3 : Crooked Creek Cattle Drive - 8 hours riding

    Montana Camp
    Please note that this programme may change depending on the season and the ranch needs. It is merely a depiction of what you can expect at the ranch for the week!

    In Spring, cattle and horses leave the winter ranch. You will move the animals to the spring base camp, before dividing them to new pastures.
    In Autumn, your work will be to go and get herds from different pastures, to separate the cows from their calves, and move them to the winter pastures.


    This morning descend to Crooked Creek, the winter ranch is located about 40 km from where we camp. There will be at least fifteen riders to drive this part of the herd. You will fill your saddle bags with packed lunches and raincoats and begin the journey to drive the herd to your next camp. You will keep the cattle moving so that they do not run away. The landscape of rolling plains will give way to vast meadows, ride through several canyons before you reach the Big Horn plateau that runs along the chain of Pryors Mountains. You will have the entire day to reach Dead Man, your camp for the night. A hot meal will be waiting for you, overnight in camp .
  • Day 4 4 : Crooked Creek Cattle Drive - 7 to 8 hours riding

    Montana Camp
    Everything starts with a good breakfast if you are a cowboy: eggs, grilled bacon and maple syrup pancakes, western style cassoulet, french toast, washed down with mugs of hot coffee. After breakfast you go back to Crooked Creek to collect the second part of the herd. By now you have acquired the skills needed and are comfortable with your horse and your saddle and are an effective part of the team in the management of the cattle! This is a long day in the saddle but there will be some long trots and canters in the beautiful plains of the Pryors Mountains. This evening in camp you can start to learn to use a lasso.
  • Day 5 5 : Crooked Creek Cattle Drive - 6-7 hours riding

    Montana Camp
    More than 300 cows have been moved to Dead Man camp. The goal now is to start scoring calves that will then be taken along with their mothers in smaller flocks to the pastures on the plains and mountains all aund the camp. The day is started by collecting thirty cows from a valley at the bottom of the creek. A fire is started, the irons are starting to get hot and it's time to get the young bullocks. The cowboys will wield the lasso, while you are either on horseback to guide the herd or on foot to restrain the calves and hold them down while they are tagged and vaccinated. In the afternoon, you will drive the beasts into their new pastures. In the evening drive to lasso before dinner.
  • Day 6 6 : Crooked Creek Cattle Drive - 6 - 7 hours riding

    Montana Camp
    This morning, you collect a second part of the herd and if you wish, you can begin to use a lasso out calves. Your Quarter Horses , perfectly trained for the job, help you with patience. In the afternoon , driving the cattle in the pastures toward the Big Horn Canyon . Beautiful crossing the high plains , ancient bison territory , arriving along the Big Horn Canyon where you let the cows. Return to camp late in the day .
  • Day 7 7 : Crooked Creek Cattle Drive - 6 - 7 hours riding

    Montana Camp
    Today you will move the rest of the herd to the new pastures. The high plains give way to a gentle rise first through the pine forests and then fields of wild sage. The ground is becoming steeper as you climb up to reach the pastures overlooking the camp, revealing a panoramic view of the chain of Pryors Mountains and the canyon. Once the animals are in their closure, you go to your camp for the evening.
  • Day 8 8 : Crooked Creek Cattle Drive - 7 - 8 hours riding

    Montana Camp
    Another great day of moving more than 200 cows from the winter ranch. You will alternate between the back of the herd, pushing the cows and calves who do not usually walk for such long distances, then to the sides to keep them moving and stop the reluctant cows from trying to break away from the herd. Your Quarter Horse will help you in these head to head situations with the cows . Their vivacity and ability to walk on any terrain will surprise you! Once the cows are in their pastures, you will return to camp for your final evening around the fire as long as the weather permits and who knows, some folk songs played on the guitar ...
  • Day 9 9 : Lovell to Billings

    Best Western Clock Tower Inn
    This morning after you have had a leisurely breakfast, you will be transfered to your hotel in Billings. You leave camp around 9:30 a.m. and arrive in Billings April through June at 1:00 p.m. July through September you arrive at 11:30 a.m.

    Transfers are only included to and from the Billings Airport and the Best Western Clock Tower Inn.

    Please note this hotel night is not included in the listed price and is optional. There are very few flights leaving from Billings in the afternoon so we recommend spending a night at a hotel and catching a flight the next day.
  • Day 10 10 : Billings-Europe

    Return flight to Europe or carry on with your travels, if you prefer.
  • Day 11 11

    Arrive back in Europe

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included. Expect to pay around £700 - £1200 depending on you departure dates and the airport from which you will be flying

- Your nights in Billings are not included. You can choose to book your own hotel, or we will be happy to add this to your quotation.

- The group size is usually max. 18 riders

- There is no possibility of a single person tent, except in exceptional circumstances

- Return transfers to and from Billings, Montana are included within the listed price

- Gratuities are not included and are expected (around 15% is customary)

- An electronic travel authorisation (ESTA) is required to enter the USA. It is your responsibility to organise this. Please visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and contact us if you need help.

- Extension : From the ranch, with only a few hours by car, you can reach some areas of incredible natural beauty, such as Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton, Cody etc.. If you wish, we can help you to organise an extension to your trip to visit some of those places. We can arrange both your accommodation and hire car for you if you wish
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

A team of cowboys from the ranch to assist and guide

Logistic

Choice of several horses equipped with saddle and bridle

Inland transports

Transfers from Billings to the ranch (return)

Accommodation

2 person tents with cot beds

Meals

Full board from lunch on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 9

Additional equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras
Meals in Billings

Accommodation

Double room in hotel in Billings on first and last night

Transports

Visa fees (ESTA) of USD $14 which must be arranged in advance
International flights bookable on request

Extra

Tips to local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    11/09/2020 21/09/2020 £1,420 Full
    18/09/2020 28/09/2020 £1,420 Full
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    30/04/2021 10/05/2021 £1,285 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    07/05/2021 17/05/2021 £1,285 Guaranteed departure Book now
    21/05/2021 31/05/2021 £1,285 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    17/09/2021 27/09/2021 £1,440 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/09/2021 04/10/2021 £1,440 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

Over 100 Quarter Horses with great qualities, perfectly trained for cattle work. Energetic, calm and steadfast. All horses are ridden in western tack and are used to western techniques, ideal for spending long hours in the saddle at all paces with light hands .

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This is a trip for travel savvy, fit and experienced riders (strictly no beginners) You must be comfortable and secure in the saddle at speed and be able to stay on your horse should you need to react quickly. Good physical fitness is required.

Pace

Riding at all paces - walk, trot and canter over varied terrain through pleasant pastures, forests, peaks, lakes and rivers.

Tacking ability and participation

Each rider is responsible for their horse, so you will groom and saddle and untack your horse. You can feed and water your horse if you wish.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

No special experience is required. Loving life outdoors is a must!
Good physical condition is required. The climate is continental, so hot in summer while enjoying the mountain air, cold in the Autumn to very cold and snowy in the winter.
Camping style outbuildings include facilities for showering and toilet. You’ll sleep in outfitter syle canvas wall tents, each with a heat stove, on good sturdy cots with thick foam mattress pads.

Equestrian equipment

- Western tack.
- Leather straps to tie your clothes or water bottles.
*We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Additional equipment you might bring (optional):
- Saddlebags
- Spurs
- Gloves (needed for lasso work)

Travel info

Comfort

Two man tents with camp beds, heated by a wood stove are set around a log cabin where meals are prepared . There is no running water, although water is heated every night (solar or wood-fired) there are outdoor showers and toilets. A cabin dining room serves as a place of relaxation and conviviality when the weather is not good enough for sitting out around the camp fire.

Meals

Big meals!
- American breakfast - toast, eggs, a choice of sweet and savoury foods, tea and coffee.
- Picnic lunch
- Hot meals at dinner time.

You can drink water at the Camp and fill your water bottles.
Alcohol is not provided but you are welcome to bring your own drinks (that you can purchase at Billings)

Guide and local team

Your guides and ranchers will be Loretta and Hip. They are lovely and quick to make their guests comfortable. Their friends and neighbours often give them a hand with the big cattle drives.

Tips

Tips are compulsory in USA. The local team expects to get 15-20% of the cost of your stay.

Packing list

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- Swimming costume - for swimming/bathing in rivers/hot springs

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
-Western riders used to wear a Stetson (American hat). You have usually the possibility to buy one at locally at the beginning of your stay/expedition. Count about 50-120$ for a Stetson. Pay attention that it has to stay on your head when galloping. Ask for a strap/cord to fix it strongly.
- There are some head protections to put under your hat (Ranch & Rider, Lexington Safety Products) or western helmet (Troxel).
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- Swimming costume - for swimming/bathing in rivers/hot springs/Jacuzzi

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp/ranch in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 5 celsius, but would recommend at least minus 8 or 10 celsius for expedition ride.
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer for expedition ride.
- inflatable mattress (except if camp beds are provided)
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar.//
- In case of expedition ride : Hard sided suitcase are not permitted on this ride as your luggage is carried by packhorses. It should be soft sided with a capacity of 80-100 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lip balm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Even if foam mattresses are provided, you may pack your inflatable mattress for comfort sake.

Other useful items
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries/solar powered battery charger and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife
- Field glasses
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
Expedition ride:
- Towels - camping ones will both dry and pack more easily
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it with
- Small plastic bags for rubbish

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Miscellaneous
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- If you prefer travelling in a "light way" please choose a biodegradable soap or washing powder/liquid.
-Please take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling.



Visa & Health

Formalities

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the valid visa requirements for entry. We will endeavour to keep this section up to date, but please visit https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors for further information.

You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. To enter the United States of America, a passport valid for the duration of stay is required by Australian, British, Canadian and other EU nationals.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME
Most passport holders can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme, which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days. Visit the official US website to apply for your ESTA: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
All travellers entering the USA under the Visa Waiver Program require individual machine-readable passports. Children included on a parent's passport also require their own machine-readable passport. Travellers not in possession of machine-readable passports require a valid USA entry visa.

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) aren’t valid for entry into the United States or transit through the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme; if you’re planning to enter or transit through the US using an ETD you must apply for a visa from the nearest US embassy or consulate before you travel, or hold a valid lawful permanent resident card (often referred to as a ‘green card’), which you must have with you on arrival; you can leave the US using an ETD that has been issued in the United States

Visitors to the USA travelling under the Visa Waiver Program must obtain authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the USA, if arriving by air or sea. It is recommended that applications are made at least 72 hours prior to travel but you may apply at any time prior to travel. Airlines must now deny check-in to passengers without a valid ESTA. There is a US$14 fee. An ESTA is valid for two years, so if you've applied for one previously, ensure it's still valid.

When applying for ESTA-authorisation and entering the passport number, the number 0 must not be replaced by letter O as this can lead to problems upon entering the USA. The granting of an ESTA does not guarantee entry to the USA. Canadian citizens do not require an ESTA, but permanent residents of Canada who are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program must obtain one.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - VISAS
If you don’t qualify for entry under the VWP, and don’t have a US Permanent Resident Card, you should apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate before travelling.

Holders of UK passports with the endorsement British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Protected Person, British Overseas Citizen or British National (Overseas) Citizen do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and need to obtain a visa.

PLEASE NOTE
Travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

- Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
- Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR TRAVELERS TRANSITING THROUGH CANADA
If you are travelling to the USA visa Canada, please remember you also need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), mandatory for anyone transiting through Canada. Completing ESTA formalities do not replace your eTA.
https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade des Etats-Unis
    2, avenue Gabriel
    75008 paris
    Tél. : 01.43.12.22.22
    Fax :
  • Ambassade de France aux Etats-Unis
    4101 Reservoir Road, N.W.
    20007 Washington D.C.
    Tél. : +1 (202) 944 60 00
    Fax :
    info@ambafrance-us.org
  • US Embassy
    24 Grosvenor Square
    W1A 2LQ London
    Tél. : 020 7499-9000
    Fax :

Health

There are no vaccinations required for entering the United States. If you are entering from a yellow fever endemic area (or you have been to one within 7 days of entering the country), you may be required to show proof of immunization. Recommended vaccinations include Tetanus(Lockjaw), Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Rabies vaccinations are sometimes recommended for wilderness travel and/or wildlife volunteer projects. Lyme disease is endemic in the northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest areas and transmitted via blacklegged ticks.

Travel insurance that provides medical coverage is a requirement for visitors to the US. Only emergency cases are treated without prior payment and treatment may be refused without evidence of insurance or a deposit. All receipts for services rendered must be kept in order to make a claim. Medical care in the United States tends to be quite expensive, especially for emergency treatment provided in hospital settings, paid for out of pocket.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

120 volts AC, 60Hz. Plugs have two flat pins with or without a third round grounding pin

Budget and money

The US Dollar, is the national currency of the United States. One dollar consists of 100 cents. Frequently used coins are the penny (1¢), nickel (5¢), dime (10¢) and quarter (25¢). 50¢ and $1 coins also exist, but are rarely used. Frequently used banknotes are the $1, $5, $10 and $20 notes. $2, $50 and $100 notes can also be found, but are rarely used.
Most major credit cards are accepted throughout the USA, including American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Visitors are advised to carry at least one major credit card, as it is common to request pre-payment or a credit card imprint for hotel rooms and car hire, even when final payment is not by credit card. Be sure to check with your card issuer for current surcharge rates imposed for use of the card outside your home country. You should also inform your issuer that you are travelling for a specified period so your card is not flagged or temporarily suspended.

Bank-issued debit cards are accepted at many businesses in the US; however, using them to pay for many travel-related expenses, such as car hire and hotel rooms, often incurs a surcharge, deposit, or a hold on your account.

Telephone and jetlag

The dialling code for the USA is +1

The country stradles a number of different time zones. Eastern Daylight time (eg. New York) is GMT -4. Mountain Daylight time (eg. Montana) is GMT -6. Pacific Daylight time (eg. California) is GMT -7.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Mustang, the wild horse of North America

A wild horse of the American Northwest, the mustang is the descendant of domestic horses returned to the wild after escaping from captivitity. Their most distant ancestors came from the Spanish horses brought across during the conquest of America, then were returned to the wild after escaping or being released.

Mustangs possess European origins, including mostly Spanish blood, with a mixture of Arabic and also some  have mixed with domestic horses on American soil, eventually giving horses with unique characteristics.

In the Pryor Mountains in Montana you can find the genetically closest descendants of the mustangs of the seventeenth century.

In popular culture, the mustang is an important symbol to the Indians, cowboys, the territories of the American Wild West and westerns in general, that has inspired many books and films.