Resorts & Retreats
& Summer Soirees
Taking a horse packtrip into the wilderness is
something that appeals deeply to a lot of people, with good reason.
You’re not just driving an RV to your campsite, you’re deeply involved
with a process dating back to
prehistory, interacting with and hopefully managing animals possessing
their own minds, attuned to their needs and your own, and accessing
some fantastic country in the process. Horse packing is one of those
increasingly rare activities that remains largely unchanged from earlier
times, and successfully practicing it is a deeply gratifying exercise
in this age of rapid obsolescence. The fact that it allows you to access
some of the most remote and beautiful areas in the country can very
nearly be viewed as mere icing on the cake.
And of course, it doesn't hurt that you can live like royalty while
you're there! Packtrips allow a much higher degree of creature comforts
than any backpack venture, which is nice anytime but especially if the
weather turns capricious! A wall tent with a toasty wood stove is nearly
decadent luxury if it, say, snows. There's really nothing quite like
it; with a bunch of good mountain ponies grazing out in the meadow,
a mountain stream teeming with fish close by, and a world of wilderness
beyond, it has provided many of the experiences that are most deeply
cemented in my personal psyche. And of course, as you might guess, here
at Cowboy Heaven
Consulting, we have an admitted preference toward horseback mountain
travel. Oh, we do plenty of hiking, too, but for getting deep into wild
country, and setting up a comfortable base camp, you just can't beat
We work with the best outfitters in the business, and have some absolutely
superb packtrips through the nicest country you can ride a horse in....
Longer trips of week plus are usually through the Bob Marshall Wilderness
or Yellowstone Park, with great options for shorter trips (many to mountain
lakes) in the various mountain ranges of western and southwest Montana.
And did I mention the fishing....?
Montana abounds in great fishing, and flyfishermen worldwide make pilgrimages
to the famous rivers of the greater Yellowstone area, not to mention
the myriad waters draining the west slope of the divide. It's no secret
that the more remote streams and lakes get way less fishing pressure,
and if you want to have a fun fishing trip.... My personal fishing preference
lies heavily toward the small-to-mid
sized mountain streams (remote lakes are nice, too!). Personal favorites
are in and around the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the drainages of the
Middle and South Forks Flathead and Sun River. It's much more intimate
than fishing the bigger rivers of southwest Montana. The water is usually
just crystal clear, and you're often casting to fish you can see. That
requires a degree of stealth, obviously, but when a native cutthroat
comes streaking toward your fly, well, it's right up there with any
entertainment I've found! By late summer, darn near every fish
in the Madison River has been caught and released a couple or three
times, and the poor things are neurotic.... (so are the fishermen, in
cases!). These wilderness fish aren't as sophisticated, which doesn't
really trouble me in the least, and I value a certain degree of gullibility
in fish. Every pocket is often good for a fish or three, and on the
bigger pools you can sometimes catch 'em until you're tired of it! No
problem, go exploring on foot or horseback, and wind up back at camp
in time for a gourmet dinner. It just doesn't really get any better....
We have day rides from less than $100/person, and some superb day fishing
rides to mountain lakes from $130-160. Multi-day packtrips generally
run $200-250/day, with a wide range of customization available. Just
for example, here's a selection of Bob Marshall Wilderness trips for
- June 24-29 Springtime in the headwaters of the South Fork Flathead,
Danaher and Youngs Creek and vicinity.
- July 4-9 Depart North Fork Blackfoot trailhead for the Danaher.
After 2 days off for fishing/exploring/riding/relaxing continue
over Limestone Pass to Monture trailhead.
- July 2-9 Eight day Chinese Wall Trip, deep into the heart of the
- July 14-23 Hi-Line trip, primarily off main trails to Sugarloaf
and Scapegoat Mountains.
- July 22-28 From Benchmark up the South Fork Sun and Indian Creek
over White River Pass to the South Fork Flathead, and subsequent
side trips to the Flathead Alps and Big Salmon Lake, among others.
- July 26-Aug 4 Scapegoat Mountain trip, from North Fork Blackfoot
into the high country of the Continental Divide.
- Aug 7-11 Meadow Lake and Devil's Staircase trip, explore high
- Aug 10-19 Depart Monture for a ten-day tour of the southwest Bob
Marshall. Several layover days allow ample exploration time for
Youngs and various other South Fork Flathead tributaries
- Aug 22-29 Spend eight days crossing the wilderness from west to
east, exiting at Benchmark. Fish and explore the Swan Range, and
cross the Divide exiting through the Sun River watershed.
- September 1-7 Tour the Sun River Game Preserve during the elk
rut and loop under the Chinese Wall for a wildlife and fishing extravaganza
Those are just a handful of examples, we can set up packtrips to
match most schedules and interests, so call us at 1-877-613-0404,
or e-mail, and get ready
to set your clock ahead to Mountain Standard Time, the best
time of your life!