Gene Kilgore’s Ranch Vacations

Ranch Vacations
The Leading Guide to Guest and Resort, Fly-Fishing, and Cross-Country Skiing Ranches in the United States and Canada, 6th Edition.

Why choose an historic ranch

The West’s historic dude ranches are unique. They tap into years of tradition and often, storied tales of pioneering the West. Recently, we talked about some of Montana’s historic ranchespic1.  As a result of our story, Kelly Kelsy, from Nine Quarter Circle Ranch in Montana, wrote to tell us more about her historic ranch.
Set in Gallatin Gateway, the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch sits in the high country of the Montana Rockies. At 7,000 feet in elevation, surrounded by national forests containing a million acres of primitive wilderness, the ranch offers a variety of riding and unspoiled trout waters. The ranch history dates back to the 1800’s, when it was first homesteaded; Indians once ran elk herds here, Jim Bridger rode after buffalo, and Chief Joseph passed near here on his retreat to Canada.

Kelly offered up more reasons guests may choose an historic ranch. “Often, their family has been going to the same ranch for many years and they want to continue to do so,” says Kelly. “New guests may come to an historic ranch they want to get away from the hustle of their busy lives and get back to basics— as they certainly can at our ranch.”

Tradition is a vital part of the appeal of ranches like the Nine Quarter Circle. Kelly tells us theirs is one of the true traditional ranches and that many guests love coming back simply because the know things haven’t changed since the ‘50’s. “I think that is the thing they love most about us—we don’t change and take on all the latest “needs” that people think they want.”

What else the guests love: spending time with their family; “having real quality time, not superficial time”. And the time to make those memories that last a lifetime.  “We are seeing fourth-generation families coming back year after year,” she adds. “Many of the families that met here are now friends in their personal lives and have become involved with all the joys and sadness that comes with those friendships.” Those relationships are the kind that take time to build. And it helps to know the ranch will be there, when you’re ready to reconnect, just as it has been for decades.
More historic ranches: In Wickenburg, Arizona, the Kay El Bar Ranch has been operating since 1926, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  And in California, the Hunewill Circle H Ranch has attracted guests since the 1930s and ranching since the 1860s. Now that’s historic!

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