Crazy Mountain Ranch (The Marlboro Ranch) in Montana
Congratulations You're Going to the Marlboro Ranch!
Every year hundreds of people either win a trip to or get invited to the Marlboro Ranch in Montana to "Chill Off the Grid." The ranch is nestled near the Crazy Mountains in Clyde Park, Montana. This is a trip that you can't just go out and buy.
For those of us who have been, we all want to go back. It's a trip that can't be described fully, but I will give you some good information. It's kind of a secret place run like a well-oiled machine. It's a real live working ranch. I'm only going to give you a brief but informational outline of our trip. I promise not to tell too much because I don't want to spoil the surprise.
The days before the trip will be filled with lots of anticipation and excitement. During your wait you will receive wheeled duffel bags and caps for you and your guest. The hats are so you will be able to identify other people headed to the ranch at the airports, etc. Pack very lightly: you will need to leave room in your bags for surprises. You will receive a list of what you should bring and what they will provide. You will not need to buy anything while you're there! Do not panic if you don't get your airline tickets and itinerary until a week or two before your trip. They will come. There is no need to make yourself crazy during your wait.
You will be bused from the airport in Bozeman to the ranch. On your bus ride, you will be told some of the history and see some great sights along the way. If you've ever been in the military like I have, you've experienced this—a large group of people jumping off a bus not knowing what's going to happen, but you know it's going to be very interesting. That's the experience you'll have at Crazy Mountain Ranch!
Best staff ever! These people were put on this earth to spoil you rotten. They are some of the nicest people I've ever met and I've met a lot of people. They remember your name and are very interested in who you are as a person. They go above and beyond to make each person feel special. You will never have to worry about where you are or what you'll be doing. There is always a friendly staff member nearby that will help you if you ever need it. All the staff members know the history of the ranch backwards and forwards. Absolutely the best customer service experience ever. The staff should go around the world training people.
You don't have to worry about personal safety, except for obeying all the safety rules when doing activities. The staff is very knowledgeable and very well trained. Trust me they will make you feel safe at all times. Nobody's going to get out of hand on the ranch anyway because there are real live cowboys there!
The Food and Drinks
You will never be hungry on this trip! There are meals between meals. During these meals, you'll meet some great people and make some friends for life. You will be served an amazing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm talking fine dining. My pictures tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There are plenty of social events with all kinds of appetizers. At the Stage Coach, there are snacks, drinks, and coffee 24/7. The food was delicious. I kid you not, I gained five pounds! Even when we were at the airports coming and going we were fed. Besides trying all the food, make sure at night, you try a cow punch, blue sky, and moose drool!
Crazy Mountain Ranch Has Fabulous Food!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fun in the Snow!Click thumbnail to view full-size
I would get up by 6:00 am every morning because I was super excited to start the day. You can do as much or as little as you want to on this trip. I wanted to do everything there was time for. There are different activities in the winter than there are in the summer. We went during the winter and our days and nights were filled with excitement. I won't talk about all the activities and there is no way you will have time to do them all. You can choose what activities you want to participate in. They even have dance lessons at the saloon.
There are wagon rides, archery lessons, and a snowshoe adventure. You will also get a nice surprise at the General Store. Make sure to ask for candy bags to take home. We did things we had never done before: snowmobiling, zip-lining, ice fishing, dog sledding, and tubing at night. All of the activities are fun and exciting. The zip-line adventure was my favorite thing! I went through all nine zips and wanted more! When we went snowmobiling we were out for about three hours. There was so much snow going up the mountain that some of the guys got stuck in the snow. Many of our activities were done while the snow was still falling. At one point it snowed so hard we had to hurry back down the mountain. We missed out seeing the cabin in the mountains, but others told us about it. Make sure if you ever get to go that you get to see it. They say that cabin is out of this world. If you love snow you will really love visiting Crazy Mountain Ranch in the winter.
The Night Life
After dinner each night there will be some type of entertainment. Karaoke, dancing, and live bands are just some of the entertainment. One night there was a Fire and Ice party at the Pavilion with live music that I loved. Friendships are formed at the ranch almost as soon as you hop off the bus. You'll meet people from all over the country with at least one common interest and that's to have a good time. We met friends for life there. Even the bartender was great. You'll laugh, you'll dance, and you'll enjoy every night while on your trip.
The Night LifeClick thumbnail to view full-size
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Really, you think I'm going to tell you. Not! Not knowing is one of the best surprises. They will send you a packet requesting size information for some of the goodies you get to keep. Plus it's no secret that you will get a cowboy hat. You will also get cowboy boots if you go in the summer and snow boots if you go in the winter. There will be gifts so leave room in your duffel bag when packing.
Getting your things together to go home did bring a sad feeling. You truly want to stay. They try to make leaving a happy occasion, but it's not. This was another trip of a lifetime. I was invited as a guest so I feel like I won this one. Just goes to show that entering sweepstakes does pay off. Our amazing trip to Crazy Mountain Ranch was in the winter of 2014. What a beautiful winter wonderland it was that February. For those of you who are waiting to go just relax because it will be much more than you can even imagine. Your time will be jam packed full of fun and excitement. The views are breathtaking and the people are wonderful. Take in all you can. Get to know as many people as you can. You never know you may win again or be invited back. I sure am hoping to get there again!
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