July Cattle Drive
Depending on the Spring conditions, we generally trail the herd to the top of the Big Horn Mountains during the fourth week of June or the first week of July. This 6 day / 6 night trip begins in the green rolling foothills of East Pass Creek, and covers 45 to 55 miles.
During this trip, we trail the mother cows and their calves high to their summer range. In addition to a family crew of 10 to 12, we generally have 15 to 20 guests on this drive. In keeping with our ancestor's tradition, the lodging will be 1800s style canvas wall tents and tepee tents. All meals are prepared using cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens or at a pit barbeque. I know all outfitters think their cooking crew is the best, but that is a lie. Our cook crew is truly the best. In addition to being phenomenal chefs, our chuck wagon crew is a bit on the lively side and has been known to play a prank or two. You've been warned.
At day three, we push the herd south up the rough and rugged Little Horn Canyon. The trail from this point is too rough and narrow for wagons, pickups, or four-wheelers. All the gear follows the herd by pack mule. This is another twist that separates us from all the other "plastic banana cattle drives." Many people find the massive canyon walls and boulder-strewn river bottom too impressive for words. It is magnificent! Depending on range conditions and grazing plans established by the USDA Forest Service, the herd may be dropped at the midpoint of the canyon, or trailed higher up to the 9,000 foot level. Keep in mind that our three permits cover well over 120,000 acres so it is difficult to predict exactly where our endpoint will be.
Once on the National Forest, you will be moved by the beauty of the lush, green, flower-filled open parks which are characteristic of the Big Horn Mountains. In our Rock Cabin Park camp, you will find there is a perfect spot to sit with a cup of boiled coffee and soak in all the surrounding beauty. Off to the west is the ever-present roar of the plunging falls of Leaky Mountain. Ponder this: you are 12 miles from the nearest road, any soul in this canyon is part of your group, there are no phones or electricity, the first sign of civilization is a 4-6 hour horseback ride in any direction and in two days, you have to fly home to people, pollution, and the stresses back at work. It's amazing people leave.
The last morning, we either back-track 12 miles out the mouth of the canyon, or ride to the Lake Creek camp on top. At either place, you will say goodbye to your horse. From there we go to Sheridan, Wyoming or the Bear Lodge Resort for a good hot shower and our closing ceremonies. After six days in the saddle, you will have a new appreciation for the cowboys of the old west.
The last night we generally end up at the historic Mint Bar on Main Street in downtown Sheridan. The cowboy memorabilia which adorns the walls, coupled with the rustic knotty pine booths and tables, adds the frosting to your authentic western adventure. No doubt, you have experienced a dying piece of America.