Friday, June 25, 2010

OTO Ranch

OTO Ranch was the first Dude Ranch in Montana. Dick Randall worked as a cowboy on this ranch. In 1888, he headed to Yellowstone as a stagecoach driver for tourists and realized the business potential outfitting hunting adventures and genuine "old west" experiences for wealthy tourists and European aristocrats. Dick and his wife Dora purchased this ranch in 1898 and offered tourists "the feel of the mountains" until they retired in 1934.
There is a lot of old machinery sitting around. Here is a horse-drawn mowing machine:
Horse-drawn disc:
This ranch is now part of the Gallatin National Forest. It is easily accessible and the cabins, main lodge and buildings are all open to those who hike in.
Inside one of the guest cabins:

The 1921 Main Lodge:

In 2004, the site was listed on the National Register of Historical Places, and the building are currently undergoing renovations with labor provided by volunteer groups including Passport in Time, Elderhostel, and Amizade. I'm not sure, but I would guess someone from one of these groups found various items in the yard during a clean-up and made this unique lawn ornament:

As we walked around the main lodge, we noticed the door was unlocked at the left end of the house. We walked into the long hall way:
The hall is lined on both sides with old guest rooms. Some are empty and some hold pieces from the past. This one is full of old horse tack on old metal bed frames:
In the middle of the hallway, it opens into the main lodge room with this high ceiling:
On the walls in the main and dining room were old photographs of the dude ranch in it's prime:
I'm not sure what this is but maybe a form of room service???

The hallway continued on the other side of the main lodge room with guest rooms lining both sides:
At the end of the hallway, there is a game room and a side porch. The iron work is intricate and unusual. The spring house is just past the porch:

The view of the cabins from the main lodge:
The side porch:

There is also a property just before the main ranch that we think may have been the corral and caretakers property. There was this old barn:
Have I mentioned the sunsets in Montana?

Here is the corral/caretakers place from up on the road:

There is also an old house here that is in pretty bad shape. Looking in from the window at the end of the house, you can see some custom built cabinetry from the 1800's:

An old cream seperator:

John Deere Plow:

A spring house on the creek:

Heading back...

To get to the ranch from Garider, you follow Hwy 89 to mile marker 10 and turn right onto Cedar Creek Rd. The road ends at this trailhead and you have to walk 2 miles in to the ranch.


  1. Your means of telling all in this article is genuinely pleasant, every one be
    able to without difficulty be aware of it, Thanks a lot.
    Also see my site - Excellent Benefits

  2. We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out.

    I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to looking into your web page repeatedly.

    Also visit my website zipline tours thailand

  3. You should be a part of a contest for one of the best blogs on the internet.
    I most certainly will highly recommend this website!

    Also visit my blog post - common side effects of Lioseral

  4. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm
    not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    Take a look at my web site -

  5. Hey! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    My page: