Check it Out! Montana’s First Dude Ranch is Unbelievably Awesome
The historic O.T.O. Dude Ranch was the first of its kind in Montana. The ranch is located 10 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, in the Cedar Creek drainage, against the backdrop of the Absaroka Mountains.
In 1910, the construction of a series of cabins began on a piece of land along Cedar Creek after James Norris (Dick) Randall and his wife, Dora, purchased squatters’ rights. Construction of the cabins was completed in 1912, which marked the official beginning of the O.T.O. Dude Ranch.
The O.T.O. Dude Ranch permanently closed in 1939, but it still symbolizes an important era in Montana state history. Many of the original buildings have been preserved. Click here to learn about the history of the O.T.O Dude Ranch.
From July 24—August 20, the O.T.O. Dude Ranch has played host to Ranch Preservation’s Yellowstone Pop-Up Ranch, produced in cooperation with Custer Gallatin National Forest. Guests were able to stay at the ranch for the first time in over 80 years. A portion of every booked reservation will go toward the preservation and restoration of the historic ranch, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you want to check out the O.T.O. Dude Ranch for yourself, you can take part in the O.T.O. Dude Ranch Open House. The event is happening on August 21 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The Custer Gallatin National Forest and Ranch Preservation are inviting visitors to tour the main lodge and cabins and learn about the history of the ranch.
Due to the nature of the one-lane road up to the ranch, traffic will be organized to allow for ease of travel. From Cedar Creek Trailhead every hour, for 15 minutes, traffic can drive up the hill to the ranch; and half past every hour of the event traffic can return down from the ranch with the last trip at 3:30 p.m.
Here are directions to the O.T.O Dude Ranch: Heading south on Highway 89 toward Gardiner, turn left onto OTO Ranch Road and park in the trailhead parking lot.
Heading north on Highway 89 toward Livingston, turn left onto OTO Ranch Road and park in the trailhead parking lot.
If you want to tour the historic O.T.O. Ranch, the open house is a cash-only event. Click here for more details.