Frontier Skills

Our treasured corner of Montana was literally put on the map over 200 years ago when Lewis & Clark forged their way up and over Lost Trail Pass and through our valley. Adding to a rich history of indigenous people who made this wilderness their home, homesteaders soon began to settle and a vigorous logging tradition was established to supply the burgeoning mineral industry with timber for mine frames and smelters. It took some fortitude and a unique set of skills to thrive in this frontier – here is a chance for you to see how you might have fared!


Arrive to the ranch an archer and leave a toxophilite, one who is fond of or an expert at archery. Test your skill and accuracy at our range that offers several targets and stands at various distances.

The Archery Range is staffed for hour-long archer sessions at 2:30pm and 3:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, from May through October. 

Hatchet Throwing 

It’s the latest craze – channel your inner-lumberjack and satisfy the primal urge to throw sharp objects! State of the art hatchets and a big sky with plenty of elbow room deliver an unanticipated thrill!

Hatchet Throwing is offered as a drop-in activity from 10:00am to 12:00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, from May through October. 

Sapphire & Gold Panning

Sapphire Panning is unique to Montana, unexpectedly captivating, and many guests are surprised at how quickly this modern day treasure hunting becomes addictive! Find out first hand why Montana is called The Treasure State, known for sparkling gems in blue, orange, pink and green. Our panning station has everything you need – raw gravel sourced from local gem mines, sifting screens, water trough, tweezers and magnifying glasses to make your search easier! We’ll also help you send your stones to be appraised, and perhaps turned into a prized piece for your jewelry collection. Gold panning offers a different challenge, and a splendid reward when you see a flake glisten at the bottom of your pan. The gold rush craze seems a little easier to understand!

The panning station at the Rider’s Roost is available to guests to pursue their treasure hunting at any time. Tutorials are offered from May through September on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday; Gold Panning at 9:00am and Sapphire Panning at 9:30am. 

Crosscut Sawing & Fire Branding

Before chainsaws were motorized, it took a lot of elbow grease to saw down a tree across the grain. Flex your frontier muscles with traditional tools as you work up a little sweat cross cutting your own piece of Montana timber to bring home. Round out your lumberjacking experience by fire branding your wood piece with a TCR brand.

Crosscut Sawing and Fire Branding are offered as a drop-in activity from 12:30am to 2:00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, from May through October.