This site in Deer Lodge, Montana commemorates the late-1800s lifestyle of cattle barons and cowboys. In 1866, Conrad Kohrs bought this ranch from Johnny Grant and went on to amass a huge cattle herd that grazed across 10-million acres of public land from Colorado to Canada. Today this remains a working ranch with the sounds and smells of horses, cattle, and poultry.
Working cattle ranch, living history demonstrations
There is no admission fee and a free guided tour is offered inside the large ranch house originally built by Johnny Grant in 1862, with a brick addition doubling its size in 1890. After the tour, you can practice your roping skills on cattle dummies. Be sure to stop by the blacksmith shop to ask the volunteer there about all the different types of horseshoes on display. Inside the Buggy Shed you can see the elaborate harnesses once used on the huge Belgian draft horses that still work here at the ranch.
You step back into the 1800s when you walk the quarter-mile trail from the National Park Service (NPS) visitor center to the Grant-Kohrs Ranch. A self-guided walking tour enters 15 buildings with displays on the history of cowboys, barbwire, branding irons, and so much more. There are a total of 7 miles of walking paths on the property, including a nature trail along Cottonwood Creek.
As you explore, keep your eye out for livestock and cowboys on horseback. It was calving season for the Herefords when we visited in mid-May.
Entrance road is paved
There are private campgrounds in Deer Lodge, Montana, and Lost Creek state Park offers a primitive campground 25 miles away.
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