“On a crisp February evening…”


“On a crisp February evening… under a blanket of stars surrounded by the sounds of nature, I soaked in a warm, bubbling bed of water. The Horseshoe Hills Lodge Jacuzzi located in the Gallatin River Ranch was a perfect place to reminisce the day’s events.

3D archery, pistol shooting and admiring the land was that day’s agenda. Exhilarating and so well planned.  All I had to do was hop in to the chauffeured vehicle with Peter Holman, Director of Outdoor Pursuits, and everything else was taken care of — gear and all!  It was flawless.

After my bow was adjusted and a brief but very thorough lesson was delivered, I was off to the course.  Life sized 3D elk, bear, coyote and 12 other replicas were waiting.  It was addictive… a blast!! Needless to say, I didn’t pack out any meat, but oh, what fun!  The pistol range was next. That too proved to be a very fun & contagious activity.

Driving through the Gallatin River Ranch was one Kodak moment after another.  From the unobstructed views of the big Montana sky to the rippling waters of the Gallatin River, this place had it all…which parcel did I want?!  I was amazed at the varied topography.  From the Castle Rock iconic landmark to the gentle sloping hillsides; an invitation to all.

As we drove back to the lodge, 9 stunning mountain ranges wrapped around us and welcomed us home. I felt both relaxed and invigorated as we returned home to our rural retreat at Horseshoe Hills Lodge….

Ahhh, next: The hot tub. :)

(An entry written by Jan Bearss)


Feeling Confident! (A Gallatin Club Testimonial)

“I am not a native Montanan. I did not grow up with these incredible views, wonderful varied climate or multitude of activities to keep me outdoors and active. That is especially why I appreciate Montana SO much and don’t take for granted all that it has to offer!

I have lived in the small town of Manhattan, MT for over 15 years and recently had an opportunity to discover an amazing place right in my backyard! I was invited out to the Gallatin River Ranch a few weeks ago. This ranch is a private residential ranch, about 8 minutes out of town with a unique new program called Gallatin Club. Gallatin Club offers its members the opportunity to explore numerous indoor and outdoor recreational activities, and the best part…. they provide the equipment and the instructors!

I was treated to a 3D archery class as well as a .22 caliber pistol shooting class. Both classes were taught by Peter Holman, their Director of Outdoor pursuits, and his assistant Jesse. Now, I was an archer in grade school summer camp, and I enjoyed it… but shooting a cross bow, now that was exciting! Peter and Jesse measured our “draw length” which has to do with our arm span, and fit & adjusted the cross bows specifically for each of us. They showed us how to put the arrow onto the bow string, how to use this special tool to pull the string back with and, most importantly, how to not put your finger on the release until you mean to!!! We started out practicing indoors with targets that were quite close to us…getting our form down and our nerves calmed down. This was not scary…it was FUN! After indoor practice, we all got in the Gallatin Club Escalade and drove down toward the beautiful Gallatin River, where Peter and crew had set up an incredible 3D Target Archery Course with life sized animal decoys hidden in the brush and trees. I was shooting with 2 other women who were just like me, a bit unsure and inexperienced…but let me tell you, that didn’t last long at all! We all took turns standing in a designated spot where we could see 3 different sized animals (imagine a small skunk, a medium sized badger and a large deer) all placed in a natural setting and somewhat camouflaged. First we just tried to hit them anywhere we could, but eventually we were aiming at a small “kill spot” that, if we were actually hunting a live animal, would be where we needed to hit to insure a quick kill. I just can’t begin to explain how awesome and exciting it felt to be shooting this crossbow and hear the arrow hit its mark! The sound alone is empowering, but then to see how close you made it to the kill spot is a real rush too. We made our way around the course testing out our new found skills with all sizes & varieties of animals in different settings.

Let me just say that I come from a hunting family, but I am the only one in my immediate family of 4 who doesn’t hunt (and for good reason!). I would ruin it for everyone else, as I am such an animal lover that I just can’t bring myself to actually kill. I know this and usually just keep it to myself. But I have felt left out of a sport that the rest of my family enjoys…until now! Now I have found a way to relate to them, even if I do not harvest an animal each year like they do. Most of all, I have learned how to do something new, and at this stage of my life that is a great feeling. I strive to find new ways to learn every day and this was a learning experience that has left me feeling very confident in the woman I am today. I’ve still got it!

Next blog…I shot a pistol, and loved it!”

(An entry written by Susie Love, Native of Manhattan, MT)

Just a Small Town City Girl…

I grew up in Whitehall, Montana. Although it is far from a bustling metropolis (population 1,075 according to the 2014 census), I consider myself sort of a “city girl”. I’ve lived in Montana my whole life. However, I have always lived within city limits, don’t know much about farm or ranch things, had never shot a gun or bow, and have ridden a horse exactly once. I also don’t like to be cold and prefer the summer months to the long winters we have in Montana. So, many people ask me why I live here. It’s such an easy answer for me. Because it is beautiful here. The mountains, the big sky, the wide open spaces, and yes- even the snow. I wouldn’t want it any other way than to be surrounded by this breathtaking scenery every single day.

Recently, I was very fortunate to experience the Gallatin River Ranch & Gallatin Club. I felt so excited to experience the ultimate enjoyment and appreciation of our corner of the world in beautiful Manhattan, Montana. I was told that we would be touring the Gallatin River Ranch and participating in some of the activities the Gallatin Club offers to its members, specifically- 3D Archery and Pistol Gallery shooting!

It was such an amazing experience! We started off with a tour of the Gallatin River Ranch property, and then went on a short hike. Being a Montana girl, I knew the Gallatin River Ranch was going to be pretty, but the views from the Ranch properties were absolutely stunning. Never in my 30+ (ok, almost 40) years in Montana, have I ever been able to see 9 mountain ranges from one single vantage point! It was like being on top of the world!

Finally, the day came that we were scheduled to do the 3D Archery course and the Bullseye Pistol Gallery. Just like the day of our hike, it was a cool Montana day, but the sun was shining brightly, making it feel warm outside despite snow being on the ground. I was nervous to be participating in these activities I’d never done before, especially since we were going to be “playing” with, technically, weapons… something I wasn’t sure I was completely comfortable with.

Upon meeting the Director of Outdoor Pursuits and Assistant, I immediately let them know that this girl was going to need extra help, as I’d never done any of these activities before. And from that point on, I forgot all about being nervous. They were so knowledgeable and helpful. They taught me first how to be safe with both the bow and the .22 pistol. After that, they were quick to offer tips and pointers to help me quickly hone in on skills I didn’t even know I had.

The 3D Archery Target Course was my favorite! The life sized animal targets set in an outdoor, realistic setting added to the realism of the activity. After quelling my irrational fear that the bow string was going to scrape my face off (as you have to hold it taunt behind your ear, and the string was touching my cheek!), the instructors helped me gauge distances and identify the “kill zones” on each of my targets. Much to my surprise, and probably theirs too, I was actually good! If I had really been bow hunting, I’d have gone home with an elk! The satisfying “TWACK” from my arrow hitting right on target left me racing home to ask my family for a bow for my upcoming birthday!

I was super impressed with the professionalism of the Outdoor Pursuits Instructors for Gallatin Club. They were superb instructors, easily explaining concepts and ideas in a way I could understand, being the “city” girl that I am. I realized quickly that they will probably come across many guests, just like me, who’ve never shot a gun before. Their expertise and guidance put me at ease. And, while I wasn’t particularly good at the target shooting (I only hit the target once, and it was an accident as it was not the one I was aiming for!), I now feel more comfortable around guns and can’t wait to practice again!

And, in typical Montana fashion, during the last few minutes of our Bullseye Target Shooting, a fast moving storm blew in delivering much colder temperatures and bitter wind. The staff at the Gallatin River Ranch has truly thought of everything, I’m discovering, and tall outdoor heaters were quickly turned on providing us heat and comfort in the midst of a Montana winter storm. It was an extraordinary experience!

(An entry written by Becky Clements, Whitehall/Bozeman , MT)

Ladies Archery Classes

3D Archery – Gallatin Club

Gallatin Club – Photo Highlights & Fall Season Newsletter!

Gallatin Club    Fall, 2015

Gallatin Club’s 2015 Fall Season Calendar awaits with great anticipation. We invite you, your family, and friends to join us for another season of fun. The fall calendar hosts a blend of outdoor adventures, social, and educational events. We are always in season at Gallatin Club. Come play with us “Where the River meets the Big Sky”.

We opened the summer season with some new faces at River Camp. Our General Manager, Brian Wadsworth, joined us in June. Brian was the General Manager of Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky the last 5 years of a 20 year career there. Concierge, Ellen Connolly, joined us from Olivelle in Bozeman. Combined with our Director of Outdoor Pursuits, Peter Holman, this team of hospitality professionals adds a great deal of creativity and depth to the Gallatin Club. As 2015 comes to a close Ellen, Peter, and Brian are ready to take Gallatin Club to the next level, and we are hoping to see you all join in the fun!

“On Target” and “Ready, Aim, Pull”

The summer schedule opened with our new 3-D Archery course. “On Target” was a huge hit with participants varying in skill and experience. Our adjustable Mathews bows made it easy to custom fit each person for draw length and pull weight increasing accuracy and fun. Several folks brought their own bows and arrows increasing their fun level through pride of ownership. We’ve been told by several visiting professionals our course is one of the best they’ve seen. Offering a mix of easy to challenging shots, interesting terrain, and habitat that animal targets would most likely be found. You can look forward to a different course layout for this season’s hunt!

“Ready Aim Pull” remains a big draw for people wanting to shoot sporting clays. The 5-Stand complex has the unique ability to make it fun and easy for beginners, yet challenging for experts.

As fall and winter set in, we will run the both programs weather permitting. Since we love to play outdoors, On Target and Ready Aim Pull have the ability to run year around. Our goal is to make each event enjoyable and fun. Therefore, if bad weather comes in the day of the event, we won’t fight it – saving fun for another time.

“Footprints” and “Spokes”

Our hiking series “Footprints” will be replaced every other Tuesday by introducing our newest activity “Spokes”. Try your hand at Mountain Biking the many trails and roads throughout Horseshoe Hills Ranch, Twin Rivers Ranch, and GRR! Fall is a wonderful time to enjoy a bicycle ride throughout our beautiful area. We have several routes chosen, all of which start high above and end at River Camp. Each trip will be easy to moderate in intensity level. Our goal is to make each trip fun, enjoyable, and educational for all.

Gallatin Club has several bikes available for use, however you are encouraged to bring your own if you have one. Mountain bikes are size specific. If you would like to use one of our bicycles please contact Ellen to make sure we can accommodate you that day. As weather can change quickly, we may jump into hiking mode if cycling will not be safe or fun. Be prepared for anything; we will be as well! 


Explore! an educational opportunity to learn about living on the Ranch, eating healthy foods, and learning new tricks for the slopes. We rattle open this fall’s schedule October 8th with “For Rattlesnake’s Sake!” Learn about our wild residents from Snake Wranglers Roger Siemens. October 22nd we’ll Explore! “Advanced Casting Techniques” to hone your fall fishing with increased distance and accuracy. If you have ever wondered what the Horseshoe Hills Ranch is all about, Explore! November 5th in the “BYOATV Tour”.  We’ll make a loop touring along the old road to Helena. “Gluten Free Prairie Tour”, on November 19th let the Wheaton’s share recipes, gluten-free health benefits, and how this unique local business works and grows. Our final Explore! will help refine your ski technique. Former PSIA Alpine Team member Michael Hickey will discuss downhill skiing techniques, the history of American Skiing, and tips on how to improve your own skiing.

“Special Events” 

Gallatin Club has several wonderful and fun Special Events ready for you to enjoy. “Hops History Harvest” will be held Saturday, October 17th. Brats on the grill, brews from some of our local breweries, and local harvest history will be a fun Saturday afternoon event to enjoy. “Letter to Santa” brings the spirit of Christmas to River Camp. Enjoy a holiday light show and letter drop for letters to Santa. Remember, he’ll be checking it twice! “Heart of the Season” is a community effort. Bring decorations to decorate a tree, provided by AmeriMont Real Estate, at the Horseshoe Hills Lodge. All tress are donated to the Heart of the Season Tree Auction held December 3rd in Manhattan, with proceeds donated to the Manhattan Senior Center.

“Signature Events”

Gallatin Club Signature Events continue on Saturday, December 12th. Come and enjoy a “Holiday Open House” evening with your friends and neighbors at the Horseshoe Hills Lodge. The Lodge is available for an overnight stay. Please contact Ellen for details.

New Activity – “For Ladies Only”

Starting this fall, Gallatin Club welcomes “For Ladies Only”. This new program focuses on ideas and skills to broaden your horizons. We open with “Make & Take” October 1st to exercise your creative flair. November 12th is “The Art of Gift Wrapping” to help you prepare for the coming Holiday Season. And lastly, as winter approaches, December 10th we offer “Winter Travel Emergency Preparedness” to teach you valuable tools while traveling Montana’s snowy roads.

Our goal at Gallatin Club is to facilitate and enhance your outdoor lifestyle while living at Gallatin River Ranch.  Gallatin Club’s home at River Camp hosts retail and professional services, making it easier than ever to “fall in love with life on the ranch”. With a Concierge and Director of Outdoor Pursuits on staff, you are a phone call away to fulfilling education and recreation opportunities. Our small retail outlet provides essentials to a rewarding day on the river. Stop by and say hello – we love seeing old friends and making new ones. Or, better yet, come play with us! At Gallatin Club, we are always in season.


Cottonwood Gulch Fire Photos

GRR Homeowners talk about the Cottonwood Gulch Fire and their homes.

Gallatin County homeowners talk about evacuation after wildfire scare


Despite the chaos of the fire Sunday night, the fire crews did an amazing job saving all the homes at the Gallatin River Ranch say residents.

“We’re really thankful this morning to have a house to come back to,” told LeVay Lemon and Al Silvey, homeowners at the Gallatin River Ranch.

A few residents at the Ranch were told to leave when the fire came dangerously close to their homes.

“Police came about 12:30 (a.m.) and knocked on our door…yeah, they came a half an hour after we started packing and said ‘can we help you move stuff, you have to go,’” said Lemon and Silvey.

“They told us to pack up, so what do you grab when you think you are going to lose everything? Said told Linda Kelly, another homeowner at the Gallatin River Ranch. “So the first thing I did was open all my drawers, all my closets and take pictures of everything I had. And then just grabbed the things I couldn’t replace.”

After packing up, residents watched the fire threaten their homes from the ridge facing their property.

“It was very frightening…very frightening to sit over there and watch it, and be helpless,” said Lemon and Silvey. “And all we could do was pray, so that’s what we did a lot yesterday,”

Despite how close the fire got to their houses, residents say the fire crews did an incredible job of saving their homes

“It was terrifying and if it hadn’t been for the helicopters out of Helena -thanks you guys -I don’t think our house would be here this morning,” said Lemon.

The fire came up right to the house, but thanks to the helicopters dumping water all around the property, the home was saved.

“These helicopters are amazing,” said Kelly. “The pilot crews, ground crews, they really did save our house.”

And the fire crews are still hard at work to put out any remaining flames.

“Now they are working on the hot spots and they are still going at it,” continued Kelly. “They are still dumping buckets on all the smoldering and flames that came back up again.”

“Our own fire crew was phenomenal,” said Lemon and Silvey. “They were just fantastic. We appreciate them so much and the guys who were flying the helicopters – we know it wasn’t an easy job in the wind yesterday.”

Gallatin Club’s Summer Recap!

The Summer of 2014 proved to be a great inaugural for the Gallatin Club. Outdoor recreational opportunities, social events and educational opportunities kept the attendees busy and entertained.


Starting on May 31, the 1st Annual GRR Poker Ride was held. An overwhelming success, over 70 riders joined us for a cool yet perfect day on the trails of GRR!! Prize money was awarded to the winning hands, bringing huge smiles as well as a hefty donation to the GRR Fire Department.

Our first Gallatin Club Signature Event was our Birding Expedition held on June 28th. Originating at the newly constructed “FIRESIDE” location at River Camp, guests loaded into the ATVs and set out in search with birding guide, John Parker, 2012 Montana Audubon Citizen Scientist of the Year. What we found was amazing. Over 52 species sighted with the very rare Lesser Gold Finch located as well. A light lunch was eaten at Fireside as we reviewed the morning’s sight seeing. It is reassuring to see our avian friends loving the GRR as much as its human inhabitants do.

The Gallatin History Museum’s Rachel Phillips joined us on July 17th for a historical presentation at Fireside. As the sun set in the west, Rachel talked to us about the life of Sammy Williams, a he who was actually a she, living and working in Manhattan, MT before the turn of the century. The talk enthralled us as we sipped on raspberry lemonade and ate local elk sausage and grilled brie. A very civilized moment compared to the rough lifestyle of our ancestors here in the Gallatin Valley!
August 8th found the Gallatin Club sponsoring the GRR Homeowner Weekend’s Friday night social. Greeting old friends, lively conversations and meeting new folks created quite a buzz as Fireside hosted its first big event. Chicago dogs tempted our taste buds with plenty of fun beverages to choose from. The wind kept us lively, over 95 people attended! The Fireside fire was lit towards the end of the evening, enticing those lingering folks to stay warm next to its side.

The Gallatin Club was thrilled to set the stage
for a great weekend of homeowner activity and we look forward to next year!

Fall has arrived and the Gallatin Club continues to expand its programming. Weekly hikes are taking advantage of the amazing Autumn weather and the lovely hiking trails on the GRR…. Events that include 5-Stand Shooting Events, archery, hiking ,and learning about survival in the Montana wild are next on our agendas with a little fly rod casting thrown in for good measure.

Rave Reviews on the Gallatin Club!

We’re so excited with the positive feedback we’re receiving on the Gallatin Club. Here’s what the owner of Lot 158 had to say!

“The GRR is my retirement destination. I must tell you that I am absolutely thrilled that you have introduced clubs for hiking and shooting. I purchased property here to learn how to ride a horse and then purchase one of my own. Instituting these clubs now reinforces the wisdom of purchasing a parcel. Thank you. Keep this up, please!”

We’d love to hear other feedback on the events you’d like to see and the questions you have. Give our Real Estate Sales or Concierge a call at 406-284-3200.



Gallatin Club’s Birding Field Event!


Vortex 10 x 32 binoculars adorned members’ necks as John Parker, recently retired from Yellowstone National Park, led a Signature Birding Expedition for the new Gallatin Club on Saturday, June 28.

The Club’s equipment is available for use by members, their families and their guests. Today the Birders left River Camp with field guides in hand and climbed into Polaris Ranger ATV’s so they could visit the many excellent sights for birding… and what an excellent day it was! During the 4 hour outing, the group identified over 49 different birds.

One particularly exciting sighting, was the Lesser Gold Finch, which has only been spotted 4 times in the entire state of Montana! The group was also fortunate enough to discover a Rock Wren’s nest that was embellished with small stones that led to the nest cavity. How amazing that birds decorate—and although one may occasionally see these little members of the Wren family, it is a real treat to find their nests!

The varied habitat at Gallatin River Ranch makes the area one of John Parker’s favorite places to bird. The private community boasts of riparian areas that interface with acres of rolling grassland that climb to scenic ridgetops where a diverse raptor population glide in the sky.
The area is not only known for the unique settings for birds but of course the wildlife and flora and fauna that abound. Recently born fawns frolicking up hills with spots and gangly legs warmed everyone’s heart. Fragrant Evening Primrose flowers and Blazing Shooting Stars that only bloom every few years and then generally only at night, were another new discovery for many on the adventure.

In addition to the discussion of all the encounters and sightings of the day, the common question during the catered lunch was, “When can we look forward to the next Signature Event?”

Watch GallatinClub.com for all the exclusive recreation and social activities. They are intentional about fun and make it easy for you to participate with just a call to their Concierge.