(ALL INTERNAL, LIMITED EXTERNAL USES AUTHORIZED) The Nature Conservancy's Pine Butte Guest Ranch situated on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, where the mountains meet the prairies in a dramatic convergence of rocky cliffs abutting grassy hills. One of the most biologically rich regions in the entire country. It’s one of the last places where grizzly bears still venture out onto the open plains. And though free ranging herds of bison are all but gone, all the other animals found here by the Lewis and Clark Expedition still roam free. PHOTO CREDIT: © Robert Granzow
Pine Butte Guest Ranch (ALL INTERNAL, LIMITED EXTERNAL USES AUTHORIZED) The Nature Conservancy's Pine Butte Guest Ranch situated on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, where the mountains meet the prairies in a dramatic convergence of rocky cliffs abutting grassy hills. One of the most biologically rich regions in the entire country. It’s one of the last places where grizzly bears still venture out onto the open plains. And though free ranging herds of bison are all but gone, all the other animals found here by the Lewis and Clark Expedition still roam free. PHOTO CREDIT: © Robert Granzow © Robert Granzow

Insider Experiences

Montana's Pine Butte Preserve

A journey with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to travel with a purpose, offering access to TNC scientists and the unique opportunity to see how your values are impacting the landscape locally, and how those actions connect with our global conservation initiative.

Montana is the third-least populated state in the country, meaning that vast expanses of land continue to exist as pristine, untamed spaces of wildness. Pine Butte is such a place, and The Nature Conservancy is working to ensure that it remains one of the jewels in the Crown of the Continent. The area is one of the last places in the lower 48 where grizzly bears roam free on the plains, and its patchwork of habitats supports a remarkable level of biodiversity. In addition to on-the-ground land management, the Conservancy is working with local ranchers on collaborative stewardship and conservation tools. Community-based partnerships like this help ensure land protection and restoration efforts are sustained long into the future. The Conservancy’s Pine Butte Preserve recalls an earlier time of rugged, American beauty, and we invite you to experience this special place. Thank you for your interest in traveling with The Nature Conservancy. 

Dates: September 13 - 18, 2020

Price: $4,235 per person double occupancy, $4,735 per person single occupancy 

All prices based on a minimum of 8 travelers 

Questions? Email us at travel@tnc.org

Experience

After meeting fellow travelers and your Nature Conservancy host and local expert, spend your days horseback riding or hiking the meandering trails in the largest wetland complex along the Rocky Mountain Front. Discover the diversity of habitats and flora and fauna that Lewis and Clark may have encountered 200 years ago; gaze out over beautiful vistas on horseback; and take a nature walk to catch a glimpse of the Western Meadowlark, Montana’s state bird. Engage in nightly conversation with our experts and learn why we are working to protect the entire system from the Flathead River to the Rocky Mountain Front. Your nights are spent resting and relaxing in your cabin at the Pine Butte’s very own guest ranch. 

TNC's Pine Butte Preserve, Montana
Horseback riding TNC's Pine Butte Preserve, Montana © Barry Lutz

Activity Highlights

  • Explore the preserve's plant and rare wetland species such as yellow lady’s slipper, Macoun’s gentian, green-keeled cotton grass and Craw’s sedge.
  • Hike one of the many trails and look for signs of grizzly bears, moose and elk in their habitat.
  • Horseback ride through the high meadows and crystalline streams to mountain outcroppings with "Big Sky Country" views.
  • Learn about The Old North Trail, used by Native Americans for thousands of years, that serves as a reminder of Montana’s cultural diversity.

Lodging Highlights

  • Exclusively located in the preserve, the Pine Butte lodge provides a base for naturalists, local experts and special guests.
  • Charming cabins, with beautiful interiors and woodburning stoves are located along the meandering South Fork of the Teton River.
  • The main lodge is stocked with a collection of books, card games and a front room, where you can enjoy some rest and relaxation.

Travel Values

A journey with The Nature Conservancy is an immersive experience that offers unparalleled access to TNC experts and programs deep in the heart of the world’s most dramatic landscapes. Put your conservation values in action by seeing remote corners of the globe and engage in a behind-the-scenes view of conservation efforts that have a global impact.

One of the last places where grizzly bears still venture out onto the open plains.
Rocky Mountain Front One of the last places where grizzly bears still venture out onto the open plains. © Robert Granzow

ACCESS: Stay at the exclusive Pine Butte Preserve only open to conservation experts, local partners and scientists for an intimate and in-depth experience.

IMPACT: Ride horseback through one of the most biologically rich regions within the greater Crown of the Continent, to witness dozens of species’ undisturbed habitat.

KNOWLEDGE: Meet with Pine Butte’s conservation experts and specialized scientists who are responsible for ensuring that the plant and animal species within the preserve will thrive into the future.

INSPIRATION: Witness first-hand one of The Nature Conservancy’s most ambitious projects and immerse yourself in the effort to protect the largest wetland complex along the Rocky Mountain Front.

GLOBALLY MINDED: The Pine Butte Preserve is a testament to the broad-based community effort to effectively manage and conserve a critical habitat.