Historic Central Montana Dude Ranch Offers Unique Connection to Charlie Russell

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Cattle drive at the Circle Bar Ranch.
Cattle drive at the Circle Bar Ranch.
UTICA, Mont. - May 5, 2023 - PRLog -- Nestled in the Judith River Basin in Utica, Montana, lies the historic Circle Bar Guest Ranch. It's an 1800s cattle ranch that today operates as a dude ranch and offers guests a unique perspective on the historic West with its ties to famed cowboy artist Charles Marion Russell.

The Judith River that runs through the ranch and behind its guest cabins was named by explorers Lewis and Clark, and the ranch's 520 acres sit at the base of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. The Circle Bar's guests can explore the beauty of Central Montana by horseback, UTV or fat tire electric bike.

The captivating landscape of the Judith Basin was the setting of Charlie Russell's early days in Montana. In 1880, 16-year-old Russell came to the Judith Basin to learn to wrangle and paint. He also discovered a passion to capture his experiences in paint, wax and ink, which created an artistic legacy that was passed onto the world. His love of Montana and the life he observed shaped his art, which is first and foremost that of a storyteller, and it was informed by his ability to capture the personalities and events of his time and place in the West.

Dude ranch guests can experience some of this history firsthand with guided UTV tours to the Hoover Cabin. In his early days in the region, Russell came upon prospector and trapper, Jake Hoover; who took in the teenager teaching him to hunt and trap in exchange for a place to live. Hoover and his cabin are featured in some of Russell's early works.

The Circle Bar's proximity to the locales integral to Russell's early years can also be seen in the C.M. Russell Auto Tour, which uses Russell's art to tell the story and history of the Judith Basin on an interactive driving tour that passes through the Circle Bar Ranch. The Montana Legislature designated Highway 87 between Great Falls and Lewistown the "Charles M. Russell Trail," with 25 interpretive sites along the highway and roads in Judith Basin County.

Guests of the Circle Bar Ranch can enjoy experiencing the history of the Judith Basin, while they stay in the ranch's historic guest cabins and adventure in the surrounding landscape. The Circle Bar offers the quintessential dude ranch adventures of the past, and some with a modern spin. Reservations for the Summer 2023 season at the Circle Bar Ranch are open now: www.circlebarranch.com.

About the True Ranch Collection

The True Ranch Collection is a selection of historic dude ranches that have been revived for the next generation of guests; while staying true to their authenticity, identity and heritage, and committing to keeping the hospitality and traditions of the West alive: www.trueranchcollection.com.


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