Wild in the Pryors

A Blog about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

Posts tagged ‘Camping’

2016 Western and Wild Horse Adventure Trip

Cloud, he turned 20 years old this year.

Cloud, he turned 20 years old this year.

Below are the available Tour Dates for 2016.   For questions and reservations: Contact Sandy At: Phone: 406-360-8959.  Email: wildinthepryors@aol.com

Pryor Horses running in Lupine, July 2014

Pryor Horses running in Lupine, July 2014

Wild in the Pryors is permitted by the Bureau of Land Management to conduct small group tours within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range from January to December. Wild in the Pryors is one of a handful of businesses that have the federal permits necessary to guide clients onto this federal property.

Wild In The Pryors is also licensed to give tours within the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

Jasper, a young band stallion running in the early morning light.

Jasper, a young band stallion running in the early morning light.

Sandy has been coming to the Pryors Mountain Wild Horse Range for several years, spending weeks at a time camping with the horses.

Whether you bring a professional camera, or just a cell phone to take photos, Sandy goes out of her way to make sure you leave the mountain with cherished memories of your once in a life-time camping trip.

The stories she shares about the horses and the range, make this trip more than just a chance to view them, she makes this a trip more about knowing the horses, giving you a brief glance into the life of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses.

All tours may include light to moderate hiking.

Guests taking in the 360 degree view and the wild horses.

Guests taking in the 360 degree view and the wild horses.

You will be camping at 8,500 feet, under the Big Montana Sky, with wild horses.

Price includes two nights in Cody, Wyoming and 3 nights camping under the stars with the wild horses.   Price of your Wild Horse Adventure Trip: $1,995.  A deposit of $1,000 is require to secure your spot, balance is due 6 weeks before the start of your adventure.

Cody, Wyoming is one of the gateways to Yellowstone National Park.   Cody is a great way to experience the west.   Click on CODY to see what else you may want to do while your here.  While in Cody, you will be within walking distance of the historic downtown, The Buffalo Bill Museum and many other Cody attractions.  Ask to extend your stay, and I can give you a rate per night to do that.

Your Wild Horse trip will be 4 days/3 nights on the mountain top.  Also included in this trip is: transportation up and down the mountain, all food, snacks, tents, and expert personal guiding while on the mountain. All meals our on your own when off the mountain.  Guests can fly into Cody, Wyoming and be picked up for a small fee, or into the Billings, Montana airport, where you will need to rent a car for travel to Cody.

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.  Here is a link to travel insurance purchase.  This insurance is not through Wild In The Pryors.  Please explore this or another travel insurance company for your trip.  TRIP INSURANCE

Camping trips will be limited to 4-5 guests.  Sandy will have an assistant with her who will do the camp cooking and help you with any camping needs.  Sandy will personally be doing all of the guiding.

For reservations:  Contact Sandy

Phone or Text : 406-360-8959 

email:  wildinthepryors@aol.com

Galena and Petra, June 2015

Galena and Petra, June 2015

June

This trip may be a bit colder than the others, but to be some of the first people to see the horses reach the mountain top for the summer, makes it all worth it.  There a lot of interaction between the stallions, making this a great time for action shots!

1.  June 20-25.   3 Openings

2.  June 25-30.   Open

July:

This month is the most popular and also the prime wildflower season.

1.  June30-July 5.  2 Openings

2.  July 5-10.    3 Openings

3.  July 10-15.  1 Openings

4.  July 15-20.   Check with Sandy for possible opening.

5.  July 28-August 2 .   Full

August:

These trips may include more hiking, depending on the year.  However, if you love to hike and see some of the hidden areas that not many people get to see, this would be a great month for you.  The sunsets are even more intense this time of year.

1.  August 2-7.   Full

2.  AUGUST 7-12.  Full

Maybe a chance to catch a rainbow. View of the Bighorn Canyon from the mountain top.

Maybe a chance to catch a rainbow. View of the Bighorn Canyon from the mountain top.

All trips leave from Cody, Wyoming (unless other arrangements are made).  Airports nearby: Billings, Montana.  Cody, Wyoming.  Arrangements can be made for pick-up at the Cody Airport.

A 50% down payment is required upon booking with the remainder due one month prior to your trip.

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.

 Anyone interested in a trip will be asked to complete a Pre-Screening Health Questionnaire, and those who book a trip will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Responsiblity and Assumption of Risk document, as per Montana State Law.

View from our campsite.

View from our campsite.

Be sure if you book a trip with someone, that they have the proper permits in place. This is required by law for anyone giving tours on Public Lands.  Please click on PERMITS to read my blog post about this.

Sandy

Horses near our campsite. Summer 2014

Horses near our campsite. Summer 2014

Reviews:  Go to my past camping date posts to read more reviews.   Click on the year to go there.  2013,  2014

Feldspar and Ohanzee, August, 2014

Feldspar and Ohanzee, August, 2014

The absolute best adventure I have ever had in my life.  We loved every minute of it and I will have the memories of the beauty in my head forever!  Thank you Sandy, Wild In The Pryors is the Best of its kind, hands down!

Laura O., Chicago, Ill.

2014 foals, July 2014

2014 foals, July 2014

If you find yourself in Montana near the Pryor Mountains and you want to see these horses, go with Sandy Palen. I cannot say enough good things about her. She knows the range like the back of her hand and she is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to this herd.

Because she spends so much time on the range, she knows all of the approximately 170 horses by name and can recognize them by sight. From what I understand, she has been visiting the Pryors since 2009 but to me it feels like she has known these horses her whole life.

She understands the dynamics and connections between these horses so well. She doesn’t mind repeating for the millionth time which horses you are looking at or explaining how they are related. She knows how to approach the horses and will make sure you are at a safe distance, respecting the horses’ need for space. And even when all the horses seem to have vanished into thin air, she knows where they like to hide and is really good at spotting them.

Amelie L., New York, NY.

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.

2.  August 8-11.  4 Day/3 Night Check with Sandy on availability.

3.  August 13-16.  4 Day/3 Night  Full

Maybe a chance to catch a rainbow. View of the Bighorn Canyon from the mountain top.

Maybe a chance to catch a rainbow. View of the Bighorn Canyon from the mountain top.

All trips leave from Cody, Wyoming (unless other arrangements are made).  Airports nearby: Billings, Montana.  Cody, Wyoming.  Arrangements can be made for pick-up at the Cody Airport.

A 50% down payment is required upon booking with the remainder due one month prior to your trip.

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.

 Anyone interested in a trip will be asked to complete a Pre-Screening Health Questionnaire, and those who book a trip will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Responsiblity and Assumption of Risk document, as per Montana State Law.

Cloud, June 2014

Cloud, June 2014

IMG_8812

Be sure if you book a trip with someone, that they have the proper permits in place. This is required by law for anyone giving tours on Public Lands.  Please click on PERMITS to read my blog post about this.

Sandy

Horses near our campsite. Summer 2014

Horses near our campsite. Summer 2014

Reviews:

Feldspar and Ohanzee, August, 2014

Feldspar and Ohanzee, August, 2014

The absolute best adventure I have ever had in my life.  We loved every minute of it and I will have the memories of the beauty in my head forever!  Thank you Sandy, Wild In The Pryors is the Best of its kind, hands down!

Laura O., Chicago, Ill.

2014 foals, July 2014

2014 foals, July 2014

If you find yourself in Montana near the Pryor Mountains and you want to see these horses, go with Sandy Palen. I cannot say enough good things about her. She knows the range like the back of her hand and she is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to this herd.

Because she spends so much time on the range, she knows all of the approximately 170 horses by name and can recognize them by sight. From what I understand, she has been visiting the Pryors since 2009 but to me it feels like she has known these horses her whole life.

She understands the dynamics and connections between these horses so well. She doesn’t mind repeating for the millionth time which horses you are looking at or explaining how they are related. She knows how to approach the horses and will make sure you are at a safe distance, respecting the horses’ need for space. And even when all the horses seem to have vanished into thin air, she knows where they like to hide and is really good at spotting them.

Amelie L., New York, NY.

IMG_6628

I’m a Pryor Mountain Mustang owner living in Europe. When I asked my wife and my daughters if they would agree to go and see where our stallion was born, they were enthusiastic.
I knew Sandy from wildinthepryors just through her blog and a few email we exchanged before but I also knew that we are sharing the same passion for those horses.
Sandy knows where to find the horses. It sounds obvious, but if you’ve ever been on the range, you know it’s not that simple. During the 3 days, we saw all the mountains horses. She knows all the horses by their name and all their parents too! She can describe their behavior and announces, when 2 stallions are getting too close, that something is going to happens.
But it’s not only about horses. The mountain top offer incredible landscape’s view. And the camping and catering was just perfect.
After our 3 days on the mountain top, we went on the Dryhead for the last morning. Once again, we were lucky and we saw more than 20 horses. Our last words : we will come back!

Cedric, France.

Sequoyah

Sequoyah

A friend of mine introduced me to Sandy’s blogs about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses about 18 months ago, when we were also talking about travelling together to the USA. We very quickly decided that this was where we wanted to go and subsequently planned our trip around the Full Moon Tour.

I love horses, photography and wild places so I was excited to be going to the mountains that I had read so much about. The reality was even more amazing that I could have imagined. The Pryor Mountains and the horses that live there gave me that ‘once in a lifetime’ experience (although if I can make it happen again I will!). It is a truly wonderful place that allows you to completely escape from real life and observe the horses living theirs. I was often torn between wanting to take photos and just sit watching them, soaking it all up.

Sandy was the perfect guide and host. Firstly by making it up the ‘somewhat scary in places’ road with ease and getting us set up with the prime camping spot on top of the mountain. The organisation of the camping and food was spot on, my favourites being the home made cookies and scones. She even had vitamin supplements to help me get over my cold! But more importantly she knows and cares about the horses and their mountain home like they are family. This allowed us some amazing close up encounters that I will never forget in particular the discovery of new foal, less than a day old, and the afternoon we spent amongst the trees with the horses in the wild flowers – beautiful!

So if you really want to see how horses live in the wild and escape from the stresses of our everyday lives I would thoroughly recommend taking a Wild in the Pryors tour. My only warning…it becomes an addiction ;)

Ros Jones, Oxfordshire, UK

Naolin and Nickel

Naolin and Nickel

I got to know this wonderful woman named Sandy through her blog on www.wildinthepryors.com.  I really enjoy reading her blog because they are very informative.  During several phone conversations, Sandy invited my wife and I several times on one of her tours up the mountain with her however it never worked out.  

A while ago I spoke with Sandy, she once again invited us on her tour so we jumped at the chance not only so we could meet Sandy face to face but also to travel up the mountain with someone who really knows and understands these horses.  Sandy set up the accommodations at Fort Causeway which really is the ideal place to overnight.  

This is where we met Sandy and her daughter, Amber for the first time. During the scenic tour up the Mountain, Sandy stopped several times to point out various things out that we would have missed travelling up ourselves. The trip up the mountain didn’t seem to take that long because there was a lot to see and had great company.  

At the top of the mountain it was amazing to see all the horses in their true natural terrain with their beautiful summer coats. It’s hard to describe the natural colors of these amazing horses.

 As we drove around, Sandy is very knowledgeable about the horses and their surroundings.  Many times I would ask who that particular horse was and with no hesitation, she would provide the details of that horse and family. She knows each and every detail of the horses including the new colts. She was quick to point out watering holes, trails the horses travel on and places the horses like to graze during the days.  

Sandy shared so much information on this journey and gave me a new appreciation for these horses.  The day with Sandy and Amber was one we will never forget.  We had so much fun and shared so many stories while making lots of memories on this Pryor Mountain journey.  I would recommend this opportunity to anyone who loves horses.  

Thanks again Sandy and Amber for the wonderful time we had together. 

Ross and Marge, Saskatchewan, Canada

Summer 2015, Part One

First camping trip of the year, June 20-24, 2015

First camping trip of the year, June 20-24, 2015

I apologize for not getting a post out sooner.  But, I have to admit, I was having a difficult time looking at my photos after the removal.   After spending the entire summer with these horses and then being there for the removal of the mountain top horses, I had a lot of emotions that weren’t ready to surface.

All of the horses removed, I had seen as little foals, watched some of them leave their family bands and become bachelors, and watched others get to know their home on the mountain.  I knew I had hundreds of photos of the horses that were removed, and I just was not ready to see them.

It was this week, that I realized I was ready, and actually looking forward to reviewing the thousands of photos from the summer.  I have been very blessed to have been able to spend so much time on the mountain with these horses.

This first post is only of my very first trip up there.  After several months away from the horses, I find that my first trip, I take a lot of photos, then with each following trip, I begin to take less shots, and put down my camera to watch the horses and my guests through my own eyes.

June sunset.

June sunset.

June is one of my favorite months on the mountain top.  The mountain is just awaking after a long winter, and the horses are much more active with each other.  The mountain top brings them all in closer proximity to each other then what they are in the winter months, so there is more action between the stallions on a regular basis.  If you don’t mind the cool nights and want a lot of action shots, this is the month for you.

I’m not sure how much longer I will be be doing guided tours, so I cherish each moment I had there with my guests and the horses. I will be doing two guided camping trips in June this year.  They are starting to book, so if you are interested, contact me soon.  Go to 2016 Camping, to find out more information, with available dates for June, July and August.

So, below are some of the photos I took during this first trip.

Bolder's band visited our camp on a regular basis, with Killian and Lobo denting my truck during a sparing match.

Bolder’s band visited our camp on a regular basis, with Killian and Lobo denting my truck during a sparing match.

Bachelor Boys near our camp

Bachelor Boys near our camp

Nahwa and McKeanhie

Nahwa and McKeanhie

IMG_4457

Bachelors

Bachelors

Hamlets

Hamlets

A very pregnant Jacinta

A very pregnant Jacinta

IMG_4480

Petite Colour

Petite Colour

Kohl and Petite Colour

Kohl and Petite Colour

Garay

Garay

Merriweather

Merriweather

One of the many views from the mountain top

One of the many views from the mountain top

Tecumseh and band

Tecumseh and band

Grijala and band

Grijala and band

Little Miss Noble

Little Miss Noble

Cappucinno's run to the Mystic Pond

Cappucinno’s run to the Mystic Pond

The Cappucinno's

The Cappucinno’s

Cappucinno's

Cappucinno’s

Custers

Custers

Nye, Firestorm, Brumby and Okomi

Nye, Firestorm, Brumby and Okomi

Brumby

Brumby

Galena and Petra

Galena and Petra

Galena and Petra

Galena and Petra

Nye

Nye

IMG_4692

Irial

Irial

Oceana

Oceana

Galena and Petra

Galena and Petra

Nye

Nye

Aurora

Aurora

Baja's

Baja’s

Baja's

Baja’s

Ojai

Ojai

Washakie

Washakie

Ojai

Ojai

IMG_4945

Baja's

Baja’s

Odakota

Odakota

IMG_5021

Noble and Naolin

Noble and Naolin

Pococeno and Galaxy

Pococeno and Galaxy

Limerick

Limerick

Penny

Penny

Manelita with Dove in the background

Manelita with Dove in the background

Naolin and Odakata

Naolin and Odakata

Naolin and Odakota

Naolin and Odakota

Baja and London

Baja and London

London

London

Naolin and Nickel

Naolin and Nickel

Nickel and Naolin

Nickel and Naolin

Petra

Petra

IMG_5303

Doc and London

Doc and London

London and Doc

London and Doc

Petra and Galena

Petra and Galena

Cloud

Cloud

Cloud

Cloud

Boys with Mandan and Moorcroft in front

Boys with Mandan and Moorcroft in front

Mandan and Moorecroft

Mandan and Moorecroft

Galaxy

Galaxy

Irial

Irial

IMG_5388

Pride and Feldspar

Pride and Feldspar

IMG_5447

Jasper

Jasper

Ketchikan and Okiotak

Ketchikan and Okiotak

Medicine Bow, Pride and Rosarita

Medicine Bow, Pride and Rosarita

IMG_5526

Mescalero

Mescalero

Mescalero

Mescalero

IMG_5597

Hera

Hera

Kreguer Pond

Kreguer Pond

Grijala and Noble

Grijala and Noble

Chino

Chino

Hamlet and Niyaha

Hamlet and Niyaha

Hamlet

Hamlet

Niyaha and Hamlet

Niyaha and Hamlet

Niyaha and Audobon

Niyaha and Audobon

Gabriele and Patterson

Gabriele and Patterson

Cappuccino's

Cappuccino’s

Naara

Naara

Patterson and Blanca

Patterson and Blanca

View from Campsite

View from Campsite

Gringo and Tecumseh bands

Gringo and Tecumseh bands

Bolder

Bolder

Lobo

Lobo

I’ll be publishing “Part Two of Summer 2015” soon!

Sandy

Camping in the Pryor’s. Respecting the Horses and the Land.

It is a cold snowy weekend here in  western Montana.  So I thought I would take myself back to warmer days and write a post about camping in the Pryor’s.

I am giving camping tours.  Please click on CAMPING, to go to that post and see the dates that are available.

Campsite, July 2011

Camping in the Pryor’s with the wild horses is  one of my favorite things to do.  Hearing the horses whinny and munch grass right outside my tent at night,  is really an experience that I won’t get tired of.   Each time that I have camped up there, I find that I am almost if not the only the only one, on the mountain top (human).

I  have heard that the BLM is thinking of establishing a campground up there.  I am going to be pretty sad if that happens.  I love being able to pick my campsite and camp where ever I want.  Having an established campground would bring a whole list of problems.  Mostly I am thinking, bear problems.  With an established campground, the more people, the more mess left behind.  That is an invitation for bears.  Also, I am not seeing a need for an established campground.  There just are not that many people camping up there.   But if an established campground was made…well I see a lot more people coming up and camping, and I personally don’t want to see that happen.  It is not good for the horses or the land.  They need to leave it more primitive.

Sunset in the Pryor’s, August 2011

I am going to share with you a few simple rules about camping in the Pryor’s, or any land for that matter.  My hope is that those that do camp, will remember these things, and those that just do day trips will also remember some of these.  Then maybe, just maybe the BLM will not put in an established campground.

I have lived in Montana for 20 years.  In those twenty years I have camped quite a bit.  So these things just come naturally to me.  I realize though, that some people may not camp very much, so I will just tell you a few things to remember.

1.  Stay on the road.  In the Pryor’s you are not allowed to drive off the road. That includes all vehicles, 4- wheelers, dirt bikes, etc..  You must stay on the designated road.  That includes setting up camp.  I usually find a wider place in the road where I can pull my truck to the side and still let other cars get by.  Then I carry all of my gear back to where I want to camp (usually not that far).

Last summer I witnessed someone  parked and camping about 1/2 mile off the road, just above Mystic Pond.    You can camp there, you just can’t drive your vehicle there.

2. PACK IN, PACK OUT.  I don’t think a lot of people know what that means.  I have seen tissue, plastic water bottles, etc lying around.  Tissue will probably go away in time, but it is pretty gross to see it lying around until then.  So please just pick it up.  The water bottles won’t go away.   So pack in, pack out means just that.  What ever you bring in with you must go back with you.  That includes EVERYTHING.  There are not bathrooms in the Pryor’s.  I won’t go into too much detail on that, but I hope you get the idea.

3.  Don’t Leave your Food out.  I put all of my food items, including coolers, back in the truck at night.  Leaving it out will attract critters.  Bears, etc..and please do not take any food in the tent with you!   I had heard that there were quite a few black bears up there, but I did not see one until my October 2011 trip.  I do take bear spray with me.

A Black Bear just above Mystic Pond, October 2011

Same Black Bear not too far from Penn’s Cabin, October 2011

4. Leave your campsite how you found it.  Please leave your campsite just how you found it.  When I take down my tent, I try to fluff up the grass where the tent was.  I am really pleased when I come back the next time and it looks just like it did before I was there.  When I see that, I know I did a good job.  Also, look around and make sure you are leaving nothing behind.

5.  Keep your dog on a leash.  That is for their safety and of course the horses.  Last summer I witness a huge German Shepard off leash.  It went within feet (yes feet!!) to the horses, including a very young foal. ( these were actually the same people who were parked 1/2 mile off the road to camp too!)

6. Respect the Horses.  Please try to stay at least 50-100 feet away from the horses.  That is not always possible. Sometimes they are right by your car, sometimes they walk by you when you are eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. Waking up and finding a band of horses right outside your tent is a very good possibility.  When I find that happening, I get out of my tent slowly and move away.  I have a 70×300 lens.  I wish I had a bigger one, but I feel I get some really good photos with that.   I won’t put myself or the horses in danger by trying to get closer for a really good  shot.  I would rather take the photo at a respected distance and crop it.  So when you can,  please stay your distance.  It is just out of respect for the horses and for your safety.

Waking up to horses, July 2011

My daughter Amber, moving away from the horses, July 2011

7.  Don’t Feed or Touch the Horses.  I wasn’t even going to post this.  But, unfortunately I have seen people do both.    The horses digestive systems are not used to eating other things then what they get on the range.  They are wild animals, so trying to touch them may put yourself in danger.  Enough said about this.  Just don’t do it.

All of the photos below were taken from my campsite just around 6:00 am.  The horses visit me often! :)

Jenny and Knight, July 2011

Lakota, July 2011

Polaris, Isadora, Lemhi and Rosarita, July 2011

Lakota, July 2011

Lakota and Grijala, July 2011

Grijala, July 2011

I love camping in the Pryor’s with the horses.  I wish everyone could experience it.   If you do, let’s do it by respecting the Horses and the Land.

Sandy

Sunset with the horses, July 2011

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