Camping Trips, Day Trips and Permits

Burnt Timber road, February, 2013
Burnt Timber road, February, 2013

As the camping and day tour season approaches, I thought I would just touch base on a few things that perhaps many people are not aware of.

If you have someone other than yourself take you up on the mountain (camping or day trip) and they are charging you a fee to do it, they need to have a special permit from the BLM and/or NPS.  Wild in the Pryors (Sandy) has both of these.  It took me several hours to fill out the application.  It is very detailed and requires you to also have the proper amount of insurance in place as well.

Please ask those people if they have the proper permits in place before sending them a deposit or booking a trip.  If you are in doubt if they do and want to check yourself, you can call the Billings BLM office and they can connect you with someone who can check for you.  Their phone number is: 406-896-5013.  It is against the law, NOT to have a permit and to charge for services.

It is frustrating for myself and other permit holders to learn of other people who are advertising and conducting tours without these proper permits in place.   Not only is it frustrating for all of us, but it also causes more people on the mountain, more people around the horses, who many times don’t respect them like they should.

I run a very small tour (no more than 4 guests) on my camping tours.  I plan on leaving it that way so that my presence will affect the horses (and the land) as little as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact myself or the BLM.


Grijala and Kohl, July 2011.
Grijala and Kohl, July 2011.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

15 thoughts on “Camping Trips, Day Trips and Permits

  • Sandy, great post! It is so important not to pressure the animals. I remember going out on whale watches in the Atlantic and seeing boats just pushing at right whales and humpback whales. I’ve lead bird watching groups and have had to keep participants from disturbing nesting birds. For any wild animal, too many people and/or vehicles is stressful to the point of disrupting their natural behaviors. Usually it’s the young who are affected most.

  • Sandy, even though you have become friends with many of your tour clients, you are truly a professional guide in the most meaningful aspects of that term – knowledgeable, permitted, insured, etc. And most important you have studied the Pryor horses at great length and are extremely well-informed on the stressors caused by us visitors to their homeland. The best interests of the horses will always come first with you!! Everyone visiting the Pryors with or without a guide should be as dedicated to the welfare of the horses as you are. There are no tours that I could recommend other than yours for the magical, mountain top experience of the horses and yet having the needs of the horses as the priority. (and to anyone wondering, no, this is not a paid ad. Just have been there with Sandy, and it was awesome)

    • Thank you so much Laura! I am looking forward to our trip up the mountain this year! You will be my one and only day trip this year. I won’t be doing them anymore,(just camping tours), but will always make an exception for you and my good friend Ross.

  • This has nothing to do with the post, but I love the lighting in the top picture. The way the blue light is reflecting off everything is really pretty!

  • Sandy, You are truly a wonderful caretaker of the horses and the land. You put their welfare above everything else. I commend you for that. Nacer is a good example of this, maybe if people would have thought of her needs she would have survived. I don’t know this but it is just my thoughts. Your tours are amazing and the information you share from years of observing them with their welfare in mind is AAA+++ Thank you for all the wonderful memories and joy you have given to everyone who reads your blog, you’re the best.

  • I would so love to go on one of your tours some day! 🙂
    I’ve just been catching up on some of your older posts and was wondering if you were planning on doing some more “profiles” on individual horses? I really like learning their histories and more about each horse-it helps fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge too! I was also wondering if there is a public record of the lineage of the horses available online? I think the family relationships are a lot of fun to track!

    • Hi Abbie,

      I hope you can come to the mountain one day too! I may do some more individual horse profiles, I will have to see what inspires me!

      No, there is no public record online of the lineage of the horses other than what myself or the Mustang Center has published in our posts.

      • Hmm, I think I may have to start creating a notebook to keep everyone straight then! 🙂

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