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 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.
I’ll be publishing “Part Two of Summer 2015” soon!
Below are the available Tour Dates for 2016. For questions and reservations: Contact Sandy At: Phone: 406-360-8959. Email: email@example.com
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.
Sandy has been coming to the Pryors 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.
You will be camping at 8,500 feet, under the Big Montana Sky, with wild horses.
4 Day Camping Trips: $ 1998.00
These trips will be 4 days/3 nights on the mountain top, and also included is a two night stay at Monster Lake Ranch in Cody, Wy. (night before and night after). Also included is: transportation up and down the mountain, all food, snacks, tents, and expert personal guiding. (last night dinner is on your own once we return to Cody). Pick up at the Cody Airport can be arrange with for a small fee.
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
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.
1. June 21-24. 4 Day/3 Night closed
2. June 26-29. 4 Day/3 Night closed
This month is the most popular and also the prime wildflower season.
1. July 1-July 4. 4 Day/3 Night closed
2. July 6-9. 4 Day/3 Night 1 opening
3. July 11-14. 4 Day/3 Night closed
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.
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.
Reviews: Go to my past camping date posts to read more reviews. Click on the year to go there. 2013,2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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.