Get to Know Us

We’re a laid back guest ranch at the base of the bridger mountains.

Staff

Rachel

Rachel Juel was born and raised on a pulse crop (that would be lentils and garbanzo beans) farm in Scobey, Montana. Rachel graduated from MSU with a degree in Biochemistry and leads all management and operations. If you are booking a trip, Rachel will be your first contact.

Jackie

Jackie Pondolfino runs all things horticultural and ranching. You’ll find her harvesting vegetables, feeding the hogs, tending the bees, and clipping flowers for the night’s dinner tables. She loves free help and will keep aspiring ranchers busy.

Jeff

Jeff Purcell is our all-around handyman. He builds, hauls, mows, welds, drives the tractor, and plays a mean keyboard. Much to his neighbor’s dismay, he flies a Green Bay Packers flag year round.

Kris

Kris Stewart and her husband Peter are Hardscrabble’s owners. In addition to two boys, three Irish Wolfhounds, an often lazy black lab, she’s in charge of all ranch renovations and remodeling.

Background

We spent fifteen years in the heart of Bozeman, and just recently jumped at the chance to have a little more space, raise some animals, plant a garden, and enjoy life surrounded by mountains. We named the property Hardscrabble Ranch after a nearby peak, but also because we haven’t figured everything out, are far from perfect, but we have a beautiful place to share. We love to cook, listen to live music, relax with friends and family, and enjoy what Montana has to offer. Sunsets over the Bridgers tend to lighten any load. We hope to see you and your group soon. We’ll treat you like family – you’ll be feeding scraps to the pigs before you leave. Promise.

Venue

Under different names and management, Hardscrabble has been an event center for the past twenty-five years. We have hosted family reunions, multi-day music events, weddings, church-groups and retreats, sports teams, cook-offs, anniversary parties, and all variety of group events. We offer you a five acre (almost four football fields) main lawn, hiking and biking trails, access to the creek, shaded groves, farm, orchard, dance floor, kitchens, and comfy pillows. Hardscrabble becomes your group’s home if only for a few days.

Venue

Under different names and management, Hardscrabble has been an event center for the past twenty-five years. We have hosted family reunions, multi-day music events, weddings, church-groups and retreats, sports teams, cook-offs, anniversary parties, and all variety of group events. We offer you a five acre (almost four football fields) main lawn, hiking and biking trails, access to the creek, shaded groves, farm, orchard, dance floor, kitchens, and comfy pillows. Hardscrabble becomes your group’s home if only for a few days.

Location

Set on Brackett Creek with stunning views of Ross Peak, Hardscrabble is located ten minutes north of Bridger Bowl. While only thirty minutes from either Bozeman or Livingston, you will be in true Montana farm country. Clyde Park is our nearest town which has a great general store. We send all guests detailed directions especially helpful for night time arrivals.

FAQ

Can I access the Internet and use my cell phone?

There is no direct cell phone service in the area. We have wifi at the owner’s house and guests can access email, but this is not a place to download your favorite Netflix shows. This is a great place to experience a digital detox.

Seriously? No TV? No movies?

We do not have cable, but Brackett Lodge does have a faltscreen TV, DVD player, and HDMI adapters for your previously downloaded entertainment. We also have jigsaw puzzles, Monopoly boards, chess sets, Petersen’s Field Guides, and lots of folks enjoy playing with the hogs.

Outdoor Fire Safety

We live in a beautiful, but heavily wooded and fire prone area. We follow the US Forest Service’s guidelines and never permit open fires when there are restrictions in the area. Fireworks are always prohibited.

Cleaning

We provide each group with a detailed set of cleaning instructions prior to check-out. Basically, you need to clear out all your stuff (especially food), sweep, strip beds, and neaten up. If you do not want to do these, we offer a $200 cleaning fee option.

Dogs, Pets, and Allergies

Hardscrabble is home to five dogs, two cats, and plenty of other farm animals. Individuals with serious allergies (or phobias) to dogs or cats should likely not stay with us.

There are mountain lions in the area (hence our fondness for Irish Wolfhounds). If your group has one or two friendly dogs, they are welcome as long as they are under your control (and house broken).

What is included in the rental of the property?

Summer: Brackett Lodge (sleeps 24), ten glamping tents (sleep 30), large indoor kitchen with plenty of refrigerator and freezer space, new outdoor kitchen with gas grills, dance hall, livingroom, ping-pong table, outdoor games. Upon arrival, we provide you with clean sheets and towels and all bathrooms are replenished for each new group. You get access to the entire outdoor property except the area directly surrounding the owner’s home. Please ask permission for tours of the barns and gardens.

Winter: Same as above, but 24 additional beds are made available in Bridger Lodge. No one sleeps in a tent during a Montana winter.

When do I check-in and check-out?

Check-in is 3:30pm. Check-out is by 10am. We will let you know in advance if there is not a group immediately preceding or following yours and we can be more flexible in those cases. 

Parking

We have parking next to the main barn. It can accommodate twenty cars or light trucks. We do not have spaces for campers or RVs.

Cooking

You are in charge of all your meals, snacks, and drinks. Hardscrabble has its own caterer if you want us to prepare meals for you. There are also dozens of caterers in the area we are happy to connect you with. Catering costs are not included in any of the fees on this website.

Contracts and Payments

To discuss contracts and payments, please contact rachel@hardscrabbleranch.com

Contact

To learn more, or book your trip, contact our staff @ (406) 600-2227, katie@hardscrabbleranch.com, or shoot us a message from our contact form. We’ll be happy to help you plan so you and your group can have a great time!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact

To learn more, or book your trip, contact our staff @ (406) 600-2227, katie@hardscrabbleranch.com, or shoot us a message from our contact form. We’ll be happy to help you plan so you and your group can have a great time!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.