• Montana Hill Guest Ranch in Bridge Lake, British Columbia, began 25 years ago and operated into the 1990's. Recently purchased and renovated by Alan and Elaine, they are welcoming guests beginning this month. The ranch sits in the heart of cowboy country in the South Cariboo region of British Columbia.

    The Dillabaughs are breathing new life into the operation. Alan and Elaine moved to the South Cariboo from Vancouver Island in September of2016. Since moving to the ranch, they've converted the property into a working cattle ranch. Calving is in full swing, and Elaine and Alan love it. "It's an amazing experience," says Elaine.

    Over the winter they've been busy finding the perfect horses. They searched out and acquired well-trained horses for their ranch-geldings only.

    Both Alan and Elaine have had a fondness for horses from an early age. Elaine moved around a lot as a child. Her father was a minister with the United Church. Her most memorable vacation as a child was going to a horseback riding camp on Prince Edward Island. She pleaded with her parents to let her bring the horse she rode and bonded with home with her. She fell in love with horses from that time on.

    AI grew up on a small farm just south of Ottawa Ontario. Al's dad trained Standardbred race horses and was quite successful. AI never had a bicycle growing up but there was always a horse to ride.

    Elaine and Alan moved to Victoria, British Columbia in 1 986 and opened a thriving business called The Prancing Horse -a retreat center and bed and breakfast. ln 1 997 they built a gothic Victorian castle boutique inn and farm and sold it in the fall of2016.

    The Dillabaughs always dreamed of owning a guest ranch. Their niece and nephew visited them each summer and they planned dude ranch excursions. The Dillabaughs took them to the Kootenays and visited guest ranches and, to this day, that's the holiday they all still remember the most.

    Elaine and Alan have passionately thought about designing Montana Hill so it's affordable and cost effective and still offer all the comforts and luxuries you would expect in much pricier guest ranches.

    Montana Hill Guest Ranch has expansive acreage and is nestled in gentle hills with pine trees. It is surrounded by public lands with lakes and scenic trails. The fresh air, panoramic views, and quiet surroundings contribute to an environment that will charge your batteries and relieve the stress of busy lives. Prepare for an unforgettable vacation.

    Montana Hill is one of the few ranches where you can bring your own horse. There are four log cabins nestled amongst the cotton woods and Alan built paddocks with shelters behind the cabins. They are tastefully decorated with antiques and western collectibles. Al even built log-canopy beds for each cabin and Elaine gave them her feminine decorating touches. Each cabin has a Vermont cast iron gas fireplace, en suite, and kitchenette. On the decks there are private hot tubs, barbeques and comfy chairs for relaxing.

    In the main ranch house, you can enjoy a game of billiards, read a book in front of the river rock fireplace decorated with trophy caribou, moose, cougar, and antlers, or take one of the many movies back to your cabin.

    A full gourmet breakfast is included each morning. You can cook your other meals in the privacy of your own cabin or visit one of the local restaurants in the area. There's also a ranch store, with lots of specialty items.

    Montana Hill staff will make you a picnic basket if you want to go exploring. There's plenty for everyone to do here. They also have a professional cowboy offering private or group roping lessons, and even offer a western grill night.

    Montana HiJI Guest Ranch is a five-hour drive from Vancouver, B.C., and just an hour and half north of Kamloops. Come stay a night or longer and do as much or as little as you like. Spa services are available and group bookings welcomed. You can learn more and book your stay at http://montanahillguestranch.com or call them - 1 (250) 593-9807

    Ah, it sounds heavenly!