Chief Joseph Trail Ride #44

up-the-hill-brits.jpgThe 2008 version of the Chief Joseph Trail Ride will begin on Monday, leaving the assembly camp at Lolo Hot Springs, Montana, and winding through the Bitterroot Valley and ending at the Bolin Ranch near Stevensville. Riders will probably start arriving on Saturday. The Sunday evening activities include an orientation for first-timers, a traditional native blessing and musical entertainment.

I’ll have further reports from the first day and (hopefully) Awards Night on Thursday. This is a “progressive” ride, with the camp moving daily. A caravan consisting of crew and private vehicles moves from one camp to the next while the riders are on the trail. It’s quite a logistical challenge under any conditions, but especially interesting when you consider all the supplies, food, feed and equipment needed for people and horses.

Participants have been cautioned that the first day’s ride is approximately 23 miles. I’m betting there will be stories told around the camp after that one! Stay tuned.

Categories: Trail/Distance


  1. kelly Said,

    July 18, 2008 @ 11:10 am

    THANKS for the posts on the Chief Jo — please keep ’em coming for those of us who couldn’t make it this year!!

    p.s. Is it okay for guests to show up for meals? What’s the meal price? Can you post an itinerary of where you’ll be each evening?

  2. Jennifer Patterson Said,

    July 24, 2008 @ 10:14 am

    It is with much interest I’m reading your blogs for this leg of the CJTR. My dad and I rode part of this route the year I was MAA. It is one of my favorite memories. Enjoy the ride!

  3. Nilei Said,

    July 24, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

    Why less in allowed riders this year? ( 200) more in previous years ..Thanx!!

  4. Steve Said,

    July 25, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

    We didn’t specifically limit the number of riders, but we continue to be concerned about the number of vehicles allowed by the Forest Service and private landowners. Frankly, the rider numbers are down for what we assume are economic reasons.

  5. Steve Said,

    July 25, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

    Kelly, sorry I neglected to answer your meal question. For future reference, yes, folks can show up for evening meals (and pay a little).

  6. Deb Sampson Said,

    August 5, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

    When will the 2009 Chief Joseph ride be and where will it start and end? Please e-mail information on this historic ride as my buddy and I would possibly like to join. Let me know registration info, etc. Thanks!!!

  7. Steve Said,

    August 6, 2008 @ 7:34 am

    I’m assuming the 2009 ride will start somewhere near Darby, Montana. I’ll ask Kevin about the rest of the details. He will post them on the trail section of the web site as soon as they are available. Thanks.

  8. Lisa Meier Said,

    October 14, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

    I would like to get further information regarding this ride. How much does it cost? Do you have to have your own horse, or are there any to use? I would like to be put on a list of distribution for the 2009 ride. Thank you in advance for your prompt reply.

  9. Steve Said,

    October 15, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

    From the home page of, click on “trail and distance.” At that page you’ll find a button for sponsored trail rides where there is all the info you should need. The Chief Joseph Ride cost for this year was $390. Horses are available for rent from several sources. And, yes, we’ll certainly put you on the mailing list for info about the 2009 ride.

  10. Dale Harvey Said,

    October 16, 2008 @ 11:21 am

    I’m probably a few yrs out since I just aquired a 3 yr old,[The Black Prophet]and have a couple of yrs to get His full size.If things go right I am interested in being a regular,[semi retirement]and will keep checking the postings. This sounds like a great yearly trip.
    Are pack horses allowed?I understand vehicle numbers are limited.

  11. Steve Said,

    October 17, 2008 @ 10:06 am

    No pack horses, but there is always plenty of room is assorted vehicles to haul whatever you need. Now that I think about it, one of the trail “scouts” seems to have a pack horse with emergency equipment, etc. But regular riders are not able to use their own pack horses.

  12. Dale Harvey Said,

    October 17, 2008 @ 5:09 pm

    Steve, I saw that ,no pack horses.My wife used to be a member of the aphc,and we both have Spotted horses,Bevs:a 5 ye old,and Myself with prophet.What sparked my interest was a Woman at the Halfass Ride in humboldt county this year.I was on the short ride but when She spotted prophet She commented I want Him,and purpose was to use on the cj ride.His registered name is The Black Prophet and He will take me to me twilight lears of riding if all goes well.
    I would like to invite riders to consider the Halfass ride in northern ca ie. humboldt county ,put on by the back country horseman.It’s for the weekend and for those that want a full day the long ride is for you.It goes thru several of the ranchers lands,with the possibility of all kinds of weatherand views
    Dale 707-498-2582 after 7pm pacific and weekends

  13. Robyn Arbogast Said,

    January 11, 2009 @ 9:48 am

    Hello to all – I have ALWAYS wanted to do this trail ride. We have 2 appaloosa’s but I am afraid neither is up to this length of a ride. I would like some info on renting 2 horses for the ride in 2009. Does anyone have any info on that ? thanks 1 – robyn

  14. Steve Said,

    January 12, 2009 @ 7:55 am

    You should contact Kevin Pullen, ApHC Trail/Distance Coordinator in our office. He will have information about people who will have horses for rent.

  15. Lisa Meier Said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 7:44 am

    Have the dates been set for the 2009 Chief Joseph Ride yet? If I can go, I need a couple of months notice to arrange everything.

    Thanks! Lisa

  16. Steve Said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 10:53 am

    The 2009 Chief Joseph Trail Ride — Darby to Big Hole Battlefield, Montana — is scheduled for July 19-25. Application deadline is June 8.

  17. Jo Zitman Said,

    July 20, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

    Hope the 09 ride is going well.
    Is anyone blogging from the trail?
    would love to see a day by day account
    for those of us who cant ride with you.

  18. Steve Said,

    July 21, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

    We’ll have some photos and notes Friday or Saturday. We’re not quite equipped for live blogging from the trail.

  19. shirley kendall Said,

    July 26, 2009 @ 10:22 am

    have you got joyce nutland with you if so sent here my love ,hope she is having the best time,bring me back a nice appi?love shirl

RSS feed for comments on this post