The Area

Bonanza Creek and the Voldseth Ranch are located in South Central Montana in Meagher County (pronounced Mahr). Consisting of nearly 2400 square miles, the 2010 census reported less than 2000 residents in Meagher County. You’ll find lots of elbow room and wide open spaces out here.

Cattle and sheep ranching have been central to Montana’s history and development. Today, cattle ranching remains the number one industry in Meagher County, where cattle far out number people.

The landscape of the area is diverse, dramatic, and expansive – from large valleys and open country, to steep peaks, to rushing rivers, to heavily timbered mountain sides. Any visitor to this country can easily understand why Montana proudly carries the nickname “Big Sky Country.”

Seven mountain ranges are visible from the Bonanza Creek Ranch: Crazies, Castles, Big Belts, Little Belts, Snowies, Bridgers, and Absarokas.

Local wildlife is abundant in this unspoiled country and includes golden eagles, whitetail and mule deer, elk, antelope, bear, coyotes, fox, and cougars, as well as smaller chipmunks, squirrels, gophers, badgers and jack rabbits.

Some of the colorful ranch towns in the area include:

  • Lennep: Originated as a railroad stop around 1908 with a depot, post office and half a dozen homes. By 1920, a school, church, and store had been added. Sadly, the store and post office closed in the 1950’s and the railroad, in 1980. However, Lennep has continued to be part of the local ranching community with two students currently enrolled in the school and services held every other Sunday at the church. Three generations (hopefully soon to be four!) of Voldseths have gone to school in Lennep. You’ll drive through Lennep on your way up to Bonanza Creek.
  • Martinsdale: Now a sleepy ranch town, you can still see remnants of the once vibrant railroad stop on the now-abandoned transcontinental main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad that it once was. The old station still stands, along with a jail cell and the old Stockman Bank. Martinsdale is most famous for being home to Charles M. Bair, one of the largest and most successful sheep ranchers in the United States, running over 300,000 head around the turn of the century. The Bair Family Museum is a “must-see.”
  • White Sulphur Springs: The current county seat, White Sulphur Springs is named for its natural mineral hot springs and the white deposits found around them. These hot springs soothed the Native Americans and all who followed, and continue to be a draw today. In the 1880’s White Sulphur Springs (then known as Brewer Springs) was established as a stage coach stop and resort.
  • Ringling: Also a former railroad stop and important shipping point for area cattle and crops, Ringling was named for John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers Circus family. The Ringlings once owned more than 100,000 acres in the area.

Check out some of the non-horseback riding activities that are available when you visit Bonanza Creek Country.