Special Projects in History, Collections, and Building Preservation
Crail Ranch Homestead Museum is a project of the Big Sky Community Organization, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity that connects people with recreational opportunities by acquiring, preserving and promoting sustainable places and programs for all. The Big Sky Community Organization envisions a community connected by world class recreation and enrichment opportunities that embrace a vibrant quality of life. Contact the Crail Ranch Conservators organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crail Ranch Buildings
Open to visitors
July - August
Saturdays & Sundays
12 noon - 3:00 PM
Take US 191 about 40 mi. south from Bozeman or 47 mi. north from West Yellowstone. Turn west at the stoplight at Big Sky and follow Lone Mountain Trail (RT 64) about 1 mi. Turn right on Little Coyote Road. Proceed past the chapel and little pond. Just past condos, turn left up Spotted Elk Road. The rustic buildings of Historic Crail Ranch are on your left.
Take a Self-Guided tour of Crail Ranch
Although the Crail Ranch buildings are open for guided tours only on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during July and August, the Ranch grounds are open for self-guided tours at any time, weather permitting.
MOBILE USERS - Click here to go to a scrollable guide to the Crail Ranch!
The rustic log buildings of the Historic Crail Ranch sit in a quiet meadow in Montana's famous Big Sky Resort. They serve as a reminder of the history of the region during the homestead era of the early 1900s. The Ranch is open during the summer months each year, free to all to visit and enjoy....
Just a few years after Frank Crail migrated to Montana from Indiana, he started a homestead in the Bridger Mountains, under the majestic sentinel of Sacajawea Peak. Five buildings from that homestead remain.
Original 1870s Crail Homestead "Discovered" in Bridgers
On Saturday, August 1, 2015, the current ranch owner, David Coffin, visited "our" Crail Ranch and told the story of his purchase of the 1870s ranch and his discovery of the connection to Augustus Franklin Crail. Download story
Start Planning Your Summer 2016 Visit to
Big Sky and Historic Crail Ranch!
New History Video from BSOA
Chet Huntley's Big Sky, Big Dream provides an interesting summary of the development of Big Sky Resort from the perspective of J. David Penwell, who was responsible for incorporating the Big Sky Owners' Association. The Historic Crail Ranch Conservators provided primary assistance in the design of the video. View the Video
Historic Crail Ranch
Big Sky, Montana
The Crail Ranch Buildings are open for guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays during July and August from Noon til 3PM. Here tour guide Carol McGuire (left) discusses homestead housework with visitor Matt Weinberg
History Annex Open All Year
Located in the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce Visitors' Center, opposite the Conoco station at the stoplight at Big Sky, you will find a year round display on the history of Big Sky and the Gallatin Basin.
Many thanks to our generous donors!
Review the 2015-2016
Augustus Franklin Crail
- Friends and relatives of Buck and Helen Knight visit Crail Ranch More...
- Recent publications on area history available for free download in pdf format:
- Mountain Shoshone
- Crail Ranch North
- First US Census in Big Sky
- Descendants of Mary Alice Crail, wife of Eugene Crail, visit the Crail Ranch More...
- Camp Big Sky Kids learn homesteading skills and more at Crail Ranch in 2015. More...
Slingshot Video online from Crail Ranch Shoot
In July 2015, Crail Ranch provided a rustic backdrop for Slingshot Productions of Bozeman. Story of the Shoot
Slingshot has produced a 3-minute trailer entitled "Reclamation," with echoes of Legends of the Fall. View the video
Jeff Wexall of Innovative Woodwork of Big Sky is in the process of removing and replacing the porch roof that has shaded the kitchen entry door of the Crail Ranch main cabin. More...
At the same time, Scott Jacobson of AMP Electric & Lighting in Big Sky is installing new, up-to-code wiring for display lighting and other uses in the main cabin.
"These are key changes for safety and for improved visitor experience," notes Anne Marie Mistretta, chair of the Historic Crail Ranch Conservators.
Busy spring marked by key improvements at Crail Ranch
Many visitors come to Crail Ranch when the buildings are not open for tours. Interpretive signs provide basic information about the long history of the Ranch from the early 1900s to the coming of Big Sky.
This spring, two new signs have been put in place showing dramatic views of the Ranch grounds to the North and East from the 1920s and 1930s.
In addition, Al Lockwood, who maintains the Crail Ranch website, has put together a self-guided walking tour in both brochure and online format. More...
Porch roof and wiring work
New interpretive signs help guide visitors
Parking lot leveling welcome to visitors
Concurrent with the other work this spring, Big Sky Landscaping & Irrigation leveled our parking area off Little Coyote Road, which should be a welcome improvement for our visitors!