Events and Education


Historic Crail Ranch offers a coherent curricular experience to students in local schools and youngsters in local summer camps. Kids learn about the Homestead Era and Big Sky’s ranching roots through experiential activities held at the museum or brought into the classroom.

An introductory scavenger hunt permits children to discover and often touch the museum’s artifacts. Several simulated activities help kids to experience the challenges of working on a ranch and living on a homestead. Children harvest a garden, make butter, and learn simple crafts. Ranching topics also include harvesting hay, reading and designing ranch brands, and learning to rope.

Through old-fashioned games, kids learn about how kids had fun a century ago.


In addition to museum tours, the Historic Crail Ranch stages summer events for residents and visitors. The presentations offer glimpses of local and regional history, from retrospectives about local homesteading families to impersonators of western historical figures.
In conjunction with the Big Sky Community Organization, Conservators lead easy hikes along trails where present day views are compared with vintage photos from the Crail Ranch Archives.


  • July 3rd and July 4th Guided Tours. 12:00 – 3:00. Spend the holiday weekend with us for a guided tour. Grounds are open all day and is the perfect place for a picnic.
  • Interpretive History Hike – Tuesday, July 25th at 10:00 a.m.

Meet at the Historic Crail Ranch for a walking tour through history. The hike will be lead by a conservator that focuses on ranching history. Through vintage photographs and fencing structures learn about the area’s ranching roots and experience the meadow as settlers did years ago.

  • Interpretive History Hike – Tuesday, August 15th at 10:00 a.m.

Walk along Lone Mountain and Ousel Falls Road Trails and by using vintage photographs, view sightlines comparing present and past views. Learn about the ranching history of the South Fork and West Fork areas. Meet at Roxy’s Market to start the walk.

  • Nancy Cooper Russell “Kid Gloves & Brass Knuckles & Old Fashioned Picnic Lunch – Saturday, August 19th at 12 noon.

A “living history” presentation about the woman behind the highest paid painter of the time, Old American West’s Charlie Russell. Picnic lunch provided. Mary Jane Bradbury sponsored through Humanities Montana.

  • Solar Eclipse 2017 – Monday, August 21st at 9:30 a.m.

Watch with us and learn about eclipse science and history. You will see 97% coverage. Free viewing glasses. Bring a lunch. Soft drinks provided. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The event is weather dependent.

Past events have included Artisan Markets, Community Picnics, and old-time music.