Lillian’s Little Lodge
Big Timber, Montana
Known for accommodations with a personal touch. Don’t just take our word for it—come discover for yourself: warm hospitality, superb landscapes, and the opportunity to “put a little gravel in your travel.”
Lillian’s Little Lodge is named in honor of Great-aunt Lillian. The original part of this 2200 square-foot guest house is a one-room schoolhouse that some family members attended back in the day. After the schoolhouse was moved to the ranch, an extensive remodel in 2016 added bedrooms and modern amenities, resulting in a spacious Home on the Range.
Featured in the Montana Stockgrower’s book, Centennial Ranches, this fourth-generation ranch is located just north of the community of Big Timber in southwestern Montana. Gayle’s roots go deep in this soil, running back to her Norwegian ancestors who homesteaded here in the 1890’s. Today their rangeland runs along the foothills of the Crazy Mountains, where you’ll likely see beef cows grazing with their calves. Look again and you might spot deer or antelope or even elk browsing out there as well.
Just twelve miles from Big Timber, the road starts at an elevation of 4,000 feet along the Yellowstone River and rises to an elevation of 5,400 feet arriving at the guest house situated in wide open terrain in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains. Only 25 minutes from Interstate 90, it feels remote and far from civilization, however you won’t need a 4-wheel drive vehicle unless you want to drive to a private back-country trailhead on the property for hiking or some challenging mountain biking.
Your hosts: Gayle and Patrick Callinan live on the property and they’ll make you feel right at home. Ask Gayle what she wishes for her guests and without hesitation she’ll reply, “that everyone feels grounded and connected to nature and self.”
Whether you’re thinking about a Montana getaway for your family or planning a retreat for friends, you’ll want to ask about rates and availability for these optional activities.
- A guided nature walk along the creek features a constant show of nature’s wildlife at hand.
- Guided half or full day hikes can be scheduled to explore the countryside.
- Consider starting the day with a class in the fundamentals of Tai Chi or Gi Gong.
- While the lodge features a fully furnished kitchen, you might want to reserve a meal to be catered by your hosts featuring local meats and produce.
- Gayle, a licensed massage therapist and energy healer, offers onsite Therapeutic Massage. (Limited availability, advance scheduling required.)
- Horseback riding along the river, for 2 hours or half day depending on group size and preference. Limited to guests ages 7 and older. (Horseback riding is near Big Timber MT, about a half hour’s drive from the Lodge.)
The Lodge is located equal distance from Bozeman and Billings airports with the Old West town of Big Timber a half hour to the south. Your hosts can tell you how much time to set aside for these excursions:
- The North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is two hours away. This day-trip is right at the top of the list for wildlife, geysers, and scenic beauty.
- Big Timber MT: where the West begins! Wednesday night rodeo all summer.
- The fully furnished contemporary kitchen features stainless steel appliances and a large farmhouse table that comfortably seats eight. The owners have combined barn wood accents and vintage details that speak to the family’s heritage and convey a hint of those bygone days.
- Both bedrooms on the main floor have a king bed that can be separated into twins. These two rooms share a bathroom with tub/shower.
- Upstairs there is a bedroom containing a full bed plus a day bed that can expand to king size. Down the hall another bedroom provides twin bunkbeds that sleep four. Both bedrooms access a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.
- A large covered upper balcony and an even larger uncovered deck gives you space to relax and enjoy the magnificent view of the landscape. And did we mention … there is a sauna!