Monida & Yellowstone Stage Line
part of the HALO RANCH OUTFITTERS deals with the HISTORY of Yellowstone Country
in 1898, they provided stage service from Monida, Montana to the
park, using red Concord stages, and became known as the 'Red
The route started on the Idaho, Montana border at Monida, Montana then
passed through Idaho's Centennial Valley, past Henry`s Lake, & over
Relay stations were placed every 15-20 miles along route. Some of
the stage stops had sleeping facilities and others did not. (A
brochure from the year 1900
boasts of a 6-day tour using two, four, and six-horse Concord coaches)
In 1907 the arrival of the Union Pacific rail line to the west entrance
drastically reduced the use of the long stagecoach line from Monida. In
1917, touring cars brought the end of the stagecoaches.
area has a very interesting and quite well written history. Evidence
indicates that the Eastern Shoshone (Snake) tribe spent most of their
time near the headwaters of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River, and
other large bodies of water on the Idaho side of the Continental
Divide. The Diamond 'P' Ranch is located just two miles from the
Continental Divide. Early explorers, Lewis and Clark, explored
the area; their base camp was located right at one of our trail heads!
On the Montana side of the Continental Divide, the Niitsitapi
more commonly known as Blackfeet Indians, were most often
found. Written history of the Niitsitapi Indians is very
incomplete, and their oral history and memories have not been listened
to nor respected. Since the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1806,
they have struggled to maintain their way of life, to avoid losing
their languages, cultures, and histories as they know it. The Blackfeet
indians were feared by the other indian tribes throughout the country
The Shoshone and Bannock Indians spent
the spring, summer, and fall hunting for big game, and being alert for
marauding bands of Blackfoot Indians who would
occasionally leave Montana to invade. Because of the severe winters the
Idaho Indians would drop down into the Upper Snake River Valley during
the winter time months.
1871, Congress passed a law stating the U.S. will no longer negotiate
with Indians as "nations". A
few years later, in 1877, the Nez Perce fought a holding action on
Targhee Creek very near the area that the Halo Ranch Outfitters
guides take their 1/2 day rides. A Bannock chieftain allied with Chief
Joseph was killed. note: The
Nez Perce indians were not native to this area.
The white man "officially " entered this area between 1807 and 1810.
Reportedly the area was stripped of some 75,000 beaver pelts during the
following years. Several years later, the "old
time" trappers, Jim Bridger, Beaver Dick Leigh, and Kit Carson, to name
a few, suddenly became famous guides. Yellowstone Park, came into the
public's eye, and the wealthy portion of the world started to visit
this fanatstic area. As the means of transportation improved, the
"common folk" started visiting the park.
The Homestead Law, had a drastic affect on
this region during the last quarter of the 1800s and early 1900s.
Most of the area was mountainous, with lots of trees, but there were
also grassy meadows with streams running through them. These
areas attracted the homesteaders! Homesteaders by the names of Thurman,
Bishop, Allen, Golden, and Gerber, became firmly implanted in the area.
But many of the homesteaders didn't last! The harsh winters that this
area is famous for, soon drove many of the homesteaders away.
The Tom Angell family now own the Halo Ranch
Outfitters. Tom's father's and Mother's parents both homesteaded in this upper country area. The old sod roofed
cabin on the Angell homestead in Cliff Lake Montana, pictured below, is
nearly 100 years old and it is still standing!
Allen, Tom's Grandfather, homesteaded in the Island Park area known as
Ice House Creek; it's now part of the Sheridan Ranch.
The guides from the
Halo Ranch Outfitters take pride in their extensive knowledge of the
area's history. As they conduct horseback rides in the
mountains these guides share this information with their
guests. Some of this information is recorded, and a lot of it (the most interesting) is obtained from the "old timers"
in the area.
Please visit each of the links below for more information
on what the Halo Ranch Outfitters
have to offer: