Upper Canyon Outfitters would like to thank you for your loyalty and trust in us. Our guests and staff are like family to us. Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our guests, staff, family, and community.

We are dealing with a new operational challenge from the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, Coronavirus. Our existing operational plan, documents, procedures, and policies have been updated to help protect everyone’s health and safety during your visit. Each operating department also has its own customized procedures.

This plan will be updated as new information for mitigating COVID-19 changes. We closely monitor government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), FDA, OSHA, and EPA guidelines, as well as mandates from federal, state, and local government and health departments.

We are currently requiring our guests to drive to UCO. We ask you to observe appropriate physical distancing while driving to UCO to help lessen the spread of the virus. Once at the ranch, we ask that you resist the temptation to visit local watering holes and local attractions. Guests will be encouraged to avoid off-ranch activities during the 2020 season.

At UCO, we want you to experience a place to safely enjoy the remote wilderness of Montana and connect with the natural world that surrounds us. Our activities and services revolve around the wide-open outdoor spaces, so stretch your legs, relax, and enjoy.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you again for your trust and support of our ranch, a place near and dear to our heart and yours, to create lasting memories.
Please stay safe, happy trails, and see you soon.

Your Friends,

Jake, Donna and all the UCO Staff


As an isolated family ranch deep in the mountains of Montana, Upper Canyon Outfitters is a great place to escape from the craziness of this world. Our mission and values are dedicated to creating an authentic Western experience for a range of people from many different places, where here feels like home.

We have updated our operating standards, protocols, and procedures for the ranch and each operating department. Our goal is to minimize as much risk as possible while providing a fun-filled vacation to all.


To reduce risk, UCO will be open at less than full occupancy this summer to allow for social distancing. We have been training our staff on new methods of cleaning, with more frequency, we will ask that guests do their best to maintain 6 ft distance from people outside of their immediate party. You are encouraged to wear facemasks when you can’t maintain the 6 ft distance. Inside the office and lodge, we have hand sanitizing stations set up as well as in other key contact areas around the ranch.


Our guest and team members’ temperatures will be checked before being allowed to begin work for the day. Each participant’s temperature will be taken with a touchless infrared thermometer before UCO activities. Guests and staff with COVID 19 symptoms are not allowed to visit the ranch. During their stay, guests are obligated to report symptoms associated with Covid-19 to any UCO staff member. The ranch will immediately address situations in which guests or staff experience COVID-19 symptoms while you are here.


CHECK INS: We will ask guests to stagger their check in times or wait outside to allow for timely check in and less exposure to other guests. Guests will be directed to their assigned cabins or lodge rooms. Review of ranch activities, your Release of Liability,
Waiver and your week itinerary will be conducted with you in your cabin or our meeting rooms, rather than the Ranch Office. Guests will be visually screened for symptoms and a baseline temperature will be taken at check in. A heath standards form will be required by each guest. Any guest displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may be required to leave the ranch or isolate in their assigned cabin until they are verified as non-infectious.

CHECK OUTS: Guest check-outs will be staggered as to have a limited number of guests in the ranch office. Your invoice will be delivered to your room or cabin the day prior check out.


To reduce the risk of cross-contamination and for the safety of both our guests and employees, there will not be daily housekeeping except by request. We will only be entering your rooms and cabins prior to and after your departure.
• We will still offer towels and amenities for self-pickup
• Trash removal from the front porch daily we ask that you tie the bags shut.
• If you request housekeeping during your stay, we will maintain minimized contact with
guests while cleaning and will clean at a time agreed upon by guests.
• Extra pillows and blankets will be available upon request only.
• Surfaces in guest rooms will be cleaned following strict sanitation guidelines.
• Linens, duvets, and pillow coverings will be washed between guest stays.
• We try to have 24 hours between guests in rooms.


• Front Porch furniture will be reduced to ensure physical distance
• Complimentary appetizers will be single serve.
• Meals will no longer be self-serve.
• Dining room will be at 50% occupancy.
• We ask that you sit with your group and family.
• We will be serving you meals from the kitchen counter and ask you to please clear your
dishes. There is a clearing station in the dining room.
• At dinner, we will be serving you the full meal, unless otherwise instructed.
• Kitchen can only be entered by staff
• Tables, counters and chairs will be sanitized between each seating.


• Handwashing stations available.
• All activities designed to adhere to physical distancing.
• All Guest transportation vehicles will have limited seating to adhere to distancing.
• You may be asked to drive yourself to activities off the ranch property
• COVID-19 is spread through aerosolized or air borne exposure. Be conscious of wind direction especially if you have to cough or sneeze. Remember to use your sleeve to cover your mouth and nose when doing so.
• Please do not share your phone/camera to take photos and videos. Please airdrop or share photos via email or text.


• 6ft distance will be maintained when possible. Face coverings will be worn by staff when this distance is not possible (mounting guests, tightening cinches, adjusting saddles).
• Guests can wear face coverings during close activities.
• UCO will try to avoid mixing groups of people for rides. If more than one party happens to be on a ride, we ask that parties maintain 6ft distancing in the barn area or lunch area, if applicable.
• The actual horseback ride is naturally socially distant.


• A handwashing station set up at the barn as hand sanitizers will not work effectively if dirt is present on hands.
• Hand sanitizing wipes in saddle bags for guests.
• Equipment will be sanitized after each ride
• Guests will have the option to take their own vehicle to the ride location if the ride will trailer to the trailhead. If guests choose to ride with the wranglers, face coverings will be worn in the vehicle.


• Social distancing is easy if you stay a rod’s length apart
• Guides will have hand sanitizer available for use and we encourage guests to also have their own sanitizer (available for purchase at UCO fly shop)
• Anglers will be encouraged to travel to destinations in separate vehicles
• Guides will use disinfecting wipes on surfaces in the vehicle and gear.
• To minimize exposure from close proximity in boats, we will be offering more walk/wade trips this season
• We encourage our guests to bring their own gear (rods, waders, boots, etc), and avoid sharing supplies among members of your party.
• Please make sure you have your own flies, leaders, tippet, and floatant for your individual needs. (Most of these items are available for purchased at the fly shop)
• Guides will have a rod to demonstrate casting or certain techniques without handling the guest’s rods.
• When tying on flies have guest swing line over to guides
• Lubricate knots using the river water or knot lube and avoid licking leaders at this time.
• When a fish is caught, a guide will remain holding the net, swinging the basket over to the guest if they want a picture or two. They are in charge of releasing any fish they hold, if not guide can de-hook the fish, flip the net and release the fish.
• Fly Fishing trip departure times and locations will be staggered by groups. This will be communicated the night prior to the trip.
• Guests are encouraged to wear a mask/bandana when social distance cannot be maintained (ex. assisting with wading).
• If ranch gear is used by guests, the gear will be sanitized at the conclusion of the use.


• The actual hike is naturally socially distancing, and we do ask that you try and maintain a 6ft distance when possible. At the same time, we ask that you don’t spread out too far as we like to keep groups together and still have social distancing.
• Face coverings will be worn by staff when this distance is not possible
• UCO will try to avoid mixing groups of people for hikes. If more than one party happens to be on a hike, we ask that parties maintain 6ft distancing during the activity, if applicable.
• We encourage guests to have their own hand sanitizers (these are available for purchase at the office).
• Guests will have the option to take their own vehicle to the hiking location or trailhead. If guests choose to ride with the staff, face coverings will be worn in the vehicle
• Guests are encouraged to utilize their own backpacks to carry their own snacks, lunch and drinks.
• We do have bears in our area, and we ask that adults carry bear spray on hikes as well as guides. Bear spray is available in the office for use at no charge


• In vehicles and on the tour, groups who are traveling together will be allowed to stay together.
• Masks will be required in vehicles
• Appropriate social distancing will be observed during all activities on the tour.
• 4×4 Rangers Tours will be required to have all windows open or doors removed
• Enhanced protocols will be routinely implemented to clean and disinfect surfaces such as door handles, dash and interiors etc.
• Coats are recommended even on hot days as high mountains air is chilly in open Rangers.


Our grandparents homesteaded in the Ruby Valley in 1910, and Upper Canyon Outfitters has been a family owned business for over 35 years. As a result, we have seen, experienced, and overcome many challenges. There are also many things we are thankful for here at UCO, while COVID 19 has presented us with a unique challenge, this too will eventually pass. We are grateful for your trust and our amazing team and the solitude and opportunity to refresh in nature. We look forward to the future and sharing the mountains of Montana with you.

All these new changes can be hard to keep straight, but don’t worry. All our guests will receive orientation at check in. These practices and procedures will be adjusted as changes in the COVID-19 situation unfolds. Despite our careful measures, it is impossible to guarantee that staff and guests will not contract Covid-19 while at Upper Canyon Outfitters.

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