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Montana represents some of America’s last untamed wilderness, particularly within the lower 48. From Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks to an abundance of wildlife, numerous mountains, some of which haven’t even been named yet, lush valleys and charming small towns, you’ll find numerous spots to enjoy relaxing and playing in the wild. For those looking for luxury with their wilderness experience, these resorts offer up some of the very best.
The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough (photos & prices)
The Resort at Paws Up stands out from the rest, offering incomparable luxury among Montana’s unspoiled wilderness in the lush and picturesque Blackfoot Valley just 30 minutes east of Missoula. Guests enjoy a magical escape to tranquility among the peaceful countryside at this grand ranch resort tucked into some of the most jaw-dropping scenery on the planet. Set across 37,000 acres on an authentic working cattle ranch, you’ll find a wide variety of accommodation options from luxurious, expansive private homes to upscale, sophisticated safari-style tents known as glamping – glamorous camping. This wilderness sanctuary offers the chance to spend an hour, day or even a week on horseback, cast your line into world-class fly fishing waters for cutthroat trout and indulge in heavenly in-room spa treatments.
The Wilderness Club, Eureka (photos & prices)
Just outside the town of Eureka, a quaint village on the Tobacco River just five minutes south of the Canadian border, the Wilderness Club offers the ultimate secluded resort, surrounded by Lake Koocanusa and U.S. Forest Service Land. The area is so remote, that it’s not uncommon for residents to drive over 50 miles to Kalispell or Whitefish to do their shopping. This wilderness retreat in the forest is known for combining the cowboy lifestyle with sophisticated, modern amenities, including a meticulously groomed, golf course that’s been called Montana’s finest. It was ranked in 2012 by Golf Magazine and Golfweek as the No. 1 golf course in the state.
Some of the other highlights include a natural, spring-fed lake guests can paddle across in a canoe or paddleboat, enjoy swimming or just take a stroll along its boardwalk. The Wilderness Park features tennis and basketball courts, a volleyball court, soccer field and an outdoor amphitheater. Choose from a variety of accommodations, including golf suites, deluxe cottage suites with a cozy fireplace and lodge rooms.
The Lodge at Sun Ranch, Cameron (photos & prices)
If you’re looking for luxury eco-style, it doesn’t get much greener than the Lodge at Sun Ranch, known as a Big Sky playground for the grownups. No more than 16 guests can stay at this intimate property at any one time – enjoying a sprawling 26,000-acre property for fishing, paddling, hiking and horseback riding. This is also a wonderful place for wildlife watching, with the chance to spot elk, deer, antelope, bear, wolf, moose and more. The establishment recently donated a 10-year lease to Trout Unlimited to ensure its tributaries were free of irrigation, and removed barbwire so elk can freely roam the grounds. And, Yellowstone National Park is just an hour’s drive away. After a day of play, return to enjoy fantastic gourmet meals using organic produce and free-range meat.
The 10,000-square-foot log cabin-style lodge is elegant, but not stuffy, featuring six uniquely designed rooms, some with fireplaces, soaking tubs and private decks. Two freestanding homesteader cabins were painstakingly restored and outfitted with luxurious furnishings including downy beds and Jacuzzi baths.
Blue Damsel Lodge on Rock Creek, Clinton (photos & prices)
Montana is world renowned for its fly fishing, and for those who want the best of the best there may be no better place to stay than the Blue Damsel Lodge. Located just 27 miles from Missoula, it was crafted out of native Montana lodgepole pine and set along the banks of Rock Creek, a well-known blue-ribbon trout stream, surrounded by the Sapphire Mountains and more than two million acres of scenic Lolo National Forest. This Orvis-endorsed lodge is known as the finest fly fishing lodge in Western Montana, allowing guests to cast their line into four different trout streams in “A River Runs Through It” country.
This beautiful resort generally accepts no more than 10 guests at a time, allowing for exceptional service and attention to detail from dining to an array of amenities, including a fire on the outdoor pit, built by staff, as well as offering acoustic instruments for sing-alongs. You’ll also find a wood-fueled hot tub for soothing sore muscles and gazing at the brilliant star-filled skies.
Triple Creek Ranch, Darby (photos & prices)
Located in the small town of Darby tucked within the spectacular Bitterroot Mountains of Western Montana, this intimate adults-only resort is ideal for a romantic escape. Set among the towering pines on the side of the region’s highest mountain, Trapper Peak, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable retreat that includes a blend of unmatched natural beauty with the height of extraordinary service and comfort. It features 12 distinctly different private cabins, each of which include a wood-burning fireplace and easy access to a hot tub. Numerous activities are available right on the property, including golfing, horseback riding and hiking. Arrive in winter, and you can even try your hand at dog sledding. Gourmet meals, featuring contemporary cuisine infused with dashes of the West Indies, Southwest and Central America, using fresh, local ingredients, are included in room rates.
The Ranch at Rock Creek, Phillipsburg (photos & prices)
This 6,600-acre ranch spreads out over 10 square miles, bordered by the Sapphire, Anaconda and Flint Creek mountain ranges. It packs on the privileges as an all-inclusive luxury resort on some of Montana’s most awe-inspiring landscape. Cabins contain multiple villas that feature ornate bathrooms, deep soaking tubs and huge brass beds with soft down quilts and woolen wraps. Living rooms include large leather furnishings, a fireplace, open kitchen and large screened-in porch. Glamping in Creekside tents are also available, warmed by big potbelly stoves and featuring an expansive wooden porch for lounging. A private Jacuzzi is just steps away. Enjoy legendary fly-fishing just after dawn followed by a relaxing massage treatment and perhaps a horseback ride at sunset. Regionally inspired, world-class cuisine is on the menu for dinner to satisfy those hunger pangs.
Grey Cliffs Ranch, Three Forks, Montana (photos & prices)
This exclusive B&B ranch/resort in Three Forks, about 30 minutes west of Bozeman in the heart of the Madison Valley, is set across 5,200 acres overlooking rolling hills, mountain peaks and trout-filled ponds. A premier bird hunting and fly fishing lodge, the 8,000-square-foot post-and-beam style lodge is luxurious and spacious yet cozy and intimate, featuring worldly decor with a contemporary western feel adorning each room of the lodge. Accommodations are fully customized to suit groups of different sizes and different interests, with full-service lodging and dining provided. The property has a large organic garden and its own bee hives – the chef often utilizes the freshest ingredients right from the ranch.
While guests enjoy attentive service they also appreciate the independence to create their own adventures. A few of the activity options include backcountry horse riding trips into Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding National Forest, guided fly fishing on some of Southwest Montana’s best rivers and guided hunting trips too.
Rainbow Ranch Lodge, Gallatin Gateway (photos & prices)
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in southwest Montana, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge combines the rugged West with service you’d expect from a world-class resort. Here, guests can enjoy a wide range of outdoor adventures and savor all sorts of luxurious comforts at the award-wining lodge, the epitome of rustic elegance and warm hospitality. The main lodge features a renowned restaurant and lounge as well as a wine cellar. Guests can look forward to an indulgent massage or participate in yoga sessions. Just a few of the other ranch activities include hiking or snowshoeing and horseback riding.
Rainbow Ranch also has flies and fly poles available for guest use, which can be utilized on the stocked trout pond or anywhere along the Gallatin River which borders the property – in fact, some of the best fishing on the Gallatin is just steps away from your door. Guided wade or drift boat fishing is also available.
Double Arrow Resort, Seeley Lake (photos & prices)
Nestled in the Seeley Swan Valley this premiere resort is rich in history and Western charm, offering a practically endless list of activities all set among the breathtaking Rocky Mountains under a brilliant Montana sky. For more than 75 years, the resort has hosted numerous memorable vacations that include everything from horseback riding, fly fishing and golfing to cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and even horse drawn sleigh rides. Accommodations include lodge rooms and cabins, each offering a unique blend of Western hospitality and European elegance with charming antiques, cozy comforters and the magnificent Montana wilderness right outside your door.
Vacations can be customized for couples, families or a corporate retreat – no matter what you desire, you find lots of peace and quiet, comfort and fine cuisine along with spectacular mountain and lush forest surroundings.
Lake Blaine Mountain Resort, Kalispell (photos & prices)
This resort is ideal for those who want to explore Glacier National Park, with the West Glacier Park entrance just a 20-minute drive away. Guests can choose from the seasonal Lake House that faces a beautiful clear water lake, or the year-round luxury log cabin that sits alongside a creek and provides magnificent mountain views. Its location at the base of the Rockies mean you’ll be able to watch wildlife just outside your door, and enjoy resident deer, wild turkeys and eagles. Moose, elk, deer and other animals are frequent visitors too. If you’d like to get out on the lake, boat rentals, a private dock and boat launch are also available.
Summit at Big Sky, Big Sky (photos & prices)
The Summit at Big Sky has been known to host and please celebs and dignitaries – President Obama and Vice President Biden, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Brooke Shields and Tiger Woods are all said to have stayed here. This elegant Euro-Western resort is one of the finest slopeside properties in the Rockies, combining luxury appointments with Boyne Bends and an amazing location in a cozy mountain village setting. You’ll find a variety of accommodation options, including larger rooms with kitchens and fireplaces as well as condos with hot tubs.
Meadow Lake Resort, Columbia Falls (photos & prices)
Meadow Lake Resort, located in Columbia Falls, the gateway to Glacier National Park in the northeast corner of spectacular Flathead Valley, is made up of condos, vacation homes and a hotel that lines the fairways of a championship golf course. The property’s concierge will plan your ultimate Montana adventure which can include a multitude of activities. In the summer, the possibilities include biking, hiking, gondola rides, golfing, fly fishing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and kayaking, sailing and scenic boat cruises. Winter brings the chance to enjoy dog sledding, alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Year-round you can pamper yourself at the full service spa, take a refreshing swim in the indoor/outdoor pools or soak in the soothing spa.
Grouse Mountain Lodge, Whitefish (photos & prices)
Sitting adjacent to Whitefish Lake Golf Course and the winter Glacier Nordic Center, Grouse Mountain Lodge is known as one of Montana’s finest lodge facilities. Guests enjoy excellent service and luxury accommodations within a beautifully scenic location close to exciting year-round activities, just minutes from Glacier National Park and the ski slopes of Whitefish Mountain Resort. The area is also filled with an abundance of trout streams and some of the nation’s finest greens and fairways. Enjoy well-appointed Western-style rooms with rustic ambiance, outdoor hot tubs, especially wonderful for gazing up at the stars, a day spa, indoor pool and a full-service restaurant onsite.