8 Montana Ranch Vacations Perfect for a Scenic Getaway
K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
Read full bio
Montana is one of the best destinations for a ranch vacation in the U.S. The difficult part is choosing which ranch to book with so many different options. These Montana ranches tend to offer the best of the best when it comes to ranch getaways, making that choice a little less overwhelming.
Easy access to some of the best fishing on the Gallatin River can be enjoyed with a stay at the Rainbow Ranch Lodge, located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in southwest Montana. It sits right alongside of the Gallatin and offers flies and fly poles for guest use. Guests can also enjoy a wide range of other outdoor adventures while savoring lots of luxurious comforts at the award-wining lodge, which happens to host a highly acclaimed restaurant and lounge as well as a wine cellar. Other activities include horseback riding and hiking, as well as the chance to enjoy a massage or participate in yoga sessions.
This adults-only resort ranch is ideal for couples looking for a romantic ranch getaway. Set in the Bitterroot Mountains of Western Montana, among the soaring pines on the side of the region’s highest mountain, the property offers 25 distinctly unique private cabins, each of which include a wood-burning fireplace and easy access to a hot tub. No matter which season you visit, a host of activities are available onsite, including horseback riding, hiking and golfing in the warmer months and dog sledding in the winter. Plus, room rates include gourmet meals with lots of fresh, local ingredients.
Sweet Grass Ranch is part of a sixth generation family-owned and operated working cattle ranch and guest ranch situated in the remote Crazy Mountains. It’s known for the chance to experience the authentic western way of life, along with plenty of warm hospitality and stunning scenery. Riding is especially popular here, with a myriad of options for getting on top of a horse and exploring mountain country, rolling meadows and plains. There are also lots of scenic trails for hiking and opportunities for fishing, along with the chance to join cattle drives, gather around the campfire, play all sorts of indoor and outdoor games, as well as soothe soar muscles with an indulgent massage.
This massive 6,600-acre ranch is spread out over ten square miles, bordered by the Sapphire, Anaconda and Flint Creek mountain ranges. An all-inclusive luxury resort, it features villas with ornate bathrooms, deep soaking tubs and huge brass beds with soft down quilts and woolen wraps, and each one also has its own fireplace, open kitchen and a large screened-in porch. Glamping is available too, in the upscale creekside tents that are warmed by big potbelly stoves, while a private Jacuzzi is just steps away. A typical day might including an early wake-up call for fly-fishing, followed by a relaxing massage and a sunset horseback ride, while the menu features regionally inspired, world-class cuisine to satisfy those hunger pangs.
Bonanza Creek has been noted as “One of the Great Guest Ranches in Montana,” by Travel + Leisure thanks to its hospitality, delicious home cooking, comfy cabins and the chance to become immersed in ranch life through cattle work and horse rides that are tailored to guests own abilities. Especially ideal for those who want a focus on equestrian experiences, the property provides experienced riders adult-only weeks as well as intermediate and advanced rider weeks, and weeks for families as well as special Cowgirl Retreats. Just eight to 12 guests are welcomed for any given week, ensuring a more intimate experience.
Just south of Glacier National Park on the edge of more than a million acres of Bob Marshall Wilderness is Deep Canyon Guest Ranch. This historic dude ranch offers the chance to discover landscapes that have inspired some of the greatest artists and writers in the country. The 1928 lodge serves high-quality home-style meals, while hosts welcome guests in like family, sharing tales of the region along with plenty of warm hospitality. Ranch activities include horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, swimming and tubing the Teton River and more.
The Resort at Paws Up is often found at or near the top of some of the nation’s best resorts. It offers incomparable luxury among unspoiled wilderness in the Blackfoot Valley, set across 37,000 acres on an authentic working cattle ranch. Accommodations include everything from sophisticated safari-style tents for glamping to large and luxurious private homes. Here you can spend an hour, day or even a week on horseback, cast your line into world-class fly fishing waters for cutthroat trout and look forward to indulging in heavenly in-room spa treatments afterward.
McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch is an authentic working cattle ranch located in Montana’s northwest corner, with its focus on a horse and cattle program. Guests can experience horses that are comfortable working cattle, or just enjoy leisurely rides to explore the breathtaking surrounds. It’s a great way for beginners to learn more about riding and horses, and the experienced to take their knowledge up a notch, with each ride catered to individuals. The hot tub makes for the perfect spot to relax after those long rides. Accommodation is in beautiful Amish handcrafted log cabins with propane fireplaces and a private deck, or lodge rooms, either of which include Pendleton wool blankets, robes and slippers.