3 Unique Wilderness Adventures at Paws Up Ranch Resort

Paws Up Ranch Resort
Paws Up Ranch Resort, Montana

The Paws Up ranch resort in Montana offers 37,000 acres of wilderness adventure.

Montana’s Paws Up ranch resort can accommodate groups of up to 200 and offers a range of flexible options. Possibilities include reserving 30 Wilderness Estate Suites with private master baths, or 18 luxury homes with 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom options. From late May through September, groups can also reserve up to 36 luxury tents, each with bathrooms, hardwood floors, large king beds and electricity.

“At Paws Up, you are in the middle of untamed wilderness in less than 35 minutes after landing at Missoula International Airport. We have 37,000 acres to explore, where you can strengthen friendships, be inspired and rejuvenate yourself,” says resort owner Larry Lipson. “Ten miles of the Blackfoot River flows through the property—the same waterway made famous in ‘A River Runs Through It’. And you are surrounded by national forests as well at The Resort. Our glamping tents provide the perfect mix of luxury accommodations and a truly unique outdoor experience. Our vacation homes also offer five-star rustic elegance.”

The resort has a full program of events and activities, so whatever time of year you visit, there’s always something exciting to take part in. Here’s some of the activities that are on offer:

Saddle Up for the Wild West

Groups can try their hands at being a cowboy or cowgirl with a range of activities,  horseback riding adventures to wagon team building lessons where they learn how to drive a wagon pulled by a team of horses under harness. For advanced riders an instructional trail ride will teach the finer points of horsemanship with more than 150 miles of trails to choose from, or they can join seasoned ranch hands to drive a herd of cattle and trail them to the working corrals.

The Saddle Club at Paws Up is the largest private equestrian center in Montana, and features a 23,000-sf riding arena, seating for 150 spectators, a full bar and more than 100 miles of trails. It can be hired for group activities and corporate functions.

Indulge at Spa Town

Spa Town at Paws Up is a colony of pristine white tents situated at the edge of an expansive meadow and in earshot of a babbling brook. The welcome tents feature full baths and showers, while individual treatment tents are equipped with sink, heated massage table and a view of the meadow. Services include hot and cold stone treatments using rocks from the Blackfoot River, or a Montana Gold Rush massage using gold flake massage oil.

The more adventurous can embark on the Grizzlyman Fitness Trail, a one mile course that features 12 fitness stations built from the surrounding timber, as well as unique climbing, balancing and swinging challenges.

A Taste of Montana

“Refined Rustic Ranch” is how Paws Up describes its spin on Montana cuisine, under the guidance of Executive Chef Ben Jones. Locally sourced ingredients such as huckleberries from the nearby mountain slopes or fresh Rocky Mountain trout are all on the menu. Fine dining at Pomp restaurant features dishes such as bison tenderloin and wild mushroom risotto, while each luxury camp has its own chef who prepares breakfast and dinner in full view of guests at the large dining pavilion.

Other dining experiences include a Chuck Wagon where groups step aboard an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon for a scenic ride along the banks of the Blackfoot River followed by a chuck wagon dinner. Angus prime ribs and fresh corn are grilled over a campfire as guests are serenaded by a local banjo player and entertained by a cowboy poet. Annual events include dining at a traditional Montana Long Table, which begins with a farmer’s market and concludes when you sit down to dine with the local ranchers, farmers and food artisans for a farm-to-white-table dinner. Other events include the Montana Master Grillers Hall of Flame, where guest chefs offer up-close workshops and more.

What Makes it Unique?

“The fact that we completely customize a program based on your specific group needs sets Paws Up apart from other resorts,” says Lipson. “Since every group is different, we feel that it’s important to provide you with the exact experience you are looking for. We’ve taken groups on cattle drives, rafting on the mighty Blackfoot River, stopped riverside to enjoy a private lunch and then finished the tour via ATV at our Aerial Adventure Park for a teambuilding session. If you’re at The Resort specifically to attend meetings, we will make sure you make the most of your 15-minute breaks. For example, we can set up a hatchet-throwing competition right outside the meeting space, which happens to be the authentic, 100-year-old Bull Barn!”

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