I’ll bet you didn’t know that deer, antelope and elk outnumber humans in Montana? In fact, a square mile of land in Montana might contain Rocky Mountain elk, pronghorn antelope, mule and whitetail deer, with cows, horses, mountain lions, black bear, fox, coyote, wolf, and bighorn sheep sprinkled throughout the state.
Montana is a year-round, outdoor lovers paradise. If you enjoy connecting with nature, but your days of camping are long behind you, I recommend a stay at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana.
The Ranch at Rock Creek, 6,600 acres of wild west fun
Located in Southwestern Montana, The Ranch at Rock Creek is 6,600 acres of wild west fun, corralled in a picture perfect package of luxurious ranch lodging. With the Anaconda-Pintler mountain range protecting the valley, The Ranch at Rock Creek sits tall in the saddle at 5,600 feet above sea level. Bird watchers might spot bald and golden eagles soaring overhead, in addition to osprey, hawks and falcons.
Cowboy country at The Ranch at Rock Creek
With over 60 horses on property, The Ranch at Rock Creek could be considered a gentleman’s cattle ranch. Of course, this ranch includes a swimming pool, hot tubs, a sauna, spa, saloon and bowling alley. After-all, what kind of gentleman wouldn’t offer a lady a mani-pedi treatment at the Granite Spa after a hard day of fly-fishing or horseback riding?
From first time riders to accomplished equestrians, The Ranch at Rock Creek offers English and Western horseback riding options, in addition to arena riding and miles of endless Montana trail rides.
Luxury ranch dining
Looking out onto the Montana landscape, I see why the Plains Indians settled here and why owner Jim Manley picked this special place to be called The Ranch at Rock Creek. With 30 -50 miles of mountains, meadows, lakes and streams meandering through the property, the wild west is alive and well at the ranch. Yet those of us seeking a Relaix & Chateau experience will not be disappointed. Guests are greeted with a flute of sparkling wine and Executive Chef Josh Drage delivers three square meals a day, in addition to appetizers and premium drinks served in the Granite lodge dining room, the Blue Canteen or in the Silver Dollar Saloon.
From fresh Alaskan halibut to Montana-raised beef and organic garden vegetables, Drage serves a healthy and balanced menu, but knows when to pull out the stops with frozen berry souffles and piping hot apple cobblers for dessert and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies served in the afternoon.
Sleeping in a barn
As a child, when I left the back door open to our house, my mother would say, “we’re you born in a barn? Close the door.”
I have slept in a barn before, but never an historic barn. Guests have more lodging options at The Ranch at Rock Creek than fish in the pond. In addition to the Granite Lodge, with its nine luxury rooms, the ranch features eight private houses, several canvas tent cabins and the historic barn.
The remodeled 19th century historic barn houses three accommodations – the loft, wrangler and the stable’s bunkhouse. If I were a kid, I’d want to sleep in the bunkhouse, as it is close to the horse corral, yet a short 10 minute walk to Granite Lodge. This location would be ideal for a family reunion, wedding party or private groups.
Home to the great room, dining room and Silver Dollar Saloon, the Granite Lodge served as my home base during my stay. My room, the Winchester, was fittingly named after the historic rifle maker. It is decorated in classic Western style with a king bed, as well as a full-size pullout loveseat. This lower level room offers high ceilings and private access through the courtyard to the Silver Dollar Saloon and Granite Spa. My room rented for $850 per person, per night. Winter season is October 1 – April 30, while peak season is May 1- September 30. Check website for current pricing and special packages.
Private Cabins at The Ranch at Rock Creek
For those seeking privacy, The Ranch at Rock Creek offers eight luxury cabins. The two bedroom Cattail cabin is perfect for friends or a small family, while the three-bedroom Ponderosa House would be my ideal choice for a family holiday. For honeymooners or those seeking a romantic getaway, Bluebird cabin, with its king canopy bed and twin pull-out bed is perfect.
Family canvas cabins
If you are looking for a “glamping experience” the canvas cabins are for you! Four family canvas cabins feature two rooms separated by a curtain and include cozy reading nooks. Individually furnished in a rustic “Out of Africa” style, the cabins feature private baths, comfortable beds and the soothing sounds of Rock Creek steps from your front door. For the mountain men among us, Trapper Cabin is fifteen minutes by bike to Granite Lodge. This one bedroom, 600 square foot suite is ideal for star-gazing and day dreaming.
The Ranch at Rock Creek activities
With plenty of activities to keep any kids, or kids-at-heart, busy I promise that you will never hear the words, “I’m bored” uttered on this luxury vacation. From blue-ribbon fly-fishing, to sporting clay, 3-d archery, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking or biking, you’ll want to schedule in a day of rest and relaxation by the fireplace, pond or spa. The Ranch at Rock Creek offers year-round activities with the best professional and friendly instructors.
Need to know before you travel: The Ranch at Rock Creek is an hour and one half drive from Missoula and Butte airports. There is an additional fee of $225 per vehicle each way (1-6 people) if you would like transportation to and from Missoula International Airport to The Ranch at Rock Creek. Check in and check out time are flexible, according to guest’s schedules. The ranch is pet-friendly and charges $50 per pet, per night.
Insider Tips to Philipsburg
Did you know that Philipsburg, Montana is known for their sapphires? There are several mine claims on Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana. The Ranch at Rock Creek offers sapphire mining nearby if guests are interested.
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Rock Creek Ranch on Twitter.
If You Go:
The Ranch at Rock Creek (406) 859-6027 or (877) 786-1545
79 Carriage House Lane
Philipsburg, Montana 59858
Article written by, video and photos courtesy of, Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of The Ranch at Rock Creek.