This summer, the 37,000-acre resort in Greenough will unveil a new campsite geared to traveling groups. Set on the shores of the serene Blackfoot River, its North Bank Camp is the largest tented retreat in North America, with six two- and three-bedroom tents with furnished decks and en-suite bathrooms. After a day of horseback riding in pristine landscapes or canoeing on remote rivers, guests can share supper and stories by the stone fireplace of the camp’s glass-walled dining pavilion. From $703.
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The Resort at Paws Up
Paws Up takes down its well-appointed tent cabins for the winter, but the 37,000-acre ranch’s family-friendly timber homes can accommodate up to eight guests. Visitors start winter mornings with slabs of bacon, eggs, and homemade coffee cake. Hard-core fly fishers can don waders and cast in the Blackfoot River, while wannabe Olympians can test their cross-country skiing and target- shooting skills on the biathlon course. For something more traditional, Paws Up offers hour-long horseback rides and old-fashioned horse-drawn sled trips. History geeks shouldn’t miss the snowmobile tour through Garnet, Montana’s best-preserved ghost town. From $753 per person, meals included.
This appeared in the November/December 2014 issue.
One of the most luxurious Western guest ranches, opened in 2005, the Resort at Paws Up, in Greenough, sprawls over 37,000 acres of classic Montana landscape: elk-filled meadows, rocky peaks, and ponderosa pines in the Blackfoot Valley, with the river of the same name running through it all. The most sought-after accommodations are the “glamping” tents on the banks of the Blackfoot or along Elk Creek that are available May through October and organized into five separate camps, taking just six guests each. The camps combine a Western lifestyle with an African safari formula: canvas suites with private baths, a communal dining pavilion with fireplace and fire pit, private camp chef, and butlers to help organize guest activities. Families and friends who prefer four walls between themselves and nature stay in enormous wood-and-stone villas with heated hardwood floors, fireplaces, leather furniture, huge flat-screen TVs, and panoramic windows; some of these homes come with outdoor hot tubs and tented bedrooms for kids.
All guests have the opportunity to hike, rappel, canoe, play paintball, take cooking classes, and more, but the main action is on-site fly-fishing and horseback riding for all levels on 100 miles of private trails or in a 23,000-square-foot equestrian arena; adults and kids 12 and up can help move small herds of Black Angus cattle on sample stock drives. If parents want private adventure time, kid wranglers entertain young’uns. In the evening, communal entertainment takes place in a renovated barn that serves as stock sales venue, dance floor, and movie theater. Despite the busy activity menu and flow of golf carts transporting guests to and fro, the ranch is large enough, and accommodation so widely spaced that guests can survey the landscape and not see anyone.