The Ranch at Rock Creek

Photo by StevenGaertner/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images


Bluebird Cabin
Bluebird Cabin spans 950 square feet and is an idyllic rustic honeymoon suite.


Before you visit The Ranch at Rock Creek, a 6,600-acre luxury guest ranch in Western Montana, be forewarned: You may never want to go home again. For nearly 20 years, owner James Manley, a Connecticut-based banker searched for the perfect ranch to call his own and he found it in The Ranch at Rock Creek, which opened in spring 2010.

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Bear House
Bear House, a five-bedroom cabin is ideal for larger families. It has a spacious living room with a fireplace.

While the property has the feel of an idyllic ranch with its log-cabin style exteriors, we loved its 21st-century touches, such as luxurious bedding, posh bathroom fixtures and latigo-leather furnishings.

Accommodations range widely and no two rooms are exactly alike. Our room, the Remington, in the main Granite Lodge, was on the first floor, making it ADA-accessible and giving us epic views of the meadows. A-listers who prefer seclusion should book a Canvas Cabin, which is composed of both canvas and wood and is fully heated. Standard-size canvas cabins (Grayling, Brook, Lake and Cut Bow) measure 630 square feet while family-size cabins (Rainbow, Gila, Bull and Apache) measure 810 square feet. Although bathroom facilities are housed in a separate, nearby facility, we fell in love with the cozy and airy feel of these glamped-up tents, including the fireplaces and screened-in porches and decks.

Sarah Jane’s Cottage
Sarah Jane’s Cottage has a luxurious copper soaking bath.

Ideal for larger families and groups is the five-bedroom Bear House log cabin. It can accommodate up to 10 people (six is considered standard) and has a living room with a fireplace, a deck with a hot tub, a full kitchen and dining room and its own laundry room. We were particularly smitten, however, with the newly opened Sarah Jane’s Cottage, which has a luxurious copper soaking tub.

The Trapper Tent Cabin and the Bluebird Cabin, with the best views of Rock Creek, are heavenly for couples. Trapper Tent’s location along Rock Creek gives it immense privacy and serenity. From its large deck, with a hot tub and fire pit, clients can actually hear the river water as it courses along; the two riverside hammocks nearby are a nice touch. The 950-square-foot, one-bedroom Bluebird Cabin is an idyllic rustic honeymoon suite. We particularly loved its eight-person sauna, and peaceful, heated, screened porch overlooking Rock Creek.

Granite Lodge
Granite Lodge has excellent views of the meadows.

What else did we love? The exceptional service and the guided activities, all of which can be tailored to suit individual preferences. To plan your clients’ stay, you should contact Assistant General Manager Amanda Whitten ([email protected]); to arrange one-of-a-kind activities, contact Activities Director Hank Welles by calling 877-786-1545.

The ranch is within a one-and-a-half to two-hour drive from three different airports—Missoula, Butte and Bozeman. The ranch also offers roundtrip pick-up and drop-off. A-listers who prefer to fly in via private jet may do so onboard Marquis Jet, and they can also land a private helicopter on the ranch’s helipad.

Traveling with pets? Although the ranch is home to a number of creatures, from the majestic moose to rainbow-colored trout, you’ll have to leave Fido at home.

Trapper Tent Cabin
Trapper Tent Cabin, with the best view, gives couples immense privacy and serenity.

What else to do at The Ranch? There’s plenty. In one day, we were able to take a guided hike, go on a guided fly-fishing excursion, shoot pistols and take in a peaceful horseback ride. Other favorites include guided mountain biking tours, paintball, archery, jeep tours, stagecoach rides and tours to nearby Philipsburg, Ghost Town or Gem Mountain. Even better is the fact that clients don’t have to bring any gear with them. It’s all provided, from personal bikes and worn-in cowboy boots to hiking shoes, waders and paintball camouflage. In winter, guests are escorted to nearby Discover Ski Area, where they enjoy special VIP privileges and services.

At the cozy, five-treatment room spa, agents are advised to book appointments as far as one month in advance, especially during the busier summer season, by contacting the assistant manager. We hear that Spa Director Sarah Welles (406-859-6210) specializes in the Rock Creek Ritual, a 120-minute sea-salt exfoliation followed by a therapeutic massage, body wrap and scalp massage.

For meals, look no further than The Dining Room at The Granite Lodge. Recommended dishes include luscious lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast to scrumptious duck confit with bacon-and-cornbread pudding for dinner. No reservations are required and, during the busy summer season, Head Chef Josh Drage hosts Sunday Dutch Oven dinners by the campfire. At nightfall, many guests congregate by the campfire to make s’mores or head to the Silver Dollar Saloon to unwind, Montana-style, by doing the Boot Scootin’ Boogie on karaoke, shooting some pool or knocking down a few pins in the four-lane bowling alley.

Silver Dollar Saloon
Silver Dollar Saloon is a perfect place to unwind, Montana-style.


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