Winter '24 - Escape to Cabo, SNGA Winners & More

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Paws Up - A Truly Memorable Experience

Paws Up, Montana

A Truly Memorable Experience

Story by Heidi Chackel

Photography provided by The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort & Ranch

Nestled within a sprawling 37,000-acre working cattle ranch in Montana is The Resort at Paws Up. This breathtaking mountain resort is something to be experienced. Whether you are looking for an unforgettable family vacation, a romantic getaway, or an escape from reality, The Resort at Paws Up promises to fit the bill. Visitors will experience Montana’s beauty up close all the while entering a land peppered with heritage and adventure. That’s because the property is rich with history: Lewis and Clark once journeyed through this legendary land. The Resort at Paws Up is truly something of a hidden gem. 

This family-owned resort wanted to ensure it could cater to families with a wide array of exhilarating activities, catering to the seasons. Guests can enjoy a scenic horseback ride, refine their angling skills with fly-fishing, take a thrilling river rafting or rappelling expedition, and battle it out with a friendly game of paintball. To accommodate both the young and the young at heart, The Resort at Paws Up has the Kids Corps of Discovery and chuck wagon dinners, where delectable bites can be enjoyed beneath the starry night sky. Between heart-pounding adventure, luxurious lodging, fine dining, and rich history, The Resort at Paws Up is a retreat for the entire family that promises memories that families can cherish for a lifetime. My husband and I recently enjoyed a five-day stay at Paws Up and enjoyed every minute of it. It was truly unlike any experience we had ever had, so ensconced in nature while providing luxury and recreation that can’t be beat. 

ACCOMODATIONS

With over 27 homes in four different styles, Paws Up offers vacation homes year-round. Each residence is set within a forest full of towering timbers that afford breathtaking views, rolling meadows, serene rivers, pastoral creeks and picturesque mountainscapes. Additionally, all homes are the epitome of comfort with daily full-service housekeeping, WiFi access, and a private deck complete with a luxurious hot tub. Furthermore, guests have the added luxury of Lexus personal vehicles at their disposal. And you will definitely use them, as the resort covers an expansive amount of land while also giving each home plenty of space and privacy. We spent our days between our home, the spa and gym, dining, grabbing a drink at the bar, and multiple activities a day the Lexus was a life saver. Tip: keep the resort map handy!

Meadow Homes

The Meadow Homes fit 2 to 4 guests and are fully furnished with one king bed, one queen bed, and 2 bathrooms. Conveniently near the Village at Paws Up, the Meadow Homes offer a comfortable space, decorated with a Western charm. Perfect for smaller families or couples wanting a bit of privacy, these single-story, two-bedroom luxury residences make for an idyllic stay. The living space is generous with approximately 1,100 square feet. Guests can unwind on their private deck, each complete with a hot tub—perfect to savor a moment of tranquility after a day of adventure.

Big Timber Homes

These are a collection of spacious 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom vacation homes. Whether you’re in need of an intimate space designed for two guests or a spacious family-friendly retreat that is able to fit four to eight guests, the Big Timber Homes can virtually suit any traveler’s needs. These luxury Montana vacation homes are unparalleled in Big Sky Country; each home has a lengthy front porch with a view of the surrounding wilderness, a relaxing back deck complete with a six-person hot tub, and a cozy wood-burning fireplace. The bathrooms are a treat with upgrades including a heated slate floor, a vanity with double sinks, and a Montana-sized shower.

Wilderness Estates

Experience the wonderland of the Wilderness Estates at Paws Up, a collection of exquisite three-bedroom vacation homes. The Wilderness Estates is the definition of indulgence and tranquility. This lodging option is 3,250 square feet of magnificence, with a great room adorned with a vaulted ceiling, an impressive fireplace with beautiful stacked stone, a kitchen fit for a chef, a loft game room, and three impressive master suites. To accompany each room is an en suite bathroom complete with spacious showers, jetted tubs, luxurious spa amenities, and perfectly plush towels. Furthermore, guests can enjoy the beautiful Montana scenery while relaxing on their sprawling private deck with a rejuvenating hot tub.

Blackfoot River Lodge

Tucked away in the private setting on the banks of the Blackfoot River, is the Blackfoot River Lodge. This four-bedroom, three-bathroom family lodge has it all. Within this 2,955 square foot home is an enormous master bedroom suite and bathroom, private office, full kitchen, dining space, living area, laundry room, and four decks. This cabin features a luxury tent nestled in the expansive bedroom.

The Morris Ranch House

The last property offered is a historic 4-bedroom ranch house with all the conveniences of a modern home. Whether you’re searching for a spot for your next large family vacation or an executive retreat, The Morris Ranch House is ideal for any getaway. Similar to the Blackfoot River Lodge, The Morris Ranch features a private luxury tent merely steps from the front door and on the banks of Elk Creek. The Morris Ranch House is approximately 2,520 square feet and has four bedrooms, five bathrooms. 

Glamping

At Paws Up Montana, their glampsites allow you to connect with the great outdoors while not compromising the comfort of a luxury vacation. The glampsites are open from mid-May through mid-October. They have a total of six glampsites with safari-style luxury tents for families, couples or groups. Each site has a total of six tents with their own dining pavilion. The tents range from one to three bedrooms and all offer stunning views. There is just something about waking up in nature and a great view from the comfort of your bed. All tents include en suite bathrooms with a double vanity and heated floors, a private deck, electricity, air conditioning, and heating, WiFi access, and daily full-service housekeeping. All glampsites also boast their own dining pavilion and a private glamping butler. 

DINING

Restaurants

There are a plethora of culinary options at Paws Up, all sporting the freshest meats, produce, and ingredients available. Pomp Restaurant is Paws Up fine dining option, with an always changing and creative menu. With rustic ranch cuisine and an executive chef with a background in luxury fine dining, the menu uses seasonal ingredients to create exquisite culinary concoctions. Trough Restaurant sports a menu with a Western flair, full of dishes with home-cooked flavors. Trough is open for breakfast and dinner and features a full espresso bar and smoothie options. Tank, a luxury full-service cocktail bar, is set in a comfortable environment. Guests can enjoy a game on the flat-screen TVs, a roaring fire, and magnificent views that this location offers. We enjoyed all three of these options during our stay, but definitely spent the most time at Tank getting to know the bartenders, other guests, and tantalizing cocktails. When you are there, ask the staff to share some of their adventures and stories, including run ins with local wildlife.

Camp Cuisine

Each glampsite has its own Dining Pavilion ensuring your culinary experience is like no other. Each Dining Pavilion has its own skilled chef extraordinaire that cooks up delicious breakfast and dinner daily. Visitors have the opportunity to mingle and enjoy meals with fellow campers making for the ultimate experience. 

Outdoor Dining

Shed, originally a food truck on the edge of the forest, became so popular at Paws Up it is now a permanent fixture located near the Wilderness Outpost. Shed is a wood-fired pizza joint, gastro eatery and roadside smoke trailer all rolled into one. Some of their classic dishes include quesadillas, burgers, pulled pork, elote (grilled corn), and seasonal vegetables. Chuck Wagon is an outdoor dining experience you will not forget. You get to watch Montana’s famous Big Sky while being served the finest food grilled over a campfire or baked in a Dutch oven. They offer all-natural chicken, fresh vegetables and classics such as baked beans and fresh-fruit cobbler. This filling meal can be pre or post ceded by a game of horseshoes while listening to local musicians and, on occasions, a cowboy poet.

ACTIVITIES & SPA

In total, the resort property sprawls over 37,000 acres. Accompanying with the expanse of the property is 100 miles of trails, 10 miles of the Blackfoot River and direct access to 1.5 million acres of the nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness Area making for the ultimate outdoor playground for guests of all ages. Whether you enjoy horseback riding, world-class sporting clays courses, Montana fly-fishing, ATV tour, boating, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, paintball, rafting, rappelling, or swimming, Paws Up offers any and every adventure imaginable. For those seeking something a bit less adventurous, Paws Up also boasts a phenomenal spa that offers a plethora of various kinds of massages, facials, and wellness classes and activities.

After spending time at this amazing resort, I do believe their claim that no other ranch in Montana offers more wilderness adventures and outdoor activities than Paws Up. There is never a question of finding something to do, but instead a question of what to select amidst the plethora of offerings available year-round. Winter brings dogsledding, cross country skiing, sleigh rides, and MoonBike excursions to the table. Spring and summer welcomes back guided trail rides, mountain bike treks, fly-fishing, river floats, and more. Fall calls for scenic horseback rides and Backcountry 4x4 tours to see the ranch’s changing colors. Inevitably we walked away at the end of our trip with a list of must-do activities for the next visit. Our ATV tour was a definite highlight, covering a wide variety of land from hilltops to riverbanks to bridges. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable, and the experience was top notch. Shooting sport activities were also a draw for us, something so out of the ordinary in our daily lives. We visited both the rifle range and sporting clays and hope to add archery next time. The horseback riding facilities are amazing, and something I will try on our next visit. For a quick activity, the ropes course was challenging and fun at the same time. Although my muscles would remind me for days of the precarious positions I found myself in. 

It is difficult to express the wonder of Paws Up and its lands. It showcases the best of Montana in a way that is safe, adventurous, and creative. The entire staff and resort is organized to engulf you into the Montana way of life, from the food to the accommodations to the activities. And it is up to the guest to jump in with both feet and create a truly memorable visit.

 

 

www.PawsUp.com

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