Pro Tips for Packing the Perfect Picnic

Are you dreaming of summer already? We sure are. And this year, we’re going all-out for al fresco, starting with a Chicago-style picnic in a Montana-size park.

Join us on June 16 for our Montana Long Table: Artisanal Picnic, and you’ll have a chance to chat and dine with illustrious Windy City chefs known for their Chicago dogs and gourmet sausages, honey butter fried chicken and hand-crafted pies.

But you don’t have to travel far to enjoy an epic picnic. Let Paws Up Executive Chef Sunny Jin share some inspiring thoughts on dining outside during those dreamy months ahead:

What do you love about eating outside?

The greatest advantage to eating outside is the wholeness of the experience. It allows us to focus on what’s important, and I believe that simply to mean being present and enjoying the moment in front of us.

What are a few of your favorite things to take on a picnic? 

I’m big on variety and small bites. That doesn’t mean extravagance and significant labor. My choices usually consist of cured meats, pickles, olives, cheeses, whole fruits and the best bread I can find. Every region has local favorites of each item, so an assortment is easy to come by.

Other than food, what else might you take? 

My picnic spots are usually at places where cell service and paved roads are absent. That creates a place with less exposure to human contact, so I carry along a book on plant identification. I’m still amazed what I’m able to find now that my eyes have adjusted to the edible surfaces around all of us.

If you were planning a leisurely rafting trip, what would be on the menu? 

Being respectful and observant of fire bans, regulations and conservation should always come first. It would be a bummer to pack for a riverside BBQ, and then come to find that fires are not permissible. I love to grill as much as the next person and would if the opportunity were there. However, to be safe, I try to stick to cold, no-fuss items that travel well. 

Chef Sunny Jin’s Rafting Trip Menu:

Chilled Prime Rib Wraps with Watercress, Pickled Goat Horn Peppers and Cucumber-Horseradish Slaw

Roasted Eggplant Panzanella with Chorizo, Toybox Tomatoes, Chèvre and Banyuls Vinaigrette

Fresh Fruit Bites with Wildflower Honey and Greek Yogurt

Homemade Jerky: My freezer is always stocked with experimental jerky made from earlier hunting and fishing trips.

Dill Pickle Chips: We all have our vices.

Ice Cold IPA: Some have more vices than others.

10 Winter Favorites at The Resort at Paws Up

We are counting down to the holidays and wintertime at The Resort at Paws Up. Read below for our top pics of winter favorites on our 37,000-acre Montana luxury ranch.

10 A WINTER COCKTAIL ENJOYED IN TANK. Special wintery drinks include the Basil Martini with black lava salt and vodka; the Swan Lake with coffee liqueur, vodka and a candy cane rim and the white-rum Whitefish Cocoa with orange, cinnamon and clove.

9 TWO WORDS: HUCKLEBERRY PANCAKES. Our executive chef often turns to locally sourced, fresh ingredients, and there’s not a more tantalizing example than this breakfast favorite, served with real Montana huckleberry syrup.

8 COW CROQUET. It doesn’t get more Montana than Cow Croquet, a brand-new Paws Up activity. You and three teammates mount horses in our indoor arena and guide cows through one of five gates—just as if you were knocking croquet balls through hoops in the back yard.

7 WINTER TRIATHLON. The Paws Up triathlon combines the precision of target shooting and archery with the thrill of cross-country skiing through our glorious winter wonderland. We’ll set you up with everything you need—skis, boots, poles and your own .22-caliber rifle.

6 SLEIGH RIDES. Join our wranglers and their majestic draft horses as they ring in the winter with an enchanting horse-drawn sleigh ride through frosted forests and over powdery hills. Even Kris Kringle would be jealous.

5 DOGSLEDDING. Go ahead, yell “mush!” and off you’ll go into the wild white yonder. Imagine being pulled by Iditarod champion Alaskan huskies through the wilds of Montana—all at the foot of the majestic Garnet Mountains.

4 SNOWMOBILE TRIPS TO GARNET GHOST TOWN. A hundred years ago, Garnet was a thriving town, filled with gold miners. In the winter, Garnet is only accessible by snowmobile, so the only tracks you’re likely to see (other than your own) belong to the resident wildlife.

3 MINDY’S HOTCHOCOLATE. James Beard Award winner Chef Mindy Segal of Chicago’s HotChocolate restaurant will be Paws Up’s resident rock star pastry chef December 26–30. Segal will lead cooking-making classes and serve up her famous velvety hot chocolate.

2. CONOR’S S’MORES. Conor Dannis is Paws Up’s official s’moreologist. His process is a thrill to witness, and Dannis mixes it up by using gourmet ingredients, such as bourbon-flavored marshmallows, dark chocolate and sea salt caramel squares.

1. NEW YEAR’S EVE. Ring in the new year with a dazzling night that begins with an elegant, five-course dinner and ends with live music by American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox, a dance performance by Missoula’s MASC Artisans, “presenting acrobatic air and fire” and (boom) . . . fireworks!

16 New Paws Up Finds


At The Resort at Paws Up, the start of summer means it is time to enjoy slower mornings, longer days (and more sunsets) and new memory-making adventures. The beginning of the season also signals the time for new merchandise to find their way to our Wilderness Outpost store. Enjoy one of those slower mornings with coffee in our rustic-chic Paws Up mugs, and take in a ranch sunset wearing some of our sharp new logo apparel that will ward off an evening chill. These fine finds are sure to brighten your summer and make you long to come back to The Resort at Paws Up. Call 406-244-7374 to purchase any of these items.

(above) Paws Up Metal Mug $25

Paws Up Swell Bottles

Swell Water Bottle 17 ounce $45; 25 ounce $55


Mesh Back Cap $35 Premium Sueded Cotton Hoodie $65


Paws Up Money Clip $40

Paws Up Wine Glasses

Logo Metal Wine Cup $35

the resort at paws up pillows

Logo Pillow $125


Last Best Place Hat $35


Paws Up Kids Tees $25


French Terry Logo Pant $85 Logo Camo Joggers $95

Montana Wild Huckleberry Jam $12

The Resort at Paws Up clothing

Love Paws Up Hoodie $59; Cap $36


Logo Browning Clipback Knife $75


Suede Brim Paws Up Cap $35 Trucker Cap $35


Paws Up Luggage Tag $35

The Resort at paws up wine glasses

Paws Up Wine Glass Set $45



Logo Mule Mug $40

A Day in the Life of a Camping Butler


Back in college, Eddy Young got a job at Paws Up as a camping butler and, tellingly, he’s never spent another summer anywhere else since. “Being a native Montanan, I love the outdoors and love showing off this beautiful state,” Young says, “so the camping butler job was a perfect combination of the two things.”


Now serving as glamping manager, Young fondly remembers his days as a butler. A typical day starts early. The butler must be in the camps and preparing for breakfast by 6AM. As a result, they get to see the beautiful sunrises and watch the day come to life.

“There is always some work to be done in the camps, whether it is cleaning, hauling wood or simply helping guests enjoy themselves,” says Young. “Montana offers so many new experiences for our guests, and one of the best parts of the job is sharing these experiences. Our butlers love showing kids (and parents too) how to enjoy a typical Montana summer—fishing, hiking, biking, skipping rocks and most importantly how to perfect a s’more.”

In the evenings, the butler will prepare dinner with the camping chef. The energy at the camps is always very high, as guests are unwinding from a long day of adrenaline-inducing activities. Once dinner is served, the butler will start a fire outdoors while the kids play in the last light of the day and the parents enjoy a quiet moment.

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Here are the hourly duties of a camping butler at Paws Up on a typical day:

6 A.M. Arrive at the camp; begin set-up of breakfast and prepare the Dining Pavilion; serve breakfast alongside the camping chef; assist guests with preparation for their activities; confirm transportation; assist with general guest inquiries; verify dinner reservations and menu selection.

The Resort at Paws Up Summer 2011

10 A.M. Clean all tables and dishes and break down the breakfast buffet items;sweep and mop the kitchen and Dining Pavilion

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11 A.M. Prepare guest tents for arrivals; greet new guests arriving to the camp, familiarizing them with camp offerings and tent amenities; haul and stock wood at both campfire pits; assist guests with laundry

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3 P.M. Greet new guests at the camp; prepare for dinner pickup and delivery of supplies requisitioned from the morning; restock supplies; set up for dinner; discuss the night’s menu with the chef, highlighting special dietary needs of the guests; assist guests with wine, beer and cocktail service

The Resort at Paws Up Fall 2010

6:30 P.M. Serve dinner in a fivecourse, family-style setting; wait on guests enjoying dinner in the Dining Pavilion; assist with s’mores service after dinner at our outdoor fire pit

The Resort at Paws Up June 2013 Across the River from Cliffside Camp9: 30 P.M. Clean up after dinner; see that all guests have what they need for the night; educate guests on their morning activity times; after all closing duties are complete, guests have gone to bed and fires have been put out, retire for the evening

6 Reasons Why to Visit The Resort at Paws Up This Winter


Every season at The Resort at Paws Up brings change and wonder. Until just this winter, however, few got to witness The Resort under its sparkling white blanket. But that’s about to change. Starting in 2017, The Resort at Paws Up will be open to guests for all 365 days of the year.


 To start with, it’s quieter here during the colder months. Snow under your feet cushions each step. Wildlife comes out from hiding. The mountaintops glisten. Even the hot chocolate just seems sweeter. In a word, it is spectacular.

home-interior the resort at paws up

Day or night, you can sit back and take in the incredible snow-covered scenery. And every one of our luxury vacation homes is equipped with an outdoor hot tub, which can turn a cold snap into an inviting retreat, especially under a starlit sky.

Skijoring the resort at Paws Up

 Now more guests than ever can enjoy all the winter activities that we love so much: horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, cross-country skiing, horseback riding through frosted pines, dogsledding, tubing, high- velocity snowmobiling, sporting clay shooting, private indoor equestrian lessons, hiking, archery, snowshoeing and, of course, sitting in front of a relaxing fire.

criss country skiing the resort at paws up

THRILLING SKI ADVENTURES. Paws Up will also take you on excursions to some some wonderful downhill ski and snowboarding areas. We’re also introducing guests to an exciting winter sport, skijoring. Naturally, we can outfit you with whatever cold-weather gear you need at the Wilderness Outpost retail store.

The resort at paws up and family

The Kids Corps of Discovery has a full schedule of exciting activities, from tubing, luge-style sledding and hockey to craft making, pony rides and broomball. We’ll keep the kids busy and active all day long. Or you can teach them the science behind snow fort building yourself, just outside your private vacation home.


 As much as we love Spa Town in the warmer months, the brisk, fresh winter air didn’t seem right for a relaxing massage. So in wintertime, the secluded Morris Ranch House serves as the warm, cozy location for spa treatments. Located adjacent to the picturesque Elk Creek, this historic luxury home is a perfect setting for rejuvenating spa services and a chance to let our talented staff pamper you and your family.


COLD-WEATHER CUISINE. Dining at Paws Up is always a treat, but for those looking for something truly phenomenal, come for WinterFest, January 19–22, our signature culinary event of the season. It’s three and a half days of intimate cooking classes and demonstrations, wine and spirits tastings, wilderness adventures, live entertainment (Missoula musician John Floridis and singer- songwriter Brian Pounds from TV’s The Voice) and, of course, hearty gourmet feasts—complete with thoughtful wine pairings—created by our award-winning guest chefs.

Dog Sledding the resort at paws up

There’s no shortage of exiting ways to enjoy the drop in temperatures in Montana. And yes, seasonal rates do apply. It’s no wonder we’re already seeing a blizzard of reservations for our first full winter.

The Resort at Paws up

Where to Spend Thanksgiving This Year


Kick off the holiday season with something beyond spectacular—a family trip to The Resort at Paws Up. It’s the first Thanksgiving celebration at Paws Up, and we’re planning generous portions of fun activities and excursions. From a petting zoo with pony rides and family game nights to owl watching, hayrides and concerts, plus football and parade watching, there are plenty of options to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Don’t forget we have horseback riding, ATV rides, paintball, archery, hiking, biking, spa town and so much more.

Thanksgiving food shot paws up

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the Thanksgiving feast. You and your loved ones will sit down to dine on one sumptuous meal after another filled with locally sourced holiday favorites. We often say our world-renowned executive chef is a culinary artist. You can count on every last bite to be delicious. Giving thanks will surely come easily at The Resort at Paws Up.

Inside look at paws up homes


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

  • Cookie decorating in homes
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Game night in the Bull Barn
  • Fireside s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

Thursday, November 24, 2016

  • Extended breakfast hours
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade watching in the Village
  • NFL game watching with snacks in Tank
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Owl Prowl bird watching excursion to Jones’ Pond
  • Hayrides through the Wilderness Estates
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Thanksgiving Day Festival with apple bobbing, sack races, archery and more on The Yard at the Cook Shack
  • A grand and glittering Thanksgiving Dinner at Pomp or a private feast delivered to your home and whisked away afterwards
  • Cookie decorating awards ceremony
  • Family movie night and wildlife presentation in the Bull Barn
  • Fireside s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

Friday, November 25, 2016

  • Resort tour, with visits to the Morris Ranch House, Blackfoot River Lodge, Elk Creek and Cliffside Camp
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Hayrides through the Wilderness Estates
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Black Friday sale at the Wilderness Outpost
  • Happy hour and whiskey tasting and demonstration with the Rattlesnake Creek Distillery
  • A special dessert menu including pumpkin pie flambé, an ice cream station with toppings such as flambéed cherries, Bananas Foster and house-made goat cheese pumpkin cheesecake
  • Pajama party and movie night in the Great Angus Hall
  • Live musical performance from the Beargrass Bluegrass Band in Tank
  • Fireside s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

paws up equestrian photo

Saturday, November 26, 2016

  • Resort tour, with visits to the Morris Ranch House, Blackfoot River Lodge, Elk Creek and Cliffside Camp
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Owl Prowl bird watching excursion to Jones’ Pond
  • Kids crafts and photo center family fun projects
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Sale at the Wilderness Outpost
  • Happy hour and hard cider tasting and demonstration with Brewmaster Lee McAlpine at the Wilderness Outpost
  • Mini Rodeo at the Equestrian Center
  • Appetizers and cocktails in the Saddle Club
  • Show in the Arena
  • Campfire music jamboree and s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

The Resort at Paws Up bathrooms

Sunday, November 27, 2016

  • NFL game watching with snacks in Tank (Lighter, leaner lunch options available)
  • Family movie night in the Bull Barn

Note: All Thanksgiving weekend activities, apart from dining and shopping, are complimentary. Space is limited. Reserve early. For delivery of an in-home Thanksgiving feast, please provide advance notice 48 hours prior to desired delivery.

Call Concierge Services at 406-244-7333 to make your plans now.


Glamping with the Page Family


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A milestone like a 75th birthday requires a special celebration. Kelly Page did just that when her Dad turned 75 and at his request to visit a “dude ranch” they came to Paws Up.

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“My dad, and for that matter, most of the family, are not real campers. “Roughing it,” well, isn’t a phrase any of us likes uttering when it comes to traveling. Finding the perfect dude ranch with enough amenities to keep everyone happy seemed like a challenge. Sure we wanted an authentic experience wrangling cattle and shooting clay pigeons, but we also wanted to be able to retire to high thread count sheets and gourmet food and drinks. A lot to ask, until we found Paws Up.

(Photo Credits:

“Everyone from 11 to 75 years old enjoyed themselves at Paws Up. It was one of our best family vacations. We were semi-disconnected, but fully connected while taking in the beautiful setting through a variety of adventure activities. […]”

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This is a condensed version of their experience. Head on over to the Tasting Page to read her full review and travel experience.


Fashion by Mayhem visits Paws Up

The following is an excerpt from “Thumbs Up for Paws Up” originally published on the blog:

Photo: Fashion by Mayhem

Our first two nights in Montana were spent glamping at the 37,000 acre ranch resort known as The Resort at Paws Up. Now if you’re wondering what exactly glamping is, it’s like camping, except your tent has a king size bed with heated blankets,  a second bedroom, a REAL bathroom complete with rain shower and heated floors,  a welcome bottle of wine, a heating/AC unit inside, and lots of other perfect details … So basically, it’s not camping at all. Which is exactly how I like my camping.

Photo: Fashion by Mayhem

[…] We decided to spend our time at Paws Up reacquainting ourselves with the great outdoors. Mayhem grabbed a fishing pole from the dining and activities pavilion at our camp and we made the short 100 yard trek to the Blackfoot River.  We didn’t catch anything. At all. And it’s entirely possible it had something to do with the super loud kid with us who kept throwing rocks in the river. We tried to explain fishing basics to her, but she was having fun and we were enjoying ourselves, so it was all good.

Photo: Fashion by Mayhem

[…] And in case we weren’t wowed enough by our surroundings, we discovered on our first morning that we had some bald friends in camp with us.  And later that day we found they had a nest directly above our tent. And two babies. Let me let that sink in … a family of bald eagles living in the tree directly above our tent!!!

Photo: Fashion by Mayhem

[…]Nature is pretty darn spectacular and we don’t spend enough time appreciating it. We’ve worried about Mayhem growing up in a time and place where we’re all so wrapped up in our devices and screens that we neglect the awesomeness that’s happens in the world all on its own. Paws Up gave us gave us a little slice of heaven for a couple days. And the chance to immerse ourselves in some of nature’s finest settings in five star fashion.


Paws Up: The True American Theme Park

Part of the fun of a vacation for most people is the opportunity to relax and unwind.  Day-to-day life for many people is stressful, and a vacation is the perfect opportunity to “get away.”  Yet year after year, families continue to go to Disneyland and other theme parks and return from their vacation more depleted and stressed than when they left. While vacations at Disneyland may be fun, they are certainly not relaxing.  There is nothing relaxing about waiting in line for up to 2 hours to enjoy a ride that lasts for only ten to twenty minutes.  Adults barely have the patience for that kind of wait, let alone children. Where is the fun in having to meticulously prepare for a vacation so as to avoid the crowds and lines?  Why should you have to read and adhere to an in-depth guide and constant strategic planning to enjoy your vacation?  For that matter, why do many Disneyland guides actually recommend taking a break from your vacation?  Your vacation is supposed to be the break!

At The Resort at Paws Up, a true Montana Ranch all of the planning is taken care of for you. Simply let us know what you want to do and we make it happen. If you would like to spend an afternoon being pampered in Spa Town, we’ll arrange it for you.  And don’t worry, your kids will have a blast, too! Send them on a day of adventure with our Kids Corps of Discovery.  The Kids Corps of Discovery will provide children with plenty of entertainment and wilderness education (your kids will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they are learning!)  Activities include a petting zoo, a scavenger hunt, swimming, kayak excursions, lessons on the basics of building a fire, and much, much more, all under the watchful eye of our trained and caring staff. You and the kids can convene at the end of the day for a gourmet meal. For memorable days together, the whole family can enjoy activities such as learning how to ride a horse, hot air ballooning over the breathtaking Blackfoot Valley, or canoeing.

Where a Disneyland vacation offers corn dogs, nachos, and frozen hamburgers, or two-star food at a five-star price, at The Resort at Paws Up you can expect fresh, locally sourced ingredients, carefully prepared to showcase the freshness and quality of the cuisine.  In fact, the person preparing your meal can tell you exactly where each vegetable and cut of meat came from. Try posing this question to the Disneyland employee schlepping corn dogs. On second thought, don’t – do you REALLY want to know where that corn dog came from?

Where a Disneyland vacation offers crowds of people crammed into small spaces, The Resort at Paws Up offers guests 37,000 acres of wide-open spaces and big, blue Montana skies.  Step outside of your glamping tent or private home at Paws Up, and take a deep breath of the fresh air, lightly scented by the towering Ponderosa pines, and hear the quiet murmur of the Blackfoot River.  Try to do the same at Disneyland.  And the best part is you won’t need to spend the entire day telling your children not to run off, lest they be lost in the throngs of people.

At the end of the day, when you and your family are exhausted – not from the stress and frustration of a day spent fighting crowds, but from a day chock full of exhilarating activities, you can retire to your luxury accommodations and The Last Best Bed®.  Now how’s that for a vacation?