Our Top 5 Wintery Hiking Trails

We’re going to let you in on one of our best-kept secrets . . . There isn’t a more serene or breathtakingly beautiful time to visit Paws Up than the magical snow-filled months of winter. Our lucky cold-weather guests have access to mile after mile of pristine trails to snowshoe, hike or take romantic walks on while enjoying the glittering scenery.

We’ve turned to Nadine Lipson, part owner, part trail guru at The Resort, for her top-five seasonal hikes. Her recommendations span from the heart-pumping one-mile Sacagawea Trail to the Sunset Loop, a 13-mile hike offering incredible views of the Blackfoot River and Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Pick up a trail map and get pointed in the right direction at the Wilderness Outpost. And when you’re through taking in the gorgeous vistas on your wintery wanderings, come inside for a warming cocktail beside the roaring fireplace in Tank as a reward for a job well done. We’ll see you there.

1) The Canine Classic (5 miles)

2) The Anaconda (4 miles)

3) The Trail to Jones’ Pond (5 miles)

4) Sunset Loop (13 miles)

5) Sacagawea Trail (1 mile)

Five Epic Winter Adventures at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up offers over a hundred miles of wilderness trails for a diversity of unique Montana winter vacation excursions. For those who yearn to explore the great outdoors of Big Sky Country this winter, check out five of our best Paws Up Winter Adventures.

1. SLEIGH RIDES—MAKE EVERY DAY A HOLIDAY

“Dashing through the snow, in a two-horse open sleigh.” Glide

across the snow with your family as you dream joyful holiday

dreams. All while listening to riveting stories of local lore well

told by your Paws Up sleigh driver. (45 magical minutes)

2. DOGSLEDDING—PAW-POWERED FAMILY FUN

This iconic Montana winter activity shows up on numerous

bucket lists. Guests marvel at the excitement and power of these

dogs. One musher, 10–12 dogs, infinite amounts of family fun.

(Roughly one hour for a three- to four-mile course. Also this year: check out our 10-mile course.)

2. SNOWMOBILE TOURS—VROOM WITH A VIEW

Ladies and gentlemen, start your winter engines. There’s

nothing like full-throttle runs over beautifully groomed trails

to get the ol’ blood really pumping. Stunning scenery abounds.

(1.5-hour tours. One option: a longer off-property tour to Garnet Ghost Town—ghosts not included.)

4. FIVE-STAND SHOOTING—CLAY PIGEONS BEWARE!

Get your shooting fix with our twist on trapshooting: fivestand.

The stations present different flights for our sporting clays.

(Guests shoot from a covered position. Heaters provided, naturally.

Approximately 2 hours.)

5. TRAIL RIDES—THE CRUNCH OF SNOW BENEATH YOUR…HOOVES

Experience the eerily quiet Paws Up winter landscape from a

perspective unlike any other: from the back of a horse.

This equestrian excursion takes you through snow-covered trees

and past ever-changing scenery. (60 mystical minutes)

Have You Heard of Cow Croquet?

If you’re coming to visit Paws Up this winter, we have a new winter challenge. Show your mastery of wrangling cattle by taking part in our new equestrian adventure, Cow Croquet. You and three of your cowboy/cowgirl friends will mount horses in the Saddle Club’s indoor arena and try to guide cows through one of five gates—just as if you were knocking croquet balls through metal hoops in the back yard. You will compete against another team of four players, and each team takes turns to try to “push” the cows through the selected gate. The leader/referee of the match yells out the selected gate (1–5) at the beginning of each round, and each team is timed on how long it takes to get the cows through the gate. The team with the best results and times wins! The idea to offer this new activity came from The Resort’s own Equestrian Manager Jackie Kecskes. We sat down with Kecskes to find out more about this creative idea and to get her thoughts on wintertime at Paws Up.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA

FOR COW CROQUET?

I bought a border collie last October and was watching a lot of training videos online. I knew if he’s going to live on a ranch he should be handy. I kept coming across videos of sheepdog trials (where the border collie must herd sheep through a series of gates, independent of the human, who is a long distance away whistling directional commands). This got me thinking. We already offer team penning during wintertime, but we were still lacking the cattle drive element that people love so much in the summer—the act of moving a large group of cows as a unit. I set up some gates in the arena, substituted cows for sheep and people on horseback for a border collie, and that is how cow croquet was born.

HOW LONG IS THIS ACTIVITY?

It takes two hours from start to finish.

WILL THIS ACTIVITY ONLY BE OFFERED IN THE WINTER MONTHS?

Yes. It is a winter exclusive!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WINTERTIME AT PAWS UP?

The atmosphere—everything seems to get very quiet,

despite all the hustle and bustle of our guests doing activities

and enjoying the snow. There’s something about the ranch

getting blanketed in fresh snow that makes it magical.

WHAT OTHER EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITIES DO YOU OFFER IN THE WINTER?

What don’t we offer would be the better question; with the

addition of skijoring last winter we now offer everything

from trail rides to indoor team penning and Cow Croquet

to picturesque sleigh rides through the homes.

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!

The Resort at Paws Up Holiday Gift Wish List

Have you heard of The Resort at Paws Up’s own store, The Wilderness Outpost? From local artisans to world-class brands, the Wilderness Outpost offers a carefully curated selection of exquisitely crafted clothing, footwear, housewares, jewelry, fine art, gifts and more.  We have amazing gift ideas just in time for the holidays.

Explore styles and artfully constructed items from Calleen Cordero, Filson, Frye, Kuhl, Lucchese, Old Gringo, Patagonia and YETI. We offer specially designed Paws Up gear created by local Montanans, such as handcrafted knives and cutlery from Behring Made Knives and cloaks by Lindsey Thornburg. Oil paintings by Michael Haykin and art by Teresa Garland Warner and Diane Whitehead are also available.

Contact our style consultants or product experts by phone at 406-244-7374 or email directly at shop@pawsup.com for your personal shopping needs. We can also provide a private after-hours shopping experience with appetizers and beverages for individuals or groups upon appointment or request. Hours of Operation: June–August: 8AM–6PM, later by appointment; September–May: 9AM–5PM

The Coolest Culinary Event in 2018

Montana winters are dreamy and full of adventure.  Paws Up’s annual WinterFest culinary weekend is January 25-28th, 2018 featuring James Beard Award nominee Bruce Kalman and Bravo Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson. The event is three and a half days of intimate cooking demonstrations, gourmet winter-themed feasts, tastings and more. Guests will enjoy cocktails by Glacier Distilling Company served at a festive ice bar,  fantastic wines by winemaker Ehren Jordan,  live musical performances (see below) and even lessons and matches with the Missoula Curling Club.

All of this will be served against a backdrop of incredible snow-covered mountains. Between meals, you’ll get to enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, skijoring, snowshoeing and more, plus trunk shows for retail therapy, a host of spa services and, of course, sitting in your own private hot tub under a starlit sky.

 
 
Musical Guests:

On Thursday night, January 25, hear guitarist and singer-songwriter Andrea Harsell artfully blend bluegrass, country, folk and rock. Her voice has been known to channel the likes of Janis Joplin, Alison Krauss and Alanis Morissette.

On Saturday night, January 27, listen during dinner as guitarist and singer-songwriter John Floridis fills the air with his bluesy, folk-rock melodies. He’s played with Bruce Cockburn, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Emmylou Harris, among others.

All-Inclusive Package Rates

Rates for a three-night stay start at $745 per person, per night (based on two adults staying in a Meadow Home).

Rates include the following: four days/three nights in a luxurious Montana vacation home, three meals per day including nightly fivecourse dinners prepared by featured chefs with wine pairings, two workshops and two wilderness activities and complimentary airport transfers to/from Missoula International Airport, as well as complimentary on-property transportation.

Give Your Thanksgiving Cook a Holiday

Give thanks and go off duty. At Paws Up, you can celebrate Thanksgiving by sitting down to a bountiful spread of locally sourced five-star cuisine. But you won’t have to lift a finger. Instead, you might raise a glass or two from Rombauer Vineyards. And forget cleanup duty; your after-dinner tasks will be s’more-tasting, movie-watching and memory-making. Of course, the feast itself is just one portion of a weekend stuffed with thrilling outdoor activities and cozy nights in.

Note: We have special pricing for Montana locals.  Contact Paws Up to talk to our reservations on our live chat.

Schedule:

8 Best Pie Tips from Pie Expert Kate McDermott

Making great pies isn’t about the recipe—it’s about techniques. Join us at The Resort at Paws Up for Cookbook Live: Art of the Pie, held at Paws Up on November 3–6, 2017. Cookbook Live is a brand-new culinary series that features chefs bringing their acclaimed cookbooks to life through interactive demonstrations, hands-on classes, receptions and world-class meals. For our November Cookbook Live session, author and “pie whisperer” Kate McDermott will walk you through the steps for mixing, rolling and baking perfectly flaky pie crusts every time. Her hands-on classes will help you master essential pie-making skills that all bakers should know. McDermott’s cookbook, Art of the Pie, was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2017. Below is a preview of some amazing pie tips from the book and much more.

What are some of your top pie tips?

  • To avoid filling spilling over, fill the pie pan about 1/2 inch below the rim.
  • Place the pie it in the lowest part of the oven (if that is where your heating element is) or on a preheated cookie sheet or even a pizza stone to give the bottom crust a blast of heat. This can help with avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom!
  • If your pie is burned on the top, try lightly scraping it off with a paring knife and brushing the crumbs away much like you would do with burnt toast.
  • A little ice cream or dollop of whipped cream can camouflage a burn.
  • And if all else fails, get out the lasagna pan, turn your fruit pie into it, stir lightly to even it out and you will have the best crumble in the world. No one needs to know that you planned something different.
  • “Don’t overwork the dough” . . . words that we’ve all heard before might also be translated to “stop before you think you are done.” When flour and water are mixed together, they make gluten. The more it is mixed, the tougher the dough. Work the dough lightly, and just enough, so it comes together.
  • For best flavor, use fresh spices.
  • Clean your oven before embarking on your holiday baking so as not to get a blast of smoke from a preheated oven!

What is your ultimate baking tip?

It really helps to keep the ingredients for the pastry crust well-chilled. I put my flour in the freezer and sometimes grate frozen butter to ensure it doesn’t melt. Butter starts melting at 59ºF and cold fats are essential for a flaky crust. If my hands feel hot, I hold ice cubes for a minute until they cool down.

Which pies do you make for Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin pie and pear cranberry walnut pie.

 

Can you tell me how you became a pie expert?

From the time I was a little girl, I loved to bake. In the afternoons after school, I would come home and while my mom taught piano lessons, I would get out the mixing bowl and spoons to make cookies, cakes and bread. Some of these first attempts were disasters but many turned out to be pretty good and kept me interested in baking.

Those years of learning and experimenting later served me well in baking for my young family. We lived “out,” had a big garden and in the kitchen was a wonderful six-burner stove with an oven that could fit six loaves of bread at a time! I loved getting up early to bake for my family.

For a while in the late 1990s, my son Duncan and I lived on a blueberry u-pick farm on the north Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. There was no shortage of berries there. I made blueberry pie, blackberry pie and raspberry pie and combined all the berries to make triple-berry pie.

In 2005, pie became a passion and a two-year exploration of crust ensued. There was lots of experimentation with different flours and fats, ratios and recipes. The dough that we make in my Art of the Pie® workshops is the culmination of much that was learned along the way.

How many years have you been baking pies?

I’m a lifelong baker. But I got seriously bit by the pie-making bug in the mid-1990s.

Do you have plans for another cookbook?

Kate’s Can-Do Cookbook: Easy as Pie Recipes for Everyday Cooking will be published in Fall 2018 by the Countryman Press/W.W. Norton. Photos once again by Andrew Scrivani. 

Why do you love to come to Paws Up?

I love the rustic elegance of Paws Up. Montana is truly Big PIE Country.

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe and Our Next Cookbook Live

Join The Resort at Paws Up on November 3–6, 2017 for our fourth Cookbook Live event with pie expert Kate McDermott. This flaky and fun-filled baking weekend brings to life McDermott’s book Art of the Pie, which was nominated for a James Beard Award. By day, you’ll create works of edible art from fresh local ingredients. And by night, you’ll dine on the masterfully executed cuisine of Paws Up’s Executive Chef Ben Jones. It’s the perfect treat for anyone who’s passionate about succulent, homemade, just-out-of-the-oven pie. We hope to see you in a few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy this divine Lemon Meringue Pie recipe in your own home.

 

Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes One 9-inch Shallow Pie

1 pre-baked single Art of the Pie® crust or pre-baked dough of your choice

For the Filling
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 egg yolks, fork beaten
  • zest of 1 large lemon
For the Meringue
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Procedure

For the Filling
  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Add the water and constantly stirring with a whisk, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 more minutes while continuing to whisk. Don’t be afraid to whisk vigorously as it gets thicker.
  3. Take 1/4 cup of the hot mixture and stir it into the fork beaten egg yolks. Return this to the saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for 3-4 minutes more while stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the butter, lemon juice, and zest and cook for another minute.
  5. Immediately pour into the pre-baked pie crust.
For the Meringue
  1. In a clean and cold bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric handheld beater or a stand mixer.
  2. Add the pinch of salt, and the sugar while you mix. Add the cream of tartar and mix a bit more.
  3. Lift the beaters out when you can see soft peaks in thick foamy waves. That’s when it’s done.
  4. Put the meringue on the hot lemon filling starting at the edges first. Make sure the meringue reaches all the way to the edge of the crust so there are no gaps.
  5. Then add the rest of the meringue in the middle so that the filling is completely covered.
  6. With the handle of a spoon or the blade of a knife, pull up some soft peaks.
  7. Place in a preheated 375F oven for 6 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.