Kick off the holidays with something spectacular

This Thanksgiving, create new traditions with a family vacation to The Resort at Paws Up. With an abundance of activities to choose from, there’s something on the menu for everyone. Get cozy inside with family movie nights and football and parade viewing parties, or satisfy your appetite for outdoor adventure with horseback riding, ATV rides, hayrides, touch football, bird watching and more.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the feast itself. For Thanksgiving dinner, you and yours can sit down to a spectacular spread at Pomp or opt to have a private, plentiful meal brought to your home, which will be whisked away when you’re done. That’s just one portion of a weekend filled with sumptuous, locally sourced fare brought to you by our world-renowned Executive Chef Ben Jones.

We sincerely hope you’ll join us for an unforgettable Thanksgiving weekend at The Resort at Paws Up. We’ll take care of everything—you just make the memories.

Along with five-star cuisine, you’ll enjoy exquisite vintage wine all weekend long from our featured vintner, Rombauer Vineyards. Established in 1980, Rombauer Vineyards is a family-owned and operated business with deep roots in food and wine. Owner KR Rombauer is a great-nephew of The Joy of Cooking author Irma Rombauer, and his ancestors originated from the winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal. This rich history has led to an award-winning selection of wines that will make for an ideal pairing for your
Thanksgiving weekend.

Paws Up welcomes Dan Dubuque as the special musical guest for our Thanksgiving celebration. A solo acoustic guitarist, Dubuque is known for his unique approach to the Weissenborn, a slide guitar that’s played lap-style. Dubuque often adds percussive effects, playing the guitar like a drum while infusing every song with his free-sounding style.

Blackberry Smash Recipe

Blackberry Smash

At The Resort at Paws Up there are countless ways to get outside and get active. But after all that horseback riding, ATV touring and hiking, there’s no better way to cool down than with a fresh cocktail. Our bartending team gets inspired by the local, seasonal ingredients and Montana-made spirits. This Blackberry Smash recipe is just one of our many favorite cocktails which we wanted to share with you so you can create a little slice of Paws Up at home.

Blackberry Smash

Ingredients

A handful of blackberries

The juice of half a lemon

3/4 oz thyme simple syrup

1 3/4 oz Willie’s Distillery’s Big Horn Bourbon

Club soda

Directions

  1. Muddle blackberries, lemon juice and thyme simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon, and shake well. Strain into a Collins glass, ll with ice and top with soda. Garnish with blackberries and thyme sprig.

cocktails at the Resort at Paws Up

My Top 5 Favorite Fall Events at Paws Up

The resort at paws up

by Katy Richardson, Paws Up Reservations Specialist

Montanans take summer seriously. This is partly due to long days of guaranteed sun and a culture that highly values the great outdoors, but, regardless, summer days in Montana are very active. We fill our time with revved-up, hair-raising adventure, taking advantage of the crystal-clear rivers that offer white water thrills, the open fields begging to be explored and the untamed beauty of mountain summits that beckon us to climb a little higher. We challenge ourselves to go higher, travel farther and get in as much as we can—every day!

fall at The resort at paws up

We take summer seriously, and, maybe as a result, we take in the fall season more slowly and thoughtfully. Ask around, and the locals will tell you that fall is also a favorite season in Montana. Every day begets a subtle change—a tamarack changing color, a meadow shifting from green to gold, a gentle slowing of the Blackfoot River—until the entire landscape has gone golden. Fish are jumping. The air is crisp, and people have an urge to cozy up and spend time together. This lends itself well to couples’ trips, culinary events and evenings around a fire. Of course, this doesn’t mean the adventure stops come autumn. We always have amazing things to explore here at Paws Up. The coming of fall simply means our guests might be more inclined to ease back in their saddles, pause on the trigger and savor a moment. We have many diverse events going on throughout the fall season. Here are my Top 5 Favorite Fall Events at Paws Up:

 Cowboy experience at the resort at paws up

  1. Cowboy Experience (October 26­–29, 2017)

Paws Up is pleased to continue our partnership with the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to create an incredible weekend straight out of your favorite Western. The hall of famers will lead workshops and demonstrations, gallop on trail rides and share their favorite campfire stories. We end every night with an incredible gourmet meal featuring fine whiskey from three different distillers. And you’re guaranteed to rub elbows with the cowboys and cowgirls who show you the ropes throughout the day.

art of the pie at the resort at paws up

  1. Cookbook Live Presents: Art of the Pie (November 3–6, 2017)

There’s a reason why we continually invite Kate McDermott back to Paws Up every year: she’s a master at what she does. And, even better, she’s a master who’s willing to share her secrets, just like she does in her highly praised cookbook Art of the Pie. McDermott will guide you through making perfect, flaky fresh pies, just in time for you to show off to friends and family at Thanksgiving.

 AdrenZen Fall

  1. AdrenZen: Fall (October 20–23, 2017)

Combining exhilarating wilderness adventures with 37,000 acres of meditative space makes Paws Up the perfect location for a wellness weekend. With two guest instructors—celebrity yogi Kristin McGee and fitness and lifestyle expert Idalis Velazquez—you’re sure to burn calories, push yourself and get centered, all in a safe, fun environment. And with all of that exercise, you’ll need to keep your energy up. That’s where Executive Chef Ben Jones and cookbook author Alison Lewis come in. Jones will satisfy your appetite with gourmet food, healthy cocktails and private culinary instruction. Lewis will also be providing hands-on workshops with recipes from her latest cookbook, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes. Adrenaline and Zen—we’ve got them both here.

 The resort at paws up thanksgiving

  1. Thanksgiving (November 22–26, 2017)

Thanksgiving is all about coming together with the people you love, sharing memories over a beautiful meal. So, bring your loved ones to The Resort at Paws Up, and we’ll take care of everything else. We’ll baste the turkey and make sure the pies don’t burn, while you watch the big game, view the parade on TV, play a game of touch football or go on hayride. And, of course, the food will incredible. Executive Chef Ben Jones will create gourmet, upscale options, as well as Thanksgiving favorites, and even share some dishes from the Jones family recipe book. Oh, and we’ll do the dishes too.

Montana Master Chefs 

  1. Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars (September 21–24, 2017)

This is the culinary event that started them all at Paws Up. There’s a reason Montana Master Chefs is at the top of my list. It encompasses so much of what I love about being on property at Paws Up in the fall: gorgeous September views, exhilarating activities, an incredible community feel and, of course, amazing, out-of-this-world meals. This year is extra special in that we’re featuring rising all-stars. These chefs may not be household names quite yet, but, when they are, you’ll be able to say you dined with them. And, rather than sampling their delicious dishes in a crowded restaurant, you’ll get to experience these masters at their craft in an intimate setting, while they tell you about their food on a personal level. This event is upscale without pretense and is exactly what Paws Up is about.

fall at the resort at paws up

Fall Culinary Offerings at The Resort at Paws Up

Montana Master Chefs at The Resort at Paws up

From James Beard Award winners to Bravo Top Chef stars, we have been featuring a steady stream of highly esteemed chefs for our unique culinary weekends. The Resort invites guests to dine on cutting-edge cuisine from a select group of gastronomic geniuses during Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars and the launch of Live Life Love Food with Paws Up’s own Executive Chef Ben Jones. Guests will have the opportunity to experience menus that have foodies clamoring for a chance to try. The events include exquisite wine, chef workshops, live music, wilderness adventures, spa treatments and more—all set under a never-ending Montana Big Sky.

culinary events at the resort at paws up

Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars, September 21–24: As part of the weekend event, guests can partake in a myriad of wilderness adventures like horseback riding, river rafting or fly-fishing and will enjoy one-on-one interaction with some of the finest chefs, distillers and winemakers in the U.S. Montana Master Chefs 2017 will also feature cooking demonstrations and multicourse dinners prepared by up-and-coming all-stars in the culinary world including Chef Michael Corvino of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room (Kansas City), Chef Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow and Revival (Atlanta), Chef Annie Pettry of Decca (Louisville), Chef Garrison Price of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria (New York), Chef Amanda Rockman of South Congress Hotel (Austin) and Paws Up’s own Executive Chef Ben Jones. The chefs will also duke it out in a lighthearted (read: highly competitive) Master Chef Cook-Off Challenge.

food and wine at the resort at paws up

Paws Up is proud to welcome Montana’s Whitefish Handcrafted Spirits as the featured distiller and the celebrated California vintners Kosta Browne Winery, Melville Winery and Steele Wines to provide tastings and pairings throughout the weekend. Among the many highlights will be nightly private concerts by Cory Branan, a punk-influenced country artist from Memphis; John Floridis, a talented Missoula guitarist, singer-songwriter and composer and Ali Solomon, a captivating singer and cover artist also from nearby Missoula. Chef Ben Jones

Live Life Love Food, October 20–23: For a delicious course on how to incorporate exhilaration (Adrenalin) and renewal (Zen) into your everyday life, join us for our first-ever Live Life Love Food daily exercises. As a complement to AdrenZen: Fall wellness weekend, Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones shares the philosophy behind his cooking—and his life. Watch firsthand as he mixes, twists and lifts his way through this brand-new weekend event. Guests will gain new insights into using food as nourishment and experience the dual health benefits of energizing activities and a ranch-based diet. They will learn how to translate locally sourced ingredients into artistic creations on the plate. Basic training has never tasted so good.

homemade Kombucha

The weekend will feature a hands-on “clean eating” cooking class with Jones, a tour of the greenhouse, early-morning workouts alongside Jones, world-class dinners and more.

For reservations, please call 877-588-6783. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook, Instagram (@theresortatpawsup) and Twitter (@Paws_Up).The Resort at Paws up

 

Meet our Fall Wellness Expert Kristin McGee

Kristin mcgee at the resort at paws up

Meet AdrenZen: Fall Yoga Expert Kristin McGee

Kristin McGee is a nationally recognized celebrity yoga and Pilates teacher, speaker and “mompreneur.” She is the author of Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier YouHer unparalleled knowledge of fitness and health has established McGee as a sought-after trainer with a continuous roster of high-profile celebrities, including Emilia Clarke, Tina Fey, Bethenny Frankel, Savannah Guthrie, Steve Martin, LeAnn Rimes and Christine Taylor.

Join McGee at The Resort at Paws Up’s event AdrenZen: Fall on October 20–23, 2017. You will flow through many postures and learn simple chair poses to take with you wherever you go, so yoga can be a part of your daily life even if you’re stuck sitting down.

Kristin McGee

Try these four moves to boost your happiness and lift your spirits.

High Altar Pose: Lift your arms up overhead, interlace the fingers, invert the palms and lift the corners of your mouth in to a smile. You’ll feel your lungs inflate as you lift out of your lower back. Get an immediate rush of energy in to your body and notice how much better your body and brain feel. Hold for 3–5 deep breaths.

Hands Clasped Behind the Back Arch: Backbends are the antidepressants of yoga. When we slouch forward we get depressed. Our posture determines our mood. Use this pose to open your heart and lift yourself up mentally. Sit toward the edge of your seat, clasp your hands behind your back and lift your chest upward toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for 5–8 breaths.

Assisted Neck Stretch: We carry a ton of tension and stress in our neck and shoulders. Use this stretch to release the issues in your tissues. Place one hand over your head on the opposite ear. Gently let the head fall to the side as you stretch the neck and top of shoulder. Hold for 5 breaths and then switch sides.

Forward Fold: Finally, end with a forward fold to bring oxygen to the brain and stretch the entire back body. When you fold forward, you let the spine release and relax. Hold for 5–8 breaths before coming back up to sit and then notice how much happier and refreshed you feel.

Yoga Expert Kristin Mcgee 

A Q&A with Kristin McGee

What is your favorite thing about yoga?

Yoga makes me feel amazing. When I link my mind and body and tap into my breath, I am happier and healthier and I have more energy.

What is your style of teaching?

I teach an alignment-based flow. I also incorporate some of my Pilates background as well.

Why did you decide to write the Chair Yoga book?

Too many of us are stuck in our seats all day, so it’s important to find ways to do yoga anywhere and yoga in a chair.

What are you most looking forward to about coming to Paws Up?

Meeting new people in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I can’t wait to breathe in the mountain air and do yoga in a peaceful, incredible surrounding.

What advice would you give to someone who has never tried yoga before?

Get on the mat and listen to your breath. Your breath will be your guide and your body and mind will start to open and grow in so many ways. There is no judgment and no rush to do anything. You can just BE and start to move from an organic place inside of you. Honestly you will LOVE it.

chair yoga book

16 New Paws Up Finds

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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

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Mesh Back Cap $35 Premium Sueded Cotton Hoodie $65

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Paws Up Money Clip $40

Paws Up Wine Glasses

Logo Metal Wine Cup $35

the resort at paws up pillows

Logo Pillow $125

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Last Best Place Hat $35

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Paws Up Kids Tees $25

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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

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Logo Browning Clipback Knife $75

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Suede Brim Paws Up Cap $35 Trucker Cap $35

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Paws Up Luggage Tag $35

The Resort at paws up wine glasses

Paws Up Wine Glass Set $45

 

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Logo Mule Mug $40

5 Reasons to Visit Paws Up This Winter

spring break at the resort at paws up

Winter is going by so quickly so be sure not to miss your chance to spend it in style at The Resort at Paws Up—an authentic working cattle ranch where adventure awaits at every turn. We will be hard at work with our pre-arrival department to create a custom stay for you and your family. Below, find our top five activities to enjoy this winter.

kids winter at The Resort at Paws Up

1. Kids Corps of Discovery

Our Kids Corps of Discovery offers half-day and full-day programs that include pony rides, field trips to the Blackfoot River, a petting zoo, horse painting, scavenger hunts and more for children. Older kids can enjoy geocaching, target shooting, the Grizzlyman Fitness Trail, archery and more.

The resort at paws up snow tubing

2. Snow Tubing

Do you have the need for speed? If you like living in the fast lane but are tired of lift lines and toe-crushing ski boots, the surrounding hills and meadows of Paws Up offer ample opportunities for other snowy pursuits. Test the limits of gravity aboard one of our snow tubes. The Resort offers two kinds of tubing:

Downhill Tubing

Tubes in varying sizes are offered to guests for downhill tubing every afternoon between 2PM and 4PM. A tubing chauffeur drives guests back up the hill on a snowmobile after each run. (Helmets and goggles are provided at the top of the hill, but guests are encouraged to bring their own.) Guests may tube downhill at any other time of day without a chauffeur. Just remember: Extra calories burned climbing back uphill equal extra hot chocolate at the end!

Meadow Tubing

This style of tubing is slightly different, with tubes attached to a rope that is then secured to the back of a snowmobile that runs a course through the meadow behind the Wilderness Outpost. Guests should sign up in advance for a riding slot between 10AM and noon. One or two people can ride a single tube together, and guests are encouraged to bring their own helmets and goggles.

For both downhill and meadow tubing, bonfire pits at each location will be lit during specified operating times to warm up after runs.

Dogsledding at the resort at paws up

3Dogsledding

This signature adventure is centered around man’s best friend. Horsepower has nothing on our paw power. Iditarod champion Alaskan Huskies pull guests through the wilds of Montana at the foot of the Garnet Mountains—one of the most handsome ranges in the Rockies. The Blackfoot Valley is home to some of the best dogsled racing in the United States. In fact, four-time Iditarod (also known as the “Last Great Race on Earth”) champion Doug Swingley lives and trains here, as do dozens of his best local competition.

Ice hockey at paws up

4. Ice Skating and Hockey

Winter at Paws Up still means frosted pine trees, snow-covered meadows and frozen lakes. Turn circles around your companions at our royal ice rink, located across from Pomp and Tank & Trough—the perfect spot to thaw out with a golden goblet of gourmet coffee or sinfully rich hot chocolate. We provide the ice skates, hand warmers and hockey sticks. You provide the double toe loops and winning shots.

sleigh rides at the resort at paws up

5. Sleigh Rides

Join the Paws Up wranglers and their majestic Percheron draft horses for an enchanting sleigh ride through frosted forests and over powdery hills. While your mind is devouring a smorgasbord of tasty historical and naturalistic facts—told in storybook style by your sleigh guide—and your eyes take in the dreamy Montana scenery, your palate will be treated to gourmet hot chocolate, exquisite coffee and delicious hot cider to keep you toasty-warm during the entire experience.

spring break at paws up

SPRING BREAK SPECIALS

Visit The Resort at Paws Up for the ultimate spring break vacation with your family. Book your spring break stay today, and take advantage of our special offers. Our Spring Break Package includes meals and one half-day activity per person, per day. Rates start at $562 per person per night (based on two adults and two children). Or you can enjoy a limited-time discount of 30 percent off lodging when you book a stay for dates between February 1 and May 26, 2017. (Blackout dates include all special events.)

winter adventure at the resort at paws up

Swing into Spring at Paws Up

spring at The resort at paws up

Here at Paws Up, we have the secret cure for the winter blues: plan a trip around one of our upcoming spring events. Banish the blahs with Valentine’s Day festivities or with the Eat, Drink and Meet Merry Wine Weekend or plan to attend WildFlavor or the Cowgirl Spring Roundup. Relax with gourmet dinners, wine tastings and spa treatments or amp up your adrenaline with snowmobiling or horseback riding on the Montana terrain. You could even learn to wrangle and shoot at our world-class property. (Psst: We’ve also had a few opportunities to rub cowboy boots with super special celeb guests who’ve recently visited The Resort.) From food to fauna and wine to wilderness, spring at Paws Up is going to be spectacular.

Valentines Day Paws Up

Valentine’s Day at The Resort at Paws Up

It might not be balmy outdoors yet, but we guarantee this event will warm you right up. We’re pulling out all the sweet stops this year for a twosome getaway, available February 11—15. Dream up a list of all things romantic, and we can make all your wishes come true, including:

  • A private wilderness chic rustic cabin
  • Crackling fires
  • Intimate dinners
  • Spa treatments for two
  • Private outdoor adventures

paws up winter

There’s always room for more love, so we’ll include a welcome basket with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries; (more) champagne, oysters and caviar during one dinner; a half-day activity credit per person and accommodations with a hot tub and bottle of wine.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t get any better than this, and it’s all here waiting for you at The Resort at Paws Up.

merry edwards winery

Eat Drink and Meet Merry

We hinted at celeb sightings, and the first of famous folks to visit Paws Up in 2017 will be Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Merry Edwards, one of California’s first woman winemakers. As part of our inaugural Wine Weekend event, you will clink glasses with Edwards and her vintner partner, Ken Coopersmith.

Highlights include a wine seminar and outdoor adventuring with the winemakers. The crown jewel will be enjoying mouthwatering dinners with expert vino pairings from the Merry Edwards Winery, known for its exquisite Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs. Wine Weekend corresponds with the 20th anniversary of the Merry Edwards Winery, founded in 1997.

This first-ever Wine Weekend will also feature live entertainment, tastings and plenty of hands-on learning (read: plenty of wine sipping!) so you can impress friends at home with your sommelier-like expertise. Burn off the extra indulgences with adrenaline-pumping adventures such as snow tubing, horseback riding or sporting clays shooting. We hope to see you March 16—18. Cheers!

 wildflavor chefs at paws up

WildFlavor

Saddle up for the ultimate culinary ride with flora, fauna and flavor at our WildFlavor event, April 20—23. The first of its kind at The Resort, WildFlavor will feature cream-of-the-crop culinary talent with four Top Chef stars including Kristen Kish (winner, Season 10), Sam Talbot (finalist, Season 2) Casey Thompson (finalist, Season 3) and Brooke Williamson (runner-up, Season 10). Guests will have a prime spot to watch these chefs “fork it out” during a live cook-off challenge. A trio of expertly crafted meals will be served during the tasty four-day event.

wildflavor at paws

WildFlavor is the perfect blend of food, fun and live entertainment, plus enough outdoor activities to fill up any spaces in between. Special guest singer-songwriter Austin Jenckes (The Voice, Season 5) will be on hand for a soulful Saturday night performance of his folk-rock guitar-based melodies.

Fun spoiler alert: Be sure to tune in to Top Chef before you come for WildFlavor, as Talbot, Thompson and Williamson are all returning to compete in Season 14.

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Cowgirl Spring Roundup

We bill this April 27—30 event as the ultimate immersion Into Cowgirl Culture, and that’s a description we take seriously. You can swap Wild West Stories and ride alongside Cowgirl Hall of Fame honorees, including champion rider Sandy Collier, famed artist  Deborah Fellows and equestrian trailblazer Patricia E. Kelly. For three days you will participate in cowgirl skills workshops and a special ranch photography clinic with award-winning photographer Barbara Van Cleve. The Roundup will feature trail rides on horseback, hiking on breathtaking paths across The Resort and relaxing in front of a campfire by every night. You’ll also wrangle and herd cattle across the vast Montana landscape and test your aim at our sporting clays course.

cowgirl spring roundup at paws up

Grab the girls and book a getaway for the Cowgirl Spring Roundup. Just like every other top-notch event at The Resort, you’ll enjoy your fill of gourmet food, perfect wine and cocktail pairings, luxe accommodations and spa treatments. It’s the perfect way to finish out a spring break getaway.

sunset paws up

The Resort at Paws Up Introduces North Bank Camp

North Bank at paws up

It used to be next to impossible to get this close to Montana’s unbridled nature while enjoying all the rich comforts of a luxury resort. Then the masterminds at Paws Up invented glamping. And ever since, adventure seekers have been gazing out from our well-appointed tents and casting their eyes over a pristine landscape, complete with the rush of water just 50 feet below.

To help ensure our guests can reserve a stay and enjoy the experience they crave, we’re expanding our glamping options—and we’re doing it in a way that keeps the wilderness intact.

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Sneak Peak

On a beautiful site about a half-mile downriver from the chuck wagon dining area, the new North Bank camp will offer beautiful views of the Blackfoot River. It’ll encompass the same safari-style tents as our other camps and include the same uncompromising amenities, such as rustic chic décor, sumptuous bed linens and en suite bathrooms with heated floors. Each tent will have a private deck overlooking the majestic river. And like the other camps, North Bank will be the perfect jumping-off point for any number of exciting outdoor activities.

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What makes the new camp different is its size. According to Brian Bandy, project manager for The Resort at Paws Up, while the other camps have four double tents and two single tents, the new camp will have four doubles and two triples, and the triples will have two full baths instead of one. This means North Bank will ideal for larger families and groups wanting to buy out an entire site.

To accommodate more people, North Bank’s Dining Pavilion will be about 30 percent larger than the pavilions at the other camps. It will also feature sliding glass doors, so guests will be able to take in the magnificent view while dining.

Of course, in keeping with the Paws Up aesthetic and our strict environmental principles, Bandy pointed out, “Whenever we build a camp, we’re concerned about the Blackfoot corridor; we want to make sure nothing looks out of place. We do as little excavation as possible. We don’t remove trees, and we do as little trimming as possible.” In other words, anything Paws Up creates needs to be in harmony with nature. Guests can look forward to seeing the finished North Bank camp in late May 2017.

What’s new this year in all our camps? Paws Up is installing complimentary Wi-Fi, not just in the pavilions, but in the tents as well. To plan your stay at North Bank or any of our other incredible sites, don’t wait. We’re already taking reservations for unforgettable stays under Montana’s Big Sky. Click here for more.

Come Cook with Brooke Williamson at The Resort at Paws Up

Chef Brooke Williamson

Say hello to Chef Brooke Williamson, a fearless and unstoppable Southern Californian who’s become a bit of a regular at The Resort at Paws Up. We love hosting her, because she brings energy and fresh local ingredients to everything she does.

You might know her from Top Chef. She’s currently reappearing to compete in Season 14: Charleston, South Carolina, airing right now on Bravo. In Season 10, Williamson was the runner-up and a favorite among the show’s fans.

When she’s not on TV, she’s busy running the four smash-hit restaurants she owns with her husband. The newest opened just this past October—a fast- casual Hawaiian concept named Da Kikokiko in Playa Vista, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

What does she do for fun? She comes to The Resort at Paws Up, of course. In 2017, she’ll be a featured chef at no fewer than three culinary events: WinterFest on January 19– 22, WildFlavor on April 20–23 and Bounty on the Blackfoot on August 19. So we asked her to tell us about her experiences here.

What’s the first thing you like to do when you arrive at Paws Up?
 I like to grab a drink at Tank and head straight to my cabin to chill on the porch. The sounds of wilderness that surround those cabins are the perfect way to decompress after a day of travel.

What do you look forward to most when you visit? 
Because of the fact that I get to experience the ranch at different times of year, the things I look forward to in terms of activities vary greatly. Between pristine snow and cattle drives, I could stay entertained forever.

But the one thing that I can always count on, no matter what time of year, is the staff. I do a lot of events, all over the country, but never do I travel to a place and feel so welcomed and at home as I do at Paws Up.

What’s a dish you’ve made just for Paws Up guests that was especially wonderful? 
Seafood salad, cucumber and tomato water, compressed melons. I made this dish for an event last summer, and although I would normally gravitate toward mentioning a dish that feels more “Montana,” I actually loved this dish not only because of the setting and weather that it was served in, but mostly because I got to use some of the best local watermelon I’ve ever tasted.

How does cooking in Montana differ from cooking in LA? Cooking in Montana makes you realize how important and special cooking “local” can be. I come from California, where we have beautiful seasons for produce, and an enormous variety of pretty much anything you want.

But Montana helps me realize how specific seasons can actually be based on climate and accessibility. From elk to buffalo to huckleberries and specific mushrooms, it’s especially fun to find new ways to highlight ingredients that I don’t come across every day in Los Angeles.