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.

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.


Get the Inside Scoop on Chicago Dessert Icon Mindy Segal


Walk into Mindy’s HotChocolate and you’ll find yourself transported into Chicago’s most famous pastry mecca. Before you even set your eyes on the restaurant’s chic industrial interior, you’ll catch yourself ogling a display case filled with deliciously crumbly cookies. James Beard Award winner and owner Mindy Segal is a Windy City institution, and we’re always excited to witness her fierce, urban creativity here in the wilds of Western Montana. To give you a taste of why we ask her back again and again, we had a short chat with the famous pastry chef.

Mindy Segal at the resort at paws up

PAWS UP: What’s your personal favorite menu item at Mindy’s HotChocolate?

CHEF MINDY SEGAL: Believe it or not, I love the hot chocolate ICED! My favorite is my most popular flavor, which is the “medium.” Hot chocolate served over ice with a shot of whiskey. Trust me, it’s the most adult chocolate milk you’ll ever drink!

PAWS UP: In a competitive food town like Chicago, what makes Mindy’s HotChocolate successful after so many years?

SEGAL: My team and I are always working on our craft and we are always changing and upgrading the menu to make it special for our guests. I also think that because I’m at my restaurant at some point every day, I stay connected with my guests and my staff.

PAWS UP: What inspires you?

SEGAL: For sure, the seasons (obviously), the farmers market and, above all, vintage plate ware (of all types)!

PAWS UP: How many times have you been to Paws Up?

SEGAL: I believe 6? Not sure—I stopped counting because I never want it to end!

PAWS UP: What do you like about it?

SEGAL: First of all, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and a 180-degree shift from Chicago! And the staff is amazing and I always look forward to going back and seeing them.

PAWS UP: How do you keep the Montana spirit alive once you return home to Chicago?

SEGAL: I try to go hiking around the Chicago area to stay one with nature. My husband and I enjoy camping and fly-fishing, which of course is the spirit of the Blackfoot River!

PAWS UP: Can you describe the qualities of the perfect s’more?

SEGAL: A great graham cracker (we make our own), the PERFECT toasted marshmallow (I like a charred crust and a soft interior) and an elevated chocolate creation. We use toffee chocolate brittle; the added crunch and salt adds a nice balance to the sweet marshmallow. Not to mention, texture, texture, texture!!


And if your sweet tooth likes the idea of that, be sure to join us for Cookbook Live: Cookie Love, August 10–16, when Segal will be at Paws Up serving s’mores just the way YOU like them. Campfires were invented for just such an occasion.

national amores week at 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

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.

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

Get Cozy with Red Wine and Hot Chocolate at The Resort at Paws Up

Red Wine and Hot Chocolate

Move over Irish coffee. Have you heard the buzz about the latest trending winter beverage, Red Wine and Hot Chocolate? The bartenders at The Resort at Paws Up have, and they’re already serving it up this season. Red Wine and Hot Chocolate is easy to make. All you need is milk, red wine, your favorite dark chocolate and cinnamon. Our staff tops the beverage off with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.


This warming drink is simply hot chocolate spiked with red wine. It is similar to mulled wine but rich and chocolaty! Use three parts hot chocolate to one part red wine. We used Rombauer Merlot. The Rombauer family members are big fans of this varietal’s rich, silky textures and supple tannins, as well as its versatility with food. It is medium-bodied and ripe and plush, with flavors of plums, cherries and figs. It makes a perfect pairing with melted dark chocolate.


After a day of cross-country skiing, horseback riding, skijoring or snow tubing at Paws Up, take a sip of Red Wine and Hot Chocolate, and you’ll be feeling warm and cozy in no time. We love drinking it fireside. So if you’re visiting us this season, come by Tank and try one (or two). Otherwise, make one at home, and let us know how you liked it.

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.


10 Employees Who Experience National Relaxation Day Everyday

relaxation day

National Relaxation Day is today, Monday, August 15th, and it should be exactly as it sounds: all about winding down, taking a few deep breaths and enjoying a quiet moment or beautiful space. At The Resort at Paws Up, our 37,000 acres offers scenic vistas and serenity at every turn. In honor of this day, we’re sharing the most relaxing part about The Resort at Paws Up from the perspective of a few of our employees.


“Seeing the many paws of our wildlife here on the Ranch. I find it mesmerizing to watch the elk herd move across a pasture and equally awesome to watch our bison move their enormous bodies with such grace. I can’t believe my eyes when I spot the many eagles perched in our trees, watching in amazement as they teach their young to fly. Fawning season just finished, and the new spotted baby deer are finally old enough to show their faces. It’s the beauty of nature that relaxes me. I can sit in one place for hours watching this show unfold.”

Kathleen Cochran, VP Operations

paws up animals copy

“Like most people in today’s world, our guests lead very busy lives. What makes Montana and our property so unique is the ability to unplug, unwind and just observe an amazing place. One of the best parts of my job is talking to guests—from the moment they arrive to their last day here—and observing how the stress comes off their shoulders as they tell me about sitting outside their homes and watching an eagle in its nest in their backyards, or how they had the best night’s sleep of their lives listening to the Blackfoot River from their tents.”

Jon Martin, General Manager, Guest Relations

relaxing river

“Watching the sunrise on the Pomp Deck at the Cook Shack is my Zen spot. My best dishes and menu ideas come from sitting there watching the light fill the valley.”

Ben Jones, Executive Chef

sunrise at Paws Up

“The most relaxing thing to me about Paws Up is sitting in an Adirondack chair, listening to the Blackfoot River roar by, watching the fish rising, feeling the cold stones beneath my feet, smelling the elk steak on the grill and sipping my own Huckleberry Hound.”

Mindy Marcum, Executive Administrative Assistant

paws up moments

There is no greater tonic for stress than an early-morning hike on the Sunset Hill Loop.”

Scott Schaefer, Special Events Manager

The Resort at Paws Up Summer 2010

“Find your Zen at Spa Town at Paws Up by getting a massage beneath the moon and stars.”

Laura Russell, Spa and Wellness Manager

“I find it the most relaxing when I’m on a morning ride and it’s foggy. The forest gets really quiet and everything is still. The fog adds an otherworldly feel to the forest, and the gentle sway of the horses with the sounds of their breathing is enough to make anyone look around in wonder.”

Rachael Warnick, Wrangler

campfire at Paws Up

“For me, it doesn’t get any more relaxing than being curled up in front of a crackling campfire—a glass of red wine in one hand while the other twirls a marshmallow in the flames.”

Justyne Palermo, Reservations Manager

paws up nature

“The most relaxing thing about Paws Up is the early mornings. Nature is awakening and the light and air has an absolutely magical feel to it. Gathering my horse from the pasture at that time is my life medicine.”

Zia Reato, Wrangler

sunset at Paws Up

“Sitting on the porch at the end of the day, glass of wine in hand, watching an amazing Montana sunset. The colors are unlike anything else here, and you just watch the light melt away into a quiet evening.”

Jackie Kecskes, Youth Programs Director and Activities Manager

paws up hammock

National S’mores Day at Paws Up

S'mores at Paws Up

Sure, other important things are happening in August, but National S’mores Day is an event we take seriously at The Resort at Paws Up. This year, we’re hosting our first-ever full Resort competition dedicated to the simple, rustic treat we love. The Paws Up S’mores Challenge: We’re taking gooiness to the next level!

Classic ingredients will be provided to all of our guests on property, but unique “secret” ingredients will only be available as part of a special geo-cache adventure earlier in the day.

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Guests won’t have to travel far to compete in the preliminary rounds. Vacation home guests will line up on The Yard at the Cook Shack. Campers will convene at their individual campsites. And the top competitors will be selected to for the Championship round. Fans will be watching as four esteemed s’mores experts rank thier tasty, toasted treat on a scale from 1 to 10. The crowd will go be waiting patiently for samples.

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The grand-prize winner of the Paws Up S’mores Challenge will receive a one-hour photography session from our official on-site photographer. And, naturally, we’ll add their portrait to the Paws Up Hall of Fame.

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Here’s our lineup for Wednesday, August 10, 2016

9:00AM–12:00PM Ingredients-finding Geo-Cache adventure begins from the Wilderness Outpost

4:30PM–8:30PM Campsite competition at individual campsites around The Resort

6:30PM–8:30PM Vacation homes competition on The Yard at the Cook Shack

9:00PM Championship round at The Cook Shack fire pits

9:30PM Awards ceremony at the Cook Shack Stage

Afterwards, guests will enjoy a special musical performance by local favorites . How fun does sound?

smores paws up