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.



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.


It takes two hours from start to finish.


Yes. It is a winter exclusive!


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 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.

Top 10 Personal Paws Up Faves

The Resort at Paws Up

My Summer at Paws Up

by Cameron Gutierrez, Paws Up Intern

With all the beauty and adventure here at Paws Up, you may wonder what it’s like to work at the most gorgeous place in the United States. I’m lucky enough to have spent the summer interning here at The Resort. At the end of the summer, I’ll return to California State University in Chico, California, where I am a senior majoring in business administration. (Prior to enrolling in college, I spent six years in the military.) However, once I graduate, my fiancée and I plan to make Montana our permanent home. Paws Up and Montana truly are The Last Best Place. Here are my Top 10 favorite things about working as an intern at Paws Up.

The resort at paws Up
Top 10 Personal Paws Up Faves

1. Paws Up is located in a beautiful part of western Montana. Even after two months of driving to work every day, I will never tire of the magnificent views on Highway 200.

2. The Resort is located on vast land that lends itself to deer and jackrabbit sightings, while hoping for an elusive bald eagle to soar above.

3. River Camp and Moonlight Camp are my two favorite glamping camps. River Camp has a small private beach with an amazing view of the Blackfoot River, located just past the Dining Pavilion. Moonlight Camp, although secluded, has a phenomenal meadow view. Take a small hike down a dirt road, and you’ll find yourself at an access point to the Blackfoot River. The slow-moving water is perfect for a midday swim.

4. The opportunity to meet guests from all over the country and world is incredible.

5. Working in the Transportation Department (Bell Stand) opened my eyes to the inner workings of The Resort, as well as the hard work required to make the entire operation run smoothly.

6. Being a small part of guests’ experiences has been amazing, especially when I hear them talking about how much they enjoyed their time at Paws Up.

7. On my first day at Paws Up, I witnessed the birth of two beautiful baby deer, and I have been able to watch as they grow older each day.

8. A piece of the ranch’s history—and something I really love too—is located off Elk Creek Road, just beyond the pastures. The Morris Ranch House (built in the late 1800s) is beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. Located next to the front door is a picture of the Morris family when they lived in the house.

9. The pasture animals are a great addition to the Montana guest experience. I’ve seen so much unique wildlife here on a daily basis: cattle, horses, buffalo, Watusis and even a beefalo.

10. My time at Paws Up has given me a wonderful summer away from home, and working for The Resort reinforced my dream of living in Montana. I can’t wait to get back!

The Resort at Paws Up