10 Fun Facts about Paws Up

Paws Up horses

The Resort at Paws Up combines luxury with unforgettable adventure on a 37,000-acre ranch— that’s more than 60 square miles—featuring untamed Montana wilderness steeped in Lewis & Clark history. Situated on 10 miles of riverfront on the legendary Blackfoot River (of A River Runs Through It), The Resort at Paws Up opened in June 2005. There’s so much to learn about our incredible ranch (and many exciting new things happening in 2017, so stay tuned). Here are 10 fun facts about The Resort at Paws Up, and we hope to see you very soon!

cattle-drive at paws up

1. ADVENTURE

Paws Up boasts more than 120 miles of designated hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding trails and ATV courses. Outdoor adventures include fly- fishing, cattle driving, rock rappelling, whitewater rafting, bird and wildlife watching and sporting clays shooting.

Winter activities include sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, dogsledding and downhill skiing nearby.

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2. THE NAME “PAWS UP”

“Paws Up” came from a family friend who thought that when dogs are happy, they jump up and show their paws. Hence the saying “Paws Up.”

3. LOCATION

The Resort at Paws Up may feel like it’s a million miles away from the everyday, but it is easier to get to than you might think. Missoula International Airport features a number of major airlines and direct, daily flights. The Resort is located just 35 miles from the airport.

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4. MOUNTAIN RANGES

According to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, there are at least 100 named mountain ranges and sub ranges in Montana. However, mountain ranges have no official boundaries.

bull barn at paws up

5. BULL BARN

The Bull Barn is a 75-year-old building that was used to house the black angus bulls of Paws Up. In 2011, it was renovated as a world-class conference center and special events hall.

6. SADDLE CLUB

The Saddle Club is one of Montana’s premier equestrian centers. The largest privately owned in the state, the 72,000-square-foot Saddle Club boasts a 23,000-square-foot riding arena.

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7. THE MORRIS RANCH HOUSE

Built in 1908, this historic home sits next to Elk Creek. The home was acquired during the original homestead.

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8. WILDERNESS ESTATES

Ideal for larger families, multigenerational travelers or groups, the 10 “WEs,” as we call them, each sleep eight guests. The homes are named after the Lewis & Clark expedition.

moonlight camp

9. MOONLIGHT CAMP

Moonlight Camp is situated at the foot of Lewis & Clark’s famous Lookout Rock and just 100 yards from the mighty Blackfoot River. All tents are named after notorious outlaws. When this camp originally opened in 2005, this camp was called Tent City and featured three tents, a tented pavilion, a picnic table and a grill. The bathrooms were housed in two small trailers. The original Tent City was just a test to see if anyone would really want to camp in luxury and to see if the glamping idea took off! The following year, three more tents were added and a proper pavilion and bathhouse were built. It was renamed Moonlight Camp.

glamping at Paws UP

bathroom glamping at Paws Up

10. CLIFFSIDE CAMP

Opened in 2013, Cliffside Camp is set atop a majestic cliff that overlooks the Blackfoot River. Each tent is decorated with a chandelier and named after famous cliffs in Montana. This camp also contains two honeymoon tents with copper claw- foot tubs.

Cliffside at Paws Up

Where to Go in September With Man’s Best Friend

Canine Classic at Paws Up

It’s National Dog Day this Friday, and at The Resort at Paws Up, you don’t have to vacation without your best friend. We’ve always had a special relationship with man’s best friend. In fact, it was the canine’s friendly greeting that inspired our name. The Resort at Paws Up not only welcomes your best friend, we cater to him (or her) with the following amenities:

Canine Classic in September at Paws Up

•The Last Best Doggie Bed

•Dog dish

•Dog collar

•Locally made treats

•Wag the tails massage

•Doggie room service menu*

•Hiking trail map

•Tennis ball

•Welcome card from the owner’s dog, Fenway.

(Additional pet rates apply)

Canine Classic at The Resort at Paws Up

On Sunday, September 25th, we are hosting our eighth annual Canine ClassicEnjoy walking with your dog along streams and winding through the beautiful trails at our 37,000-acre wilderness. Choose a two-mile, five-mile or chip-timed half-marathon. And following your walk, run or hike, you’ll enjoy a gourmet barbecue with live music and plenty of prizes!

2016 CanineClassic Poster

Since its inception, the Canine Classic has raised over $200,000. And all proceeds go to support the Humane Society of Western Montana. Join us this year and help us in “Saving Every Animal Every Time.”

Race entries start at $35 and include one lunch, a swag bag, and the chance to win prizes. Register now for the Canine Classic.

For overnight accommodations, please call 877-758-8644 or chat with us.

The Resort at Paws Up

Also…we are always excited to present our annual Wine & Bitch Dinner hosted by The Resort’s Nadine Lipson and her trusty sidekick, Fenway. This unique event offers you and your best friend the chance to bond, relax and enjoy the finer things in life—together.

You’ll stroll through a pet expo featuring dog massage therapists, a photo booth and agility demonstrations. Then you’ll be treated to a gourmet feast created by Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones, complete with fine wine pairings and decadent desserts (our featured vintner is Montana Winery. Located in nearby Missoula, Montana, the Winery is committed to serving the community and supporting non-profit causes. The company donates a portion of their sales to organizations that range from the Prevent Cancer Foundation to Freedom Service Dogs of America.

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You and your your two-legged guests will be entertained by Walter Salas-Humara, a Founding member of the band Silos. He has also shared the stage with Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed and other great musical artists. Tickets are just $98. Reserve your spot now.

For overnight accommodations, please call 877-758-8644 or chat with us.

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.

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“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

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“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

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“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

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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

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“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

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The Best Seat at The Resort at Paws Up

cattle drive at The Resort at Paws Up

Throughout the history of what’s known today as Paws Up Ranch, horses have played as big of a role as humans. Captain Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis & Clark expedition, arrived via horseback in July 1806. Countless miners and loggers and everyone from Paul Greenough to the Lindberghs (yes, those Lindberghs) relied on horses for transportation and all manner of ranch chores in Montana. It’s been no different with the Lipsons. Since opening The Resort at Paws Up, they’ve redefined the experience of horseback riding with one-of-a-kind equestrian adventures.

horses at The Resort at Paws Up

Whether you’re an expert rider or you’ve never been in the saddle before, The Resort’s wrangler will pair you up with a Paws Up four- legged friend that will be your perfect match for exploring more than 100 miles of wilderness trails. You’ll pass towering ponderosa pines, whose size and beauty are surpassed only by the views of the distant mountain ranges of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. You’ll ride over, through and around the remains of a famous Montana mining community.

Horses The Resort at Paws UpYou’ll also enjoy the history, the views and the conversations that are provoked by these inspiring Rocky Mountain trail rides. And this year, there are several additions to our equestrian program. A new evening ride will take you past our quaint line shack (where you’ll enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer) to the top of Scout’s Point to take in a signature Montana sunset. Or if you prefer, you can enjoy a lunch ride to a gorgeous spot in the shade where you’ll indulge in a Paws Up style picnic. Kids can participate in lessons at the Saddle Club arena, complete with games, obstacle courses and more, and adult beginners can join instructional group trail rides. For advanced riders, the all-new, three-hour trail ride allows equine enthusiasts to cover terrain that no Paws Up guests have ever traversed. Explore the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, or travel back in time as you ride along a spur line of the old mining railways. For an authentic taste of Western ranch life, participate in a cattle drive where novice and advanced riders alike will saddle up with seasoned ranch hands and drive a herd of cattle across the majestic rolling pastures of Paws Up.

Wranglers at The Resort at Paws Up

Here’s a look at some of our awesome Paws Up Wranglers. Come visit us soon!

5 Things to Learn In Montana This Summer

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This summer The Resort at Paws Up is offering inspirational Wilderness Workshops where guests can grow their artistic, equestrian and literary skills, as well as their outdoor expertise. The Resort’s newest offerings (which start today) include a writing course, an outdoor watercolor workshop, photography workshop, hands-on training sessions in woodsman skills and more. Our top picks include:

activities at Paws Up

Gettin’ Primitive: July 10–16 and August 7–13

Learn about the old ways of the great outdoors from mountain man Gary Steele at his self-built camp, where guests receive hands-on instruction in “primitive” skills such as edible plant identification, fire making, knot tying, longbow archery, music making, orienteering, shelter building, storytelling, tomahawk throwing, tracking and woodsmanship.

Starry Night Photography

Starry Night Photography and Champion Horsemanship: July 18—21

Aspiring cowboys and cowgirls join acclaimed ranch-life photographer and Cowgirl Hall of Fame member Barbara Van Cleve for a captivating photography workshop. Enjoy photographing all the incredible beauty Montana has to offer. Van Cleve, known for her spectacular nighttime imagery, will instruct guests on how to capture vivid, dreamy photographs under a starry, moonlit sky. Additionally, guests can take their horsemanship skills to a whole new level with an emphasis on mental toughness. Participants will focus on control as they wind through obstacle courses along scenic trails and practice their aims on horseback with mounted water pistol shooting.

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Block Printing and Mosaics: July 24–30, 2016

Artist in Residency Jill Schulman will teach adults and children alike the art of block carving and printing, as well as mosaic making in this Paws Up Wilderness Workshop. Schulman is a renowned sculptor and ceramic artist who thrives on teaching her craft to others. No previous experience is required to take part in the workshop—just a willingness to think “outside the block.”

Schulman will demonstrate the art of block printing, and then workshop participants will design, carve and pull prints with their own linoleum stamps. In the afternoon, participants will make a mosaic, filling a stepping-stone with colorful tiles and other materials. These stones will then be installed on a special path at the Kids Corps of Discovery. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Wild Writing: July 29—30th

Learn writing skills from veteran writer Laura Munson as she leads the Wild Writing workshop. Munson is the author of New York Times bestselling memoir “This Is Not the Story You Think It Is.” Participants will leave with a renewed feeling of empowerment through self-expression in the heart of beautiful Montana.

3 Super Cool Things to do This Summer in Montana

At The Resort at Paws Up, you can experience so much more than a typical Montana dude-ranch vacation. Besides glamping in luxury, safari-style tents, you can partake in a multitude of outdoor adventures, once in a lifetime experiences and unique activities, which are more than plentiful at The Resort. Check out these three super cool activities ideal for a summer Montana vacation—there are exciting discoveries at every single turn.

1. Garnet Ghost Town

Have you ever visited a real ghost town? Garnet is an historic, 120-year-old mining ghost town located in west central Montana; it sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet at the head of First Chance Creek. The Resort at Paws Up offers two different ways to visit Garnet from the ranch:

Five-Hour Garnet Ghost Town Tour and ATV:

A ghost town via ATV? Yes! For those looking for a gorgeous, scenic route and adventure, this five-hour trip is a rush. You will leave the property and head to Elevation Peak for lunch. Then, take a tour of the ghost town with your guide before continuing this exciting journey.

Downhill Mountain Bike and Garnet Ghost Town Tour:

Looking for a challenge by bike? Approximately four hours, this tour takes guests, by van, to Garnet Ghost Town, where you will have the opportunity to explore this historic site before hopping on mountain bikes to make a 12-mile downhill trek. Get your workout in and explore an historic ghost town all at once.

2. Chuck Wagon Dinner

Looking for the most fun and unique dining experience in Montana? Step aboard Paws Up’s version of an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon for an evening ride to the Blackfoot River. Sit back, relax and take in Montana’s fresh air and beautiful Big Sky—there’s lots of both!—the backdrop of The Resort at Paws Up.

The Chuck Wagon Dinner begins at the banks of the Blackfoot River, where you will enjoy an authentic dinner prepared before your eyes. From all-natural chicken, Angus prime rib, fresh corn and asparagus grilled over a campfire to summer classic dishes such as baked beans and fresh fruit cobbler cooked over the coals in a Dutch oven, we promise you won’t walk away hungry.

Further enjoy this cowboy-style experience by pitching horseshoes with the kids, listening to a local banjo player or contemplating a few words from a cowboy poet. This is one family dining experience that you will remember for years to come.

3. 3D Archery

At Paws Up, 3D Archery will change your archery experience forever. We call it 3D archery because the targets are actually three-dimensional. There are buffalo, deer, mountain goats and even bears that all are very lifelike. It’s so enjoyable you’ll want to do it more than once. Guests learn the most important techniques of archery shooting, as well as gain an introduction to the sport of big game archery hunting through a walkabout course in the woods with realistic foam animal targets. Learn the fundamentals and see improvement in your skill level on the target range. The best part comes next: Progress to the 10-station, one-mile walk-through course, which features a variety of shots with different scenarios and difficulties. (Guests are provided with compound bows and a quiver full of arrows.)

How Is Paws Up Different Than A Dude Ranch?

The history of the dude ranch dates back to the 1800s when it was common practice for ranching families to invite friends from the city to visit their cattle ranches. As the railroad stretched throughout the West, ranch owners realized they could attract flocks of city slickers (otherwise known as “dudes”) and the business proliferated.

Today hundreds of ranches offer dude ranching experiences.  Paws Up is situated on a sprawling, 37,000-acre working cattle ranch.  You can join authentic western ranch activities like a cattle drive where novice and advanced riders team up with seasoned ranch hands in driving a herd of cattle.  Guests saddle up their horses and set out to gather the cattle and trail them to working corrals, sort them, then trail them back to their home pasture.  Other ranch activities include a junior wrangler program and scenic wagon rides.

What differentiates The Resort at Paws Up from a Montana dude ranch is a commitment to luxury.  Montana’s premier luxury ranch resort offers first-class service and luxurious accommodations (including private vacation homes and glamping tents) and amenities. At Paws Up, once you dismount, you’ll step into a world of incomparable creature comforts featuring gourmet cuisine, decadent spa treatments, personalized service, and amenities such as flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet, in-home laundry, heated bathroom floors, rain showers, organic spa products and hot tubs.

The dude ranch tradition is alive and well in Montana at Paws Up – offering patrons a taste of the American frontier like none other.