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.)

National Trail Day: The Best Trails at Paws Up

“Going to the woods is going home.”—John Muir

June 4, 2016, is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, the country’s largest celebration of trails. The Resort at Paws Up offers more than 30 miles of marked trails for hiking on your own or with a naturalist guide. Choose from a variety of excursions through our 37,000 acres that will allow you to seek quiet, peace, solitude and inspiration. Our guides can offer information about native plants, wildlife and the history of the Blackfoot Valley.

“The top two favorite trails on our property would be the Sunset Trail and Jones Pond Trail through Lubrecht Experimental Forest,” says Justyne Palermo, Resort Reservations Manager at The Resort at Paws Up. “The Sunset Trail follows the Blackfoot River, and then you hike up to Lookout Rock, which provides grand views of the Blackfoot River and Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The Jones Pond Trail is the perfect hike for wildlife viewing with many visible tracks of elk, deer and bears near the pond. The hike through Lubrecht Experimental Forest is also interesting as it’s a track of land owned by the university, which provides a location for forestry research, resource management and ecosystem science,” says Palermo.

All trails are accessible to all ranch guests and free-of-charge to visit, so don’t miss a chance to explore our rolling hills and expansive meadows.

Six Paws Up Trails Not to Miss

For a quick, easy hike, choose Sacagawea Trail, an easy one-mile hike that is nearest to the Paws Up Village. Another option is the Grizzlyman Fitness Trail—a one-mile course near Spa Town that includes 12 fitness stations. Each station features equipment made from surrounding timber as well as unique challenges, including climbing, balancing, swinging and more. It’s a great way to relish in nature and burn calories at the same time.

Ponderosa Trail is The Resort’s 2.5-mile hike with a slight elevation through Lowland Forest (considered a moderate hike).

Anaconda Trail is four miles long with elevation changes, forest areas and a historic mining area.

Sunset Trail is filled with beauty for three miles as it follows Elk Creek and spans from the Camp to Village.

Jones Pond Trail is 2.5 miles uphill into Lubrecht, and it is considered a moderate to difficult path, more suitable for the avid hiker.

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.