3 Most Requested Activities at Paws Up

Horseback Riding The Resort at Paws Up

Take a wild guess at the three most requested activities at The Resort at Paws Up. If you picked fly-fishing, horseback riding, and ATV trail rides, then you are correct—and you should reward yourself with one of the above! These three activities in particular are extremely popular due to the multiple offerings, times, and uniqueness that come from the setting of the resort. Activities Director Mark Houseman says, “Their popularity stems from the fact that these three activities offer a great representation of the Montana way of life. From the world-class fishing to the wide-open exploration of our state, they allow our guests a way to escape busy city life and marvel at the beauty of the Montana landscape. Personally, my favorite is the three-hour ATV tour, as you get to drive deep into the back part of the property, enjoy the thrill of two hill climbs, snap a photo at the best picture spot at Lookout Rock and experience the ever-changing landscape that you experience along the route.”

atv paws up

For our ATV trail rides, guests can choose from a one and a half-, three-, or five-hour excursion. For the first two options, guests explore the woods, tackle hill climbs, take in the picturesque scenery from Lookout Rock and view the beautiful Blackfoot river. On the five-hour ride, guests will explore the woods, and then take the ATVs off-property to Elevation Peak (about 7,000 feet). Once they have completed this climb on the ATVs, guests will hop off for a hike to the top. From there, views are breathtaking, and guests will experience the grandeur that earned Montana its Big Sky State nickname. Post-hike, adventurers head to Garnet, an abandoned-but-intact ghost town where guests will travel back to the 1800s as they check out the saloon, hotel, general store and so much more. Lunch is provided before driving back to the resort.

Paws Up horseback riding

Horses are iconic to Montana, and riding is probably the first activity that crosses the mind when thinking of Montana. The Resort at Paw Up houses 40 horses on-property for all of our equestrian activities. Whether you are have never been in a saddle before or are a riding expert, Paws Up has something for every ability with one-, two- or three-hour trail rides, cattle drives, lessons and more. The Resort’s wrangler will pair guests with a four-legged friend that will be the perfect match for exploring more than 100 miles of wilderness trails. You will pass towering ponderosa pines, whose size and beauty are surpassed only by the views of the distant mountain ranges of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

horseback riding at Paws Up

This year, there are several additions to the equestrian program, including a new evening ride that takes you past our quaint line shack (where you will enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer) to the top of Scout’s Point to take in a signature Montana sunset. Or enjoy a lunch ride to a gorgeous spot in the shade where guests 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. For an authentic taste of Western ranch life, participate in a cattle drive where novice and advanced riders alike saddle up with seasoned ranch hands and drive a herd of cattle across the majestic rolling pastures of the Resort property.

fly fishing Resort at Paws Up

Montana is known for fly-fishing, and Paws Up hosts 10 miles of the Blackfoot River—arguably one of the most famous rivers in which to fly-fish, thanks to the movie “A River Runs Through It.” This gorgeous river flows right through our property, where all of our guided excursions are strictly for fly-fishing. Our guides have fished the surrounding rivers for years and will help you find the best trout fishing holes. At Paws Up, we offer spin rods for guests who are more comfortable with these rods, but only for independent fishing.

fly fishing Paws Up

Also near the resort is the Missouri River—one of the best hot spots for fly-fishing and a treasure trove for trout. This massive river travels approximately 700 miles along the entire state of Montana.

Other options include Bitterroot River—a dry-fly paradise that is famous for 95 percent dry flies and great hatches, which start in mid-March and extend well into October—and the Clark Fork River, the largest river by volume in the state and also one of the longest. The Clark Fork is approximately 310 miles long and is close to the resort. The best fishing on the Clark Fork is found between its origin and the confluence with the Flathead River near Paradise.

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.