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Category: Montana Cowboys


Ranch Traditions: Saturday Barn Dance

After Memorial Day weekend, guests start seeing a Saturday barn dance on our list of weekly activities, along with the Friday breakfast ride, Tuesday rodeo and Sunday Wells Fargo stagecoach rides. They are now a feature of our summer itineraries and most of our seasonal celebrations, like Autumn Harvest Weekend, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A driver picks up guests in a restored Wells Fargo Stagecoach at The Ranch at Rock Creek

General Manager Jade McBride says, “Out of all the great and amazing activities we do here at The Ranch nothing receives more positive feedback than the barn dance night.” Our barn dance was inspired by a treasured piece of Western history. We hope to restore and share a community celebration that’s sorely missed in modern society. Read more…

Category: Montana Cowboys


Fall Fashion Short Film: Shot on Location at The Ranch at Rock Creek

While Philipsburg, Montana is thousands of miles away from the runways of New York and London (and Spring/Summer ’16), the Mercantile welcomes you to a “private showing” of a recently released short film that celebrates fall fashion and this land and lifestyle we love. The Ranch – Fall 2015, is the fourth film in the Somerset Films Series of fashion shorts, and was shot on location at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

The Ranch's Mercantile features Western fashions, such as custom fitted boots and hats

Every world traveler who visits The Ranch at Rock Creek falls in love with Big Sky Country. Even prior to their arrival, while planning their Ranch vacation activities, guests often comment on their enduring sense of wonder about the striking Rocky Mountain scenery and the history of ranching in the American West. Recently, a magical seasonal landscape image sparked an Instagram follower to ask: “Is this for real?” Someday, when she visits The Ranch, she will experience the magic. Read more…

Category: Montana Cowboys


What’s a Ranch Rodeo? Photo Essay on a Montana Tradition

IMG_4072-2Photography by Robert A. Cole

The end of summer is on the horizon, and with it comes a seasonal change in Ranch customs. Our weekly summer barn dances and ranch rodeos stop with August as we focus more on wildlife migrations, fall fly fishing and harvest. A staff member and talented photographer, Robert Cole, spent the summer documenting our weekly Ranch at Rock Creek rodeo at Camp Roosevelt Arena. Robert traveled from Northern California to work in Montana this summer. Although he has photographed sports before, the rodeo was a new experience. Trying to balance the cultural significance with the athleticism is always a challenge. In this week’s blog, we explain the historical significance of rodeo events to modern competitions and working ranches, while Robert explains his approach to photographing this important Montana tradition.  Read more…

Category: Montana Cowboys


For the Family and the Foodie: Friday Breakfast Ride

Summer Breakfast Ride at The Ranch at Rock Creek

If you’ve never been given the nearly impossible task of trying to book an ideal family vacation, then we envy you. It’s hard to please everyone, especially when you throw in grandparents, teenagers and infants. When our luxury guest ranch began five years ago, we were thinking of those people who wanted more than a one-size-fits-all destination. With more than 30 different activities available throughout the year, (and that list is growing all the time), family ranch vacations in Montana can be a horseback riding vacation, a relaxing mountain retreat, an angler’s paradise or a romantic getaway at the same time. We have a plethora of activities that cater to individuals, small groups and kids’ preferences, but this week, we want to focus on some of the new features that turn a group experience, like dining, into an unforgettable family moment.

ranch-breakfast-ride

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Category: Montana Cowboys


Rethinking Spring Break

During spring in Granite County, everywhere you turn something has started anew. The land looks and smells green and earthy. Thousands of calves have been born within 100 miles of us, and they roam the fields in little gangs challenging each other to running races. If we could bottle that contagious feeling of spring renewal and send it out into the world, we would. But it wouldn’t be the same without seeing the fawns poking their noses out of the tall grass or the endless open spaces that make Montana such a unique destination.

montana-wildflowers

We want to harness that contagious feeling of spring renewal for travelers and propose some reasons to get out and take a spring break now—before the fevered excitement of summertime begins. If you’re looking for your own spring cleaning, for body, mind or soul, here are some once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities that are sure to recharge you. Read more…

Category: Montana Cowboys


5 Cowboy-Inspired New Year’s Resolutions

We started out our New Year’s Eve celebration with a drink named, The Resolution, so it’s only fitting that we sit down to write our resolutions for 2015. With a sky this big, we always need to keep our eye on the horizon.

new-year-resolutions

We see travelers from all around the world who are rejuvenated by the pace of ranch  life in Montana. We are similarly inspired by our staff, guides, neighbors and producers who possess that exceptional balance of physical and mental strength it takes to tame the land and wilderness. Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, we hope these cowboy and rancher-inspired  life lessons help you achieve new, alpine heights in the coming year. Read more…

Category: Montana Cowboys


Mercantile Style: Winter Ranch Wear

winter-fashion

November is a perfect time to check your clothing and tack to see if they’re toasty enough for winter adventure. In similar fashion, The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Mercantile has been stocking clothing for winter.

In our first volume of Mercantile Style, we noted that a wild west “Merc” was part refueling station, part department store and part tailor. They offered products that were sturdy and versatile so that the snow is something you appreciate for its beauty, not its temperature. As one of the few luxury guest ranches to stay open all year, we delight in the changing weather and all its possibilities. Our winter ranch wear must always keep pace with the activities we offer.

winter-ranch-fashion
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Category: Montana Cowboys


Mercantile Style Holiday Sip & Shop

 

fall-vintage-ranch-fashion

In the first hundred years of Montana’s history, ranchers, cowboys and miners had only one place to go for dry goodsthe Mercantile. In fact, one of Montana’s biggest cities, Missoula, the Mercantile building is a place of history and pride years after it held any merchandise. The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Mercantile is designed to be a Montana trade hub, stocking local craftsman and exceptional outdoor brands. In fact, when you enter “The Merc,” you may get a feeling that you are in another era. Our staff are trained to do custom boot fittings and provide expert advice on outfitting yourself for ranch life, with products that will last decades, rather than seasons, with good care. No one living in the mountains has ever regretted investing in well-crafted gear. Quality material and attention to detail help prepare Montanans for wherever the dirt road may take them.

donnie-sexton-merc-bag

 

If you’re around Missoula, please join us on Sunday, December 4th at Montgomery Distillery when The Ranch’s Merc hosts a Holiday Sip & Shop, with sales on many of our favorite brands. You can find exceptional deals on luxury brands like Filson and Patagonia, and contribute to the spirit of giving. 10% of proceeds will benefit Free Cycles.  The shop will be open from 2 to 7 PM, so grab a friend, a drink and enjoy a bit of Mercantile-style shopping—where there’s a little bit of everything and it’s all adventure-worthy.


Fashion with a Purpose

Our fall fashion choices are warm, comfortable and authentic. We recommend that anyone visiting The Ranch take some time at the Mercantile to find something that can be both souvenir and fashion staple. If you can’t make it to our luxury guest ranch now, here’s an example of an outfit things that you might see in our Mercantile. Ranch fashion requires versatility, whether you’re sliding into the saddle or saddling up to the bar.

luxury-ranch-fashion

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Category: Montana Cowboys


Montana Fall Vacation Ideas

If you are searching for fall vacation ideas, our Ranch at Rock Creek staff is a living, galloping guidebook of Montana experiences. They are our knowledgeable instructors, our wildlife scouts and our adventurers thanks to personal passion and professional pride.

ranch-staff

With a dusting of snow on the highest peaks already, most fall vacation ideas and our fall special offers are as inviting as a fleece jacket and a cowboy coffee.

Our Ranch staff took a few moments to share what they look forward to each fall on Rock Creek. Many of our hired hands took root in Montana after growing up elsewhere, and they understand that, although summer gets the main billing, fall in Montana offers a more robust and satisfying glimpse of the Big Sky. Enjoy their fall vacation ideas, and we hope you’ll one day visit The Ranch to put them into action. Read more…

Category: Montana Cowboys


Scenes from Montana Brandings

Beyond the necessary business aspects of marking cattle, brandings are big springtime social events on Montana’s ranch lands. The valley snow has melted and green grass permeates the rolling hills of Big Sky Country. When neighbors live several miles apart, brandings are important social gatherings that reinforce valuable bonds. Hard work and helping hands shared among neighbors and friends have always been key to surviving in rural Montana communities.

These Instagram photos were taken by staff member HelloFromClaire

Montana Cowboys On Horseback at The Ranch At Rock Creek

Depending on a ranch’s capabilities and weather considerations, most calves are born in late winter or early spring. By late April, most babies are ready to be branded. The morning of a branding, cattle are gathered and sorted. Calves are separated from their mothers and kept in a different pen.

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