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Category: Spa


What is Forest Bathing?

Travel & Nature Therapy: Shinrin-Yoku/Forest Bathing

“The walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise…I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
~Henry David Thoreau, “Walking.”

Montana ranks 44th in population size, but this allows us to be leaders in another way—in our access to nature. The Ranch itself is mid-way between America’s first National Park, Yellowstone and the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park. Montanans love having a homestead and venturing out into our vast public lands. It seems the more wide open spaces you see, the more you crave them.


Photo by Caleb Lee

Conversely, the world in general is growing ever more industrialized. Eighty-two percent of North Americans live in an urban setting. With that number projected to grow, scientists are studying the unforeseen physical and mental cost of moving away from natural settings. At the same time the research mounts, we’ve spent the better part of 2017 developing programs that help guests connect with our natural setting, from Montana naturalist classes to Nat Geo narrative photography lessons to natural play environments in the Little Grizzlies Kids Club and natural movement and forest bathing Granite Spa classes.

This week we look at the role of nature in restoring mental and physical health, as well as society’s skepticism toward nature therapy and the power of vacations to get us out of our routine and try new things. Read more…

Category: Spa


Winter Yoga, Serenity and Wellness in Nature

“There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.” ~ Author and Gardener Ruth Stout

As The Ranch’s Granite Spa developed from a traditional luxury spa to a holistic nature spa, we sought to approach our spa offerings with the same customization that our entire activities program affords.

No person desires the same wellness retreat. This is why we offer fall and winter retreats that are customizable, including two treatments and two mind & body classes of your choice, in addition to The Ranch’s all-inclusive guided outdoor activities, newly featuring downhill skiing and snowboarding; luxury accommodations; farm-to-table meals; and stress-reducing amenities, like airport transfers, winter gear and fireside cocktail hours. From December 1 to March 31, guests can also receive a complimentary fourth night.

Granite Spa Manager Karen Piacquadio starts a forest bathing class in fresh snowfall.Granite Spa Manager Karen Piacquadio

Our Granite Spa Manager Karen Piacquadio takes the helm of the blog this week and invites you to step into her idea of the perfect winter retreat. After reading, consider crafting your own ideal getaway from our versatile spa menu.




A Bespoke Winter Spa Retreat

“I fell in love with The Ranch, Philipsburg and the magnificent landscape. The solitude and beauty of winter on The Ranch triggers a desire to step back and focus on your own health and wellness. I would like to share with you what a perfect day on The Ranch in winter looks like through my eyes.” ~ Granite Spa & Wellness Manager Karen Piacquadio

Journey to The Ranch at Rock Creek for a little winter respite. Our Winter Luxury Spa & Nature Retreat allows you to fully embrace the winter season as a time for introspection and restoration.


Sweet Grass Canvas Cabin, a year-round glamping cabin along blue ribbon Rock Creek.

Imagine waking up in a luxurious mountain cabin or lodge room engulfed in warm bedding. Gazing outside, you see the beauty of winter, and the silence of a world waking up slowly, under a cover of fresh fallen snow. A family of deer walk past your window as you step out of bed to start the first day of your winter vacation.

A group of deer cross the valley during snow squall in Montana

Wander down to the Granite Lodge, where you can indulge in a chocolate croissant and cup of tea. When your tea cup is ready to be refilled, move to the dining room for a healthy and robust breakfast created by our AM chef, Tom Gillespie.


A plate of Huevos Rancheros in the Granite Lodge dining room. Photo by Groups Coordinator Kate DeMello.

Following breakfast, bundle up for a guided naturalist trek on property with Montana Master Naturalist Kelsey Bruns. Learn about our winter ecosystem and gaze at the amazing views of The Ranch’s 6,600 acres. Finish your morning trek by warming up next to an outdoor fire while sipping a warm beverage.

After working up a sweat on your trek, it’s time to return to the Granite Lodge for a grilled steak salad and tomato soup lunch. With a happy stomach and tired eyes, retreat back to your accommodation for a little cat nap, reading or journaling. If you’re feeling energized, channel it into one of our outdoor winter activities, like cross-country skiing, a mountain peak tour, horseback riding or ice skating.

Mid-afternoon, regroup with your friends and walk to the Granite Spa for a Bulletproof Coffee Detox Wrap or Adventurer’s Massage.

Winter mind & body classes at The Ranch come in many forms, from adventurous natural movement classes to meditative forest bathing to customized indoor sessions overlooking beautiful vistas. You’ll be escorted to the gazebo to watch the sunset during a private candle-lit restorative yoga class with me.


Spa & Wellness Manager Karen Piacquadio teaches a flow class in the gazebo.

Round out your day with a culinary delight, our Chef’s Tasting Menu. Enjoy the craftsmanship and creative passion that our Executive Chef Josh Drage and Executive Sous Chef Ben Miller put into each bite, and feel the magic and mystery of our winter space come to life.

Your evening can be spent quietly in your accommodation or, you can spend some time sipping cocktails made by our bar manager Ned Derosier and then move into the Silver Dollar Saloon for some friendly competition in bowling or billiards.

After all, you are on vacation. Tomorrow will usher in more chances for relaxation through yoga, Granite Spa treatments, outdoor splendor and farm-to-table cuisine.

Picture your entire retreat unfolding when you read the sample itinerary. Friends or family members can join you on this experience or choose another of our curated winter adventures.




The Ranch’s Granite Spa is one of the few optional, additional-cost amenities at The Ranch, along with off-Ranch excursions and Mercantile. It has become an integral part of The Ranch at Rock Creek’s experiential travel offerings. Our Winter Luxury Spa & Nature Retreat allows guests to enjoy $800 worth of spa services included with their stay.


Further Reading, Winter Yoga and More:

Granite Spa Manager Karen Piacquadio

What is Forest Bathing?

Granite Spa & Little Barn Apothecary

Finding Winter Wellness in the Wild

Winter Getaways: 10 Calorie-Melting Snow Sports

 

Category: Spa


Granite Spa & Little Barn Apothecary

Granite Spa is the First Professional Spa to Feature Little Barn Apothecary

The Granite Spa at The Ranch at Rock Creek is just down the boardwalk from the Granite Lodge's flagstone

This year has been filled with growth and change for our Granite Spa. After five years of delivering a specialized menu of exceptional signature treatments, like the Saddle Sore Soak and Rock Creek Ritual, our talented team has added seasonal treatments, raindrop therapy with essential oils, weekly fitness classes, weekly complimentary yoga, and a unique offering of outdoor yoga and family yoga. Read more…

Category: Spa


Finding Winter Wellness in the Wild

Why a Winter Vacation Might Be Better Than a Resolution

Each year, the scientific evidence mounts suggesting the health and wellness benefits of spending time outdoors. The rise of technology has beckoned us inside, where we stay for more of the day than we may realize. The Harvard School of Public Health recently suggested adults spend as little as five percent of their day outdoors. As our perspectives have become more global, we’ve been slowly allowing our phones, tablets and computers become our windows to the world.

The Rock Creek bridge under a dusting of new snow.

In the winter, it’s even more noticeable. When the weather gets cold, we hibernate. A little rest is great for the body and mind, but we also run the risk of changing our habits to be more insular, inside-oriented and sedentary. As we write this on a computer and you read this on a device, we’re mindful that the Internet is our best friend and worst enemy in the fight for wellness. Read more…

Category: Spa


Transformational Travel: Outdoor Yoga

Taking Yoga off the Beaten Path

Over the past few years, The Ranch has expanded its outdoor yoga menu significantly, in order to take advantage of all that 6,600 acres of Big Sky country could offer.

The first step was to offer a family practice; a cooperative class to help everyone in a family improve strength, balance and flexibility. Every member of the family can connect with the importance of deep breathing and openness through this customized class.

Family Yoga at The Ranch at Rock Creek Read more…