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Fresh Experiences in Fresh Powder

New Winter Experiences at The Ranch

The New Year is a chance to start fresh, so we have a slate of new winter experiences—adventure and culture-based—that are unique to our luxury guest ranch.


View a video of a typical winter getaway at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Every year, since we opened in 2010, we’ve looked to heighten our commitment to experiential travel. Watch our new video above to see what experiential travel means to us. Each activity must aid guests in forging a deeper connection with Montana’s environs or culture. The list of novel adventures and cultural additions below is aimed at ensuring our travelers enjoy the ultimate Montana getaway.

The Nordic Bonfire is one of our new winter experiences that mixes gourmet cuisine with fireside camaraderie
The Nordic Bonfire is one of our new, popular winter experiences. 

If you’d like to celebrate the best that a Montana winter has to offer, please join us for our Frost & Fire Winter Celebration from February 14 through 21, where all of these new winter experiences are coupled with festivities, like a barn dance, brewfest and a Valentine’s celebration to warm you to the core. Read more…

Tag: montana


Giving Back: A Christmas Season of Stories

Third Annual Granite County Festival of Trees

While we are just finished decking our halls for the upcoming holiday celebrations, we’ve been in the Christmas spirit for over a month.

Sunset at the Buckle Barn before the 2016 Granite County Festival of Trees - hosting is one of the ways we're giving back to the communityThe sun sets before the Gala Auction. Look closely and you’ll see the Christmas trees glowing inside the Buckle Barn. Photo by Rancher Katie Forbes.

On November 11 and 12, we hosted the Granite County Festival of Trees for the second year in a row. The Festival has become a tradition for The Ranch—we’ve been a sponsor for three years. We joined 18 other regional sponsors in supporting this year’s event. Read about last year’s Mystical Mountain Christmas and the first annual event.

Hands go up as people bid on trees during the Granite County Festival of Trees, one of The Ranch at Rock Creek's giving initiatives
A scene from the live auction. The event filled the Buckle Barn. 

This wonderful event serves so many purposes. It supports local healthcare initiatives through the non-profit Granite County Medical Foundation. It showcases the incredible artistic talent we have in a community with only 3,000 residents. Lastly, it allows the community to come together and unite for a worthy cause. This year, the Festival raised over $36,000. Read more…

Tag: montana


Montana Moments: Photo Essay by Server & Photographer Willie MacDade

As the seasons change and the holidays approach, we are reminded that a photograph of the exact same spot in the summer looks entirely different in the spring, fall and winter. But, things don’t only change season to season; they change moment to moment. The serenity of a flowing stream may be interrupted by an eagle swooping down to catch a fish, or a cow and calf moose might decide they want to try glamping (Watch a recent guest’s video of a moose sighting).

Four seasons on Rock Creek, Four Montana Moments
Four Seasons on Rock Creek. Fall Photo by IG user @mpbroderick; Winter Photo by Granite Spa Massage Therapist Lindsay Roberts; Spring Photo by Jose Villa Photography; Summer Photo by Robert Cole Photography.

Our Favorite Montana Moments

This changeability is why we love the Montana Office of Tourism’s “#montanamoment” hashtag. We’re grateful to guests and staff members who share their pictures with us on social media or by email, so we can see the wild beauty of our home through their eyes. This week, we are pleased to bring you a new perspective from one of our Ranchers. Willie MacDade joined us last May and has seized every spare moment to explore our landscape and wider Montana. In many ways, seasonal employees experience Montana in a similar way to first-time guests; they are let loose on 6,600 acres of secluded wilderness and are given dozens of ways to explore it. If you’re inspired by Willie’s travels, we invite you to peruse the Indulgent Frontiersman special for an intriguing take on winter exploration.



Life as a Rancher with Willie MacDade

When I graduated college last May, I had no plans of working on a guest ranch. I did not know what my immediate future had in store for me. I did not know a place like The Ranch at Rock Creek even existed.

Photographer and Server Willie MacDade wades into Rock Creek for a self-portrait
Hey there! My name is Willie and I am a server and photographer at The Ranch.

Read more…

Tag: montana


New World, Old West: Thanksgiving Travel

A Rustic-Luxe Thanksgiving at The Ranch

A grove of aspen trees lines Rock Creek, a Blue Ribbon trout stream that runs through The Ranch at Rock Creek

Welcome to fall at The Ranch at Rock Creek! This season is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque times to experience Montana’s wilderness. When the leaves start falling, we start thinking about Thanskgiving travel and put the finishing touches on our festivities. This year’s itinerary is going to be one of the most gratifying and serene seasonal celebrations we’ve ever planned. Read more…

Tag: montana


Guest Blog: A Week at The Ranch

Behind the Lens During a Summer Stay

A couple of Adirondack chairs sit ready for a moment of reflection on Welcome Pond at The Ranch at Rock Creek
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Morgan.

As one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, we often host photographers looking to capture migrating wildlife, iconic ranch scenes and high country views. We delight in seeing our wild landscape from different perspectives. Thanks to Instagram and Facebook, we’re able to share guest and staff member talents with our international community every day. Read more…

Tag: montana


Montana’s Multi-Generational Travel Experience

Finding a Family’s Happy Place

There’s no denying that the Internet has streamlined travel research and booking. Despite the amount of information at our fingertips, many leisure travelers desire a chance to unplug, decompress and reconnect with nature. They are eyeing a return to more meaningful experiences, slower paces and home-away-from-home style family vacations. Both Virtuoso and AARP have reported for the past three years that multi-generational travel is the biggest trend in the travel industry.

An outdoor yoga practice at The Ranch at Rock Creek

At The Ranch at Rock Creek, we’re hosting more groups of three or more generations than ever before. The term “family-friendly” doesn’t really encompass what it means to be an ideal destination for multi-generational travel. (To many people it just implies that children are welcome). But, in reality each generation must be able to find their “happy place” during these vacations. Grandparents don’t want to sacrifice a first-class tasting menu for an extensive children’s menu and an uncle may not want to sit by the pool watching the kids when he could be out fishing on a Blue Ribbon trout stream. Read more…

Tag: montana


Celebrating Culinary Arts Month

Gourmet Food with Big Sky Balance

National Culinary Arts Month couldn’t come at a better time. Summer produce is rolling in and The Ranch kitchen is highlighting Montana’s freshest food with creative, ever-changing menus. We want to recognize the chefs, servers, managers and purveyors that make The Ranch’s dining experiences shine.

As part of the Relais & Châteaux commitmentsExecutive Chef Josh Drage and his talented team focus on making our cuisine a reflection of local tradition while delivering a first-rate luxury experience. We want to thank our staff members who achieve this precise balance every day of the year.

In a recent TripAdvisor review, Claire V., wrote, “The freshness of the food rivaled that of my favorite restaurants in New York City. The service was remarkable and is clearly a top priority of management. While the Ranch at Rock Creek is certainly ‘high-end,’ it is not stuffy.”

Members of our evening culinary arts team enjoy the Fourth of July celebration
Members of our Evening Culinary Team on Fourth of July. Left to Right: Executive Chef Josh, PM Servers Alex, Kaylen, F&B Event Manager Christina, Executive Sous Chef Ben, PM Server Willie. Photo by Willie MacDade.
Read more…

Tag: montana


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…

Tag: montana


Behind the Scenes: Relais & Châteaux Film Starring Ranch Staff

New Relais & Châteaux Film

We’re pleased to announce that Relais & Châteaux has just released a new film depicting what it’s like to work for this exceptional association of unique boutique hotels. The film urges strong hospitality candidates to come forward and make their mark on the luxury travel industry just as Relais & Châteaux did 60 years ago.

Read more…

Tag: montana


The Blue Ribbon Report | Spring Edition

Fly fishing doesn’t stop for winter. In fact, Inside Hook recently published the story, “Why You Should Go Fishing on Your Next Ski Trip.” They named Discovery Ski Area and The Ranch at Rock Creek as the essential places to try this dynamic duo. With a little over a month of skiing left, and warmer temperatures on the way, we’re making plenty of room for skis and waders in our SUVs.

Winter fly fishing on Blue Ribbon Rock Creek in Montana
Photo by Martin Battilana

While we enjoy a “heat wave” of temperatures just over freezing, our guides are gearing up for an eventful season of spring fly fishing. Montana’s streams, and especially Rock Creek, are famous for their fly hatches. With this exciting season close at hand, we’re back with a fishing report and our new fly fishing video that shows what it’s like to fish on the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ranch and glamping destination. Read more…