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Our on-Ranch offerings are more than enough adventure for most guests. However, we also offer specialty activities for guests who want to go a little further afield at an additional cost. Whether you travel a few miles down the road to mine for sapphires or cross a heli-adventure off your bucket list, all of our optional excursions are planned with The Ranch’s signature attention to detail and quality.

Sapphire Mining

Discover your inner miner by spending an afternoon panning for sapphires of all colors in the gorgeous West Fork Valley. Wear your play clothes—it’s a hands-on kind of place. Depending upon how you handle your sapphire gravel, bucket and wash screen, this may just be the dirtiest, good, clean, family fun you’ll ever have.

Historic Philipsburg and Granite Ghost Town

Wander the main street in historic Philipsburg, which was named “Best Town to Lose Yourself in the Past” by Men’s Journal and one of “America’s Best Secret Ski Towns” by National Geographic Travel. This beautifully restored former mining town is filled with artisan shops, including The Sweet Palace Victorian candy shop—the second largest candy store in the United States. Head a few doors down to the Philipsburg Brewing Company, a local hot spot. Taste their award-winning beers on tap in our Blue Canteen, and then talk with the brewmaster as you do a tasting in town.

In the summer, add a trip to Granite ghost town. Bring your camera and your courage to travel the steep, winding road and capture the remnants of this once thriving 1890s silver boomtown. Your guided tour includes underground tunnels, old dance halls and plenty of local lore.

Alpine Skiing at Discovery Ski Area

Only 35 minutes from The Ranch, Discovery Ski Area boasts the shortest lift lines in Montana. One guest said, “I can do more skiing in a day at Discovery than I can do in a week at most ski resorts.” The mountain has three faces and 67 trails, including bunny hills, moguls, groomed trails and double-black diamond runs. Although this is an off-Ranch excursion, The Ranch includes complimentary excursions to our local ski area for all winter guests.

Each excursion includes all-day Discovery Ski Area mountain pass, personal equipment fittings, ground transportation, and a Chef’s picnic lunch with refreshments. When the boots come off, enjoy an après-ski with fireside artisan drinks at The Ranch or in Historic Philipsburg, where you can sip award-winning brews at the Philipsburg Brewing Company Tap Room and delight your sweet tooth at the Sweet Palace old-fashioned candy store.

Float Trips

Experience more miles of fishing and scenery with a guided private full or half-day float trip. Enjoy a fishing float on Rock Creek in the spring, or explore more Montana waterways with an off-Ranch fishing excursion. We provide full-day float trips to the Bitterroot, Blackfoot and upper Clark Fork rivers. Fishing rafts accommodate two guests and one guide, with guides required on all floats.

A scenic float trip is a fantastic option for guests simply wanting to experience pristine Montana scenery and view wildlife. These are great opportunities to spot wildlife along the creek bank. A scenic float can accommodate three guests and one guide per raft.


The Ranch at Rock Creek is the only Montana luxury resort offering helicopter excursions that include fishing and hiking. Choose a sightseeing tour of The Ranch and Granite County, or go farther afield and spend a day exploring Glacier National Park or Yellowstone National Park from the sky.

Get your boots on the ground in some of Montana’s pristine, untouched wilderness. A guided hike allows access to hidden trails, breathtaking views and rarely seen wildlife. Avid anglers shouldn’t miss this chance to go heli-fishing in glacial lakes and mountain-fed waters, where few fish have seen a dry fly. Extended or full-day trips include grill-cooked gourmet meals and snacks prepared from the side of the helicopter.

ATV Tours

Take an exhilarating ride back in time to Gold Country, Montana’s pioneer past. This ATV adventure tour includes sweeping views of Philipsburg’s mountain ranges and valleys, but also delves into the historic town’s storied mining days between 1865 to 1900. Montana’s dry air has preserved many of the old buildings, ghost towns, and mines.

Kayaking & Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Glide along in a kayak or on a stand up paddle board (SUP) on East Fork Reservoir or Georgetown Lake. Enjoy the early morning exercise when the wind is down and the lake is still. Get your heart rate up while basking in the sunshine and splashing a paddle in the cool water. Keep your eye out for wildlife while paddling back to the shore.

Ice Fishing

It’s never too cold to go fishing in Montana. In fact, when the ice freezes, you can enjoy ice fishing from the comfort of a hut. These small structures are fitted with chairs, a propane heater, blankets, hot beverages and toddies, as well as all the fishing gear you need. Enjoy new vistas from a high-mountain lake set against the Pintler, Sapphire and Flint ranges, while you fish for Rainbow trout, Brook trout and Kokanee salmon.


Between May and October, you can travel to the Old Works Golf Club in Anaconda, Montana. Located just 45 minutes from The Ranch, enjoy this Jack Nicklaus signature designed golf course and the scenery on the Pintler Scenic Route.

Whitewater Rafting

Spend a summer day rafting the beautiful Clark Fork River. Float between sheer cliffs in the Alberton Gorge, before facing whitewater on Class 3 rapids. A safe and exhilarating way to experience one of Montana’s biggest waterways on a hot, sunny day.