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Category: Summer


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

IMG_4072-2Photography by Robert A. Cole

A staff member and talented photographer, Robert Cole, spent his summer at The Ranch documenting our weekly ranch 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: Summer


For the Family and the Foodie: Cowboy Breakfast

Summer Cowboy Breakfast 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. 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 features that turn a group experience, like dining, into an unforgettable family moment.

ranch-breakfast-ride

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Category: Summer


Great Room Cocktails: Huckleberry Season

Huckleberry Bear Traps in the Great Room

Montanans take pleasure in foraging for seasonal ingredients. Guests who visited us in the spring might have enjoyed cuisine filled with flavorful morel mushrooms, gathered in the local forest. Now, the Flathead cherries have just been picked and huckleberry season is upon us. The recent heat wave means that the berries arrived early and will disappear fast thanks to foraging animals—bears and humans alike.

montana-huckleberries

If you’re on the hunt for these elusive berries and you find a berry-rich hill, it’s a good idea to pick as many as you possibly can. We suggest reserving some for fresh uses, while divvying up the majority between preserves and freezer containers so that the sweet grape-like smell can linger in your kitchen year-round.

huckleberry-recipes

There are several types of huckleberries, but the two types that grow in our region of the Rockies are the black huckleberry, or Vaccinium membranaceum, and the blue Cascade huckleberry, with the fitting name of Vaccinium deliciosum.

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Category: Summer


Extraordinary Journeys: Fly Fishing

 fly-fishing-rock-creek

Summer in Montana can take on a faster pace than other seasons. The long days make you want to get up earlier in the morning and stay awake after the stars come out—with the recent full moon and the alignment of Venus and Jupiter, there’s been plenty to see after dark. However, it’s when we slow down and enjoy an activity for several hours that we are amazed by Montana’s wildlife and scenery.  A recent guest took some time to write about her experience with one of our signature activities, fly fishing. We think she captured the slow pace, patience and beauty of fishing on Rock Creek, as well as the valuable experience of working one-on-one with our guides to master one of the most elusive fly fishing techniques. Thanks, Gwen for sharing your adventure. 


Words of Wisdom—Fly Fishing

by Special Guest Blogger Gwen Books

Properly Presented Dry Flys Will Catch Fish...after a few hours on Rock Creek with my fishing guide, Riley Fitting, he uttered the prophetic phrase. I was successful in catching two large trout and one baby trout, however it was due to his assistance…as in his shouting: Hook It!

selecting-flies

I grew up fishing, my father had three daughters and it didn’t deter him from teaching us one of his favorite pastimes. Not as much fly fishing as baiting with a worm or lure and dropping in a lake or stream. I’ve only recently realized seeing fish in a creek or following the fly downstream is a challenge for my aging eyes. I spent a half day fly fishing at The Brando Island and neither Teihotu or I caught a fish, and I never even saw them in the gin-clear sea. Read more…

Category: Summer


What is Glamping?

Glamping, a Global Travel Trend

Over the past 10 years, glamping has moved up the ranks of the travel world. If you haven’t tried it yet, here’s a primer on this growing trend. While it might seem like a silly word, these hybrid concepts are nothing new to the English language. (For example, “Automobile” combines the Greek word for self with Latin word for moveable.)

Glamping is the combination of the words “glamour” and “camping.” Although backpackers will scoff at the idea that camping can be upgraded, many people who have slept on the ground for a night or two might admit that they prefer some small luxuries, like a mattress, a shower or a chef cooking them a delicious, filling meal prepared after a day of hiking.

luxury-glamping
A seating area in a canvas cabin at The Ranch at Rock Creek Read more…

Category: Summer


Montana Made: Pintler Punch

The “A” in August must stand for “arid” because it’s the driest month on a Montana ranch resort. Ranchers don’t complain because the weather is ideal for cutting, raking and baling hay.

The Ranch grows and harvests hay for our herd of longhorn cattle and horses

Soon we’ll be celebrating our all-inclusive Autumn Harvest Weekend and thinking about the fall colors, but for now, steady hot temperatures have us thirsty, conjuring up visions of the watering hole. Just like the best dude ranch vacations, the summer cocktail is all about balance—between salty and sweet, bubbly and still.

When six o’clock rolls around, Ranch guests head to The Great Room in the Granite Lodge to relax after a day of horseback riding , archery or hiking Montana trails. Cocktail connoisseurs may wonder what the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star luxury guest ranch serves parched guests. Our bartenders craft drinks to taste, but we also offer seasonal drinks that use herbs from Chef Drage’s garden, syrupy stone fruit and foraged berries.

cowboy-cocktail

Here’s one of this year’s favorites—the Pintler Punch, named after the Pintler Mountain Range near The Ranch’s southern border. Read more…