As winter gets fully underway, we’re welcoming a season of adventure, filled with activities that people in our area have been enjoying for 150 years, plus a few newer pursuits thrown into the mix.
Photo by Jose Villa Photography
Shivani Vora of the New York Times published a story entitled, “How to Have a Culturally Rich Vacation.” She suggests ways to become more immersed, no matter your destination.
Travel company owner Ashish Sanghrajka points out, “Getting exposed to local culture is enriching and shows us a world beyond ourselves.”
We couldn’t agree more. This exposure to novel experiences is good for the body and spirit. Winter is also the perfect time to try something new. It’s a time that we often contemplate resolutions and direction for the year ahead. It is a time to get inspired by exploring parts unknown.
Winter Specials Celebrating Montana Lifestyle & Culture
Every year we try to showcase Montana culture and sports by curating winter specials. In some cases, these are guest favorites and in other cases they are new experiences based on the traditions and history of Southwest Montana.
Between December 1 and March 31, 2018 (stay restrictions may apply), all winter specials include a complimentary fourth night and all-inclusive downhill skiing and snowboarding at our local hill, Discovery Ski Area, considered by National Geographic a best secret ski destination in North America.
“Eighteen miles up the Pintlar Scenic Highway is one of the best under-the-radar ski areas in the Northern Rockies—Discovery, or Disco to the locals…The only thing missing—in town, the surrounding mountains, or the wide ranching valleys sprawling out below—are crowds.” – National Geographic
We encourage you to seize the winter with these three trips that you can only experience when the snow falls at The Ranch at Rock Creek.
1. The Indulgent Frontiersman (Or Woman)
As Philipsburg celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, we wanted to do something that honors the heritage of our area in a playful way. (We love the spirit of play!) We are part of a region known as “Gold Country.” Miners, trappers and ranchers settled into the area in hopes of benefitting from Montana’s natural treasures. If you’ve seen The Revenant, you know that centuries ago, the beauty of an untamed wilderness was always tempered by incredible frontier struggles. Luckily we’ve made winter life a lot easier thanks to the internal combustion engine, indoor plumbing, heating and state-of-the art equipment. But local culture still holds fast to its relationship with the land.
The Rod & Gun Club wanted to help people who were struck by Hugh Glass incredible real-life experiences to form a deeper connection with this beautiful land during their stay. They can embrace the contrast of frontier experiences with Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star luxury. We all know a cedar sauna or hot bath feels a lot better after a wintry trek.
Photo Courtesy of Collective Quarterly.
The Indulgent Frontiersman allows guests to choose two bespoke adventures inspired by Montana’s brave frontiersmen and women. Choices include ice fishing, a survival skills challenge, a snowmobiling expedition with campfire lunch and a horseback riding and target shooting excursion.
We recommend booking a stay in our most secluded accommodation, Trapper Cabin, built from a stone, wood and canvas for the ultimate winter glamping experience. Guests can ski in and out of their accommodation, hitch a ride or borrow a Ranch vehicle to get to the Granite Lodge. They can also fish from their doorstep and enjoy a cedar soaking tub under the stars. If this sounds like heaven to you, book quickly, since Trapper is one of our most sought-after accommodations. Other great choices are Sweet Grass Canvas Cabin and the Historic Barn. Of course, there are many more distinctive accommodations to discover.
Also, included in this winter special is an optional Saddle Sore Soak treatment in the Granite Spa. Beyond selecting these unique adventures to experience with your comrades (family and friends), guests will have access to a host of other inspiring winter sports and enjoy inventive Western cuisine, including a craft whiskey and beer tasting.
The days can be filled with relaxing solitude or rousing nights in the Silver Dollar Saloon. Each guest itinerary is custom-built, so that you can write your own story of winter renewal.
2. The Nature & Spa Lover
Snow is an essential part of our healthy eco-system. Every year the snowpack supplies the water that keeps our Rock Creek fish population happy and our local purveyors producing. In fact, Montanans talk about the precipitation quite a bit, because it has such an important connection to our livelihood. It’s rare to meet a Montanan who doesn’t wish for more snow.
It’s easy to confer the benefits of winter and snow to our travelers. Snow sports provide some of the best, most intense workouts you can find. The snow also serves as an amazing backdrop—rich with pristine winter scenes and wildlife migration. In 2017, our Granite Spa became a nature spa. The treatments, signature experiences and mind & body classes now focus on the natural wonders that surround us at The Ranch – from the wild-foraged Clearing Sagebrush Scrub to natural movement training.
This winter special isn’t your normal spa retreat. It allows guests the options to try the treatments and mind & body classes that most appeal to them – incorporated into a custom itinerary. The Granite Spa is one of the very few amenities not included at The Ranch, so this is the only opportunity to enjoy $800 in spa services included with our standard rates. Our Ranch Ambassadors can also create a non-spa itinerary for any companions who want to enjoy different aspects of our activities program.
Winter spa guests can choose more traditional spa offerings like restorative massages and yoga, or they can expand their Big Sky horizons with meditation, forest bathing, a Saddle Sore Soak and a Head, Hands & Feet Rejuvenation treatment.
This winter special is four days of wellness in nature augmented by healthy, locally sourced meals, hot tea, winter activities and fireside relaxation. More time in nature is a New Year’s resolution that all of us at The Ranch can appreciate.
3. The Cozy Cupid
If you’re looking to pamper someone, it’s great to get off the beaten path and enjoy a private, cozy holiday away rather than fight with crowds. We know everyone loves the idea of a Valentine’s Day away, but not everyone is able to make a Tuesday trip fit into their busy February schedule. Our Romantic Winter Getaway is designed to be the perfect Valentine’s Day escape. Since it lasts all winter, you can take it when your schedule allows between December and March.
Sip champagne or wine in your accommodation or cozy up for social hour in front of the Great Room fireplace. With gourmet meals, snacks and premium wine, beer and spirits included, you can leave the planning up to us and relax into private luxury.
Schedules are always customized to your preferences and abilities, so if you’d rather set off on your own or read by a wood-burning stove, your Ranch Ambassador will work hard to create your vision of cloud nine in Big Sky Country.
Toast to the New Year by learning how to make “The Resolution” a favorite Silver Dollar Saloon cocktail.