Childhood dreams inspired Jim Manley to search 20 years for the perfect ranch. His search culminated in Philipsburg, Montana, where he found the ideal homestead to share with his own children. A decade ago, he decided to share it with other families as The Ranch at Rock Creek, a property that would become the world’s first Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ranch.
The Ranch at Rock Creek is deeply committed to guest service and safety. We opened on June 1, 2020, following Montana’s second phase of reopening and have been able to maintain protocols to stay open safely since.
We are currently making changes to ensure we are on the cutting edge of guest safety. Please see the frequently asked questions section below regarding our new policies and procedures.
FAQ for COVID-19 Procedures and Policy
- How can I book my stay?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Is there enough space to socially distance from other guests?
- Will I be asked to wear a mask while on The Ranch?
- Is the The Spa at Rock Creek open?
- How are you ensuring accommodations are safe?
- What protocols are in place to ensure activities are safe?
- Will you still provide all our gear and equipment?
- How are you keeping equipment safe and sanitary?
- How are you sanitizing high touch areas?
- Will you be providing transportation to activities?
- What protocols are being followed for safe dining?
- What protocols are followed during my inclusive airport transfer?
- What precautions are in place to ensure safety while horseback riding?
- Are private buyouts available?
We have shifted to a very flexible cancellation plan for any guest impacted by COVID-19. Our general cancellation policy requires that cancellation notification occurs at least 61 days prior to your arrival date to receive refunded payment. A 10% fee of your total reservation amount will be non-refundable.
Please contact the Reservations team with any COVID-19 related concerns.
The Ranch’s accommodations and activities are scattered across our 6,600 acres. 17 of our 29 accommodations are located in separate buildings. Whether you prefer a hybrid glamping cabin on Rock Creek or a luxury house set into the hillside, you’ll find your home away from home at The Ranch.
The Ranch has worked very hard to ensure that you have plenty of space to roam during your stay. Following recent CDC guidelines, guests and employees are not required to wear masks but may do so if they prefer. Employees are required to wear masks in vehicles going off-property. Guests can request for staff to wear masks during their stay with their Ranch Ambassador. We will continue to monitor local and national cases and mandates and update our policy when necessary.
The Spa at Rock Creek is open. Please view our treatment menu. Many of our accommodations allow for in-room treatments, please inquire with your Ranch Ambassador about which rooms are available for this and to make an appointment.
We ensure full sanitization services between room stays, including new COVID-19 protocols that have been part of our practice since reopening June 1, 2020. Every precaution is maintained to keep guests and staff safe.
We have twice-daily housekeeping services. Guests may request reduced or no services during their stay. In addition, we provide hand sanitizer and disinfecting products for guest use in each accommodation.
Beverages, snacks and periodicals are stocked in accommodations. Additional items may be stocked upon request.
- We continue to offer private activities, but space them out to ensure we can clean all the gear and sanitize it before every activity. The only activities that are done with other guests are the ropes course, Master Naturalist walks, paintball, downhill mountain biking, photography, archery tag, guided hikes and special seasonal happenings or events.
- We are asking families to stay together for all excursions to ensure groups can be adequately spaced.
- When our Ranch Ambassadors create custom itineraries, they design each day to feature one guided activity and one activity where guests can explore at their own pace.
- We have staggered our start times for activities so that we can control the number of people in the Rod & Gun Club. We ask that you abide by start times for the safety of our staff and guests.
- Please contact your Ranch Ambassador if you would like to request masks to be used during outdoor activities.
We’ve made a change from our past packing recommendations. We are now encouraging guests to bring all the clothing and personal gear for their stay to reduce the risks of cross-contamination with soft surfaces such as jackets, hats and boots. We will still be able to provide items at request as long as we have sanitized items to provide.
We will continue to provide all necessary activity-specific equipment and gear, from downhill skis to helmets and water bottles.
We are following all CDC recommendations for sanitizing items. Procedures depend upon the material – whether wood, metal, plastic or fabric. We clean items after guest use.
We encourage all guests to walk or bike to their activity, but we will provide transportation in cases where they would prefer not to walk or bike – or if the activity is far away.
Our environment was designed to be best enjoyed on foot or by bike, in order to help guests enjoy the scenery and spot wildlife. We find most guests enjoy walking and biking whenever possible.
- Our kitchen staff is trained in safe food handling techniques.
- We are now requiring dinner reservations to ensure there is plenty of room to safely interact and plenty of time to sanitize spaces.
- We also offer a number of outdoor dining options during the warmer months.
- Ranch staff is dutifully following all CDC recommended guidelines across The Ranch. For dining, this means detailed cleaning throughout the day.
- In addition our kitchen is using a zone system to execute service and avoid introducing contaminants to ready to eat surfaces.
Airport transfers are available and included from Missoula, Butte and Anaconda airports. A Ranch employee will greet guests at the airport and drive them to The Ranch. Masks must be worn by our staff members during transportation. Water and snacks are available for the drive.
Airport transfers from Bozeman and Helena are available at an additional $250 per vehicle, per way, for up to five guests.
- All rides will be scheduled in 30-minute increments. Guests must arrive no later than 15 minutes after their scheduled time to ensure we can limit the amount of people at the barn.
- We recommend that guests bring their own boots, hats and gloves if they have them as an extra sanitary measure. We further recommend boots with at least a one-inch heel.
- Boots will be set out for guests based on their size on the daily. Guests riding more than once can either check their boots out for the duration of their stay or return them to be sanitized.
- All guests must use the mounting deck to get on their horses. If they are unable to get onto their horse without assistance, they will not be permitted to go out on the riding activity.
- A safety speech and steering instruction will be done prior to any guests mounting their horses. Once the guests are on their horses, their wrangler will show them the steering instructions again; encouraging guests to try themselves.
- Returning back to the barn, guests must wait for wranglers’ assistance to dismount from the mounting deck.
We have some limited availability to accommodate families and small groups looking to have The Ranch to themselves in the spring, fall or winter. Due to low availability, these arrangements need to be made well in advance. Please contact our reservations team to inquire about a property buyout.
“Words cannot describe our experience at the Ranch. It was awesome. When you can provide an overall experience like that during COVID, it says a lot about the professionalism of your staff and the overall direction being provided by management. When three teenagers say they will be taking their children/grandchildren to the Ranch someday, you have made quite an impression!! We will be back to experience the Ranch after COVID, although I am not sure how it could be any better!”
~ August 2020 Guest Survey Response
Respite on Rock Creek
Virtual Travel to The Ranch
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ~Rachel Carson
Join us on Instagram for a daily video of mountain zen and for regular “Respite on Rock Creek” IGTV episodes. In this series, our dedicated staff shares their passion for nature, ranch life and culture. They provide quick tutorials for projects like at-home wine tastings, Dutch oven cooking, crafting seed bombs and horse mane and tail braiding. Scroll to the right to see episodes from our dedicated staff and read about Respite on Rock Creek on Forbes.com.
Our staff teamed up (from home) to talk to our community about our sustainability efforts since eliminating single-use plastics last Earth Day. Reducing the plastic in our landfills by 60,000 bottles was just the beginning. Please join us for a virtual tour of our wild spaces and an in-depth look at how we show our love for this incredibly beautiful world we live in.
Chef Drage and his ranch-to-table cuisine have been an integral part of The Ranch since it opened a decade ago. Join him at Piney Pond as he honors his Grandma Dixie who taught him Dutch oven cooking. Learn a short history of this Western culinary art and find a recipe for her Logan Canyon Chicken and braised lamb.
General Manager Jon Martin kicked off our IGTV series with his favorite activity that he found at The Ranch – archery. This is one of the ways he finds some respite after a day at “the office.” These tips can help you if you are interested in honing your archery skills at home. It’s also a great hobby to consider because it can be done while safely social distiancing.
Despite winter’s brief return, every day our bees get closer to returning from their winter home on the other side of the Sapphire Mountains. Join Apiarist/Activities Director Kelsey Bruns as she checks on our sweet friends and delivers supplemental nutrition.
Wrangler Samantha Dopp grew up showing paint and quarter horses on a national circuit. She shares her expertise today at the Camp Roosevelt horse barn during an in-depth lesson on mane and tail braiding. Watch her groom her horse Gator in preparation for roping and watch for cameos by Ranch goats Fruit Snack, S’mores and Gummy Worm.
We wouldn’t expect Activities Director Patrick Little to be anything less than, well…active, even during social distancing. Pat, his wife Maddy (a former Rancher), and their dogs Oz and Flint the Ranch Pup have been enjoying the backcountry ski trails every day. They say, “There are no friends on a powder day.” Take a downhill run with Pat as he proves that Flint is the best possible friend for a powder day. “Go, Flint, Go, Go, Go!”
It’s time for a second helping of Executive Chef Josh Drage’s Dutch oven expertise. Chef Josh his two-year-old son and sous chef Haines as sous chef take you through the process of curing, smoking and cooking lamb necks. Here’s your chance to test your ranch-to-table culinary skills and take your palate on a journey to Big Sky Country.