If there’s a prettier place in the lower 48 than Montana, I have yet to see it. My travels have taken me to all four corners of the continental U.S., and many places in between, but I must say Western Montana stands out. One of the best places to marvel at Mother Nature and also interact with her is The Ranch at Rock Creek, near Philipsburg, Montana.
The all-inclusive 5-star luxury ranch encourages guests to partake in two guided activities per day, providing ample opportunity for lucky visitors to experience the magnificence of Montana’s great outdoors––not to mention the staff’s exceptional service.
Writers far more talented than me have tried to wax poetic about this place, but I’ve found that long lists of superlatives still come up short. I thought the best way to convey The Ranch at Rock Creek experience would be to pick a day at The Ranch and do a photo essay.
And so, in lieu of searching for synonyms for the word “incredible,” here are snap shots from a September day my wife and I enjoyed at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Western Montana.
Rising with the Fog
I went for an early morning hike before breakfast and was rewarded with these breathtaking views.
I made it back from my hike just in time for breakfast which, like all meals at The Ranch, you don't want to miss.
Our morning activity was fly fishing, so we biked to the Ranch's Rod and Gun Club, where we were outfitted with boots, waders and fishing gear.
I had never fly fished before, and The Ranch was the perfect place to learn. Excellent guides, great scenery and cooperative fish in one of Montana's premier Blue Ribbon trout streams.
I was fortunate to be guided by Activity Director and Head Guide, Patrick Little, pictured below. He is a fountain of knowledge and makes fly fishing easy even for a newbie like me. I was pleasantly surprised how many cutthroat and brown trout I caught, but with that setting and Patrick's great stories, I could have waded Rock Creek all day without a bite and enjoyed myself.
During happy hour the prior evening, the staff brought us some wings just in case we were in the mood for a snack. We loved them, so they made us up a side of wings for lunch to complement our main entrees. Delicious!
The Ranch at Rock Creek is a true working ranch, with a +100-year history. Horseback riding is one of the classic activities, and my wife and I enjoyed an extended 3-hour ride through spectacular scenery.
The Ranch provides you with personal guides for your daily activities, so you do what you want, when you want. For horseback riding, we had a terrific wrangler, Maddie, who was happy to take the two of us out into the high country for the afternoon.
Top of the World
Even after our two daily guided activities, the staff at The Ranch graciously offered to drive us up to the "Top of the World" lookout. A driver took us up to the top, left us with some drinks and snacks (since we hadn't eaten for a whole 3 hours) and let us make a leisurely walk back down to The Ranch.
Executive Chef Drage is a wizard at his craft. He and his talented staff focus on real food from local producers offering organic and sustainable meats and produce. The output is outstanding food, paired with an impressive wine selection.
After dinner, we wandered over to the Ranch's Silver Dollar Saloon for bowling and a nightcap.
It's all in a day at the Ranch. What a day it was.
The website for The Ranch at Rock Creek is theranchatrockcreek.com. For more information, call 1-877-786-1545 or email welcome@TheRanchatRockCreek.com.
To learn more about Montana and other area adventures, check out Visitmt.com.