Have you ever wanted to try a ranch vacation, but you’re also not ready to give up the comfort of a luxury resort? Then you’re going to love The Resort at Paws Up! Paws Up is a luxury resort located on an authentic working cattle ranch in western Montana. Many thanks to The Resort at Paws Up for hosting us!
We flew out of JFK into Missoula, which is in the western part of Montana. From Missoula, it’s about a 40-minute drive to The Resort at Paws Up.
We were fortunate enough to stay in one of the largest homes on the property: Council Bluff in the Wilderness Estates. At 3,250 square feet, this 3-bedroom home can sleep up to 8 people. We loved the real wood-burning fireplace, the Western decor, and the overall cozy feel of this home.
One fun perk of staying in one of the luxury homes at Paws Up, is that they provide you with your very own Lexus luxury SUV to use during your stay! And trust me: you definitely need some wheels to get around this massive property. It’s not unusual to have to drive for a solid 15-20 minutes to get to your next activity!
One thing I wasn’t ready for was the sheer scale of this property. Paws Up itself covers 37,000 acres. Now as a New Yorker, I find it hard to visualize how big an acre is. I tend to size everything up in terms of how many city blocks it covers, so I did some Googling to try and figure out how large the resort was as compared to our city.
Turns out, 37,000 acres is roughly equivalent to the size of Manhattan and the Bronx put together, which is seriously mind-boggling. On top of the resort’s own 37,000 acres, guests have access nearby to 100 miles of trails, 10 miles of the Blackfoot River and 1.5 million acres of the nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. Sometimes it really felt like we were in our very own national park!
If your kids have ever wanted to feel like cowboys or cowgirls, Paws Up is the place to take them. One of our favorite activities was going out on trail rides. The scenery was so gorgeous, especially when we rode along the river.
But if you want to take things to the next level, you can also enroll your kids in some arena lessons! Paws Up has a 29,000-square-foot indoor arena with a beautiful viewing area. In the arena, kids are able to hone their horsemanship skills! The first exercise the girls worked on was leading the horse, and getting it to stop when they stopped. It was amazing to see how in no time at all, the girls developed such a strong command of the horses, having enough control even to guide them through simple obstacle courses!
For enthusiasts of shooting sports, Paws Up offers a range of activities to choose from, like sporting clays and biathlon, but we tried out shooting .22 rifles. Paws Up has a fun shooting range where the targets are set up in what looks like a town straight out of the Old West. .22 rifles are ideal starter rifles for beginners because they’re light, and have very low recoil. The instructors were great with the girls, and I appreciated their emphasis on gun safety!
Another fun activity to try as a family is taking an ATV tour of the property. We stopped by some really scenic places, like Lookout Rock, which had amazing views of the lands below. And beautiful Blackfoot river, where the girls had lots of fun stacking the river rocks.
One great thing about Paws Up is that you pay an all-inclusive rate that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Often at U.S. resorts, this means that alcohol is excluded, but at Paws Up, there’s actually an impressive selection of alcoholic beverages that’s included as well! The food here is rustic, but refined. The dishes incorporate many fresh local ingredients, like the huckleberries that grow on the slopes of nearby mountains, or meat from the bison that graze in the fields here. Breakfast and lunch is served at The Trough, while dinners are served at Pomp.
You can also opt for in-home dining, where they deliver the food straight to your home.
There’s no extra charge for this – it’s also included in your rate.
About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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