Montana’s extraordinary natural beauty brings many visitors year-round to experience the gorgeous scenery and participate in activities that capture the spirit of the west and take advantage of the spectacular mountain, river, and lake settings.
But what kind of accommodations are available that offer up the level of excellent service, top amenities, and special activities that match the setting? I wanted to find out the best luxury resorts in Montana and have come up with a list of ten of the very finest.
The common theme at these spectacular properties is providing indulgent and pampering service and top-of-the-line lodging and dining along with an exciting and adventurous range of outdoor western experiences that visitors travel specifically to Montana to find.
Ten Best Luxury Resorts in Montana
1. The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, MT
The Ranch at Rock Creek was once a working cattle ranch on the site where silver had been mined before becoming the world’s first Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star guest ranch. P
art of the Relais & Châteaux group, the all-inclusive Ranch resort has 6,600 acres over 10 square miles with stunning vistas of Big Sky mountains, country lakes, and meadows.
Guests can choose from a variety of luxury accommodations, from the main Granite Lodge to one-to-five-bedroom houses, to beautifully appointed canvas cabins for the ultimate glamping experience. There’s also a full-service spa for relaxation and pampering.
The Lodge provides ranch-to-table gourmet tasting menus at dinner, while the Buckle Barn serves up breakfast and lunch. At night the Silver Dollar Saloon is the epicenter of all manner of activities, from bowling and billiards to movies and ping pong.
During the summer guests can get into the western spirit of the ranch by joining cattle herding activities and going horseback on trail rides, fly-fishing, mountain biking or hiking. Or go on a wildlife viewing excursion or even sapphire mining!
During winter, downhill or cross-country skiing and snowboarding take center stage along with ice skating and snowshoeing.
For more accommodations in Philipsburg check here.
2. Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, MT
Those seeking a romantic luxury, all-inclusive getaway will enjoy the Triple Creek Ranch in Darby. The 600-acre ranch is an adults-only resort as no guests under 16 are permitted, making it one of the best luxury resorts in Montana for planning a romantic getaway.
The ranch has stunning views of the Bitterroot Mountain Range and is a member of the Relais & Châteaux group.
Triple Creek offers guests lodging in 1–3-bedroom cabins with hot tubs or luxury ranch homes tucked amongst the trees on the property. Its gourmet restaurant and wine cellar will satisfy the most discerning palates, and the resort offers a chef’s table seven-course dining experience.
The range of activities is extensive, with horseback riding and fly fishing being among the most popular. The resort is an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodge, with complimentary equipment and fly-casting clinics. You can ride horses on Triple Creek’s property, but also have access to their sister property the CB Ranch with 26,000 acres for exploring on horseback.
Other warm-weather activities include hiking, tennis, and golf, and there’s a fitness center. You can even try your hand at sapphire pan mining!
Winter offers its own wealth of outdoor fun, with things like snowshoeing, dog sledding, and cross country or downhill skiing.
Check out other accommodation options in Darby here.
3. Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, MT
One of the largest of Montana’s luxury ranch resorts, The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, 30 minutes east of Missoula. The resort spreads out across 37,000 acres and includes 10 miles of the Blackfoot River.
For lodging, choose among luxury homes or glamping in safari-style tents. Paws Up has 28 luxury homes plus six campsites with six tents on each site.
These camping sites are set along the banks of the Blackfoot River or Elk Creek and are only available from May to mid-October. They have a communal dining area, fire pit, camp chef, and butlers to organize activities.
Meals at the resort are offered at two restaurants, the Trough for breakfast and lunch, and Pomp for dinner. Amenities include hot tubs, a swimming pool, and a fitness center. A renovated barn houses evening communal activities such as dancing and movies.
Western-style activities include horseback riding on the resort’s trails or participating in a roundup of Black Angus cattle. There’s also hiking, fishing, biking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, clay pigeon shooting, and ATV tours.
In winter, Paws Up offers skiing with a stay at their slope-side chalet at nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort, along with snowshoeing, snowmobiling or picturesque sleigh rides through the meadows.
4. The Green O, Greenough, MT
Located deep inside the southern edge of the Paws Up Ranch, the Green O is a hidden jewel in the forest, with panoramic views of the Blackfoot River Valley and mountain ranges.
The Green O was founded as a sheep and cattle ranch and the original owner Paul Greenough branded his sheep with a green “o” leading to the name of the resort.
The unique lodging consists of twelve “hauses” secluded amongst the forested landscape, each built to accommodate two guests. All are beautifully appointed with amenities like fireplaces and hot tubs and built to maximize views of the stunning natural settings.
All meals are included at the Social Haus with its soaring windows that bring the forest in, plus a circular bar, lounge, and open-fire kitchen.
Green O offers outdoor activities ranging from horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, and mountain biking to water sports such as boating and kayaking.
You can even take a hot air balloon ride or go whitewater rafting in summer! Winter brings skiing, snowshoeing, horseback rides on snowy trails, tubing, snowmobile tours, and ice skating.
5. The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Whitefish, MT
The Lodge at Whitefish Lake is located on beautiful Whitefish Lake and surrounded by mountains. You are minutes from downtown Whitefish and a half-hour from the glorious scenery of Glacier National Park.
Spend the night in the resort’s lodge rooms or its two- and four-bedroom cottages. There’s fine dining with lake views at the Boat Club Dining Room for breakfast and dinner, the Boat Club Bar for lunch, and the Tiki Bar lakeside during the summer months.
A full-service day spa is on the property, along with a fitness center, an outdoor lakeside swimming pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, plus a private beach.
The Lodge’s location on Whitefish Lake means abundant water sports are available, from swimming to boating, kayaking, fishing, and paddleboarding to leisure cruises. Or try your hand at rock climbing or go whitewater rafting.
Something unique that the Lodge offers are floatplane tours over the Hungry Horse Reservoir near Glacier National Park!
Winter adventures include skiing at nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort, cross country skiing at the Glacier Nordic Center, snowmobiling or snow biking, dog sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, fat tire biking, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.
Browse the many lodging options in Whitefish here.
6. Sage Lodge, Pray MT
Sage Lodge has a prime location on the banks of the Yellowstone River, only 35 minutes from Yellowstone National Park.
Lodging can be at the main lodge or one of its ranch houses with spectacular mountain views. Memorable dining is on offer at the Fireside Room or Thursdays through Saturdays for dinner at the Grill at Sage Lodge.
Amenities include a full-service spa, fitness center, library, outdoor hot tub, firepits, and even a private fly-fishing casting pond.
A full range of summer outdoor activities includes fly fishing in the Yellowstone River, horseback riding, hiking, biking, paddleboarding on the pond, river rafting, kayaking, llama treks, ballooning, and painting and yoga classes.
The lodge also offers a special two-hour luxury scenic float down the Yellowstone River at dusk aboard a custom wooden dory, while enjoying a glass of wine and cheese plate during the gentle downstream ride. Winter brings cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities.
7. Mountain Sky Ranch, Emigrant MT
Mountain Sky Ranch started out as a dude ranch in 1929 and now is one of the best luxury guest ranches in the state. Located on 17,000 acres in Paradise Valley near the Yellowstone River, Mountain Sky is just 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park. In addition, Big Creek flows 4.5 miles through the property.
Cabins are located throughout the property and guests may stay in the Rustic Area, Pool Area, Trout Pond Area, or Lodge Area.
Fine dining is offered in the Saloon, which provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Three times a week, Mountain Sky offers meal rides, in which guests can ride by horseback or walk to the evening’s historic dining location on the ranch’s property, where they’ll enjoy a hearty western meal along with music, hayrides, and games.
Mountain Sky offers special Yellowstone Tours including a day-long Yellowstone Horseback Ride. Recreational ranch activities feature horseback riding and the chance to join in on authentic western ranch work.
Other options include hiking, fishing, golf, and tennis. You can try your hand at fly fishing on Big Creek or on a drift boat fishing tour on the Yellowstone River.
8. Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, MT
Lone Mountain Ranch is a luxury resort, just an hour away from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It has been named one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World.
Stay in one of 27 historic log cabins, containing 1-6 bedrooms. All the cabins were hand-built, many dating back to when Lone Mountain was a cattle ranch. Cabin features include classic clawfoot bathtubs, authentic wood stoves, and furnished decks.
Farm-to-table meals are served up at the Horn & Cantle restaurant. Sleigh Ride dinners are offered from December to March. Guests are taken by sleigh to the oil lantern lit North Fork cabin, where they enjoy a family-style prime rib dinner with live music.
Outdoor activities include traditional Montana pursuits like horseback riding or fly fishing, plus white-water rafting, zip-lining, canoeing and paddleboarding, mountain biking, river tubing, and rock climbing. The Lodge also offers Yellowstone National Park tours.
Winter season pursuits include downhill and cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and sleigh rides. With over 50 miles of groomed trails, Lone Mountain Ranch was named the number one Nordic ski resort in North America.
9. Montage Big Sky, Big Sky, MT
With the Spanish Peaks Mountain Range as a backdrop, Montage Big Sky is beautifully situated, just 45 minutes away from Yellowstone National Park.
Montage’s lodging includes 139 guestrooms, suites, and residences, providing a luxurious base within this idyllic mountain setting. A variety of restaurants appeal to a broad range of tastes, with the signature restaurant, Cortina, specializing in northern Italian fare.
The resort offers 3 world-class fly-fishing rivers, a private 18-hole golf course, and a 10,000-square-foot Spa. In addition, recreational favorites include horseback riding and hiking.
During winter, you’ll find great downhill skiing and snowboarding since Montage Big Sky is nestled near the base of Big Sky Resort, with over 5,800 acres of top skiable terrain. Montage guests also have complimentary access to the Tubing Hill, plus enjoy skating at the on-property ice rink, and snowshoeing.
Check out more accommodations in Big Sky, Montana.
10. Rainbow Ranch Lodge, Gallatin Gateway, MT
The Rainbow Ranch Lodge is set along the picturesque Gallatin River. The ranch’s comfortably rustic lodge rooms offer such highlights as real fireplaces and furnished decks with views toward the Gallatin River. Wild Caddis is the resort’s restaurant, tucked along the Gallatin River, for breakfast and dinner. Amenities include a lounge area with live music, a spa, a fitness area, and a hot tub.
Guests can look forward to warm weather hiking, mountain biking, summer or winter horseback riding, and fly fishing in the stocked trout pond or along the Gallatin River, along with kayaking, white-water rafting, and even zip-lining (early May to early September).
Winter activities include skiing at the neighboring Big Sky Resort, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and snowmobiling.
These top-notch luxury resorts can truly claim to be among the best Montana has to offer. They can provide the means of reconnecting with nature while enjoying the best in luxurious lodging and dining. Truly the best of both worlds!
Check out other lodging options in Gallatin Gateway here.