Travel Blog


The Ranch at Rock Creek – Montana

09 September

The big country experience in frontier land Montana

After a day’s trekking across “BIG” Montana landscapes, cowboys and cowgirls alike will appreciate a “Saddle Soar Soak” as administered at the spa at Rock Creek. Welcome to ranch life with a difference!

The Ranch at Rock Creek, located on over 6,800 acres of rolling hillsides near the town of Philipsburg, offers guests the opportunity to escape mundane urbanite existences and share the lifelong love of the big outdoors that spurred former banker, Jim Manley, to develop this most remote, yet engaging and luxurious of frontier style activity resorts.

Rock Creek is a Montana ranch from a picture book: broad hayfields dotted with stock ponds; grassy hills rising to uplands covered with sage brush and stands of pine; endless rail fences; attractive ranch buildings spread on both sides of the creek; and a row of canvas tents bordering the stream. Cattle graze among the cottonwood. A band of mares, some with spring foals, collects along the fence line. Nothing is missing from his romantic fantasy.

The ranch offers a range of accommodation with elegant rooms in the main Granite Lodge, rooms and lofts in a remodeled 19th-century barn, luxury canvas tents by the edge of the creek including the highly recommended Trapper tent and finally two larger log homes. Each style has been impeccably designed, and whilst of recent construction have that old feel. For a wilderness romance to the rhythm of the gurgling, trout-rich creek, couples should consider the Trapper Tent.

The attentive and competent staff clearly outnumber the guests;, they seem proud of the ranch and want guests to enjoy it to the fullest. In keeping with that goal the property includes virtually everything in one up front price. This encourages the guest to have a great time without keeping on eye on the tab. Even waders, life vests and coolers filled with local microbrews are included. Each guest gets a bicycle for personal use around the ranch. And one room in the barn is filled with cowboy paraphernalia for guests who would like to dress the part – no extra charge!!

A good description of everyday life would be cowboy culture without the dusty, uncomfortable bits. Guests can try barrel racing, trail rides, mountain biking, clay shooting and fly fishing. The kids can go on adventurous mountain hikes. There is even a paintball course for the trigger happy.

The surrounding communities are an important part of why The Ranch at Rock Creek is so special. Guests can enjoy visiting the nearby town of Philipsburg, with its sloping main street, charming shops, and intriguing architecture. If one chooses to explore beyond the boundaries of The Ranch, off-site guided trips can be arranged, along with golf at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Old Works Golf Course which is just a short drive from The Ranch

Once sated by the rigours of the day, retire to a suite or the soothing spa. Come sundown re-congregate with your fellow “city slickers” for some excellent ranch fare with local cuisine as prepared by chef Josh Drage (specialities include elk and bison). Guest eat together in the convivial dining room at round table that encourage socialising before meeting again for some good honest wilderness entertainment around the bar at the Silver Dollar Saloon – featuring a silver dollar studded bar and saddle-topped bar stools.

The Ranch at Rock Creek is a 1.5 hour transfer from local airports of Missoula and Butte. Transfer time is based on motorised transport and not by stagecoach!

Montana is renowned for it’s outdoor adventure possibilities, rafting, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, skiing and mountain biking are just a few of the opportunities and with two beautiful national parks, Yellowstone and Glacier, the surroundings are guaranteed to be spectacular. Art galleries, ghost towns, hot springs, wildlife watching and cowboy ranches, Montana’s diverse landscape is just waiting to be explored!