Montana Luxury Dude Ranches: A Comprehensive Guide

Travel Advisor Ashley Metesh standing on a European cobblestone street with cars in the background.
Curated By

Ashley Metesh-McCoy

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  • Montana

  • Adventure Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Luxury Travel

  • National Park

  • Mountains

  • Sightseeing

Montana is known for its rugged landscapes, stunning national parks, and rich Western heritage.
Curator’s statement

As a fifth generation Montanan, I know this state like the back of my hand. I've spent my summers horseback riding, fishing and hiking in the mountains. I've spent my winters skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. I've explored every corner of this state, from the rolling hills of the east to the jagged peaks of the west. I know where to find the best trout fishing, the most scenic hiking trails and the most comfortable accommodations. I live smack-dab in the middle of most of these dude ranches and would love to show more people the beauty of my home-state.

The Fora Difference

Book with Ashley to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Montana

Triple Creek Ranch, A Montana Hideaway

All-inclusive ranch resort surrounded by Bitterroot National Forest with wooden and breezy multi-bedroom log cabins.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Resort at Paws Up

A storied resort on 37,000 wild acres where your connection to Mother Nature is the real luxury.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Ranch at Rock Creek

Experience pure Big Sky country at this upscale dude ranch in a gorgeous Montana valley.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Ashley to book your trip.

Things to do in Montana

Horseback riding is one of the things to do in Montana.

Seasonal Activities

Summer

Summer is the most popular time to visit Montana and for good reason. The weather is warm and sunny, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Some of the most popular summer activities at Montana dude ranches include:

Horseback riding: This is a must-do for any visitor to Montana. There are trails to suit all levels of experience, from beginner to advanced.

Fly fishing: Montana is home to some of the best fly fishing in the world. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, you're sure to have a great time casting your line in one of Montana's many rivers and streams.

Hiking: Montana is a hiker's paradise. There are trails to explore in every corner of the state, from the rugged mountains to the rolling hills.

Camping: There's nothing quite like sleeping under the stars in Montana. Many dude ranches offer camping as an option, so you can experience the great outdoors up close.

Whitewater rafting: Montana is home to some of the best whitewater rafting in the country. If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, this is the activity for you.

Fall

Fall is a beautiful time to visit Montana. The leaves change color, and the weather is still mild. Some of the best fall activities at Montana dude ranches include:

Hike in the fall colors: Montana's fall foliage is some of the best in the country. Take a hike in the mountains or through the valleys to see the leaves change color.

Go apple picking: Montana is home to many orchards, so you can pick your own apples in the fall.

Go fishing: The fishing is still good in the fall, so you can enjoy a day on the water.
Visit a ghost town: Montana is home to many ghost towns, which are a fascinating sight to see.

Winter

Winter is a magical time to visit Montana. The snow-covered mountains are stunning, and there are plenty of winter activities to enjoy. Some of the best winter activities at Montana dude ranches include:

Go skiing or snowboarding: Montana is home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. There are resorts to suit all levels of experience.

Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing: If you're looking for a more leisurely winter activity, go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Go ice fishing: Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Montana. You can fish for a variety of fish, including trout, pike and walleye.

Go dog sledding: Dog sledding is a fun and exciting way to see the winter landscape.

Visit a hot spring: Montana has many hot springs, which are a great way to relax and soak in the beauty of the winter landscape.

Spring

Spring is a time of renewal in Montana. The snow melts, the flowers bloom, and the animals start to come out of hibernation. Some of the best spring activities at Montana dude ranches include:

Go hiking: The weather is starting to warm up, so it's a great time to go hiking.

Fishing: Fishing is still good in the spring, so you can enjoy a day on the water.

Go camping: The weather is starting to warm up, so it's a great time to go camping.

Go wildflower viewing: Over 1000 different wildflowers - In early spring, you can see flowers like the pasqueflower and glacier lily, while later in the spring, you can see flowers like the shooting star and larkspur.

Places to eat & drink in Montana

1889 Steakhouse in Missoula is an elegant dining experience offering delectable steaks and fine cuisine.

Missoula

Brasserie Port Rouge is a French restaurant in Missoula that serves up classic dishes like steak frites, moules frites, and coq au vin. They also have a great selection of French wines.

The Market on Front is a farm-to-table restaurant that uses locally-sourced ingredients. The menu changes seasonally, but you can always expect to find delicious dishes like roasted chicken, grilled salmon and pasta dishes.

1889 is a steakhouse in Missoula that serves up USDA Prime steaks, seafood and other classic dishes. They also have a great selection of whiskeys.

Black Coffee Roasting Company is a 100% organic, craft coffee roaster in Missoula, Montana. They source their beans from small farms around the world, and they roast them in small batches to ensure freshness.

Bozeman

South 9th Bistro is a popular spot for fine dining in Bozeman. They offer a seasonal menu that changes based on what's fresh in the market. The dishes are beautifully presented and packed with flavor.

The Roost has a menu featuring American cuisine with a Southern twist featuring delicious fried chicken, collard greens and slaw. You can also get a box of food to go for your day on the river!

Bozeman Taproom & Spirits is a craft beer bar with a wide selection of beers on tap. They also have a full bar, and their food menu features elevated bar eats. The bar has a casual atmosphere, and it's a great place to go for a beer with friends - not to mention their rooftop bar!

Whitefish

Latitude 48 is a farm-to-table restaurant that uses locally-sourced ingredients.

Folklore Coffee is a newer coffee shop in Whitefish that is quickly gaining popularity. They offer a wide selection of coffee drinks, as well as pastries and sandwiches. The coffee shop has a cozy atmosphere and it's a great place to go for a cup of coffee or a quiet place to work.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Melissa Friedman-Levine’s guide, Things to do in Big Sky, Montana.

Travel Advisor Ashley Metesh standing on a European cobblestone street with cars in the background.

Travel Advisor

Ashley Metesh-McCoy

Get in touch with Ashley

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Montana.