Some prefer to escape cold temperatures by traveling south for the winter, while others embrace the cold weather and find joy being surrounded by mountains in the middle of their own cowboy-themed snow globe. At The Ranch at Rock Creek (theranchatrockcreek.com), you can experience a true Western winter wonderland, with plenty of horse activities for the whole family.
Cruise through the mountain valley from the back of a horse-drawn sleigh, enjoy a snow-covered trail ride with your horse-loving family, or get some hands-on ranching experience by helping wranglers tend to their daily ranch tasks when you immerse yourself in the Western way of life at this luxurious Montana guest ranch.
When it’s time to thaw out, step inside to enjoy an elegant farm-to-table meal—each night features a different culinary tour of Western Montana. And at the end of the night, cozy up next to the fireplace with a hot chocolate or winter-themed cocktail. If you find yourself visiting The Ranch around the holidays, you may even get a glimpse of Santa busy at work.
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Reserve a horseback ride with 1. Hidalgo Trail Rides to explore the historic Lolo Hot Springs. Or stick closer to Philipsburg and visit the 2. Granite Ghost Town State Park to see the remnants of a once-thriving 1890s silver boomtown.
If you head to town, stop by 3. Sweet Palace, an old-fashioned candy store that’s been dubbed Montana’s candy store. Or a quick one-hour drive away is Missoula, where you enjoy panoramic mountain and city views at a castlelike eatery known as 4. The Keep.
There are many activities to participate in at The Ranch. You can partake in a 5. Montana Photography Workshop and capture memories that will last forever. Or enjoy the 6. Ice Skating Rink right out front of the Granite Lodge. In between skating sessions, warm up with a cup of hot cocoa at the shed nearby.
While The Ranch originally began as a mining claim, it was eventually homesteaded in the late 1800s by W.W. Shaffer and P.W. White, where it became a working cattle ranch. The original 19th-century barn is still being used to this day.