When someone mentions Montana, it often drums up pictures of wide-open plains and dude ranches.
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Or, at least it did until my recent visit to Whitefish, Montana.
Bar W Guest Ranch
Whitefish had far more lush green countryside and mountains surrounding it than I imagined. In fact, it was way different than the picture in my head.
But, it did have a dude ranch! In fact, the Bar W Guest Ranch was our first stop upon arrival… well, after food of course.
It’s a short drive from the city center (and only 20 minutes from Glacier National Airport) so you can be saddled up and ready to ride soon after arriving in Montana.
Bar W is located at the base of Spencer Mountain and has over three thousand beautiful acres available for horseback riding and outdoor activities.
As you can imagine, the scenery is absolutely stunning. And, thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable staff, you are able to see much of it during your stay.
In addition to horseback riding, the Bar W Guest Ranch offers other family-friendly activities based on your child’s age.
- Bar W Cowpokes (4-6): enjoy pony rides, arena games on horseback, horsemanship lessons, scavenger hunts, Montana bingo, and arts & crafts
- Junior Wranglers (7-11): enjoy miles of trail rides and games in the arena; Led by counselors, each cowpoke team will experience great adventures including horseback riding, swimming, fishing, and exploring Montana country.
Plus, if you’re bringing “small fries” (under 3 years), Bar W even offers limited babysitting upon request so you can enjoy the trails together.
You can also join the kids in some of the activities, as well as gather with the kids over meals to share the highlights of everyone’s day.
When it’s time to settle in for the evening, the Bar W Guest Ranch has four unique types of lodging to fit your needs:
- The Main Lodge: 6,200 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 3 common spaces, and a game parlor
- Cabin Suites: two suites overlooking the south pasture and the forest full of wildlife; sleeps up to sixteen; great for groups and families looking to experience the true western way of life
- Glamping Tents: each tent has a queen size bed, a handcrafted log futon, a private porch, a refrigerator, and coffee maker, in addition to a private, heated bathroom located just a couple of feet from your tent
- Gate House: modular home featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and overlooks front horse pasture and wetlands; perfect for families and small groups; sleeps up to 8 guests; includes a full kitchen, washer and dryer, WIFI, TV, and more
As you can see, there is somewhere to accommodate everyone! Whether you’re visiting on a romantic trip for two or bringing the whole entire family, Bar W has a place for you.
You won’t run out of things to do during your visit either! Just look at all that is included with your stay:
- All meals, including supper on check-in day and breakfast on checkout day
- Horseback riding, including guided trail riding, horsemanship lessons, and working cattle
- All ranch activities and use of facilities including horses and tack, use of boats on Spencer Lake, swimming, clay pigeon shooting, archery, hiking, access to surrounding wilderness areas, fishing, and more
- Evening activities, including wagon rides, cookout dinners, cowboy dancing, and campfire night with a cowboy singing
You can do as much or as little as you like. In fact, if you want to ride a horse all the way to the Canadian border, they even have a trail for that!
Get ready to slide your boots on, take a trail ride, sing some songs around the campfire, and slow down for a bit at the Bar W Guest Ranch.