Playing in Montana’s Blackfoot Valley at The Resort at Paws Up

As you might remember, earlier this summer I visited Montana’s luxury ranches with a friend of mine who was coming to Big Sky Country from out of the country. We started our ranch visits at The Ranch at Rock Creek (read more about that here) and Triple Creek Ranch (check out that visit here), before venturing to our last destination in Montana’s iconic Blackfoot Valley: The Resort at Paws Up

Located about 30 minutes from Missoula, Paws Up is a luxury guest ranch that sits among 37,000 acres in Western Montana, including 7 miles of the Blackfoot River—one of the state’s premiere fly-fishing streams.

The welcoming committee.

The welcoming committee.

The largest of Montana’s guest ranches, Paws Up offers various lodging options throughout its property, including luxury homes, a ranch house, lodge and gorgeous luxury camps.
Sidenote: while Paws Up has various styles of accommodations, I wholeheartedly recommend staying in one of their luxury camps

Here’s a peek…

This is my favorite tent at Cliffside Camp.

This is my favorite tent at Cliffside Camp.

Some of the homes also have a private glamping tent.

Some of the homes, like Panfish Popper, also have a private glamping tent.

The living room in one of the wilderness estates.

The living room in one of the wilderness estates.

The resort is also home to "Spa Town." AKA the town where I'd like to spend all of my time.

The resort is also home to “Spa Town,” AKA the town where I’d like to spend all of my time.

One of the treatments tents at Spa Town. Sigh.

One of the treatments tents in Heaven…I mean Spa Town. Sigh.

Trough, the main dining location at Paws Up.

Trough, the main dining location at Paws Up.

While we were only at Paws Up for a short time, we filled our two-day stay with as much Montana fun as possible. During our time there, we saw a cattle drive, took an ATV tour, filled our tummies at a riverside chuckwagon dinner, heard cowboy poetry, met Pete + Repeat and listened to the rushing sounds of the Blackfoot River from our camp’s nightly campfire.

My favorite cow at Paws Up.

My favorite cow at Paws Up.

The view of the Blackfoot Valley from Lookout Rock.

As part of our ATV tour, we made a stop at Lookout Rock and had this view of the Blackfoot Valley.

Montana banditos.

Montana banditos ready for our ATV tour.

The view from the top of my ATV.

The view from the top of my ATV.

The chuckwagon dinner along the Blackfoot River was one of the highlights from our stay.

The chuckwagon dinner along the Blackfoot River was one of the highlights from our stay.

For some reason, food always tastes better outside.

For some reason, food always tastes better outside.

Hello, boys.

Hello, boys.

Each night at Cliffside Camp, all of the guests would gather around the campfire to make s'mores. And I loved it.

Each night at Cliffside Camp, all of the guests would gather around the campfire to make s’mores. Photo: Donnie Sexton

My favorite spot at Cliffside Camp overlooked the Blackfoot River.

My favorite spot at Cliffside Camp overlooked the Blackfoot River.

It was the perfect place to end our trip.

And just in case you’re planning a stay at The Resort at Paws Up, here’s a few things to note:
-Paws Up offers packages throughout the year, including notable events like Montana Master Chefs, Upper Crust and Cowgirls Spring Roundup.
-Paws Up has a phenomenal kids program, The Kids Corps of Discover, that’s great for various ages of children.
-Nightly rates include lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner each day (as well as beverages), round-trip transportation to/from Missoula International Airport, on-property transportation and some recreational activities. Additional guided excursions and spa services are available at a-la-carte rates.

xo,
TT

8 thoughts on “Playing in Montana’s Blackfoot Valley at The Resort at Paws Up

  1. Judy Williams

    I would love to get more info for visiting friends & family & business contacts. I’ve lived 70 miles from this area & remember some difficulties they had when trying to open. I never knew this was so captivating for visitors, & would love to invite others to Montana to enjoy our country.

    Reply
  2. Dave Attel

    How about NOT staying at Paws Up, the place that opened despite health code violations and tried to trademark, “The Last Best Place.”

    Reply
  3. Meghan

    The author didn’t mention the rates in her blog, but a quick search shows that the cheapest accommodation *PER NIGHT, PER PERSON* is more than I pay in rent for a month. This does not represent a true Montana experience, and I do not know any native Montanans who could afford to do something like this, nor would they want to. This “glamping” is geared towards wealthy out-of-staters and foreigners.

    For the real Montana experience, pay $15 for a campsite in a national park and make your own s’mores that won’t set you back $50 a marshmallow.

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Meghan, thanks for your comments. The Resort at Paws Up in not a place that everyone would choose to stay, as travelers often look for experiences that are a solid fit for the type of vacation they want to have. Some folks love Paws Up and…some don’t. As a native 5th generation Montanan, I appreciate that there are so many diverse experiences and businesses that offer visitors the opportunity to experience their own Montana moments and their own style of vacation.

      Reply
  4. Matt Simms

    While Paws Up has some fabulous amenities, for sure, the author does make it seem like a great fit for anyone in Montana. If my family of four was too book the aforementioned Cliffside Camp over this Labor Day holiday, it would cost us over $1800, or half the monthly salary of Montana’s median income. That price does not include all meals or all activities. I appreciate what Paws Up does for a certain clientele, but this blog post sounds like a paid advertisement, and makes me wonder if the blogger got a free trip in order to talk up a high end resort we all know more about than she does.

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Hi Matt…well for starters, I’m glad you feel comfortable enough telling me what you think about my blog. As a native Montana girl, you know I appreciate honesty and opinions, even ones that differ from mine. 😉 As a note, I was not paid to write this post about The Resort at Paws Up. It was simply me sharing my stay there on my blog. You are correct in that Paws Up is not a fit for everyone, as it does cater to a specific clientele and YES, it is expensive. And while I don’t think it’s for everyone (we all have our favorite places to go and styles of vacation that we like to take), I really enjoyed my stay there.

      Reply

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