Stunning Montana Resorts to Rival the Landscape

Jennifer Keller Avatar
View from a stunning Montana resort
With staggering vistas for miles and miles, Montana won’t disappoint. Photo credit: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

The landscape in Montana is so amazing your accommodations may be an afterthought. But the state offers gorgeous resorts where you can enjoy the jaw-dropping landscape against the backdrop of world-class, gorgeous digs as well. Dude ranch? Luxe lodge? All-inclusive? Hot springs? Log cabins? Glamping? Hot springs cottage? All of these options can be found in Montana. Let our hotel guide set you up with the right Montana resort for your Big Sky vacation.

Whether you’re coming to visit Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks, or to try your hand at fly-fishing, year-round there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures at your doorstep in Montana. Horseback riding, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hiking, and kayaking are available throughout the state. Headed here in winter? Enjoy cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding and sleigh rides in a pristine winter-wonderland setting.

View of Big Mountain in Whitefish from a nearby Montana resort
Staying in Whitefish gives you access to Big Mountain skiing. Photo credit: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

Resorts Near Glacier National Park in/near Whitefish

The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

The reputation of The Lodge at Whitefish Lake is backed up by reality—the accommodation options, dining, amenities, activities and location make this resort a fantastic option for families, group travel or a couple’s getaway. There’s so much to do here you may forget it’s only a half-hour away from Columbia Falls and Glacier National Park!

The lakeside setting lets you enjoy ice skating in winter and boating, fishing, swimming and paddleboarding in summer! Dozens of outdoor activity options in every season let you enjoy the famous landscapes of Montana first-hand. Headed here in winter? Think skiing (groomed and backcountry), snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, fat-tire biking and even dog-sledding. Opting for a summer excursion? Hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding and rock climbing all become options.

With a variety of accommodations options (two lodges, lakefront condos and full homes) you can find a match perfect for your needs and group size. A stunning luxury resort in a stupendous locale.


Skiers at Whitefish Mountain, one of the top Montana resorts
With ski in-ski out options, Whitefish Mountain Resort delivers convenience in an unparalleled mountain setting. Photo credit: Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort

Want to stay in skiing or walking distance of the slopes? Then this resort is for you. Located right at Big Mountain, and minutes from the town of Whitefish, this resort delivers all things related to snow and skiing in winter, and hiking and biking in summer.

With half a dozen dining options right on the mountain, you can stay, play and ski without having to go far. And, if adding on a visit to Glacier National Park is on your travel agenda, you’re a short drive from the park.


Lake view in Montana with mountains in background
Spring and summer near Glacier brings a different kind of abundance. Photo credit: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

Meadow Lake Resort and Condos

Located in the jaw-dropping Flathead Valley, this resort offers two options—an intimate 18-room Inn or full-service vacation rentals (condos and homes). Golf and lake activities are right outside your door in the summer, while a free ski shuttle gets you to downhill skiing and use of private Kintla Lodge at Whitefish Mountain Resort with hassle-free ease in the winter.

Onsite restaurant and spa let you relax and unwind after a thrilling day on the slopes or a wonder-filled day of hiking and sightseeing at Glacier National Park.


Grouse Mountain Lodge

Looking for a great location in a high-quality, classic lodge without a luxury price tag? Grouse Mountain Lodge is a great option to check out. Its accommodation options and Whitefish locale make it both flexible and convenient for a variety of travel styles.

With onsite Nordic skiing and free shuttles to Big Mountain, its the perfect choice for families and groups looking to ski without logistical hassles. Want the ability to enjoy Whitefish town? Free shuttle service into town lets you dine and play without having to drive. Outdoor hot tub and pool, as well as onsite dining options, round out the full-service amenities of this long-standing Whitefish favorite.


Family on horseback at Bar W Guest Ranch, one of the best Montana resorts
Get your fill of seeing Montana by horseback at the Bar W Guest Ranch. Photo credit: Bar W Guest Ranch

Bar W Guest Ranch

Looking for an all-inclusive dude ranch week for your family or group that’s minutes from Whitefish and Glacier National Park? The Bar W is just for you! With lodge, cabin and glamping accommodation options, you’ll find a great fit for your travel style.

With an array of dude ranch activities to enjoy in a stunning terrain—horseback riding, roping, cattle drives, archery, campfire, wagon rides and much more!—you’ll get a taste for authentic Montana ranch life. Their core values—“We create positive environment. We connect people. We do what we say”—form the heart of an unforgettable vacation experience.

Check out their specialty weeks (adults only! cattle drive!) and well-regarded kid’s program and get ready for an unforgettable trip!


Resorts Near Missoula

Beloved Montana town Missoula is a convenient hub for getting to some of the state’s best resort options. Fly to Missoula, explore its charms, and then take a short drive (or hotel shuttle!) to one of these fine accommodation destinations.

View of pasture at dawn with mist at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana
The extensive property at Paws Up offers both tranquility and exploration. Photo credit: The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough

Working cattle ranch or luxurious, tranquil mountain retreat? Both! The sky’s the limit at this renowned luxury resort/dude ranch just a short drive from Missoula. With 10 miles of the Blackfoot River within its 37,000 acres of only-in-Montana landscape, Paws Up is a true destination resort.

There’s no shortage of dazzling vacation options at Paws Up—the resort’s extensive video reels give you a sneak peak at just how special and distinctive this place is. Want to curate a cattle ranch and horseback themed trip? They’ve got you covered. Prefer a trip loaded with outdoor, non-ranching activities like hiking, fishing and rafting? They can do that too. Craving a spa-like retreat with stunning outdoor vistas. Check. You can load up on R & R during a stay here.

Accommodation options include stunning full homes and over-the-moon glamping sites. Look, there’s no roughing it here—you’ll be basking in the glow of campfires with your every need considered.

Traveling with kids? Their fantastic kids programs will keep everyone engaged.


Steam coming off of hot springs at a Montana resort
Steaming mountainside hot springs soothe the soul at Quinn’s. Photo credit: Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort

Quinn’s Hot Springs (between Coeur d’Alene and Missoula)

Crave some healing waters with your Montana adventure? Then Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort in Paradise, MT just over an hour from Missoula is the place for you. With two lodges and over two dozen cabins, the resort has lodging options for every size of group.

The large and well-kept mineral pools offer plenty of room for relaxing and unwinding after a day of hiking, fishing or winter play. Onsite dining and spa mean you also can just hole up here and fill up on some hot spring R & R.


Resorts Near Butte MT

Aerial view of Fairmont Hot Springs resort in Montana
Huge outdoor and indoor pools make Fairmont the hot springs of choice for families. Photo credit: Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Want the hot springs but need to be closer to Helena or Bozeman and skiing? Then check out Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, just outside Butte, MT. With two large pools (indoor and outdoor) and a water slide, this hotel-style hot springs resort is great for families.

Want to golf? That’s right here too. Winter sports vacation? Discovery Ski Area is 30 miles away, with downhill, cross-country, and snowboarding options for the whole family.

Multiple onsite dining options make the resort a great home base for your Montana getaway.


Resorts Near Bozeman/in Big Sky

Lone Mountain Ranch in Montana
Luxury on the range never felt so good. Photo credit: Lone Mountain Ranch

Lone Mountain Ranch

Setting the bar in Montana for over a hundred years, Lone Mountain Ranch is a cabin-based, all-inclusive resort with amazing packages for a variety of themes and outdoor activities. A legendary ranch for many reasons, but only accessible to those who can afford the price tag of this legend!

With proximity to Big Sky, and a short distance from West Yellowstone (see their Yellowstone packages in May!) you can cover everything here, whether nordic skiing and dog-sledding in winter or fly fishing and backcountry rambles in summer. With a farm-to-table approach (and winter sleigh dinners!) the dining here is exemplary and unforgettable, with many styles and stunning locations to enjoy.


Couple walking on snowy path in Montana
Experience winter wonderland magic for the whole family at Big Sky Resort. Photo credit: Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort

Is skiing on one of the best mountains in the U.S. why you’re headed to Montana? Then stay right where you ski at one of Montana’s great ski resorts, like Big Sky Resort. From condos, to hotels, to full homes and cabins, Big Sky Resort has the perfect lodging option for you and your family or group.

With plenty of dining and shopping options in Mountain Village, Big Sky Resort can be your home base for a vacation full of winter sport play.


Aerial fiew of Rainbow Ranch Lodge in Montana
Set on the Gallatin River, Rainbow Ranch Lodge is a stunner. Photo credit: Rainbow Ranch Lodge

Rainbow Ranch Lodge (Gallatin River)

Under an hour from West Yellowstone and just over an hour from Bozeman, Rainbow Ranch Lodge is perfectly located to cover lots of ground during your trip. Set on the Gallatin River, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge offers just the right mix of rustic-luxe accommodations and amenities, with an array of outdoor activities available right outside your door.

With a main lodge, as well as Pondside and Riverside Rooms, the setting of your stay will be breathtaking. Coming for a special occasion? Let them help you plan a memorable meal, excursion or event.


Resorts Near Yellowstone National Park

Want a resort or ranch experience with easy access to Yellowstone National Park? Two general locations are your options—resorts in Paradise Valley between Livingston and Gardiner, MT or resorts or ranches near the town of West Yellowstone. Read on for fantastic, family-friendly lodgings in both locations!

West Yellowstone Area

Log cabin at night at Montana's Elkhorn Ranch
Log cabin perfection at Elkhorn Ranch. Photo credit: Elkhorn Ranch

Elkhorn Ranch

Since 1922 families have been enjoying the Elkhorn Ranch’s signature mix of log cabin lodging, dude ranch activities and top-tier hospitality. There family-friendly approach says it all: “Our Montana Dude Ranch is designed from the ground up to cater to families that want closely shared family time without needing to spend every moment together.”

With a stunning locale and a fantastic kid’s program, Elkhorn offers all-inclusive stays which will let you and your family or group get immersed in ranch life and Montana outdoor beauty. And, its proximity to Yellowstone lets you visit the park easily too. [Note: Kids’ program for ages 6+; for children under 6 a “Ranchsitter” can be hired for the week, or your own caretaker can join in for free. No charge for children under 6!]

Really want to get away from it all? There’s no cell service at Elkhorn! (Though, if needed, internet services in the office.)


Breakfast campfire cookout
Cookout bonanza at Elkhorn Ranch! Photo credit: Elkhorn Ranch

SheBuysTravel Tip: When comparing guest ranch or dude ranch options, ask about how many people of families will be there each week. The size of the place will tell you a lot about the feel of the experience — will it be a handful of families, or dozens? Will most people be there for an all-inclusive week, or dropping in and leaving? Does the ranch integrate any traditions into the week, like square dancing or special ranch events?

Interior of log cabin at Paradise Rest Ranch in Montana
Authentic log cabin lodgings for the whole family just 10 miles from Yellowstone! Photo credit: Paradise Rest Ranch

Paradise Rest Ranch (West Yellowstone)

Just 10 minutes from Yellowstone NP, this Montana ranch resort offers a dreamy location for you and your family to explore both Yellowstone and classic dude ranch activities. Less expensive than many other dude ranch options, Paradise Rest Ranch doesn’t charge for children under 4, and has non-riding prices for any family members who want to enjoy the ranch without the horseback element!

From daily horseback riding and fly fishing to the weekly camp cookout, Paradise Rest Ranch will let you and your family create special Montana memories without having to spend your child’s college tuition savings.

Paradise Valley/Livingston Area

Aerial view of Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana
From their stunning wellness center to spectacular horseback riding views, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch is spell-binding. Photo credit: Mountain Sky Guest Ranch

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch

Ok, if you have the means, and you’re seeking a one-of-a-kind, long-revered, classic, upscale Western-style guest ranch to call home for a week, then Mountain Sky Guest Ranch is for you. Authentic dude ranch, Western frontier lodge, or high-end nature retreat and wellness spa? Here, you don’t have to choose. Mountain Sky literally has it all.

In the high summer season, whole-cabin packages with all-inclusive activities and meals cater to traveling families. Other seasons offer other themes, and less-high pricing. Want an unforgettable trip for you and your girlfriends? Check out their Wild West Women weeks during the month of May!


Aerial view of Sage Lodge in Montana
Perfect location at the heart of everything in Paradise Valley. Photo credit: Sage Lodge

Sage Lodge, Pray MT

On the Yellowstone River in the heart of Paradise Valley, Sage Lodge is a one-stop show-stopper for all-things-Montana. Want fly-fishing right out the door? Got it. A golf tee just a stroll away? Got it. Onsite spa for some pampering? Yep. Hiking, water activities, horseback riding, arts classes and more? Yes. Your entire group will be satisfied with how they’ve spent their day, and then you can all reconvene at the lodge for fabulous onsite dining and unwinding in high quality guest rooms.


Night view of main building at Yellowstone Valley Lodge, one of Montana's top resorts
Riverside cabins makes this an angler’s dream location. Photo credit: Yellowstone Valley Lodge

Yellowstone Valley Lodge

Perched on the banks of the Yellowstone River, the Yellowstone Valley Lodge & Grill is another Paradise Valley gem which makes a great base for your Montana exploration. With cabins right on the river banks, world-class fly fishing just outside your door, and Yellowstone NP down the road, you can’t beat the location of this angler’s dream.

With onsite dining and spa, fly fishing guide shop, a relaxed atmosphere, smaller size and tremendous value, this lodge is a great option for Montana travel near Yellowstone.


Resorts Near Nothing!

Family-style canvas tent glamping at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana.
Family-style canvas tent glamping at Rock Creek. Photo credit: The Ranch at Rock Creek

The Ranch at Rock Creek

The “World’s First Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star Ranch” might not mean anything to you, but in the travel world it means this place is a big deal—big on luxury, quality and distinctive merit. Basically, a one-of-a-kind travel destination that can’t be found anywhere else. Anywhere.

Peruse the accommodation options at Rock Creek and you’ll quickly see why this is a coveted reservation to get. Canvas-luxe glamping? Covered wagon chic? Homesteader cabin or barn digs? Classic-style lodge? Full luxury home? The array of options and the style perfected in each one is sort of staggering. (As is the price tag! But, if you’ve got it to spend, this is one of those places worth the charge.)

Technically under two hours from any airport in Montana (and 30 minutes from old mining town Philipsburg), Rock Creek’s isolation is one of its greatest assets. Your all-inclusive week here in a transportive environment will let forget the ways of the contemporary world and reconnect with how things could be done differently, on horseback, in a cabin, on the range.


Montana Resorts - welcome gate at Triple J Wilderness Ranch.
Step onto the Triple J Wilderness Ranch and step into a whole new world. Photo credit: Triple J Wilderness Ranch

Triple J Wilderness Ranch (Augusta MT)

When I found Triple J on the map, I still couldn’t quite comprehend where it was. It seemed perched in a mountain range. And, so it is! I’ll let their description clear up the confusion: “Just inside the Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front in the scenic corridor between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, the Triple J Ranch is remotely located, overlooking the beautiful Sun River Canyon and Gibson Lake.”

A stay at this remarkable all-inclusive guest ranch is so coveted (even though it is not as pricey as luxury guest ranch options) that they sell out about a year in advance. So, book early!


Head to Circle Bar on the Judith River for fantastic horseback riding. Montana Resorts.
Head to Circle Bar on the Judith River for fantastic horseback riding. Photo credit: Circle Bar Guest Ranch

Circle Bar Guest Ranch (Hobson)

Looking for a historic dude ranch with an emphasis upon horseback riding? Then Circle Bar is the place for you. Located on the Judith River, just off Lewis and Clark’s river journey, Circle Bar has a long history of explorers and homesteaders scouting the land on horseback.

All-inclusive stays let you immerse yourself in the feel and beauty of this isolated ranch, where cowboy poet Charles Russell liked to hang his hat. Looking for a great alternative girls’ trip? Check out their Big Sky Cowgirls week in late July!


A writer, educator and mama living in Walla Walla, Washington, Jennifer has spent the past decade living in the shrub-steppe deserts of California, Colorado and Washington. But she’s really most at home in the tropical forests of Indonesia and coastal Washington. Check out recent nonfiction at The Threepenny Review and
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