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What are the components of a magical month of July? My answer would be—hands-down—barbecue, watermelon, live music, epic fireworks, outdoor activities, fly-fishing, horseback riding, picnics, parades, pies (apple, peach, pecan—any variety, really!), kayaking, expansive starry skies, pristine weather (read: no humidity, light breeze), hiking, glamping, relaxation, mountain air and family time. It’s quite a list, but you can find all of this and even more when you head to The Resort at Paws Up in beautiful Montana. Travel alone, with your family, grandparents, your dog, your favorite person or your best guy or girl friend. It will be an experience you will never forget, and definitely one you will want to repeat. July is an ultimate time to visit the resort, with eight amazing extra events to learn a new skill or just to relax and celebrate life.
1. Great Scotts: Stars at Night Concert Series
July 1–9, 2016 and July 30–August 6, 2016
What do you get when you pair two ultra-talented, cute guys named Scott from the Winder city and bring them to Montana? Join us for a special series of concerts (onstage and in a campfire setting) by Scott Besaw and Scott Schaefer. Scott Besaw has been entertaining music lovers at various Chicago hot spots and all over the United States for almost 30 years. In the past, Besaw has been a featured performer with the Blue Man Group, the Denver Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, the University of Colorado’s Buffoons a cappella singing group and Chicago’s special occasion band Underwater People.
Scott Schaefer has enjoyed a notable presence on the Chicago music scene for two decades as the lead singer of numerous indie rock outfits and has managed several independent record labels in the Midwest. Scott Besaw is available for private guitar and drum lessons. The Great Scotts are also available for private performances. Fees apply to private lessons and performances.
2. July 4th Happy Independence Day Paws-Up-style!
Celebrate the 4th with us at The Resort at Paws Up with the ultimate American celebration. Enjoy a craft cocktail mixology demonstration, live music, a live wild west show, line dancing, float decorating contest, lawn games, gunny sack races, chair massages, parades, watermelon eating contest, fireworks and don’t forget s’mores!
3. Gettin’ Primitive with Artist in Residency: Gary Steele
July 10–16, 2016, and August 7–13, 2016
Learn about the old ways from an honest-to-goodness mountain man—Paws Up’s resident outdoorsman Gary Steele. For one week at his self-built camp, you and your kids will get hands-on instruction in primitive skills like edible plant identification, fire making, knot tying, longbow archery, music making, orienteering, shelter building, storytelling, tomahawk throwing, tracking and woodsmanship.
Designed for families to come together in an environment that fosters confidence, curiosity, enthusiasm, responsibility and self-esteem, the Gettin’ Primitive workshop is sure to ignite your kids’ imagination.
4. Montana Long Table: A Locally Sourced Summer
July 16, 2016
For one delicious July evening, we pay special tribute to the people who feed us. Chef Ben Jones and his talented team will prepare a unique multicourse farm-to-white-tablecloth dinner highlighting fresh summertime ingredients. And the close relationships Ben and his kitchen staff have formed with area purveyors will make this a celebration that’s truly inspired.
5. Starry Night Photography with Artist in Residency: Barbara Van Cleve
July 18–21, 2016 spectacular wines included.
Join acclaimed ranch-life photographer and Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Barbara Van Cleve for a unique and captivating photography workshop. The workshop will take place both indoors and under Montana’s Big Sky at night. Van Cleve is known for her spectacular nighttime imagery, and she will instruct all workshop participants on how to capture vivid, dreamy photographs under a starry, moonlit sky. With more than 50 solo photography exhibits to her name and a lifetime of experience
6. Champion Horsemanship with Barbra Schulte
July 18–21, 2016
Take your horsemanship skills up a notch with instruction from Barbra Schulte, a veteran professional rider and trainer and member of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. With an emphasis on developing tough mental strategies, she’s helped elite riders all over the country reach their full potential. In this workshop, with her guidance, you’ll focus on control as you wind through obstacle courses along scenic trails, and you’ll practice your aim on horseback with mounted shooting (using water pistols). The workshop also focuses on providing riders with inspiration to overcome challenges they might have encountered in the past. A limited group size allows for intimate sessions, which are perfect for mastering new techniques.
7. Block Printing and Mosaics with Artist in Residency: Jill Schulman
July 24–30, 2016
Get your hands messy with Artist in Residency Jill Schulman as she teaches adults and children alike the art of block carving and printing, as well as mosaic making in this Paws Up Wilderness Workshop. Schulman is a renowned sculptor and ceramic artist who thrives on teaching her craft to others. No previous experience is required to take part in the workshop—just a willingness to think “outside the block.”
8. Wild Writing with Writer in Residency: Laura Munson
July 29—30, 2016
For centuries, writers have been finding their inspiration out in the wild. And Montana may well be the place where your muse resides. So whether you’re a professional or a seeker with a pen, come find your unique voice under the nurturing guidance of an internationally successful author.
No matter where you are in your creative journey, you’ll learn how to discover your stories and get them onto the page. This custom Wilderness Workshop will give you a renewed feeling of empowerment through self-expression. It’s an adventure within, in the great outdoors.
Take a wild guess at the three most requested activities at The Resort at Paws Up. If you picked fly-fishing, horseback riding, and ATV trail rides, then you are correct—and you should reward yourself with one of the above! These three activities in particular are extremely popular due to the multiple offerings, times, and uniqueness that come from the setting of the resort. Activities Director Mark Houseman says, “Their popularity stems from the fact that these three activities offer a great representation of the Montana way of life. From the world-class fishing to the wide-open exploration of our state, they allow our guests a way to escape busy city life and marvel at the beauty of the Montana landscape. Personally, my favorite is the three-hour ATV tour, as you get to drive deep into the back part of the property, enjoy the thrill of two hill climbs, snap a photo at the best picture spot at Lookout Rock and experience the ever-changing landscape that you experience along the route.”
For our ATV trail rides, guests can choose from a one and a half-, three-, or five-hour excursion. For the first two options, guests explore the woods, tackle hill climbs, take in the picturesque scenery from Lookout Rock and view the beautiful Blackfoot river. On the five-hour ride, guests will explore the woods, and then take the ATVs off-property to Elevation Peak (about 7,000 feet). Once they have completed this climb on the ATVs, guests will hop off for a hike to the top. From there, views are breathtaking, and guests will experience the grandeur that earned Montana its Big Sky State nickname. Post-hike, adventurers head to Garnet, an abandoned-but-intact ghost town where guests will travel back to the 1800s as they check out the saloon, hotel, general store and so much more. Lunch is provided before driving back to the resort.
Horses are iconic to Montana, and riding is probably the first activity that crosses the mind when thinking of Montana. The Resort at Paw Up houses 40 horses on-property for all of our equestrian activities. Whether you are have never been in a saddle before or are a riding expert, Paws Up has something for every ability with one-, two- or three-hour trail rides, cattle drives, lessons and more. The Resort’s wrangler will pair guests with a four-legged friend that will be the perfect match for exploring more than 100 miles of wilderness trails. You will pass towering ponderosa pines, whose size and beauty are surpassed only by the views of the distant mountain ranges of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
This year, there are several additions to the equestrian program, including a new evening ride that takes you past our quaint line shack (where you will enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer) to the top of Scout’s Point to take in a signature Montana sunset. Or enjoy a lunch ride to a gorgeous spot in the shade where guests indulge in a Paws Up-style picnic. Kids can participate in lessons at the Saddle Club arena, complete with games, obstacle courses and more, and adult beginners can join instructional group trail rides. For advanced riders, the all-new, three-hour trail ride allows equine enthusiasts to cover terrain that no Paws Up guests have ever traversed. For an authentic taste of Western ranch life, participate in a cattle drive where novice and advanced riders alike saddle up with seasoned ranch hands and drive a herd of cattle across the majestic rolling pastures of the Resort property.
Montana is known for fly-fishing, and Paws Up hosts 10 miles of the Blackfoot River—arguably one of the most famous rivers in which to fly-fish, thanks to the movie “A River Runs Through It.” This gorgeous river flows right through our property, where all of our guided excursions are strictly for fly-fishing. Our guides have fished the surrounding rivers for years and will help you find the best trout fishing holes. At Paws Up, we offer spin rods for guests who are more comfortable with these rods, but only for independent fishing.
Also near the resort is the Missouri River—one of the best hot spots for fly-fishing and a treasure trove for trout. This massive river travels approximately 700 miles along the entire state of Montana.
Other options include Bitterroot River—a dry-fly paradise that is famous for 95 percent dry flies and great hatches, which start in mid-March and extend well into October—and the Clark Fork River, the largest river by volume in the state and also one of the longest. The Clark Fork is approximately 310 miles long and is close to the resort. The best fishing on the Clark Fork is found between its origin and the confluence with the Flathead River near Paradise.
We’ll be celebrating Father’s Day this weekend at the ranch with our BBQ-U event, Chuckwagon Dinner and endless outdoor adventure activities. If you’re still in search of that just-right Father’s Day gift, our all-new Wilderness Outpost offers five unique finds to fill the bill. Wilderness Outpost (formerly called the Paws Up General Store) is not like any other resort gift shop. This ultimate 11,000-square-foot rural boutique is home to the most one-of-a-kind shopping experience you will ever experience. Wilderness Outpost is all about sourcing items with a story. Every Friday, you will get a chance to meet and chat with one of the artists in residence as they proudly display their works. This Friday, June 18th, don’t miss Behring Made Knives, C. Martini and Diane Whitehead Trunk Show. Below are some top Father’s Day picks you can round up at Wilderness Outpost.
1. Will Leather Goods Boots: The Wilderness Outpost at The Resort at Paws Up is honored to be the first retail venue to carry Will Leather Goods line of footwear. Beautifully designed, these are as comfortable as they are stylish. $275
2. William Adler for Will Leather Goods Hats: Handmade in the USA, each hat is unique. These designs celebrate the timeless approach to the art of hat making, and the company takes great pride in working with artisans who share the same passion for the artistic and hands-on approach honored at Will Leather Goods. $250 -$600
4. Filson Heritage Sportsman Bag: This weather-resistant multi-use bag has interior dividers and U-zipper closure for full bag access. It also features five pockets for storing a variety of dad’s gear. With industrial-strength fabric and USA-tanned Bridle Leather, it’s meant to last through decades of use. $360
4. Hydroflask for Paws Up 64-ounce Growler: Designed perfectly for dad, an insulated stainless steel beer growler allows you to transport your favorite brew (or any beverage) and keep it as cold and refreshing as when it was first poured. $65
5. Behring Made Steak Knife Set: This stainless steel knife set is a gorgeous complement to any dining experience. Made by Missoula local James Behring, whose team strives to make the best knives on the market. Includes custom Paws Up log inset on blade. $2500 for a set of six and a case
We love summer workshops, and last month our brand new Wilderness Workshop, Brushes with Greatness, offered participants a chance to paint alongside a true American master in a breathtaking Montana landscape. Artist George Van Hook is renowned for his impressionistic paintings. His five-day “plein air” watercolor workshop was hosted in a variety of inspiring outdoor settings throughout The Resort. Van Hook has exhibited his award-winning works on three continents and has been teaching art and presenting workshops for more than 30 years. Beginning painting at an early age, Van Hook also spent his formative years traveling overseas to study art and copy other artists’ master works at Europe’s legendary museums, including the Louvre.
Mark your calendars for Bottle & Bottega with Stephanie King-Myers and Nick Myers from June 21—26, 2016. One day in March 2009, Bottle & Bottega founder Stephanie King-Myers and her artist husband, Nick Myers successfully convinced a friend with no artistic skills that she could in fact paint, with the right inspiration. So with a glass of wine in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, the friend successfully created her first masterpiece, and the Bottle & Bottega concept was born! In their workshops, King-Myers and Myers offer a variety of art and media experiences, including canvas painting, mosaics, glass painting, live models and more. Now with three young children of their own, they love introducing families to painting so that together they can create lasting memories! Whether you’re the family Rembrandt or struggle drawing stick figures, Bottle & Bottega will bring out your inner artist. No matter what your skill level is, you’ll produce a painting to be proud of. Also, there’s plenty of wine to help get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy painting at inspiring locations on the ranch, some sunset sessions and some alfresco evening sessions at individual luxury camps. There will also be some vino-free sessions at the Kids Corps of Discovery, so family members of all ages will have a chance to express themselves.
At The Resort at Paws Up, you can experience so much more than a typical Montana dude-ranch vacation. Besides glamping in luxury, safari-style tents, you can partake in a multitude of outdoor adventures, once in a lifetime experiences and unique activities, which are more than plentiful at The Resort. Check out these three super cool activities ideal for a summer Montana vacation—there are exciting discoveries at every single turn.
1. Garnet Ghost Town
Have you ever visited a real ghost town? Garnet is an historic, 120-year-old mining ghost town located in west central Montana; it sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet at the head of First Chance Creek. The Resort at Paws Up offers two different ways to visit Garnet from the ranch:
A ghost town via ATV? Yes! For those looking for a gorgeous, scenic route and adventure, this five-hour trip is a rush. You will leave the property and head to Elevation Peak for lunch. Then, take a tour of the ghost town with your guide before continuing this exciting journey.
Looking for a challenge by bike? Approximately four hours, this tour takes guests, by van, to Garnet Ghost Town, where you will have the opportunity to explore this historic site before hopping on mountain bikes to make a 12-mile downhill trek. Get your workout in and explore an historic ghost town all at once.
Looking for the most fun and unique dining experience in Montana? Step aboard Paws Up’s version of an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon for an evening ride to the Blackfoot River. Sit back, relax and take in Montana’s fresh air and beautiful Big Sky—there’s lots of both!—the backdrop of The Resort at Paws Up.
The Chuck Wagon Dinner begins at the banks of the Blackfoot River, where you will enjoy an authentic dinner prepared before your eyes. From all-natural chicken, Angus prime rib, fresh corn and asparagus grilled over a campfire to summer classic dishes such as baked beans and fresh fruit cobbler cooked over the coals in a Dutch oven, we promise you won’t walk away hungry.
Further enjoy this cowboy-style experience by pitching horseshoes with the kids, listening to a local banjo player or contemplating a few words from a cowboy poet. This is one family dining experience that you will remember for years to come.
3. 3D Archery
At Paws Up, 3D Archery will change your archery experience forever. We call it 3D archery because the targets are actually three-dimensional. There are buffalo, deer, mountain goats and even bears that all are very lifelike. It’s so enjoyable you’ll want to do it more than once. Guests learn the most important techniques of archery shooting, as well as gain an introduction to the sport of big game archery hunting through a walkabout course in the woods with realistic foam animal targets. Learn the fundamentals and see improvement in your skill level on the target range. The best part comes next: Progress to the 10-station, one-mile walk-through course, which features a variety of shots with different scenarios and difficulties. (Guests are provided with compound bows and a quiver full of arrows.)
“Going to the woods is going home.”—John Muir
June 4, 2016, is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, the country’s largest celebration of trails. The Resort at Paws Up offers more than 30 miles of marked trails for hiking on your own or with a naturalist guide. Choose from a variety of excursions through our 37,000 acres that will allow you to seek quiet, peace, solitude and inspiration. Our guides can offer information about native plants, wildlife and the history of the Blackfoot Valley.
“The top two favorite trails on our property would be the Sunset Trail and Jones Pond Trail through Lubrecht Experimental Forest,” says Justyne Palermo, Resort Reservations Manager at The Resort at Paws Up. “The Sunset Trail follows the Blackfoot River, and then you hike up to Lookout Rock, which provides grand views of the Blackfoot River and Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The Jones Pond Trail is the perfect hike for wildlife viewing with many visible tracks of elk, deer and bears near the pond. The hike through Lubrecht Experimental Forest is also interesting as it’s a track of land owned by the university, which provides a location for forestry research, resource management and ecosystem science,” says Palermo.
All trails are accessible to all ranch guests and free-of-charge to visit, so don’t miss a chance to explore our rolling hills and expansive meadows.
Six Paws Up Trails Not to Miss
For a quick, easy hike, choose Sacagawea Trail, an easy one-mile hike that is nearest to the Paws Up Village. Another option is the Grizzlyman Fitness Trail—a one-mile course near Spa Town that includes 12 fitness stations. Each station features equipment made from surrounding timber as well as unique challenges, including climbing, balancing, swinging and more. It’s a great way to relish in nature and burn calories at the same time.
Ponderosa Trail is The Resort’s 2.5-mile hike with a slight elevation through Lowland Forest (considered a moderate hike).
Anaconda Trail is four miles long with elevation changes, forest areas and a historic mining area.
Sunset Trail is filled with beauty for three miles as it follows Elk Creek and spans from the Camp to Village.
Jones Pond Trail is 2.5 miles uphill into Lubrecht, and it is considered a moderate to difficult path, more suitable for the avid hiker.
Did you know that Montana is known as “the last best place?” Visit us at the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, and you will be in on the secret, too. June is an incredible time to experience our resort and all it has to offer. From Montana’s long sunny days and optimal seasonal weather to the abundance of outdoor adventure that awaits, it’s the summer vacation getaway you and your family will never forget. If that isn’t enough to entice you, then here are 6 wonderful ways that Paws Up is winning in June.
1. Kites over Montana (June-13—19)
Brett Morris and his wife, Diane, have been featured participants at various kite festivals for more than a decade, and they’ll be taking to the beautiful big skies at The Resort at Paws Up this month. Build your own kite, and learn a few new tricks. Or, just sit back and relax as Brett and Diane’s trick kites and quads decorate the sky—you won’t be disappointed! You will learn all about kite building and flying, plus experience demos. All workshops are complimentary.
2. BBQ-U at Paws Up (June 17—19)
Father’s Day Weekend means it’s time to earn an extremely tasty, different kind of degree—perhaps a 375F degree for the perfect burger, or a 140F degree for a succulent medium steak. As part of the first BBQ-U, Montana Master Grillers alums Sam Huff (Sam’s BBQ-1 in Georgia) and Danny Fischer (Baby Blues BBQ in California) will conduct outdoor grilling demonstrations that will transform you from backyard beginner to searing expert. You will learn the techniques to expertly cooking meats and veggies from these pros—and—just as grand—this “university” will take place in Montana’s majestic outdoors. For barbecue enthusiasts faithfully devoted to the way of the grill and the passion of the flame, BBQ-U is the must-attend event of the summer. All participants are sure to get an A for appetite along with advanced barbecuing skills.
3. Bottle & Bottega (June 21—26)
Whether you’re the family Picasso or you struggle just to draw stick figures, Bottle & Bottega will bring out your inner artistic talent. This fun, hands-on art session will be totally relaxed, friendly, and filled with step-by-step instruction. No matter what your skill level is, we promise you will produce a painting to be proud of—there’s even plenty of wine to help get your creative juices flowing. We’ll have outdoor afternoon sessions in some of the most inspiring locations on the ranch, and sunset and alfresco evening sessions at individual luxury camps. There will also be a handful of vino-free sessions at the Kids Corps of Discovery, so family members of all ages will have a chance to express themselves.
4. Montana Long Table: The Ultimate Backyard BBQ (June 18)
Looking for the best way to spend Father’s Day? Join us at a Montana Long Table to dine with ranchers, farmers and food artisans who make the cuisine at The Resort at Paws Up so special. Chef Danny Fischer and Chef Sam Huff, along with Chef Ben Jones, will create a five-star menu that dad will love. Along with amazing live music, this mouthwatering adventure may become your new favorite summer tradition.
Don’t miss this unique trunk show featuring custom handmade knives, hunting knives and cutlery from Behring Made Knives, as well as a variety of goods from C. Martini “wearable art,” custom couture pieces (no two are the same) and fine art by renowned wilderness artist Diane Whitehead.
6. Mexicana (June 28th—29th)
Spice up your June stay with a special culinary event featuring the talented chefs of Lindo Michoacán, Las Vegas’ No. 1 Mexican restaurant. In collaboration with our Executive Chef Ben Jones, they’ll rustle up all the flavors of one of the world’s most exciting cuisines.
Mingle with fellow guests and resort staff, learn some new culinary skills, taste signature cocktails spiked with Dulce Vida organic tequila, enjoy deliciously authentic Mexican dishes, and kick up your heels with live entertainment from our outdoor stage.
(Photo Credit: TastingPage.com)
A milestone like a 75th birthday requires a special celebration. Kelly Page did just that when her Dad turned 75 and at his request to visit a “dude ranch” they came to Paws Up.
“My dad, and for that matter, most of the family, are not real campers. “Roughing it,” well, isn’t a phrase any of us likes uttering when it comes to traveling. Finding the perfect dude ranch with enough amenities to keep everyone happy seemed like a challenge. Sure we wanted an authentic experience wrangling cattle and shooting clay pigeons, but we also wanted to be able to retire to high thread count sheets and gourmet food and drinks. A lot to ask, until we found Paws Up.”
(Photo Credits: TastingPage.com)
“Everyone from 11 to 75 years old enjoyed themselves at Paws Up. It was one of our best family vacations. We were semi-disconnected, but fully connected while taking in the beautiful setting through a variety of adventure activities. […]”
This is a condensed version of their experience. Head on over to the Tasting Page to read her full review and travel experience.
The following is an excerpt from “Thumbs Up for Paws Up” originally published on the FashionbyMayhem.com blog:
Photo: Fashion by Mayhem
Our first two nights in Montana were spent glamping at the 37,000 acre ranch resort known as The Resort at Paws Up. Now if you’re wondering what exactly glamping is, it’s like camping, except your tent has a king size bed with heated blankets, a second bedroom, a REAL bathroom complete with rain shower and heated floors, a welcome bottle of wine, a heating/AC unit inside, and lots of other perfect details … So basically, it’s not camping at all. Which is exactly how I like my camping.
Photo: Fashion by Mayhem
[…] We decided to spend our time at Paws Up reacquainting ourselves with the great outdoors. Mayhem grabbed a fishing pole from the dining and activities pavilion at our camp and we made the short 100 yard trek to the Blackfoot River. We didn’t catch anything. At all. And it’s entirely possible it had something to do with the super loud kid with us who kept throwing rocks in the river. We tried to explain fishing basics to her, but she was having fun and we were enjoying ourselves, so it was all good.
Photo: Fashion by Mayhem
[…] And in case we weren’t wowed enough by our surroundings, we discovered on our first morning that we had some bald friends in camp with us. And later that day we found they had a nest directly above our tent. And two babies. Let me let that sink in … a family of bald eagles living in the tree directly above our tent!!!
Photo: Fashion by Mayhem
[…]Nature is pretty darn spectacular and we don’t spend enough time appreciating it. We’ve worried about Mayhem growing up in a time and place where we’re all so wrapped up in our devices and screens that we neglect the awesomeness that’s happens in the world all on its own. Paws Up gave us gave us a little slice of heaven for a couple days. And the chance to immerse ourselves in some of nature’s finest settings in five star fashion.