Triple Creek Ranch is an award-winning Montana Luxury Ranch Resort hidden away in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. The valley was the ancestral home of the Salish tribe of the Flathead nation.
In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the Lost Trail Pass from present-day Idaho in order to connect with the overland route through the Rocky Mountains. Western life and history is evident in Darby and the surrounding towns in driving distance of Triple Creek Ranch.
The luxury Ranch caters to families with children16 and older, but the majority of the clientele is adults. Cowboy chic décor abounds, the architecture provides the first hint, charming log cabin homes and cottages dotted amid the towering fragrant Ponderosa Pines. The air is fresh, the skies robin egg blue, all this punctuated by the gurgling creek running through the property; my comfortable cabin was enhanced by the sound of the rushing creek, guaranteeing deep sleep. The owners are serious Western fine art collectors and generously share their collection in each cabin and in all the public spaces, truly an added perk. Traditional western flavor art, vintage black and white photographs, contemporary Western art and outdoor bronzes dot the property.
The cabins are mostly clustered near the main building, which consists of the spacious dining room, activities center, swimming pool and gym. There are 4 homes off property within a mile or so and a few have river front access. The furniture is very comfortable, cowboy chic, western in style and accented by the amazing curated art collection. Oversize bathrooms with massive steam showers melt away any aches and pains from horseback riding or mountain hiking. Reserved as an all-exclusive experience, all meals and activities are included in your stay. Triple Creek Ranch is a member of the Relais & Châteaux group of luxury properties.
Each cabin is equipped with a stocked kitchen, deck and a golf cart for getting around the property. However, if you indulge in the delicious gourmet dining, I heartily recommend parking the golf cart and hiking up to the main lodge! Staff is always around and can cart you home if you prefer. My cabin had a huge deck with lounge chairs and a hot tub under the stars. Do I sound like I need more time at Triple Creek? Yes, is the immediate answer.
Staff – beyond accommodating. When I checked into my room, I mentioned I never close the blinds or curtains; I like to wake up with the morning light. High above the bed, a couple of windows had closed blinds – asked if those should be open – I said oh no, that would require a tall ladder…they listened, when I returned from lunch, all the upper un-reachable blinds were open. Similar conversation at dinner, I requested a glass of Chablis – the young sommelier intern knew several wines similar in style, she was right; my second night at dinner, the same delicious wine appeared the moment I walked in the dining room. Everyone I encountered was extremely friendly and helpful. My recent shoulder surgery left me feeling incapable of managing a horse, once I was saddled up and ready to go – no worries – staff immediately called my in house team member and we drove around the property seeing more of the grounds. Accommodating and gracious – the middle name of each and every staff member of Triple Creek Ranch. The smallest details always add up to creating a seamless comfortable visit.
Activities: Fill your day with on-ranch activities such as horseback riding, hiking or snowshoeing in winter, fly-casting clinic, archery, sapphire panning, a game of tennis, or simply relax by the pool, all of which is included in your nightly cabin rate. For additional fees, there is also an abundance of off-ranch Western adventures. If you prefer a view from the back of a horse, a helicopter, a fishing boat, or behind a spirited team of sled dogs, staff can organize a plethora of activities. Cattle drives, white water rafting, team penning. Team Penning? Cows and calves must be sorted and penned, it’s a fact of ranch life. It’s real life cowpoke fun too. Team penning on horseback is a fast-paced, hands-on, timed event, where a team of guests and cowhands separate individual calves from the herd and move those calves to their separate pens. Any level of horsemanship can do the job, but by the end of the event, horse, rider and calf will savor the rewarding glow of accomplishment. ATV activities, and also historic Lewis & Clark Adventures can be arranged, experience a trail ride with the local Rawhide Outfitters.
These leisurely horse rides traverse along a picturesque trail that was traveled by Lewis & Clark. With amazing views and wildlife, you will get a sense of what it must have been like for Lewis & Clark during their historic crossing. Reaching the summit, observe a panoramic view of the Continental Divide where a delicious picnic lunch is served. Authentic experiences… Triple Creek Ranch is authentic in every manner. Owned, designed and managed by people who clearly cherish the land and love sharing their vast enthusiasm for nature and its bounty.
Not so fond of the ponies? Then you might prefer a van trip, with Rawhide Outfitters as your guide, retrace the historic trails and the awe-inspiring journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Lemhi and Salmon River Valleys, in present-day Idaho, were home to Sacajawea, the only female member of the Expedition. On top of the Lemhi Pass, Meriwether Lewis exclaimed, “The Continental Divide, at last!” Interpreter and Guide Elias Williams will take you on this amazing journey and historical tour. Relive August 1805 and Thomas Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery. The air-conditioned van tour starts at the Sacajawea Interpretive Center in Salmon, ID. The Center is just 1 ½ hour drive from Triple Creek Ranch.
Year round activities are available, interesting and appealing to a broad range of tastes. From wine and food tastings, helicopter tours to Glacier and Yellowstone, to long photography weekends, horsemanship clinics, wildlife safaris on adjacent Ranch properties. A herd of buffalo encircled our ranch vehicle, babies nursed while large bulls tussled for herd dominance.When I was offered a ranch safari, I wasn’t sure what to expect – it ended up being a lovely Ranch excursion with plenty of wildlife viewing and a full scope understanding of the owners interest in ranching and preserving nature from development. I made another attempt at an outing, fly-fishing with a guide from a boat down the Bitterroot River…my skills are admittedly rusty and my shoulder reminded me again of my recent surgery; Boomer, one of the top fishing guides, said no worry, just enjoy the float, as he gently paddled Ms. Lazy downstream. It’s obvious the entire staff loves the environment and enthusiastically share their devotion to the Ranch and the stunning location.
The owners, Craig and Barbara Barrett are frequently on property and host weekly cocktail parties for Ranch guests in their private home – sharing more of their spectacular art collection which includes Russell and Remington and contemporary artists including Oleg Stavrowsky, Ed Mell, and William Matthews. Western culture exhibited in their art collection and an unselfish abundance of western manners.
Do make a stop at Double H Custom Hat Company in Darby or ask the Ranch to have him visit you on property. Owner Jimmy Harrison, is a famous hatter to Willie Brown, Emmylou Harris and a variety of cowboy hat aficionados. If you don’t need a custom hat, the Ranch shop has a great selection of attire including appropriate hats. Full post on my visit to Jimmy’s store: http://www.gwenbooks.com/2017/09/jimmy-the-hat-man-double-h-hats/
The all-inclusive luxury ranch lies 75 miles south of Missoula in the dramatic mountains of western Montana and is renowned for its excellent service. The full property encompasses 26,000 private acres and 4 million National Forest acres. Spectacular scenery, friendly and helpful staff, delicious dining, Triple Creek Ranch is a marvelous couple escape, single escape or a great location for a long girl friend week.
Triple Creek Ranch made me realize I need more mountain time and I plan to escape again soon! Highly recommend, an authentic adventure!