From sparkling mountain streams to red-rock deserts, the American West is a playground where your sense of adventure has free reign. Saddle up and channel your inner cowboy (or cowgirl) with our picks of the most exclusive “ultra-ranches” in the Rocky Mountain states.
Comprising countless acres of vast, spectacular wilderness, Montana provides an unparalleled playground for adventures.
One of the finest ranches in the US, the Ranch at Rock Creek combines adventure and luxury seamlessly at its stunning location in Granite County under the John Long Mountains. With 6,000 acres and more than fifty horses, this is the place to don your cowboy hat and ride out into the sunset. But riding is just one of countless activities on offer. Rock Creek is a haven for trout, and the fly fishing is some of the best in the country. Back at the ranch, try your hand at skeet shooting at the pistol range, head to the spa, go ten-pin bowling, watch a movie or brave the outdoor swimming pool. Rest assured, after so much activity a deep slumber awaits in one of three types of luxury accommodations, including luxury tented cabins on the Creek itself.
Don’t miss – For the ultimate Western cowboy experience, watch the professionals as they ride broncos and steers at The Ranch’s own Camp Roosevelt Arena (June – August).
Nestled in the idyllic Blackfoot River Valley, Paws Up is the ultimate wilderness resort-style ranch sprawled across nearly 40,000 acres of pristine Montana landscape. For those yearning to cowboy up, activities such as trail riding and cattle herding provide the ultimate ranch experience. For a break from the equestrian lifestyle, activities such as fly fishing on the Blackfoot River, clay pigeon shooting, whitewater rafting, ATV riding and back country camping are also on offer. After a full day out in the great outdoors, Paws Up’s rewarding gourmet cuisine, woodland spa and luxury accommodations await.
Top tip – Combine a few nights staying in the ultra-secluded Blackfoot River Lodge with a few nights at the Cliffside Camp.
From the soaring peaks of The Rockies to the deserts and canyons in the south, prepare to give yourself over to nature in the Centennial State of Colorado.
One of Colorado’s most luxurious resorts, Gateway Canyons is located in the southwest of the state, just a short drive from the Utah border. Flanked by giant red rocks, the 6,000-acre estate has been ranchland for centuries and plays host to classic ranching activities including horseback riding, cowboy school and hiking. In addition to the resort, which includes an expansive spa, Gateway Canyons has a classic car museum and a number of dining and accommodation options.
Cultural acclaim – Discover the area’s rich history of Native American culture and fossil and dinosaur footprints nearby.
Wyoming offers an extraordinary terrain of open plains, breathtaking canyons and steaming geysers, topped by endless skies. Saddle up and ride out to discover the beauty of Wyoming’s remote wilderness.
Embrace the Western spirit at this working cattle ranch. The 30,000-acre estate is located in true cowboy country in between the Sierra Madre and Snowy mountain ranges. Whether a novice with a true sense of adventure or an accomplished rider looking to spend some serious time in the saddle, rest assured there is a riding program suitable for all levels, while shooting ranges, mountain biking, fly fishing, archery, and ziplining are just some of the other activities on offer.
Top tip – Head off on horseback to a luxury yurt in a secluded setting for an overnight stay.
Famed for its flamboyant geological formations and grandiose terrain, this state of natural wonders provides the perfect backdrop for an ultra-ranch adventure.
Located just outside of Salt Lake City, The Lodge is the latest addition to Utah’s luxury lodge scene. With all the classic ranch activities one might expect from a ranch experience, including horseback riding, real-life cattle drives, fly fishing, shooting and heli adventures, The Lodge itself is far removed from the traditionally-styled American ranch. A modern interpretation of a mountain resort, the architecturally striking buildings are built into the landscape with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing for surrounding nature to be appreciated as it should.
Don’t miss – Explore the 3,500-acre ranch with a Full Moon Adventure.
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