Triple Creek Ranch
What We Love
- Wood-burning fireplaces in all cabins
- The letter the ranch sends you before your stay with packing tips, depending on the season of your visit
- The batch of freshly baked cookies presented to guests after a day of strenuous outdoor activities
- The award-winning wine cellar, which stocks nearly 2,000 bottles
What To Know
- Room rates include meals, drinks, and select activities
- Because the ranch is a Relais & Chateaux property, Club 5C members can use their loyalty program perks
- There is no cell phone service here, but each cabin has its own direct-dial line and wireless Internet connection
- No children are allowed—the ranch is only open to guests 16 and up
Nearly half the guests at this well-appointed mountain resort, set in the arresting Bitteroots, are repeat visitors. It could be due to the thrilling outdoor expeditions, which range from wildlife spotting and cattle drives to helicopter rides that soar above Yellowstone National Park. Perhaps it’s the relaxing soundtrack of a burbling brook and rustling pine trees, which neighbor each of the 23 log cabins here. Or, the variety of extravagant and inventive ways to unwind, from deep tissue and essential oil massages in guest rooms, a seven-course private dinner with ingredients sourced from the retreat’s orchards and gardens, or fireside jigsaw puzzles at the Main Lodge. When combined with the ranch’s signature brand of personalized, your-wish-is-our-command service, there’s little that rivals a stay at this captivating natural wonderland.
Open floor plans, private hot tubs, and colossal king-size beds are consistent throughout all the accommodation options (as is a collection of locally knit woolens), which include one-bedroom cabins and luxury ranch homes. There’s also the especially grandiose Ponderosa, a 3,600-square-foot lodge with a multi-tiered deck that hovers above a private trout pond.
Evening meals at the grand, vaulted-ceiling Dining Room tend to be the highlight for many visitors here: no two dinner menus are alike, thanks to the vision of Chef Jacob Leathermen who churns out a delectable array of French and Southwestern-inspired plates—roasted quail over a bed of cilantro pesto rice, anyone? Cabin meal service is also available at no additional cost.
The ranch is an hour and a half’s drive from Missoula International Airport, in the town of Darby near the southwestern border of Montana and Idaho. For a fee, the property offers airport shuttle service for up to six guests at a time, though renting a vehicle is highly advised for off-ranch activities.
How to Get There
We were here for my birthday week and couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate! Triple Creek Ranch is a real gem of a place, in a setting of spectacular natural beauty that is truly soul-enriching. The trip from NYC was a long one, but gave us time to get used to the huge difference and transition between big city and big sky! The accommodations were impeccable (with our own golf cart for getting around the Ranch), David (thank you for your welcome card) & staff were warm and courteous (Sean, Catherine, Patty, Lucas, Gerry, Matt, Angela... everyone here takes an honest interest in your full, personalized enjoyment), and each day was a fresh adventure. A high point was the Cross-Country Ride/Picnic, on the vast CB Ranch, with our expert Wranglers Tom & Sarah, taking in Montana's majestic scenery from horseback! Although we're not experienced trail riders, Tom had us relaxing in the saddle from our first ride out. So many details of our stay are memorable: our own jacuzzi under the starry night sky, with absolutely no light pollution... watching the horses run free on the hill, with their foals... panning for sapphires... beautiful blue/black Steller's Jays, which we never see in NY... the elk herd on the property... fantastic, imaginative cuisine (gained 10 lbs) and superb room service... the housekeeping staff are magic & invisible! Every night at turn-down, a caramel and a scenic post card or two (with cowboy poetry), placed on our pillows. We had perfect Fall weather for most of the week, but on our last morning 4 inches of snow fell, showing us what Winter is like at the Ranch...Wonderful!
Have been remiss for not writing this review sooner, but we thoroughly enjoyed our family stay at the beautiful Triple Creek Ranch.
The amazingly spacious Ponderosa was our home for three nights, and except for a few minor issues (which were immediately and completely addressed by the management) we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
The entire staff at this resort is incredibly accommodating and extraordinarily nice. They were kind enough to accommodate six different and disparate dietary requirements.
All of the activities (horseback riding, archery, hiking), except for sapphire panning (probably should give up on this one), were loads of fun.
Finally, a word about the General Manager, David MacIlwraith. We had the privilege of hiking with Dave on two separate occasions, and came away feeling like family. Thanks for everything, Dave!
A word about the cost....Triple Creek is crazy expensive, but given how accommodating they are and how incredible the food selection is, you don't come away feeling hosed. Just don't have sticker shock when the final bill arrives! :)
Overall the experience was a good one with the facilities and property attractive, service very good and the food was good. Having said that, we’ve stayed at Twin Farms in Vt. and Blackberry Farms in Tenn. which are in a comparable class and would rate this resort 3rd of the three.
We visited in a shoulder season (end of Sept) during cold spell (3 inches of snow on 2nd day of 3!) so didn’t use many of the facilities but many were still available – e.g. Horseback riding, fly fishing, bike, archery. We did take a "nature safari" which is a 3 hr. drive around the ranch property. Interesting but saw only bison which are farmed on property. Probably a seasonal thing….
We stayed in 2 rooms while we were there – 2 days in “Riverside” which is a modern, spacious 2 BR/2BA house with full dining room, living room and kitchen. The location is idyllic -- right on the river, very private with an elk herd visiting regularly. While you had to drive to the lodge for meals, it was very easy. We REALLY liked this cabin/house!
We also spent one night in the “Rocky Knob” cabin which we didn’t like nearly as much. It’s got that rustic, log cabin thing going but we felt that the space wasn’t used well. The cabin is broken into 3 sections -- efficiency kitchen/living area, bedroom (up a few steps from the living area) and bathroom. The layout felt cramped. Personally, I think the kitchen took up a lot of space and was unnecessary. Lighting was not good – a lot of “down” spot lighting. I especially didn’t like how close together the cottages are to each other -- no sense of privacy.
With regard to food – it was fine and there was plenty of it but was not as good as that offered at Twin Farms and Blackberry.