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
Unbelievable place. This is a must-do, bucket-list, etc. The location, the amenities and the experience is over the top. Staff are all focused on meeting any and all needs. There is no way not to walk away with a big smile!
My husband had never been out west and when I found this rated high on one of the best lodging lists, I decided to book a trip. We stayed for five nights in the chipmunk cabin.
Beautiful part of the world
Very pretty lodge
Good trails for hiking
Dining room has good food and excellent service
Pretrip communication from the Ranch was excellent
Plenty to do, much of it gratis, like archery
Staff very friendly, mostly, and helpful
Wildlife on the property like elk
Small details like s’mores by the outdoor fire
Great tour guides (thank you Hope) The horseback scenic tour with a small group was my favorite. We drove to a nearby spot and rode for a few hours amid great scenery
We received complimentary photos from our activities
The bar upstairs from the dining room was excellent
Our cabin was pretty small for two people. We never used the loft and would have liked a much larger bathroom. We had been assured the cabin was big enough for two but the bed dominated the living room leaving no space to just hang out by the wood stove. It would have been nice to have the bed upstairs instead, and a sitting room downstairs.
There wasn’t a true outfitter on site for gear, so bring it all. They had much to borrow but make sure you have your stuff.
Excursions are expensive. The two hour lunch ride was private and very nice. But....just a trail ride on fire roads with a sack lunch for $125 apiece. So those fees added up very fast and felt a bit high imho. Might be nice to offer some extras if you book more than three?
No fault of the ranch’s, but I had hoped for and envisioned more open grassland areas. Be aware the ranch is nestled deep in a thick forest in very, very steep terrain of the mountains. Sun was minimal, so we were mostly in shaded areas. And there are no sweeping vistas from your cabin! We also got a bit tired walking to and from the main lodge and we are walkers. While the Bitterroots are pretty, I felt a bit closed in while staying here.
This isn’t the fault of the lodge. I was surprised how many alcohol fueled know-it-all blowhards held court in the dining room, pouncing on any hapless new arrivals. Every night there was one. It got old. Some of the guys acted like it was a boys club talking openly about sexual exploits....perhaps they forgot women have ears. I addressed it to them personally but was surprised how classless and brazen their behavior was.
It was surprisingly cold for Sept. Wool coat and glove weather - and we are from Wisconsin and used to cold. Bring lots of good gear.
We went here for our honeymoon. I did alot of research on all inclusive resorts in the Rocky Mountains before we chose Triple Creek. This place was the most reasonably priced all inclusive resort I found. We were blown away from the minute we got there! The entire staff was so nice and helpful.
We stayed in a private (studio) cabin so we were not bothered by anyone. We were close to the main building so we just walked but they provided golf carts for cabins that were farther away. The cabin was BEAUTIFUL with all the amenities! The cabin was stocked with treats and they would replenished the snacks each day. There were also toiletries in case we forgot anything. The bathroom had a sink for each of us and the shower was huge!
The property was beautiful. All the activities were included and we could do them as many times as we wanted! We hiked in the mountains twice and the staff provided us with maps. And when we saw them later, they asked how it went! The staff really cared about us and really made us feel special.
Horseback riding was amazing in the mountains. Our guide was wonderful and got to know us. We also played horseshoes many times. The new disc golf course was fun and challenging.
Last, the food was so delicious and fancy. Because it was all inclusive, I tried so many new foods that I would have never paid for at a fancy restaurant! The breakfast and lunch menus would change every 2-3 days. The dinner menu was different every night. You could order something different if you did not like was on the menu. They were very accommodating. Also, you could order in to your cabin for free at any time and the gourmet meal came on REAL plates and everything! This place has top notch service!
Overall, this is a great place that has lots of activities, great food, and great people. We will definitely be back!!
"The Triple Creek Ranch aims to please" a review by JohnLikes2Travel
Recently a good friend offered to split the cost of a week at #Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, so I jumped on the offer. TCR is an adult only (>16) exclusive resort that has continually been rated a top hotel in the world by Travel and Leisure's. I was anxious to see if TRC could live up to JohnLikes2Travel standards. We flew into Missoula airport, arrived late and spent the night locally. We were picked up by the hotel staff the next morning for the 1.5 hour drive down past Darby Montana. The lodge and cabins set halfway up the side of one of Montana's picturesque mountains at ~4500 feet in a heavy tree line adjacent to Bitterroot National Forest. About two feet of fresh snow had fallen the day before and the pines had been transformed into a winter wonderland. The TRC chauffeur dropped us at the main lodge for our orientation tour and lunch while our bags went straight to our cabin. The main lodge has three floors with various functions
On the first floor is reception and the concierge/activities area. We had already booked and scheduled some activities. The concierge reviewed when and where to be and what to expect. The activities area also contains about any type of winter gear you would need just in case you did not bring your own pair of waterproof snow boots. Add that the staff also supplied palm and foot warmers along with a backpack with snacks or lunch depending on the activity. The activities at TRC are extensive and well managed. It isn't every hotel that has a hatchet throwing instructor. I am not sure how you could do everything even in a week. Horseback riding, dog-sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, Fat Tire snow-biking, hatchet throwing hiking, yoga and skijoring are all available on site in the winter (golf, fly fishing, archery, tennis, etc for summer months). The hotel will also shuttle you to “Lost Trail” ski resort which is only thirty minutes away. Snowmobiling is available by request for half and full day trips. Is it your first time riding horses? No problem TRC will provide a horse master to work with you one on one to get you over your fears.
The second floor of the TRC lodge contains the main restaurant. The restaurant has 30 foot glass walls overlooking snow coated pines during the day and views of local deer robbing the bird feeders at night. The meals were on the level of any high end restaurant you could choose. The hotel and restaurant continually win awards from Wine Spectator, Virtuoso, T&L, Etc. However if you feel like just roasting a local raised quality hot-dog, you can do that as well for lunch on one of the open fire pits. Don't want quail or scallops tonight? Just ask and the chef will make you a special plate of pasta or a bison filet just like it was part of the main fare. They are here to please you. I saw no need to purchase a bottle of “Stags Leap” because the house wines could not have been any better. Special attention was paid to desert presentations with signature dishes. And did I mention the size of the white chocolate chip pancakes at breakfast? I think they were designed to match the extra thick cut bacon. Eggs Benedict? No problem, take that as a side dish. Even the midday marble rye BLT was fresh even though it was 17 degrees outside. Food and the restaurant service is a big draw for a lot of the guests I spoke with.
The third floor of the lodge contains a upscale western bar and observation decks. You are not on top of a mountain, so the distant mountain views are not the best. However the warm and comfort of the leather sofas in front of a fireplace more than makes up for those shortcomings. The bartenders and staff are great and again will do anything to please you. Want to take the full dinner upstairs and watch the ballgame on the big screen? Can do. Want some fresh strawberries and Kahlua topped with whip cream. Can do. Just ask and it magically appears. They also have a collection of “Stave Puzzles” to keep you occupied if the weather turns really bad. My first try with one of these puzzles and just let me say you are not going to complete one of these in a day.
After our orientation we were shuttled down to our cabin. Our cabin named “Bitterroot” (named after the state flower and a local national forest) was one of the newer cabins. The cabins vary in size and shape. Ours was laid out like a large rectangle studio with an oversized spa bathroom. I estimate it was about 800 square feet. Plenty of room for a couple. A six person hot tub was just outside the backdoor heated to a toasty 104 degrees ready for our use anytime. Of course robs and sandals where provided as were huge spa towels. There was a small kitchen on the side with a mini fridge stocked with everything except alcohol. You were allowed to pick any liquors or wines you liked from the main bar and then stock the cabins wet bar. The huge spa shower had a steamer sauna which came in very handy anytime you had a chill from the cold Montana climate. The bathroom had a his and hers sink/dressing area with a private toilet closet for each person.
The cabin was well appointed with anything you needed. Although I never used it, there was a TV with cable. A video player and unlimited movies at the main lodge. The WIFI in the room was weak but you were able to receive emails and some information. Don't expect to get videos or high speed.
The only ding I would give to the Cabin was the two individual toilet closets where in the far north corner of the cabin. There was no heating these areas other than leaving the doors open. Even with leaving the doors open, it made for a very cool sit down in the middle of the night. Heated seats might give this the final touch to a prefect cabin experience.
The overall service at this resort is the best I have experienced anywhere I have traveled in the world. Upon arrival you start to be impressed. There is a personal welcome sign at the front lobby letting you know you are expected. A concierge welcomes you, provides a tour and reviews your initial reserved activities. Everyone you come in contact with knows your name, where you are from etc. I think they give out hand out sheets to the staff to memorize your name and face before you arrive. It's either a little creepy or just over the top service. At first you are caught off guard, but then you quickly get used to people calling you by name to ask if there is anything they can do for you. I spoke to many guests and it appeared I was the only first time person at the ranch. I mean it either has to be a cult or the service is just that good to keep bringing these people back. Some guests told me that they had been over forty times? Holy smoke, just buy a place in Montana. The guest said he did, but he still keeps coming to the TRC for the experience and service. That says a lot about the ranch. If you can get almost one hundred percent return customers, you must be doing something right. It's not cheap so these customer must feel they are getting there monies worth. The more time I spent here the more I was impressed with what was going on in front of me and as I learned what was going on in the background. Every time we called for dinner pick up, somebody behind the scenes also called housekeeping to let them know we were at dinner. When we returned, our room had been cleaned and reset just like we were just arriving. I mean they were resetting the room sometimes two to three times a day, crazy. Every member of the staff is picked for their ability to make the guest feel engaged and welcomed. (only one bad communication during our stay that caused my roommate to miss new years fireworks. We were both told to dress warmly for the fireworks as it was outside. So since it was zero outside my room mate decided to stay in that night. Turns out the party was at the owners home inside and we viewed the fireworks outside for about five minutes on his back deck.)
So there you have it, it meets and exceeds JohnLikes2Travel standards. Its pricey, but so are first class tickets. You know I rarely ever give a place five stars but this place meets or exceeds everyone's expectations.
Notes; Everything in our package was all inclusive except for the offsite snowmobiling $300, the airport pickup $300 and the optional gratuity. In the summer months I understand horseback riding is not included due to the large demand.
Tip: To increase your value experience I suggest you book one day in Missoula coming and going. You will most likely arrive after lunch in Montana. Spend the night at the Comfort Inn and then have TCR staff pick you up the next morning. Its about a 1.5 hour ride down. This will allow you to arrive mid day at TRC just in time for Lunch. Your room will be ready by the time you finish and you won't feel rushed. On your last day plan to stay to lunch or later and then have TRC drive you back to Missoula after 3PM. You will arrive back around 5PM in time to grab a quick bite and get a good night's rest before your morning flight out. The Comfort Inn was the only hotel I found that had free airport drop off and pick up. The limo fee to and from TRC is $300 per couple. If you are just staying for the weekend you might be better renting a car. But you won't need a car once on property. Also if you are doing a winter experience I would tend to leave the driving to the hotel staff.
I am packing my bags for Israel, Jordan and Morocco
JohnLikes2Travel Get Outside
This started as a vacation with our good friends and ended up as a marriage on the property. The service at TCR is exceptional and helped us with so many details that the day was flawless! There are lots of luxury cabins to choose from and I recommend some of the ones on the parameter, like Paradise; Quiet and so private with great views from the hot tub. The food is fresh and wonderful and there is quite a selection each day. There are a variety of activities to choose from and the staff makes sure to take pictures for you to have the same day so you can just enjoy instead of trying to always have your phone out capturing the moment. One of us went skiing in fresh powder at Lost Trail Mountain and both of us went horseback riding and even did some hatchet throwing! The resort is wall maintained and staff is quick to respond if there are any needs, like a water heater fix in the hot tub or a burned out light in the bathroom. Speaking of bathrooms - sure genius in design because in the master suites there is not only his and her vanities but separate his and her toilets. It was my new husband and my first time to TCR and we can't wait to return.