The Resort at Paws Up
What We Love
- The kid-centric Adventure Club program, where young ones can learn to kayak, shoot bows and arrows, and mine for sapphires
- Complimentary use of an electric car to navigate your way around the sprawling property when you book one of the resort’s Wilderness Estates
- Most of the resort’s 28 luxury homes feature natural stone-and-timber fireplaces
- Easy access to Lewis & Clark’s famous Lookout Rock
What To Know
- Dogs are allowed in specified homes, though there is a nightly pet fee.
- Round-trip airport shuttle service to and from Missoula International Airport is included in the resort’s luxury home rates.
- For the best weather, go between late May and September.
Rolling pastures, wandering elks, the majestic Blackfoot River—welcome to Lewis & Clark territory, the setting for what might just be America’s swankiest dude ranch. Here, tents come equipped with camping butlers and 300-count linens, while lodges have flat-screen LCDs, wine coolers, and six-person hot tubs. For a taste of the great outdoors, choose from a range of hosted activities like rappelling, quad biking, white-water rafting, or horseback riding through idyllic meadows studded with daisies. When your energy is spent, head to spa camp, a pine-scented cluster of relaxation tents, and indulge in an hour-long Après Adventure massage before ending your evening with a riverside barbecue, s’mores, and a ghost story or two as you marvel at the stars above Big Sky Country.
Whether you’re staying in one of the resort’s 28 vacation homes (1 to 3-bedroom lodges) or 30 luxury tents, you won’t exactly be camping out. The former category consists of five lodging options — the newest, the Wilderness Estates, are ideal for larger families with their three large suites and a second-floor loft. Cliffside Camp, which overlooks the confluence of Blackfoot River and Elk Creek, is home to a pair of “honeymoon tents” that feature eye-popping copper bathtubs.
Seasonal and local ingredients—freshly picked huckleberries, Rocky Mountain trout, foraged mushrooms—are often featured on the menu at Trough, which is open for breakfast and lunch. Come evening, the ranch’s fine-dining option, Pomp, dishes up eclectic American plates with a distinctly Western flair.
Up until 2004, Paws Up was the site of a working ranch that sold Black Angus cattle and stud horses. The resort is located in the northeastern Montana town of Greenough, wedged in the center of the verdant Blackfoot Valley, just a 45-minute ride from Missoula International Airport.
How to Get There
Paws Up could be a world class resort. It certainly has an ideal location, a cool theme and great facilities. Unfortunately too many issues prevents this from being a five star experience- even though they charge five star prices.
First the positives- the luxury tent is super fabulous. Amazing bathroom with heated floor, great bed with heated blanket and duvet, heater AND air conditioner, flashlights, hammock, and really cool decor. Lots of activities. A great kids camp (my grandkids loved it) and good food.
Now the not-so-good stuff: the place is run by college kids. The only “adults” I saw were shuttle drivers. They’re really friendly and do try hard, but there’s no substitute for experience and logic (when I mentioned that my steak was over cooked, our teenaged butler offered to put it back on the fire) there were several situations like this.
The activities are pricey. Which would be ok if the value was there. But it’s not. Example: we paid nearly $1000 for 4 adults to have a 3 hour horse ride which included lunch. The guide was really nice, the trail was scenic. But when we arrived at lunch it turned out to be a cooler on the ground with 4 boxed lunches and a few blankets. Really? After riding for over an hour we sat on the ground, water was the only beverage available and my vegan daughter was only able to eat the apple. A true five star experience should have included seating, cutlery and a selection of beverages to make a truly memorable experience.
The rifle range was fun but in desperate need of repair.
Again, the prices charged are not reflected in the experience or the upkeep.
In the end, we had a great family vacation but would not return.
Imagine waking up and walking to your main large cabin with open sides and a crackling morning fire awaiting you. Breakfast set out and a smiling chef ready to cook you pancakes, fresh bacon/sausage, egg dishes and more. For kids she can decorate it with fruit and mini choc chips. Gluten free pancakes can be had too
Then after a day of fun and activities, imagine this same area (perhaps by the sounds of the running creek), has a big bonfire pit going and all the smores making you could wish for. You can even hook up your phone to the music speaker or just enjoy the sound of nature under the stars.
1. Beautiful tented camps with high end bedding, heated bathroom floors and heated towel rack (helped when drying some of our socks we hand washed)
2. You are well tended - butlers/concierge etc abound...
3. note you wil be driven from your camp back on the HWY briefly to the main area where the main lunch dining area is. However always they have snacks at your cabin areas.
4. Book with my fabulous Virtuouso agent and you will get extra goodies (PM me..she is great and can help you understand the resort and options)
5. Free airport pick up and drop off - well included in the price. which is steep.
6. Note, we had 3 people originally and found that if we added just ONE more person, it was like the cost of just 1 of us per night for all 4 nights for the added person. IE 4 is a good number for value.
7. Loved loved loved the ropes courses- we all felt more capable after it and i even did the 40ft jump! Fear of heights is behind me! (but ropes course was a challenge for some bigger guys as may not be as geared for them)
8. Bike downhill was not good as too rutted out and actually should be recommended for advanced to intermediate bikers. They took care of our bad experience here which included a bloody spill by one of us and another person in the other group.
9. horse trail was fine..but i would wear a helmet..our guide said most people don't but next day they had a wrangler get bucked off and ambulance and a concussion later....
10. Wildwest show is not much of a show but it is great for the sense of community, fun for little kids, met nice folks and had yummy paella. So go just for the sense of community. And the horse Tonto and the wildwest sheriff riding T, are fabulous
11. The ropes course activity was awesome.
12. Lots of memorable people who went the extra mile. were friendly and professional
13. Wish we had come when our daughter was younger and into wild survival
14. petting animals are fun. but GET help to pet the rabbits as goats will overwhelm you to get to rabbit food
15. Food was very good. They worked to accomodate
16. Cookies at lunch (and in the pick up van from airport) are yummy. we missed them the first few days..in a jar in white or clear paper
17. we stayed at creekside. Recommend the river or creek side camps vs meadow but depends what you like
18. Fellow Paws Up folks...met some very interesting people and that made it even the more enriching and fun
19. We had a billing error ( a few) like someone with same last name at the bar..but they sorted it ..just check bill at check out. and then follow up that it was fixed as that took a few times but that was a fluke i think as they AIM TO PLEASE
20. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
21. Ask for bikes. They give you water bottles and hats
Hike along river near river camp. do the ropes, use the hammocks so peaceful, rest or be active...lots to do...if you like. The whole camp (if you wish) dinner by the river one night was so beautiful and really awesome to meet folks on our first night that way.
Again PM me for my travel agent ...she is great and can help with many high end properties. Thank you M and Paws Up.
Paws Up lived up to every expectation we had planning this trip. We spent 5 nights on property over the 4th of July week and could not have had a better experience with the staff, the tents (North Bank Camp), the activities, the property and the overall ‘Americana’ around the holiday. Ours kids are 11 and 7 and they had plenty to do with age appropriate activities with us and when we did our own thing, the kids camp was a great option for them. Food was fantastic from Trough to the celebrity chef we had at our camp to the Chuck Wagon experience on the river.
Would highly recommend the trip to any family looking for a very unique experience for all age kids!
Spent five days at Paws Up with 23 members of our family ranging in age from 3 to 74. There are enough activities to keep everyone happy. The entire staff was very professional , courteous and knowledgeable about Montana. Much of our trip was planned in advice by our events coordinator, Sadie, who did an excellent job of coordinating everyone’s wishes. The Montana scenery is outstanding and I recommend highly. All 23 of us felt it was a trip of a lifetime with wonderful memories to savor.
Having planned this family trip for over a year, I was fully prepared for the cost for the glamping experience and the activities. Our family of nine reserved 3 tents at the Moonlight Camp.The tents were truly amazing - just as pictured on the website. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The family found the food delicious and I appreciated that the chef created special meals to address my food allergies. It was very hot, so we planned our activities for each morning, took siestas in the afternoon in the air conditioned tents and then ventured to the river in late afternoon to cool off. While the river was refreshing, it was very cold, shallow and basically you couldn't swim in it, just stand and cool off. The bikes available on site at Moonlight were in very bad shape and could use updating and repairing. We participated in the following activities: archery (great experience with Shelton as our guide), aerial skyline (super fun with Paul and Rachel), fly fishing (so-so), .22 rifle (kids said it was too hard) and an afternoon at Seeley Lake that was very fun but initially stressful as only one boat was operating for the two families who were there. So, like the bikes, the equipment at Seeley Lake probably needs some repairing. This trip was a special event to celebrate my retirement so we will not be returning.