If nights spent licking sticky marsh-mellow off your fingers, reading by flashlight and listening to the call of the wild all while tucked into a sleeping bag inspire nostalgic thoughts of childhood, you are not alone.
Of course, the cold, hard facts of camping – backaches and bug bites – makes any weekend warrior want to run for the hills but if you are running for the hills of Montana’s Blackfoot Valley and it’s posh Resort at Paws Up, you will find yourself in good hands.
Paws Up is a breathtaking world unto itself comprised of wildflower-filled meadows, sparkling rivers, lush forest and majestic mountains. Rugged beauty meets uncompromising service here, where husband and wife owners Dave and Nadine Lipson ensure that no detail is overlooked. In case you’re wondering, they chose the name Paws Up for the zealous way most dogs greet you – with their paws up.
If you have ever wanted to get away from it all without forsaking the luxuries of a five-star hotel, you have found your Eden. This is definitely not your cousin’s camping. The resort offers everything form 300-count linen to Wi-Fi. The accommodations include everything from upscale log cabin-style vacation home to renovated farmhouse and barn , but the signature Paws Up experience is tent city, open seasonally from late May to late September. Gorgeous canvas tens complete the fine art, feather beds, and electricity will make you rethink the outdoors while camping butlers attend to everything from lighting fires to cooking gourmet meals.
Don’t expect your typical campsite meals either, since fine dining is the hallmark of Paws Up. Locally raised buffalo, quail, pheasant, trout and even rattlesnake are the centerpieces for the “worldly western” cuisine served at Pomp, the resort’s upscale dinner-only establishment. The Tank and Trough Bistro has an upbeat, casual atmosphere and serves lip-smacking favorites such as macaroni and cheese and barbecued brisket.
If there is one place Mother Nature wanted to show off, this is it. With astonishing views covering the 37,000 acre Montana working ranch and resort, there is no page left unturned.
There are 120-plus miles of trails and the nearby 1.5 million acre Bob Marshall Wilderness to explore and a river does indeed run through it – seven miles of the Big Blackfoot River. It is a top spot for anglers, with legendary fly-fishing in late June to mid-September. Just a sampling of other activities include cattle drives, whitewater rafting, canoeing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, mountain biking and sporting clays just to name a few. There are activities for couples, families and children.
From white-glove service and luxurious guest accommodations to gourmet dining and first rate amenities, Paws Up is the 21st –century sophisticates way to enjoy the great outdoors. Go ahead, put your feet up and tell a ghost story or joke by the fire. Just be sure to let the butler stoke it for you~
If sport shooting and ATV excursions have left you feeling ragged or your sense of adventure leans more towards downward dog and hot stone massages, the resort’s Spa Town will be your salvation. Paws Up has created one of the most spectacular spas in the country; the facility is actually eleven freestanding tents set within the lush meadow. Each quest’s treatment tent is entirely private, yet open to natural light and breezes.
Massage, reflexology and healing treatments use indigenous herbs and natural oils to set a sense of place. The fitness tent provides a variety of equipment as well as yoga classes.
The resort’s relaxed and unique style of pampering might tempt you to sleep in and daydream but with an activity list that reads like a page from Ernest Hemingway’s diary, it’s worth it to don your boots and get outside.