North America

Paws Up Ups "Glamping" to New Heights

written by | Posted on October 1st, 2011

These abodes also reflect Nadine’s impeccable flair for Western swank through soft brown leather sofas, timber and iron headboards, and eclectic lamps designed with bow and arrow, pinecone, moose and deer themes. Modern touches ease in with laundry facilities, speedy WiFi and flat-screen TVs with DVD players.

For a spin on horse power, Big Timber and Meadow home guests are assigned individual electric golf carts to traverse the property along paths illuminated from dusk. Wilderness Estates kick it up a notch with Miles Electric vehicles. Since Morris and Blackfoot homes sit on country roads up to five miles away, Paws Up provides van transportation.

“Some of our guests enjoy a combination of tents and luxury homes,” says Romfo. “It gives them two different experiences. But it all slants toward luxury and upscale touches in the great outdoors.”

hitting the trail If the great outdoors is the soul of the ranch, the Wilderness Outpost is its sizzle. Located on Whoa Road, it serves as springboard to Paws Up’s expansive menu of outdoor recreation.

The ranch’s all-inclusive plan covers fitness center use, yoga classes, hiking trail access and geocaching. For an additional fee, summer guests can tap into fly-fishing, rock rappelling, horseback riding, ATV tours, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and kayaking. Paws Up delivers one of America’s few resort-based sporting clay courses, designed by 14-time national and international champion Andy Duffy. There’s also Kids Corps of Discovery held daily during the summer season for youngsters 5-12.

During the winter season, action includes snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and ice skating, with ice fishing, dog sledding and downhill skiing nearby.

For post-recreation relaxation, Spa Townis spiffed out with 11 oversized tents shaded by soaring pines. Six treatment tents seal up with double-zipper doors, or can remain discretely open for views of a splendid meadow and the 1.5-million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Sitting even higher in the saddle, the Paws Up Saddle Club is one of Montana’s premier equestrian centers. Uber cowboy Mike Doud oversees the 72,000-sq.-ft. facility’s private riding classes, tours and horse care lessons. “Whether you’re an experienced rider or you’ve never been in the saddle before, wranglers pair you up with a four-legged companion for exploring over 100 miles of wilderness trails,” Romfo says.

On our “best day” at “The Last Best Place,” we opted to canoe on 1,025-acre Seeley Lake and rip across the range on an ATV, spotting bald eagles in the boundless sky above. Afterwards, we joined a pack of wrangler wannabes for a chuck wagon lunch along the Blackfoot, with chef Tom grilling up a campfire feast of pork tenderloin, asparagus, sweet corn on the cob and Dutch oven apple cobbler. And that’s the norm, not the exception.

Pinnacle Camp rates start at $1,035 per couple per night from May 24-Sept. 30, 2012, including three daily meals pp.

getting there Several airlines fly into Missoula, including Alaska Airlines from Portland and Seattle; Allegiant Air from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix; Delta Air Lines from Minneapolis and Salt Lake City; and United Airlines from Denver, Chicago O’Hare (seasonal), and San Francisco (seasonal).

For more information on Paws Up, call (800) 473-0601 or visit pawsup.com.