First Day at the Ranch at Rock Creek

My connecting flight from Seattle landed at 12:30 at the Missoula airport, and Justin from the Ranch at Rock Creek met me and my group (in this case my husband, Jeff, my BFF, Zan, and her dog, Sally) at the baggage claim to drive us to the RCC. I was surprised by how pleasantly warm the spring weather was in Missoula. During the 90 minute drive to Philipsburg, we gained altitude as we headed toward the Pintler mountains and remnants of snow became more frequent. But Justin told us that it’s been warm recently, and tomorrow it’s supposed to get up to the 50s so we made plans to go on a horse ride.


Once we arrived at the Ranch, we were famished. We checked in  at the Granite Lodge and went to the dining room for lunch. The menu wasn’t large but everything on it sounded great. Chef Josh Drage is in charge of the menus The Ranch at Rock Creek is an all-inclusive so all meals are included (not including cocktails). My friend, Zan, went for the red quinoa and kale salad. I wanted to try the Pintler Range steak salad. My husband ordered the organic cheeseburger with meat sourced locally (from nearby 4H students). I ordered a margarita and my husband tried the Moscow Mule (a house specialty). All our food was tasty and portions were filling but not oversized.


Once we were pleasantly full, Mandy gave us the property tour. She showed us the bar– which had fresh baked cookies on it. I took one for the team and taste tested them and they were deliciously light and crispy, the mercantile, the spa, and the saloon (complete with pool tables, a screening room and a bowling alley). Then we were shown to Catttail, our cabin. The Ranch at Rock Creek is open year round because it has both cabins and rooms at the Granite Lodge. In the summer there is a row of glamping tents that I hope to see up close during tomorrow’s property tour.


Cattail is a 2 bedroom Cabin with a kitchen, fireplace and all the creature comforts. Both bedrooms are masters with similar floor plans, so it would be easy for couples to share this cabin and no one would feel that they were related to the “kids room.”  Both masters feature king size beds as well as a day bed (and could easily sleep a third person). Each has a fabulous bathroom, complete with a claw foot bath tub with a chandelier hanging over it, separate shower, toilet area, and side by side sinks. We have mountain bikes should we wish to ride to the hotel’s gym facilities (which are about eight minutes on foot).


Cattail also features a living room with a fireplace, a small kitchen (with everything you need for making coffee and tea) a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine, four Moose Drool beers and plenty of water and soda in the fridge. Sally the dog made herself right at home as Mandy got a fire started in our fireplace. We got comfy and opened the red wine– a Syrah– and unpacked.


Cell phone service only works if you’re on Verizon but fortunately there is a strong wifi on the property (there is guest network at the Granite Lodge in the communal areas, and we have our own wifi out here at the Cattail Cabin.

So far everyone has been very friendly and helpful and the service has been great. Since I faxed the Ranch our preferences prior to arrival, check in was short and painless. All our food preferences and allergies had been noted.


Between the wine and the change in altitude, I’m feeling a bit drowsy and am hoping to sneak in a siesta before heading back to the Saloon for Happy Hour and maybe a round of bowling. Then I have to try out that bath tub.

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