February 16, 2021 | By Eileen Spear
After learning of Triple Creek Ranch years ago, it has been on “my list” of places I wanted to visit. I wasn’t really sure why as typical ranch activities are not my favorites, but something about the presentation just caught my attention. Although getting to Missoula, MT isn’t that difficult, finding the time was the challenge. That is in addition to my husband continually pushing back with comments of “I don’t like to ride horses” and “not sure what we would do there,” etc.
Fast forward a few years and circumstances led us to a road trip in the West and time for a few nights at Triple Creek. Driving in from Yellowstone was scenic and we were on a high after seeing bison roaming free-range and amused by the toddler-style behavior of the “red dog” we saw bounding around behind their mother. Nearing the end of the drive to the small town of Darby, Montana, I was thinking that I hope this is worth it as so often when one anticipates something for so long, it turns out to be a disappointment.
Well, any fear of that was forgotten- as we drove up the ranch entrance when a sense of relaxing calm took us. On arrival, greeted by the Manager, the first comment was that we must be hungry and prior to any check-in, were led to the casual dining room and an idyllic table on the patio. At this point, my husband was commenting how refreshingly comfortable this place was, but the real smile came when he questioned the dress code for dinner and was told there was none – big smile.
Thus, began three amazing days at Triple Creek Ranch. Each accommodation is a standalone cabin, we were in Castle Rock also known as the “honeymoon” cabin due to the extra privacy at the end of the road. The cabins are charmingly rustic and have sitting areas and either an indoor jacuzzi or one on the terrace. Watching the wildlife outside the cabin, listening to the stream running by, hearing the rustling of the trees all made for a serene setting that just let you exhale completely.
The activities ranged from ranch tours through the 26,000+ acres, swimming in the heated pool, walks around the property to enjoy the outdoor sculpture collection, fishing, mountain biking with the GM, Nordic walking on the trails, and of course horse riding. I am not a natural on the back of a horse, but the very tall “Ponderosa” was just a pleasure to ride and was the most enjoyable experience I have ever had on a horse. The one really fun activity was referred to as “logging camp.” This was a combination of activities from sapphire panning, to archery, to hatchet throwing to log sawing. The icing was branding the piece of log afterward as a souvenir to take home.
Triple Creek is part of the Relais and Chateau group, so food is expected to be a focus. I must say, the dining did not disappoint- fantastic service, wonderful dinners and local influences. On the last day, we were event sent off with a perfect picnic lunch, much appreciated for anyone heading off on a long drive.
I could go on as this ranch really is one of the favorite places I have been to. Ever. The top-notch personal service combined with the comfortable, relaxed, and friendly atmosphere makes Triple Creek Ranch stand out. So, after initially being on the fence as to whether he would enjoy a ranch before we even made it to the road on the drive out, my husband was talking about when we could plan to return…
FYI- It is adults only and a perfect getaway for couples, and the cabins make for ideal social distancing. There are also multiple bedrooms on the property for families or small groups.