The Green O
4069 Backcountry Rd., Greenough
Built on the grounds of a working cattle ranch in Greenough, Montana, the Green O falls somewhere between ritzy and roughing it: By day, you’ll rove around 37,000 expansive acres of Rocky Mountain property (in your own Lexus SUV, provided by the hotel) for guided rappelling tours, whitewater rafting excursions on the Blackfoot River, and—if you want to live out some Wild West dreams—hands-on lessons in driving cattle. Sunset drinks on a private island more your speed? Arranged. By night, you’ll stay in a spacious, modern cabin made for two and pop into the restaurant, Social Haus, for an eight-course tasting menu that changes daily. Or relish in room service: a spin on pizza delivery by some big culinary brains. Chef Brandon Cunningham is a master with seasonal, hyperlocal ingredients. The Green O is cousin to the more theme-y (and kid-friendly) dude ranch Paws Up, which is situated across the road on the same property. Benefits: access to Paws Up’s ATV-ing, gun-range-ing, and on-site spa-ing—with respite on the Green O’s adults-only grounds.
40060 Paws Up Rd., Greenough
Just 40-minutes east of Missoula, we came to affectionately call this 37,000-acre spread Montanaland: Paws Up is a bit like a theme park set against some truly majestic country. There's ATV-ing, go-carts, a gun range, archery, paintball, a kids camp (where they took the kiddos on a legitimate hike), horses galore, plus ample opportunity to river raft, fly fish, and work a cattle drive. The on-site spa is excellent, the food is good, and the accommodations—which range from log cabin homes to tented yurts perched on a cliff above the Blackfoot river—will leave little doubt in your mind that this is the West. The only real drawback is that it's not all-inclusive, which can make it harder to completely disconnect. Ultimately, though, it's kid heaven, where blessedly, iPads probably won't come out of the suitcase. Every morning brought new adventures, and by the end of the day they were ready to pass out in front of the fire.