A Glamping Experience and More at the Bar W Guest Ranch

You probably already know that the word “glamping” is a combination of the words glamorous and camping. But did you know that you can experience glamping right here in Montana? I recently visited the Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, Montana and my accommodation was in a glamping tent! What a wonderful experience.

This large canvas tent has an interior screen right behind the tent flaps that you could zip from top to bottom to keep out summer’s “wildlife” – mosquitos, the common housefly and any other winged critters. The entrance to the tent is a wooden deck complete with two chairs and a table with a beautiful vista of the pasture, horses and Montana’s big blue sky.

The interior of the tent certainly reflects what glamping is all about. A queen size bed, handcrafted log futon, coffee table, bench, bedside table, as well as, two dressers and a hat stand that offers a place to hang not only your hat, but other clothing as well. A space heater was provided as well as a refrigerator and coffee maker. I couldn’t have been more comfortable.

There are a total of four glamping tents on the property, each with its own private, heated bathroom just a few feet from the tent. But wait, there’s more, just in case glamping isn’t your thing. There are rooms available in the main lodge in addition to an authentic two-story log cabin. The Eagle’s Nest is the upper level of the cabin and can sleep up to ten. The lower level, the Bear Den, can sleep up to six.


I took advantage of the daily horseback riding trail rides available for ranch guests, and if you’ve never ridden, no worries. Instructions are provided for all with some practicing in the arena. We rode different trails every day that provided views of the surrounding mountains as well as the ski trails (minus snow!) at Whitefish Mountain Resort, a local ski area.

Other activities included during your ranch stay include fishing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, and more. New at the Bar W Ranch, daily two-hour horseback trail rides are now available for locals and visitors to Montana. Advanced reservations for these daily trail rides are encouraged. The wagon ride dinner for ranch guests was also a wonderful experience that took place in a gazebo in the woods. The location was close enough to the ranch that after our wagon ride, we could walk to and from our delightful dinner.

I recommend taking advantage of the many local attractions nearby such as the charming town of Whitefish which is about three miles down the road. Glacier National Park’s west entrance is only a forty-minute drive from the ranch. You definitely don’t want to miss a visit to the park, but keep in mind that in 2021 a ticketed entry is required. Visit www.recreation.gov and scroll down to Glacier National Park Ticketed Entry for more information. The ski resort mentioned above is open Thursday through Monday in summer and provides zip-lining, an aerial adventure park, mountain biking, alpine slides, scenic lift rides, hiking and more. www.skiwhitefish.com and https://explorewhitefish.com

Looking for a winter vacation? The Bar W has you covered. They offer bed and breakfast stays November through April, with lodging available in their 6 main lodge rooms and 2 cabin suites. The B&B stays include lodging and a continental breakfast the next morning. From November to April, the Bar W Lodge is also available as a fully equipped vacation rental including kitchen use with a full set of a la carte activities available on request.  Sleigh rides are available at the ranch, and nearby skiing at the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort (free daily shuttles to and from Whitefish and the ski area are provided by the ranch) or a snowshoe tour in Glacier National Park are also available.

The Bar W offered an experience I will never forget. The hospitality, the staff, multiple activities as well as the food and the lodging were all amazing. And so were the line dancing lessons taught in the barn loft by the staff.  For more information visit www.thebarw.com and book your ranch vacation! You don’t want to miss this adventure.

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