A great western vacation for all ages is what the Bar W Guest Ranch on Spencer Lake in Whitefish is all about. The Bar W is open year-round and ready to treat you with true Western Montana hospitality - from the moment you arrive to long after you have left. Beautiful vistas and rolling ridges adorn the Montana countryside of this cozy dude ranch.
Located on Spencer Lake, there are 3,000 acres available for horseback riding and all kinds of outdoor activities at this Montana dude ranch. Almost all of our guests - families, adults, singles and groups alike - have a tendency to think they are miles away from civilization here. But just 3.5 miles down the road from this serene wilderness is the vibrant resort town of Whitefish, offering up the finest in shopping, dining, theater, and nightlife.
The Bar W is nestled at the base of Spencer Mountain, between two pine-covered ridges, a beautiful setting for Montana ranch vacations. The ranch consists of a 6,200-square-foot lodge, cabin suites, indoor and outdoor horseback-riding arenas, stables, a barn, play meadow, an entertainment area and a gazebo on the lake - all helping to make the Bar W an idyllic piece of paradise for our guests to soak in all year long.
This Montana guest ranch's horse riding program is the ranch's main attraction. The Bar W Ranch's experienced staff, trained horses, and the assorted terrain our guests traverse make for an incredible horseback riding experience. The Bar W's riding programs include hundreds of thousands of acres to explore. You'll ride in the mountains, over the foothills and across the open prairies of Montana Big Sky country.
You can also enjoy the riding events that take place in our indoor and outdoor arenas, such as barrel racing, egg races, pole bending and more. We offer cowpoke lessons for beginners, and for those more experienced cowboys and cowgirls, advanced lessons that include roping, team penning and sorting cattle.
In addition to horseback riding, there is plenty for all ages to do and discover at the Bar W Guest Ranch. Guests are invited to explore the entire property - watch our trainers work the horses, help with the chores (if you like, of course), fish for big pike on Spencer Lake, hike the miles and miles of trails, mountain bike, swim in the lake, throw horseshoes, or play badminton, volleyball, or a leisurely game of pool. You can even test your archery skills or try your hand at breaking some clay pigeons.
During the winter, this Montana guest ranch offers a bed and breakfast stay which includes lodging and a hearty breakfast in the morning. Find yourself dashing through the snow with our horse drawn sleigh rides. The Flathead Valley is truly a year round playground. We are located just 12 miles from Whitefish Mountain Resort where you’ll find world class skiing and snowboarding. Just 2 miles from the ranch is Glacier Nordic Center which offers 5 km of impeccably groomed trails for skate and classic cross country skiing. In the evening, 3 km of trails are lit for night skiing. Dog sledding is just up the road and is not to be missed!
Or, you can just sit back, relax and observe the beauty of Montana's wildlife, such as whitetail and mule deer, moose, bears, eagles, coyotes, wolves and mountain lions.
Ultimate Dude Ranch Photography Vacation October 18th - 24th, 2015
What do you get when you combine the splendor of Montana scenery, with majestic horses, authentic cowboys, and wildlife? The answer is a photographer’s dream vacation. The Bar W is offering an all inclusive package designed to be centered on photography. We are teaming up with the Triple D Game Farm to provide the perfect setting for a week of unparalleled photo opportunities. Montana's diverse terrain and wide variety of wildlife will certainly fill your photo album, but it’s more than taking pictures. This is a total package with three meals a day, lodging, horseback riding, skeet shooting, fishing, and all photo shoots included. After a full day of riding, fishing and photography, relax with our informal cocktail hour in the lodge by the fire. Or, if you prefer, loosen up those sore muscles in our hot tub before a homemade dinner you will not soon forget. So grab your camera and prepare to be awed.
Learn more and see what the Photography Package includes.
Spring and Fall Cattle Drives June 6th - 13th, 2015 and September 19th-26th, 2015
“Cowboying on the Great Divide” is scheduled for this spring and fall hosted by the Bar W Guest Ranch. It’s all about horses, cattle, great country, and you! At the Bar W, we have created a cattle drive adventure that rounds out all of the experiences of a cattle round-up. Having participated in traditional cattle drives, we wanted our guests to experience the “best of” what a cattle drive offers. We’ll begin at the ranch with horsemanship lessons working with cattle, getting your seat and making sure you and your horse are a match. Then we head out to the Blackfeet reservation for the next four days to our base camp. Over this four day trip on 50,000 acres, you’ll ride as far as you can see to gather up the cattle, drive them back to the corrals, sort the mother cows and calves, brand, inoculate, and doctor the young males. You’ll feel like a real cowhand riding out for different herds – long horns one day, then cows and we may even go out for some bucking horses before heading back to the ranch. We’ll round out the week with a ride to the Canadian Boarder -smooth beautiful country along Lake Koocanusa, to Stryker Peak or Krinklehorn territories - mountainous rides with steep climbs.
Learn more and see what the Cattle Drive Package includes.
Cowgirl Up! 2015 Dates May 24th-May 30th | September 27th - October 3rd | October 11th-17th
Retreat to the beautiful Bar W Guest Ranch on Spencer Lake in Northwest Montana for a 6 night / 5 day get-a-way. The Bar W is offering an all inclusive package for women to “Cowgirl Up” with their best friends, sisters, daughters, or just come alone and enjoy the camaraderie as the "girls" take over the ranch. This special package combines nature’s simplicity with western informality and provides you with a true Montana retreat to refuel your spirit and delight your body.
Learn more and see what the Cowgirl Up Package includes.
Adults Only Dude Ranch Week May 31st- June 6th and October 4th - 10th, 2015
Join us for a week of fun for the Bar W Ranch Adults Only Week. Singles, couples and parents alike are invited to unwind for a 6 night getaway. Escape to beautiful Whitefish and experience for yourself some of the most unspoiled nature while exploring Montana’s spectacular and diverse scenery by horseback. The Adults Only Week at the Bar W is an all inclusive retreat designed to allow you to relax, have fun and let your stress evaporate into the fresh mountain air. Learn more.
Check out more special weeks and get packages and rates.
Cattle Drives, Cowgirl Up Weeks, Adults Only Weeks, Ecotourism, Fishing, Ranch Work, Hiking
Additional ranch summer activities include team penning and sorting of cattle, archery, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, rifle shooting, square dances, camp fires with sing alongs, Cowgirl-Up weeks, and more in the local area like whitewater rafting, waling in the trees, water parks, beaches, boating and fishing, Glacier Park, golf and more. Winter activities include riding in the indoor arena, skiing back country and at Whitefish Mountain Resort, dog sledding, snow shoeing, snowmobiling and so much more.
The Bar W accommodations are western informality blended with elegance. You can choose from the lodge or the cabin suites - either way you will love the decor and the views are wonderful. The ranch cabin has two suites overlooking the south pasture and surrounding forest, an outdoor arena and with views of horses. These are beautiful suites that together could sleep up to 16 utilizing the common areas! The cabin is equipped with kitchenettes with microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker.
The Bar W offers two luxurious canvas tents decorated Bar W style – simple elegance blended with western informality, otherwise known as "glamping" or glamorous camping. Each tent is decked out with a queen size bed, full sized futon, private porch, kitchenette and chic Western décor. Both tents have a private bath located just a couple of feet away.
Wait until you sit down and taste some of the best down-home cooking this side of the Mississippi - Montana style! Meals are prepared with love and care and are always served in hearty portions - no one leaves hungry. Have a unique food requirement? Just let our cooks know and we'll accommodate your request.
Our guests enjoy the best of both worlds - on the ranch they feel secluded in the wilderness and yet they have the ability to take in the local flavor - meet the local folks and shop, play and just explore.
The Flathead Valley is a year-round playground for families, singles, and groups of all ages with whitewater rafting, stream and lake fishing, nine world-class golf courses, boating, hot air ballooning, skiing, back-country skiing, four other cross-country trail systems, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and more. Glacier National Park is 23 miles from the ranch, and the drive there is almost as pretty as the park itself. (almost!)