By: Kim-Marie Evans, Luxury Travel Mom
The relaxing scent of lavender combined with the fresh notes of pine feel as if they were cut from the fields and forest of Montana. Those looking to escape the chaos of modern life will find respite in stands of Ponderosa Pines and expansive views of the wild plains. No need to rough it to enjoy with wilds of Montana, though. Book a stay at a luxury dude ranch to try the latest travel trend: glamping. Or, simply put, glamorous camping. Glamping in the wild west has been referred to as the "American safari experience." No need to pack a bedroll or build a fire, a camp attendant is on hand to attend to every need.
Here's our list of essentials for the ultimate glamping experience:
1. Book a stay in a luxuriously adorned canvas tent pitched alongside the iconic Blackfoot River. A short drive from the Missoula airport, yet a world away. Not only are these “tents” cozily heated, they feature sumptuous down bedding, chandeliers and en suite bathrooms. Each night the camping attendant will stoke the campfire and ensure everything is on hand to make S’mores, or cocktails, or both.
2. Get up with the sun and watch horses commute to work from their homes among the wild grasses. All luxury dude ranches offer a variety of equine experiences, but this one is free and magical. It’s easy to imagine what the plains must have looked like to Lewis and Clark when the horses roamed freely.
3. Flyfishing at a glamorous dude ranch is no stand in the river and shiver affair. Boats are stocked with every item necessary for catching a photo worthy trout, including an experienced guide. The best ranches offer guided trips down the famous rivers of Montana. Everything is provided except the actual fish. Your guide will teach you the finer points of casting and setting your line as you drift past the untouched wilds along the banks of the river.
4. No trip to the woods of Montana would be complete without a horseback ride. Trail rides through the pine-scented woodlands are offered daily and the ambling pace is easy for anyone to enjoy.
5. Montana is not only famous for its wildlife, but also for its perfectly clear lakes. Many lakes have luxury lodges on their shores, while others can be enjoyed as a part of a day outing arranged by the activities concierge. Fish, waterski or simply enjoy a novel while taking in the sun and water view from a wooden dock.
6. Unwind after a day of riding and fishing in the ranch spa. Enjoy a lavender oil massage in spa tent with the flaps open to the fresh breeze and scent of pines. No one said roughing it has to be rough.