Business Category: Equestrian Vacations and Horseback Rentals
The Bar W Guest Ranch
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 until long after you have left. Beautiful vistas and rolling ridges adorn the countryside of this cozy Montana dude ranch.
Located on Spencer Lake, where there are 3,000 acres available for horseback riding and all kinds of outdoor activities. 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 the guest ranch is one of the most vibrant towns in Montana: Whitefish, recently named one of the “Top Ten Cool Towns” by Frommer’s Budget Travel. Expect to find some of the finest in shopping, dining, theater, and nightlife.
The Bar W is nestled at the base of Spencer Mountain, between two pine-covered ridges. 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.
Our horseback-riding program is the ranch’s main attraction. Our 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 horsemanship clinics, 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.
Wait until you sit down to breakfast or dinner 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.
In addition to horseback riding, there is plenty for all ages to do and discover at the Bar W. 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. All this and more is what you can expect from a ranch vacation at the Bar W.
In the Winter Months you can still ride horseback through the trails or in our indoor arena, snowshoe or cross-country ski right out the back door, skate or ice fish on Spencer Lake, take a sleigh ride or have dinner at the gazebo right on the lake. With Big Mountain Ski and Summer Resort just 7 miles away, you are minutes from incredible skiing and snowboarding.
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. You are sure to see some of these during your dude ranch vacation.
And if all that is not enough, the Flathead Valley is a year-round playground for families, singles, and groups of all ages with whitewater rafting, 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 our family dude ranch, and the drive there is almost as pretty as the park itself. (almost!)