The 5 Best Resorts in Montana

The cowboy-chic hospitality scene in America's fourth-largest state is having much more than a "moment."

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With two national and 55 state parks offering year-round adventure, Montana is known for its wide-open spaces — and a COVID-era surge in domestic and outdoor travel thrust it into the spotlight in a new way. If luxury resort openings and steadily rising tourism numbers are any indication, however, the cowboy-chic hospitality scene in America's fourth-largest state is having much more than a "moment."

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.

Reading through this year's results, one thing was abundantly clear: T+L readers who visited Montana were amazed at how easily its ranch resorts and the destination as a whole became a highlight of their extensive travel logs — not just within the U.S. but overall.

"This is the best experience I've ever had in my life, and I've traveled the world," one reader wrote after visiting the Ranch at Rock Creek, in Philipsburg, this year's No. 1 pick.

Aerial view of The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana
Courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

Another, who stayed at WBA Hall of Fame honoree Triple Creek Ranch (No. 2), in Darby, had a similarly superlative experience. "One of the most extraordinary properties we have ever been to...and we are avid, seasoned travelers," they wrote. "Gorgeous accommodations, world-class cuisine and beverages, tons of activities, seamless reservations and transportation, and a consistent attention to quality and detail unlike anything we have ever experienced. All found on a private, discreet, and unparalleled property nestled in nature."

Summertime visitors to Montana revel in hiking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, and scoping out the revived grizzly bear population, while winter travelers hit the ski slopes, admire the moose and bison, and explore the backcountry by snowmobile. And after a full day of exploring in any season, T+L readers enjoy retiring to comfortable digs with top-tier amenities.

"What a magical place! It was amazing," a reader said of Lone Mountain Ranch (No. 3), in Big Sky. "Our cabin had a soaking tub as well as a fireplace that we used every day."

To help you plan your trip to Big Sky Country, below are the top five resort hotels in Montana, according to our readers' votes in the 2022 World's Best Awards.

1. The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg

Loft interior at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana
Courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

This luxury dude ranch on a 19th-century homestead offers a true Montana experience through a variety of accommodations: a Western-style lodge with nine unique rooms; five glamping options including a covered wagon; a historic barn with reimagined stables; and seven private log cabins. The Ranch at Rock Creek is an all-inclusive resort, and a stay comes with farm-to-table meals and beverages; evening entertainment at the on-site Silver Dollar Saloon; daily activities such as horseback riding, fly-fishing, archery, and clay shooting; and all the equipment needed to partake in these activities, along with mountain bikes for each guest. Hikers can enjoy more than 20 miles of trails without leaving the property and then unwind in an outdoor heated pool and year-round hot tub — or at the spa, where treatments are inspired by the surrounding wilderness. Then, they gather for social hour — hosted from a roaming bar in a converted horse trailer during summer months — and mingle with fellow ranch-goers before bonding at a rodeo, barbecue, or barn dance.

Score: 94.50

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2. Triple Creek Ranch, Darby

Cabin interior at Triple Creek Ranch
Courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 93.00

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3. Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky

Exterior of Lone Mountain Ranch
Courtesy of Lone Mountain Ranch

Score: 91.86

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4. Sage Lodge, Pray

Lobby at Sage Lodge in Montana
Courtesy of Sage Lodge

Score: 91.79

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5. The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough

Dining at Cliffside Camp at the Resort at Paws Up in Montana
Courtesy of Resort at Paws Up

Score: 90.86

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