Amazingly FUN-tastic Girlfriend Activities:
Glacier Raft Company:
The oldest river-rafting company in Montana — located just half a mile from the Park’s west entrance which makes them a perfect home base for your Glacier National Park explorations—knows EXACTLY what girlfriends want in an adventure vacation. I chatted with two of the managers, Rachel and Alex,a darling young couple who met while running fishing trips and now pretty much run the place. They promised me that they can cater to every Girlfriend-Getaway whim. Want a massage in your cabin or a special movie request? Done! Whether you opt for exhilarating white-water rafting (such as shooting the rapids of “Bone Crusher,”) or a relaxing scenic supper float, Nordic skiing, or snowshoeing, you’ll be all comfy and relaxed knowing that they’ll keep the light on for you back “home.” Glacier Raft Company offers deluxe rental cabins in a variety of sizes and amenities, most offer separate sleeping and living areas, complete kitchen, satellite television, covered deck, gas grill and gas fireplace.
Tip: Ask for a room with a private hot tub for enjoying the awesome mountain views while soaking. Sheer Bliss!
Located on Spencer Lake, this friendly ranch is perfect for a dudette horsie getaway.
Originally an Arabian horse farm, Bar W converted the massive family home into a guest ranch. I was greeted by Lindsey and Ashley, a couple of the local cowgirls who were going to take me on my first horse ride in the snow—gorgeous scenery and tons of fun. These two women could easily have been on the cover of Cowgirl Vogue. My fashion disadvantage was on display as I stood there in my baseball cap and jeans, while they horsed around in their awesome leather chaps and “chinks” (hip Capri length chaps.)
Bar W has the girlfriend getaway scene nailed with their popular “Cowgirl Up” package. For women only, this Giddy-up retreat offers the perfect blend of perfecting your wrangling skills combined with chic add-ons. Choose between the shared main lodge with six bedrooms or the private cabin: both display a captivating but casual Western elegance. Their horsemanship clinic begins when they pair you with a horse that will be yours for the week—and they take care to make sure you and your trusty steed are entirely simpatico. When you’re done with riding the trails, you’ll have a chance to experience barrel racing, roping, cow cutting, and other Wild-West entertainments. After getting yourself all muddy and grubby, it’s time to get girlie and succumb to a hot honey and cream foot massage, or soak in the hot tub before you head over to the saloon for some two-stepping lessons, a vintners cocktail party or perhaps mosey into Whitefish (only 5 minutes away)for some bar-hopping.
A GETAWAY FROM THE GETAWAY: A Side Trip down South:
Rich Ranch: located further south, near Seeley Lake, makes another good choice for an incredible snowmobile package vaca—everything’s included here. Food: solid home-cooking and plenty of it. Lodging: basic but cozy log cabins with comfy beds, a gas fireplace and covered deck, plus a Polaris snowmobile, and your choice of complete helmet-to-boots clothing—their top-of-the-line professional gear kept me toasty warm all day. The ranch’s experienced, safety-conscious guides lead you through 1500 miles of manicured trails that start right at your cabin door. R.R.’s hosts are Jack and Belinda Rich are exceedingly warm and welcoming. There is nothing that Jack doesn’t know about Montana history (he’s 6th-generation Montana-born-and-bred) plus he’s quite a political activist and passionate about saving the outdoors (he has spoken frequently in Washington, DC). As for Belinda, she sure understands a case of the munchies… choosing some goodies from her well-stocked snack bar before hitting the trails was better than walking the aisles of Costco. Beg one of Jack’s sisters (who help out in the kitchen) to bake you some of Nonie’s amazing sugar cookies.
Tip: If you have girlfriends who reeeeeally want to get back to their wilderness roots, talk to Jack about their Big Game Hunting adventure trips or their hardcore Horse and Mule train pack trips. Sorry, dudettes, no personal experience on this one—these are a wee bit much for this city girl.
But as for all the rest, Montana’s irresistible lure has burrowed deep under my skin. I’m already planning a return trip to report on a summer Girlfriend Getaway trip, with a visit to an uber-deluxe tent/hotel complete with a personal butler. Sounds fantastic, but I sure will miss the snowmobiling.
For tons more information on Glacier Country, Montana and help with all your travel plans look here.