Bar W Guest Ranch Montana

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Summer Activities

Spring is when Montana starts to wake up from the long slumber of winter. The flowers are abundant and the wildlife is celebrating the end of the cold days and nights. It seems that “green” is everywhere. Early spring, the end of March through the middle of May, the temperatures will get up to 50-60 degrees in the daytime and still 30-40 degrees at night. Late spring early summer mid May through the end of June days are about 60-70 degrees and nights are 40-50 degrees. This is prime time to experience Montana – warm long sleeve shirts during the day and jacket weather at night around a cozy campfire with marshmallows (still remember how to make Smores?) – what could be better? The feel of the Flathead Valley is a bit slower, nesting is going on and the air is fresh, crisp and clear.

Summer is when Montana is in high gear, the energy is contagious, the water of the lakes and streams take on a refreshing charm and invite you to surround yourself in the clean, cold, and invigorating essence. Days from the beginning of July through the end of September are a warm 70-90 degrees cloaked by the elevation and winds – be sure to bring your sunscreen – it will only feel 65 degrees. You can actually see the weather - storms rolling in or away – the big sky factor. Montana is alive and you can feel is everywhere – great time to be here.

Late summer through the fall, things are winding down and settling in for the winter. The heat of the summer has subsided and the temperature is just perfect to enjoy all that Montana has to offer. Days from the beginning of October through November are similar to the spring 60-70 degrees during the day with nights in the 40-50 degree range. Temperatures cool off the closer you get to winter which usually takes hold around the middle of December. November is still a wonderful time to explore beautiful big sky Montana.

The summer season is the most awesome time to be in Montana. The fishing is as good as the sunsets! And then there is Riding, nothing like exploring on horseback to see what Montana has to offer.

Ranch Activities:

  • Horseback riding – the Bar W has put together a portfolio of riding terrain that will provide awe-inspiring trails or prairies. We ride under a special use permit from the United States Forest Service and are permitted on close to a million acres of land. Take your fishing pole on the horseback ride and drop it in one of the many lakes that we pass along the way – the fishing is great and you will have a ball!
  • Indoor Arena – is used during inclement weather to work on horsemanship skills, to take lessons and for our trainers to work with horses. It is a wonderful place to feel safe to learn new skills.
  • Outdoor Arena – is also used for horsemanship clinics, barrel racing, pole bending, egg races and working with cattle.
  • Cattle work – in the outdoor arena consists of team penning and sorting and for those more experienced riders roping lessons are also available. Ever want to move cattle without the rigors of a full blown cattle drive. We’ll move cattle for a day or two and if the timing is right you’ll be able to learn branding.
  • Riding lessons – our wranglers are top notch with some national championships on their belt buckles. Whether it is simply the basics, reining, roping, or barrel racing our wranglers got you covered and can teach you the basics to the more advanced skills.
  • Ranch Fishing – Spencer Lake is a 60 acre lake and is full of Northern Pike, Perch, and has been stocked with 3,500 small bass fish. Some say that the Pike are up to 15 pounds! Our guests have successfully caught a 8 pounder. So enjoy fishing in Spencer lake for large pike, perch or bass. Perhaps a trout still lingers in this once rated trophy trout lake. Want that bragging story size trout? Try our trout pond. Stocked full of some very large, 5-10 pound trout - catch and release of course so all can enjoy. 
  • Boating and swimming – in Spencer lake is a wonderful way to shake off the heat of the day or just enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surroundings.
  • Hiking – is abundant on the miles and miles of trails surrounding the ranch with wildlife galore.
  • Mountain Biking – the Spencer Mountain unit is a mountain bikers delight with terrain for the beginner or the most advanced riders – just ask us we’ll show you the way.
  • Campfires and Camping Out – we’ll have campfires during the week with sing alongs, delectable smores and marshmallows and for the adventurous experience the outdoors and campout in the south forty.
  • Wagon Rides and Dinner Rides – are a boat load of fun and bring you back to the way things were. The sound of the horses hooves in sync with each other and the strength of the horses sooths the soul. After a wonderful ride, sit down and enjoy a great Montana dinner out at the Play Meadow or the Gazebo with a live country singer to munch by.
  • Square Dancing - kick up your heels and stomp those feet to some of the most fun west of the Mississippi. Let the "Caller" direct you, step-by-step, to the dances he dreams up to put a real smile on your face. You will have an absolute ball dancing the Virginia reels, Waltzes as well as Square Dancing.
  • Swimming, Tubing, & Boating - our lake, Spencer Lake, is just perfect for a hot afternoon dip or drift in a tube or row boat. You can see the bottom 25 feet down in the crystal clear lake. So take a plunge an invigorate yourself the true Montana way. 
  • Shooting Sports - Try your hand at shooting clay pigeons or test your aim with a rifle and an old west style handgun. Haven't shot a gun before - no worries, we'll teach you safety and proper technique. 
  • Archery - Practice your archery skills with our recurve and compound style bows. We will show you the proper technique to hit a bulls eye each and every time - so test your aim!
  • Bird Watching - Humans aren't the only creatures to roam the Flathead Valley Year after year, thousands upon thousands of birds flock through the area along a major north-south migratory route following Flathead Lake and the many rivers, lakes, and streams that cover the valley. Together with the vast population of resident birds, they prove a major draw for birders near and far. 
  • Other Activities - include horseshoes, volley ball, wildlife photography, and more.

Area Activities:

  • Whitefish – Great shopping, dining, theater, and nightlife just 3.5 miles down the road. There is always something going on in the Majestic Valley arena like rodeos, concerts, cowboy shows, etc.
  • Glacier National Park – The “Crown Jewel of the Continent”  is well worth the 23 mile trip to see and drive on the “going to the sun” road.
  • Whitefish Mountain Ski and Summer Resort – Just 7 miles away, has plenty to offer throughout the summer with festivals, gondola rides, walk in the tree tops and much much more.
  • Fly fishing – Montana is all about fly fishing.Some of the best fishing in the world surrounds the Bar W. We can set you up with a guide to make your fishing trip one you will remember for a life time. Need lessons or you are a bit rusty – no problem we can also set you up with lessons.
  • Lake fishing – There are many many lakes to fish within the Flathead Valley. Just 4 miles down the road fish for 20 pound Mackinaw Trout or for huge Northern Pike, Whitefish, and Cutthroat Trout in Whitefish lake. In some areas you can take your rod on the horseback ride and drop it in one of the many lakes that we pass along the way – the fishing is great and you will have a ball!
  • Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking – Ride class II – IV rapids for a half or full day – just twenty miles down the road. More Photos...
  • Championship golf – Nine courses within an hours drive and a 36 whole world class course just 1.5 miles down the road.
  • Aerial Tours – Take a helicopter over the continental divide and see the goat families sitting on top of peaks that are thousands and thousands of feet high.
  • Hiking – Hike out the back door, across the way, or in any of the millions and millions of acres surrounding the ranch.  Hike Glacier National Park or in the “Bob” short for the Bob Marshall Wilderness with 1,800 miles of trails or Jewell Basin covering over 15,000 acres of peaks, ridges and alpine lakes, streams and meadows.
  • Day Spa – Whitefish is home to several wonderful day spas that guests can visit or the Bar W will make arrangements for them to visit you right at the ranch.
  • Lake Cruises and Water Sports – Enjoy a day of sailing, motor boating, jet skiing, water skiing and more just down the street on Whitefish Lake.
  • Big Sky Sporting Clays – They are without a doubt one of the best sporting clay fields in the world. You could spend all day and still want to shoot more.
  • Blue Moon Rodeo Series - The Blue Moon Rodeo Summer Series is as real a rodeo as it gets. Every week of the summer, on either Thursday or Saturday night the Blue Moon Rodeo will provide you with some of Montana's best riders and ropers (photos) (video). Get there early to see how things come together and marvel at how well these cowboys and cowgirls sit a saddle. Bring your camera.
  • Zip Line Tours - Put on a paragliding-style harness, click into your custom built cable trolley, and then fly around Whitefish Mountain! The 3-hour (approximately) zip line tour will thrill riders of all ages. Six separate spans with side-by-side zipping action will carry you more than 300 feet off the ground at speeds possibly topping 50 mph, with short hikes between each span (photos).
Other Area Sites and Activities –Visit the Mystery House with a vortex that claims to defy gravity, visit the water park with 11 slides, visit the go-cart and maze and bumper boat water park, take a hot air balloon ride, sky dive, or just take in the beauty of the Flathead Valley.


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