Bar W Guest Ranch Montana

Winter Activities

The life at the Bar W slows down in the winter. With the exception of the draft horses used for sleigh rides, the horses are turned out on winter pasture to relax and enjoy being a horse. You should see them when they are let out of the trailer – they know its play time! They run, jump, and kick their heels up. They know it’s time for a relaxing winter.

The Bar W offers bed and breakfast stays during the winter months of November through April but are happy to assist in package arrangements for 6 or more guests staying at the ranch. Winter packages include accommodations, meals, and skiing Whitefish Mountain Resort. If interested, guests are welcome to book additional winter activities during their package stay. So close to town, the Bar W is the perfect “base camp” for all the winter activities available in the area. Visit the Bar W for a bed and breakfast stay, a winter package, or even just a picturesque sleigh ride around the ranch.

Ranch Activities:

  • Winter Horseback Riding – Weather permitting we’ll ride the 3000 acres of trails surrounding the ranch. Otherwise we can work on horsemanship skills and have some fun in the Bar W indoor arena. Take a lesson, do some pole bending, team penning and sorting, or run some barrels. It's all fun!
  • Snowshoeing/Hiking – Snowshoe or hike the ridge overlooking Spencer Lake or take a walk back into the timbers to look for moose, bear, coyotes, mountain lions, deer, and possibly a wolf.
  • Ice Fishing – There is plenty of action on Spencer Lake in the winter and ice fishing for big pike is a common place activity. The pike are said to be up to 15- 20 pounds – although the largest we took this year was 7 pounds. Some of the Whitefish folks tell some pretty good stories about the size of the pike in Spencer Lake.
  • Ice Skating - Put on those skates and have a blast. The lake is about 60 acres so skate to your hearts delight.
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting – Try your hand at shooting some birds – clay birds that is. Guest absolutely love this activity and you could be surprised just how good you can be.
  • Sleigh Ride Dinners – Enjoy the magic of a sleigh drawn by horses. It is good for the soul. Drink hot chocolate or enjoy a dinner – it is up to you.
  • Square Dances – Throw on your jeans and boots, put on your hat and stomp those feet to some of the best calling of a square dance in the west – and kick it up for the Virginia Reels and Waltzes – you will have fun!

Area Activities:

  • Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort – Whitefish Mountain Ski resort is just 7 miles away (see video). There is terrain for every level skier. The lines are short and the snow is great – what more could you ask for? The longest trail is 3 miles of pure fun. Once you are done for the day relax in the Bar W hot tub.
  • X-Country Skiing – There are 3 cross country ski areas within a few miles of the ranch with over 200 miles of groomed trails and there is also the Glacier Park System which you can visit for the day via Amtrak - a fun ride and a beautiful area to ski.
  • Back Country Skiing – The Bar W has partnered with Great Northern Powder Guides to offer back country skiing on the Stryker Ridge territory. The untracked powder seems endless as you traverse down again and again. The snow cat will bring you up as many times as you like until either your legs give out or you run out of sun – usually it's the legs that go first.
  • Snowmobiling – There are tens of thousands of miles of trails around the ranch to choose from. Bring your own sleds or we will help you to rent from one of at least three snowmobile outfitters in the immediate area.
  • Dog Sledding – One of the most special things to do – definitely a twice in a lifetime activity to experience. Guests from 8 months to 80 years have loved the experience and the dogs. Just down the road from the ranch and a ball of fun.
  • Ice Fishing – If the pike in Spencer Lake don’t excite you, there is always one of many lakes to chose from for trout, perch, and more.
  • Day Spa – Whitefish is home to several wonderful day spas that guests can visit. Ask the Bar W with assistance making reservations.
  • Whitefish Area Activities – Enjoy The Winter Stroll with roasted chestnuts along main street. The Winter Carnival brings thousands to downtown Whitefish to crown the Royalty.
  • Whitefish (Photo) - The town of Whitefish is rich with great dinning, shopping, theatre and nightlife.

So let us help you vacation in one of the top spots in the United States. We are eager to help you schedule a very cool stay in a Norman Rockwell picturesque town - all why staying at the elegant Bar W Guest Ranch - how sweet it is!