Bar W Guest Ranch Montana

Frequently asked Questions:

This page is set up for your convenience but we highly encourage you to get in touch with us if you need more detail or have any questions that were not answered.

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Rates & Packages

  1. Are the rates per room or per person?
    • All rates on the website are per person. We provide occupancy discounts up to 4 adults. Children under the child rate do not apply towards occupancy discounts. 
  2. What is not included in the packages?
    • Any activities off the ranch and not with us are not included. Examples are whitewater rafting or guided fly fishing. The office is more than happy to make these reservations for you.


  1. What airport do we fly into?
    • Glacier International Airport in Kalispell, Montana. The airport code is FCA- (Flathead County Airport).
    • Glacier international Airport is about a 15 mile drive from the ranch.
    • We have had some guests fly to either Calgary, Alberta or Spokane, Washington. Both cities are about 5 hours drive from Whitefish.
  2. What airlines fly into Kalispell?
    • Delta connecting from Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Atlanta
    • Horizon Air connecting from Seattle.
    • United connecting from Denver.
    • Allegiant Air connecting from Las Vegas.
  3. Is airport pickup available?
    • Yes for $50 each way for up to 4 guests.
  4. Is there train service to Whitefish?
    • There is daily train service to Whitefish from Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Chicago, Illinois, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  5. Is there shuttle from the train station?
    • Yes, free of charge. The station is only 5 minutes from the ranch.
  6. Is there shuttle service or a rental car, if you wanted to go into town at night, for example?
    • We are happy to run the guests into town for shopping or a night out. If you stay out late we recommend the taxi service for returning to the ranch.
    • Cars can be rented in Whitefish for the day from Hertz and Budget. Many of our guests will rent a car for the day to tour Glacier Park. If you rent from Hertz and tell them you are staying at the Bar W Guest Ranch, they will give you a 15% discount or an upgrade in size.

Horseback Riding

  1. Does each guest get their own horse for the week?
    • Yes each guest gets their own horse for the week if that is what they want – you can switch out if you prefer
    • We do have some horses that are better than others when it comes to working cattle, so we might switch your horse just for that event.
  2. How much horseback riding experience do you need to come to the ranch?
    • You do not need any experience. We have guests who have never ridden and guests who are experts and everything in between.
    • We have a well rounded string of horses and we match the horse and rider for each guests experience level and ability.
    • If you are a beginner or have not ridden in a few years you might like to take a few lessons at home before coming to the ranch.
  3. Will water be supplied while riding?
    • Each guest receives a complimentary water bottle upon arrival which can be tied on the saddle or put in a saddle bag.

Food & Beverage

  1. Does the ranch sell/serve alcohol?
    • The ranch does not sell/serve any alcohol. Alcohol is allowed on property and guests are welcome to bring their own. Ask our staff about arranging a ride to town if you need to make a trip to the liquor or grocery store.
  2. What is the typical menu?
    • Breakfast varies from day to day. A typical menu would be blueberry pancakes, eggs, hash browns, bacon and fresh fruit.
    • Lunch is often packed on the horses for a day of riding adventure. If we are having lunch in the lodge it might include homemade soup and salad, grilled sandwiches, and of course homemade cookies.
    • Dinner is usually a meat entree, (of course, there will be a steak dinner, you are in Montana), a potato or rice side, vegetable, salad, homemade bread and desert.
  3. Do you handle requests for special dietary needs?
    • Yes, please just let us know, and our cooks are happy to accommodate special needs.


  1. Can I reserve a room for just me (one occupant)?
    • Yes we do have single occupancy rates.
  2. Can we smoke in the rooms?
    • Smoking is not permitted inside the buildings or on the trails.
  3. Is there Wi-Fi and/or a computer available to check messages, etc?
    • There is Wi-Fi in the main lodge.
    • If you need to use a computer in the office please just ask.
  4. Do cell phones work at the ranch?
    • Yes, most cellular reception is very good. 


  1. Who vacations at a dude ranch?
    • Guests have told us numerous times that they thought a ranch vacation was out of their comfort zone but with all of the other activities in the area that they would give it a try. Well, every one of them said it was the best vacation they have ever had. We were asked once by a marketing firm what our target demographic was. We answered singles 20 years to 80 years, couples just starting out to those married 50 years, friends – both guys and girls, families from 2 to 44, mothers with daughters/sons and dads with daughters/sons, grandparents with their grand children. People are from all over the world enjoy the western experience. You could be sitting at dinner with a couple from Ireland, a person from France, another couple from New Zealand, a family from Florida, a movie producer from California, and all of the staff - it is really cool! With so many different activities at the Bar W there is always something for every age level and physical ability. We proudly and confidently invite you to step off the beaten path while making unforgettable memories guaranteed to last a lifetime.
  2. What's the weather like?
    • Spring: 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.
    • Summer: 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.
    • Fall: Days from the beginning of October through November are usually 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.
    • Winter: As a blanket of snow covers the valley - the valley is alive with a crisp clear sense of beauty. Average high temperatures for the months of December, January and February are around 30 degrees with the average lows around 15 degrees. With 300 inches of snow a year you’ll be grateful Whitefish Mountain Resort is only 20 minutes from the ranch. The Flathead Valley truly is a year-round playground and we’d love for you to visit!
  3. Would we need cash at the ranch for anything?
    • No. You might want cash if you go shopping in town or on the rafting trip.
  4. Would we need our passports?
    • If you are coming from a foreign country, you will need your passport to enter the USA, but not while you are at the ranch or in Montana.
  5. What sorts of items are sold at the Trading Post?
    • We have a large variety of souvenirs available, including, Bar W tee shirts, sweat shirts, baseball and cowboy hats, and some local sundries.
    • If you don't have your own rain gear, we have slickers available.
  6. Is this trip safe for a woman traveling alone?
    • Completely!! By the middle of the week it will no longer seem like you came by yourself. Our guests and staff alike make lasting relationships at the Bar W Ranch.

Cattle Drive Questions:

  1. How far in advance should we make reservations for the cattle drive?
    • The cattle drive is one of the most popular packages of the year. We encourage people to make their reservations early, so they get the accommodations they want.
  2. Do we need to provide our own sleeping bags?
    • No. The ranch has sleeping bags and cots although guests are welcome to bring their own.
  3. Do you need to be an experienced rider to go on the cattle drive?
    • The cattle drive is not nose to tail riding and you are in control of your own horse. That being said we have had beginner riders who did very well.
    • There are always wranglers nearby to give instruction and to make sure everyone is safe.
  4. Are there showers available for the 3 nights of camping?
    • No. We have had guests bring a sun shower.
  5. Is a restroom provided?
    • There is an outhouse.

Cowgirl Up Questions:

  1. How many women are there during a typical week?
    • Usually 15-20.
  2. Are there rides for more experienced riders?
    • We start the week with an orientation ride which covers the basics, including starting, stopping, turning, and general safety. This is the same for everyone regardless of experience.
    • Though out the week we have rides ranging from one hour to all day. Some are scenic walking rides and others include some more aggressive riding with some trotting and loping.
    • In addition to the trail rides the guests are encouraged to participate in working and sorting the cattle in the arena.
  3. What is included in the trip to the Spa?
    • Honey & hot cream hot rock foot massage
    • Half hour massage

Photography Week:

1. What kind of photo shoots are available?

o   The Bar W arranges a variety of actions, portrait, and landscape shots. Guests will have the opportunity to photograph running horses, cowboys  & cowgirls in full regalia, beautiful shots of Lake Swisher and other beautiful scenery on the Canadian border ride, and  wildlife of Triple D Farms including wolves, leopards, and more.  Last year we also had a Native American family in traditional dress. Please note, not all of these shots are guaranteed but guests will have a wide variety of photo shoots available.

2. How much riding is involved? Do you have to ride to the photo shoots?

o  Guests should expect some riding. However, not as much as a traditional summer package. Enjoy multiple 1 hour and 2 hour rides during the week as well as the all day ride to the Canadian border. The week is focused on creating breath taking photo shoots for the guests to capture the true beauty and excitement of Montana.

o   Some photo shoots require guests to ride in others guests will be able to drive or walk.

3. Is there a professional instructor available?

  Although not guaranteed, the Bar W tries to provide guests with a professional photographer on site. We recommend that guests know the basics of how to work their personal camera and to use our professional photographer as much as needed.

o   For the 2014 Photography Week, Danny Nestor of Danny Nestor Photography, will be invited to host the photography shoots.


Adult Only Week:

1. What makes it different from the regular weeks?

o Adult Only week is similar to our traditional packages but include additional adult oriented activities. Guests can except an added all day cattle drive in Eureka, MT and an elegant night of wine tasting.

2. What is the minimum age?

Our minimum age for Adult Only Week is 18 years  old. However, there are a few activities that require guests to be 21 years of age such as wine tasting night.

3. Is this a good week for singles?

 Our Adult Only week is a FANTASTIC week for singles! As a smaller ranch, we participate in activities as small groups and eat meals family style with other guests and staff. Once you arrive, you will not feel alone and will leave with new friends. 


This page is set up for your convenience but we highly encourage you to get in touch with us if you need more detail or have any questions that were not answered.