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For The Love of The Montana Wilderness

a vision realized

“Our first trip to Montana literally changed our lives – we hope you give us a chance to make a difference in your life as well. We will do our best to make sure that the joy of your stay lasts a lifetime!”

-The Leishmans


Our Story

The idea of the Bar W began with a father’s longing to escape the rigors and chaos of the office. Dave Leishman, the “future” owner of the Bar W, was persuaded by longtime friend and owner of the Double D Guest Ranch in New Jersey, Phil Dukes, to head West and make the trip to a dude ranch in Northwest Montana. He came to Montana with his two young daughters, Meghan and Emily. Until then, both girls had only about a month’s worth of horseback lessons and he had even less.

In the spirit of true Montana hospitality, the Ranch’s wranglers worked with Dave and the girls on their horsemanship skills and in no time, he and the girls were riding to the tops of ridges where they could gaze at the Big Sky countryside for 130 miles in every direction.

“We went up ridges and down ridges that I never imagined a horse could go,” Dave said. It was a whole package – the riding, the western way of life, the rodeos, the work, and the people – one of those life-changing, priority-altering experiences many people wait a lifetime for. Dave and the girls drew closer on each subsequent trip to Montana, and it was an adventure that they shared year after year.

After five annual trips, the former world-class skier and outdoorsman decided that a yearly excursion to Montana was not enough anymore. Dave wanted a ranch of his own, a place where he could provide people the same experience he had. The Leishman family experiences have provided them with a keen understanding of what guests are looking for when they travel to Montana.

Today, the annual trip for the Leishman family lasts pretty much all year round with Dave, Janet, Meghan, and youngest daughter Haley (when not at school), working around the Ranch and Emily working in the Whitefish area with all enjoying Montana and the lifestyle.