Add a Little Art to Your Adventure in Montana

by  Blane Bachelor | Sep 2, 2010
Triple Creek Ranch
Triple Creek Ranch / Photo courtesy of the property

Montana has long been a favorite of adventure travelers for its spectacular offering of outdoor activities, from world-class fly fishing to horseback riding to hiking. And this October, thanks to a unique program at one of the country’s most sought-after wilderness resorts, adventurers can add a little art appreciation – and participation – to their itineraries.

Throughout October, the spectacular Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, about an hour and a half drive from the Missoula airport, is again offering its popular Artists’ Workshop Weekends (Oct. 7-10, 14-17, 21-24), as well as its David Stoecklein Photography Weekend (Oct. 28-31). The programs offer guests the chance to get in touch with their inner Picasso amidst the stunning backdrop of Montana’s raw beauty in the Bitterroot Valley, with guidance from some of the most well-known artists in the West.

Photo courtesy Triple Creek Ranch

Of course, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the 600-acre property’s abundant outdoor activities when you step away from the easel. The adults-only ranch is set against the backdrop of Trapper’s Peak, the highest mountain in Western Montana, and offers horseback riding, hiking, birding, and fly-fishing (it’s an Orvis-endorsed property). But don’t miss the opportunity to take in views of deer, elk, golden eagles, and the occasional moose or bear on the nearby CB Ranch and its colossal 25,000 acres, where you can enjoy additional horseback riding, cattle drives, and whitewater rafting.

If you’re lucky, property owners Barbara and Craig Barrett, the model of an adventurous duo and on par with Ted Turner in terms of private land ownership in Montana, will make an appearance during the art weekends. Barbara, in fact, has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and was the first civilian woman to land an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier, and she’s known to ride bareback. The Barretts are also serious collectors of Western art.

In addition to the art workshops, the all-inclusive weekends include luxurious accommodations in a mountain cabin. Five new cabins were added in 2007 and the remaining 18 were refurbished earlier this  year, most with wood-burning fireplaces and a hot tub. Gourmet meals and complimentary house wine and spirits, ranch activities, and an artists’ welcome reception are also included in the price.

Prices start at $2,100 per couple per weekend (three nights all-inclusive accommodations at $650/night plus a one-time fee of $150 per couple for the art program) – something that’s not too far out of the budget for even a starving artist/adventurer.  If you’re in for the adventure but not the art, prices start at $650 per couple per night (P.S. The Baker and Boulder cabins offer the best value).

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