Sunday, April 14, 2024 Apr 14, 2024
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Greenough, Montana

Glamorous accommodations for camping make for a wonderful "glamping experience" at the Resort at Paws Up deep in the (sort of) wild.

photography courtesy of Paws Up

WHY NOW: Your special someone threw out “camping” as his vote for the next vacation, and panic set in. Take a deep breath, and channel your inner Girl Scout: be honest and fair, courageous and strong, and, most important, use resources wisely. There is a place where 300-thread-count Egyptian silk sheets and yoga meet fly-fishing and clay shooting: the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana.

Go on an ATV adventure.

RANCH UP: Okay, the name of the place might give you pause (apologies), but it’s the only kitschy thing about this luxurious getaway. (Owners Nadine and Dave Lipson, the entrepreneurs behind SuperCuts and Frederick’s of Hollywood, are obviously dog lovers.) The immense 37,000-acre resort accommodates about 150 guests, and it’s had some notable visitors in the three years it’s been open, including the Rolling Stones. It’s growing popularity is due in no small part to the “glamping” experience Paws Up offers, which, translated, is camping with a generous dose of glamour. Sure, there are plenty of activities for the outdoorsmen in the family—everything from fly-fishing lessons, ATV adventures, rappelling, horseback rides, and geocaching, year-round (dog sledding and snow shoeing in the winter).

NATURAL BEAUTY: For those who prefer being massaged with hot rocks rather than rappelling down them, there’s Spa Town, a cluster of 11 oversized tents dispensing Barb Wire Body Polishes, massages, and plenty of Naturopathica products. Miss the big-city therapist? Make an appointment for Vibrational Therapy.

Sleep in fancy tents.

BLISSFUL BARRACKS: The true genius of Paws Up is the lodging, though. No roughing it here. In the winter, options are limited—guests stay in homes outfitted with stainless-steel appliances, flat-screen televisions, and wi-fi. Should the significant other scoff that “master suite” and “camping” are at odds, make your reservation for the summer and reserve a spot in Tent City or River Camp for a stay in a tent—but remember, this is glamping. Oversized tents (there are six in each enclave) are furnished with king-sized beds, bedside tables, bureaus, and electricity. Private master bathrooms aren’t attached to the tent (they’re a short walk away), but it’s worth the trip. Aside from indoor plumbing—a glamping must—they offer Aveda products, travertine-tiled showers with oversized rain showerheads, and fluffy towels. Both Tent City and River Camp also provide a personal butler who provides everything from wine service to managing the bonfire for the nightly s’mores fest. Though Tent City has wi-fi and River Camp does not, River Camp gets extra glam points for being located on the Blackfoot River, the inspiration for A River Runs Through It. So while Mr. Camper dreams of defending the family against bears, you can drift away with thoughts of Brad “Paul Maclean” Pitt.

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: Some small things to note: cell phones don’t work at Paws Up. The resort has mobile phones available that guests can rent during the stay. Because the resort is so large, rides from Paws Up staff are necessary to get from place to place, so patience is necessary. Ever heard of “island time” with regard to the Caribbean? Although these are five-star prices, things run very much on”wilderness time” here. But, honestly, there are worse things than no cell service and being chauffeured. Namely camping.

Ride horses.

40060 Paws Up Rd.
Greenough, Montana

United ( offers flights from Dallas to Missoula with a stop in Denver, or fly Delta ( to Missoula with a stop in Salt Lake City. The Resort at Paws Up is about a half-hour drive from Missoula. Resort staff offer transportation to and from the airport.

Luxury tents in Tent City and River Camp available only in the summer. Prices start at $595 a night. Houses are available year-round, with rates starting at $445.

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