Press Releases

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Yoga & Horses
The Home Ranch, Oct 01 2017

Creating A Stir: The Resort at Paws Up Announces New Cookbook Live Culinary Series at The Resort at Paws Up

Creating A Stir: The Resort at Paws Up Announces New Cookbook Live Culinary Series
The Resort at Paws Up, Jun 22 2017

The luxury ranch resort launches a new culinary series for 2017 bringing acclaimed cookbooks to life in a stunning Montana landscape

GREENOUGH, Mont., June 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Luxury ranch resort, The Resort at Paws Up, is taking its culinary offerings to new levels with the launch of their Cookbook Live culinary series for 2017. The series, as it sounds, features James Beard Award winners and finalists bringing their cookbooks to life through interactive demonstrations, hands-on classes, receptions and world-class meals. Each event in the series is dedicated to highlighting the recipes, concepts, chef skills and philosophies shared in the acclaimed cookbooks. Guests will get to know the stories behind the recipes from the chef-authors themselves and watch up-close as creations from the cookbooks come together before their eyes. And one of the best benefits: Guests will learn how to create show-stopping dishes that'll have friends and family raving about their masterful culinary skills. Please see the 2017 lineup below:

The Elements of Pizza: Featuring Chef and Author Ken Forkish (August 4–6) – Guests will spend a weekend getting their hands doughy with pizza expert and James Beard Award-winning author Ken Forkish. This event brings to life Forkish's The Elements of Pizza. With classes timed for the dinner hour, guests will get to rub shoulders with Forkish as they dine on their freshly made pizzas together. And because International Beer Day falls over the weekend, local craft beer will also be on hand…and what goes better with pizza?

Cookie Love: Featuring Chef and Author Mindy Segal (August 10–16) – Guests will get up-close and personal with James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Mindy Segal as she creates one of her favorite recipes in her widely-hailed book, Cookie Love, the s'more. Bonus: Thursday, August 10, is National S'mores Day and, as the pioneers of glamping, Paws Up is giving this holiday the celebration it richly deserves. They are pulling out all the chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows and more—for an entire week.

Smoke and Around the Fire: Featuring Chefs and Authors Tim Byres, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton(September 1–4) – It's time to sink your teeth into a mouthwatering celebration of live fire cooking. Texan barbecuing expert and 2015 James Beard Award-winning author Tim Byres is teaming up with 2017 James Beard Award-winning Chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton to help Paws Up present a Labor Day grilling extravaganza. These three legends will demonstrate their techniques and offer firsthand lessons on imbuing all kinds of food with irresistible flame-influenced flavors.

Art of the Pie: Featuring Chef and Author Kate McDermott (November 3–6) – This flaky and fun-filled weekend brings to life the favorite recipes of 2017 James Beard Award finalist Kate McDermott. A long-time Resort favorite and co-creator of our previous series, Upper Crust, McDermott was recognized for her book, Art of the Pie. Guests will create works of edible art from fresh local ingredients alongside the "pie whisperer" herself. It's the perfect treat for anyone who's passionate about succulent, homemade, just-out-of-the-oven pie.

For reservations, please call 1-866-929-6590. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook Instagram and Twitter.


The Resort at Paws Up combines luxury with unforgettable adventure on 37,000 acres of untamed Montana wilderness that is steeped in history. The Resort offers accommodations for a maximum of 225 guests in 30 safari-style tents (seasonally) and 28 luxurious vacation homes, ranging from the two-bedroom Meadow Homes and three-bedroom Wilderness Estates to the charming, private, four-bedroom Morris Ranch House. Paws Up is located in the heart of the Blackfoot Valley in western Montana, just 35 miles from Missoula International Airport. Travelers can access Missoula via direct flights from Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle. For more information, please visit or call 800-473-0601.

The Resort at Paws Up Announces 2017 Wilderness Workshops at The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up Announces 2017 Wilderness Workshops
The Resort at Paws Up, Mar 20 2017

A Special Summer Series of Inspiring and Educational Activities

The Luxury Ranch Resort Announces This Season’s Workshops—from “Gettin’ Primitive” to Taking Horsemanship Skills Up a Notch.


Greenough, Montana – March 20, 2017 – From interactive drum circles to woodsmanship skills, there are a plethora of Wilderness Workshops for guests to choose from when booking a trip to The Resort at Paws Up, Montana’s premier luxury ranch resort. Many of the Wilderness Workshops are an added value for Paws Up’s guests throughout the summer season and offer the opportunity to develop a new skill, perfect a craft or experience something completely new as a family. Please see highlights below.


Paint ’n’ Pour: Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

There’s nothing like a little wine to wake up your inner Picasso, Renoir or Van Gogh. So allow Paws Up to pour a glass while talented local artist Linds Sanders instructs on the finer points of painting. Sanders will join guests at Paws Up throughout the summer as part of the very popular Paint ’n’ Pour Wilderness Workshop. With step-by-step guidance in a fun and friendly atmosphere, guests will be creating their own personal masterpiece in no time. No experience is necessary. The canvases, paint, wine and laughter are all provided.


Lessons with Lenses

NEW for 2017: This new Wilderness Workshop gives the whole family the chance to explore the world of photography from a bird’s (and a worm’s) point of view. Participants will gain a better understanding of light, composition and color, as well as a deep appreciation for nature, and have a collection of photographs to cherish from their time in Big Sky Country. Lessons include Smartphone Nature Walks, Documenting Your Day and Rocks & Rivers.


Gettin’ Primitive: Put the Whole Family in a Timeout

Learn about the old ways from an honest-to-goodness mountain man—Paws Up’s resident outdoorsman Gary Steele. For four days at his self-built camp, families will get hands-on instruction in primitive skills like edible plant identification, fire making, knot tying, longbow archery, music making, orienteering, shelter building, storytelling, tomahawk throwing, tracking and woodsmanship. Designed for families to come together in an environment that fosters confidence, curiosity, enthusiasm, responsibility and self-esteem, the Gettin’ Primitive workshop is sure to ignite kids’ imagination. Dates: June 20–23, July 23–29, August 3–9.


Drum Circle Madness: A Rhythm Runs Through It

For the whole family: musician Scott Besaw will join Paws Up for a week of fun and unique music. He will conduct drum circles and sing-a-long activities for both kids and adults alike. Besaw has been performing for kids’ camps around the country, teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and performing at various Chicago hot spots for years. Note: Besaw is available to book for private guitar and drum lessons while on property. Dates: July 2–8, August 15–21.


Champion Horsemanship: Let’s Get Serious About Saddling Up

Guests can take their horsemanship skills up a notch with instruction from the real deal, National Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Barbra Schulte. With an emphasis on mental toughness, she’s helped elite riders all over the country reach their full potential. With her guidance, guests will focus on control as they wind through obstacle courses along scenic trails and practice their aim on horseback with water-gun mounted shooting. Class sizes are small, and there will be ample opportunities to get to know this horse-riding legend. Dates: August 11–14.


Starry Night Photography: 100 Billion Stars, All Eagerly Awaiting Their Close-Up

Join award-winning photographer and Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Barbara Van Cleve for a special photography workshop under the stars. Van Cleve specializes in American West imagery and is known for her beautiful nighttime photography. The workshop is for beginner photographers interested in learning digital camera techniques. Van Cleve will help guests understand the various settings and features of cameras and teach them how to produce emotional, dramatic photographs by using various camera lenses and filters. Participants will be shooting extensively in moonlight and starlight (weather permitting). The workshop will show guests new ways of visualizing and conceptualizing the images they want to capture and share. Dates: August 11–14.


For more details on the complete Wilderness Workshop series, please visit here. For reservations, please call 877-588-6783. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook, Instagram (@theresortatpawsup) and Twitter (@Paws_Up).

The Resort at Paws Up Announces the Opening of North Bank Camp at The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up Announces the Opening of North Bank Camp
The Resort at Paws Up, Mar 20 2017

The Resort at Paws Up Announces the Opening of North Bank Camp:
The Largest Tented Accommodations in North America

Montana’s premier luxury ranch resort unveils its first-ever two-bathroom, three-bedroom glamping tents at the debut of North Bank Camp.


Greenough, Montana – March 20, 2017 – The Resort at Paws Up, Montana’s premier luxury ranch resort and the pioneer of glamping is once again igniting the (camp)fire to next-level luxury accommodations. This glamping season, Paws Up introduces North Bank Camp, The Resort’s newest establishment of tented accommodations containing the first-ever three-bedroom luxury tents and the largest capacity of any campsite in North America.

Perched on a picturesque, timbered bluff overlooking the legendary Blackfoot River, Paws Up’s latest glamping creation, North Bank Camp, offers a luxurious retreat into the Montana wilderness. The new camp will offer six new accommodations—two three-bedroom tents and four two-bedroom tents. All of the new accommodations feature the ultra high-end amenities Paws Up camps are known for: master bathrooms with heated floors, heat and air conditioning, luxury furnishings, personal camp chefs, camping butlers and more. North Bank Camp joins Paws Up as the sixth camp on its roster, following the launches of Cliffside, Creekside, River, Moonlight and Pinnacle camps.

As The Resort’s only camp on the north bank of the river, every tent at North Bank has a riverfront location with a spacious, furnished deck suspended over the slope for visitors to enjoy inspiring Big Sky views. North Bank is perfect for accommodating multigenerational family trips and larger groups, particularly with the three-bedroom tents containing two en suite bathrooms. For a spectacular dining experience, North Bank’s Dining Pavilion is the most expansive yet, featuring a stone fireplace, bar seating and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, which enable the pavilion to function as both an indoor and outdoor space as weather allows.

The Resort at Paws Up also offers an extensive menu of wilderness adventures, including horseback riding, an authentic cattle drive, guided fly-fishing tours, hot air ballooning, ATV tours, rappelling, Blackfoot River floating, canoeing, sporting clays, guided hikes, spa services and more. Throughout the year, The Resort hosts a variety of exciting culinary, wellness and adventure weekends as well as a series of Wilderness Workshops, offering inspirational and educational activities.

For reservations, please call 877-588-6783. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook, Instagram (@theresortatpawsup) and Twitter (@Paws_Up).

Ranch Happenings  at North Fork Ranch

Ranch Happenings
North Fork Ranch, Nov 27 2016

Don't forget to check out our Blog posts on our website!  Stay up to date on all the happenings at the ranch!

Flathead Living Magazine/Flathead Lakes Legendary Lodge at Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

Flathead Living Magazine/Flathead Lakes Legendary Lodge
Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge, Feb 18 2016

Flathead Lake’s Legendary Lodge

For the last 70 years, the Averill family has welcomed guests from around the world, including celebrities and dignitaries, to the classic Montana dude ranch along the scenic shores of Flathead Lake

By Dillon Tabish

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the largest natural freshwater lake in the West, the Flathead Lake Lodge stands the test of time as a beloved local fixture and iconic dude ranch that harkens back to a bygone era.
This signature destination looks and feels the way it was 70 years ago, when Les Averill revived the deserted property near Bigfork and built his dream of an old-fashioned refuge for families in the genuine, humble spirit of Montana.

There are no television screens here, or other modern gadgets. The 2,000-acre property and 17 cabins are sheltered from the distractive power of technology. There is cell service in this mountainous nook, barely.

Instead, the rustic rock fireplace in the Main Lodge crackles with fresh flames. The mammoth hide of a grizzly bear that roamed these parts decades ago still hangs overhead, recalling the time Averill was dragged from his tent in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and nearly chewed up. Classic artwork and sculptures decorate the various rooms, which are perched in front of the lake’s breathtaking panorama.

“This place is frozen in time. It’s what people conjure in their mind as an idyllic log cabin getaway that’s simple, friendly and in a beautiful setting,” says Doug Averill, one of Les Averill’s sons, who has managed the lodge with his wife, Maureen, since 1973.

For Montana families, this may seem somewhat commonplace. But for families from the vast cityscapes around the world, the lodge is almost imaginary.

“We’re trying to expose families to the Western lifestyle – exploring, being independent and being away from television or Wi-Fi,” says Nikki Averill, the wife of Doug’s son, Laine, who helps manage the resort with the family.

Doug Averill inside the main lodge at Flathead Lake Lodge near Bigfork
Doug Averill inside the main lodge at Flathead Lake Lodge near Bigfork

Generations of families have ventured to Flathead Lake Lodge and created traditions and memories that are deeply rooted in this corner of Montana.

Last summer a group of 66 people from across the country celebrated a week-long vacation for the 33rd year in a row.

In October, the daughter of Jon Huntsman, Jr., the former governor of Utah and GOP presidential candidate, was married at the scenic property along the lake.

Other groups have four generations of visitors who have enjoyed riding horses, fly fishing, boating, hiking and other adventures that are quintessential and unique to this area. The lodge has a remarkable return rate of 60-70 percent of guests.

“Flathead Lake Lodge is for our family a magical place where lifetime friendships were formed and a love of Montana developed that has been everlasting,” one family, which has visited every year since 1981, wrote in the lodge’s guestbook.

The lodge frequently welcomes celebrities and dignitaries from foreign countries, a tradition that dates back to the early days when many of the first guests, such as Bing Crosby, frequented here and helped spread word of one of the most scenic spots in the West.

For guests who want to stay here, a minimum seven days is required at the all-inclusive lodge. That ensures the opportunity for the full immersive experience.

“We tell them they can do whatever they want to do. They have free rein,” Doug Averill says. “We want them to experience a wild experience.”

The lodge can hold up to 120 guests at a time. It has also become a frequent host of large events and tourist attractions, such as the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival, which annually brings world-renowned musicians for weeklong performances and workshops. This fall the inaugural Craft Beer Relay kicked off at the lodge’s property with over 1,000 participants. The Montana Dragon Boat Festival and Spartan Race have also taken place at the Averills’ property.

The story of how it all started is as legendary as the lodge itself.

Les Averill grew up in Somers but earned the opportunity to travel the world after being recruited by Pan American Airways. Averill tested in the top 1 percent and became the company’s youngest commercial captain at 20. Once World War II started, pilots across the country were recruited to fly missions, and Averill enlisted. But through these years, while traveling the world, he could never shake the images of Flathead Lake and its surrounding landscape.

Guests enjoy outdoor adventures, such as horseback riding, fly fishing and boating
Guests enjoy outdoor adventures, such as horseback riding, fly fishing and boating

In the 1940s, piloting was an illustrious job, yet Averill gave it up and steered himself back to where he grew up in Northwest Montana.

It was then, in 1945, when he and a friend who also flew in the war, Roy Whitford, discovered a deserted property with old log cabins along the northeast shore of Flathead Lake near Bigfork.

The property had been developed as a summer camp for boys in 1932, but it shut down and remained abandoned until 1945.

Averill, envisioning a hunting lodge and family getaway, took all the money he had earned and bought the property with Whitford for $5,000.

The first year nobody showed up. But then, as fate would have it, as the summer ended and the lodge seemed doomed for bankruptcy, a limousine pulled up. A man and woman were looking for a scenic escape in the mountains of Montana, and Averill’s lodge seemed like a perfect fit. Averill, one of the first outfitters in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, took them hunting and fishing and accommodated the couple nicely.

As it turns out, the couple was Bugsy Siegel, an infamous mobster who helped spearhead development of the Las Vegas Strip, and his girlfriend Virginia Hill. They were on the run from the mob and appreciated Averill’s accommodations.

“They spent so much money, they got him through the next summer,” Doug Averill recalls.
The next summer, the lodge began to attract more visitors, including prominent names such as U.S. Gen. Matthew Ridgway.

Les Averill became the sole owner of the lodge and developed it into the world-class hideaway that it is today with his wife, Doloris.

Les and Doloris raised their four sons on the dude ranch, including Doug, who began running the lodge in the 1970s while Les remained actively involved in its day-to-day operations until his death in 2006.
Now Doug’s sons, Laine and Chase, have taken over leadership of the iconic site with their spouses, taking it into the future with a new generation of Averills.

“It’s fun to be back involved at a higher level now,” Chase says. “It was good to go out and get the experience and bring it all back here. It makes you appreciate what goes on here and what has been a tradition for over 70 years. People come back here year after year. It’s a special place.”

For more information about the Flathead Lake Lodge, visit