The Rainbow Ranch is a perfect destination for vacations to Big Sky or Yellowstone. We have been coming to Big Sky Montana for the past 20 years - since we both teenagers - and this vacation was the best we have ever enjoyed. We have a condo in the Meadow in Big Sky, but had too many family members for the holidays to stay there this year. We were so pleased we were the ones "pushed out" to other accommodations. Our children couldn't wait to return to the Rainbow each evening to hot tub and play in their room. I couldn't wait to return to a cleaned room, fresh cookies and peaceful surroundings. Our family (5, 7, 16, 35 and 41) agreed this Christmas was the BEST one we had ever had in Big Sky!
Every morning, we looked forward to an excellent breakfast of warm waffles, muffins, scones, quiche, coffee and fresh fruit. For me, it was wonderful to have breakfast made every morning for my family. For the children, it was a treat to have waffles everyday! My husband loved having fresh coffee every morning.
I made a daily goal of enjoying the hot tub at the Rainbow Ranch. Make sure it is in your daily routine, too. The hot tub is huge, hot and perfect way to end your wintry day. I would rest at the end overlooking the little waterfall and stream which had partially iced over making sculptures of ice over the water. We lit a fire in the fireplace and sipped wine (in plastic cups of course) while looking up the stars. I will dream of these moments for the rest of the year.
One day, we spent the afternoon in the lodge building our sons' new lego sets from Christmas. We felt at home in the lodge, as if the living room was our living room. We ordered lunch from the Corral and just played next to the fireplace, enjoying the views of the snow-covered trees from the windows.
We spent many of our days exploring the runs at Big Sky or Moonlight Basin. We had plenty of new powder and blue sky days. We live in a ski town (Park City Utah) and were grateful for the snow in Big Sky. The views from the two resorts are unbelievable. There are runs for our 5-year-old skier and my double-black diamond expert skiing husband. There are also long groomers for me to race down. Our teenager couldn't get enough of the terrain parks.
My daughter and I also snowshoed the trails behind the Rainbow Ranch and climbed the 3 miles to top to take in views of the quiet snow-covered forest. The hike was good exercise and the views and solitude were worth it.
Our family enjoyed a horse drawn sleigh ride at the 320 Ranch one evening. The staff at the 320 make for the ideal western campfire experience. The "lodge" was warmly lit with a fire and my sons and I played chess by the fireplace while the Christmas tree tinkled in the corner with presents. It felt like our cabin in the woods...because the staff make sure you feel at home. I recommend you go to the 320 in the summer or the winter for a true dude-ranch experience.
One day we hired a snowcoach to go into Yellowstone. Our family had a private Yellowstone Snowcoach on tracks so we could "dive" into 5' snow drifts and drive along the Firehole river to see the wildlife. The driver stayed late in the park so we could watch a huge herd bison coming out of the mist with snow covered faces. I will write a separate review of the snowcoach company - I have the highest recommendations. Please look for the Yellowstone Snowcoach if you want to tour Yellowstone in the winter. Ask for Jay to drive you.
We also x-country skied at Lone Mountain. Picture a postcard image of a cabin in the evergreen forest housed by some of the friendliest staff. They were happy to help us set up our children for x-country skiing for the first time. The kids were not sure they would enjoy quietly skiing through the woods after racing down the slopes at Big Sky. However, we all loved skiing to the Tree Farm Trail and learned how to go down the "hills" on the skinny skis. We spent hours on the trails in the forest. I can't wait to return.
Don't wait to book your stay at the Rainbow Ranch! If you are looking for the ideal mountain getaway for yourself or your family, you have found it at the Rainbow and Big Sky!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rainbow Ranch Lodge is an intimate twenty-one room hotel and gourmet restaurant located on the banks of the Gallatin River in Big Sky, Montana. Whether riverside or pondside, accommodations at Rainbow Ranch Lodge provide a sanctuary for post-adventure relaxing or a romantic getaway for two. Located in a sweeping valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge's location is ideal for both summer and winter activities. Our proximity to Yellowstone National Park affords our guests endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration, including world-class fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. Whether you choose an experienced local guide service or venture out on your own, the breathtakingly rugged, natural beauty of southwest Montana will restore and rejuvenate your senses. One of the top 10 winter destinations in North America, the Big Sky area offers a variety of winters activities including downhill skiing at Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and Lone Mountain Ranch, as well as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and winter fly fishing. If your winter preferences lean more towards comfort and warmth, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge's spa services and luxurious guest rooms provide the perfect alternative to a day spent outdoors. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Rainbow Ranch Hotel Gallatin Gateway
- Rainbow Hotel Gallatin Gateway
- Rainbow Ranch Montana