Working Ranch with Comfortable Cabins near Glacier National Park
There’s a sweeping view of the Montana countryside at the top of Gratitude Peak, located on the eastern side of Gaynor Ranch and Resort. But before guests can enjoy the sights, they must follow a strict but simple rule: all of their worries must be left down below at the Gratitude Tree. Perched atop this overlook is a Native American medicine wheel designed by ranch owner Nancy Gaynor, a Kootenai tribe member. The wheel is said to inspire meditation and self-reflection. This overlook underscores the resort’s focus on relaxation and reverence for the area’s natural beauty, set amid forested hills and wide blue skies. From here, you’re only a short drive from Glacier National Park and the slopes at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Touches of the old West, including a weathered wagon and a large white tepee, are scattered throughout the working ranch. Visitors can feed the resident horses or hop on a horse-drawn sleigh, go ice-fishing on Whitefish Lake, or snowmobile through the forest. Ask Gaynor Ranch staff about the region’s many cross-country-skiing trails.
Near the horse pasture stands a cluster of cabins, each of them spacious enough for groups and equipped with a full kitchen. For more secluded accommodations, choose one of the eight freestanding Cabins in the Woods, located a short distance from the ranch. While you’re at the resort, you might see some of the ranch’s canine companions, who help protect the property from local wildlife.
Whitefish, Montana: Charming Alpine Gateway to Glacier National Park
Gaynor Ranch and Resort is tucked into the Flathead Valley, an expanse of jagged peaks and windswept lowlands carved out by glaciers during the last ice age. Within the valley—and fewer than 7 miles from the resort—is the charming alpine village of Whitefish. Restaurants, specialty boutiques, and a microbrewery sit along the main drag of Central Avenue, with the Northern Rocky Mountains jutting out of the skyline to the north. Though outdoor activities are a major draw, Whitefish also features an independent theater company, art galleries, a historical museum, and a Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building—one of a scant few in Montana.
About 30 miles away from the ranch is the west entrance to Glacier National Park, where Lake McDonald comes into view as visitors drive down Going-to-the-Sun Road. Although heavy snowfall can close down portions of the park's internal roads, the National Park Service regularly plows the 10-mile stretch of road that runs from the entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge. Check the status of the road on the National Park Service website. There are several skiing and snowshoeing trails in the park as well.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.