By Damien Martin
We’ve always been drawn to the cowboy life. Big sky, wide open spaces, fresh air, the crackle of a campfire. You can spend all day out in nature and all night gazing up at the stars. It’s always been a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now our lives have a different rhythm, but the desire to escape is more powerful than ever. These ranches across the U.S. provide a slice of the simple life.
Big Sky Country is teeming with mountains, rivers and all sorts of natural beauty. It’s also home to a trio of Virtuoso-preferred ranches: The Resort at Paws Up, Triple Creek Ranch and The Ranch at Rock Creek. Not only are these resorts full of activities, they can serve as your gateways to Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Keeping your distance is no trouble with standalone homes, cottages and glamping tents with the comforts of home. Unlike frontier days, though, you’ll be able to enjoy gourmet meals with great wine pairings after a long day on the range.
On the edge of Grand Teton National Park, Amangani offers stunning views of the Snake River valley and spacious suites and homes to provide a base for wildlife exploration in Grand Teton and Yellowstone. On the Signature Wildlife Tour, you’ll have the chance to spot bald eagles, moose, elk and bison. Across the state, the Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection offers authentic experiences at what a working cattle ranch turned eco and wellness resort with ATV adventures, rock climbing and aerial adventures to go along with the award-winning spa and yoga program.
It’s not just a winter ski paradise. Your favorite ski resorts such as The Little Nell in Aspen and the Sebastian in Vail show off the grandeur of the Rockies in summertime, too. When they’re not blanketed in snow, the mountains make for prime hiking, with wildflowers in bloom and gorgeous changing leaves in the fall. In the western part of the state, Gateway Canyons Resort and Dunton Hot Springs have modern takes on the cowboy experience, with restored log cabins and 4-wheeler excursions going in hand in hand. Gateway Canyons is offering a fourth night free promotion for select dates, and a dip in natural hot springs at Dunton is the height of relaxation.
From the Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City to Amangiri on the Arizona border, Utah is an outdoor wonderland boasting five national parks and limitless adventure. The Lodge at Blue Sky features spacious suites in the main lodge, Earth suites built into a lush hillside with living grass roofs and freestanding one-bedroom Creek Houses. Amangiri’s Camp Sarika tented pavilions are the perfect combination of privacy and amenities, at just a few minutes’ trek from the main lodge. The canyon walls surrounding the resort and even reaching it to the main pool create a scene like no other. A quartet of luxury eco reserves spanning a million acres, the Ted Turner Reserves in New Mexico feature a ghost town, hot springs, roaming bison and just about every activity under the sun with a focus on sustainability. Arizona’s Miraval, Canyon Ranch, Enchantment Resort and L’Auberge de Sedona combine the great outdoors with the best in spa and wellness treatments. The cowboys of old never had it so good.