Enjoy Big Sky Serenity at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch

Mountain Sky Wellness Center grotto
Mountain Sky Guest Ranch recently added the new Mountain Sky Wellness Center. All photos courtesy of Mountain Sky Guest Ranch

Opened as a dude ranch in 1929, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch (Emigrant, MT) has long captured the romance of Montana’s Paradise Valley and the American West. Before it began welcoming guests, the property served as a base camp for sheepherders and cowboys. Today, guests can still immerse themselves in ranch life with a host of activities, such as riding, hiking, fly fishing, clay shooting, and tours of nearby Yellowstone National Park. While nature provides the best dose of wellness, guests wanting more can take advantage of the ranch’s new Mountain Sky Wellness Center.

“As one of the leading guest ranches in Montana since 1929, Mountain Sky has done a wonderful job of balancing its rich history and traditions as a dude ranch while updating with the industry and offering guests the best in Western hospitality and the very finest amenities and accommodations,” says wellness director Natalie Gilbert. “The addition of the Wellness Center reflects both the changing interests and desires of our guests and the changing trends in the industry. Travelers are becoming increasingly interested in maintaining and strengthening their fitness, health, and wellbeing while away, and we’re committed to serving our guests in the best way possible.”

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch recently added the new Mountain Sky Wellness Center

Featuring a heated outdoor pool, a cedar sauna, a steam room, an outdoor hot tub, a grotto, a yoga studio, and more, the center is set against a backdrop of sage-brush- and wildflower-covered hillsides. “The Wellness Center provides our guests with a new area of serenity where they can relax and reconnect while incorporating wellness into their vacation in an even greater way,” says Gilbert. According to her, it’s the location of the Wellness Center that helps set it apart. “With the entrance to Yellowstone Park just 30 miles away, the untouched landscapes, scenery, and natural environment that surrounds us at Mountain Sky are unparalleled,” says Gilbert. “The Wellness Center looks out over Paradise Valley onto a breathtaking view of Emigrant Peak, which naturally inspires deep connection, relaxation, and rejuvenation. We’re focused on leveraging and harnessing the rebalancing powers of our natural environment to deliver healing and restorative therapies that allow our guests to relax, reenergize, and have a fully transformative experience during their stay.”
Mountain Sky Wellness Center
Mountain Sky Wellness Center has rustic treatment rooms. 
In creating the menu, Gilbert and her team focused on providing offerings that reflected the needs of guests as well as complemented the ranch’s other offerings. “Massage and alternative massage therapies is an area of acute focus for us as our guests are interested in a relaxing yet results-oriented treatment,” says Gilbert. Not surprisingly, many of the guests are looking to address sore muscles and other aches and pains brought on by horseback riding, navigating the ropes course, and some of the other physical activities. “We have a high number of repeat guests and therapists who have been on staff for many years, therefore, guests tend to form strong connections to their therapists and the work they are doing,” says Gilbert. “There is some deep healing going on at the Wellness Center and it’s rewarding for us to watch guests float out of here after their treatments, feeling healed and restored.” 

Two treatments that are resonating with guests are the Mountain Sky Massage ($70, 25 minutes; $130, 50 minutes; $195, 80 minutes; $250, 1 hour 45 minutes), which is tailored to a guest’s concern, and the Magnesium Melt ($205, 80 minutes; $260, 1 hour 45 minutes), ideal for muscle recovery and inflammation. Although the center doesn’t offer facials, it does offer the Fresh Face Acupressure Treatment ($70, 25 minutes), Enriching Hair & Scalp Treatment ($70, 25 minutes), Bee Well Hand & Foot Renewal ($70, 25 minutes), and more.

Spa and Wellness Show

IECSC Florida | October 6-7, 2019

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The homey interiors along with the sauna and steam room (below) help entice guests to stay longer. 

With nature such an essential part of the ranch experience, it was important for the Wellness Center to partner with product lines that use eco-friendly ingredients. The center offers Body Bliss and recently launched a new custom aromatherapy blend that was created exclusively for Mountain Sky. Inspired by the sage brush that is indigenous to Paradise Valley, the scent is used in both the center and the guest cabins.  

With three full-time and six part-time therapists on staff plus an assistant director, the center can handle more than 30 guests each day. According to Gilbert, about six to seven treatments per therapist each day seems to offer a good balance. “Our guests tend to keep themselves very busy while at the ranch, booking up their days full of activities,” she says. “Providing guests with the full experience we are aiming to create at the Wellness Center can be a challenge when guests are racing in from a ride, kicking off their boots, and running into a treatment room. We knew this would be a challenge, so we designed the Wellness Center with several tranquil spaces that invite guests to come and relax before and after treatments.” Complementing the ranch’s many activities, it’s the perfect place for guests to catch their breath. “In a commitment to the land and wildlife that calls Montana home, Mountain Sky and the entire 17,000 acres of property guests have access to at the ranch are under conservation easement, which is a binding commitment to protect the lands from development,” says Gilbert. “Paradise Valley is such a special place, and we are committed to protecting it and using it as our source for inspiration in all that we do.”

 

SPA STATS

  • OWNER: Arthur Blank
  • WELLNESS DIRECTOR: Natalie Gilbert
  • OPENED: May 2019
  • CLIENT BASE: 60% female, 40% male
  • SPACE: 8,250 square feet; 5 treatment rooms
  • PRODUCTS AND EQUIPMENT: Body Bliss, Balanced Body, Comphy Company, Dr. Vic’s Paradise Valley Hemp, Kashwere, Matrix, Monarch Cypress, Turkish Towels, Yellowstone Botanicals, and Zen
  • ARCHITECT: Miller-Roodell Architects (Bozeman, MT)
  • INTERIOR DESIGNER: William Peace, Peace Design (Atlanta)
  • SPA CONSULTANT: Janice Nichols, WTS International (Rockville, MD)
     

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