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.”
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.
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.”
- 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)