Dream it, live it, do it

Lowdown

  • Established

    2005
  • Owner

    Bill & Barbara Wetzel
  • Tel

    406-863-9099
  • Open

    All year
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    $450 - $850
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    $250 - $416
  • Minimum Stay

    6 days
  • Maximum Guests

    60
  • Works with travel agents?

    No
  • Great For

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Diverse scenery
  • Memberships

    Dude Ranchers Association Montana Dude Ranchers' Association Glacier County Tourism
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

The Bar W Guest Ranch is located in Northwest Montana, just west of Whitefish, Montana. In case you’ve never been to this part of the world, think of heavily timbered mountains, open prairies, clear running rivers and streams, fresh air, sunshine, and big skies. The Bar W lies right in the heart of all that and more.

The ranch is home to some of the finest qualities of the western way of life and hospitality. This includes a special string of horses and cattle, outdoor riding arenas, miles upon miles of riding trails and open prairies, and a staff that will help make your vacation here one you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Good time to go

We offer seasonal adventures to accommodate all our guests. Each season is unique in its offerings. Whitefish is a winter wonderland and the Bar W offers unforgettable, relaxing sleigh rides. Spring offers several of our specialty packages such as Adults Only Weeks and Cattle Drive Weeks. Summer brings Family Weeks, with horseback riding in the mountains, over the foothills and across the open prairies of Montana Big Sky Country, but there is plenty for all ages to do and discover at the Bar W. Back by popular demand are our specialty weeks in the fall - we offer Adults Only Weeks.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 2 and over

Kids are the heart of the Bar W Ranch.

Our Cowpoke Program (kids ages 2-6), and our Outlaw Program (kids age 7-12 years old) offers them opportunities to begin learning to groom, saddle, feed and take care of their own horse. We also introduce them to caring for goats, chickens and pigs. Throughout the week there are special kids rides and games.

The age limit for going on trail rides is 7 years old. We have pony rides and babysitting for the smaller cowpokes. Throughout the week our kids counselor supervises activities such as painting a horse, nature walks, kids only dinners and more. There is a great game room with crafts, pool table, darts and games.

Minimum age children can ride

7 and over

Arts & Crafts

play-doh, coloring, sketching, arts & crafts, horse painting, outdoor games, fun

Activities

hiking, biking, picnics, outdoor play area, petting zoo, whitewater rafting, floating, supervised swimming

Games

scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, horseshoes, soccer, volleyball, badminton, pool table, darts, games

Baby Sitting

From age 0 to 2. Hourly cost $55.

Baby Sitting Provided By

Kids Counselor

Ranch History

Bill and Barbara Wetzel, nearby Whitefish residents, saw the Bar W Guest Ranch listed for sale in early 2021. The Wetzel Family quickly decided that this was the next adventure they had been looking for. Bill and Barbara are very family focused so they created their new company, 16 Hands, LLC to represent their family (Bill & Barbara and six children) and purchased the Bar W. Bill and Barbara have an extensive background of working hard, growing a very successful business, and connecting family and friends.

16 Hands, LLC closed on the ranch in March 2021 and hit the ground running! There’s new construction, more horses, big plans for the future, continuing developing what the Leishman’s started, and the desire to build a strong team are at the forefront of the future of the Bar W Guest Ranch.

Bill, Barbara and the Wetzel family are honored to carry on the Bar W torch, and everything that Dave and Janet have created at the ranch. “Their commitment to family, enhancing the offerings for the ranch, and the devotion to the Bar W team are a winning combination for the ranch, its guests, and the community of Whitefish,” said the Leishman family. The Wetzel’s would like to welcome everyone to the family. We’ll take good care of you!

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    buffet style, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

    BYOB
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, dining room (casual attire)

Wait until you sit down to breakfast or dinner and taste some of the best down-home cooking this side of the Mississippi - Montana style! Meals are prepared buffet style with love and care and are always served in hearty portions - no one leaves hungry. Have a food allergy? Just let our cooks know and we'll accommodate your request.

Meals are served buffet style by our own cooks. All meals are served in the Horseshoe Dining Center!

Lowdown

  • Address

    2875 Highway 93 West
    Whitefish
    Montana
    59937
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    3200 ft
  • Private Land

    250-1000 acres
  • Public Land

    more than 50k acres

Nearest Town - Whitefish

Whitefish has a population of 8,500 (approx), and is situated 5 miles / 15 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Whitefish include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station.

For shopping Whitefish offers: small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops.

Ranch shuttle

$55 each way

Nearest Airports

Glacier Park International Airport, Kalispell

Distance

16 miles / 30 mins

Airlines

Delta, United, Allegiant, Alaska, American Airlines, Sun Country Airlines

Ranch shuttle

$55 Shuttle fee each way

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Pace of Ride, Everyone rides together, Rides tailored to guest requests, Rides dictated by ranch work, Families ride together
  • Max riders per ride

    10
  • Wranglers per ride

    2
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot
  • Guest Horses

    80
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Appaloosas, Draft, Draft Cross, Paints
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 3 hours

The Setting

Private Land (250-1000 acres)

The ranch is made up of 140 acres of private land; however the majority of riding is on 3,000 acres of state land that joins the ranch.

Public Land (more than 50k acres)

We ride and explore an additional hundreds of thousands acres across beautiful Montana.


Our Riding

Scheduled rides

Trail rides and arena riding activities are scheduled throughout the week in coordination with the many other activities the ranch offers both on site and off the property.

Guided rides

All rides are guided by wranglers. Groups are ideally kept to 4 - 5 guests per 1 wrangler; however, maximum group size is 8 - 10 guests in which 2 - 3 wranglers will ride out.

Riding Freedom

Riding *PACE* depends on each individual rider and their ability. The pace is determined by the least experienced within the group. Most rides will be walking or walking and trotting.

Weight limit for riding

Up to 225 lbs

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight

Hours in the saddle

Morning and afternoon rides are offered as well as all day rides. Morning Rides can range from 1 - 2.5 hours, and Afternoon Rides can range from 1 - 4 hours.


Why our riding stands out

  • Diverse horseback riding program with a focus on safety for both the rider and horse!
  • Lush mountain forests surrounding the ranch provides great scenery for our trail rides; with access to many other beautiful, breathtaking locations in Montana!
  • Bar W offers a wide variety of horses that will suit the different levels of each rider!

Riding Lessons

Group lessons are available from beginner to advanced. Group lessons taught by experienced and knowledgeable wranglers are offered multiple times throughout the week in one of two outdoor arenas.

Details

lessons come with package

Given by

wrangler

Location

on the trail

Cattle work - pasture gathers

During the spring and fall, Bar W offers Cattle Drive Week packages and we also offer our Adult Only Week packages that include cattle work. Please contact us for more information!

Frequency

Yearly

No. of cow/calf pairs

300

Interaction

Guests participate

Branding work

Please watch our events for further details on our brandings during cattle drive week.

When

May, Sep

Frequency

Yearly

No. of Branding

50

Interaction

Guests participate

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    $450 - $850
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    $250 - $416
  • Minimum Stay

    6 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Sun
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Sat
  • Style of accommodation

    Ranch rustic, Glamping
  • Packages available

    6 night
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Bar W Guest Ranch can cater for up to 60 guests. Accommodation includes Lodges, Cabins and Luxury Tents. See below for details and indicative rates.

Lodge | Main Lodge l Overview

Rates (Per Person)*

$450 - $720
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Minimum Stay

No minimum

Description

The main lodge is 6,200 square feet of classic elegance and traditional western informality. It will be your relaxing retreat during your horse riding holiday. With 6 bedrooms, three common spaces, and a game parlor, the lodge is sure to please. There is no shortage of great views from the decks that overlook the back horse pasture, the arena, and even the wildlife rich wetlands surrounding Spencer Lake.

Rooms

6

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

hair dryer

Cabin | Log Cabins | Overview

Rates (Per Person)*

$555 - $850
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Minimum Stay

6 nights

Description

Our autheic log cabins blend elegance with western informality to create a warm, comfortable atmosphere – perfect after a long day in the saddle. The Bar W cabin suites are the ideal setting to enjoy your intimate dude ranch vacation.

Bar W offers four different stunning log cabins. Each cabin can accomodate different group sizes and allows for joining rooms if necessary.

Rooms

15

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area

Luxury Tent | Glamping Tents | Overview

Rates (Per Person)*

$505 - $671
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Minimum Stay

6 nights

Description

Bar W offers 4 different Glamping Tent. Each tent has it's own private bathroom and shower. When you’re Glamping, or “Glamorous Camping,” you get the best of both worlds – feeling a part of nature while staying in comfortable, well-appointed accommodations. Nestled by our pasture full of wildflowers, guests can watch our horses graze in the meadow from the front porch. 

Rooms

4

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, seating area


Booking Policy

Bar W Packages – 6 night stays

The Bar W Packages include accommodations, meals, horse program, and majority of ranch activities.

Payment Policy

Deposit: 50% of total (Package & Lodging Tax) is required at time of booking.

Balance is due 90 days prior to arrival.

If you are booking within the 90 days; balance is due at time of booking.

Cancellation Policy

90 days or more prior to arrival date: Deposit is refunded minus 10% of the package rate (not deposit) as a cancellation fee.

Between 45-89 days prior to arrival: No money is refunded. There is a 20% cancellation fee of the package rate (not the deposit), but the balance of the deposit can be applied to a future stay.

Less than 45 days: 100% non-refundable.

We strongly encourage travel insurance.

No-shows will be charged the full amount. Parties arriving with fewer guests than reserved for will be charged the full amount. There is no adjustment to the final bill for early departure, unforeseen departure, or changes in itinerary.

Travel Insurance – for a nominal fee, we recommend trip or vacation insurance for “last minute” unforeseen situations where you need to cancel your trip. Call Travel Guard at 877-249-5376 and reference product number 109400, along with the “Dude Rancher’s Association”. View website for more information.

Unaccompanied Minors – Physical activity is always subject to the potential for medical care being necessary. The Bar W Guest Ranch requires that minors who are accompanied by adults who are not their parents or legal guardians be covered and able to show proof of health care power of attorney valid in the State of Montana in favor of the accompanying adult(s). In addition, the registration process will require certification as follows: “I certify I am either the legal guardian of or the authorized agent under a healthcare power of attorney valid in Montana for every minor in my party.”

Method of Payment

The Bar W accepts American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards.

Miscellaneous

There is a local Whitefish lodging assessment of 1% on the lodging portion of your stay.

Montana has an 8% tax, applicable to the lodging portion of your stay.

There is an airport shuttle fee of $55 each way ($110 round trip) per each group of 4 being picked up at the airport at the same time. If there are 5-8 people in your group, another $55 charge will be applied. If there are 9-12 people in your group, a third $55 charge will be applied, etc.

Bar W’s facilities are non-smoking. Smoking in the rooms, or on the balconies, will incur a room recovery fee of $300.

No pets allowed.

We do not pay travel agent commissions.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, Riding Package Selected by Guest

Lowdown

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy hats, Cowboy boots, Riding helmets, Saddle bags
  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi.
  • Cell Networks

    AT&T, verizon.

Onsite

Outdoor Activities

mountain biking, sporting clays, campouts, wagon rides, bird watching, Shooting - trap / clays, line dancing, hiking, archery, horseshoes, volley ball, lake activities

Water based Activities

hot tub, lake water sports


Fishing & Wildlife

Fish in Spencer lake for large pike, perch or bass - perhaps a trout still lingers in this once rated trophy trout lake.

Fishing on offer

spin, fly, stocked pond, lake, equipment available

Wildlife

Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Elk, Turkey, Bald Eagles


Local Attractions

Whitefish

Great shopping, dining, theater, and nightlife just 3.5 miles down the road. There is always something going on in the Majestic Valley arena like rodeos, concerts, cowboy shows, etc.

Distance

3.5 miles / 15 mins


Glacier National Park

The “Crown Jewel of the Continent” is well worth the 23 mile trip to see and drive on the “going to the sun” road.

Distance

23 miles / 30 mins


Whitefish Mountain Ski and Summer Resort

Just 7 miles away, has plenty to offer throughout the summer with festivals, gondola rides, walk in the tree tops and much much more

Distance

7 miles / 15 mins

Highs

  • In a beautiful setting and with staff who pay close attention to detail, this is an ideal location for your honeymoon or wedding
  • A relaxed atmosphere with opportunity to stay busy, with trail rides and arena activities such as roping cattle, trying barrels and sorting cattle. Or, enjoy a trip into Kalispel
  • If you're traveling as an individual, you will quickly feel a part of the family – the staff care of and love the ranch and what they do, are fun and hospitable
  • A ranch tucked away against the mountains, yet minutes from a resort town. Several activities take place off-ranch within the town of Kalispell

Lows

  • Most rides are at a walk, however, it's perfect if you want quiet, scenic riding. They also offer cattle drives during the year
  • The kitchen is set near the lodge rooms, so at times you can hear the chefs within the kitchen. Previous guests rave about the food

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

Best week ever

The staff and owners were second to none !! Everyone should experience this opportunity!!!! The wranglers were very experienced and knowledgeable about teaching the ways of riding!! The cooks and housekeepers were a breath of fresh air. With the food being amazing and not expected at a dude ranch, ate too much!!

5 stars

You can find more reviews for Bar W Guest Ranch on TripAdvisor