The Bar W Guest Ranch - Whitefish MT - Ranch Values

Frequently Asked Questions

Dude and Guest Ranch Montana

We only provide 6-night stays

  • We only provide 6-night stays. We believe in connecting our guests throughout the week! If we had guests coming and going during that timeframe, it would interfere with that dynamic. The 6-night stay gives our guests a complete Bar W experience!


What is your payment policy?

  • We require a 50% deposit at the time of booking.  We do not “hold” rooms…your room is officially booked once we receive the deposit.  The balance will be required 90 days prior to your arrival.  If you are booking within the 90 days prior to arrival, complete balance is due at time of booking.


What method of payments do you accept?

  • American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards and checks.


What is your cancellation policy?

  • 90 days or more prior to arrival your deposit is refunded minus 10% of the “package” price, not the deposit price.
  • 45-89 days prior to arrival no money is refunded, but we will give you a credit for a future stay of the deposit minus 20% of the “package” price, not the deposit price.  We will hold this credit for booking for one year.
  • Less than 45 days cancellation and there is no refund or credit.  The entire balance is non-refundable.
  • We strongly encourage travel insurance.


What if I am bringing my grandchildren or my child’s friend?

  • If you are not the parent or guardian of the child, you will need to complete a Health Care Power of Attorney form.  Please talk to your Sales Rep and they will help you through this process.


What is the closest airport to the ranch?

  • We are just 25 minutes from the Kalispell/Glacier National Park International Airport (FCA). 
    • There are year-round direct flights from:
      • Seattle
      • Salt Lake City
      • Minneapolis/St. Paul
      • Las Vegas
      • Denver
      • Phoenix


  • There are seasonal direct flights from:
    • Portland
    • San Francisco
    • Oakland
    • Los Angeles
    • San Diego
    • Chicago
    • Atlanta
    • Dallas
    • Houston
    • New York – LGA & JFK
    • Charlotte


Do you offer shuttle services to/from the airport?

  • We do offer shuttles to/from the airport and hotels in downtown Whitefish.  There is an airport shuttle fee of $55 each way ($110 round trip) per each group being picked up at the same time.  If your group requires more than one van, then a second charge will apply.  These charges are applied after the end of your stay.


Do you offer transportation to downtown Whitefish?

  • We do offer scheduled trips downtown throughout the week.


Do you offer travel insurance?

  • We highly recommend travel insurance!!  The Dude Ranch Association has a link for AIG Travel Guard.  State Selector (
  • There are many other travel insurance companies as well.


Will the Bar W accommodate my dietary needs/restrictions?

  • Yes, we can accommodate the following dietary restrictions:
    • Diabetic
    • Gluten-Free
    • Vegetarian
    • Vegan
  • We do not accommodate specific diets such as KETO, Atkins, etc.


Is there cell phone and Wi-Fi services on the ranch?

  • We are in rural Montana, so cell service is spotty and you might need to walk around outside to find some service, but there is generally cell phone coverage on the ranch, but probably not in your room.
  • We do have Wi-Fi, but it too is limited.  You would have better coverage in the Lodge versus the cabins, but it is still hit and miss.  Certainly not enough for streaming, but enough for checking email.
  • The good news is you will be so busy outside enjoying the horses and the ranch activities that you will enjoy the break from world!


Where/how can we buy food/snacks?

  • We do provide provisioning service for $20 per list.  We will go to the grocery store and liquor store prior to your arrival and pick up the items on your list and place them in your room prior to arrival.  We will also provide a shuttle to the grocery store on Monday evening, if anyone would like to go shop for themselves.  And, of course, we do have drinks and snacks in our Trading Post store!


Can we purchase alcohol on-site?

  • The Bar W does not have a liquor license to sell alcohol, but we can serve it and will provide wine, beer, and whiskey at several of our events.
  • We also provide provisioning prior to your arrival for $20 per order…we will pick up whatever alcohol you might want from the store for you and put it in your room.
  • You may also bring alcohol yourself.


Is marijuana legal in Montana?

  • Yes, recreational marijuana is legal in Montana and there are many dispensaries in the area, but we do not allow it to be on the ranch.  If you purchase or partake in marijuana use, we ask that you do so off of the ranch and away from our staff.
  • We do not allow the use of any drugs legal or illegal on the ranch.


Can we drink on our rides?

  • We have saddle bags for water or soda.
  • We do not allow any alcohol consumption before or during our rides.  It is a safety concern.  Horses are large animals and we do not want any injuries from accidents.


How do we know what riding level we are at?

  • We will ask you to provide some information to us prior to your arrival to help us determine what type of horse we should start with.  On Monday morning, you will be required to participate in our Safety/Assessment class.  During this time the wranglers will watch you to see how comfortable you are on the horse and what skills you have.  They will place you in your category of beginner, beginner/intermediate, or intermediate.  We currently do not have advanced rides.


Are we required to tip?

  • No. We do not automatically charge a gratuity on your room, nor do we charge “ranch fees” at the end of your stay.  Gratuities are much appreciated though!  We have a great staff that works extremely hard to ensure that your experience is everything you expect and more.  We collect all of the tips and disperse them amongst all of the staff based on the number of hours they work in the week that you are here.  We do not allow individual staff members to keep the tips given to them – they must turn those in to be shared.


What should I pack for my trip?

  • You can check out the link to our “Packing for the Bar W”.  But, in general, pack for an outdoors vacation.


Do you provide swim towels?

  • Yes, we do have swim towels for the hot tub and the lake.  We ask that you do not use our good white bathroom towels for these functions.


Do you have laundry facilities?

  • We have guest laundry located in the Lodge.  We have two washers and two dryers for guest use and we provide detergent.


Packing for the Bar W

Please pack comfortable clothes! You will need long pants for riding, but in the summer, shorts are great for ranch activities. We suggest layers…it is typically cool in the evening and in the morning, but then can warm up quite quickly during the day.

We would also suggest some rain gear…especially in the spring and early summer. We ride rain or shine, except for lightning or dangerous weather.

You will need to wear closed toe boots when you ride. You can wear hiking boots, tennis shoes or cowboy boots, or whatever is comfortable for you.

If you would like to sit in our hot tub or swim in Spencer Lake, then a swimsuit would be required. We do provide swim towels.

We would suggest a hat…a ballcap or cowboy hat. We do sell both types of hats in our Trading Post store.

Sunscreen and lip balm (also sold in our store) would be recommended, along with moisturizer and maybe some pain reliever for muscles.

We provide hair dryers in every room and in each shower is body gel, shampoo, and conditioner.

Most guests take pictures with their phones, but a camera is always welcome.

Be sure to bring your chargers!!

We brand leather items at the end of each week. We do sell items in our gift shop that are brandable, but you are also welcome to bring your own items…wallets, belts, hats, boots, etc.

The Bar W Guest Ranch

2875 Highway 93 West
Whitefish MT 59937

Phone: (406) 863-9099

Receive the Latest Ranch News

*indicates required
The Bar W Guest Ranch - Whitefish Montana - Dude Vacation Ranch