If you are searching for fall vacation ideas, our Ranch at Rock Creek staff is a living, galloping guidebook of Montana experiences. They are our knowledgeable instructors, our wildlife scouts and our adventurers thanks to personal passion and professional pride.

With a dusting of snow on the highest peaks already, most fall vacation ideas are as inviting as a fleece jacket and a cowboy coffee.

Our Ranch staff took a few moments to share what they look forward to each fall on Rock Creek. Many of our hired hands took root in Montana after growing up elsewhere, and they understand that, although summer gets the main billing, fall in Montana offers a more robust and satisfying glimpse of the Big Sky. Enjoy their fall vacation ideas, and we hope you’ll one day visit The Ranch to put them into action.

Montana Fall Vacation Ideas

My favorite element of fall is the restlessness that comes with the seasonal change. Leaves are eager to fall, water fowl instinctively turn their tails toward the North wind, and the mountains are filled with the bugling of elk.

~ Jason Lewis, Rensselaer, IN

Fishing in the fall is streamer time; they try to eat bigger meals to pack on fat for the winter. The fish will become more aggressive and take bigger flies.

~ John Hughes, Ellensburg, WA

The cooler weather means I can wear my cowboy clothes all day, and I don’t get hot. But it’s not so cold yet that my toes freeze in the stirrups.

~ Joe Demers, Boulder, MT

I love the bounty of the season–apples, root vegetables, pumpkins. I get on the phone and start calling my family, telling them to come to Thanksgiving in Montana!  They can watch all the football they want, but they always appreciate the bonfires and bike rides. I grew up on the East Coast and have lived all over the country. My favorite Thanksgivings are in Montana.

~ Heather Rue, Hall, MT

One thing I have done since I moved to Montana is chase pre-spawn brown trout. These guys are looking for one last meal before the spawn. They get fall colors that are the best of the year.  Bright browns, yellows and some going almost orange. On the family side of things, my wife, Ashley, and I love going out and listening to bugling elk. Nothing beats sitting on a tailgate, toasting beers, watching the sun fall and having one of nature’s best calls of the wild all around you.

~ Brock Long, Rolla, MO

Morning frost means that snow is on its way, so ski season is right around the corner!

~ Lisa Forbes, Australia (And downhill skiing and snowboarding is fully included at The Ranch!)

My favorite thing about fall is gathering cattle from the high mountain pastures. The days are warm but not hot enough to get sweaty. I love the frost over the yellow foliage.

~ Claire Buchanan, Washington D.C.

Fall is the best time for mile-high hikes. I do my most challenging hikes when the weather is a little cooler and the trails are still dry. The steeper the trail, the better the view.”

~ Krista Johnson, Missoula, MT

You can enjoy these fall vacation ideas (and more) during the months of September, October and November when we offer our fall specials. Join us for a romantic fall getaway, a fly fishing adventure or a nature spa retreat. You can also celebrate the seasonal bounty during our Autumn Harvest Weekend featuring LeAnn Rimes.

The Huffington Post published an article in May stating Montana is the happiest state, according to a recent Gallup Poll. Their conclusion was that the most scenic states produce the happiest people. It’s hard to prove, but we are sure that there’s a reason Montana is called “the last best place.”