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Wild, Wonderful Wilderness

| January 1, 2015

Family sledding at Spanish Peaks Mountain Club

Family sledding at Spanish Peaks Mountain Club

Big Sky, Montana: Pure and simple. Natural and unspoiled. The quintessential American wilderness. Roughly four million acres of National Forest, designated wilderness and national parks define Big Sky and in the midst of this gem of unblemished wild country sits Spanish Peaks Mountain Club. The Club is a 5,700-acre private enclave in a very privileged neighborhood; however, make no mistake, every visitor to this amazing resort will receive a genuine Montana experience, unpretentious and authentic, even down to the architecture and amenities.

Spanish Peaks Mountain Club is a unique place due to its popularity with families and its genuine approach to resort vacations and mountain living. To direct the new long-term vision, Lone Mountain Land Company was established, headed up by CEO Mark Thorne, to oversee development. The company will design and build a variety of products including condominiums, town homes, and private residences, offering public and private real estate and membership opportunities. Thorne states, “We are thoughtfully creating a ‘best in class’ mountain community in a remarkably beautiful Rocky Mountain setting. The region, the community and the Club combine to provide families with an iconic gathering place to form lifetime memories.”

Geographically, it is sheer isolation — with easy access. To the west stretches the vast Lee-Metcalf Wilderness. To the south awaits the awe-inspiring grandeur of Yellowstone National Park, to the north the Gallatin National Forest and the Spanish Peaks Mountain Range, and right next door, one lift away, the largest ski terrain in the U.S. — Big Sky Resort. Yet, less than an hour from the Bozeman airport, the Spanish Peaks Mountain Club is easy to reach. Guests and homeowners agree: this place is impossible to forget for several reasons.

One of the best is the skiing. Not only do these slopes rival anything you’ve ever experienced at your favorite ski resort, many believe it is better. For one thing, Big Sky skiing is less crowded. A ski pass here gets you more skiable acreage with a lighter population of skiers than anywhere in the United States. To put things in perspective, on a big day, Vail may have 25,000 skiers vying for space on the slopes; Big Sky (on its biggest day) will have perhaps 5,000 skiers on more skiable acreage.

Additionally, the slopes are phenomenal, and there are runs for every level of ability. Unlike many popular resorts, here you’ll find tons of beginner and intermediate slopes — boulevards and long runs that are wide open and packed with great powder. Advanced skiers won’t be disappointed either. Plenty of challenging black slopes with twists and turns and powdery deep chutes.

If you love golf as much as skiing, don’t worry. You won’t have to split your passions. Spanish Peaks Mountain Club offers you opportunities to nurture both. Course designer Tom Weiskopf declares the course at Spanish Peaks “golf in a true alpine environment.” By design and by virtue of the gently rolling alpine meadows, the course has become one of the best in the Rocky Mountains. Travel and Leisure Golf ranked the course No. 7 in its 2009 January/ February issue; Golf Digest ranked the course No. 1 in Montana as voted by the magazine’s course panelists; Golf Digest ranked Spanish Peaks Mountain Club No. 2 in the country for best new private golf courses for 2009, Links magazine Best for Winter Sports 2014, and Golf Weeks Best Residential Top 100 in 2014.

The consensus speaks volumes, and when you play the course, you’ll understand the buzz. Fairways transition beautifully to flowering alpine meadows. Most holes are free of home sites, providing pristine, 40-mile views. Once you take your eyes off the view and concentrate on the game, you’ll find a par-72, 7,200-yard course that is both challenging and infinitely enjoyable for players of all abilities.

In addition to offering one of Montana’s very best skiing/golf/sporting club experiences, Big Sky’s Spanish Peaks community is close to Yellowstone National Park.

Whether visiting in summer or winter, no trip to Big Sky would be complete without a visit to Yellowstone National Park. Located just an hour from Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, Yellowstone is the world’s first national park and home to over 10,000 thermal features, including brilliantly colored hot pots, in addition to its most notable thermal feature, Old Faithful Geyser.

Over 400 species of animals including elk, moose, grizzly bear, bison, wolves and coyotes roam within the park’s borders. The terrain is both vast and varied, ensuring that no two areas in the park (or no two trips), are exactly the same.

In the winter, experience Yellowstone National Park’s breathtaking beauty by guided snowmobile or snow coach tour, or get off the beaten track and make a few tracks of your own on cross country skis or snowshoes. In the summer, take a drive around the Grand Loop Road and enjoy the many attractions the park has to offer along the way. For those feeling more adventurous, take a day or two and explore some of the thousands of miles of hiking trails that meander through the park’s wilderness.

The buildings are meant to be indigenous and grounded, as if they sprung up organically, and the central gathering place of the community is the 32,000- square-foot clubhouse. The ultimate in mountain retreat convenience, booking a suite in the clubhouse lets you play all day to your heart’s content, with the knowledge that when you are done, you are only steps away from a snug and peaceful night’s sleep. Both grand and grounded, the clubhouse sets the tone of the Spanish Peaks lifestyle.

You can simply sink into one of the sumptuous leather chairs overlooking the Spanish Peaks mountain range after a thrilling day outdoors. Or you may choose to stop by for some “19th hole” story swapping in the handsome lounge. Need some gear? Visit the sports shop for the latest equipment and apparel. It’s all right here, your own private sanctuary just a few steps from the high-speed quad and the 18th green.

If you desire more private lodging opportunities, there are homes on the property and each is privately owned, with many available for rental. Currently, a number of cabins are scattered throughout the private valley, ranging in size from three to six bedrooms. Additionally, there are custom homes available for sale or rental — for large family gatherings. Each single-family residence is convenient to the clubhouse and ski lifts, and each is beautifully and lavishly appointed.

Of course, if you are staying in a home, you may choose to dine in; however, should you decide to take the family out for dinner, you have equally inviting options. The Clubhouse offers casual fare in the Pub or mouth-watering alpine cuisine in the main dining room.

Montana fly-fishing is legendary. Anglers from all over the globe travel to Montana to fish the Blue Ribbon trout waters and pristine alpine lakes. Spanish Peaks Mountain Club utilizes premier outfitters whose guides have been fishing area waters for ten or more years. Spanish Peaks offers trips on and off property, from “Fish Camp” to the Gallatin River, one of the finest wade fishing rivers in the west, to the streams and lakes in Yellowstone National Park. Located in a beautiful, private setting along the Club’s tributary of the Gallatin River, Fish Camp is a unique summer adventure, complete with a comfort station, wall tent and fire pit, perfect for a barbeque after a morning of catching hungry Cutthroat and Rainbow trout.

Obviously Spanish Peaks Mountain Club offers a great family vacation experience — one that is truly unique. However, it is above all a private club and visitation is exclusive to members, or guests of members. If you are interested in learning more about the lifestyle opportunities of this wonderful wild wilderness retreat, contact the Club directly and obtain an invitation to visit.

Visit spanishpeaksmoutainclub.com, or for more information, call 406-999-0035.

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Wild, Wonderful Wilderness

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