A Gem Revealed 13

Step inside RiverView Ranch, a new Montana getaway

Oro y Plata, meaning gold and silver, respectively, in Spanish, was chosen by Montana legislators back in 1865, based on the mineral wealth our state was producing. Mineral County, just 20 miles west of the Missoula airport, is home to RiverView Ranch, an exquisite new jewel in the land of luxury ranches.

I was buried deep in recreational treasures as rich in value as gold and silver just waiting to be mined as I spent the afternoon with hosts Kayla and Michael, executive assistants to owners Shannon and Mark Hemstreet.

For more than three decades, this 1,400-acre working cattle ranch was part of the vacation lifestyle for the Hemstreet family, as they met together to enjoy ranch life along the historic Clark Fork River, near Alberton. As I strolled, drove, and rode horseback through the park-like setting, I experienced the true taste of luxury amid pine trees, tall grasses, and granite rock outcroppings silhouetted against the brilliant blue Montana sky.

Now open for reservation as a full-feature event venue, RiverView Ranch rivals what one would expect to find at any five-star resort, plus many amenities that only this ranch location can offer, such as the wet and wild rafting trip down the mighty Alberton Gorge.

As we traveled the ranch’s wooded paths in the comfort of a side-by-side, I listened to the enthusiasm of Kayla and Michael as they shared stories from their experiences during their five years spent with the Hemstreet family. Their stories stirred in me what I imagine the miners of old stirred in the hearts of fresh miners as they spun their tales of the Montana Territory. A certain curiosity and fascination that bend your ear made me eager to get started with my own RiverView experience and to let this area of Montana further its mark in my mind.

We met Wrangler Mark at The Barn—a beautiful event location, perfect for a western wedding or corporate dinner—to mount up, walking past each personalized stable, past the well-stocked tack room, and past the collection of horse-drawn sleigh, buggy, and carriage. This wasn’t just a trail ride, with each horse plodding along in the steps of the previous, but a horseback ride through the meadows, along the lakes, and into the woodlands where we stopped to watch the large elk herd graze with their young.

The turtles lazily sunned themselves on the logs at the edges of the many ponds as osprey, eagles, and red-tailed hawks frequently came into view in the sky above. This stunning property, so rich in all the best that nature offers its visitors, borders National Forest, adding thousands of organic acres accessible to ranch guests for activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and hunting.

As hungry as working miners along the banks of a mountain stream, I later retreated to the Lodge at RiverView, which offers its own organic beef on visitors’ private menu selections. Or perhaps a fresh-caught rainbow trout caught from one of the lakes or the river? A craft beer from one of Missoula’s many breweries to accompany my meal? Yes, please.

The floor-to-ceiling windows in the Lodge’s great room overlook the lake, the river beyond, and the mountains farther flung—the perfect setting to unwind, reflect, and renew. Each of the guest rooms in the main lodge reflect the owners’ taste for quality accommodations.

As we sat with our boots on the rail in our private balcony, the gas firepit warmed our bodies in the cool of the evening and the champagne warmed our throats as we studied the pristine ranch setting, a landscape so rich in natural resources that the word luxury seemed to come with the territory.

SIDEBAR: 

Saddle or paddle, hike or bike—RiverView Ranch awaits! Book your reservation by calling 949.339.8002 or email info@riverviewranch.com.

RiverView Ranch, Retreat & Western Adventure
28800 Southside Road
Alberton, MT 59820