Those who love the beauty of nature now have one more reason to love Whitefish, Montana. Visitors to the resort town, which sits at the edge of Glacier National Park in the Northern Rocky Mountains, will soon have the opportunity to stay at a boutique guest ranch that will also serve as the breeding grounds for a growing family of majestic and award-winning Clydesdale horses.
Clydesdale Outpost is being developed by Benjamin and Matt Arnold-Ladensack on nearly 100 acres along the Stillwater River just ten minutes outside of the resort town of Whitefish. Whether your preference is dining, shopping, or wandering the wilds of Montana either on foot or skis, Whitefish offers the perfect basecamp for launching an adventure.
And after spending the day exploring Whitefish, Clydesdale Outpost is the perfect place to relax, recover, and reminisce. The private, two-bedroom luxury tiny cabins are vintage-inspired timber frame buildings that overlook the untouched fields where the Clydesdales roam.
Each of the six cabins includes a full kitchen and gas fireplace, as well as a patio with a fire pit and private cedar hot tub. While the Outpost does not officially open until summer 2022, cabins can already be booked through its website.
“We are really blending the classic guest ranch experiences with a more boutique resort setting,” Matt explains. “Guests love interacting with the Clydesdale horses, soaking in the cedar hot tubs, and really just disconnecting from everyday life.
While guests to the Outpost will love the luxury guest cabins and the breath-taking views of the fabled Montana countryside, the real attraction will be the barn where they can interact with the Clydesdales.
“Clydesdales are really like big puppies,” Matt explains. “They are super gentle and curious horses who want a lot of attention. Both the person and the horse get such a reward from being around each other.”
Benjamin began his journey with horses in Fernwald, Germany, where he grew up on a ranch with his father. In 2009, they began a program of importing Clydesdales from America to breed with their Shire horses, developing award-winning bloodlines.
After marrying in Germany in 2013, Arnold and Matt immigrated to the US with the dream of owning their own farm and continuing the work of breeding Clydesdales. In 2015 they brought some of the Clydesdales to their farm in Amboy, Washington. Now they are moving the ranch to Whitefish.
“Benjamin and I were drawn to the area because of its ultimate beauty,” explains Matt. “With Big Mountain, Glacier National Park, large open spaces, and, of course, the adorable downtown area, it was a dream come true every time we drove through town.”
When it comes to nature, Whitefish offers hiking and cycling on more than 700 miles of trails, with opportunities to view bears, moose, mountain goats, and Canadian lynx. For those who prefer floating to hiking, there is Whitefish City Beach on Whitefish Lake, where visitors can swim or kayak.
“We are still discovering amazing things like Bison herds in Kalispell,” says Matt. “Visitors should definitely not miss Whitefish Lake and going up to Big Mountain to get some wonderful views of the entire Flathead Valley. It’s great anytime of the year for either skiing or ziplining. We hope that Whitefish becomes a healing retreat for people with the unparalleled beauty and relaxing atmosphere you really can’t get anywhere else.”
And if a time of healing is what you are seeking, Isabelle, Rain, Marga, Joan, and the other Clydesdales can help with that as well.
“It’s ultimately healing being around an animal as large as a Clydesdale,” Matt explains. “They almost look into your soul and comfort you. We find that people walk away with a sense of calm and wonder after just petting or hugging our horses.”