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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Green Travel: Green Resorts: The Resort at Paws Up

by Susan Melgren, Web Editor

Tags: green travel, green resorts, green hotels,

Although many destinations around the world offer green hotels and resorts, the eco-conscious traveler always stays close to home to keep her carbon footprint smaller. Luckily for me, living in the middle of the country means I have a springboard for just about any destination in the U.S. Los Angeles is only a few hours further drive from me than New York City—although with the holidays coming (and stress mounting), I’d much prefer a trip to a countryside resort than a big city.

As I said in my blog about green ski resorts, I’ve been pining for the mountains lately. Cool mornings, quiet evenings and breathtaking views of rocky slopes—with maybe a touch of wildlife watching—are just what I need to balance out my life on the Plains. Because I want to enjoy the beauty of nature, it makes sense to stay at a place that works to preserve the environment.

Paws Up river
Enjoy a pristine slice of Montana countryside at The Resort at Paws Up. Photo Courtesy The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up is about half an hour’s drive from Missoula, Montana, on the western edge of the state. The resort offers a variety of outdoors activity all year, from fly fishing and mountain biking the summer to dog sledding and snowshoeing in the winter. Located in the largely undeveloped Blackfoot Valley of the Northern Rocky Mountains, the Resort at Paws Up offers visitors an unspoiled taste of Montana’s countryside.

This resort offers the basic amenities commonly found at green hotels—eco-friendly cleaning products, energy-efficient lights, linen reuse—but Paws Up’s commitment to the environment goes much deeper than that.

Paws Up field
The Resort at Paws Up strives to protect its natural surroundings. Photo Courtesy The Resort at Paws Up

Carbon Neutral: To offset the carbon it produces, the resort invests in Montana forestry and rangeland projects. In addition, guests can purchase credits through the same projects to offset the carbon emissions from their travel to the ranch.

Sustainable Food: A vegetable and herb garden on-site provide the resort’s restaurants with fresh produce and eggs. The resort’s culinary team also uses locally sourced organic produce (when needed) and meat.

Conservancy: In an effort to preserve the meadows and vistas surrounding Paws Up, the owners are planning a major conservation easement over most of the resort in addition to a foundation to conserve and enhance the land’s wildlife habits and watershed.

Xeriscape Landscaping: The Resort at Paws Up takes a natural approach to landscaping. It not only conserves water and energy but also ensures that the resort blends in with its natural surroundings.

Basics: To top it all off, the Resort at Paws Up offers all the basic amenities you want from a green hotel:

• Recycling program

• Organic in-room bath products

• Energy-efficient lighting

• Energy Star appliances

• Sustainable products in the gift shop

Paws Up tent
Camping in a tent city by the river is just one way to vacation at The Resort at Paws Up. Photo Courtesy The Resort at Paws Up

You can enjoy Paws Up in a number of ways. Rent your own private Wilderness Estate for the weekend, camp in comfort by the river with other visitors, or enjoy communal lodging at the Bunkhouse.