Lynn Donaldson

Correspondent

  • Livingston, Montana, USA

Lynn Donaldson is a correspondent based in Livingston, Montana, who covers the region for Forbes Travel Guide. The freelance photojournalist specializes in travel and food and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, Sunset and Via. A fourth-generation Montana farm girl raised on the land her great-grandparents homesteaded, she scours the Big Sky for interesting food and lodging and occasionally reports about it on her blog, The Last Best Plates. She has photographed two cookbooks, Open Range by Jay Bentley and Patrick Dillon and Gatherings: Friends and Recipes from the Mustang Kitchen by Carole Sullivan.

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  • On December 9, 2013
    Lynn Donaldson answered the question: Lynn Donaldson

    What restaurants does The Ranch at Rock Creek have?

    The log walls, stone fireplace and gingham curtains in the dining room at The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Granite Lodge offer a relaxed yet elegant environment for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Choose to have a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and Montana organic steel-cut oats topped with raisins, maple pecans and bananas before spending a day on the river. Lunch here might be a Mannix Ranch steak salad or Miller Farms pork chop sandwich, or a boxed lunch out on the river. A six-page wine list — with everything from a simple glass of Alois Lageder pinot grigio to an extravagant bottle of Domaine des Comtes Lafon Montrachet Grand Cru 200 for $2,400 — accompanies the dinner menu, which lists entrées like roasted Montana elk with glazed farro, roasted fennel and Swiss chard mustard.

    The Blue Canteen, a wood and canvas structure near the barn and “glamping” structures, provides a morning coffee bar and baked goods (like morning glory muffins). Named for its turquoise wood-burning stove and the blue enamelware coffeepots and plates that populate its tables and shelves, it’s a good spot for afternoon snacks and board games. Seating up to 30, the ranch’s Bison Burger Barbeque is held here weekly in the summer. Lunch and dinner are also available with a full selection of Montana draft beers.

    Executive chef Josh Drage has been at the luxury ranch since it opened in 2009, so he’s really gotten to dig in and put his stamp on the seasonal menus. Not only has Drage drawn inspiration from cattle-producing regions around the globe, he has spent an inordinate amount of time sourcing and incorporating meat, dairy products and produce from Montana framers and ranchers. From the organic Montana-grown steel-cut breakfast oats to the Amaltheia Organic Dairy goat cheese crumbled atop a side salad, he makes a concerted effort to highlight local ingredients throughout the Philipsburg resort.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Lynn Donaldson answered the question: Lynn Donaldson

    What’s the best time to visit The Ranch at Rock Creek?

    The Ranch at Rock Creek is a great spot to visit in all seasons. In the winter, the Southwestern Montana ranch offers snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and ice skating. Twenty miles of its hiking trails turn into groomed cross-country ski trails, and Discovery Ski Area is just 25 minutes away (bonus: the resort offers a ski concierge to help prep your trip to Discovery).

    In the spring and early summer, wildflowers pop and the sharp contrast of green grass and snowy-white mountain peaks against bright blue sky is breathtaking. Then in late summer and fall, the landscape transforms from yellow-green to gold and orange. Chef Josh Drage’s herb garden goes crazy, and he’s out there with his basket clipping up a storm. You can fly fish, trail ride, mountain bike, shoot sporting clays and even do mountaintop yoga with a private instructor in the spring, summer and fall, so if these activities are appealing, avoid winter. Better yet, plan a separate holiday getaway to the luxury resort.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Lynn Donaldson answered the question: Lynn Donaldson

    Where is The Ranch at Rock Creek located?

    The Ranch at Rock Creek sits about 20 miles southwest of the historic and picturesque town of Philipsburg (population 930) — a former silver mining boomtown located between Drummond and Anaconda on Montana’s Pintler Veterans Memorial Scenic Highway — a.k.a “The Pintler Scenic Loop.” Bordering Deer Lodge National Forest, the ranch encompasses 10 square miles of expansive meadows and pine-covered ridges with jaw-dropping panoramas of the nearby Sapphire, Flint Creek and Pintler mountains. Home to elk, deer, wolves, moose, beavers, coyotes, bald eagles and westslope cutthroat trout, the luxury resort features four miles of river frontage along Rock Creek as well as sparkling alpine lakes.
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