Yes, it’s called Heaven on Earth for a reason and it is an appropriate name for our next golf location.
We drove about 55 miles south of Great Falls, first to the little town of Ulm, then south on mostly gravel roads (Upper Millegan Road). The road is in need of a good blading but we had plenty of time so we took it easy and enjoyed the scenery as we traveled along.
Heaven On Earth owner Gary Anderson met us at the turnoff from Upper Millegan Road. One of my golf buddies hopped in with Gary only to find out that he became the “gate guy”. There are three gates to go through, used to control grazing activity in various pastures on this working ranch.
If we thought Millegan Road was bumpy, well, there was no sleeping on the last five miles or so as we dropped down in to the Smith River Canyon. It took awhile before we actually saw the Smith but then we saw the straight-up-and-down rugged cliffs, then the river. WOW, what a view. All the bumps were quickly forgotten as we gazed at the jaw-dropping scenery.
Heaven on Earth has the distinction of being the “hardest to get to” golf course on our week-long trek. I’d also say it was the most unique setting of all of the courses we saw. Actually, it is the most unique of all of the courses I have ever seen!
As we approached the ranch we drove through the golf course. But, I’ll talk golfing at Heaven on Earth in another blog.
This blog story will be just about the working ranch that also caters to fishermen, river floaters, hunters, wildlife watchers and of course, golfers.
We were taken to our cabins, unpacked our luggage and then headed down to the main lodge. I took this photo of one of the beds in my cabin. The bed frame was hand crafted from timbers grown on the ranch.
The first thing I noticed as I walked down the hillside to the main lodge was some unusual greens keepers – about a half dozen deer grazed on the golf course and surrounding area. They didn’t seem timid, actually they were curious about me and my camera!
We also saw deer and antelope on the way to the ranch and I suspect this area has a fair amount of elk.
General rifle hunting season won’t open until late October but archery season for big game has just opened. So, I hope this curious little critter here watches his step.
I looked around for my fellow travelers and couldn’t find them. I poked my head in the kitchen and dinner smelled wonderful. The cook told me to check in the lower level of the lodge.
I wandered out on the wrap-around deck, then took the stairs to the lower level. There was another deck and a full bar and that’s where I found everybody!
When I left my cabin I debated about bringing my camera and now I was definitely thankful I had. I took photos of just about everything including the western-style bar stools.
Now that we were at our destination everyone was beginning to relax and enjoy the ambience. We already felt welcome at Heaven on Earth Ranch.
More to come about this unique destination in central Montana!