Green + Eco-Travel

Green Retreats

by Matthew Link

Where: Southwest Montana

The pitch: Who says red states can't also be green? The 16-guest Lodge at Sun Ranch, 40 minutes north of Yellowstone, overlooks vast stands of pine and spruce, and feels untouched by the industrialized world.

Green factor: Dig into that steak without trepidation: Meat comes from local animals that were fed organic products, and Papoose owns a hatchery that reintroduces cutthroat trout into Montana rivers. Housekeeping uses organic cleaning materials, and cabins were built with materials from Old West fencing—the ultimate in recycling. Even the nightly happy hour is green: A naturalist chats with guests about wildlife management over wine.

Creature comforts: The four log cabins are tricked out with heated tile floors, stone fireplaces, and balconies. And no beans over the fire here: You'll be downing dishes like Montana-raised duck breast and apricot-huckleberry croustade, washed down with wine from the lodge's celebrated cellar. Want to rough it? Take an overnight campout—that is, in a canvas-walled tent with full beds and dressers, and a chef cooking up just-hooked trout.

Eco-activities: The Madison River is right outside the front gates, ideal for canoeing; fly-fishermen get busy on its blue ribbon waters. Or go horseback riding on the 25,000-acre Sun Ranch next door.

Green rule of thumb: "We work with the nonprofit Trees for Travel, a carbon exchange program where we plant ten trees for each guest," says the director of communications, Dave Sollitt. "Ask your lodge to enroll in the program."

The Lodge at Sun Ranch
Tel: 888 674 3030
Doubles from $335, including meals and some guided tours

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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