Golf Course

Escalante Golf Adds 550-Acre Wilderness Club In Montana To Property Portfolio

Wilderness Club in Montana

Escalante Golf, one of the nation’s premier owners and operators of golf courses and private clubs, added the 550-acre Wilderness Club in Montana to its property portfolio, marking the company’s first property in Montana and 23rd in the U.S.

Established as a joint venture partnership with the Wilderness Club’s owner and developer, Brian Ehlert, Escalante will oversee more than $15 million worth of expansion and improvements, while managing golf operations, hospitality, food & beverage, and real estate development and sales. Escalante’s plans also involve transitioning Wilderness Club from its current semi-private club model back to a fully private club, in honor of its founder’s original vision.

Currently, Wilderness Club is a semi-private club located eight miles from the Canadian border in Northern Montana, halfway between Glacier National Park and the Kootenai National Forest, and surrounded by lakes, mountains, and protected forests. The property features an 18-hole, 7,207-yard, par-72 golf course designed by Sir Nick Faldo that routs through natural streams, lakes, and 200-foot-tall ponderosa pine trees. It consistently ranks as Golfweek’s No. 1 public course in Montana, and ranked No. 44 on Golf Digest’s 2023-2024 list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.

In addition, the Wilderness Club is home to the award-winning Wilderness Grille; the 21-acre Wilderness Lake for fishing, canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming; multiple short-term lodging options including fully-equipped luxury cottages, suites, and larger-group cabins; a Water Park with two salt water pools, a 250-foot waterslide, splash pad, and hot tub; a Sports Park with an 18-hole championship disc golf course, soccer/lawn sports field, beach volleyball, and basketball and pickleball courts; a workout facility; and a golf clubhouse with pro shop.

Related: Escalante Golf, Inc. Acquires Iconic Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia

The Wilderness Club also boasts an expansive luxury residential community, housing both small-to-midsize luxury cottages and custom-built estate homes ranging from 1,000-6,000 square feet. 100 homes have already been built & occupied, with nearly 40 lots remaining within the phase 1 development.

Originally opened in 2006, the Wilderness Club is primed for major expansion and property upgrades, which will be overseen and executed by Escalante Golf. Planned improvements or additions include:

  • The conversion from a semi-private to fully private club model, honoring its founder’s original vision for Wilderness Club to be Montana’s premier private club and mountain resort (transition to be complete on January 1, 2026).
  • The development of multiple new residential phases, which will be home to 300+ new custom-built homes offering unparalleled mountain and lake views. Homesites will range from $800K-$4M, and the project scope includes the addition of new roads, landscaping, utilities, and services.
  • The installation of a $1.5M geomembrane lake liner throughout Wilderness Lake, which will prevent water loss through ground absorption, keep water levels consistent, and improve quality and clarity of water from loose silt & dirt contaminations (completion slated for Q4 2024).
  • Complete overhaul of golf course bunkers, elevating both the aesthetic appeal and the strategic challenge of the holes, as well as affirming long-lasting durability and low maintenance costs for many years to come (completion slated for 2025).
  • The development of a new state-of-the-art clubhouse, which will serve as the club centerpiece and a hub for member engagement. Included will be a full-service bar & restaurant with indoor & outdoor dining, a grab-and-go market, men’s & women’s locker rooms with lounges, private event & meetings spaces, and more (completion slated for 2025).
  • Conversion of the existing clubhouse into a new Lifestyle/Wellness Center, complete with a full-service spa, massage and treatment rooms, fitness studio, yoga facilities, and more (completion slated for 2026).

“What Brian built is a stunning, one-of-a-kind high-country retreat with unlimited potential,” said David McDonald, President at Escalante Golf. “We’re thrilled to come alongside him in bringing his vision for the property to life. Working closely with Brian and his team, we will safeguard Wilderness Club’s rich legacy and environmental stewardship, improve the member experience, streamline overall operations, and implement thoughtful, sustainable, and best-in-class upgrades for the enjoyment of generations to come.”

“Escalante Golf’s substantial buying power and proven operational excellence are paramount to the advancement of the Wilderness Club,” said Brian Ehlert, owner of the Wilderness Club. “We share a unified vision to propel the Wilderness Club to new heights, solidify its status as Montana’s foremost luxury golf experience, and ensure its long-term success and growth as we embark on this ambitious and exciting new chapter.”

Wilderness Club is located at 1885 Sophie Lake Road in Eureka, Montana, just five miles southwest of Eureka Regional Airport and 69 miles northwest of Glacier Park International Airport (FCA). For more information, visit or


Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Escalante Golf is one of the nation’s premier owners and operators of luxury U.S. golf courses and private clubs. Its property portfolio encompasses 23 golf courses and clubs throughout 14 states, including The International in Massachusetts, the Golf Club of Houston, Sonoma Golf Club in California, Kingsley Club in Michigan, Kingsmill Resort in Virginia, Pursell Farms in Alabama, The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Arizona, and more. Escalante’s expertise produces an unrivaled degree of excellence, seen in each daily-fee, semi-private, and private asset it owns. The company’s boutique approach to property ownership and management eschews the notion of “flipping” real estate for immediate return. Rather, Escalante stays grounded in careful stewardship and long-term maintenance of its assets, seeking sustained excellence for generations to come. For more information, visit


Situated throughout 550 acres of rugged Montana wilderness, the Wilderness Club is a semi-private club located eight miles from the Canadian border in Northern Montana, halfway between Glacier National Park and the Kootenai National Forest, and surrounded by lakes, mountains, and protected forests. Purpose-built for families, this mountain retreat is home to the acclaimed Sir Nick Faldo-designed 18-hole golf course, a 21-acre lake for fishing and recreation, a water park, sports park, luxury cabins & cottages, custom-built estate homes, and over 100 lots ready for future homeowners. For more information, visit or

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