Top Ranches for Sale in Montana
The top ranches for sale in Montana conjure up different pictures in separate peoples minds. That is why we are back again with the Top Ranches for Sale in Montana Real Estate Report. 2017 was a great year for Venture West Ranches. We held numerous Estate Planning seminars, participated in the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s annual convention, and paired buyers with their dream properties all while making life-long friends and lasting memories.
Similar to last year’s report, we will be covering a wide array of ranches for sale in Montana. From Montana hunting ranches to guest ranches and everything in between, we have scoured our sources to find the best properties currently up for sale in Montana. We’ve spent hundreds of hours compiling this report, however this report is not exhaustive. We have listed the best ranches, in our opinion, for each category. If you would like to see a different property added to this Ranches for sale in Montana report, feel free to contact us. We hope you find a property that interests you.
Information for several of these properties has been taken from other broker websites as well as larger consolidated websites. Some listing information contained in this report has been provided by the websites of the listing agents. We have paraphrased this information and added local and area knowledge to provide the best information to you. All facts such as acreage, carrying capacity, ranch wildlife, etc. should be verified before making any property decisions. If you have questions or want additional clarification or further verification, contact us and we will get to the bottom of it.
Let’s get to it!
Best Hunting Ranches for Sale in Montana
Many of you may be wondering how we quantify a hunting ranch as being the best. Well, the best Montana hunting ranches are those that provide a wide array of hunting opportunities to owners and their guests. They also need to have high quality wildlife that resides on the property. The property must have excellent elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, waterfowl, or upland game bird hunting. What dictates this excellence depends on the property’s location, acreage, and reported wildlife population size.
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ 2016 Harvest Estimates Report, an estimated 158,896 hunters hunted for whitetail and mule deer during the 2016 hunting season. Montana’s overall population for 2016 was approximately 1,043,000. That means that over 15% of the population of Montana was hunting whitetail and mule deer last year. That is not taking into consideration other forms of hunting. If you are part of that 15% or want to be, consider the following hunting ranches. They may be just what you and your family are looking for. Ranches for sale in Montana with hunting can vary from species to terrain so read through the whole list to find what you are looking for.
The following properties are, in our opinion, some of the best overall hunting properties for sale in the state. The following hunting ranches for sale in Montana top our list for their prime location and wildlife assets.
Hunting Ranches for Sale in Montana-Smallhorn Canyon Ranch
Nestled in the Blacktail Mountains, and located 15 miles (as the crow flies) from Dillon, MT, the Smallhorn Canyon Ranch provides exceptional hunting opportunities for, what seems like, an endless variety of wildlife. The property hosts populations of big game animals that includes elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, black and grizzly bears, antelope, mountain lions, moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats. It also provides excellent waterfowl and upland bird hunting affording any wing shooter a bird hunting oasis.
The Smallhorn Canyon Ranch resides in Montana’s Hunting District 325. HD 325 ranks fourth in the state in overall number of elk harvested according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ 2016 Harvest Estimates Report. Nearly 1,000 head of elk gather on the property from June through November, providing exceptional elk hunting opportunities. The properties’ 2,689 acres are also surrounded by thousands of acres of BLM land that can be hunted, drastically extending the hunting potential of this property.
The Smallhorn Canyon Ranch has extensive hunting possibilities. For this reason, it has earned its spot as being one of the best hunting ranches for sale in Montana and a fine Montana ranch for sale.
Hunting Ranches for Sale in Montana-Bull Mountain Ranch
Bull Mountain Ranch nearly over qualifies as a Montana ranch for sale. At approximately 15,691 total acres (9,847 deeded), the property provides endless hunting and recreational opportunities. With trophy elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, and Merriam’s turkeys, the Montana property is ideal for the outdoor and hunting enthusiast. There have been at least three elk harvested scoring over 350, a 194 and several other 180+ mule deer, and a 152 whitetail deer. The property has not received hunting pressure in the past few years, which has increased the overall quality of the wildlife populations and future hunting prospects. This is one of the best ranches for sale in Montana.
The area is well known for its cattle producing capabilities and vast grazing lands. Currently, the ranch leases out grazing to a neighboring rancher who runs approximately 750 pairs of cattle for a five-month grazing period. This provides the ranch with a nice additional revenue opportunity that doesn’t interfere with the wildlife populations.
Located approximately 45 miles north of Billings and 30 miles south of Roundup, basic amenities for ranch operations are well within reach. Bull Mountain Ranch is an expansive Montana ranch for sale that will satisfy any avid hunter’s wildest dreams. This is by far one of the best overall hunting ranches for sale in Montana.
Top Elk Hunting Ranches for Sale in Montana
Montana’s world-renowned elk hunting attracts people from all over the world. They want to have the privilege of harvesting a trophy elk in this beautiful state. To us, in order for a property to qualify as a top elk hunting ranch for sale in Montana, it must satisfy the three following criteria.
- Be within close proximity to areas that produces trophy elk.
- A proven track record of trophy elk being harvested on the property.
- Have the potential to be further developed and enhanced.
To gain some further insight into which hunting regions and districts have the highest harvest rates, we further analyzed the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks’ 2016 Harvest Estimates Report. From the report, we discovered some surprising information. The following numerical information is based off estimates not actual numbers provided by the report. Maps of the hunting districts and regions can be found below and at the Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ website along with their boundary descriptions and hunting regulations for each district.
In 2016, there were an estimated 24,532 elk harvested in the state of Montana. Of those 24,532, 11,089 were bulls, 12,526 were cows, and 917 were calves. Over the course of the 2016 season, there were a reported 113,577 hunters hunting elk. The success rate of those hunters was 21.6%, which means that just over 1/5 of all elk hunters were successful in harvesting an elk. Upon further investigation, we see that Region 3 was the most productive region yielding 9,903 elk harvested. Owning a hunting property that lies within Region 3 may give you the best opportunity of harvesting an elk.
Hunting District 410 had the highest harvest estimates of any hunting district with 695 elk harvested. HD 215 had the second highest harvest numbers with 659. HD 391 came in third with 613 elk harvested.
Now, we don’t just want to stop there. We want to see which hunting districts and regions yield the highest harvest numbers of bull elk as well as elk with six or more points. Again, Region 3 had the highest harvest numbers with 4,409 bull elk harvested. HD 410 had the highest harvest numbers of any hunting district with 309 bulls, HD 700 had the second highest with 249, and HD 391 was third with 224 bulls.
Region 3 also had the highest harvest numbers of bull elk with six or more points with 1,741 elk. Once again, HD 410 had the highest harvest numbers with 244 elk, HD 700 came in second with 174, and HD 446 was third with 120.
The following ranches for sale in Montana all will give you good opportunities at trophy elk.
Elk Hunting Ranches for Sale in Montana-Missouri Breaks Retreat
No, we didn’t forget a zero or a comma. The Missouri Breaks Retreat is a 20-acre parcel, but has access to thousands of acres of accessible hunting land. By the strictest sense, we know this property might not be considered a Montana ranch for sale. However, it is similar to hunting ranches with access to world renowned hunting, but for only a fraction of the price. The property has electricity and a mobile home that is perfect for a hunting camp. The Missouri Breaks Retreat offers an economical hunting opportunity that will only appreciate in the coming years and provide its owner with the ability to harvest trophy elk year after year.
The Missouri Breaks Retreat, is the ideal elk hunting ranch because of its perfect location and low entry point in price. This property proves that you don’t need a large acreage ranch to harvest trophy elk you can show off for years. The Missouri Breaks Retreat lies on the boundary line of Hunting Districts 410 and 700, which, if you recall, have some of the highest total harvest estimates of elk, bull elk, and elk with six or more points. Sounds like a win, win, win to me! Beyond the property line is direct access to thousands of acres of BLM and State Land which is accessible to the public for hunting, fishing, and recreation. There are also ample numbers of antelope, whitetail deer, mule deer, turkeys, and upland game birds (pheasants, grouse, sharptails).
This property further features approximately a quarter mile of river frontage along the Musselshell River and is only 2 miles away from Fort Peck Reservoir which is home to more than 53 species of fish including channel catfish, carp, northern pike, smallmouth bass and walleye. The Missouri Breaks Retreat is a hidden gem that gives the owner direct access to the best elk hunting in Montana without breaking the bank. While not the normal picture of a ranch for sale in Montana it gives those that dream of owning a Montana ranch an economical starter property.
Elk Hunting Ranches for Sale in Montana-G/T Elk Ranch
7,758 Acres (5,252 Deeded)
Courtesy of: https://www.landflip.com/land/127334
The G/T Ranch makes the list for top elk hunting ranches for sale in Montana because of its ideal location, large elk populations, and amenities. The property is located near Townsend, MT, situated above the East shore of Canyon Ferry Lake. The property resides in HD 391 which has the third highest total estimated harvest numbers as well as the third highest bull harvest numbers in the state. Not only do you have better chances of harvesting an elk on the G/T Elk Ranch, you also have access to some of the most productive hunting land in the entire state. G/T is also special in that it has a resident elk herd which exceeds over 500 elk. On this Montana ranch for sale, you can harvest the trophy elk of your dreams year after year.
But it gets better. The G/T Elk Ranch also features a beautiful 6 bed, 5 bath, 6,949 square foot custom hunting lodge with other out-buildings. The hunting lodge features an attached 6 car garage and a separate 3 car garage, making for plenty of room for your toys. The interior is breathtaking with stone fireplaces, exposed wood panels and beams, and plenty of hanging room for your trophy mounts. The G/T Elk Ranch is far from roughing it and will allow you to have a comfortable place to come home to after a long day out hunting.
The G/T Elk Ranch, with its excellent location, custom home, and trophy elk hunting potential deserves its spot on this list as one of the top elk hunting ranches for sale in Montana.
Leading Fly Fishing Ranches for Sale in Montana
One of Montana’s national treasures is its water. No, not bottled water, the world renowned and pristine rivers, streams, and lakes that cover this great state. Of these great waters, only a select few hold prestigious status being classified as blue ribbon fisheries. A blue ribbon fishery is a designation made by authorities, either state or national, that identify fisheries of extreme high quality. To be classified as a blue ribbon stream, the stream must pass a strict set of criteria. Red ribbon classified streams are also of high quality but receive stocking by the state in order to bolster the populations of sizable trout. These criteria may vary state to state but generally include:
Water Quality and Volume: A body of water that has sufficient water quality and volume to sustain a viable and natural fishery.
Water Accessibility: Water must be accessible to the public.
Natural Reproduction Capacity: The water must be able to produce and maintain a natural, sustainable fishery.
Management: There must be a management strategy to ensure that fish of significant size and numbers are available to provide a quality angling experience.
Angling Pressure: The water must be able to withstand reasonable angling pressure.
Specific Species: Selection may be based on the water processing specific species that classify the water as being of high quality.
According to Data Basin, Montana currently possesses 18 blue and red ribbon classified streams and rivers. These include the Missouri, Gallatin, Big Hole River, Madison, Yellowstone, Rock Creek, Blackfoot River, Bighorn River, Smith River, Clark Fork river, North Fork of the Flathead River, South Fork of the Flathead River, Ruby River, Beaverhead River, Bitterroot River, Kootenay River, Swan River and the Little Blackfoot.
Of these streams, the blue ribbon classified streams include: Big Hole River, Blackfoot River, Boulder River, Gallatin River, Madison River, Rock Creek, and Yellowstone River.
These rivers and streams offer unbelievable fishing opportunities where you can catch bull trout and Arctic grayling as well as rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. Whether you’re a diehard fly fisherman or just like to go out occasionally, a fly fishing property along the shores of one of these streams will satisfy all your fishing desires. These ranches for sale in Montana will be priced higher due to the water amenities and also usually have the highest chance for appreciation.
Fly Fishing Ranches for Sale in Montana-Blue Ribbon Ranch
The Blue Ribbon Ranch inherits its name from the blue ribbon trout stream that flows through the property and provides world-class fly fishing opportunities. Rock Creek, recognized as one of Montana’s blue ribbon fisheries, flows for approximately ¾ of a mile through this property. Rock Creek provides anglers with the chances of catching large rainbow trout, westslope cutthroat trout, brown trout, and the threatened bull trout. The property also features an undisclosed amount of river frontage along Upper Willow Creek as well as two irrigation water rights.
The entire property, except for a designated building site for a future home, is under a conservation easement to protect the property for generations. The property also features productive hay land which could be an additional source of revenue for the owners.
Situated approximately 15 miles from Philipsburg, 67 miles from Butte, and 88 miles from Missoula, this centrally located property is sure to please any owner. Not only will you be the proud owner of some of the best fishing in the state, you will also have access to countless recreational activities that include skiing at Discovery Ski Area, hunting on adjacent Forest Service land, and miles of snowmobile and cross-country skiing trails. Own the Blue Ribbon Ranch and have something other people only dream of; private access to one of the best fly fishing streams in Montana.
Fly Fishing Ranches for Sale in Montana-World Class Fly Fishing Ranch
The last, but by no means the least, leading fly fishing ranch for sale in Montana is the World Class Fly Fishing Ranch. This 3,377-acre gem is the epitome of a fly fishing ranch. However, it’s not the large acreage that makes this the top Montana fly fishing ranch for sale. It’s the three-mile stretch of river frontage along the Upper Madison River. The World Class Fly Fishing Ranch is situated along the famous “Fifty Mile Riffle,” which is known as the most productive portion of the Madison River. It’s estimated that fish counts range anywhere between 2,500 to 3,000 brown and rainbow trout per mile.
The World Class Fly Fishing Ranch has been historically run as a cattle operation with ample grazing land and water resources. The land is irrigated with sub-irrigated meadows supplied by several spring fed reservoirs, irrigations waters and ditches, natural springs, wells, and the Madison River.
The versatility of this property makes it a very attractive offering. Whether you decide to continue the cattle operation privately fly fish or transform the World Class Fly Fishing Ranch into a commercial fly fishing operation, this ranch will be an investment you and your family can cherish for generations. In addition, the property features a 3,600 sq. ft. barn built in 1917 which is also a registered Historic Landmark, a 3,200 sq. ft. implement shed, a 1,200 sq. ft. pole building, an original homestead ranch house, and a 3,364 sq. ft. updated residence.
The World Class Fly Fishing Ranch holds up to its name. Residing on some of the most productive fly fishing waters in Montana as well as providing plentiful additional revenue opportunities, this ranch, in our opinion is the best Montana fly fishing ranch for sale.
Top Cattle Ranches for Sale in Montana
Cattle bred and raised in Montana are some of the highest quality cattle on the market. It is the blood, sweat, and dirty equity that Montana ranchers poor into their cattle ranches that make their cattle so desirable. According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Montana is home to seven of the top 25 seedstock cattle operations in the United States. The next highest state is Texas with three. A seedstock cattle operation is a cow-calf operation that specializes in purebred or registered cattle and makes genetic improvements to benefit the entire beef industry. We went further and found that BEEF Magazine releases an annual report on the Top 100 Seedstock Operations in the United States. On their list 16 Montana cattle operations made the top 100, tying with Nebraska of having the most top 100 seedstock operations.
A successful Montana ranch doesn’t have to be a seedstock ranch to be considered a Cattle ranch for sale in Montana. We focused our attention on ranches for sale in Montana that have large carrying capacities, excellent infrastructure, a proven track record and reputation, and are suited for a large working cattle operation. See below which two ranches comprise our top Cattle ranches for sale in Montana category.
Cattle Ranches for Sale in Montana-IX Ranch
126,225 Acres (59,809 Deeded)
Featured in last year’s 2017 Ranch Real Estate Report, the IX Ranch still holds its place on the report for several reasons. The expansive IX Ranch is a professionally managed operation located 80 miles northeast of Great Falls and is adjacent to Big Sandy. Over the ranch’s 128-year life, it has only changed ownership once. The ranch runs a cattle herd of 4,300 and winters 3,375 bred females, 120 three-year-old-and-younger bulls, and ranch horses. During the spring, around 650 of the previous year’s calves return from a grow-lot near Billings. Of the 59,809 deeded acres, 1,083 acres are pivot irrigated, 3,299 acres are flood irrigated, 4,201 acres of dry cropland, 443 acres of hay meadows, 2,006 acres of forested land, and 48,738 acres of native rangeland. The additional 66,416 acres of leased land consists primarily of rangeland.
The management practices of the IX Ranch have propelled it to being an incredibly successful operation. The 4,200 acres of dryland provide, on average, 85,000 bushels of winter wheat to generate additional income. The ranch also produces more hay than the ranch needs to winter its herd. This excess usually ranges between 600 and 1,200 tons of hay which is sold for additional revenue. Management has employed a dynamic and sophisticated grazing rest and rotation system that maximizes grazing land and prevents overgrazing. IX Ranch uses its growing lot in Billings to provide animals to market throughout the year to capitalize on favorable market conditions. IX Ranch’s management has also maximized the genetic potential of the herd to produce cattle of the highest quality. These management practices have contributed to the enduring success of IX Ranch.
IX Ranch has been guided by the principle of putting the land, cattle, and employee first. For these reasons, the property does not feature an expansive owner’s residence. In all, the property contains six single-family residences, four bunkhouses, a cookhouse, four sets of corrals (two with certified scales), four horse barns, and four workshops. The four bed, three bath, owner’s house was built in 1972 and is approximately 2,754 sq. ft. The manager’s home, built in 1900, has been extensively remodeled and harbors 5,128 sq. ft. of livable space with seven bedrooms and four baths.
IX Ranch’s carrying capacity, proven success, and numerous improvements make it the top Cattle ranch for sale in Montana. The success of IX Ranch is due to its excellent management team and strict principles of putting the land and cattle first. The opportunity to own a ranch of this stature is a rarity and should be considered as such.
Cattle Ranches for Sale in Montana-Antelope Springs Ranch
53,238 Acres (43,278 Deeded)
Antelope Springs Ranch is a cattle operation that is suitable for many different types of owners. Currently, Antelope Spring Ranch is managed by Grasslands, LLC, a global leader in Holistic Planned Grazing that runs 1,000 cattle yearly as well as 700 sheep from May to September. Grasslands has focused on restoring the ranch’s grasses, increasing its profitability, and strengthening the surrounding ecologic diversity. Grasslands has been managing the Antelope Springs Ranch for the past 6 years. Their practices don’t own any cattle themselves but run cattle for area cattlemen. Grasslands is willing to remain as the ranch manager for the new owners. This is perfect for an investor with little to no ranching experience to still own a valuable investment.
For those who would transform Antelope Springs Ranch into their own cattle operation, the infrastructure currently in place would help facilitate an easy transition. Currently, the ranch possesses the following assets:
31 permanently fenced pastures
45+ miles of 1.5 to 3-inch water pipelines
10 electric and solar wells
40 stock tanks
80 reservoirs, ponds, and dugouts
2 Ranch Manager Homes – 1,820 sq. ft.
Calving Shed – 1,430 sq. ft.
Quonset Shop – 4,320 sq. ft.
Large Quonset – 9,000 sq. ft.
Equipment Quonset – 2,700 sq. ft.
Shop – 1,125 sq. ft.
Chute House – 120 sq. ft.
Livestock Scale House – 56 sq. ft.
Loafing Shed – 5,700 sq. ft.
Calving Barn – 5,500 sq. ft.
Two Additional Homes – 3,000 sq. ft. each
Full set of corrals, chutes, and certified scale
87 stock water rights
5 domestic water rights
1 irrigation water right
1 fish and wildlife recreation water right
Antelope Springs Ranch has put into place the infrastructure to safeguard itself from even the harshest droughts, ensuring that it sees continual success and productivity. Antelope Springs Ranch’s vast infrastructure and holistic management history make it a viable cattle ranch for someone looking for a hands-off investment or establishing a cattle operation of their own. For these reasons, this Montana ranch for sale is one of the top Cattle ranches for sale in Montana.
Ranches for Sale with Homes
The National Association of Realtors released a 2018 forecast on home prices for the state of Montana. The report states that home prices in Montana are expected to increase by 3.1% when evaluating external environmental factors such as current market conditions, interest rates, employment momentum, and tax implications. The report further went on to specify that there are approximately 3,158 houses that have mortgages valued above $1 million in Montana. The following ranches for sale with homes have immaculate homes that are sure to please anyone looking for a beautiful owner’s home on their ranch. We chose the following properties based on their Montana personality, size, interior and exterior appeal, and beautiful views. Many times this category is what new buyers picture when they are looking at ranches for sale in Montana.
Ranches for Sale with Homes-Sun River Ranch
Courtesy of: https://www.farmflip.com/farm/138160
The Sun River Ranch is located close to Augusta, MT. It is a remote 3,050-acre ranch with great views. With over 4 miles of river frontage along the Sun River, this ranch is perfect for the fly fishing enthusiast.
It doesn’t stop there. Their is a beautiful custom log lodge. The 4 bedroom, 3 bath lodge features three river rock fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, a fly tying and fishing equipment room for all your gear, a walk-in wine cellar, private theater room, and two screened lounging rooms to take in the surrounding Rocky Mountain views. The property also features a ranch manager’s home that is 3 bedroom 2.5 bath. The ranch has a log barn with 2 floors that accommodates up to 20 people. Additional amenities include a helicopter pad and hangar with attached pilot’s quarters, an indoor horse and cattle arena, a historic guest cabin, and a historic off-grid three cabin fishing camp. This private ranch is the perfect combination of practical ranch operations, recreation, and luxurious living in the Montana wilderness.
The Sun River Ranch also borders the 19,000-acre Sun River Game Range and has immediate access to the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Scapegoat Wilderness areas. These areas all provide excellent recreation opportunities for the avid outdoorsman and anyone looking to see the pristine, untouched beauty of Montana.
This property truly has it all. While having all the necessary infrastructure for a basic cattle operation, the Sun River Ranch not only is a practical Montana ranch, it also possesses a set of beautiful homes and cabins. To capture the real beauty of this property, visit the above website to see just how beautiful this property is and why it is considered one of the properties for our ranches for sale with homes.
Montana Ranches for Sale with Homes-5 Bar 6 Ranch
The 5 Bar 6 Ranch looks like it belongs in a scene from “A River Runs Through It.” Maybe that’s because it was the location of a scene from the film? This 204-acre property is tucked back in the Mill Creek drainage. It is remarkable this property features pristine wilderness while still being only 25 miles away from Livingston. This property features 2 miles of frontage along Mill Creek, a great creek to fly fish. This property has a private view of Knowles Peak, Arrow Peak, and features a 13,000 sq. ft., 8 bedroom, 12 bathroom main house. The main house also features a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, butler’s kitchen, game room, home theater (seats 18), and several dry stacked stone fireplaces. There’s also a heated infinity pool, hot tub, and approximately 9,700 sq. ft. of stone patio with an outdoor grill, bar, and fireplace.
That’s just the main house. There is also a 2,200 sq. ft. guest house, a 2,100 sq. ft. managers house, two restored 1940s cabins, and multiple outbuildings. These outbuildings include an equestrian facility with corral, storage buildings, and a private bridge to access the property. This property really does have it all. If you are looking for unparalleled luxury in Montana’s wilderness, then the 5 Bar 6 Ranch is your ideal ranch for sale with a home.
Ranches for Sale Without Homes
Ranches for sale in Montana with large homes may not be your forte. Much of the time you will not get the money you put into a huge home on a ranch, so it may not be a good investment. When you really think about it, the bigger the house, the more you have to clean. For those that hate cleaning as much as I do, a Montana ranch for sale without a home may be a better option.
These properties can be transformed into any kind of ranch, or can be left untouched. You can build the house of your dreams, modest home or a small cabin for a remote getaway in the Montana wilderness. You may not want any kind of building on your property. In that case, you can use an undeveloped property for optimizing hunting opportunities or for unrestricted recreational use. Whatever your taste may be, this category will provide a couple of the best undeveloped ranches for sale in Montana.
The properties can be molded and transformed in any way possible. Some transformations may be more difficult than others, but it’s your property and your welcome to do with it as you may. Build a vacation home or use the property as a year-round residence. Maybe you want to start an outfitter and are looking for your own piece of property where you can manage and improve the wildlife on the property? Regardless of what you decide to do with your property, you and your family will enjoy the land, make memories that will stand the test of time, and possess a valuable investment.
Ranches for Sale without Homes-Bridger Peaks Ranch
The Bridger Peaks Ranch gets its name from the breathtaking Bridger Mountains to the west. The property also has incredible views of Battle Ridge to the south. With 360 degree views and unsurpassed privacy, this property is perfect for anyone looking for a ranch to escape the hustle and bustle of modern society. The Bridger Peaks Ranch is located 25 miles from Bozeman, which is home to the state’s largest and busiest airport as well as the many other amenities. The property is also 2 miles from Gallatin National Forest access which provides nearly unlimited recreational opportunities. Only 10 miles away lies Bridger Bowl Ski Resort, which is a favorite among many locals for its skiing and winter recreational activities.
The property sits amongst several large, generational cattle ranches which provides for perfect seclusion in this nearly untouched portion of Montana. In the past, the Bridger Peaks Ranch has been used as a summer pasture for local cattle because of its robust native pasture grasses. The property could continue to be a pasturing site for local cattle or a small cattle operation of its own. Also, there is an estimated 44 acres of tillable land that could be planted for hay or grain production. Irrigation water rights to Carrol Creek and Fairy Creek are included in the ranch offering and would provide the ability to irrigate the hay or grain acreage. Ranches for sale in Montana with irrigation rights offer compelling investments with water rights. If you want more info on water rights in Montana you can read in our blog post Montana water rights.
The Bridger Peaks Ranch property is also the meeting point of the North and South Forks of Carrol Creek, one of the headwaters to the Yellowstone River. The South Fork of Carrol Creek has a higher volume than the North Fork, which provide for trout fishing in deeper pools throughout the property. The wildlife is abundant on the property as well as in the nearby Gallatin National Forest. Elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, moose, and mountain goats can all be found on or near the property. The Bridger Peaks Ranch also sits along the primary migration route of many raptors such as golden eagles, bald eagles, and hawks. It’s estimated that anywhere between 2,000 to 3,500 migrate across this portion of the Bridger Mountains in the fall. Ranches for sale in Montana can offer fantastic bird watching for raptors and waterfowl.
It’s a marvel that this Montana ranch for sale has not been developed yet. With close access to Bozeman and Bridger Bowl Ski Resort as well as the numerous opportunities that the Gallatin National Forest provides, this property is ideal for the recreational enthusiast. The Bridger Peaks Ranch is a perfect location for those looking to build a summer or permanent residence or for those that just want a piece of undeveloped land that they can enjoy for years to come. Whatever suits your needs, the Bridger Peaks Ranch is perfect for you and is a fine ranch for sale in Montana.
Ranches for Sale without Homes-West Combest Ranch
Our second property that makes the list for Ranches for sale without homes is the West Combest Ranch. The West Combest Ranch consists of 8 full sections of contiguous land which can almost all be accessed through the property’s extensive road system. The property is currently undeveloped and has several suitable building sites for a private residence or summer getaway. The property also has large amounts of grasslands which can be used for summer grazing and attract local elk and deer populations. This ranch for sale in Montana also backs up against United States Forest Service and State of Montana lands. These lands provide for excellent access to additional hunting and recreational activities.
Several springs on the property feed into the Combest Creek, West Combest Creek, and Miller Creek. These creeks flow from the southwest portion of the property northeast to eventually conjoin with the Clark Fork River which is known for its fly fishing opportunities.
One unique aspect of the West Combest Ranch is that it borders the Glade Ranch, a recently sold 545-acre cattle operation, on three sides. If the new owners continue the cattle operation on the Glade Ranch, there may be an opportunity to lease out grazing land for their cattle on the West Combest Ranch. This partnership could be mutually beneficial and increase the value of the West Combest Ranch.
The West Combest Ranch is only minutes away from Plains, Montana, a town that can provide all the amenities needed. The properties close location to Plains paired with its remoteness make it the best of both worlds. The property is ready for its new owner to continue to steward the land. By leaving it an undeveloped property or by building a residence on the property, the new owners of the West Combest Ranch will be able to enjoy this property for years if not generations to come.
Best Recreational Ranches in Montana
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
refreshment of strength and spirits after work; also: a means of refreshment or diversion: Hobby.
The best recreational Montana ranches for sale are ones that will help any owner unwind and refresh their spirits and strength. Whether you’re retired and looking for a quiet place to put your feet up and enjoy your retirement or you are wanting a family ranch where you can make memories with your family for years and generations to come, a recreational Montana ranch is perfect for you. These properties offer a variety of recreational opportunities ranging from fishing and hunting to hiking and skiing. They are also located in areas that provide breathtaking views and vistas. It just so happens that the two following properties are close to national parks. These properties will not only revitalize your soul, but will allow you to get out and experience everything that Montana offers.
Recreational Ranches in Montana-Chief Mountain Ranch
The Chief Mountain Ranch is a unique inholding of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The property is located just 5 miles east of Glacier National Park, 5 miles south of the Canadian Border, and 5 miles north of Babb. This property’s central location in a recreational hub, makes it one of the best recreational Montana ranches for sale.
The ranch gets its name from the 9,000-foot Chief Mountain landmark. The property is just a short drive from the east entrance of Glacier National Park at Saint Mary and the entrance into Many Glacier. Both areas provide unprecedented opportunities for outdoor recreation including hiking, backpacking, camping, and sightseeing. The Going to the Sun Road is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. It truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. From Many Glacier, a 35-minute drive from the ranch, there are over 12 day hikes to unbelievable destinations such as the one below. The image below is from a hike I did last summer to a remote mountain lake hidden above Iceberg Lake.
The Otatso and Kennedy Creeks flow through the Chief Mountain Ranch for approximately 1.5 miles. They provide fishing opportunities for rainbow, brook trout, and, most notably, healthy populations of endangered bull trout. The two creeks are mostly comprised of glacial runoff, making them quite cold. The cold-water temperatures provide for healthy fish but they tend to stay in the 10-14 inch range. However, some of the Bull trout can grow to 30 inches or more. Duck Lake is also a short drive away which provides excellent additional fishing opportunities. Fishing licenses must be acquired through Blackfeet Fish & Game, but are reasonably priced and well worth it once you pull a 30-inch Bull trout out of the creek in your backyard.
The Chief Mountain Ranch also provides hunting opportunities. Healthy populations of elk and mule deer take refuge on the property. The Reservation has had several trophy elk harvested within its borders. There are also abundant numbers of sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, and waterfowl for those looking to do a little wing shooting. Again, you will need to acquire a hunting license through Blackfeet Fish & Game and be accompanied by an Indian guide. If you are a hunter we understand that this would likely be considered a drawback of the property. If you are a wildlife viewer this property likely becomes a sanctuary for wildlife to escape hunting pressure from the Reservation.
The property currently has no improvements and is unencumbered by a Conservation Easement. This means that the new owner of the Chief Mountain Ranch is free to build a residence on the property in any location. I recommend, if you do want to build a home on the property, to have it face west to capture the breathtaking views of Chief Mountain and the east side of Glacier National Park. The vast number of recreational activities available on and near the Chief Mountain Ranch make it one of the best recreational ranches for sale in Montana.
Recreational Montana Ranches-Crazy Waters Ranch
Big Timber, Montana
The Crazy Waters Ranch is a large acreage ranch that has historically run a balanced 300 animal unit cattle ranching operation. The ranch has 292 acres of irrigated pasture land along with natural riparian corridors and upland pastures allowing for a sustainable cattle operation. However, it’s not the cattle operation that ranks this ranch as one of the best recreational ranches in Montana.
Big Timber is a small, self-sustaining community located between Billings and Bozeman and is in relatively close distance to some of the great recreational opportunities in this portion of Montana. Bridger Bowl Ski Resort is just over an hour away and provides challenging terrain. The large ski resort, Big Sky Ski Resort is father away but also offers exceptional recreational activities. The world’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park, is approximately 1.5 hours away from Big Timber and provides beautiful views of the famous national park and signature Montana views. While traveling through Yellowstone National Park, you are almost guaranteed to see bison, elk, and deer while also taking in the beautiful vistas of this breathtaking national treasure. On the way to Yellowstone National Park, you will pass through the beautiful Paradise Valley which is characterized by the towering Absaroka Range and meandering Yellowstone River. Chico Hot Springs is also situated in the valley and is a great weekend getaway to relax in natural, spring fed pools. The pools are drained every night and cleaned to prevent the need to use chemicals to treat the water.
If you want something a little more strenuous, consider exploring the scenic backdrop of the ranch, the Crazy Mountains. With more than 20 peaks over 10,000 feet in elevation, the Crazy Mountains host a wide variety of hikes for hikers of every skill and fitness level. Consider going up to Rock Lake, an easy day hike up to 10,748 above sea level where you can catch golden, rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout.
The Crazy Waters Ranch gets its name, quite literally, from all the water on the ranch. There is a fishable 365-acre private lake, Upper Glaston Reservoir, on the property where you can catch rainbow and brown trout. The water level is controlled by the Sweet Grass Canal and Reservoir Company which diverts the water from the reservoir to over 3,500 irrigated acres downstream. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks strictly requires that the minimum flow in Sweet Grass Creek be at or above 25cfs. The reservoir is at least 30 feet deep at the dam and is deep enough to support healthy fish populations even during drought years and low levels in the reservoir. The ranch also has approximately 6.5 miles of waterfront along the Sweet Grass Creek where fly fishing for brown and rainbow trout is quite productive all year long. The water on the Crazy Water Ranch provides great year-round fishing opportunities.
For the hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, the Crazy Waters Ranch offers exceptional opportunities. Whitetail deer hunting is respectable on the property. Currently the ranch has bucks in the 120-140 Boone and Crockett class with a few bucks that push into the 150 class. Additional management and herd development could increase these scores and create a trophy whitetail hunting experience. The ranch is also home to a large herd of antelope, approximately 200 head. Several of the bucks range 13”–15.”
Waterfowl hunting is also exceptional on the ranch. Upper Glaston Lake acts as a magnet to waterfowl and Sandhill cranes. The number of ducks on the ranch in October usually starts in the hundreds and may increase into the thousands by November. The number of geese on the ranch usually peaks in October at 500 plus. Thousands of Sandhill cranes use the lake for night roosting and feeding. The upland bird population is also vibrant on the property. Pheasant, prairie grouse, Hungarian partridge, and sharp-tailed grouse can all be found on the property in healthy numbers. This population can further be increased with thoughtful management. The property also includes a private shooting preserve license that allows for extended upland bird hunting starting September 1st and continues through March 31st on 1,920 acres. The Crazy Waters Ranch is perfect for the wing shooter looking for an almost unlimited supply of waterfowl and upland bird hunting.
The location of the Crazy Waters Ranch is in a perfect location to combine recreational activities, such as skiing, with the secluded activities of hunting and fishing. This property rightfully has a place on our 2018 Ranch Real Estate Report because of its immense recreational resources. Owning the Crazy Waters Ranch will allow you access to a wide array of recreational opportunities as well as owning a sustainable cattle operation as a source of revenue.
Small Ranches for Sale in Montana
It’s not the size that matters, but what you do with it. The following small Montana ranches for sale show us that size really doesn’t matter when it comes to some Montana ranches. These properties are under 400 acres yet provide a true Montana ranching experience to their owners. Some might argue that 400 acres is nowhere near enough acreage for a property to be considered a ranch. These ranches may be small but their potential and value is immense. These ranches have an ideal location and provide their owner with a unique opportunity and a host of potential activities to take part in. They can also be a way of downsizing while keeping a ranch lifestyle. If you’re in the market for a Montana ranch for sale but don’t want to have to worry about the constant upkeep of a large property, a small Montana ranch for sale might be the best kind of ranch for you.
Small Ranches for Sale in Montana-Yellowstone Basin Ranch
The Yellowstone Basin Ranch is the first private ranch upstream from Hebgen Lake on the South Fork of the Madison River and borders the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, the only buffer between the property and Yellowstone National Park. This 294-acre ranch is the perfect small ranch for anyone looking for their first ranch. The ranch is small enough that it doesn’t require a large amount of upkeep, but is large enough to be considered a private ranch and the location is incredible. How many people can mention that they own a ranch that borders Yellowstone National Park? The property currently has a small cabin that is ready for year-round use. There are also several other suitable building sites if you wish to build a larger home.
With only one paved road separating Yellowstone National Park from the ranch, the ranch is its own private version of the park. The property is teeming with elk, moose, antelope, mule deer, whitetail deer, bears, wolves, and waterfowl. The exquisite wildlife populations allow for excellent hunting or viewing opportunities.
There are two spring fed reservoirs totaling over 8.5 surface acres and approximately 4.4 miles of Denny and Ditch Creeks. The South Fork of the Madison River flows through the property for 1.4 miles. The Madison is a great source for fly fishing, waterfowl observing/hunting, and other water recreation activities. In the winter, the ranch’s proximity to Yellowstone and on-property opportunities provide incredible experiences for winter sports.
This 294-acre ranch makes the list as an ideal small ranch for sale in Montana because of location and recreational value. Just 7 minutes from West Yellowstone and the endless on and off property activities make this an appealing small ranch for sale for anyone who wants to own their own piece of the Montana outdoors.
Smaller Ranches for Sale in Montana-Glacier’s Treasure Grove Ranch
Located close to the Chief Mountain Ranch, the Glacier’s Treasure Grove Ranch has breathtaking views of Chief Mountain in all its splendor. Located just 4.5 miles from Chief Mountain and 6 miles from Lower St. Mary’s Lake, the Glacier’s Treasure Grove Ranch is an ideally located small ranch. As before, a small ranch is ideal for first time ranch owners or those wanting a property with little upkeep.
This property lies in an area that is ripe with recreational opportunities. 9 miles away is Duck Lake which is known for its sizeable fish, eight pounds on average. Every once in a while, anglers will catch a 15-pound Brown or Rainbow trout. It’s also not unusual to hook a 10-12 pounder.
Besides the great local fishing, Glacier’s Treasure Grove Ranch is also teeming with wildlife such as moose, elk, whitetail and mule deer, bears, mountain lions, wolves, waterfowl, and upland birds. These animals and many more provide great hunting or watching possibilities for any owner.
The property also possesses several additional revenue generating sources. One of the resources on the property is its large timberland that includes Lodgepole Pine, Engelmann Spruce, and Aspen. These timberland resources are valued at over $100,000. Another source of additional revenue is leasing the property’s grazing land to local cattle ranchers for cattle grazing. This can help maintain healthy undergrowth and limit the dangers overgrown grasses may pose in the event of a forest fire.
The Glacier’s Treasure Grove Ranch is an ideal small ranch for sale in Montana. It is in the heart of the most beautiful views Montana has to offer. Owning this 360-acre tract of land is ideal for first time ranch owners or those who want a property that does not require a large amount of effort to upkeep. The property’s additional revenue opportunities also make this property appealing. This Montana ranch for sale and its location make it an attractive property to anyone looking to own a small ranch for sale in Montana.
Large Ranches for Sale in Montana
Small ranches are great, but you may be in the market for a more sizeable ranch for sale in Montana. If that’s the case, the following ranches may appeal to you. Whether you’re buying a large ranch as an investment or for personal reasons, these large ranches will appeal to you. The following ranches are characterized by large acreage (greater than 30,000 acres), and the amenities of the properties. One of the benefits of a large ranch is that you can transform it into your own little world. With 30,000 acres or more surrounding you, you probably won’t see anyone you haven’t invited. These properties are the ones that receive large media attention and sell for tens of millions of dollars. Just because they come with a large price tag doesn’t mean that they are just a way to show off one’s wealth. These properties generate great revenue volumes through farming or ranching, which is where their value lies. We hope you enjoy two of the largest ranches currently for sale in Montana.
Large Ranches for Sale in Montana-IX Ranch
126,225 Acres (59,809 Deeded)
I know what you’re thinking, didn’t they already identify the IX Ranch as a leading Montana cattle ranch for sale. Yes, we did, but the IX Ranch also makes the cut as a Large Ranch for sale in Montana.
The IX Ranch’s 126,225 acres prequalify this property as a large Montana ranch for sale, but there were some additional assets we didn’t touch on earlier. The ranch’s 4300 cattle herd is impressive and is something that rarely enters the real estate market. However, the IX Ranch has many other value adding assets.
The IX Ranch is situated in the Bears Paw Mountains which provides a diverse hunting experience. The ranch has everything that is required to create a trophy game population. The property has had bull elk harvested that scored over 400 BC, whitetail deer over 165 BC, and mule deer over 180 inches. The IX Ranch is a trophy hunting ranch in itself as well as being a successful cattle operation.
The IX brand was first registered in Montana in 1877 when Montana was still a territory. Local businessmen C.J. McNamara and Thomas Marlow began consolidating what is now the IX Ranch. They targeted the strongest grass and sufficient water resources to create a strong asset. Further, they imported the best Hereford genetics from Kansas City developing a valuable herd. In 1955, the ranch changed hands to William and Theodora Lang of Hamm’s Brewing Company. Since then, four generations have built IX Ranch into the powerhouse that it is today. The next owners will be only the third owners of this incredible ranch.
Owning the IX Ranch not only provides you with one of the most successful cattle operations in the state. It also provides you with excellent hunting opportunities, deep history, water rights, and valuable ranch management and operations.
Large Ranches for Sale in Montana-Teigen Ranch
Grass Range, Montana
Originally established as a sheep ranch, the Teigen Ranch switched to cattle and now consists of a 1,000 head herd. The Teigen Ranch is located along Highway 200 between Grass Range to the west and Winnett to the east. Founded in 1884 by Mons Teigen and Knute & Ole Opheim, the Teigen ranch has over 125 years of history as a successful Montana ranch. Between 1914 and 1917 the railroad established the small community of Teigen. It has a general store, hotel, lumber and grain company, community hall, and school (built by Mons).
The current acreage breakdown of the Teigen Ranch consists of:
19,515 Deeded acres
4,625 State Leases
1,420 BLM permit acres
640 other land acres
36,020 total acres
The ranch was enrolled in the Farm Service Agency farm program and old maps show about 1,974.5 acres of cropland. The cropland can be used to grow alfalfa, small grains, forage crops, and tame grasses. The ranch is not currently enrolled, but since then, approximately 200 acres have been tilled and are ready for production. The property receives, on average, between 14-16 inches of annual precipitation with the west and southwest areas receiving more. The growing season is about 125 days and the soils are mainly clay and silty loams.
In its long history, the ranch has several improvements creating a functionally and properly maintained Montana cattle operation. Improvements on the ranch consist of several livestock sheds, equipment storage sheds, newly boarded corrals, and livestock facilities. A livestock scale is included. Recent improvements include new roofing on several sheds and homes as well as the addition of concrete pads and exterior paint.
The main improvements and facilities are located along highway 200, halfway between Grass Range and Winnett, providing easy access. On the south side of the highway are two homes, a 1910 horse barn and sheep shed, bunkhouse, machine shed, and 2,400 sq. ft. Quonset storage building. Among these buildings is the 2,400 sq. ft. main home which has been remodeled and is a perfect location. On the northeastern part of the ranch is a home, a couple of garages and 2,400 sq. ft. machine shed. At the western end, is a 7,250 sq. ft. sheep shed with electricity. The sheep shed is currently used for calving and has recently been reroofed.
The Teigen Ranch also has excellent wildlife populations that are ideal for hunting. The bird hunting on the property which consists of pheasants, sharptail grouse, sage hens, and huns, provides excellent opportunities for wing shooters. The current populations are sufficient but with additional management can be truly one of a kind.
The 13 miles of riverfront along McDonald Creek, provides irrigation to crop and hay lands. McDonald Creek also provides excellent habitat for upland game birds. Other sources of water include Briggs Coulee and several wells with accompanying pipelines and tanks, seasonal creeks, and reservoirs that help to irrigate the property’s croplands and haylands. The water rights, filed with the DNRC, are to be transferred to the buyer at closing.
The ranch borders the War Horse Wildlife Refuge on the north end. It is a refuge for waterfowl and provides excellent wing shooting opportunities. Elk, mule deer, whitetail deer and antelope populations provide for excellent big game hunting.
Currently, the cattle operation consists of 800 black angus cows, 200 two-year-old cows, and 57 bulls. In the fall, steer calves are sold and heifer calves are weaned. Heifers are wintered on the property and then half are sold while the remaining half are kept as replacements. The cattle are rotated among 32 separate pastures to allow for proper grazing land management and allowing grasses to regenerate.
The Teigen Ranch is one of the best large ranches for sale in Montana because of its amenities, wildlife, and large acreage. This property is perfect for anyone looking to continue a historic and successful cattle operation on a historic Montana ranch. Opportunities to own a ranch of this magnitude are few and far between. If you are interested in this property, give us a call!
Top Eastern Montana Ranches for Sale
You may be wondering why we decided to create a geographically defined category, but there is a reason. We made a category for eastern Montana ranches for sale because eastern Montana is different than most of Montana. Characterized by its plains, rolling hills, badlands, and breaks, this area is known for its agriculture and cattle raising capabilities. Eastern Montana ranches tend to be larger in acreage. They also often have a lower price per acre than other areas of the state. The following properties are the best eastern Montana ranches for sale on the market. If you’re looking for a large-scale farm or ranch. This category is made specifically for you.
Eastern Montana Ranches for Sale-Angela Farm
Angela Farm is a dryland, wheat farm in eastern Montana. Located 29 miles from Miles City, this ranch is in the heart of eastern Montana. Of the 24,464 acres, an estimated 85% is farmable. After some simple math, that equates to over 20,000 farmable acres. This large farm operation is perfect for someone looking to own and operate a Montana farm or lease to neighbors. The Angela Farm receives 14 inches, on average, of annual rainfall, which provides adequate precipitation for healthy crop growth.
The farm is close to the small town of Angela, which is comprised of a post office and no services. This remote location makes the Angela Farm ideal for someone looking to live away from the hustle and bustle. However, only 30 miles away from Miles City, Angela Farm is close for loaded grain trucks to deliver product.
The property consists of several improvements that make it a successful farming operation. The main home, a 3 bedroom, 3 bath manufactured home, was built in 2011 along with two large Quonset huts. The farm also has 6 grain silos that have a combined capacity of 300,000 bushels.
The Angela Farm is an ideal wheat farm in eastern Montana. The ranch will give any owner the satisfaction of owning a productive wheat operation. To make the deal even sweeter, Angela Farm sits in a beautiful, centrally located portion of eastern Montana. The property is currently being offered in its entirety as well as, in two separate properties. The parcels are named the Western Parcel and the Eastern Parcel.
Eastern Montana Ranches for Sale-South Wibaux Ranch
61,000 acres (45,000 Deeded)
Another impressive eastern Montana ranch for sale is the South Wibaux Ranch. The South Wibaux Ranch is the consolidation of the Lost in Time Ranch and the Cedar Breaks Ranch. The combination of these two ranches makes the South Wibaux Ranch one of the best eastern Montana cattle ranches for sale on the market.
The South Wibaux Ranch has incredible water resources with over 50 miles of pipeline, numerous tanks, wells, springs, and dams. The pipeline is run by two 35 gallons per minute (gpm) wells and one 150 gpm well. There are 35 tanks currently installed and 23 left to be installed, which are included in the sale of the ranch. The tanks are called “coffin tanks” and are partially buried to help prevent freezing in the winter and evaporation in the summer. There are 36 dams, 3 of which are spring fed that provide additional water to the ranch. There are an additional 22 wells on the property, totaling 25 wells in all. 20 of the 22 wells have been converted from a windmill to a solar pump. The wells range in depth from 75 feet to 520 feet and have flows ranging from 3 to 35 gpm.
The ranch has 29 pastures that range in size from 340 acres to 7,600 acres. Historically, the ranch runs approximately 2,000 heifers, bulls, and replacements year-round on half of the available pastures. This allows the other half to rest for a year. The South Wibaux Ranch has 1,300 acres of alfalfa and grass hay which provides between 3/4 to 1 ton per acre and is used to winter the herd.
The South Wibaux Ranch has a long list of additional improvements on the Lost in Time Ranch and Cedar Breaks Ranch. For ease of location and proximity we will discuss what improvements each ranch has.
Lost in Time Ranch
The Lost in Time Ranch, located on the east side of the South Wibaux Ranch features nice improvements. The crown jewel of the South Wibaux Ranch is the 10,000 sq. ft. custom log home. The log home has numerous bedrooms, a dining hall, commercial kitchen, and large amounts of living space. The dining hall consists of 5 handmade wood tables and benches that can seat approximately 30 people in all. The commercial grade kitchen is equipped with pots, pans, dishes, and accessories needed to prepare meals for 30 people. There are two half baths that service the dining hall and great room. On the main level of the lodge, there are two master bedrooms with large full bathrooms. On the other side are 4 bedrooms with two Jack and Jill bathrooms. Each side also has a large 3 stalled bathroom with 2 showers. The third floor is split into two identical sides. They include 6 bunk beds and a private room with another bunkbed. Each side can sleep up to 14 people each. The ground level of the lodge has a walkout basement that is set up as a combination theater room and game room and has an additional bedroom with a full bathroom. There is also a large office, pantry, storage area, large mudroom, mechanical room, laundry room, and attached oversized 3 car garage. A 60 KW propane generator serves as a backup power source for the lodge. The main lodge is a true headquarters for the South Wibaux Ranch and has the capacity to hold many people for any occasion.
A half mile north of the lodge is the manager’s house. The house includes 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 2 half bathrooms. The manager’s house also has a finished basement and is a perfect area for the ranch manager and their family.
Another half mile north is the main base of operations for the Lost in Time Ranch side of the South Wibaux Ranch. There is a main house which is a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, with a half-finished basement. The second living quarters is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom bunkhouse. Finally, there is a 16’ x 72’ manufactured home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathroom which was built in 2015.
The operations facilities consist of:
Extensive set of steel pipe working corrals
Chutes, tubs, and head catches needed for a 200-head operation.
50’ x 96’ calving barn
60’ x 120’ Quonset hut for machine storage (half cement, half dirt floor)
30’ x 100’ barn with working corrals and windbreak
40’ x 60’ heated shop with a 22’ wide lean-to down the 60’ side of the shop with cement floor
Three 1,200-bushel grain bins
Feed “cake” storage dispenser
All three houses and the shop are backed up by a 100KW propane generator.
Cedar Breaks Ranch
The Cedar Breaks Ranch is located at one of the westernmost points on the South Wibaux Ranch. While not as extensive as the Lost in Time Ranch, the Cedar Breaks Ranch provides the necessary amenities and operation equipment for the cattle operation.
The main house is a doublewide manufactured home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an unfinished basement. There is also an older home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The final residence on the Cedar Breaks Ranch is a 2015, 16’ x 72’ manufactured home. The home has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
The operating buildings consist of:
Set of steel pipe working corrals
1,200-bushel grain bin
Feed “cake” storage dispenser
Additional building of unspecified size
The South Wibaux Ranch is a large cattle ranch located in eastern Montana. The vast number of improvements currently on the property, including the magnificent custom log lodge, make the South Wibaux Ranch the ideal investment for someone wanting to own and operate a successful eastern Montana cattle ranch. For these reasons, the South Wibaux Ranch is one of the best eastern Montana ranches for sale.
Successful Montana Guest Ranches for Sale
Guest ranches provide an opportunity for owners to monetize their property and capitalize on available revenue streams. Guest Ranches are generally purchased with the intent of starting or continuing a guest ranch operation. They provide customers room and board as well as a host of activities ranging from horseback riding to ATV adventures. Guest Ranches are fun to operate and provide a family with memories they can share for years. For a guest ranch to make this list, it needs a track record, a variety of activities, and high potential.
Montana Guest Ranches for Sale-7R Guest Ranch
Wolf Creek, Montana
Nestled in the Montana wilderness near Rogers Mountain, the 7R Guest Ranch is the perfect property for a relaxing weekend away or summer retreat. Little Wolf Creek, a beautiful tributary of Wolf Creek, runs through the north portion of the property, offering a place of pure solace. The 7R Guest Ranch resides on a family homestead dating back to 1903. The original owner, Andrew Adams, started the homestead, but when it burned down, no one wanted the property, and it was sold. Eventually it found its way back to Ron Adams, the great great grandson of Andrew Adams, in 1992, and has been run by the family ever since. Located just 5 miles west of the town of Wolf Creek, the ranch is easily accessible while still providing seclusion.
Located near the guest ranch is the Missouri River, a world class blue ribbon fly fishing river, and Hauser Lake. It’s no wonder camping and water recreation is a mainstay in this portion of Montana. The picturesque “Gates of the Mountains,” initially documented by Lewis and Clark, are a short jaunt away.
The 7R Guest Ranch is currently set up as a Motel, Bar, Restaurant, RV Park, and is perfect for events. All of which are great revenue generating opportunities. The Motel is a 12 room, 2520 sq. ft. building and was built in 1960 and remodeled in 1995. The remodel has outfitted the motel with interior wood panels, timber bedframes, and other additions. Rooms are currently outfitted with different layouts which include a queen bed only, a queen bed with a bunk bed, and a double bed with a bunk bed. The bar/restaurant is 2,964 sq. ft. and comes with a full liquor and gambling license. For those who do not know, Montana has a quota for liquor licenses which makes it difficult to acquire one. Liquor licenses have sold for as much as $1 million in Gallatin County, but range in price depending on location and demand. With the 7R Guest Ranch owning one of these liquor and gambling licenses, they are granted privileges of selling and purchasing liquor and gaming. There is also a 980 sq. ft. modular home on the property, which can be rented out to guests wanting to stay for a longer period of time. The RV park has 15 full setup spot and 20 dry spots. Additionally, the ATV Park across from the property allows for unlimited use of over 35 miles of trails. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen someone have a bad time while on an ATV.
There are a wide variety of recreation activities available to guests at the 7R Guest Ranch. With the Missouri River only a few miles away, the guest ranch could be a perfect location for avid fisherman to stay while on fishing trips. During the winter, there are a host of activities to partake in. Ice fishing on Hauser Lake, Lake Helena, Holter Lake, and Canyon Ferry Lake, provides excellent opportunities to catch perch, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon. The Great Divide Ski Area is less than an hour drive from the ranch and receives an average 180 inches of snow per season. The property is located in Hunting District 423 and provides housing, eating and refreshment opportunities for visitors to hunt some of Montana’s most coveted big game animals. For more information on Montana’s hunting regulations, visit: http://fwp.mt.gov.
Currently, the 7R Guest Ranch operates from mid-May to mid-October. The restaurant and bar are only open 3-4 nights a week. With the number of activities and some marketing, the 7R Guest Ranch could be a booming guest ranch that stays open 9-10 months out of the year.
The location of the 7R makes it one of the best Montana guest ranches for sale on the market. This property is perfect for anyone looking to own and operate their own Montana Guest Ranch. With some additional marketing and changes to operations, the 7R Guest Ranch can be close to a year-round, revenue generating, guest ranch with incredible upside.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t identify any other Montana guest ranches for sale. These properties are few and far between, making them unique and a great investment to owners. If you find another Montana guest ranch for sale, please let us know and we will amend this report.
Ranches for Sale by Owner
The final category of our 2018 Montana Ranch Real Estate Report is about Montana Ranches for sale by owners. Sometimes, owners of properties wish to sell a property without the assistance of a real estate broker. Other times, as a buyer, you may feel like you are equipped to purchase a property on your own. There is no cost to you, the buyer. We highly recommend that you have some form of buyer representation. At Venture West Ranches, we are happy to help you navigate the complicated process of buying or selling a property. We put your interest first and make sure that you are protected. We want to match you with your dream Montana ranch for sale. One that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.
We hope you enjoyed this year’s Montana Ranches Real Estate Report. If you are interested in any of the following properties, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. As previously stated, if we missed a property that you think belongs on this report, please let us know. We will research the property and see if it fits in this report. All the information above has been gathered from a variety of sources that we have deemed reliable; however, we recommend you verify the information before making any final decisions. Montana is a special place that is still in the early stages of being discovered. This likely means that there is still potential significant appreciation. There is no other place that has the rivers, National Parks, wildlife, views and no crowds that Montana has. It happened to Colorado and Montana will be next.
If you are just starting your search for a Montana ranch, we recommend that you employ buyer representation. It’s free, but more importantly, it helps protect you and your rights in the buying process. Make sure you are represented with an agent that is going to check water rights, mineral rights, conservation easements, property boundaries, carrying capacities, and other property information. Venture West Ranches would be more than happy to help you along this journey.
Contact Buzz at 406-580-4774 or [email protected]. Follow our LinkedIn and Facebook page to stay up to date on new property listings, blog posts, and other property information. If you enjoyed this report, look into Montana Water Rights or Montana ranches for sale homepage for additional information about owning, operating, and improving your ranch.
About the Authors
Partner at Venture West Ranches
Buzz Tatom, a partner at Venture West Ranches, is a ranch owner and has built, run and sold numerous businesses in his career. This gives him a unique background in helping Montana farmers and ranchers navigate the life decisions that we all have to face. Whether it is passing a ranch on to the next generation or planning for eventual sale, his talents and contacts help save clients money and navigate complicated transactions.
Digital Marketing and Content Manager
As the Digital Marketing and Content Manager, Connor writes and creates content that compliments the Montana farms and ranches for sale on the website. Check out our articles page for more articles about Montana ranches.