G Bar T Ranch

Property Map

G Bar T Ranch

  • G Bar T Ranch

G Bar T Ranch - Price Reduced

Townsend, Montana

Hundreds of elk call this 8,582± acre (5,022± deeded) ranch “home” year round. From its timbered foothills setting in the Helena National Forest’s Big Belt Mountains, the ranch overlooks its own irrigated hayfields and the nearby 26 mile-long Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Townsend is visible 15 miles away by state highway. Helena and Bozeman are 45- and 75-minute drives respectively. A main home and two newly rebuilt cabins comprise the improvements.


The G Bar T Ranch is located approximately 15 miles northwest of Townsend on the northeast side of Canyon Ferry Reservoir on paved State Highway 284. The ranch lies to the east of the highway. Highway 284 continues northwesterly and provides access from the ranch to Helena, about a 45-minute drive away. Bozeman is also easily accessible, within an hour’s drive south, and Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (Bozeman’s airport located in Belgrade) is about 70 miles from the ranch. Extensive private and commercial air service is available in both Bozeman and Helena. 


The area that is bounded by the Canyon Ferry Reservoir on the west and the Big Belt Mountains to the east is a very private area that offers access for locals to the 26-mile long lake but is otherwise little known outside of the area’s residents. It consists of a series of mountain ranches that offer back-door views and access to one of Montana’s more intimate mountain ranges, as well as front-door views across the lake to the Elkhorn Mountains. The area was made famous in the 1860s and 1870s for the gold placer diggings. Montana Bar in Confederate Gulch, which lies on the southeasterly boundary of the ranch, was once called “the richest acre of ground in the world.” Currently the area is better known for trophy elk and top-quality mule deer hunting in the Big Belts.

One of the greatest benefits of this area is that it is not on the main road to anywhere yet it is easily accessible from both Helena and Bozeman with a paved road right to the ranch. Townsend is a very attractive small town which provides most basic services and is only 15 miles away. In short, this is a very well-located and easily accessible ranch by Montana standards.

General Description: 

The G Bar T Ranch is accessed off State Highway 284. The lower reaches of the ranch consist of flat-to-rolling irrigated and dryland meadows which give way almost immediately to steep hills and mountainous terrain punctuated by a series of narrow valleys or “gulches.” The most southeastern valley is Confederate Gulch which is right on the ranch’s boundary.  It contains a graveled public road which passes through the east edge of the ranch. The ranch controls an estimated two miles of this mountain stream which is also the primary source of irrigating water. As one moves in a northwesterly direction along the face of the mountains one encounters Grubb Gulch and Spring Creek Gulch. The owners have rebuilt a one-room hunting cabin in Grubb Gulch near a good spring and a wonderful two-room cabin in another gulch. The terrain is relatively steep with high open ridges. The hills and valleys are pleasingly “decorated” with areas of timber, cedar and aspens. This is considered absolutely prime mule deer and elk habitat as well as excellent habitat for whitetail, bear, grouse, mountain lion and pheasant - not to mention good quality mountain pasture for the livestock operation.

The grazing portion of the operation takes place in these hills where a mixture of State of Montana and BLM leased lands are interspersed with deeded.  In general, the deeded lands effectively control access to most of the public lands.  This combination allows the ranch to operate on approximately 8,582 acres and it should support 100 mother cows plus appropriate replacement heifers, bulls and horses for the ranch.

  • 5,022± deeded acres
  • 3,400± BLM lease acres
  • 160± State of Montana lease acres
  • 8,582± total acres fenced into main ranch
Acreage Breakdown: 
  • 112± irrigated by pivot and wheel lines
  • 8,470 rangeland (including State of Montana and BLM, but not U.S. Forest Service Permit area)
  • Total: 8,582± acres
Leases & Permits: 
  • State: 160± acres for 31 AUMs, renewing in 2024
  • BLM: 114 head of cattle from June 15th through July 15th and again from October 15th through November 15th. A total of 244 AUMs renewing in 2019.

Graveley Lane runs north-south along the western edge of the ranch. On the western side of this lane lies the manager/guest house on an eight-acre parcel, across the road from the rest of the ranch. To the north of this, in different mountain valleys inside the ranch, are two rustic hunting cabins.

Main House
Built in 2002, this 3,920± (1,960± on each floor) square foot home was originally a pre-manufactured home with a full basement and oversized two-car, attached garage/workshop. It has been added on to and totally remodeled inside and out.  The builder is a true craftsman, and the log detailing and half-log accent walls with chinking give this home an Old West feeling without sacrificing any of the comforts of modern construction.  Beautiful hand-crafted sawn-log work is finished and detailed, especially the basement bar/family room.  The home contains four bedrooms and two baths on the main floor plus a large kitchen/dining area, a “mudroom” and a living room.  Covered decks span the entire lake side of the house offering inspiring views of the lake and mountains beyond.  The basement bar/family room is quite the hunters’ den. The focal point is a large, river rock fireplace.  Surrounding this are hand-crafted log furnishings with a log-finished wet bar.  Two bedrooms, a bath and a large exercise/game room complete the downstairs.  Heating is propane forced-air and water is provided by an excellent well.  There is an attached two-car garage and workshop as well as a detached two-car garage (24’x24’) for additional storage of various forms of motorized transport that might be enjoyed on a mountain ranch in this day and age.

Mountain Cabins
As previously mentioned, there are two log cabins in the mountains on the ranch – one quite basic, the other fully appointed and finished.  The more finished of the two is located in an especially private setting, at the end its own end-of-the-road mountain valley.  The edge of the fir tree forest is the backdrop of this one-story, split-level, two-bedroom, one-bath cabin. It is completely off the grid. It was finished in 2007 and is a wood-lover’s hand-crafted work of art.  The structure is of hand-peeled blue pine logs.  The cupboards and trim are also blue pine, while the flooring is Douglas fir.  Four-inch thick re-sawn timbers make up the countertops.  The refrigerator, cooking stove and electricity generator are propane powered.  A quaint mountain-style heating stove burns both gas and wood, and a claw-footed tub/shower appropriately completes the bath.

The more basic one-room hunting cabin and its imaginatively designed outhouse are located in the largest of the valleys above the ranch headquarters.  These two structures are simple and rustic but beautifully hand-crafted of hewn slab sliding in the square-log motif.



The G Bar T Ranch headquarters sit at an elevation of just over 4,100 feet above sea level in an area that tends to have open winters with little snowfall accumulation. The main body of the ranch rises to nearly 6,000 feet which means that there are more alpine areas which would have heavy snow cover in the winter and good high-mountain grazing in the summer. The ranch lies in an area that is estimated to receive around 13 inches of annual precipitation. 

General Operations: 

The current owners have opted to lease the cattle operation out to their manager and the crops are contracted to a local farmer. This simplifies the operation for the owner and allows him to concentrate on the two areas in which he is most interested - namely the enjoyment of the ranch’s recreational amenities – particularly big game hunting and the improvement of the real estate asset. The appearance and condition of the ranch and the trophy-quality elk and mule deer herds are a testament to his success in these two areas.

Because of the fact that the ranch is well balanced, it can be operated in many ways. For an absentee owner a rental scenario with an on-site manager is often the surest way to ensure a positive cash flow, maximize enjoyment of the ranch, and minimize the number of moving parts. For an active operator, the owners have indicated they feel the ranch will comfortably run a cow herd of 100-150 along with replacement heifers, bulls and horses. The previous owners ran more, but the current owners have been observing drought conditions and have been running somewhat less. We generally recommend a reduced capacity to leave feed for wildlife as this is a resource that has considerable value. 

Water Resources: 

The property’s irrigation water rights come out of Confederate Gulch Creek. These rights call for 4.54 cubic feet per second (181.6 miner’s inches) with priority dates from 1881 to 1982.  This places them third in priority on the creek, which in non-drought years is excellent. In the drought years they have been able to irrigate until early July. The pivots are set up to put out extra water so the soil can be fully saturated early. They have been achieving hay yields in the five-ton-per-acre range.

Wildlife Resources: 

The current owners bought the ranch to use as a hunting ranch for elk and mule deer. They have understocked it and protected it for this purpose and they have been very pleased with the wildlife that has moved onto the ranch as a result. In addition to the approximately 8,656 acres within the ranch boundaries, the ranch adjoins huge areas of public land which act as a storage and breeding area for wildlife, which more often than not end up on the ranch as a result of public pressure during the hunting season. The Big Belts are well known for their elk herds. The combination of good protection, mild winters, live water, a huge nearby lake, and the feed crops grown in the adjacent valley make for a diverse population of other types of wildlife from waterfowl to upland birds, bears, mountain lions and a variety of non-game species.

The wildlife component of this ranch deserves a little further description.  As mentioned, the ranch was purchased as a hunting retreat and vacation home for the current owner.  Previous owners of the ranch hunted the ranch hard and although it always supported a large amount of wildlife, the quality of the animals suffered due to the fact they were never reaching a mature age.  In 2000, the ranch changed hands and the grass was allowed to rest from livestock for two years and since has been carefully managed to insure the wildlife have ample feed.  The hunting pressure was also minimized to create a greater age class of trophy animals.

This resulted in a full-time herd of some 600 elk and over 500 deer.  These animals are now mature trophy-class animals more typical of the strong genetics noted for that region.  The number of hunters has been restricted and the harvest rates are 100 percent, resulting in some 10 bull elk and 15 cow elk per year. The neighbors to the south report a similar size herd of their own which cumulatively amounts to a very sizeable herd of elk.  Combined with a good number of upland birds and antelope, the hunting opportunities on the G Bar T are tremendous. Elk hunting on the G Bar T DVD is available upon request.  

Recreational Considerations: 

Miles upon miles of adjoining national forest lands afford the ranch hunting, hiking and riding, be it horseback, 4-wheeler or bicycle.  The 26-mile-long Canyon Ferry Lake is just three miles off the ranch boundary.  A boat marina is nearby.  Fishing for walleye, trout, perch and salmon is popular, as is water skiing.

The famous Blue Ribbon trout fishing portion of the Missouri River is within ninety minutes’ drive. It offers some of the finest dry-fly fishing in the state. It is only 45 miles to the headwaters of the Missouri where three of Montana’s renowned trout rivers combine. As mentioned earlier, this ranch could not be better located both in terms of access to attractive towns such as Bozeman and Helena and in terms of access to Montana’s finest streams and mountain ranges. Downhill skiing at the huge Big Sky Resort is just over a ninety minute drive. 


The G Bar T Ranch was formerly the Graveley Ranch, which was in their family since the homestead days. The current owners are the second owners in the history of the ranch. This area was homesteaded early during the two decades following the Civil War in order to supply the placer mining. As a result, this was one of the earliest areas to be settled in Montana, with the railroad and most of the homesteaders not arriving until the late 1800s and early 1900s.


Taxes are estimated to be less than $15,000 annually.

Mineral Rights: 

Except for a small area in Confederate Gulch, the current owners believe they own all the private mineral rights on the ranch and are including all they own in the offering.

Broker Comments: 

The G Bar T Ranch is an outstanding private mountain ranch within an hour’s drive of major commercial air service at either Bozeman or Helena. World class big game hunting plus a beautiful setting create a fabulous Montana ranch.


Cash at closing.

The Facts: 
  • 5,022± deeded acres
  • 114± irrigated acres
  • 3,560 acres leased (3,400± BLM, 160± State of Montana)
  • Helena National Forest boundary
  • Hundreds of elk, year round
  • 15 miles to Townsend, 45 minutes to Helena & 75 minutes to Bozeman
  • Home & two cabin
Additional Services: 

MANAGEMENT SERVICES – Hall and Hall’s Management Division has a very clear mission – To represent the owner and to ensure that his or her experience is a positive one. Services are customized to suit the owner’s needs. They often begin with the recruiting and hiring of a suitable ranch manager or caretaker and are followed by the development of a management or operating plan along with appropriate budgets. Ongoing services include bill paying, ranch oversight, and consulting services as needed. Even the most sophisticated and experienced ranch owners appreciate the value of a management firm representing them and providing advice on local area practices and costs. Wes Oja and Jerome Chvilicek at (406) 656-7500 or Randy Clavel at (308) 534-9000 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT SERVICES – Increasingly the value of a ranch is measured by the quality of each and every one of its resources. Coincidentally the enhancement of a ranch’s resources also increases the pleasure that one derives from the ownership of a ranch. Our management services have included the assessment of everything from wildlife habitat to bird habitat to water resources and fisheries and the subsequent oversight of the process involved with the enhancement of these resources. Wes Oja or Jerome Chvilicek at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offers “Another Solution” to create liquidity for the owners of Investment-Quality Rural Real Estate. Our auction team has experience in marketing farmland, ranchland, timberland and recreational properties throughout the nation. Extreme attention to detail and complete transparency coupled with Hall and Hall’s “rolodex” of over 40,000 targeted owners and buyers of rural real estate help assure that there are multiple bidders at each auction. In addition the unique Hall and Hall partnership model creates a teamwork approach that helps to assure that we realize true market value on auction day. For more information on our auction services contact Scott Shuman at (800) 829-8747.

SPECIALIZED LENDING - Since 1946 Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to the intermountain west. In addition to traditional farm and ranch loans, we specialize in understanding the unique aspects of placing loans on ranches where value may be influenced by recreational features, location and improvements and repayment may come from outside sources. Our extensive experience and strong relationships with our lenders allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.

Competitive Pricing • Flexible Terms • Efficient Processing
In-House Appraisals • Common Sense Underwriting
Dave Roddy • (406) 656-7500
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Randy Clavel • (308) 534-9000
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882


Following is a Montana law required disclosure.


Montana law requires that BUYER’s and SELLER’s be advised about the different types of agency relationships available to them (MCA § 37-51-102 & 37-51-321).  A real estate agent is qualified to advise only on real estate matters.  As the client or as the customer, please be advised that you have the option of hiring outside professional services on your own behalf (legal and tax counsel, home or building inspectors, accountant, environmental inspectors, range management or agricultural advisors, etc.) at any time during the course of a transaction to obtain additional information to make an informed decision.  Each and every agent has obligations to each other party to a transaction no matter whom the agent represents.  The various relationships are as follows:

SELLER's Agent:  exclusively represents the SELLER (or landlord).  This agency relationship is created when a listing is signed by a SELLER/owner and a real estate licensee.  The SELLER's agent represents the SELLER only, and works toward securing an offer in the best interest of the SELLER.  The SELLER agent still has obligations to the BUYER as enumerated herein.

BUYER's Agent:  exclusively represents the BUYER (or tenant).  This agency relationship is created when a BUYER signs a written BUYER-broker agreement with a real estate licensee.  The BUYER agent represents the BUYER only, and works towards securing a transaction under the terms and conditions established by the BUYER and in the best interest of the BUYER.  The BUYER agent has obligations to the SELLER as enumerated herein.

Dual Agent:  does not represent the interests of either the BUYER or SELLER exclusively.  This agency relationship is created when an agent is the SELLER's agent (or subagent) and enters into a BUYER-broker agreement with the BUYER.  This relationship must receive full informed consent by all parties before a "dual-agency" relationship can exist.  The "dual agent" does not work exclusively for the SELLER or the BUYER but works for both parties in securing a conclusion to the transaction.  If you want an agent to represent you exclusively, do not sign the "Dual Agency" Disclosure and Consent" form.

Statutory Broker:  is a licensee who assists one or more of the parties in a transaction, but does not represent any party as an agent.  A licensee is presumed to be acting as a “statutory broker” unless they have entered into a listing agreement with the SELLER, a BUYER-broker agreement with the BUYER, or a dual agency agreement with all parties.

In-House SELLER Agent Designate:   is a licensee designated by the broker- owner/manager (of the real estate brokerage) to be the exclusive agent for the SELLER for a specific transaction in which the brokerage has the property listed and the BUYER is working directly through the same brokerage also.  This agent may not act on behalf of any other member of the transaction and works for the benefit of the SELLER, but still is obligated to the BUYER as any SELLER's agent would be.

In-House BUYER Agent Designate:   is a licensee designated by the broker- owner/manager (of the real estate brokerage) to be the exclusive agent for the BUYER for a specific transaction in which the brokerage has the property listed and the BUYER is working directly through the same brokerage also.  This agent may not act on behalf of any other member of the transaction and works for the benefit of the BUYER, but still obligated to the SELLER as any BUYER's agent would be.

Subagent:   is an agent of the licensee already acting as an agent for either the SELLER or BUYER.  A "SELLER agent" can offer "subagency" to an agent to act on his behalf to show the property and solicit offers from BUYER’s.  A "BUYER agent can offer "subagency" to an agent to act on his behalf to locate and secure certain property meeting the BUYER's criteria. 

_____ of Hall and Hall is the exclusive agent of the Seller.

NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been provided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee. Prospective buyers should verify all information to their satisfaction. Prospective buyers should also be aware that the photographs in this brochure may have been digitally enhanced.