Skalkaho Creek Ranch

Property Map

Skalkaho Creek Ranch

Hamilton, Montana

Skalkaho Creek Ranch has everything most prospective ranch owners would put on a “wish list” … a great trout stream, public land borders, a quality set of impeccably maintained improvements (including an 8,600+ square foot Alpine Log Home and extensive equestrian facilities), and quick access to a vibrant community with great restaurants and services. Wildlife on the ranch is plentiful and diverse and even includes a herd of bighorn sheep. The trout in Skalkaho Creek are not known for being shy. The views of the Bitterroot Mountains are framed perfectly by the Sapphire Mountains. 

Skalkaho Creek Ranch 3D Tour


Skalkaho Creek Ranch is located ten miles southeast of Hamilton, Montana, on Skalkaho Road. Hamilton is approximately 45 miles south of Missoula, Montana. Delta (including the former Northwest Airlines) and United Airlines serve the Missoula International Airport from their respective hubs in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Denver, providing several arrivals and departures each day. Missoula is also serviced by Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines, with nonstop service to Seattle. Allegiant Air offers direct flights to/from Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Also, Ravalli County Airport in Hamilton, the county seat, has a 4,200-foot runway open to general aviation just 20 miles north of the ranch. 


Skalkaho Creek Ranch has a front-row seat to one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the West -- the Bitterroots. The 1.3 million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness on the west side of the valley is the largest federally designated wilderness area in the lower 48. The valley lies between the Sapphire Mountains to the east and Bitterroots to the west and is recognized as having one of the mildest climates in the state of Montana. The Bitterroot River flows to the north to join the Clark Fork River near Missoula. The ranch’s location provides access to a seemingly endless variety of recreational activities. Within an hour’s drive, one can be in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Big Hole Valley, the Main Fork of the Salmon River, Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, and many other desirable areas. The economy of the area has traditionally been based in agriculture and timber but, in more recent times, relies primarily on tourism and service industries. Missoula, approximately one hour north of the ranch, is home to the University of Montana with an undergraduate student body of over 10,000. The ranch is 45 miles north of the Lost Trail Ski Area, which has, in recent years, undergone a massive facilities expansion.

General Description: 

The ranch is located in the Skalkaho Creek drainage on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley. The property is accessed on both sides of paved Skalkaho Road, approximately 10 miles southeast of Hamilton, Montana. There are two main entrances on the south side of the road and one on the north. When approaching from the west, the first entrance on the right provides access to the manager’s home, outdoor riding arena, barn, and other outbuildings. Irrigated meadows lay both east and west of these improvements, along with a steep hillside to the south. One mile of Skalkaho Creek runs through the middle of the area. The second entrance is located approximately one-quarter mile further up Skalkaho Road. This entrance provides access to the owner’s home by way of a long driveway that crosses Skalkaho Creek on a private bridge. The driveway gains in elevation as it rises to the small bench on which the home is sited to take in views of the creek, the Bitterroot Mountain Range to the west, and the Sapphires to the east. The irrigated meadows continue further on both sides of the creek to the east and west boundaries of the property. The acreage on the north side of the road is accessed by a gate directly across from the manager’s entrance. This acreage is comprised mostly of open range with some timber. The ranch road that accesses this acreage winds its way to the highest elevations of the property, offering rolling hills, meadows, and dramatic views of the Bitterroot Mountains and Valley. Mother nature was here first, and in the year 2000, she reminded us all of that fact when much of the surrounding area burned in a massive outbreak of wildfires. Skalkaho Creek Ranch, while having lost much of its hillside timber resources to the fires, has recovered amazingly well in 15+ years. Intensive weed management has prevented the spread of invasive weed growth and, as a result, the range is now a thriving community of native range plants, providing excellent forage for cattle and wildlife. Furthermore, tree growth immediately surrounding the home and improvements was spared. 

Adjacent ownership consists of very large blocks of US Forest Service land and private holdings. The ranch’s 160-acre state lease is located inside the boundaries of the ranch, north of the highway. 


1,134± Deeded

   160± State Lease 

Acreage Breakdown: 


Farmstead/Homes    2± acres

Tillable Irrigated     44± acres 

Grazing Land        816± acres

Forest Land          272± acres


State Lease          160± acres


Owners Home

The home is a two-story Alpine Log Home with over 8,600 square feet, constructed in 1995-96. The landscaping is artfully designed and impeccably maintained. The home is in excellent condition, with an open, airy, extremely functional floor plan. In addition to the master suite complete with walk-in closet, jacuzzi tub and enclosed shower, the home has four bedrooms, each with a full bath. Amenities include two fireplaces, two family rooms, a large enclosed three-season porch with built-in grill, workout room with sauna, office, and a lower-level kitchenette. Hot water radiant heating in the floor makes the home most comfortable during colder months. The extensive patio, terracing, and decking makes the outdoors as functional and inviting as the interior of the home. All rooms are situated to bring the views into the living space.

Guest quarters, with a living room, kitchen, and two bedrooms and baths, are located over a three-car garage and are attached to the home via a covered “bridge” of decking. Guests can easily remain fully self-contained. 

Managers Home

This home was the original homestead built in 1910 and remodeled in 1994. It is of wood frame construction with 1,300± square feet on the main floor and a full basement below. The main level has two bedrooms and one bath, with two bonus rooms and a bath downstairs. Electric baseboard along with an efficient wood stove provide heat in winter. 

Horse Barn

The barn was constructed in 1996 and includes 2,160± square feet. It is a six-stall structure with auto-waterers, wash rack, bathroom, feedroom, turnouts, and enclosed tackroom. Attached to the barn is a 40’x40’ enclosed work arena with a sand floor. 

Outdoor arena

The outdoor arena is situated creekside and measures 150’ x 250’. An elevated deck provides observation of activities in the arena. 


There are several outbuildings, all of which have been re-sided and re-roofed. The outbuildings provide for storage of implements and vehicles. 


The ranch elevation varies from 4,100 to 5,300 feet, with an average annual precipitation varying between 15 to 20 inches. The Bitterroot Valley is known to have the most desirable climate in Montana.

General Operations: 

The owner has traditionally managed the ranch for cattle and horses but has scaled back in recent years. Currently, the owner leases grazing rights to a local rancher, having disposed of almost all his own livestock. From around May 10th until October 1st, the lessee runs 50-60 pairs on the high range and about 40 pairs in the bottomland. The meadows are primarily used for irrigated pasture and recreation.

Wildlife Resources: 

Skalkaho Creek is alive with cutthroat trout. Elk, bighorn sheep, mule and whitetail deer frequent the ranch. The ranch has a contiguous border with U.S. Forest Service lands, and only a stone’s throw across the valley lies the largest wilderness area in the continental United States, where a large variety of recreational opportunities exist, including horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, and overnight camping trips. On occasion, mountain lions, wolves, and black bears will also pass through the ranch. 


Salish Indians populated this area before white men arrived. The Salish and other tribes used the Skalkaho (Salish for Place of Beaver) “Road” heavily in their travels and eventually a road suitable for vehicles was built on the route in 1924. This road is now called Skalkaho Highway (Montana Highway 38) but is hardly a highway. It is a lightly-traveled two-lane paved road that turns to dirt and gravel east of Skalkaho Creek Ranch, at which point the road is closed during the winter. The narrow and winding road ascends to an elevation of 7,260 feet before dropping down into the Rock Creek drainage. Along the way, Skalkaho Falls provides an impressive 150-foot display of cascading water. 

The ranch was homesteaded by the Hobbs family around 1910. Since that time the ranch has changed hands a few times, but remnants of the old ranch remain. When the manager’s home was remodeled, a few old film negatives were found depicting earlier days of the ranch (see above).

The remains of another old homestead (the Chestnut family) lie high up on the range. The only remnant of this homestead is the remains of a log springhouse that hearkens back to a very different way of life. 


Annual taxes are approximately $14,800.

Water Rights: 

There are numerous water rights appurtenant to the ranch for stockwater, irrigation, and domestic use. Priority dates on these rights range from 1890 to 1995. There are two groundwater wells on the ranch. Full documentation is available upon request. 

Broker Comments: 

Skalkaho Creek Ranch lends itself well to an absentee owner who wants a convenient location without sacrificing the rural character of a real ranch. Of course, if prospective ranch owners wish to make themselves full-time residents of the Northern Rockies, they would find a superb place to do so at Skalkaho Creek Ranch. The ranch would serve equally well for fisherfolk and equestrian enthusiasts. 


Cash at closing.

The Facts: 
  • Convenient location 10 miles from Hamilton directly off the pavement
  • World Class golf within 15 minutes of the property at Charles Schwab’s Stock Farm Club
  • Quality equestrian amenities in a highly desirable climate.
  • Jawdropping views across the valley to the Bitterroot Mountains
  • 1,134± deeded acres and 160± acres of State Lease
  • Attractive mix of irrigated meadows and rangeland
  • Gorgeous Alpine log Home over 8,600 square feet
  • Caretaker home, barn and outdoor riding arena. Well suited for horses
  • Private cutthroat trout fishery on Skalkaho Creek flowing through the property
  • USFS borders
  • Great water rights and two wells on site.
  • Elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer and whitetail deer populations
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, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Berstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 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, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Bergstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offer “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 more than 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.

APPRAISALS - Staying abreast of ancillary market influences in ever-changing economic conditions requires a broad professional network to tap into. Finding an appraiser who not only understands the numbers but also the differences in value from one area to another is a critical part of making an informed decision. The appraisal team at Hall and Hall, formed entirely of Accredited Members of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), has that critical network of brokers and lending professionals. This professional network coupled with diverse experience across multiple regions and market segments allows our appraisal team to deliver a quality product in a reasonable timeframe.  For more information contact our appraisal team at (406) 656-7500.

SPECIALIZED LENDING - Since 1946 Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to landowners.  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 efficient processing allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.

Competitive Pricing  |  Flexible Terms  |  Efficient Processing
Tina Hamm or Scott Moran • (406) 656-7500 
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882
J.T. Holt • (806) 698-6884


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.