Sleeping Willow Ranch

Property Map

Sleeping Willow Ranch - Recently Sold

Stevensville, Montana

Sleeping Willow Ranch is among the oldest homesteads in the Western Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. It is situated between two mountain ranges with two creeks flowing through and a vibrant and historic community nearby. The property has excellent water rights and a plan in place for extensive water enhancements designed to expand and improve the current fishery resources. Sleeping Willow enjoys very easy access off a county-maintained road just a few miles from restaurants, shopping and services. Recreation is boundless here with millions of acres of public land nearby and a fantastic fishery, the Bitterroot River flowing through the center of the valley.


Sleeping Willow Ranch is located in the Bitterroot Valley approximately three and one-half miles southeast of the community of Stevensville, Montana’s oldest community originally established as a mission. 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 with several arrivals and departures each day. Missoula is also served by Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines, providing in-state service and nonstop service to the west coast. Also, Ravalli County Airport in Hamilton has a 4,200-foot runway open to general aviation.


The Bitterroot Valley is arguably the most beautiful valley in Montana, if not the Northern Rockies. The Bitterroot River runs in a northerly direction throughout the length of the valley. The western edge of the valley is met by the towering, jagged peaks of the Bitterroot Mountain Range while the eastern edge of the valley is graced with the gentler horizon of the Sapphire Mountains. The valley is dotted with quaint Montana towns, the largest of which is Hamilton, located approximately 20 minutes from the ranch. Stevensville was the very first community in Montana and is located approximately three and one-half miles from the ranch’s doorstep. The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area, located in the Bitterroot Mountains, provides the locals a pristine roadless wilderness area that, when taken with two contiguous wilderness areas, account for the largest contiguous block of wilderness in the lower 48 states. Lost Trail Ski Area offers an excellent local ski area without the crowds found elsewhere. The Bitterroot Valley is one of the more populous valleys in Montana and therefore offers much more in the way of services than many other areas.

General Description: 

Sleeping Willow Ranch is approached from the western boundary via South Burnt Fork Road (fully maintained county road). South Burnt Fork Road travels through the property near the south boundary. All but 40± acres lies north of this road. The acreage south of the road is a dry slope scattered with brush and the acreage north of the road is comprised of lush, irrigated meadows that are virtually flat. Once passing the property’s west boundary on South Burnt Fork Road, there is a driveway on the left a quarter mile in, that is adorned with several huge willow trees leftover from the old homestead site. Upon entering the property’s driveway there is a small pond on the left that was recently constructed by the current owner. The driveway winds past the old barn that is still intact. The current owner has taken great pains to clean up and beautify the property by removing the dilapidated structures that made up the old homestead. He preserved a historic log cabin on the property and moved it to a location near the northeast corner of the property. Just before entering the property at its eastern boundary, South Burnt Fork Creek splits into two creeks, Robertson Creek and South Swamp Creek. Both of these creeks traverse the length of the property from east to west. While the eyes are drawn to the dramatic views of the Bitterroot Mountains to the west, the views to the east are of the timbered horizon of the Sapphire Mountains. The views to the north and south are pastoral.




The only structural improvements on the ranch currently are the historic barn (circa 1909) and log cabin (late 1800s). The modest one-room log cabin has been restored and moved from its original location to serve as a “grandkid” cabin in the “back” of the property.


The Bitterroot Valley is one of the lowest intermountain valleys in the Rocky Mountains. Elevations at the Sleeping Willow Ranch range from approximately 3,650 to 3,820 feet above sea level. This location west of the continental divide results in a stronger “Pacific Northwest influence” than that which is found east of the divide. Consequently, the climate is mild by Montana standards. High readings of 90º F occur less than 20 days a year. Summers are pleasant and winters are characterized by steady, but not severe, cold. Extremely high winds are rare.

Wildlife Resources: 

Whitetail Deer are rampant on the property and can be seen at nearly every turn.

Fishery Resources: 

Fishing is probably the most important recreational attraction to the Bitterroot Valley. The Bitterroot River is a well-respected world-class fly-fishing river. It has an exceptionally long season with fishable hatches from early March through early November. Rainbow and brown trout up to 27 inches are occasionally landed here as well as cutthroat trout up to about 20 inches or more. The ranch itself also holds excellent water rights and resources. These water resources have traditionally been used for the raising of hay during the summer months but the current owner has, with the assistance of professional consultants, designed an enhancement plan that is ready to be implemented. This enhancement plan calls for the construction of numerous ponds throughout the property capable of growing very large fish. Sleeping Willow Ranch is conveniently located for easy fishing excursions to the river.

Recreational Considerations: 

The ranch is also within a 20-minute drive of the Stock Farm Club, Charles Schwab’s internationally recognized community with a Tom Fazio designed 18-hole golf course. The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the largest in the lower 48 states, is just across the valley where there are numerous trailheads from many locations throughout the valley.


Property taxes are estimated at $1,264 annually.

Water Rights: 

Sleeping Willow Ranch has extensive water rights with priority dates as early as 1866. Full documentation is available upon request.

Broker Comments: 

If there is one common denominator on Rocky Mountain land holdings that hold their value it is water — and Sleeping Willow has plenty of it. The Ranch sits in a very convenient location and has tremendous potential for resource enhancement. There are some great building sites throughout the property, each of which takes in its own unique view of the surroundings.


Cash at closing.

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.