Smith River Ranch

Property Map

Smith River Ranch

  • Smith River Ranch

Smith River Ranch - Recently Sold

White Sulphur Springs, Montana

The Smith River Ranch is located in an area of large Montana ranches where properties are highly sought after but tightly held and historically hard to come by. The 227± acre property offers stunning views of the river, the Big and Little Belt mountains to the east and west, and the Castle Mountain Range to the south. There is over one-half mile of both sides of the Smith River, which is a famous wild trout fishery with some very large fish. The wide wetland corridor includes a spring-fed slough and irrigated hay meadows which support a variety of large and small game, upland birds and waterfowl. The elegant four-bedroom timber-frame home is strategically situated above the river, offering an expansive panorama of the nearby mountains and the river corridor. With paved access just 15 miles northwest of White Sulphur Springs and an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Bozeman, the ranch offers a convenient getaway loaded with recreational flair right in the midst of a very special and largely unaltered ranching landscape.


The Smith River Ranch is located fifteen miles outside of White Sulphur Springs, and twenty miles from a paved and lighted 6,100’ X 75’ jet capable airstrip.  Commercial air service is available in either Bozeman, one-and-one-half hours away, or Helena, which is just over an hour away. The ranch is accessed from paved State highways 12 and 89 and there are no public roads through the ranch. Most services are available in White Sulphur Springs, which is the county seat for Meagher County, with a population estimated at just shy of 1,000. These services include banks, grocery stores, restaurants, motels, a movie theater, a small well-supported local hospital, as well as a variety of shops and services that one might expect in a vibrant small Montana community. Major services are available in Bozeman and Helena. 


White Sulphur Springs lies close to the headwaters of the Smith River and has historically been primarily a ranching community. However, in recent years with the increasing popularity of fly fishing and river floating, it has become a recreational mecca for people, many of whom are embarking on the five-day float trip through the Smith River Canyon which begins a short drive north of town. The area also offers both fly fishing and big game hunting and is now a newly discovered scenic route for tourists traveling between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

There is a strong sense of community in White Sulphur. The town and surrounding ranch owners support a variety of local enterprises, but are opening their doors for more cultural and arts experiences. The Red Ants Pants Festival, held every summer in a “cow pasture” just outside of town, has featured such notable musicians as Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal, Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris. It is a fun-filled, family-style gathering complete with food, camping and nonstop dancing, drawing people from all over the United States. The proceeds go to support the community. 

For the winter sports enthusiast, several notable ski resorts are 30 to 60 minutes away and include Showdown Ski Area and Bridger Bowl as well as the more distant two-plus-hour’s excursion to Big Sky Ski Resort.  

It is fair to say that White Sulphur Springs is generally considered to be an area of large ranches that tend to remain in stable hands over generations. Few have passed into non-local hands but they have increased in size and are operated seriously. One of the great benefits of the area is that it is “off the beaten path” but is rapidly growing in popularity as witnessed by a number of notable ranch sales over the last 10 years. There is no question that its considerable amenities are fast being recognized. We consider it to be a bit of a “sleeper” at the moment


General Description: 

The property is well situated along the Smith River and includes willow bottoms with a wetland complex, a spring-fed slough, a pond and irrigated hay meadows which support a variety of large and small game, upland birds and waterfowl. The timber frame home sits above the river offering expansive views of the multiple nearby mountain ranges. 


227± deeded acres 

Acreage Breakdown: 

• 37± acres classified as tillable irrigated ground

• 189± acres grazing land

• 1± acre homestead 


The ranch has a beautiful timber frame home that includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a double garage. It offers a chef’s kitchen with custom evergreen cabinetry, Jenn-Aire range and wall oven, and a built-in microwave. There are full-slab granite counter tops, oak wood flooring, a center island and a breakfast nook.  A comfortable dining room and living room with a wood stove offer a quiet place to rest after a day’s adventures. There is a loft/office with great views of the river and mountains in the distance. The master-suite bathroom boasts double sinks, granite floors, a jetted tub and walk-in closet. Additionally, there is a walk-out basement with a family/game room, two bedrooms and a bath.


The area offers a mild climate with average snowfall ranging six to nine inches in the winter months with a high number of sunny days. Summer temperatures typically run between 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to the low 50s and high 40s at night.  

General Operations: 

The ranch is leased out to a neighbor who owns one of the large ranches in the area. He puts up the hay and grazes the property. 

Wildlife Resources: 

Smith River Ranch is rich in wildlife resources, supporting healthy populations of whitetail deer and mule deer.  Hungarian partridge can be seen on the property while the river and wetlands support waterfowl almost year around.   There are a host of other small game species including a variety of raptors, and the occasional moose will be encountered wandering through along the river bottom.  

Fishery Resources: 

The property has over a half mile of both sides of the legendary Smith River and is located on a very private stretch of the river that lies approximately ten miles upstream of Camp Baker. The river contains shallow riffles combined with big bends and undercut banks. There are good fish numbers and great opportunities for landing monstrous brown and rainbow trout.  The property typically fishes well in the spring and early summer, while fall is usually the best time for the biggest fish.

In addition to a whole host of recreational pursuits located near the property, there are a handful of rivers and creeks to fish within a short driving distance. The Shields and Yellowstone rivers are located within an hour of the ranch and are arguably some of the best fly-fishing rivers in the state.   

 The Missouri River, 90± minutes from the ranch, has the tail-water section of the river below Toston Dam and offers world-class fishing for large brown and rainbow trout. For the lake fisherman, Canyon Ferry Lake is 30 minutes from the ranch and boasts exceptional fishing for a variety of species including walleye, trout, northern pike, brook trout and Kokanee salmon. 

There are many mountain lakes in the nearby national forest including a unique group of lakes a short distance from the property that offer productive trout fishing. Access is available by 4-wheel drive, horses, biking or hiking. 

Recreational Considerations: 

Meagher County is sparsely populated and overflows with public land and, as a result of so much accessible public land, the outdoor recreation is exceptional. The elk and mule deer hunting in the area is tremendous. The large mountain ranges, streams and nearby lakes offer a multitude of recreational pursuits including horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, bird watching, mountain biking, boating or just enjoying the area.   In addition to the previously mentioned Red Ants Pants Festival, there is a Fun Run, Labor Day Rodeo, 4th of July parade and numerous other community events.  Nearby are two ski resorts that in include the local favorite, Showdown, and nationally recognized Bridger Bowl, both within an hour of the property.  There are a host of additional winter activities in the area that include snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  


Taxes are approximately $3,785 per annum based on recent history. 

Broker Comments: 

Smith River Ranch is a rare opportunity to own a private fishing retreat and an entry point into the tightly held Smith River Valley. These waters offer an angler the opportunity to catch fish in excess of 22 inches, with larger fish sometimes being landed. The timber-frame home offers an easily maintained, comfortable resting place for friends and family, and an abundance of wildlife and recreation complete the package that lies within easy reach of three of Montana’s highly regarded cities in Helena, Livingston and Bozeman.

The Facts: 
  • 1.5 hours from Bozeman and 15 minutes from White Sulphur Springs
  • 227± acres with 37± acres being classified as tillable irrigated ground, 189± acres grazing land, and a 1 acre homestead
  • Over a half mile of private trout fishing on the Smith River
  • A well-appointed timber frame home with an open floor plan
  • Wildlife includes waterfowl populations, whitetail and mule deer, Hungarian partridge, antelope, sandhill cranes, and waterfowl
  • Surrounded by large and traditional ranching neighbors
  • Diverse recreational amenities
  • Beautiful views of 3 mountain ranges and the river
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.