The 5,946± deeded acre 6C Ranch supports a 300-350 cow/calf operation on an ample hay base that is capable of producing enough winter feed to support a year-round operation up to 600 head with the addition of more summer grazing. (Coincidentally the adjacent Hoover Creek Ranch also offered by Hall and Hall would provide this balance). Outstanding big game hunting for mule deer, whitetail, and elk exists throughout the ranch, while the scenic upper Clark Fork River valley provides a classic Montana setting with deeded lands reaching from the river bottom to densely wooded hillsides. Urban amenities are readily available in Missoula, located a one-hour drive to the west. The ranch has excellent improvements including a large custom-designed owner’s residence, multiple other residences, a new horse barn and a complete set of ranch utility buildings.
The 6C Ranch is accessed from the Gold Creek exit on Interstate 90. Once through the historic town of Gold Creek, a short drive along river bottom hay meadows takes one to the ranch headquarters where the shop, barn and other basic ranch improvements are found. Well-maintained private roads wind a short distance further to carry residents to the larger hilltop custom home and the slightly older former owner’s residence located on a bluff over the Clark Fork River. There is an extensive system of two-track roads that access the outer reaches of the ranch.The majority of the 6C Ranch is deeded acreage that lies in two connected blocks divided by Interstate 90 making it an excellent self-contained unit. Elevations vary from approximately 4,100 feet along the river to approximately 5,400 feet at the highest elevation of the northern unit where it adjoins the Hoover Creek Ranch. There are approximately 531 acres of irrigated hay ground that lie along the Clark Fork River lowlands. The ranch contains extensive native grass pasture and encompasses significant foothill features at the north end of the Flint Creek Range. The limited timber on the ranch’s southern unit makes for outstanding touring opportunities, whether on horseback or by motorized vehicle. This 3,598± acre block includes most of the ranch improvements and the irrigated meadows. The north unit includes 2,349± acres of partially to heavily timbered lands that adjoin the lands currently leased from Stimson Lumber Company, which is part of the Hoover Creek Ranch offering.
Montana ranches that span from river bottom to mountaintop are increasingly rare in today’s market. Particularly in western Montana and within a one-hour drive of Missoula, ranches of this size and with this set of amenities rarely come to market. The 6C has been well managed over the course of its current ownership. With or without the addition of the Hoover Creek Ranch, the ownership of this ranch will offer the owner a lifetime of adventure and exploration along with a good-sized livestock operation.
Learn about the locale
The 6C Ranch is located 25 miles northwest of Deer Lodge and 55 miles east of Missoula along the Clark Fork River in Powell County. Commercial air services are available in Missoula (Delta, United, Northwest, Alaska, Allegiant), 50 miles north in Helena (United, Delta, Continental, Alaska) or 65 miles to the east in Butte (United, Delta, US Airways). The town of Drummond is 10 miles to the northwest where basic services and conveniences can be found. The ranch is located at the northern end of the Flint Creek Mountain Range and features panoramic views of the Clark Fork River and the mid-Clark Fork Valley.
The Clark Fork River is a major tributary to the Columbia River, and above the valley, several mountain ranges rise including the Flint Creek Range, the Garnet Range and a little further south, the main spine of the Continental Divide and the Pintler Range. The surrounding area is dominated by agricultural lands and other working ranches. To the west, the 12,000± acre Angelo Ranch is under a conservation easement held by The Nature Conservancy, while to the south and east other large ownerships continue their commitment to agricultural operations. The area is rich in history. From the early days of the gold strikes to pioneer settlement and horse-drawn trans-state commerce on the old Mullan Trail, the 6C occupied a solid place in Montana history. Deer Lodge (population 3,400), the county seat, is located 25 miles southeast of the ranch and serves as the main commercial and service center for the area. Deer Lodge provides a private hospital, hotels, restaurants, K-12 public schools and a full line of services.
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
North Unit: 2,348± acres South Unit: 3,598± acres State of Montana Lease: 640± acres Stimson Lumber Lease: 4,500± acres (estimated)
Deeded Acres: 5,946±
Total Acres: 5,946±
With the exception of the hired hand’s house, all improvements on the ranch are located on the southern unit and include the following structures: Luxury Custom Home 7,850 sq ft four bedrooms, seven bathrooms Rancher’s Home 2,993 sq ft six bedrooms, five bathrooms Ranch Manager’s Home 2,943 sq ft six bedrooms, three bathrooms Ranch Hand’s Home 1,420 sq ft three bedrooms, one bathroom Livestock Barn 11,700 sq ft Horse barn 4,116 sq ft Block Barn 2,652 sq ft Shop 2,856 sq ftThe luxury home, horse barn and shop were all built within the last few years (2004, 2003, 2003, respectively). The luxury home features a host of modern accessories built to the high standards of the custom home industry, including multiple home offices, common areas and high-end kitchen and bath improvements. It has three generous bedrooms plus a master suite for a total of four bedrooms, seven baths and two offices. The rancher’s home was built in 1989 and offers a total of six bedrooms and five baths, with the downstairs partitioned into a separate apartment that contains three bedrooms and two baths out of the total beds and baths contained in the house. The manager’s home is a few years older than the rancher’s home and contains six bedrooms and three bathrooms (four beds upstairs and two on the main level). The ranch hand’s home likely dates from the late 40s or early 50s and contains three bedrooms and one bath.
The 6C enjoys abundant water rights for both domestic and agricultural uses. Stock water and irrigation rights have priority dates as early as 1866, with multiple other rights dating from the latter portion of the 1800s. A full list of all water rights that will be conveyed with the ranch is available on request.
Property taxes are estimated at $ 20,468 annually.
Learn about the recreational amenities
The ranch also features a well-stocked fish pond and one-quarter mile of both sides of the Clark Fork River. Good fishing for wild trout can be found up and down the Clark Fork, with a particularly good hole located on the 6C Ranch.
The ranch supports a wide variety of wildlife, particularly on its northern unit where excellent opportunities exist for hunting mule deer and elk.The adjacent Hoover Creek Ranch has been in active block management for many years, which is a testament to the productive wildlife habitat on the northern unit. Good whitetail hunting along the river bottom rounds out the big game opportunities, while black bear, mountain lion and other native species make their home throughout the ranch.
Further afield, excellent alpine skiing can be found within a one-hour drive at Ski Discovery, while Montana’s Snowbowl is located a little further, about 20 minutes past Missoula. Endless opportunities for backcountry recreation in all its forms exist on the hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest and other public lands located within a one-hour radius of the 6C. From the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness to the 50 miles of blue ribbon trout water on Rock Creek — the only blue ribbon rated fishery west of the Continental Divide in Montana — the outdoor enthusiast will find a never-ending supply of opportunities.
Learn about the general operations
The ranch has operated as a working cattle ranch for many years. The deeded acreage combined with the State of Montana lease on 640 acres will support a 200-250 cow operation. Total hay production potential on the 531 acres of irrigated ground is estimated to be capable of producing 1,750 – 2,000 tons of hay with active management. Current wild hay production is approximately 750 tons. With the addition of currently leased land from the Hoover Creek Ranch, total carrying capacity is 300-350 head. If a buyer were to acquire all of the Hoover Creek property (currently less than half of Hoover Creek is leased to the 6C), total production would increase to approximately 500 head. The 6C is capable of producing adequate hay to winter 500 head, which would make the ranch a nicely balanced operation that integrates winter feed and summer grazing production.