Big Timber Creek Ranch encompasses approximately 515 acres and 1.3± miles of Big Timber Creek just two miles north of Big Timber, Montana. When driving north from Big Timber along Hwy 191 it’s impossible not to make note of this very scenic, cottonwood-lined stream corridor, with deer and wild turkey scattered about the hay meadows and the magnificent Crazy Mountains looming in the background. The charming five-bedroom, two-bath brick farmhouse, built in 1926 and extensively renovated in 2017 & 2018 is set amongst the cottonwoods along the creek. Approximately 140 acres of flood-irrigated hay fields span both sides of the creek, providing significant hay or grazing and habitat for wildlife. This ranch property checks all the boxes with a fishable trout stream, early water rights, a newly renovated historic home, and a spectacular setting just minutes from the town of Big Timber and about an hour’s drive from Bozeman.
Just the Facts
- 515± deeded acres
- 1.3± miles of trout fishing on Big Timber Creek
- Paved access, 2 miles north of Big Timber and an hour’s drive from Bozeman
- Early priority water rights for irrigating approximately 140 acres
- Pleasing combination of irrigated meadows, cottonwood forest, and overlooking hills
- Newly renovated, 5-bedroom, 2-bath, brick farmhouse
- Dramatic views of the Crazy and Beartooth Mountains
- Prolific wildlife with mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, waterfowl and wild turkey
As one drives north from Big Timber on Highway 191, The Big Timber Creek drainage stands out as a picture-perfect stream corridor, with the majestic Crazy Mountains providing the backdrop. The newly renovated 1926 farmhouse is sited in the cottonwoods near the creek, set back from the road. Hay meadows straddle both sides of the forested stream corridor.
Big Timber Creek flows from north to south through the property for approximately 1.3± miles. The westerly 285± acres of the property are made up of foothill topography, which rises in elevation above the creek bottom. This portion of the property provides variety both aesthetically and recreationally. The hills and draws are ideal for hiking or horseback riding and harbor an abundance of game that travels to and from the hay fields and cottonwoods along the creek. The hills also provide early spring grazing for livestock.
Big Timber Creek Ranch’s 515± acres offer a wonderful blend of stream corridor, hay meadows, and foothills. Recreational appeal is exceptional, with trout fishing and an abundance of wildlife. The ranch has more than ample production on 140± irrigated acres and is in a beautiful setting with the Crazy Mountains as a backdrop. The location just two miles from Big Timber and the charming, newly renovated farmhouse make this property an ideal ranch retreat for a year-round or seasonal residence with a variety of uses.
Big Timber Creek Ranch is located two miles north of Big Timber, Montana off paved Highway 191. The property lies entirely on the west side of the highway, along Big Timber Creek. Upon entering the ranch drive, one overlooks the property and the farmhouse along Big Timber Creek with the Crazy Mountains in the backdrop.
The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is a little over an hour’s drive west of the ranch. It is the busiest passenger airport in Montana and sixth busiest in the Pacific
Northwest, serving the Greater Yellowstone region. Five airlines offer numerous daily flights. The airlines are Allegiant, Delta/Delta Connection, Alaska/Horizon, Frontier and United/United Express. They provide non-stop service to Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Houston, Chicago, New York City-LaGuardia, Newark, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta and Denver. These non-stop flights are subject to the winter and summer schedules of each of the respective airlines. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport also has two first-class FBOs, Yellowstone Jet Center (a Signature facility) and Arlin’s Aircraft, to service private aircraft.
The Billings Logan International Airport is approximately a 1 hour and 20 minutes’ drive east of the ranch and is the second-most-active airport in Montana. Its airlines include Allegiant, Delta/Delta Connection, Alaska/Horizon, Cape Air and United/United Express with daily non-stop service to many US and Montana cities. Edwards Jet Center is a high-quality FBO that handles private aircraft.
Private aircraft up to the size of small jets are accommodated approximately six miles south of the ranch at the Big Timber Airport, and larger jets can land at the Livingston Airport about 35 miles to the west.
Big Timber Creek ranch is located along Big Timber Creek, approximately one mile upstream of its confluence with the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone Valley continues through Montana almost to the North Dakota border and contains some of Montana’s most productive agricultural land along its entire length. The Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states and is as untamed as it was when Captain William Clark headed downstream over 200 years ago.
Big Timber is on the south side of the river two miles from the ranch. Big Timber exhibits an excess of civic pride and is just “big enough” to support all the services one normally needs - from the gourmet fare at the restored Grand Hotel, to banks, grocery store, pharmacy, hospital, art galleries, and restaurants. It is essentially a small agricultural town with a variety of overtones related to fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation as well as being a home base for the platinum/palladium mine that operates at the head of the East Boulder Valley. The residents of the area help to support its excellent restaurants, shops, and galleries that one would not find in most Montana towns of this size. The Grand Hotel on the National Register of Historic Places with its attractive rooms, bar and gourmet restaurant brings many travelers off the highway and acts as a social center for many of the area residents. There are numerous other “watering holes” including the Frostee Freeze where many locals “coffee up” and share news in the morning.
Historically, Big Timber was a cow town, home to multiple generations of ranching families. Due to its aesthetic beauty, multiple recreational opportunities and small-town friendliness, this ranching town has attracted absentee ranch owners - both individuals and families - who have moved to the area to take advantage of the recreational opportunities and to enjoy this dynamic small Montana town.
For a change of pace, there is easy access to Livingston (30 minutes) and Bozeman (one hour), both of which offer a wider variety of services and social and cultural amenities. Montana’s largest city and its commercial center, Billings, is located 90 minutes east of the ranch.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
The brick, four-bedroom, two bath farmhouse was originally constructed in 1926 and extensively renovated in 2017 and 2018. The renovation included adding a bathroom upstairs and renovating the existing bath, completely renovating the kitchen including new appliances, all new mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing, and heating), new in-floor radiant heat, and refinishing the wood floors.
In addition, there is a 30 ft. x 42 ft. detached garage built in 2003 that is used for equipment storage. A 20 ft. x 24 ft. detached garage is located next to the farmhouse for vehicle storage.
The ranch holds outstanding water rights. The source of irrigation water is Big Timber Creek. There are three primary conveyance ditches, two on the east side of Big Timber Creek, and one on the west side. One of the ditches originates on the property, and the other two originate upstream. The earliest priority date is 1880, which is one of the earlier rights on the creek.
Annual property taxes for Big Timber Creek Ranch are approximately $5,000.
Big Timber Creek Ranch is heavily populated by whitetail deer and mule deer. The combination of riparian creek bottom, hay fields, and sheltered draws and coulees provide a tremendous diversity of habitat. The area is known for an abundance of game, which is frequently visible to passersby who drive north of Big Timber.
The ranch also consistently harbors wild turkeys. Hungarian partridge inhabit the hills and fringes of the hay fields and are the most common upland game bird.
Big Timber Creek is a cool, clear trout stream originating in the Crazy Mountains to the northwest. The length of Big Timber Creek is almost entirely privately owned, so public access is extremely limited. It is home to primarily brown and rainbow trout. Fish sizes generally range from 8-18 inch. A variety of techniques are effective, with dry flies appealing to the unpressured trout. The creek can be drawn down in low water years, which concentrates the fish in deeper pools in late summer.
Big Timber Creek Ranch is suited to a variety of operational plans. The 140± acres of irrigated fields make it suitable as a year-round operation with grazing in the hills and on the surplus irrigated acreage, or as a hay base and wintering ground for a larger operation. It could also be utilized entirely for grazing, which would maximize the stocking rate from mid-May through November.
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