For Sale

Fiddle Creek

$4,900,000 Livingston, MT 593± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Fiddle Creek acreage offers a highly productive irrigated ranch base in the scenic Shields Valley, just 15 minutes from Livingston and 45 minutes from Bozeman, Montana. The 593± acres are characterized by rolling terrain, lush, irrigated fields, and cottonwood trees lining Fiddle Creek and other seasonal water courses. The views of the neighboring Crazy, Bridger, and Absaroka Mountain ranges are spectacular. The ranch holds abundant water rights that provide for the irrigation of 414± acres, with approximately 337± acres sprinkler-irrigated under two Valley pivots. The acreage has strong farming productivity and leasing potential, along with remarkable possibilities for creating a private homesite.

Just the Facts

  • 593± total deeded acres
  • Scenic Shields Valley location, 20 minutes from Livingston and 45 minutes from Bozeman, Montana
  • Tremendous building sites with spectacular views of the Bridger, Crazy, and Absaroka Mountain ranges
  • 414± total irrigated acres with a combination of decreed water rights and shares in the Lower Shields Valley Ditch Company
  • 337± sprinkler-irrigated acres under two Valley pivots
  • 77± acres flood irrigation
  • Fiddle Creek traverses the property for approximately one and three-quarter miles
  • Entitled in three separate parcels
  • Diverse wildlife with deer, antelope, Hungarian partridge, and pheasants
  • Nearby fishing less than a mile away in the Shields River and within ten miles of the Yellowstone River

General Description

Fiddle Creek is raw land with no residential or agricultural structures. Currently, in agricultural use, the majority of the acreage is irrigated by two center pivots. To the east, the property ascends, revealing several desirable building sites that command panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. 

Fiddle Creek flows through the property from east to west, and the Shields Valley Ditch, the primary irrigation water source in the area, flows north to south. Fiddle Creek’s meandering course provides a wetland corridor that is lined with cottonwood trees, willow, and other vegetation. 

The variety of topographic change, waterways, irrigated crops, trees, and native grasses is very picturesque. It’s a classic river valley setting in southwest Montana with irrigated ranch land enabled by the Shields River, which runs just a few hundred yards west of the property, and majestic mountain peaks overlooking the valley.

Broker's Comments

Fiddle Creek is an investment-quality ranch property with income generation through agricultural production and great potential for homesite development. The landscape diversity, including hills, draws, water resources, irrigated fields, and rugged mountain views, is picturesque. The desirable location near Livingston and Bozeman adds to its appeal. All those factors make the property appealing to an operator, buy-and-hold investor, or someone looking to create their dream ranch.  

Learn about the locale


Fiddle Creek lies in Shields Valley, approximately 20 minutes north of the lively western town of Livingston, Montana, and 45 minutes east of Bozeman. Bridger Bowl Ski Area is just 35-40 minutes from the ranch gate. Yellowstone National Park is 90 minutes to the south for the more adventurous. There is a jet-capable airstrip near Livingston with commercial air services at Bozeman.

The property is accessed off Shields River Road East, a county road that parallels the Shields River on the east side, with paved Highway 89 on the west side of the river. The area is rural, with high amenity retreat properties interspersed with large ranches. 

The small town of Clyde Park (population 300-400) is just a few miles north of Fiddle Creek. Shields Valley High School and Junior High is in Clyde Park, serving the communities of Wilsall, Clyde Park, and the greater Shields Valley.


The greater area surrounding Fiddle Creek includes some larger private holdings owned by a combination of old-line ranching families and more recent owners who desire to maintain the integrity and privacy of this region. The property sits on the threshold of larger communities with a full line of amenities and services, offering the opportunity for one foot to step into an intimate private landscape while the other stands in a thriving community. Livingston, gateway to the Paradise Valley and Yellowstone National Park, supports numerous art galleries, a wine cellar, a bookstore, a restored McKim, Mead and White railroad depot, gourmet restaurants, theaters, fly shops, and a variety of antique stores. The world-famous Yellowstone River rushes through town and represents the spirit of this exciting small community. Livingston has a rich history in the fly-fishing community and is home to the International Federation of Fly Fishers. The Livingston headquarters hosts educational programs and has an extensive history of fly fishing in its museum and library.

Immediately to the east of the ranch are the Crazy Mountains, locally referred to as the “Crazies.” This “island” mountain range spans roughly 40 miles between the Musselshell and Yellowstone River valleys to the north and south. With peaks rising to over 11,000 feet, this is a truly spectacular range, including a considerable amount of above-tree-line country dotted with high mountain lakes in cirques amongst the peaks. This range lies on the far eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains, with the Great Plains spreading to the east. One can access the national forest from the ranch at numerous trailheads, the closest being Rock Creek, 15 miles from the property.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

  • 414± total irrigated acres with a combination of decreed water rights and shares in the Lower Shields Valley Ditch Company 
  • 337± sprinkler-irrigated acres under two Valley pivots 
  • 77± acres of flood irrigation 
  • 179± acres of pasture

Deeded Acres: 593±
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 593±

Water Rights

The ranch possesses 400 shares from the Lower Shields Valley Ditch Company, which are used to irrigate the two pivots. Of those 400 shares, 35 shares are leased to the neighbor to the south. There are also decreed rights out of Tobin Creek, which are utilized for flood irrigation. Please contact Hall and Hall for a list of water rights.


Property taxes are $2,898.85 for 2023.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Fishery Resources

The Shields River is just a few football fields away and offers good fishing for a variety of trout. The river is accessible at public access points, and Montana stream access laws provide for walking, wading, or floating below the high-water mark. Floating the Shields is not common because of the river’s size and flow. It's better used as a wading stream and consequently has less traffic than larger rivers nearby. 

The Shields joins the Yellowstone River approximately ten minutes south of the property. The Yellowstone is the longest free-flowing river in the continental United States and is renowned as a world-class trout fishery. To maximize an angling experience on the Yellowstone, consider fishing from a drift boat or wading along the gravel bars and islands that separate the river channels.

Wildlife Resources

A variety of wildlife frequents the ranch. Whitetail deer and mule deer are common, and elk primarily utilize hay fields in the fall. Antelope are also seen in the fields at times. Hungarian Partridge and Pheasant are regularly found on the property in huntable numbers due to the combination of food sources, water, and cover in the draws.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

Fiddle Creek is currently leased for agricultural use. The Lessee irrigates the fields, producing hay and small grains on a rotational basis. The hay fields are a combination of alfalfa, sainfoin, and grass. Typically, two cuttings of hay are taken, and the aftermath is grazed. The native pasture has not been grazed, and extensive new fencing along Fiddle Creek limits livestock access to a few watering sites to protect the riparian area along the creek.

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