Keystone Lode 3036 is a rare private inholding situated on a secluded bench overlooking the vast headwaters basin of the Stillwater River. Just over 11 miles by seasonal road over Daisy Pass from Cooke City and behind a locked gate, these 20 private acres occupy a site of staggering beauty. Located only one and a half miles from the Yellowstone Park boundary, there is vehicular access to nearby Lake Abundance and the Stillwater River for amazing stream and river fishing. In the other direction one is nearly adjacent to the wilderness boundary which is just over six miles from renowned Slough Creek and Frenchy Meadow by way of Wolverine Pass – foot and horseback only. This extraordinary site includes an extremely comfortable 900± square foot, newly constructed wilderness cabin that is totally off-grid. It offers power, telephone, Wi-Fi, modern plumbing, and complete connectivity to civilization as we know it. Wildlife is extraordinary with both bighorn sheep and mountain goats cavorting on the mountainside above the cabin. An extremely rare offering that one would be hard-pressed to duplicate anywhere in the Rocky Mountain West.
Just the Facts
- Location – 11 miles northwest of Cooke City.
- Acreage – 20.59 deeded acres.
- Terrain – Bench with springs, trees, and waterfall overlooking dramatic Stillwater River headwaters basin with Mount Abundance literally overhead.
- Water – Multiple spring-fed streams.
- Views – Extraordinary, world-class of rugged peaks and lush river basin.
Keystone Lode 3036 can be seen about eight miles to the northwest as one crests Daisy Pass and looks out over the expansive Stillwater River headwaters basin to Mount Abundance that lies immediately above the property. The cabin is tucked away out of sight, but the location is unmistakable. One then drops down to the river, which is already a significant stream at this point, and encounters a locked gate. The U.S. Forest Service is the only other entity that has administrative access through this gate. One then crosses the stream and works one’s way up to the property that sits on a bench 600 vertical feet above the river. As mentioned earlier, this site is staggeringly beautiful as one reaches the cabin and turns back to the south to look out over the basin and the high rugged peaks that form it. Mount Abundance rises immediately above the property and one can often sit on the porch and watch both bighorn sheep and mountain goats traversing the slopes above. The landscape consists of a sloping bench with a number of significant spring-fed streams that cross it. One of these streams creates a beautiful waterfall that actually drops down to the gold mine site.
Yes, as the name – Keystone Lode 3036 - denotes, this is a gold claim and it includes a gold mine. The area to the south was part of the Crown Butte Mine that was bought up by the federal government in the 1990s and closed to mining because of environmental considerations. The story goes that non-essential mining was actually closed down earlier during World War II and many operators moved their machinery into the mine cavity and blew it closed to avoid having to deliver the equipment to be melted down. Keystone Lode 3036 was similarly shut down. Who knows what might lie behind the opening??!!
One of the most extraordinary and unique properties we have ever had the privilege to represent. In addition to its intrinsic qualities, the owners have created structures that are totally appropriate for this amazing site. They tread lightly on an incredibly fragile landscape giving the next owner a complete package but with room to make improvements.
Access is seasonal by four-wheel drive vehicle just over 11 miles northwest of Cooke City over Daisy Pass. From Cooke City, one is about two hours to Cody or three hours to Billings. Bozeman, by way of Yellowstone Park, is about three and a half hours. The ranch is also accessible by helicopter about 35 minutes from Bozeman or Billings. Keystone Load has also been accessed by bush plane as there is a 700 foot open area that has landed a Piper Cub and could easily be improved. In the winter, the ranch can be accessed by snowcat or snowmobile. Its off-grid capability make it a comfortable place to live in the winter with access to some amazing backcountry skiing and snowmobiling.
Helicopters have turned places like this into year-round retreats that can be accessed and used at the drop of a hat. Imagine sitting in Bozeman on the internet and being able to turn on the heat in the cabin and then show up there 35 minutes later. The cabin can be winterized in less than five minutes should one choose to visit during the winter. An emergency helicopter rescue is less than 30 minutes away.
This is an area that is well-recognized for its summer and winter recreational attributes. Keystone Lode is blessed with a very private setting that has access to all of this but is well isolated behind a private locked gate. It’s only a short walk to the wilderness boundary that leads into country only utilized by the hardiest of backcountry enthusiasts who have to work very hard just to get to places that are a short hike from Keystone Lode 3036.
Located at 9,200 feet above sea level the climate can only be described as “alpine” with heavy winter snows and a nearly non-existent growing season. The summer season is short but absolutely magical. The winter boasts some of the best backcountry skiing and snowmobiling in the U.S. The fall and spring have their own magic when one has a place like this to enjoy it from.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
As one of the very few remaining inholdings in the area surrounding Yellowstone Park, it goes without saying that this would be a high priority property for purchase by the national forest.
The main structure on the property is an estimated 900 square foot cabin that has been exquisitely finished by a master craftsman. The interior was finished with wood from Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s cabin in Lebanon, Ohio. The kitchen island top is Brazilian granite, the upstairs bedroom features a full size bed with fully integrated armoire, as well as a built-in TV and sound bar cabinets. The wood stove was totally restored and is a bit of a masterpiece in its own right. The furniture was all custom designed for the cabin. There is a good-sized full bathroom with custom fixtures. There is also a clothes washer and an in-wall central vacuum system. In the living room, there are two hanging bunks that each incorporate an outlet for charging, a light with a dimmer switch, and a storage trunk. There is a complete kitchen with refrigerator, stove, sink, and quality countertops and cabinets.
The cabin is powered by both solar and wind generators with back up batteries and a gas generator. There is a full septic system. The cabin utilizes state of the art technology, making its systems easy to monitor and worry free. From the time one enters the cabin and punches into the system everything operates seamlessly. The generator comes on as needed. Remotely monitored cameras provide security and systems including heaters can be turned on from anywhere one has access to the internet. There is even remote access to temperature and wind gauges to monitor current weather conditions.
There is an attached 12’X24’ garage/shed with concrete floor and sliding barn doors to facilitate easy access. There is also a 10’X10’ woodshed with concrete floor and two additional storage sheds on the property. There is a wooden base which accommodates a wall tent located some distance from the main cabin. It is sited at the edge of the bench and enjoys even more extraordinary views than the main cabin which is more tucked away.
The property does have access to a spring for domestic water, but there is also a shallow well. The spring water flows directly out of the limestone and has been tested to be absolutely pure and safe for domestic consumption.
Estimated at $567.06 based upon past years.
Clearly this is a recreational paradise. Wildlife abounds during the summer and fall for either viewing or hunting depending on the season. Bear, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolverine, wolves, lynx, fox, and deer have all been sighted from the front porch. This is one of the prime areas in the lower 48 states for snowmobiling and backcountry skiing during the winter. To have an accessible year-round cabin with this kind of access is virtually priceless.
One can literally pick a new destination each day to enjoy using the cabin as a base. Fishing in the Stillwater River, Lake Abundance or Slough Creek are all world-class. There are many peaks to climb and many more lakes that support trout populations. One can always go further afield for more overnight camping expeditions. My personal favorite is a good book on the porch!!
Horses could be brought in for the summer. This would require some fencing, but would take the sting out of some of the longer hikes. There are lots of great trails to explore.
Keystone Lode is a quintessential family retreat. Current technology, both at the site and related to various forms of air and over snow transport, have made what used to be a short season into a long season. There are certain periods of the year when one might prefer to be elsewhere, but conversations with the owners indicate they thoroughly enjoy both winter and summer seasons and even periods in between. The property is cheap to operate since solar and wood supplement the generator. The only expenses are gas for the generator, taxes, Wi-Fi, TV and insurance.
If one did not wish to use the property personally for a period of time, there is huge demand for people to rent remote, off-grid properties at premium rental prices. Airbnb and VRBO provide low cost avenues to pursue these rentals. It is not unreasonable to suggest that rentals up to $1,000 per night could be achieved on such a unique property.
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