The Lazy E Bar Z Ranch is exactly what people dream about when they dream about Montana. In this classic Swan Valley setting, the snowcapped peaks of the Mission and Swan mountain ranges flank the Swan River as it flows through this 165± acre property with two log homes situated next to a trout pond. One home is a historic home built in 1917 when the Swan Valley was the edge of the earth. A newer custom log home built in 2000 serves as the owner’s home while the other is a great guesthouse for family and friends. Other improvements include a large two-car garage, an airplane hangar, two barns and good perimeter fencing and cross fencing. A 2,300-foot well-maintained grass landing strip makes access plain and simple for the private pilot but the ranch can also be accessed directly off the pavement for those who like to keep their feet on the ground. The quaint little towns of Bigfork and Seeley Lake are about 30 minutes away while the larger cities of Missoula and Kalispell are each about an hour-and-twenty-minute drive. Fly fishing, horseback riding, wildlife viewing or just sitting on the porch watching the light drape across the ridges are all options here at the doorstep of one of the largest and most visually stunning wilderness complexes in the lower 48.
Just the Facts
- 165± acres
- Swan River frontage
- Main home & garage
- Guest home
- 2,300± foot airstrip
- Airplane hangar
- Intense mountain peak views
- Abundant and diverse wildlife
Lazy E Bar Z Ranch is river bottom topography so it is mostly level terrain. From Highway 83 west to the homes and other structural improvements, the land is flat and then steps down slightly to a plain that is just above river level. The Swan River itself courses along the western boundary of the property. The land is largely sub-irrigated so it holds the “green” longer than more arid terrain elsewhere. There is a mature stand of conifers lining the highway which provides a strong visual and auditory buffer from the road. Otherwise, the land is mostly treeless except for the riparian zone and some other scattered conifers and deciduous trees. This translates to jaw-dropping views being visible from most locations on the property.
Purchasing a ranch is more often about purchasing a lifestyle rather than a piece of real estate, and Lazy E Bar Z Ranch delivers a lifestyle that is the perfect archetype for one who appreciates the best that the Rocky Mountains have to offer.
Learn about the locale
The Lazy E Bar Z Ranch is located in Missoula County, Montana at the center of the Swan Valley. The property is accessed directly off Highway 83, eighty-five miles northeast of Missoula, Montana (population 68,000+). Delta, SkyWest, United, and Allegiant Air service the Missoula airport with numerous arrivals and departures each day. Missoula is also serviced by Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines, providing both in-state service and additional non-stop service to the West Coast. United Airlines recently began non-stop service between San Francisco and Missoula. The property is also about 60 miles to Kalispell (population 20,000+), where there is a full array of services including excellent medical facilities, world-class Big Mountain Ski Resort in Whitefish, as well as Glacier International Airport. This airport is serviced by Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, Delta and United.
The Swan Valley is one of Montana’s special and unique jewels. Nestled between two massive mountain ranges, the Swan Range and the Mission Range, this valley is riddled with dense timber and hundreds of lakes. The valley sits at the western edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex and the eastern edge of the Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness Area, giving backcountry enthusiasts access to millions of acres of designated wilderness. There are roughly 410,000 acres in the watershed with the Swan River flowing in a northerly direction through the middle of it all, while only 30,000 acres is in private ownership for residential and minimal commercial use. The town of Seeley Lake, located 32 miles south of the property, is a friendly and vibrant town with deep roots in the timber industry. Missoula is 85 miles away and is the quintessential “college town”, home to the University of Montana. One will find everything imaginable in the way of services. With over 150 restaurants, numerous theaters, art galleries, outstanding medical facilities, and community programs, Missoula is truly the cultural center of Montana. Snowbowl Ski area, located about 15 minutes north of Missoula, offers great skiing without overbearing crowds. Bigfork, a quaint lakeside village on the north shore of Flathead Lake with a choice of shops and restaurants, is only 41 miles from the property.
Summer is mild with temperatures only occasionally reaching into the 90s. Average high temperatures in July and August are just over 80 degrees, with lows dipping into the 40s. Spring is variable with rains providing needed moisture for the native range. Fall is arguably the most beautiful time of year with cold nights (20s and 30s) and cool days in the 50s and 60s. The western larch, quaking aspens and cottonwoods are vibrant with color in September and October. Winter snow depths average 15-20 inches with temperatures falling below zero at times.Precipitation: 20± inchesAverage annual snowfall: 120+ inches
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Deeded Acres: 165±
Total Acres: 165±
The property is subject to a conservation easement with the Montana Land Reliance dated November 10, 2000. The easement’s stated intent is to “maintain the rural, agricultural and natural scenic qualities of the area by the retention of significant open space for a variety of uses including wildlife habitat, recreation and agricultural purposes.” Permitted uses and practices include “agricultural activities, hunting and fishing, maintenance and enhancement of water resources, and the continuance of all current uses of the property including the use of residential structures, auxiliary structures and use of the airstrip.” As is customary for such easements, there are specific prohibitions against subdivision, mineral exploitation, and commercial timber harvests. Full documentation of the easement is available upon request.
There are six structures on the property including a main home, detached garage, two barns, an airplane hangar and a guest home. From north to south, the structures are described as follows:Main Home This two-story log home was built in 2000 and has over 2,000 square feet finished with a full unfinished basement (1,489± square feet). There are four bedrooms and two baths along with a cozy great room with high ceilings and a stone fireplace. The enclosed sun porch is facing southeast overlooking the trout pond. A covered but open porch wraps around the home to the east side. A detached two-car garage is located on the north side of the home. BarnThis barn was originally constructed in 1917 and includes 720± square feet.Airplane HangarThe hangar measures 47’x35’ and has Wilson vertical folding doors. BarnThis barn was constructed originally in 1917 and consists of 1,760± square feet.Guest HomeThis historic log home was originally built in 1917 to serve as the primary residence and it did for many years. Now it makes a perfect home for overflow guests. The original structure was added onto over the years. Currently, there is a kitchen, living room and multiple bedrooms upstairs with a bath on each floor. Like the main home, the guest home has a southeast-facing sun porch.
The ranch holds domestic and stock water rights from two wells and the Swan River. Documentation is available upon request.
Taxes for Lazy E Bar Z Ranch are estimated at $4,779 based upon previous years.
Learn about the recreational amenities
Western Montana is a mecca for wildlife and Lazy E Bar Z Ranch is no exception. The owners of Lazy E Bar Z Ranch have kept an inventory of wildlife sightings on the property that documents everything from herons to hummingbirds. The most notable species found on the ranch include elk, deer, and bear.
Outdoor recreation can be enjoyed on the property and in the area on a year- round basis. In summer, activities include golfing at nearby Double Arrow Resort, fishing on the numerous streams, rivers and lakes on the property or in the immediate area, and hiking or horseback riding the ridgelines on both sides of the valley. Winter is a wonderland in the Seeley-Swan with snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding all being popular with residents and visitors. Annually, Montana’s “Race to the Sky”, a grueling 350-mile sled-dog race, is held in the valley.