For Sale

Little Hangmans Creek Ranch

$5,850,000 Big Timber, MT 190± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Located 10 miles southeast of Big Timber, along a mile of the Yellowstone River on the north side. The southeast end of this 190± acre ranch lies just north of the scenic grey cliffs for which the nearby town of Greycliff is named. The ranch encompasses a huge cottonwood tree bottom along the river and lovely meadows upland, some of which are irrigated. The ranch includes a recently remodeled architect-designed 5,500 square foot home that is situated overlooking the river. Other top-quality improvements include a three-bedroom caretakers house and a creatively designed studio with an attached one-bedroom apartment. The ranch also has a barn and a shop. It is an idyllic, private riverfront retreat with stunning views of the Crazy Mountains, the grey cliffs, and the river.

Just the Facts

  • LOCATION: One mile from Greycliff, 10 miles east of Big Timber, and equidistant (73 miles) between Billings and Bozeman.
  • ACREAGE: 190± deeded acres. 55± irrigatable acres, huge river bottom, and lovely uplands. 
  • IMPROVEMENTS: 5500 square foot architect-designed main house, studio/apartment, caretakers house, barn, and shop. Excellent condition.
  • AESTHETICS: Lush setting with a house overlooking the river, huge open views of the Crazy Mountains, expansive cottonwood river bottom. 
  • RECREATIONAL AMENITIES: Nearly a mile of private frontage on the Yellowstone River plus a private pond. This site attracts a cross-section of wildlife, due to its diversity and water.  
  • PRIVACY: Private Road access and surrounded by the river on one side and a very large private ranch on the other three sides.
  • SUMMARY: Idyllic, scenic private retreat with move-in ready improvements and easy access. 


General Description

Little Hangmans Creek Ranch lies along approximately one mile of the north side of the Yellowstone River. The bulk of the river frontage includes a lush cottonwood bottom loaded with small springs and wetlands. The southeasterly, downstream portion of the river frontage consists of more open benches that lead to the namesake gray cliffs at the lower end of the ranch that gives the town of Greycliff its name. The lands above the riverfront – some of which have water rights - include both benchland grazing and meadows that are subject to irrigation and cultivation. 

One never tires of the magnificent views from the ranch. From morning’s first light through sundown the river, the mountains, and the cliffs surrounding the property change with the light and the angle of the sun providing a different view and feel each time one looks. Approximately half of the river frontage is open and dramatic while the other half is more intimate as it is timbered with the large cottonwoods that are so typical along the world-renowned Yellowstone River. 

Broker's Comments

The Hangmans Creek Ranch is a unique offering that is both complete and attractively priced. Hall & Hall is pleased to have the opportunity to bring this investment quality ranch to the marketplace as it represents what so many people seek in a Rocky Mountain retreat. Comfortable and tasteful improvements, easy access, privacy, terrific recreational opportunities, and tremendous views all surrounded by a very large working cattle ranch. We welcome and encourage any interest in this offering and would be pleased to have the opportunity to schedule a tour.

Learn about the locale

Location

Little Hangmans Creek Ranch is located 10 miles east of Big Timber and is accessed off Interstate 90 by exiting the highway at Greycliff. From there one travels approximately one mile on the Sweet Grass Road, a paved county road that crosses the Yellowstone River. Taking the first right turn just after the bridge, one proceeds on a private gravel road for a quarter of a mile before entering the north end of the ranch. Access to the property is simple and easy. The main home sits closer to the south end of the ranch and the driveway to it and to the ranch manager’s house is a well-maintained gravel ranch road that meanders along the edge of the tree-covered river bottom, where it is common to see both wildlife and waterfowl.  

Big Timber is the county seat for Sweet Grass County and provides most of the services for the area including a paved, lighted jet strip. Daily commercial air service is available in Bozeman and Billings. These two cities offer the most extensive air service in the state. Greycliff is equidistance from Bozeman and Billings with both clocking in at 73 miles.  

Locale

One of the most appealing aspects of the location of the ranch is that it is surrounded by a large working cattle ranch that is in strong ownership, providing exceptional privacy for Little Hangmans Creek Ranch. The locale itself is also a very desirable part of Big Sky Country. Big Timber is a unique community situated on the Yellowstone River. Its character has been formed in part by families from the East and the Midwest, who were early guests of dude ranches in the area and then came back to live and ranch there. In more recent years the popularity of fly-fishing and people looking for a place in which to escape to or be near the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has brought a new wave of non-resident landowners who swell the population during the summer and fall months and have certainly contributed in many ways to forming the character of the community. 

Naturally, its early history as a center for cattle and sheep ranching played an important part in its heritage as well. The tradition of ranching and making good use of the land is deeply ingrained even amongst the newcomers. What we have today is, by Montana standards, a relatively sophisticated community that has good schools, a hospital, churches, bars, excellent cafes and restaurants, galleries, specialty shops, banks, lawyers, and everything one would want in a small, comfortable package. Billings, 80 miles to the east of Big Timber and Bozeman, 62 miles to the west, provide a broader range of social, cultural, and service options. 

Climate

Big Timber and the Sweet Grass County area enjoy the diversity of each season with a variety of weather phenomena. The average annual precipitation is approximately 15 inches and comes in any form, from winter snowstorms to spring cloudbursts, and summer and fall rain showers. The April through September precipitation amounts average 10.5 inches and the maximum temperature average is 75.26. The average minimum temperature for April through September is 44.15 degrees. July and August are the warmest months with temperatures reaching into the high 80s and 90s. The yearly average maximum temperature is 60.6 degrees and the average minimum temperature is 33.6. Big Timber boasts 286 days of sunshine each year.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

The Little Hangmans Creek Ranch is comprised of 190± deeded acres that stretch along a mile of frontage on the famed Yellowstone River – known as the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states. The land includes irrigated meadows, open range, timbered, and open river bottomlands. Approximately 55 acres are subject to flood irrigation.

Deeded Acres: 190±
Total Acres: 190±

Improvements

The ranch is very tasteful and completely improved with a main house, a caretaker’s house, and a studio/guest house all originally designed by regionally recognized architect Candice Miller and located on the southeasterly end of the property. There is also a barn/shop complex located at the entrance to the property on the northwest end. The main house and the studio/guest house have been extensively renovated and remodeled in the last eight years. The barn/shop area has been updated and the fencing has been replaced or rebuilt to the highest standard. The property shows tremendous pride of ownership in every aspect. The main improvements are described as follows:

Main House: The design and construction of this 5,500± square foot home are both tasteful and appropriate for the site evoking a subtle western flavor. The use of stone and wood throughout creates a rugged warmth that one expects in a western ranch home. The setting is ideal, and the views are spectacular looking out to the Yellowstone River that flows just below the house to the south and the magnificent Crazy Mountains to the west. The volcanic gray cliffs that are the namesake for the town of Greycliff dominate the view to the east. The house was remodeled to expand the kitchen and to open up the views of the Crazy Mountains from the living room. The floor plan includes a private office and master bedroom on the southwesterly end of the house overlooking the river and four bedrooms each with its own bathroom along a hallway on the northeasterly end. These bedrooms all command Crazy Mountain views to the west. There is also a comfortable sitting room with a fireplace in the guest wing. There is an oversize two-car garage, laundry room, and utility area just off the kitchen. This is an ideal home for entertaining guests and extended family because of the expansive public areas in the kitchen and dining room area plus the second living room and powder room that easily accommodate guests. At the same time, the guest wing can be shut off and the house becomes comfortable and cozy for a single person or a couple. 

Barn/Studio/Guest House: This unique “Barn” was the subject of an article in Mountain Living Magazine in July of 2019 (view article here). A multipurpose structure it was recently rethought and remodeled by the current owner to accommodate her photography studio. The studio features big windows installed in two-story high doors that open on each end. The balance of the building is dedicated to storage for ranch equipment as well as a complete one-bedroom apartment with a kitchenette. 

Caretaker’s Home: There is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom caretaker's home that is both comfortable and efficient. Executed in a similar vernacular to the main house, this attractive home would be well appreciated by most caretakers. 

Shop and Barn: Located near the entrance to the property on the west end, there is a classic horse barn and a shop with a concrete floor. These buildings function as the operating center of the ranch and are well separated from the main building compound. 

Utilities: The buildings are all serviced by wells and septic systems as well as by electricity and traditional hardline telephones. Triangle Communications has recently installed a fiber optic line into the ranch which accommodates high-speed internet.

Water Rights

The ranch has good water rights that include a shared early (1881) right to irrigate approximately 55 acres. It also has filed rights for three wells and two dams, plus stock water rights on the waters that flow through the ranch. 

Taxes

Real estate taxes are estimated at $11,500 per annum based upon previous years. 

Learn about the recreational amenities

Recreational Considerations

Whether it is fishing the pond or the Yellowstone River, any angler will be delighted with the variety of fishing opportunities. The fly-fishing on the Yellowstone River is in a word “excellent”! It is no accident that the Yellowstone is internationally known as one of the finest trout fisheries in the United States. Brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout are all found in abundant numbers and the wide variety of habitat provided offers great dry fly fishing as well as sub-surface fishing with streamers and nymphs. As a testament to the health of the ecosystem small, medium, large and enormous fish can all be caught here. The stretch from Big Timber to Billings is known as the quiet section of the Yellowstone as so many of the guide services focus on the Paradise Valley stretch and the Livingston to Big Timber stretch. Therefore, it is not uncommon to have long periods with almost no boat traffic.  

For the wildlife enthusiast, the property and the region surrounding it are home to the broad diversity of wildlife that Montana is famous for. Whitetail and mule deer, antelope, and many other smaller mammals reside on the ranch. A variety of waterfowl, raptors, cranes, songbirds, and herons also call the ranch home. Hunting, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, and mountain biking can all be enjoyed on the property. As discussed under General Operation, one can often work with neighbors to exchange services and equipment use for hay and grazing. The deal could ideally include access to more acres for riding and hiking – even hunting in some cases. These deals are often far preferable to sharing public land with unknown members of the public! 

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The Little Hangmans Creek Ranch is primarily a private retreat that can generate some income from either grazing or putting up hay. There are approximately 55 acres that are subject to irrigation. Generally, on operations of this size, it is advisable to work with neighbors – often exchanging services. A small ranch cannot always justify owning equipment and livestock. It can however provide grazing and hay production that is useful to a larger ranch that needs to own the equipment and can benefit from the additional hay and grazing. 

The ranch would also lend itself to a small horse operation and can produce hay and grazing for that purpose. The current owner has an excellent ranch manager/caretaker that lives on the ranch and is interested in staying on with a new owner. 

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