McGinley Homestead

$1,195,000 Belgrade, MT 108± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The McGinley Homestead is a 108± acre private haven nestled in the foothills between the Bridger Mountains and Horseshoe Hills north of Bozeman. It has provided a residence and recreational retreat for a lifelong Montana couple. Surrounded by sizeable historic ranch holdings, it offers a unique environment of attractive landscapes, superlative viewsheds, abundant wildlife, and total privacy. High-quality improvements consist of an appealing three-level 3,390± sq. ft. residence. A detached 2,500± sq. ft. garage/shop and a rustic cabin are the only other structures on the property. The grounds around the home are immaculately landscaped and include an orchard and garden. Big game and other wildlife are abundant on the property, which has been managed and improved to cater to them. The McGinley Homestead is easily accessible to the sought-after community of Bozeman, and the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is 35 minutes away on well-maintained gravel roads leading to a paved highway.

Just the Facts

  • Acreage: 108± acre
  • Improvements: 3,3900± sq. ft. residence with a detached 2,500± sq. ft. garage/shop and a rustic cabin
  • Wildlife: Abundant big game and other wildlife
  • Location: 30 miles north of Bozeman
  • Airport: 23 miles north of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

General Description

The McGinley Homestead is situated among very large cattle ranches and a landscape untouched by commercial development. Population density of the area is extremely limited and it is difficult to see any other neighboring dwellings from the property. Nearest permanent residents are two miles distant. Two perennial streams bisect the property. The larger stream forms the eastern one-half mile property boundary where it flows through a timbered canyon. The smaller stream passes south to north near the homesite. The property is accessed from the county road via a gated, private graveled drive that passes over a small divide. The sweeping view that reveals Sixteen Mile Canyon and the Big Belt Mountains to the north is breathtaking. Just below the divide lies the homesite. Adjacent to the home is a draw filled with aspen, large Douglas firs and golden willows that includes a stream and small pond.  This was the homestead of Irish Jimmy McGinley in the early 1900’s. A small collapsed log cabin along the stream is all that remains of the original homestead. 

Broker's Comments

The McGinley Homestead is a hidden gem in the popular greater Bozeman area. The improvements are appropriate, privacy is unsurpassed and the access to Bozeman could not be better. For one considering a year-round or seasonal residence, there is not a better option available.

Learn about the locale


The McGinley Homestead is located approximately 30 miles north of Bozeman at the northern terminus of the Bridger Mountain Range. It is 23 miles from the airport and shopping centers in Belgrade via 11 miles of paved highway and 12 miles of well-maintained county gravel road. Bozeman is a further 8 miles via Interstate 90. The airport, the largest in the State, is approximately 30 minutes away. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is serviced by Delta, Alaska, United, American, Allegiant, Frontier, and in the Fall of 2018, Jet Blue Airlines.  Two FBO operations, Arlin’s Aircraft Services and Yellowstone Jet Center (Signature Flight owned) also service the airport.


Located amid large cattle ranches, the McGinley Homestead is in the enviable position of being totally private and secluded, yet is within minutes of Bozeman, one of Montana’s most attractive towns. The northern portion of the Gallatin Valley is pastoral with wheat fields, rolling hills grazed by cattle and horses, and timbered mountains and foothills. Sixteen Mile Creek, located 1.6 miles north of the property, flows west 12 miles to the Missouri River. One of Montana’s finest small stream fisheries, it was featured in several scenes in “A River Runs Through It”. Lewis and Clark originally named the creek ‘Howard’s Creek’ on July 25, 1805, as they passed westward on their historic expedition. The immediate area is generally known as the Horseshoe Hills, which lie west of the property and has been historically used for cattle grazing. Native Americans also used the property as evidenced by tipi rings and numerous artifacts found near the home site. 

Bozeman is the centerpiece of the Gallatin Valley. Its diversified economy includes a strong agricultural trade center, the university, numerous high tech businesses, and tourism related to skiing, trout fishing, big game hunting, and the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Montana State University includes the world-renowned Museum of the Rockies. For people from other areas of the United States seeking refuge from ever-increasing urban pressures, Bozeman has become a magnet. The attraction is quite simply the unsurpassed quality of life; including countless outdoor recreational activities and the related lifestyle.


Being on the leeward side of the Bridger Mountains with a protected southern exposure gives the ranch a temperate and comfortable year-round climate.   The prevailing wind is from the southwest and its situation along the foothills allows protection from the fiercer north and east winds.  Average annual precipitation is 16 inches and summertime temperatures range in the high 70’s to low 80’s with the mercury sometimes reaching over 90.  Plenty of sunny days in the winter make the homestead a perfect location for winter activities. Elevation varies from just over 5,000 ft. above sea level on the western boundary to about 4,760 ft. where McGinley Creek leaves the eastern boundary of the property along Dry Creek Road.  In general, the property slopes from south to north toward Sixteen Mile Creek that lies just 1.6 miles north.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 108±
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 108±


Main Residence

Initial construction was in 1974 with significant additions in 1993-95. This custom home has three levels and consists of 3,390± sq.ft. including 660± sq.ft. of basement. There are three bedrooms, two and a half baths (one with Jacuzzi), living room, dining room, kitchen, study, utility room, and entryway which is accented by a 22 ft. x 32 ft. fieldstone wall. There is a bi-level deck off the master bedroom which provides an unobstructed and private view toward Sixteen Mile Creek and the Big Belt Mountains. The custom-built kitchen has a recently installed new oven/range and hood. The utility room features a south-facing solar Trombe wall with clerestory windows and a 4-inch-thick concrete heat-sink floor providing passive solar. The hot water heating system features a Weissman boiler and a Glacier Bay wood/coal stove which provide plenty of heat to stay cozy on Montana winter days. The home is super-insulated 2x6 and 2x4 construction with Corbond insulation in walls and ceilings. Domestic water is treated by a water softener and a reverse-osmosis treatment system provides excellent drinking water. There is also high-speed satellite internet service which will keep even the techiest owners connected in their private hideaway. This home has had an outstanding maintenance program as well as major additions and upgrades over its 44-year life.

Garage/Shop/Equipment Bay/Storage Building

Southeast of the home is a 2,500± sq.ft. building which includes a two-car garage, a shop, an equipment bay, and an insulated storeroom once used as an office. The garage and shop have concrete floors, the storeroom is tiled, and the equipment bay is graveled.


A small one-room rustic reclaimed cabin is situated west of the home near a cottonwood grove and timbered ephemeral stream. It was built using wood from a historic Maudlow building and has a wood stove along with a front porch. Solar panels supply 120-volt power for all the creature comforts. A small storage building is adjacent to the cabin for storing one’s “toys” when not in use. This cabin is perfect for a hideout or a small gathering of friends. A long-range rifle course is set up that can be used in conjunction with the cabin.

Water Rights

None of the acreage is irrigated and thus there are no agricultural water rights filed. Two domestic wells provide water including a 78 ft. well filed in 1977 for 18 GPM and a more recent 240 ft. well tested at 35 GPM.

Mineral Rights

All mineral rights will transfer in the sale.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

The homestead is surrounded by tightly controlled private holdings and the big game populations are abundant. Some of the ranches allow hunting on a fee basis only and are commanding some of the highest prices in Montana for elk and deer trophy hunts. Ted Turner’s Bar None Ranch and the large Climbing Arrow Ranch just two miles northwest of the McGinley Homestead are among those offering trophy hunts. Elk are commonly seen on the homestead, along with deer, moose, and occasionally antelope. Bear, mountain lion, bobcat, turkeys, cranes and other waterfowl, and upland gamebirds are frequent visitors. Songbirds are abundant and the owners have documented over 150 resident and transient bird species on the property.

Sixteen Mile Creek is an excellent trout fishery. Access is by landowner permission although anglers may readily access the stream from bridges along the county road. A fly fishing shop in Bozeman has been granted the fee fishing rights on one of the Sixteen Mile Creek ranches. If a guided fishing trip is desired, one can be scheduled through this shop. The East and Main Gallatin Rivers are a short thirty-minute drive from the ranch, and the Yellowstone River along with the world-famous spring creeks, Nelson, Armstrong, and Depuy are within an hour and a half. All in all, one is within a reasonable driving distance of some of Montana’s best fishing waters.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The land was historically used for livestock grazing and had deteriorated somewhat due to overuse. It has now been carefully planted and restored to excellent health. A number of small fields have been developed for wildlife with plantings of native and introduced grasses and legumes. It has not been grazed now in over 40 years and has been maintained in excellent condition through weed control and mowing.

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