For Sale

Miller Lake Ranch

$22,000,000 Anaconda, MT 10,598± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Miller Lake Ranch represents a unique opportunity to effectively own your own national park. This 10,000± acre alpine ranch includes the tops of two 10,000-foot-tall granite peaks and miles of the Continental Divide. Rock ridges loom 1,500 feet above the timber, lakes and creek of this dead-end mountain valley. Privacy is here in the extreme. Wolves, bears, elk, deer, sheep and moose all summer here. Cutthroat trout fill the creek and lake. Winter is deep in snow and pristine. Yet, for all its seclusion, the Miller Lake Ranch is located surprisingly close to airports, interstate, towns, hospitals and supplies.

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Just the Facts

  • 10,598± deeded acres
  • City of Anaconda -- 14 miles
  • Commercial air service -- 26 miles
  • Mill Creek -- 6.7 miles of creek on the ranch
  • Three lakes: 12± acre Miller Lake, 7± acre Lost Lake,14± acre Tenmile Lake
  • Continental Divide ownership -- 5 miles
  • Pubic lands boundary -- 7 miles
  • Timbered creek-lined valley framed by two 10,000-foot-tall granite mountain ridges
  • Jet-capable airport with instrument approach -- 9 miles
  • Trout fishing (in addition to the ranch’s creek and lake) on fabled Blue Ribbon Big Hole River -- 12 miles
  • State Scenic Highway entrance
  • 6,500’ to 10,500’ elevations
  • America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses (Golf Digest rated) Nicklaus Signature golf course – 14 miles
  • Top 100 rated Critical Access Hospital in America – 14 miles
  • Fairmont Hot Springs Resort – 16 miles; includes spa, dining, water slide
  • Downhill skiing – 32 miles to Discovery Basin
  • Water skiing – 26 miles to Georgetown Lake

General Description

The Miller Lake Ranch is accessed along its eastern boundary where it fronts on State Highway 569 (aka Mill Creek Road). One can be on the ranch within 15 minutes after leaving Interstate 90 at the Anaconda/Highway 1 exit. The entrance is on a separate 174-acre parcel separated by two miles from the main Mill Creek valley unit but connected by a recorded right-of-way easement across the neighboring 4,500-acre ranch. 
The 174-acre parcel is also the location of the cabin and garage. This is a gently sloping hillside mostly covered in lodgepole pine. The connecting road across the neighboring property is mostly flat until just before reaching the main ranch, where it pitches down in a few switchback turns to the valley floor. From there the road follows the creek upward in a gentle climb all the way to Miller Lake, at the head of the valley. The valley is timbered in areas with lodgepole pine but also, in higher elevations, with Douglas fir and spruce.  

The main ranch is surrounded by 11 miles of Deer Lodge National Forest lands, 5 miles of State Wildlife Management Area lands and 3.5 miles of private lands (2 miles of which are the previously mentioned 4,500-acre neighbor). Two sides of the 174-acre unit are also State Wildlife Management Area lands. The other two sides are private lands.

Because the main ranchlands are in a hidden and deep mountain valley, they are extremely private. Two ridges of mountains form the southern, western and northern sides of the six-and-one-half- mile-long valley. One includes the 10,200-foot tall and curiously named Short Peak and the other is the 10,500-foot tall Mt. Hagen. The southern ridge also includes five miles of the Continental Divide.

Mill Creek runs the full length of the main ranch. Three lakes also water the ranch, including the 12-acre Miller Lake, 7-acre Lost Lake and the 14-acre Tenmile Lake.

Broker's Comments

The peace and tranquility, privacy and seclusion of the Miller Lake Ranch are unrivaled and not to be underestimated. It is wild. The drama of its mountain vistas equals its privacy in magnitude. It may look like a national park, but it is all private – nobody home but the fish and wildlife, and you. It is truly exceptional, not to be compared with any other ranch – yet it is so close to civilization it amazes one.

Learn about the locale

Location

The Miller Lake Ranch is located approximately 14 miles southwest of Anaconda, Montana (pop. 9,300) and 26 miles west of Butte (pop. 31,633). Both Delta and Alaska Airlines provide direct flights to Butte through their subsidiaries, SkyWest and Horizon, from Salt Lake City and Seattle respectively. A jet-capable airport with an instrument approach is nine miles from the ranch. Interstate 90 is within ten miles.

Locale

The ranch is located 1,500 feet above the historic mining town of Anaconda on the Continental Divide in the Pintler Mountain range. Mill Creek flows the length of the ranch and is tributary to the nearby Clark Fork River, which flows through its broad mountain valley and constitutes a major tributary to the Columbia River. Above the valley, multiple mountain ranges rise to snowy heights including the Flint Creek Range, the Garnet Range and the Pintler Range, capped by the Continental Divide where the ranch is located. The entrance of the ranch is a designated State Scenic Highway. The fabled blue-ribbon trout fishery, the Big Hole River, is 12 miles west of the ranch.

The “neighborhood” is dominated by national forest and State of Montana lands as well as larger operating cattle ranches. The area is also rich in history. From the early days of Montana’s mining boom to the creation of cattle empires that gave birth to and defined the American cowboy, the upper Clark Fork Valley offers landowners the opportunity to carry on a historic western legacy. The 1919 Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park preserves and displays the largest freestanding ceramic structure in the world. The nearby Grant-Kohrs Ranch was recognized in 1972 by the National Park Service as worthy of preservation to provide an understanding of the frontier cattle era. It is managed today as a National Historic Site. Anaconda, Deer Lodge and Butte offer an array of services, including a private hospital, hotels, restaurants and K-12 public schools. The Community Hospital of Anaconda is one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in America.

Also top rated in Anaconda is one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses. The Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course is 14 miles from the ranch. The Fairmont Hot Springs resort is 16 miles from the ranch and includes a spa, dining and a major water slide. Downhill skiing is 32 miles away at Discovery Basin. Water skiing is 26 miles from the ranch at Georgetown Lake.

Climate

Elevation: 
The ranch elevations range from 6,500 feet at the bottom of the valley, to 8,500 feet at Miller Lake, to 10,500 feet at the top of Mt. Hagen. 
The closest weather-reporting station is 10 miles distant out in the valley, at 5,400 feet elevation. The weather up in the mountain valley constituting the Miller Lake Ranch is quite different. It will obviously be colder, wetter and with deeper snow. 

The closest station reports:
  • Temperature: The average summertime high temperature is 78 degrees and the winter low temperature is 18 degrees.
  • Snow Depth: 1 inch
  • Precipitation: 13 inches
Estimated conditions on the ranch include summer evening temperatures dropping to a comfortable 55-65 degrees. Snow depths at the highway entrance and cabin elevation of 6,800 feet commonly include several feet of snow.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)


Forest land: 3,528± deeded acres
Grazing land: 7,069± deeded acres
Farmsite: 1± deeded acres

Deeded Acres: 10,598±

Total Acres: 10,598±

Acreage Breakdown

Acres Range: 7,069±

Acres of Building Site:

Acres AG Total: 7,070±

* All acreages are approximations.

Additional Information

Roadway Access Easement
When using the current earlier referenced right-of-way easement between the two Miller Lake Ranch parcels, the Miller Lake Ranch owner is allowed full access for the construction of up to one 10,000 sq. ft. home and up to one 4,000 sq. ft. guesthouse plus two additional buildings. It also allows for subdivision and sale of the main ranch in up to three specific parcels in addition to the existing fourth parcel, the 174± acre entrance parcel. All non-commercial activities are also allowed.

Improvements

The ranch is improved with a cabin, garage, and internal road.

Cabin: 
The one-story log cabin was started in 1998 and finished in 2000. It has 864± square feet of main floor living area plus a 480± sq. ft. bunkroom loft and a 288± sq.ft. wooden porch with overhanging roofline. It contains three bedrooms and one bathroom. Its utilities are off the electrical grid and powered mainly by propane gas with propane- and solar-generated electricity as backups. Room heat is provided by a fireplace and baseboard electric radiators. Its roof is metal.

Garage: 
The log garage is of similar construction and age. It is 20’ x 24’ in size and houses one car, the electricity generator, and solar power battery bank.

Road: 
A seven-mile-long gravel road runs through the center of the property, from the entrance all the way to the head of the valley, at Miller Lake. 

Mineral Rights

All mineral rights owned by Seller will transfer to the Buyer.

Taxes

Based upon past years, the annual real estate taxes are estimated at $6,917.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Fishery Resources

Pure strain westslope cutthroat trout inhabit and are caught in the ranch’s lake and stream. Miller Lake has many eager to be caught, ranging up to 22 inches in length. The cutthroat in Mill Creek average 8-12 inches, and there are loads of them. 

Wildlife Resources

The ranch is a wildlife haven. Sightings of numerous species are common. These include such game species as elk, moose, mule deer, whitetail deer, Rocky Mountain sheep, black bear, mountain lion, wolves and mountain goat. Non-game animals include grizzly bear, beaver, weasel, marten, wolverine and raccoon. Raptors include numerous species of eagle, falcon and hawk.

Hunting tags for elk are over-the-counter for brow-tined bulls, and by drawing for cows. Mule deer buck hunting tags are drawn with 100% success rates. Whitetail deer buck hunting tags are over-the-counter. Bighorn sheep ram tags are drawn with minimal success rates. One state-wide tag is sold at auction annually for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Black bear tags are over-the-counter for both spring and fall seasons, as are mountain lion tags for the winter season.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

During the past 15 years of ownership, the current owners have used the ranch only for hunting, fishing and general recreation. The peace and tranquility of this ranch is unrivaled and not to be underestimated.

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