For Sale

Rockin JN Ranch

$4,950,000 Sula, MT 545± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

This 545± acre gem is situated amidst an ocean of public lands and large holdings. A three bedroom, three and a half bath custom timber frame home with over 5,800 square feet was completed in 2006 and is perched atop a ridge. The chef’s kitchen includes Thermador and other premium stainless appliances, has a walk-in pantry, and a dumb waiter to deliver your groceries. Huge panes of glass absorb the 360º views. A towering stone Rumsford-style fireplace is the centerpiece of the living room and is only one of several. Exquisite woodwork is found throughout. In rock star style, one entire wall is an intricate “sunburst” design handcrafted from exotic woods direct from the Gibson guitar factory. The land itself is comprised of a gentle topography perfect for hiking or horseback though vast native grasslands and timber-lined draws. Other improvements include a manager’s home, shops and greenhouse.

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Just the Facts

  • 545± deeded acres
  • Excellent wildlife populations including deer, elk and bear
  • Superb quality timber frame home with over 5,800 square feet
  • Expansive views of snowcapped peaks
  • Extensive Forest Service and State Lands boundaries
  • Private, end of the road location
  • Western Montana location above the historic community of Sula
  • Less than an hour to Hamilton, Montana
  • Downhill skiing at Lost Trail Powder Mountain less than 30 minutes away

General Description

The property is accessed by a private road off French Basin Road starting at an elevation of about 4,500 feet. The road traverses a private easement for approximately 1.3 miles before crossing the Rockin JN Ranch’s east boundary. From this point, the driveway continues for about ¼ mile before arriving at a compound where the manager’s home, shops and other improvements are located. From there, the gradual climb continues for a little over a mile before arriving at the main home sitting at an elevation of 5,400 feet (nearly the highest point on the ranch). This road is fully accessible all year long (with snow plowing, of course). At 2.5 miles from the closest public road, the home enjoys a tremendous amount of privacy on this ridge.

The land is comprised of mostly sloping rangelands with ribbons of timber following the drainages running from east to west. At its widest points from east-west the property is approximately ¾ mile and from north-south it is approximately 1.25 miles. A ridge descends into the property from the northeast with slopes falling off to the east, south and west. Most of the land lays west of the ridge. The main home is situated at the top of this ridge with views in every direction. Public lands (state and federal) surround the property except for its west boundary which is shared with large, private holdings.

Broker's Comments

This is a quiet and secluded place with great panache. The western Montana location puts the owner at the epicenter of outdoor recreation.

Learn about the locale

Location

Rockin JN Ranch is located on a ridge 7.5 miles (by road) northeast of the postage stamp sized town of Sula, Montana which is approximately 35 miles south of Hamilton and 90 miles from Missoula, the cultural hub of western Montana. Salmon, Idaho is less than 60 miles to the south on the other side of Lost Trail Pass.

Commercial airline access to western Montana is through Missoula International Airport, which is served by Alaska Airlines, Americans Airlines, Allegiant Air, Delta Air lines, Frontier Airlines and United Airlines with numerous arrivals and departures each day. There are direct flights available to Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas, Portland & Seattle. Seasonal direct flights are available to Phoenix, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco. Private air accommodations are available in Missoula as well as the Ravalli County Airport in Hamilton, the county seat, which provides a 4,200 ft. runway open to general aviation just 20 miles north of the ranch.

Locale

Rockin JN Ranch lies on the eastern side of one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the West and is watched over by Sula Peak, at an elevation of 6,800 feet.

The Bitterroot Valley, often referred to as the banana belt of Montana, is recognized as having one of the mildest climates in the state. The valley is formed between the Sapphire Mountains to the east and Bitterroots to the west. The Bitterroot River flows to the north to join the Clark Fork River near Missoula. The ranch’s location provides access to an extraordinary variety of recreational activities. Within an hour’s drive one can be in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Big Hole Valley, the Main Fork of the Salmon River, the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness and many other desirable areas. The economy here is evolving away from extractive resources and moving toward tourism, high tech, and an increasing number of affluent retirees who enjoy the high quality of life this valley has to offer.

Missoula is home to the University of Montana with an undergraduate student body of over 10,000 students. Missoula offers multiple cultural opportunities such as live theater, concerts, museums, galleries, festivals and more. The ranch is approximately 12 miles north of the Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski area, which has, in recent years, undergone a massive expansion of their facilities.

While the Bitterroot Valley has become more populated and modernized, Sula Basin remains sparse in population and closer to historic Montana cowboy culture.

Climate

The geography of the Bitterroot Valley creates a moderate year-round climate that earns it the reputation of the banana belt of Montana. While low temperatures may drop into the teens during January, the coldest month, expect warm winter days as well. About 30 inches of snow falls over the winter, with more at the higher elevations — Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski resort reaches a base of 60 inches. Many winter days are sunny, and shirtsleeve ski days aren’t uncommon. About 14 inches of rain falls each year in the Sula area, putting it on the dry side. Still, spring rains fill the creeks and abundant wildflowers blanket the valleys and hillsides. Spring nights remain crisp, and even in mid-summer the nighttime temperatures can be in the 40s. July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 85 degrees. Cool summer nights, with clear skies and no light pollution, make Rockin JN Ranch optimal for watching the Perseid meteor showers in August. As the aspen, cottonwoods and western larch trees turn gold in the fall, temperatures range from the low 30s to the high 50s — perfect weather for hiking, fishing, hunting or just watching the elk and deer from your front window.

History

With its historic forts, missions and trails, the Bitterroot Valley figures prominently in Montana history — and Rockin JN Ranch overlooks one of the most important sites. In 1804, the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery arrived in a small valley called Ross’ Hole, cold, wet and hungry. The Salish Indians, who were camped on this spot which is now part of the ranch, provided food and furs to the group, including Sacagawea and her baby. A painting of the event by Charles M. Russell hangs in the Montana State Capitol.

The Bitterroot Valley is named for the bitterroot plant, a food staple for the Salish tribes who were its first residents. The Hudson’s Bay Company established forts to trade with trappers and Indians, and St. Mary’s Mission was founded near present-day Stevensville. Logging and agriculture became the main industries in the region, evolving toward tourism, research facilities and high tech today.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 545±

Total Acres: 545±

* All acreages are approximations.

Improvements

Main Home

With over 5,800 square feet, this timber frame home has 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 fireplaces, loft, spacious living room, library and a built in 3 car garage with a dumb waiter to carry your groceries upstairs. The home was designed for a rock star with metal trusses that intentionally convey a motif reminiscent of stage lighting. Perhaps most notable are the supersized windows that allow the views of snowcapped peaks to permeate daily life.

The front entry, marked by a heavy wooden door adorned with stained glass, is at the bottom of a series of cascading steps. The main floor consists of a master suite, library, powder room and a great room of all great rooms -- comprised of a kitchen, dining and living area. A pair of enormous stone pillars resting on a stone hearth support an impressive, reclaimed mantel over a Rumford fireplace that resides in the center of this comfortable living space. Large flagstones cover the entirety of this level except for a tile floor in the master bath. French doors exit onto a balcony that is graded into the hillside at one end. A dining area occupies the southwest corner of the great room and transitions directly into the kitchen.

The kitchen has an "open" flow that was designed for someone who really enjoys the art of cooking. It includes high-end stainless-steel appliances including a Thermador refrigerator, a Thermador double oven with a 6-burner range and griddle, Bosch dishwasher, built-in Sharp microwave and Grohe fixtures. There is no shortage of space with plenty of custom cabinetry and a walk-in pantry. The bay window above the sink allows you to gaze towards the mountains as you work.

The master bedroom suite is at the north end of the structure. Like the great room, it has a large stone hearth and a wooden mantle with a fireplace that provides warmth and ambience. A circular staircase leads to an airy loft that currently is used as a yoga and exercise studio. The en-suite bathroom is horseshoe shaped and can be entered from either side of the bed. With walk-in closet space, dual sinks, Jacuzzi tub, fully enclosed shower with 3 heads and separate water closets for him and her there is an abundance of space here.

The lower level also enjoys the ambience of a large, stone fireplace in the midst of a large living area. The quality of the woodwork throughout the home is exemplified by the "sunburst" pattern on the wall at the north end of this room that was artfully constructed using wood from the Gibson guitar factory. The lower level also has a kitchenette, a 3 car garage, 2 bedroom at opposite ends and a French door walkout at grade to a large fire pit ready for sunset and nighttime gatherings.

Caretaker Home

The caretaker home is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, double-wide modular home (1998) with 1,620 square feet on the main floor. The walkout basement is a self-contained unit with a full kitchen and 1,836 square feet. The home is surrounded by over 1,200 feet of decking and is sided with logs giving it the look and feel of a log cabin in the woods. Heating is by a propane forced air system. It has a 2-car garage attached.

Shops

There are two shops constructed adjacent to one another about 200’ east of the caretaker home. These large, heated buildings were constructed in 1998 and 2001 and measure 40x80 (3,200 sf) and 32x62 (1,984 sf) respectively.

Greenhouse

The greenhouse was erected in 2001 and measures 12’x18’. It is located between the caretaker home and the shops.

Dog Run

Across the driveway from the caretaker home is a large, chain-link fenced and graveled dog run with an 80 square foot (8x10) doghouse constructed in 2001.

Water Rights

There are a number of water rights appurtenant to the property including rights for stock, fish and wildlife, lawn and garden, fire protection and domestic use. Details available upon request.

Mineral Rights

All minerals owned by Seller will transfer to a new owner.

Taxes

Annual property taxes were $9,172.43 in 2016.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Recreational Considerations

In the Bitterroot Valley, world-class recreation is never more than minutes away. The East Fork of the Bitterroot River can be accessed within a 15-minute drive from the house. The Bitterroot River is also great for rafting, and many hiking trails thread into the stunning Bitterroot Range. Ski at Lost Trail Powder Mountain, with a base elevation of 7,050 feet. Hike, bike or just soak at Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort. Both areas are within 25 minutes of the ranch.

Golfers can play 18 holes at the Hamilton Golf Club, one of the best public courses in the Northwest. The private 18-hole Stock Farm Club is also in Hamilton, which is about 35 miles north of Sula. Both courses provide spectacular views of the Bitterroots.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

Rockin JN Ranch is owned by Jason Newsted, former bassist of Metallica, and his wife, Nicole. They have used the property as a seasonal mountain retreat for more than 15 years. A new owner would likely wish to continue using the property in the same manner, although it would be equally well suited to a year-round residence.

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