Nothing can prepare you for the Rocky Mountain splendor found at Salmon Prairie Ranch. This compact yet entirely private enclave sits directly on the banks of the Swan River. There’s no need to build as there is a custom timber frame home pulled off the top shelf and positioned riverside in the exact spot where anyone would ever dream of building on this 125± acre parcel. The land is comprised of entirely usable terrain with a mix of meadows and timber. The fly fishing is superb in an idyllic setting and wildlife is your closest neighbor.
The main home was featured in Log Home Living and has a large deck perched over the bank to allow for a grand view of the river. There are four bedrooms and four full baths on two stories with a walkout basement below. There is a total of 4,347± square feet that is heated/cooled. Two fireplaces insure the place is cozy at all times of the year. This home is built to minimize maintenance obligations so you can shut the door, travel and not worry about a thing. Other improvements include a detached garage and a manager’s home and compound at the entrance. For Rocky Mountain views, Salmon Prairie Ranch has one of the best seats in the house.
Just the Facts
- 125± deeded acres
- Approximately 1/2 mile of frontage on the Swan River
- Healthy and wild freestone fishery
- Large, timber frame home overlooking the river
- Snowcapped views of both the Swan and Mission Mountain Ranges
- USFS boundary
- Desirable western Montana location
Salmon Prairie Ranch is comprised of four contiguous parcels. It is a river bottom property, so topography is mostly level terrain with some slight undulations. Elevations hover above and below 3,500 feet above sea level. The driveway entrance is on the west side of Highway 83 which first passes by the caretaker house before arriving at a secure, gated entrance which was styled by Montana artist, Lee Proctor. After passing through the gate, the driveway meanders past a small spring-fed pond on the right and then through the meadows. Views are dramatic in every direction. The driveway terminates at the main home right at the river’s edge. The shop is a distance of about 200 feet north of the main home. There is a good ATV trail providing access to most areas on the property including a streamside campfire/picnic setting that is not easily forgotten.
Purchasing a property such as Salmon Prairie is more about purchasing a lifestyle rather than a piece of real estate. If you dream of strolling out your back door with a fly rod in hand and enjoying the best that the Rocky Mountains has to offer, then this is a must-see property.
Learn about the locale
The Salmon Prairie Ranch is located in Lake County, Montana at the center of the Swan Valley. Accessed directly off Highway 83, the property is 87 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 35 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 38 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± inches
Average annual snowfall: 120+ inches
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Deeded Acres: 125±
Total Acres: 125±
The property’s structural improvements include:
· The Owner’s Home
· The Shop
· The Caretaker’s Residence
This multi-level home is sited perfectly on a bluff overlooking the river with the Mission Mountains visible in the distance. On the other side of the home, the Swan Mountain range dominates the view. The home was built in 2008 and has over 4,340 square feet with four bedrooms and four full baths. There are also two fireplaces, one in the living room and another in the master bedroom. The craftsmanship is evident throughout the home but, a look upwards in the great room reveals a rich, timber frame structure of fir logs that is captivating. Ceilings float high above the black walnut flooring. The kitchen is built for someone who loves to cook, and the adjacent dining area is crowned by an antique window guard from Paris that has been refashioned into a large chandelier.
The living room is a spacious yet cozy gathering area in front of a large fireplace with views of the river out the west side and the Continental Divide out the east side. In addition to the great room, the master bedroom and one guest bedroom suite are located on the main floor. There are two bedrooms and a large office upstairs. Downstairs there is a walkout basement with a bar, media room, laundry room, mechanical room, and family room (currently used as a small home gym). There are large decks on both sides of the home designed to absorb all that nature has to offer. Large stone steps descend from the back deck into the trees toward a trail leading to the river. Heating is provided by propane forced air and radiant heat. With four 1,000-gallon buried propane tanks it is unlikely to need more than an annual refill. In the rare event of a power outage, a generator is automated to keep everything up and running.
The caretaker’s residence was built in 1964 of wood frame construction. It has metal roofing and is suitable for a caretaker or a rental house. It has three bedrooms and two full baths with approximately 1,164 square feet of living space. A large detached garage is situated nearby along with other miscellaneous sheds.
This shop was originally constructed in 1978 and measures 32’X42’. It provides ample workspace and storage for equipment and/or toys.
The ranch holds domestic water rights from two groundwater wells. One is situated on the parcel where the caretaker’s residence is located and the other is at the main home. Documentation is available upon request.
Annual property taxes for Salmon Prairie Ranch are estimated at just over $10,000 based upon previous years.
Learn about the recreational amenities
Western Montana is a mecca for wildlife, and Salmon Prairie Ranch is no exception. You will see everything from herons to hummingbirds here. The most notable species found on the ranch include elk, deer, and bear.
The most important feature of the property is undoubtedly the Swan River. The Swan is a classic boulder-strewn freestone fishery with riffles, runs and pocket water. Excellent populations of native cutthroat and rainbow trout will bend the rod and send you home with sore arms on the best days. The endangered bull trout also lives in these waters.
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.