The Spring High Ranch is located at the base of the Beartooth Mountains adjacent to the national forest approximately 12 miles south of Fishtail and 35 miles west of Red Lodge. This places it about 70 miles southwest of Billings - Montana’s largest city - and its busy commercial airport. Commercial air service at Billings Logan Airport is provided by American, Delta, United, Horizon, Frontier and Allegiant airlines. These airlines offer multiple flights each day to Salt Lake City, Seattle, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver with seasonal non-stops to Dallas and Chicago.
The ranch has comfortable access by paved highway to within five miles of the ranch. The next three miles are on a good graveled county road that dead ends at a locked gate shared by three other landowners. A good private road takes one the rest of the way to the ranch. The Spring High Ranch is truly at the “end of the road” as the other users branch off in different directions. There is absolutely no access through the ranch’s deeded lands for any other parties.
The “Beartooth Front” bounded by Red Lodge and the Rock Creek Valley on the easterly end and Nye and the Stillwater River Valley on the westerly end is one of the most dramatically beautiful areas in Montana. The Beartooth Mountains dominate the views to the south and the foothills and valleys that emanate from this massive granite range tend to be very lush and green and the rivers and streams are loaded with trout.
It is an area that was traditionally home to many very productive small to medium sized foothill/mountain ranches settled over 130 years ago. The ranches that immediately adjoin the Beartooth Front have actually been consolidated into some very good sized operating ranches over the years and have gone into quite strong hands. Certain areas have also seen some smaller tract development as the area has been sought after as a recreational outlet for Billings as well as for non-residents who came in originally from the northern Midwest on the railroad. They now fly in to Billings from throughout the U.S. Many chose to buy small ranches or recreational retreats here to avoid what they consider to be the “flash and glitter” of the Bozeman/Big Sky/Yellowstone Club area.
As regards the immediately surrounding neighbors, one good-sized ranch borders to the north and east and one of the area’s oldest and largest ranches that is protected from development by a conservation easement lies to the east and south. There are two smaller recreational retreat properties on the northwest boundary that share the access road. However, because of the natural terrain, one is not really aware of these properties and they are considered to be in strong hands and unlikely to be subject to any additional development.
Of particular note is a wonderful recent addition to the neighborhood known as Tippet Rise. Tippet Rise describes itself as follows: Tippet Rise Art Center is located in Fishtail, Montana, against the backdrop of the Beartooth Mountains, roughly midway between Billings and Bozeman and north of Yellowstone National Park. Set on a 10,260-acre working sheep and cattle ranch, Tippet Rise hosts classical chamber music and recitals and exhibits large-scale, outdoor sculptures. Tippet Rise celebrates the concept that art, music, architecture, and nature are inextricably linked in the human experience, each making the others more powerful. The art center features musical performance spaces indoors and out, with programs that seek to create memorable experiences for performers and audience members alike. Classical concerts are held on summer weekends in the Olivier Music Barn, or outdoors under the Domo. Bike, hike, or take a tour by carbon-neutral electric van.
Tippet Rise is only four years old and has just begun to weave its magic in the community while already having achieved worldwide recognition for its intimate but exceptional offerings of both music and art. The impact has been palpable to the heart and soul of the area and its residents. The longer-term impact on land values and on the desirability of a region that was already one of the most sought after in the northern Rockies is impossible to determine at this time. Here is a link to their website: https://tippetrise.org/. Hall and Hall is proud to have played a very small part in helping Peter and Cathy Halsted put this remarkable project together. We think it will do much to make this area of Montana a place where increasing numbers of sophisticated individuals and families will want to live.
Many smaller towns of varying sizes have grown up over the years and provide wonderful outlets for the ranches in the area. Roscoe, Dean, Nye, Columbus and Absarokee are all within a short drive of the ranch and Red Lodge is about a 35 to 40-minute drive. Each of these towns has its own character and besides restaurants, shops, and other services they offer an employment base for employees that can commute to the ranch on a daily basis and not require on-ranch accommodation.
Essentially this area has a strong ranching base as well as clear dedication to maintaining the open space along the mountains. Many of the ranches have conservation easements and it is extremely unusual to find a property for sale along the mountain front adjoining the national forest. Properties like Spring High are rare to find and generally are held in strong hands for multiple generations.
In addition to its obvious beauty and recreational appeal, this is, in fact, terrific cattle country, so it has not been difficult to keep the land in agriculture. Socially it is extremely interesting because it boasts such a diversity of residents from business and professional people from Billings to local ranchers to tradespeople from the small towns and retirees to wealthy non-resident ranch owners who all share a common dedication to maintaining this unique and stimulating community.
Red Lodge offers a touch of international sophistication because it has a long history of being both a gateway to Yellowstone Park and something of a destination ski resort. As stated earlier it also has tended to attract people from all over the world who have opted to choose a quieter lifestyle than one would find in the more internationally known resort towns. This area is truly unique in Montana and has its own special character.