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Milligan Canyon Ranch

  • Location: Three Forks, MT
  • Acres: 11,118± acres
  • Price: $18,500,000

Milligan Canyon Ranch offers over 11,000 acres of vast rolling landscapes, a well-appointed owner’s home with guest quarters, a ranch manager’s home, proficient cattle operations with foreman’s quarters and ranch office, plus commercial, development and hunting potential just outside of booming Bozeman, Montana.

The Milligan Canyon Ranch is an excellent opportunity for the savvy investor looking for a long-term hold with solid agricultural revenue. This 11,118± total acre spread is ideally located just 30 minutes west of everything Bozeman and only minutes to charming Three Forks, Montana. 

A well-appointed owner’s estate, ranch manager’s home and a top notch set of working pens and stock support buildings including a foreman’s quarters and office round out the improvements made to the cattle operation. 

Native wildlife inhabiting the area include elk, mule deer and antelope along with upland game birds. For the hunter or outdoorsman, simply adding a few well-placed food plots could draw in even more wildlife and upland birds including pheasant.

This ranch has been meticulously maintained as the current owners have been careful stewards of the land, and it shows. The Milligan Canyon Ranch is ready for a new owner to take over and continue its legacy.

  • Located just 30 minutes to Bozeman and 10 minutes to Three Forks, Montana

  • One of few large ranches currently on the market that is this close to Bozeman

  • A total of 11,118± total acres (10,997± deeded acres)

  • Of the total acreage, there are 5,500± deeded acres that are tillable but currently seeded into improved pasture. Other crop options include dry land wheat and pulse crops

  • Year-round cattle venture capable of supporting 450± pairs handily and up to 800± pairs in wetter years and with seasonal, supplemental hay feeding

  • Luxury 3 bed, 3.5 bath owner’s home in a private setting with 3 bed, 2 bath guest quarters above detached garage/office

  • Ranch manager’s home with shop near cattle operations facility

  • Separate ranch operations area includes the main barn and calving barn with foreman’s apartment above, sorting pens and feedlots

  • Well-maintained improvements and discerning land stewardship

  • Perimeter and cross-fenced with 29 rotational pastures

  • Well-watered ranch with 17 water wells, 36 water stations, 4 artesian wells/springs and seasonal Milligan Creek

  • Opportunity for commercial or residential development and/or conservation easement

  • Direct access to I-90 via Milligan Canyon Rd and control of all four corners

  • Surrounded by the Elkhorn Mountains, not far from the confluence of the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin Rivers, the headwaters of the Missouri River

  • Elk, mule deer, antelope and upland bird habitat

  • All water and mineral rights owned will convey at closing

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An ideal location and access is an important consideration for any ranch and the Milligan Canyon Ranch has that in abundance. This sprawling ranch encompasses both sides of I-90 with approximately 4,000± acres on the north side and some 7,000± acres on the south side. Additionally, its position straddles the intersection of I-90 and the Milligan Canyon Road exit, controlling all four corners offering both protection and tremendous future commercial upside potential.

The location of the Milligan Canyon Ranch is certainly one of its most notable features. Rarely does a ranch of this size become available within such close proximity to all the necessary amenities we’ve come to enjoy. With Bozeman and its exploding growth being just 30 minutes away and the quaint small town of Three Forks, with all of its western charm, less than 10 minutes down the road, it’s easy to see the benefits of owning a ranch in such a location.

Three Forks, with a population of about 2,000± offers small town hospitality and a friendly nature that can be hard to find these days. Three Forks is home of the renovated Sacajawea Inn and its wonderful restaurants, the Iron Horse Cafe & Pie Shop, the Wheat Montana Bakery and the Three Forks Saddlery. The town also has a local grocery store, gas stations and most general supplies one would need on a daily basis.

Three Forks got its name from the Lewis and Clark expedition as it traveled up the Missouri River to find three rivers coming together to form the headwaters of the Missouri River. They named these rivers after the political leaders of the time. President Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State James Madison and Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin. The headwaters is located about four miles from the present day town of Three Forks, Montana. 

Milligan Canyon Ranch is just west of Bozeman, Montana, cited as the fastest growing micropolitan statistical area in the U.S. for the last three years. The city, once considered a cow town, is home to the state’s largest university, Montana State, and numerous upscale restaurants, hotels and shopping experiences. Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and the Yellowstone Club, along with their ski runs and golf courses, are less than 90 minutes from the ranch.

Originally built in 2000, the two-story owner’s home has three-bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths and a kid’s bunk room. It has been remodeled over recent years to include Viking appliances, granite countertops and custom paint schemes among other high-end tasteful touches. 

The luxury house is perfectly placed in a quiet little valley overlooking a pond stocked with trout that’s home to ducks, geese and the occasional swan. The pond is fed by an artesian spring under a huge cottonwood tree. The setting is private and surreal with plenty of covered outdoor patios to let yourself relax and soak it all in. 

Across the circle drive from the house is a detached two-car garage with an oversized office downstairs and a nicely finished three-bedroom, two-bathroom guest quarters upstairs, complete with its own kitchen and laundry.

Well-watered ranch with 17 water wells, 36 water stations, 4 artesian wells/springs and seasonal Milligan Creek

All water and mineral rights owned will convey at closing.

The Milligan Canyon Ranch currently runs approximately 450 pair easily and up to 800 pair or more in wetter years and with some seasonal, supplemental hay feeding. 

The ranch manager’s home and associated outbuildings and barns are on the west side of the ranch maintaining privacy for the owners and allowing for some separation from the day-to-day of the cattle operation. The buildings are well-maintained, fully functional and will meet the expectations of most any ranch manager or foreman. 

The cattle operation compound is located more to the center of the ranch backing up to Milligan Creek and fronting the main road to allow easy access for delivery and shipping trucks. The compound includes a cattle barn with pens, calving barn, loading chutes, etc. There is also plenty of hay storage, multiple feed lots, a machine shop and other outbuildings and sheds. The fencing rails are all in good working order and continually maintained. Adjoining the calving barn is an office where the cattle operations are handled. Above the calving barn is another living quarters that is well-suited for any employee requiring boarding.

Situated entirely within Jefferson County, the Milligan Canyon Ranch’s primary viewshed features the backdrop of the beautiful Elkhorn Mountains of Helena National Forest and Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. In nearby Three Forks, the confluence of the Gallatin, Madison and Jefferson Rivers comes together to create the headwaters of the great Missouri River. Hunting and fishing is phenomenal in the area and opportunities to experience all that Montana has to offer are endless, including access to millions of acres of state and federal public lands. 

Wild game inhabitants of the ranch include elk, mule deer and antelope along with a scattering of upland game birds. While the current owners primary focus has been on the cattle operation, a new owner with more of a hunting/outdoorsman mindset could easily convert some key areas into new food plots with cover to attract more elk and mule deer along with the prized pheasant. With just a few minor tweaks, this ranch could become a sustainable hunting and recreational ranch with an easily managed agricultural revenue stream.

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