Situated on the western flank of the Big Belt Mountains, 19 miles northeast of Townsend, Montana, the 820-acre Gurnett Creek Ranch provides privacy and seclusion in an end-of-the-road rural ranch setting. Comprised of dryland hay meadows, grass pasture and stands of fir, pine and aspen trees, the property is home to diverse wildlife including deer, elk and game birds. Gurnett Creek flows through the ranch for more than 1 mile supporting a modest brook trout fishery, and there is also a stocked trout pond. The upper Missouri River and Canyon Ferry Reservoir are within a short driving distance, offering angling opportunities ranging from brown and rainbow trout to yellow perch and record-class walleye. Improvements include a 2,600 sqft log home and several outbuildings historically used in conjunction with a commercial elk farm operation. The Gurnett Creek Ranch corners the Helena National Forest and is in southwest Montana, an area rich with a variety of high-caliber recreational possibilities. Panoramic mountain views from the upper hay meadows are incredible. Numerous choice building sites are open for an additional home. With strong sporting and agricultural features, the Gurnett Creek Ranch could serve as a year round residence, summer retreat, corporate getaway, small cattle or horse property or guest ranch operation.
The Gurnett Creek Ranch is nestled in the foothills of the Belt Mountains about 19 road miles northeast of Townsend, Montana. Access is via paved State Highway 284 for approximately 12 miles, and then graveled and dirt county designated road for another seven. The county road ends at the front gate of the ranch, creating a private and secluded setting.
The Gurnett Creek Ranch comprises approximately 820 contiguous deeded acres in an end-of-the-road setting, and the northeast corner of the property abuts the Helena National Forest. The property consists of fir and pine timbered hillsides and ridges, aspen-filled draws and large grass hay meadows and pasture. It was selectively logged in places, which has resulted in more grass for wildlife. For several years leading up to 2005, the property was operated as a commercial elk ranch — with a high perimeter fence and limited fee hunting.
The residence was built in 1992 with massive 18′ to 26′ Tamarack logs. The home is 2,688 +/- sqft and includes three bedrooms, three baths, a large kitchen, dining area, living room, recreation/family room, office and storage space. The creek is located near the western side of the house, and the trout pond is west of the creek. Power and telephone lines run to the house and domestic water is from a well. The bulk of the outbuildings are located about a half mile south of the log home, on a bench near the ranch’s entrance. Included is an open-sided hay barn that can store an estimated 700 tons, a 154′ x 40′ metal building with concrete floor, an attached 10′ x 60′ lean-to and a 40′ x 54′ attached metal building.
Gurnett Creek flows through the ranch for more than 1 mile and supports a fishable population of brook trout. Holding water is at a premium in the creek and enhancement measures to create more of this type of habitat could substantially increase fish densities. The upper reaches of the drainage also support viable populations of west slope cutthroat trout — a native fish in Montana and also a threatened species of special concern. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has expressed an interest in enhancing this population in Gurnett Creek and has approached the owner of the ranch in this regard. In addition to Gurnett Creek, the ranch has a small trout pond that has been stocked with fish. The pond is approximately 1/3 of an acre and 12 feet deep. Two hundred brook trout in the four-inch range were stocked in 2008.
Some of Montana’s best hunting opportunities can be found throughout the southwest area of the state. The mountains and plains comprising the region harbor all the recognized big game species of Montana, including elk, whitetail and mule deer, antelope, black and grizzly bear, mountain lion, moose, Bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats. Waterfowl and upland wingshooting is superb in this area with the possibility of decoying ducks and geese in the morning, then hunting for Hungarian partridge, pheasant and grouse in the afternoon. Elk and deer are commonly seen on Gurnett Creek Ranch. Not as frequent but possible would be sightings of black bear, antelope and moose. There are also turkey, Hungarian partridge and grouse in the neighborhood. This property lies in elk/deer district 391; it would be realistic to annually harvest elk and deer on the property. The Helena National Forest provides thousands of public acres on which to recreate as well.
The Gurnett Creek Ranch represents a rare and unique opportunity. Mountain acreages close to National Forest with water amenities and wildlife are becoming difficult to find for purchase in Montana, much less in the highly-desirable southwest portion of the Treasure State. This is a stunning piece of ground located in a wonderful yet sparsely-populated region. The ranch is ideally suited for any number of uses — private or corporate retreat, guest ranch or a working cattle/horse ranch. Considering there are no restrictions where there is development appeal, the ranch could have conservation easement potential. With gorgeous views, excellent water, diverse wildlife, privacy and stewardship potential, Gurnett Creek Ranch is a strong investment opportunity.
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Trust Live Water Properties to list ranches for sale in Montana that suit every sporting passion. Ranch real estate in the beautiful state of Montana can be purchased near Big Sky, Bozeman, Livingston, Big Timber and Whitefish. Picturesque fly fishing properties can be found on rivers like the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Yellowstone, Smith, Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin and many other prolific, native trout fisheries, while the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem provides the backdrop to Montana horse and cattle ranches. The variety of ranch properties for sale in Montana fulfill every outdoor-loving whim.