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September 13, 2021
  • Featured Ranches
  • In The News
  • Sold!

One of the most historically significant land and cattle empires in the Rocky Mountain West, Climbing Arrow Ranch (“CA Ranch”) has sold, making it the Most Expensive Ranch in the History of Montana. Consisting of five Ranch Units totaling approximately 79,483 acres spanning four Montana counties, the Ranch includes a commercial cattle and hay operation and some of the finest hunting and fishing in the Rocky Mountains. The ranch was one of the filming locations for A River Runs Through It.

Swan Land Company and Premier Land Company Announce Historic Climbing Arrow Ranch Has Sold




Swan Land Company and Premier Land Company, both located in Bozeman, announce that the Climbing Arrow Ranch has sold to an undisclosed buyer. Mike Swan, owner and managing broker of Swan Land Company, represented the seller. Bryce Connery of Premier Land Company represented the buyer. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The Ranch was listed in April 2021 for $136,250,000, making it the most expensive ranch transaction in the history of the state of Montana and within the top ten most expensive in the United States.

“We are honored to be the brokerage representing the Anderson family and this significant piece of Southwest Montana’s history,” said Swan. “CA Ranch’s scale, production, and unrivaled recreational amenities within minutes of Bozeman make it truly unique in today’s high-end ranch real estate market.”

“The CA Ranch’s large continuous landscape and diversified agricultural and recreational opportunities are extraordinary. It would be hard to imagine a more perfect ranch. The buyer is thrilled with the purchase and is looking forward to the incredible opportunity and responsibility of building on its legacy,” said Bryce Connery.

Located about 30 minutes outside of Bozeman, Montana, the 79,582± acre Climbing Arrow Ranch (CA Ranch), part of which borders Ted Turner’s Flying-D Ranch and Bar None Ranch, is one of America’s last remaining unspoiled private properties in the West. Spread across four counties—Gallatin, Broadwater, Madison, and Meagher—the property is organized into five ranch units which are utilized systematically to create a functional, efficient 2,000-head commercial Black Angus cattle operation that includes a permitted ranch feedlot and five center-pivot sprinklers for hay production.  In addition, the trout fishing and elk hunting on the Ranch are world-renowned.

This iconic ranch, which was established in 1905, was purchased by Buck and Marcia Anderson in 1959. Buck, the grandson of Frank B. Anderson, president of the Bank of California, brought his family to the Ranch and expanded the ranch’s holdings over 30 years.

The Ranch has a significant history; tipi rings and cave petroglyphs are evidence that Blackfeet and Crow tribes hunted, camped, and traveled throughout what became the CA Ranch. The property contains the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad’s “Western Extension” route, built in the early 1900s. While the rails and railroad ties have been removed, two signal lights remain in Sixteen Mile Canyon as well as three tunnels. The picturesque trestle bridge leading into Eagle’s Nest tunnel served as a location in the 1992  Robert Redford film, A River Runs Through It.“Our family has had the great privilege of being the stewards of this beautiful ranch for over 60 years. The remarkable vision and ambition of our parents in making the CA Ranch into what it is today gave us the exceptional opportunity to raise families in a western ranching lifestyle, within a tightly knit community of friends. We will cherish this for our lifetimes, and these memories can never be replaced. While we feel both pride and tribulation in this change, it is time to pass the reins to a new owner who we hope will love and cherish the ranch as we have.”

The Ranch is home to several employee residences, guest homes and an owner’s home as well as the historic Francis Barn, corrals, workshops, mechanic shops, horse corrals, sheds and horse barns, calving facilities and shipping corrals.CA Ranch is mythical in Western Montana hunting and fishing lore for its unsurpassed bull-elk hunting and blue-ribbon trout fishing. Bulls as large as 397 on the Boone and Crockett scale have been taken from the nearly 1,500 head of elk that amass on the property during hunting season. The property contains about five miles of frontage along the Madison River, and over 17 miles of the North Fork and Middle Fork of Sixteenmile Creek (a tributary to the Missouri River). The property is within an hour’s drive of the highly regarded Missouri, Beaverhead, Ruby, Big Hole, and Jefferson Rivers, and the coveted fishing in Yellowstone National Park.




Jennifer Hobson-Hinsley

JHL Media

[email protected]



Mike Swan

Broker/Owner – Seller Representative
Swan Land Company

O: 406.522.7342
M: 406.570.4897
[email protected]

1185 N. 14th Suite 1
Bozeman, Montana 59715

  • One of the most historically significant land and cattle empires in the Rocky Mountain West is located only 30 minutes from Bozeman, Montana.
  • Consists of approximately 79,582 acres, of which about 73,180 are deeded.
  • Runs a cow herd of nearly 2,000 commercial Black Angus cattle.
  • Fly fishing on the CA is legendary with over 20 miles of pristine trout waters of the Madison River, North Fork, Middle Fork, and the main channel of Sixteen Mile Creek.
  • World-renowned elk hunting exists on the Francis Unit which is home to an elk herd of 900 to 1,500 and attracts dozens of magnum bulls scoring in the 350 to 370 class with larger bulls harvested in the 390 range.
  • Held in the same family for the past 62 years.
  • Consists of five “Units” that are all utilized systematically, creating a highly functional, efficient, and well-run commercial cattle operation and premier elk hunting and fly fishing.
  • Improvements include two owner’s homes, several homes for employees, two cookhouses, a bunkhouse, and a guest house for hunters.  The working improvements include a feedlot permitted for 1,000 head of cattle, several barns, corrals, working shops, horse corrals, and shipping corrals.



Swan Land Company, based in Bozeman, Montana with branches in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Buffalo and Saratoga, Wyoming, is a client-driven ranch, farm, and recreational-land real estate company. Swan Land Company has solidly built a reputation on integrity, intimate client interaction, unparalleled service, hard work, and extraordinary market knowledge. Founded by Mike Swan, the associates of Swan Land Company have extensive real estate and ranch brokerage experience and specialize in representing sellers and buyers of premier agricultural and recreational properties throughout the Rocky Mountain West. Swan Land Company’s boutique style allows it to provide superior levels of personal service – leading clients through the details of each and every transaction. Through skillful execution of fiduciary responsibility and market knowledge, clients are provided with unequaled service and peace of mind.

Swan Land Company has built a solid reputation in the Rocky Mountains in handling high-profile and complex ranch and recreational property transactions. Swan’s listing, marketing, and sale of the historic Broken O Ranch near Augusta, Montana consisting of approximately 124,000 acres offered at $132,500,000, placed “him in the top echelon of land brokers in the U.S.” and earned the 2012 Deal of the Year, according to the 2012 Spring Issue of The Land Report. To date, The Climbing Arrow Ranch and the Broken O Ranch are the two most expensive ranches sold in the history of Montana. Several other notable transactions include the $52,500,000 listing and sale of the LF Ranch near Augusta, Montana; the listing and sale of the $40,000,000 Lazy J Ranch in Bridger Canyon near Bozeman; and the listing and sale of Jane Fonda’s Forked Lightning Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.