Swan's Latest Listing: Climbing Arrow Ranch, Montana, Featured in the Wall Street Journal in an article by Katherine Clarke May 4, 2021.

'One of Montana’s Priciest Properties Ever.'
One of the Largest Undeveloped Properties in the Rocky Mountain West Asks $136.25 Million
Montana’s Climbing Arrow Ranch, which was featured in a Robert Redford movie, is made up of a series of five separate, noncontiguous parcels that total about 80,000 acres

A ranch believed to be one of the largest private undeveloped properties in the Rocky Mountain West is seeking $136.25 million, making it one of the most expensive properties ever listed for sale in the state of Montana.

Climbing Arrow Ranch is actually a series of five separate, noncontiguous parcels that total about 80,000 acres. One of the parcels borders ranches owned by media mogul and prominent landowner Ted Turner, according to listing agent Mike Swan of Swan Land Co. The ranch was also featured in “A River Runs Through It,” the 1992 movie directed by Robert Redford.

Located roughly 30 miles from Bozeman and spanning four counties, the ranch includes irrigated hay meadows along the Madison River and limestone cliffs. It is known for its bull-elk hunting and trout fishing (the latter activity was featured in the movie).

There is a herd of nearly 2,000 commercial Black Angus cattle, a large operation that is likely to be passed to a new owner. Each June, locals come to the ranch to watch the cattle drive, as cowboys and working dogs move the cattle along the Madison River between two parts of the property.
The property also includes an abandoned railroad, from the days that the Milwaukee Road ran through a portion of the property, from 1906 to 1980. There is still a railway tunnel and a railway trestle that crosses Sixteen Mile Creek, a tributary of the Missouri River. Native American tipi rings, or circular patterns of stones, and cave petroglyphs point to the ranch’s more distant past and are evidence of the tribes that hunted, camped and traveled throughout the area, Mr. Swan said.

There are seven modest ranch homes on the property, including staff accommodations.

Climbing Arrow Ranch has been in the same family for more than six decades. It was purchased in 1959 by Buck Anderson, grandson of Bank of California founder Frank B. Anderson, and his wife Marcia Anderson, according to the agent. Over the decades, they expanded the property to its current size.

Mr. Anderson died in 2012, and Ms. Anderson died last year. The ranch is currently controlled by three of their children; son Frank Anderson lives on site.

“Our family has had the great privilege of being the stewards of this beautiful ranch for over 60 years,” the Anderson family said in a statement. “The remarkable vision and ambition of our parents to create 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 it can never be replaced.”

Mr. Swan said the family is selling because they feel it is time to move on while they are still young and able. He said he sees numerous sellers of the baby boomer generation selling off land holdings that belonged to their parents. “It will be interesting to see who comes in to fill that hole,” he said.

He noted that the buyer pool for properties of this scale is small. Other major Montana landowners include the likes of Mr. Turner and billionaire Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams, who bought a roughly 124,000-acre ranch in 2012 near Augusta, which was listed for $132.5 million.

Write to Katherine Clarke at [email protected]