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Swan Land Properties
Legendary Fishing, Hunting and Large Scale Agricultural Production
Gallatin, Meagher, Madison & Broadwater Counties

CLIMBING ARROW RANCH

Sold
  • Manhattan, Montana

  • 79,582 Total

  • $136,250,000

One of the most historically significant land and cattle empires in the Rocky Mountain West, Climbing Arrow Ranch consists of approximately 79,582 acres, of which about 73,180 are deeded. CA Ranch has a long, storied history of agricultural production, with a cow herd of nearly 2,000 commercial Black Angus cattle.

Teeming with German browns, cutthroat and rainbow trout, fly fishing on the CA is legendary. The pristine trout waters of the North Fork, Middle Fork, and the main channel of Sixteenmile Creek serpentine through the Francis Unit for over 17 miles, and nearly 3.5 miles of the acclaimed Madison River form the western edge of the Valley Unit, creating a private fishing experience like no other in Montana.

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, ranches of this scope–with large-scale agricultural production, unrivaled big-game hunting, and private fishing waters, in one of the most desirable locales in the Rocky Mountains–are peerless in today’s western land market.

The financial district of San Francisco was booming in the 1950s.  When Frank B. Anderson was president of the Bank of California during the recovery following the Great Depression, his grandson, Buck Anderson, was destined to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps in the family banking business.  His fate was set—to live in the Golden State and live a life of corporate America in the Bay Area’s financial district.   However, Buck and his new bride, Marcia, longed for a more rural lifestyle for their young family; a shared love of livestock was pulling them out of California.   The Andersons owned a “hobby” ranch in the Sonoma, California area, but what they wanted was a working ranch. Buck and Marcia threw a wide net across the West in search of a large western ranch they could call home.
In 1959, Buck received a call from the real estate broker he had asked to explore the Rocky Mountains for a suitable ranch property for his family.  This was in the Big Sky State, where Dean Francis had made the difficult decision to sell his ranch, the Climbing Arrow, located on the north end of the Bridger Mountain Range in southwest Montana.  So, with their fledgling family in tow, Buck and Marcia ventured to the beautiful Gallatin Valley to set up their new home and raise their four children.
Over the next sixty years, the Anderson family expanded their holdings to what many may consider the most historically significant land and cattle empire in the Rocky Mountain West.  Today, Climbing Arrow Ranch consists of five Units totaling approximately 79,582 acres, of which about 73,180 are deeded. On this land, the Andersons run a cow herd of nearly 2,000 commercial Black Angus cattle.  Operations of this scale are peerless in today’s western land market.  The Ranch has maintained the long-standing tradition of the three-day cattle drive from the hay meadows of the Valley Unit along the Madison River to the timbered hillsides and mountain meadows of the Francis Unit.  It is a rare experience to see a large cattle drive with seasoned cowboys on horseback and working cow dogs trailing the cattle.  This is a weekly occurrence during the month of June for the CA Ranch. This event attracts spectators from far and wide to watch the “Cowboys of the CA” move the herd to the mountain pastures.
CA Ranch spans four counties, which comprise productive irrigated hay meadows along the famed Madison River, dramatic limestone cliffs above the pristine trout waters of the North Fork and Middle Fork of Sixteenmile Creek, and the main channel of Sixteenmile Creek—all outstanding fisheries in their own right, teeming with German browns, cutthroat and rainbow trout.
The Milwaukee Railroad went through a portion of the Francis Unit from 1906 to 1980.  In 1978, the last train used the current railroad easement, and although remnants still remain, the railbed and right-of-way have been abandoned.  During the term of the Milwaukee Railroad’s operation, the railroad company constructed the Eagle’s Nest Tunnel and the trestle that crosses the North Fork of Sixteenmile Creek, made famous in the movie A River Runs Through It.  Completely private, the abandoned railbed traverses the dramatic, vertical canyon wall with stunning views of the trout-rich North Fork below.
CA Ranch is mythical in Western Montana hunting and fishing lore for its unsurpassed bull-elk hunting and blue-ribbon trout fishing.  This Ranch is like no other in the Rocky Mountain West.

Climbing Arrow Ranch consists of five “Units” that are all utilized systematically, creating a highly-functional, efficient and well-run commercial cattle operation.  Each Unit has specific attributes that contribute to the overall operation—high-quality lower-elevation productive irrigated summer hay ground, late-fall and early-winter hard-grass grazing land, and high-mountain summer grazing pastures.  Balance is the key to successful western ranch properties and CA Ranch has it covered.
Calving typically begins in late March, with pairs trailed to the summer grazing pastures of the Francis Unit around Memorial Day.  The herd spends the summer months in the high-mountain pastures before weaning in October, when the calves are shipped back to the feedlot at the Valley Unit.  Weaned steers typically come in around 600 pounds with heifer calves weighing about 525 pounds.
The feedlot at the Valley Unit is well built, with steel-pipe construction and 2,450 linear feet of concrete feed bunks.  Located off of Buffalo Jump Road with easy access, the feedlot is permitted for 1,000 head.

 

The iconic Climbing Arrow Ranch and its five individual Units are located in southwestern Montana and spread across four counties.
Bozeman, which lies within a thirty-mile drive of all the CA Ranch Units, is a vibrant, active, university-oriented city steeped in culture and art.   It is the fourth largest city in the state, with a population of approximately 52,600 residents.  Bozeman is home to Montana State University, Museum of the Rockies, and abundant opportunities for fine dining, entertainment and shopping.  Bozeman maintains its lively downtown core yet also maintains the small-town feeling visitors keep returning for, which couples nicely with amenities typically found in larger cities.  Within an hour and a half from Bozeman is Yellowstone National Park, which is easily accessible via either the north entrance in Gardiner, or the west entrance in West Yellowstone.
Recently upgraded, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) at Gallatin Field in Belgrade offers several full service FBOs and excellent commercial services through Alaska, Allegiant, American, Avelo, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Sun Country and United Airlines.  One of the busiest passenger airports in the Pacific Northwest, and the busiest in the state of Montana, the airport offers direct flights to 30 major airports around the nation.
Manhattan, Montana, located about 20 miles southwest of the Francis Unit and about 18 miles northeast of the Valley Unit, is a relaxed, small-town agricultural community of about 2,074 residents.  Manhattan has a complement of basic amenities including small shops, grocery, churches, community banks, post office, medical and dental services, automotive repair, restaurants and cafés, and a fitness center.  Home of the Manhattan Tigers, the town boasts an excellent school system and is the recent recipient of the National Blue-Ribbon Award for excellence in education.
Three Forks, which lies about 16 miles north of the Hudson Unit and about 14 miles northwest of the Valley Unit, has grown significantly in the last several years and has a population of approximately 2,073 residents.  Located where the Jefferson and Gallatin Rivers converge to form the Missouri, the town is a hub for recreational activities. Three Forks is the home of Pompey’s Grill at the Sacajawea Hotel and the 9-hole Headwaters Public Golf Course, and offers medical and dental facilities, several small shops and salons, automotive services, rodeo grounds and a sky-diving center.
Located about 20 miles south of the Hudson Unit, Ennis is a classic small Montana town that still has agricultural roots, while also being a hotspot for locals and tourists fishing the Madison River.  Ennis has ample services including restaurants, bars, shopping, groceries, banking and the recently updated Madison Valley Medical Center.  The local area consists primarily of large agricultural and ranching operations interspersed with recreational landowners.

 

Francis Unit is positioned at the north end of the Bridger Mountain Range with Blacktail Mountain and Hatfield Mountain directly to the south.  Francis is predominately comprised of high mountain pastures with timbered ridges and surrounded by mountain ranges.  This Unit serves as the summer grazing area for the bulk of the cattle herd.
The approximate breakdown of the Francis Unit acreage is as follows:

Native Pasture
Timber
Irrigated Pasture
Improvements
State of Montana Lease Land

Total Acreage

42,890± Acres
16,810± Acres
185± Acres
15± Acres
1,680± Acres

61,580± Acres

This massive 60,000-plus acre contiguous holding boasts timbered hillsides, open mountain meadows, and lush riparian threads, and is one of the last large untainted mountain units left in Gallatin County.

The Francis Unit accumulates heavy spring snow and consistent summer showers, which keeps the native range lush and green through much of the summer.  About 185 acres of irrigated pasture ground along the Middle Fork of Sixteenmile Creek provide additional late-fall grazing.  Any hay utilized during winter months is brought in from the Valley Unit.
The irrigation has historically been a combination of flood irrigation, wheel-line irrigation, and big gun sprinkler systems.  Propane-powered pumps have been utilized when the pastures are sprinkler irrigated.

IRRIGATION WATER RIGHTS
Source
Priority Date
Number
Cubic Feet/Second
Sixteenmile Creek
Sixteenmile Creek
1887
1886
41I-13825
41I-13827
4.60
3.75

STOCK WATER RIGHTS
The Francis Unit also controls 62 stock water rights for watering livestock.
Contact our Bozeman Office for a complete list of water rights associated with the Francis Unit.
All water rights in Montana are subject to eventual re-adjudication by the Montana Water Court and, as a result of that process, may be changed as to validity, amount, priority date, place of use and other such changes as the Court determines. The Seller has made all of the filings currently required and will transfer the water rights as they currently stand with no warranty of future viability.

HUNTING
Elk hunting on the Francis Unit of CA Ranch is legendary.  The Ranch began outfitting elk hunts in 1985, with Frank Anderson running the hunting operation and his wife, Meg, cooking legendary meals.  Many of those initial clients remain steadfast patrons to this day.  The hunting days are fully booked each year, with repeat clients and cherished referrals.
The Francis Unit typically holds about 900 head of elk during the late summer and the early part of archery season.  As hunting season progresses, the elk population grows due to the hunting pressure from the surrounding landowners.  According to the Ranch outfitter, by the time rifle season arrives, there can be as many as 1,500 head of elk on the Francis.
Climbing Arrow Outfitters manages the elk hunting on the Ranch.  One of the Sellers, Frank Anderson, currently holds the outfitter’s license and would be amenable to working with a new owner to continue the current program or transition the business to the new owner.  In recent years, Frank’s son, Jack, has been more involved in the outfitting business.  A tremendous group of guides serves the guests on these hunts, many of whom have been with the Ranch for decades.
The magnum bulls harvested from the Ranch attract world-class caliber archery hunters.  The criteria for being considered to be allowed to hunt the Ranch are stringent. Typically, hunters harvest six-point bulls in the 350 class on the Boone and Crockett scale.  Larger bulls are in the 390 range, with a 397 taken in 2000.
The Ranch, which sells thirty to thirty-five hunts between archery and rifle annually, has never advertised or promoted its hunting—hunters have come by invitation only to participate in this epic experience.
The Francis Unit is located in Districts 390 and 393 as determined by the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.  The non-resident draw is March 15th of each year.  This is a general tag area which provides for its next owner, as a resident or non-resident, much easier access to bull-elk and buck-deer tags.
For further information visit: myfwp.mt.gov/fwpPub/planahunt or contact:

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Region 3
1400 South 19th Avenue
Bozeman, MT  59718-5496
406‑994-4042

 


FISHING
The select few who have had the opportunity to fish the fabled waters of Sixteenmile Creek speak of it in reverential and hushed tones, knowing that speaking too overtly may break the spell it has cast on anglers for generations. Nearly 15 miles of the famed North Fork of Sixteenmile Creek and 2.5 miles of the Middle Fork of Sixteenmile Creek traverse the interior of the Francis Unit, combined with numerous smaller tributary streams and springs.  The North Fork is the main channel of Sixteenmile Creek, with flows comparable to the East Gallatin River.  Time spent in the cold rushing waters of this private mountain setting, with hundred-foot canyon walls on one side, green meadows on the other, and interspersed with historical railroad-trellis bridges, is a phenomenon unto itself.  When combined with some of the finest small-stream fishing in Montana, this becomes a singular experience that will define ownership of CA Ranch.  The water of Sixteenmile Creek is as approachable, fishable, and wadable as it is special and private.  There are defined riffles, pools, boulder-filled runs and undercut banks that hold aggressively-feeding trout.  Most of the rainbows and browns will be in the 12- to 18-inch range, but this Missouri River tributary produces monsters that easily exceed the magical 20-inch benchmark.  This clean mountain stream and its tributaries offer up reliable mayfly, caddis and stonefly hatches through the spring and summer, which transition into excellent late-summer and fall terrestrial action with grasshoppers and ants.  The fish of Sixteenmile Creek are not over pressured and are typically eager to please novice to advanced anglers with well-placed dry flies, nymphs, and streamers.
Anglers will appreciate the ease of access to the headwaters of the Missouri River, a lifetime of fishing in Yellowstone National Park, and the highly-regarded Beaverhead, Ruby, Big Hole, and Jefferson Rivers which are about an hour’s drive.  Still-water fishermen will treasure the proximity to Quake, Ennis, and Hebgen Lakes, which are some of the finest spring and summer dry-fly fisheries in the state.  The vast national forest and wilderness in southwestern Montana are home to a multitude of secluded trout-filled mountain lakes that are available by hiking and horseback.
The headquarters of the internationally-known Simms Fishing Company in Bozeman and Winston Fly Rods in Twin Bridges is an indication of this area’s world-renowned trout-fishing reputation.

LOCATION AND ACCESS
The Francis Unit, located in Gallatin, Broadwater, and Meagher Counties about 26 miles north of Bozeman, is accessed via Sixteenmile Creek Road, which serves as the southern boundary for much of the Unit.  This is a well-maintained county gravel road that serves the historic railroad town of Maudlow.  In the winter, the road is plowed to Maudlow by the county; the remaining four miles to the Francis Unit gate is not plowed.  If a new owner would like to have year-round access without plowing the road themselves, or if they have school-aged children, they could petition the county to have the road plowed on a regular basis.

ELEVATION AND CLIMATE
The Francis Unit sits at an elevation ranging from 4,500 feet above sea level to around 7,500 feet.  The south-central portion sits at around 4,500 feet with elevations ranging between 5,000 to 6,000 feet throughout the majority of the Unit.  Elkhorn Ridge, situated on the eastern side of the Unit, has an elevation of 7,168 feet.  The property boundary also straddles Wall Mountain on the northern boundary at an elevation of around 6,700 feet, and Sixmile Mountain on the western boundary at an elevation of 7,635 feet above sea level.
Due to the surrounding mountains, massive acreage and diverse terrain, along with the variations in elevation, there are many microclimates within the confines of the Francis Unit.  In Bozeman, the average annual precipitation of rainfall is 16.9 inches with the majority falling in May and June, and about 62.8 inches of snowfall annually.
Average high temperatures in June, July, and August range from 73° to 83° Fahrenheit. Summer average minimum temperatures range from 44° to 50°.  In December, January and February average high temperatures are between 33° and 38°.  Winter low temperatures average between 12° and 17°.  There are approximately 188 sunny days in Bozeman, although some sources claim 300 days of sun.  The Francis Unit is located in the USDA Hardiness Zone 4a.

IMPROVEMENTS
Most of the buildings on the Francis Unit have historically been utilized during the spring, summer and fall to house ranch hands, owners and their guests, hunting guides and clients.  The buildings have not been used during the winter since 1995; however, one employee watches over the Headquarters and feeds a small group of saddle horses.  Although several buildings are not used, most of the buildings that are used regularly are in good repair.  The Headquarters of the Francis Unit is comprised of several modest homes, a cook house, a guest house for hunters, and an owner’s home.  The working improvements include the historic Francis Barn, corrals, a working shop, horse corrals, and shipping corrals.
For a complete inventory and description of the improvements, please contact our Bozeman Office.

 

This Unit of CA Ranch serves as the irrigated hay base and Headquarters for the Ranch.  With about 1,228 irrigated acres of hay and crop land, the Valley Unit produces all of the winter forage for the cow herd and pastures the cows during the late-fall and early-winter months.
The approximate breakdown of the Valley Unit acreage is as follows:
Pasture
Irrigated Crop Land
River & Riparian Bottom
Improvements and Feedlot
State of Montana Lease Land

Total Acreage

3,526± Acres
1,228± acres
180± Acres
40± Acres
480± Acres

5,454± Acres

The Valley Unit serves as the main Headquarters area for the overall operation of the Ranch.  The main working shop and feedlot are situated here.  Here the majority of the mother cows calve in the irrigated pastures and along the Madison River bottom, and the annual hay crop is harvested.  Six full-time employees run the Valley Unit, along with a handful of seasonal college hands.

The Madison River fronts this Unit for almost three and a half miles along its western border.  Additional live water includes Rey Spring Creek and Spring Creek.  A series of warm-water springs on the Valley Unit is the source of Rey Spring Creek, where plentiful waterfowl gather during the winter months.  The creek flows through the Unit for several miles and would provide numerous opportunities for further stream development.
Three main ditches distribute irrigation water throughout the Valley Unit for the approximately 1,228 flood- and sprinkler-irrigated acres.  Five center-pivot irrigation systems irrigate about 600 acres with the balance being flood irrigated.

IRRIGATION WATER RIGHTS
Source
Priority Date
Number
Acre Feet
Madison River
Madison River
Madison River
Madison River
Madison River
Madison River
Madison River
Madison River
Madison River
Ditch (Provisional Permit)
1904
1897
1882
1897
1882
1904
1904
1882
1904
1982
41F-136440
41F-13821
41F-13822
41F-13823
41F-13824
41F-13828
41F-13829
41F-13830
41F-13831
41F-48439
273
164
584
584
768
143.5
156
213
1,656
240

 


STOCK WATER RIGHTS
The Valley Unit also controls 18 stock-water rights for watering livestock.
Contact our Bozeman Office for a complete list of water rights associated with the Valley Unit.
All water rights in Montana are subject to eventual re-adjudication by the Montana Water Court and, as a result of that process, may be changed as to validity, amount, priority date, place of use and other such changes as the Court determines. The Seller has made all of the filings currently required and will transfer the water rights as they currently stand with no warranty of future viability.

FISHING
Devoted anglers will appreciate that the Valley Unit borders the famed lower section of the Madison River for nearly three and a half miles, and the Gallatin, Jefferson and Missouri Rivers are only minutes from the Valley Unit.  For many decades, boaters and fishermen have challenged the whitewater and wilderness fishing adventures in the Bear Trap section on the Madison River below Ennis Lake.  This scenic and adrenaline-filled adventure is a ‘bucket list’ trip that every angler or outdoor enthusiast needs to experience.  Spend a day throwing streamers, nymphs and dry flies to the large brown and rainbow trout in the Bear Trap, while navigating sections of class IV whitewater though a beautiful stretch of wilderness.  It will quickly become an indelible memory and a regular calendar event.

IMPROVEMENTS
Four houses are located on the Valley Unit for employee housing—one at the shop facility, one house along the county road, and the bunk house and cook house are located off of Madison Road in the interior of the Ranch.  A mechanics shop, equipment storage shed, horse barn, calving facility and owner’s home are located at the Valley Unit.
For a complete inventory and description of the improvements, please contact our Bozeman Office.

LOCATION AND ACCESS
The Valley Unit is located in the southwestern corner of Gallatin County approximately six miles south of Logan.  Access is also available from the south via Montana Highway 84 to the Blacks Ford Fishing Access Site, from where you drive north on Madison Road approximately 13 miles.  The Unit has good year-round access via Buffalo Jump Road (paved the first four miles south) and Madison Road—both of which are high-quality, well-maintained, gravel county roads.

ELEVATION AND CLIMATE
The Valley Unit sits at an average elevation of approximately 4,250 feet above sea level, with the lowest level around 4,215 feet at the most northern portion of the Unit and the highest elevation reaching around 5,000 feet on the southeast portion of the Unit along the ridge.
Similar to the Hudson Unit, the average annual precipitation of rainfall is 14 inches with the majority falling May to September, and about 45 inches of snowfall annually.  The wettest month of the year is typically June, followed by May.
Average high temperatures in June, July and August range from 74° to 83° Fahrenheit.  Summer average minimum temperatures range from 40° to 45°.  In December, January and February average high temperatures are between 33° and 39°.  Winter average minimum temperatures are typically around 7° Fahrenheit.  There are approximately 186 sunny days in Madison County, MT.  The Valley Unit is located in the USDA Hardiness Zone 4b.

 

The Hudson Unit, located about seven miles to the southwest of the Valley Unit, serves as the Ranch’s main wintering range.  When the calves are weaned and the mother cows are trailed home, they are processed at the Valley Unit then moved to the Hudson Unit for the next several months to utilize the open hard-grass plains.
The approximate breakdown of the Hudson Unit acreage is as follows:
Native Pasture
Improved Pasture
State of Montana Lease Land

Total Acreage

 7,545± Acres
228± Acres
4,258± Acres

12,031± Acres

This winter grazing Unit consists of a large plateau stretching between Red Mountain on the eastern edge and almost to Willow Creek Reservoir on the western edge.  The elevated plain is exposed to the winter-weather fronts traveling through the region and remains open throughout the winter months, keeping the short high-protein grasses accessible for cattle.  With protection in the coulees and the draws and strategically located water tanks, the Hudson serves as an excellent grazing resource and allows the Ranch to feed minimal hay during the cold winter months.

From mid-July through September, the Hudson is home to about 450 head of bred heifers that stay on the east side of the Unit.  The Unit is divided with a north-south fence.  During the summer months, the bred heifers run exclusively on the east side, with the west side of the Unit utilized during the late-fall and winter months for bred cows.
The approximately 228 acres of improved pasture historically had been farmed with small grain crops.  Today, these acres are planted with Bozoisky Russian wild rye.

IMPROVEMENTS
The improvements consist of a set of shipping corrals and loading chute located at the entrance.  In addition, five major spring restoration and development projects have been completed to expand the livestock-watering system.

LOCATION AND ACCESS
Access into the Hudson Unit is on Cold Springs Road off of Norris Road along the Madison River across from the Canaday Boat Launch.  Located in Madison County, the Hudson Unit is about twenty-six miles south of Logan via Buffalo Jump or Madison Road, and about seven miles south of the Valley Unit.  From Bozeman, the Hudson Unit is only about 32 miles from Main Street via Montana Highway 84-Norris Road.  CA Ranch has an easement through the neighboring Cold Springs Ranch that provides access for agricultural and commercial-hunting purposes.  The Ranch can be accessed year-round.

ELEVATION AND CLIMATE
The Hudson Unit sits at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet above sea level, with the lowest level around 4,750 feet at the most southern reaches of the Unit, and the highest elevation reaching around 5,690 feet on the steeper foothills in the southeast portion.  The northern and western portions of the Ranch vary around 5,000 feet above sea level.
The average annual precipitation of rainfall is 14 inches with the majority falling from May to September, and about 45 inches of snowfall annually.  The wettest month of the year is typically June, followed by May.
Average high temperatures in June, July, and August range from 74° to 83° Fahrenheit. Summer average minimum temperatures range from 40° to 45°.   In December, January and February average high temperatures are between 33° and 39°.  Winter average minimum temperatures are typically around 7° Fahrenheit.  There are approximately 186 sunny days in Madison County, MT.  The Hudson Unit is located in the USDA Hardiness Zone 4b.

HUNTING
With the abundant hard-grass plains and ample water supply, the Hudson Unit attracts large elk herds from the adjoining Flying D Ranch.  Though the elk are plentiful, they are difficult to hunt with the limited cover and large wide-open grazing lands.  However, cow elk are harvested from the Hudson Unit during the Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) shoulder hunts; the Seller and FWP have made a concerted effort over the last few years to reduce this herd size to more manageable numbers.  A January 2021 Elk Flight Report, conducted by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, estimated the herd in the Red Mountain area has been reduced to about 500 head, which is a great improvement.
The Hudson Unit, located in Districts 311 as determined by the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, is a general tag area.  The non-resident draw is March 15th of each year.
For further information visit:
or contact:
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Region 3
1400 South 19th Avenue
Bozeman, MT  59718-5496
406‑994-4042

 

Consisting of about 511 pasture acres, the Island Unit is the second overnight stopping point when trailing cattle to the Francis Unit.  The Island Unit comprises rolling hills covered with abundant native grasses and sparsely timbered hillsides.  With a developed spring for stock water and perimeter fencing, it has served well as a location to rest cattle during the three-day trail.

ELEVATION AND CLIMATE
The Island Unit sits at an elevation of approximately 5,800 feet above sea level on the northwestern corner and gradually drops to around 5,200 feet on the southern boundary of the Unit.
The average annual precipitation of rainfall is 15 inches and about 41 inches of snowfall annually.  Average high temperatures in June, July and August range from 75° to 85° Fahrenheit. Summer average minimum temperatures range from 44° to 49°.   In December, January and February average high temperatures are between 30° and 34°.  Winter average minimum temperatures are typically between 8° and 12° Fahrenheit.  There are approximately 187 sunny days in Gallatin County, MT.  The Island Unit is located in the USDA Hardiness Zone 4b.

LOCATION AND ACCESS
Island Unit access is seasonal but legal along the Nixon Gulch to Horseshoe-Cottonwood Road that runs across the northwest corner of the Unit.  The Nixon Gulch Road also comes in from the east to the Unit.

The Logan Unit has historically served as an overnight stay with cattle as they are trailed from the Valley Unit to the Francis Unit.  Comprised of about 22 pasture acres along the north side of the Gallatin River, the property is split in half by the Logan-Trident Road where it crosses the river.  The pasture is perimeter fenced on both sides of the highway.  A new owner may consider donating the Logan Unit to the Montana Fish and Game for a fishing-access point, if there is no interest in trailing cattle.

ELEVATION AND CLIMATE
The Logan Unit is relatively flat and sits at an elevation of approximately 4,100 feet above sea level.  According to FEMA maps, the majority of the Logan Unit is situated in the Gallatin River floodplain.
The average annual precipitation of rainfall is 15 inches and about 41 inches of snowfall annually.  Average high temperatures in June, July and August range from 75° to 85° Fahrenheit. Summer average minimum temperatures range from 44° to 49°.   In December, January and February average high temperatures are between 30° and 34°.  Winter average minimum temperatures are typically between 8° and 12°.  There are approximately 187 sunny days in Gallatin County, MT.  The Logan Unit is located in the USDA Hardiness Zone 4b.

LOCATION AND ACCESS
Logan Unit is positioned along the north side of the Gallatin River near the small unincorporated town of Logan.  The Logan-Trident Road bisects the Logan Unit, providing paved-highway access year-round.

In 1905, the Charles Baker family bought what is now the center of the Francis Unit, and established the Ranch headquarters, which is still used today.  In 1939, the Francis family purchased the Ranch and expanded it to include adjacent land owned by homesteaders, as well as the Valley and the Hudson Unit. Buck and Marcia Anderson bought the Ranch and the cattle herd in 1959, and added holding pastures in the Horseshoe Hills (the Island Unit) and west of Logan for use during cattle drives. The Andersons also added acreage on the east side of the Francis Unit in Meagher County to increase grazing options. The Andersons acquired the historic CA brand and Climbing Arrow Ranch name with the herd of Hereford cattle. The Ranch has transitioned from Hereford cattle to commercial Black Angus over the years. The family has also added a permitted ranch feedlot, an NHTC program, a guided hunting operation, and five center pivots to maximize hay production.

BRAND HISTORY
Charles Anceney of Gallatin County designed and recorded the first version of the CA brand in 1874. He transferred the brand to Thomas Cruse in 1912. The brand was modified to its modern configuration in 1913 and transferred to the newly formed cattle operation of Harry Child and Charles Anceney in 1916.  In 1929, the brand was transferred to the Flying D Ranch (formed by Child and Anceney).  Dean Francis became the recorded owner of the CA brand in 1939 and chose the Climbing Arrow Ranch name to fit the brand.  The brand and ranch name were then transferred to the Andersons in 1959, and both have remained unchanged since 1913.

RAILROAD HISTORY
One of the most spectacular features on the Francis Unit is Sixteenmile Canyon, which separates the Belt Mountains and the Bridger Mountains.  In 1895, Richard Harlow financed the building of the Montana Railroad (also known as the Jawbone) to bring silver from mines in the Cascade area to a smelter in East Helena. This railway was doomed from its inception—construction began as silver prices fell. Additionally, it was built on the canyon floor next to Sixteenmile Creek, resulting in frequent flooding and difficult snow removal. In 1905, Harlow sold the Montana Railroad line to the Chicago, Milwaukee & Saint Paul Railroad. The Milwaukee Road included this route in their “Western Extension” from South Dakota to Washington—a project completed in only four years. The railroad bed was raised substantially, tunnels were blasted through rock, and rails were laid. Electric substations were added when the line upgraded from steam and diesel to electric power in 1914. The Milwaukee Road went bankrupt in 1980. A group of ranchers bought the right-of-way in 1981 and the Milwaukee Road removed their iconic brick substations, rails and railroad ties. Two old Milwaukee Road ABS signal lights remain in Sixteenmile Canyon as well as three tunnels (Josephine, Eagle’s Nest, and Tunnel #3) and the breathtaking Eagles Nest Trestle. The area looks much like it did in 1905, with wood pilings from the Jawbone still evident in the stream.  The raised gravel railbed through the canyon is now used as a ranch access road between the headquarters and other areas of the Ranch.

LAND HISTORY
Native American tipi rings and striking cave petroglyphs near the Francis Unit headquarters are evidence that Sheepeater, Blackfeet and Crow tribes hunted, camped and traveled through this area. Homesteaders add to the rich history of the Ranch and include Harry Wall (Wall Mountain), Charles Schyette (Schyette Canyon), Robert Ballard (Ballard homestead), Tom Tillery (Tillery Mountain and homestead), Jim Murray (Murray Homestead), Hogason Homestead, Quigley stagecoach stop, White Cow Camp and Botham Cow Camp. Many stories have been shared about these predecessors and their experiences.

 

A complete inventory of cattle and equipment is available through our Bozeman Office.  The Personal Property will be offered separately and negotiated independent of the real estate transaction, and will transfer to the Buyer with a Bill of Sale at the closing of the real estate transaction.

The taxes on the real estate and improvements on the entire CA Ranch for 2020 were approximately $60,000.  A breakdown of the individual Unit’s taxes is approximately as follows:

Francis Unit
Hudson Unit
Valley Unit
Island Unit
Logan Unit
$33,657.68
$4,004.38
$22,000.78
$337.66
$97.94

 

The Sellers will convey with the Ranch 100% of whatever mineral, oil, gas, geothermal, hydro-carbon and gravel rights they actually own, subject to reservations by previous owners. The Sellers make no representation as to the quantity or quality of any mineral or other subsurface rights appurtenant to the Ranch.

The Seller hereby makes known that there may be variations between the deeded property lines and the location of the existing fence boundary lines on Climbing Arrow Ranch.  The Seller makes no warranties with regard to the location of the fence lines in relationship to the deeded property lines, nor does the Seller make any warranties or representations with regard to the specific acreage within the fenced property lines.

The Seller is selling Climbing Arrow Ranch in its “as is-where is” condition, which includes the location of the fences as they now exist. Boundaries shown on any accompanying maps are approximate. The maps are not to scale and are for visual aid only. The accuracy of the maps and information portrayed thereon is not guaranteed nor warranted.

Perhaps only once in a decade, the market sees a truly authentic legacy-ranch offering.  While many “Baby Boomers” are selling off land holdings that they have acquired and grown weary with during their seven to ten years of ownership, this is a singular opportunity to acquire a land holding of scale, beauty, and historical relevance that has been retained by one family for over sixty-two years.   Climbing Arrow Ranch is the most significant and historic ranch offering in the Rocky Mountain West in today’s real estate market.

CA Ranch has a long, storied history of agricultural production as well as legendary elk hunting and world-renowned fly fishing on Sixteenmile Creek and the Madison River.  With an eighty-one-year tenure and the Anderson family at the helm for sixty-two of those years, a new owner will acquire this legacy to continue and expand upon.

The combination of large-scale agricultural production with unrivaled big-game hunting and private fishing waters in one of the Rocky Mountains’ most desirable locales makes CA Ranch an attractive option in today’s land-investment market.  A reputation commercial Black Angus cattle herd is available for purchase outside of the real estate transaction, along with a good set of ranch equipment and vehicles.

The successor of the Climbing Arrow Ranch will inherit a storied, singular piece of history in Western Montana—with one of the most elite and iconic ranches in the West.

OFFERING PRICE and CONDITIONS OF SALE

Climbing Arrow Ranch as previously described herein, is offered for sale at $136,250,000 cash or terms acceptable solely at the discretion of the Seller.  The conditions of the sale are as follows:

    1. All Prospective Buyers must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Seller’s absolute financial capability to purchase the Ranch prior to scheduling an inspection of the Ranch;
    2. An earnest money deposit in the amount of 5.00% of the purchase price will be due within five (5) business days upon completion of a fully executed contract, and all earnest money deposits will be held in escrow by Security Title Company in Bozeman;
    3. The Sellers will provide and pay for a standard owner’s title insurance policy.  Any endorsements requested by the Buyer or any lender will be at Buyer’s expense.  Title to the real property will be conveyed by a deed;
    4. All water right claims controlled by the Ranch will be transferred to the Buyer at Closing, and all of the mineral rights which the Sellers actually own will be conveyed to the Buyer at Closing;
    5. Buyers’ Brokers are welcome and invited to contact listing broker Mike Swan in our Bozeman Office for information regarding Cooperation Policies.

 

The Sellers reserve the right to effect a tax-deferred exchange for other real property in accordance with provisions in Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.  The Buyer will not be required to incur any additional expenses nor to step into the chain of title on any property which the Seller may acquire.

This entire Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change, or withdrawal without notice and approval of purchase by the Sellers.  Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, crop yields, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been obtained from sources deemed reliable; however, accuracy is not warranted or guaranteed by the Sellers or Swan Land Company.  Prospective Buyers should verify all information to their sole and complete satisfaction.

 

TERMS OF INSPECTION

A 48-hour notice is requested to make proper arrangements for an inspection of Climbing Arrow Ranch.

Swan Land Company has been authorized by the Seller to act as their Exclusive Real Estate Broker on the sale of Climbing Arrow Ranch.  Since 2002, we have focused on the brokerage of significant ranches, farms, and recreational properties throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

This Offering is based on information believed to be correct; however, it is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, and change or withdrawal without notice.  Information contained herein has been provided by the Sellers or obtained from other sources deemed reliable.  The Agent does not, however, guarantee accuracy and recommends that any Prospective Buyer conduct an independent investigation.

Photographic collection courtesy of:


Melanie Maganias Nashan
www.nashan.com


KUIU
www.kuiu.com


Climbing Arrow Ranch

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Michael S. Swan
It was growing up in Southwest Montana where that deep sense of love for the land was first instilled in me. Our family ranch was on the banks of the Jefferson River near Twin Bridges. Being raised on a sizable commercial cow-calf operation, my brothers and I learned the importance of being good stewards of ...
Meet the Broker
Owner/Broker of Swan Land, Mike Swan

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