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Swan Land Properties
Currently Operated as a Dude Ranch
Park County


  • Clyde Park, Montana

  • 970 Deeded

  • $13,000,000

Owned by the Leffingwell Family since 1901, this offering is truly historic and may be one of the longest-held family ranch properties in Park County and Southwest Montana.  The next owner of this iconic ranch will be only the third owner since Montana was granted statehood in 1889.
Consisting of approximately 970 deeded acres, Leffingwell Ranch is currently being operated as a “working dude ranch” along the trout-rich waters of Brackett Creek west of Clyde Park.  The setting of the Ranch headquarters along Brackett Creek provides dramatic views of the Bridger Mountain Range to the west and the Crazy Mountain Range to the east.  Mid-sized properties, as well as sizable ranches, control much of the private land in the Brackett Creek Valley.   Combined with the vast acreage of U.S. Forest Service land, the possibility of future high-density development in this area is unlikely.  The limited number of homes makes this area of Gallatin and Park Counties one of the most highly sought-after parts of Southwest Montana.
Bracket Creek provides an intimate small-stream fishing experience as it serpentines through the Ranch for about one and a half miles.  This mountain stream is primarily spring fed and maintains a steady flow even during the fall season when many mountain streams experience decreased flows. Miles Creek flows from the southern reaches of the Ranch and feeds Brackett Creek near the headquarters.  Serving as a prolific spawning stream flowing into Brackett Creek, the owners have never allowed fishing on this stream to protect this critical spawning habitat.  This mountain stream has a steady flow year-round.  Several springs have created natural ponds along the riparian bottoms providing additional water-development opportunities.

The bountiful elk herds in the area often find protection on the Ranch and frequent the hay meadows and the Brackett Creek bottom.  Located in Hunting District 393, according to the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, the Ranch is in a general tag area providing an easier opportunity to access both bull elk and buck deer tags.


Leffingwell Ranch is located on Brackett Creek Road between Highway 86 (Bridger Canyon Road) to the west and Highway 89 to the east. About 8.5 miles east of the Ranch is the rural town of Clyde Park, which is about 20 miles north of Livingston.  Bozeman is a comfortable 35-minute drive to the west via Bridger Canyon Road and Bridger Bowl Ski Area is less than 10 miles from the Ranch.
Livingston is historically a ranching and railroad community, and these traditions continue today.  Livingston also has a strong tourism-based economy due to its proximity to Yellowstone National Park and world-class fishing.  With just over 8,000 residents, Livingston has a strong art influence as well as many fine dining establishments.
Bozeman is a vibrant and active university-oriented city steeped in culture and art. Bozeman is proud to maintain its small-town feeling with big-city amenities. It is home to Montana State University, Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman Symphony, and Montana Ballet. The fourth-largest city in the state, Bozeman offers abundant opportunities for fine dining, lodging, entertainment venues, and shopping opportunities.
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) at Gallatin Field in Belgrade is about a 45-minute drive from the property. Recently expanded, Gallatin Field offers several full-service FBOs and excellent commercial services through Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest Sun Country, and United Airlines. The seventh busiest passenger airport in the Pacific Northwest, Bozeman offers direct flights to over 20 major airports around the nation.
Approximate distances to other Montana cities and points of interest from the Ranch:

30 miles
37 miles
119 miles
135 miles



The lowest elevation of the Ranch sits at around 5,210 feet above sea level at the northern east edge, and the highest point is in the southern-central portion at 5,920 feet.  The improvements sit at about 5,300 feet above sea level.  The elevation of Clyde Park, Montana is approximately 4,865 feet.
The average annual precipitation in Clyde Park is approximately 15.3 inches of rain and 43.6 inches of snow over about 95 days of the year.
Average maximum temperatures in June, July and August range from 77° to 90° Fahrenheit. In December, January and February average maximum temperatures are between 36° and 40° Fahrenheit. Summer nights average about 44° to 50° Fahrenheit. Winter average minimum is 20° Fahrenheit.
This is an area that receives a good amount of sunshine throughout the year with an average of 185 sunny days per U.S. Climate Data.

Also known as the G Bar M Ranch, this historic working guest ranch has entertained guests since 1933 – spanning a period of nearly eighty-nine years!
The Ranch typically hosts about 18 guests at a time for day riding and day-to-day ranch work.  Guests begin to arrive at the Ranch in mid-May with the guest season wrapping up around late November to the first week in December.  The seller has developed a storied tradition of teaching beginners and experts alike over their many years of operation.  The Ranch has proved to be a successful dude operation and would be a viable opportunity if the next owner chooses to run the property in a similar manner.
The irrigation ditch is shared between three neighbors who work together to maintain the ditch that provides irrigation water for each landowner.
Currently, the Ranch runs about 120 cow/calf pairs and a small herd of saddle horses throughout the year on both the Leffingwell Ranch as well as several private leases.  According to the Seller, the Ranch could comfortably run about 80 cow/calf pairs without utilizing the private lease acres.  The Ranch also utilizes a grazing permit on the nearby U.S. Forest Service.  Cattle are turned out on the Permit typically the first week in July with 52 cow-calf pairs.
Hay bottoms typically produce approximately 1.5 tons of grass hay annually to feed cattle through the winter months.

The Ranch, which encompasses approximately 970± deeded acres, is generally comprised of the following acreage classifications:

800± Acres of Mountain and Timbered Pasture
160± Acres of Riparian Bottom and Hay Ground
10± Acres of Improvements



The Lodge

The main lodge was built in 2000 and consists of four bedrooms and four full bathrooms on the main level with an expansive living room/dining room area. The wood-burning fireplace, which is constructed in native Montana stone, is the centerpiece of the living room area.  The commercial kitchen is fully functional and adjoins the dining room area.  The lodge is designated as a commercial building and is licensed accordingly.  The full basement consists of two bedrooms that share a full bathroom and a second “common” bathroom.  The basement space has a nice-sized living room area.  The pantry, linen closet and laundry/storage room are in the basement as well.

The garden and root cellar are positioned in close proximity to the lodge.  The garden provides fresh vegetables for the guests during the summer season.
A propane hot-water boiler serves the lodge with radiant floor heat in the kitchen and dining room areas and there are hot-water baseboard units throughout the balance of the lodge.

Owner’s House

The original Ranch house, which has been remodeled and added onto over the years from its construction in the early 1900s, is modest and comfortable.  The home, which is heated with both wood and electric baseboard heat, has four bedrooms and four bathrooms.  The living room/dining room area is directly off the kitchen and is warm and welcoming and the mudroom off the main entrance provides a space to kick off muddy boots and hang coats.  The bathrooms were refloored and repainted in 2021 along with a minor kitchen remodel.

Guest House

Remodeled in the 1970s, the guest house has four bedrooms with one and a half bathrooms. The primary heat source is a wood-burning stove with an electric baseboard backup system.  The electric baseboard is only operated when the house is vacant for a period of time, otherwise, the home is heated with the wood stove which maintains a nice constant temperature in the home.

Two Guest Cabins

Built in the 1940s, the cabins are used to house ranch guests during the summer season.  Heated with gas stoves, each have two bedrooms and one full bathroom and a small living room.  The cabins were re-chinked four years ago and are weather tight.

Horse Barn

One of the original structures on the Ranch, the historic log barn was built with hand-hewn logs in the 1940s.


Constructed in 1989, the Bear Creek milled-log structure has a concrete floor and is heated with a wood stove during the winter months.  The shop is also where the horseshoes are forged and shaped for the horses on the Ranch.


Trailer House The current trailer house will move with the seller.
Storage Shed The shed houses the various implements and equipment used on the Ranch for annual operations.
Calving Barn Built around 2016, the calving barn has several calving jugs, vet room, and also stores hay.  Cows can readily be moved into the barn from the adjoining corrals during mid-February calving season.
Mountain Cabin Located just off Miles Creek about a mile south of the headquarters, the private and secluded log cabin was constructed with Bear Creek milled logs.  The mountain cabin consists of two bedrooms, a loft area, and a full bathroom.  A large expansive kitchen, dining room and living room area, which is approximately 1,400 square feet, is on the main level and there is an unfinished basement.  The cabin is heated with a propane-gas-fired boiler with baseboard hot-water heating.


According to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Leffingwell Ranch owns 27 water rights sourced out of Brackett Creek, Miles Creek, springs and groundwater.

5 Domestic and/or Lawn and Garden
12 Stock
8 Irrigation
1 Power Generation
1 Fishing and Wildlife

For additional information regarding the water rights, please contact the Swan Land Company Bozeman Office at 406.522.7342.
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.  This water district is currently under the Preliminary-Temporary Decree as classified by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC).  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.
All water rights appurtenant to and for the benefit of the Ranch will be conveyed to the Buyer at closing of a sale.


The remarkable and reliable waters of Brackett Creek is a headwaters tributary of the Shields River and is formed in one the strongest watersheds in the Rocky Mountain West.  This classic riffle and pool stream teems with German brown and rainbow trout.  Because of the private land ownership and lack of public access along virtually its entirety, Brackett Creek experiences very little pressure which in turn allows trout to grow and proliferate.
With limited access, its walk-and-wade fishing, and long distances between access points, Brackett Creek provides an intimate and very private angling experience.  This undisturbed mountain stream is highly sought after by many local fly-fishing aficionados.
On the occasion when one desires to explore southwestern Montana’s other fine trout waters, a remarkable array of choices is available within 30 to 45 minutes of Leffingwell Ranch.  The Yellowstone, Shields, Gallatin, Madison, Jefferson, and Missouri rivers are easily accessed from the Ranch.
The upper Shields River near Wilsall offers uncrowded wade fishing for small but plentiful cutthroat and brook trout.  Downstream, the river becomes a brown-trout fishery with some larger cutthroat and smaller rainbows also being found.  A combination of light fishing pressure, excellent habitat and nutrient-heavy water allows the trout to become quite numerous.  Fall presents the best time to fish the Shields River with many large brown trout migrating upstream from the Yellowstone River to spawn.  If larger water is desired, the nearby world-famous Yellowstone River offers anglers over 100 miles of trout-rich water accessed by multiple fishing-access sites.

The Ranch is situated in Hunting District No. 393.  According to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, this is a general tag area which provides a resident or non-resident, much easier access to bull elk and buck deer tags.  With plentiful native grass and easy access to live water streams, elk inhabit the Ranch in large numbers.  Often vehicles stop along Brackett Creek Road in amazement at the elk herds that frequent the hay meadows during the fall season.  Mature five- and six-point bulls are harvested off the Ranch annually.
This unique ecosystem provides habitat for virtually all species of Rocky Mountain wildlife including black bear, moose, antelope, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, upland birds, waterfowl, raptors and sandhill cranes.
This area is surrounded by some of Montana’s most desirable recreational areas and picturesque mountain ranges with the Gallatin, and Lewis and Clark National Forests located directly west and east of the Ranch.  Numerous national forest service trailheads can be accessed within fifteen- to thirty-minute drives from the property, allowing for easy trailering of horses to thousands of acres of federal land.
Exceptional skiing is a scenic 20-mile drive from the property with the “Cold Smoke” of Bridger Bowl.  Crosscut Mountain Sports Center, also located 20 miles from the property, offers the highest quality Nordic skiing with over 30km of trails well suited to all levels of ability.  The après ski amenities of Bozeman, voted one of the World’s 25 Best Ski Towns by National Geographic in 2014, are also available nearby.

Clyde Park, originally named Sunnyside, served as a resting stop for wagon trains and travelers heading west searching to find their fortunes in the gold digs of Montana and California.  The stage stop and watering hole owned by Madame Bulldog was a welcome site for the weary travelers.  In 1885, a post office was established in Madame’s town of Sunnyside with young Sarah Robinson as postmistress.
In 1887, the post office was moved to the Messrs’ Ranch, a prominent family in the area who brought their imported English Clydesdale horses to work the fields.  The presence of the Clydesdales precipitated the renaming of the town Clyde Park, referring to the park-like landscape and majestic work horses of the area.
Supplies in the early days were hauled into Clyde Park by Jim Bowen, known as the “Cayuse Kid,” who freighted with a twenty-four-horse jerk line. By 1914, the Northern Pacific Railroad had constructed a spur line and was making its run up the Shields Valley past Clyde Park six times a week.


Electricity is provided by Park Electric Co-op based in Livingston, satellite internet is provided by Hughes Net, phone by Century link, and AmeriGas provides propane.  Cellular coverage via Verizon is available at the higher reaches of the Ranch.
Domestic water for the homes and corrals is provided by individual wells.   All residences are on individual-permitted septic systems.
Annual electric costs for the improvements and stock water wells typically run about $8,500.00.

A portion of the Ranch is protected with a conservation easement held by the Montana Land Reliance.  Approximately 595 acres of the higher timbered grazing land is under the easement leaving the riparian-stream bottoms of both Miles Creek and Brackett Creek unencumbered.  For additional details or to request a copy of the conservation easement document, please contact our Bozeman Office.

The taxes on the real estate and improvements for 2021 were approximately $13,500.00.

The Seller hereby makes known that there are variations between the deeded property lines and the location of the existing boundary and pasture fence lines on the Ranch.  The Seller makes no warranties regarding 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 the 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.

Since the 1930s, the Ranch has operated as a guest ranch and horsemanship operation providing an unrivaled horseback riding and western-flare experience in an iconic location.  The historic guest cabins and structures, of which many have been refurbished, remain in operation today and provide a glimpse into the storied history of the Ranch.  Attractive live-water mountain properties with enough scale to provide a sense of privacy and place are difficult to obtain in today’s active real estate market.  Located in one of Southwest Montana’s most highly sought after and least developed areas, the Leffingwell Ranch is a tremendous opportunity to acquire a sizable holding with an unparalleled simplicity of ownership and enjoyment.


Leffingwell Ranch, as previously described herein, is offered for sale at $13,000,000 cash or terms acceptable solely at the discretion of the Seller. The conditions of 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 3.00% of the purchase price will be due upon completion of a fully executed contract, and all earnest money deposits will be held in escrow by Security Title Company in Livingston, Montana;
  3. The Seller 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 Seller actually owns will be conveyed to the Buyer at Closing;
  5. Buyers’ Brokers are welcomed 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 Sellers 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.
A 48-hour notice is requested to make proper arrangements for an inspection of Leffingwell Ranch.
Swan Land Company has been authorized by the Seller to act as their Exclusive Real Estate Broker on the sale of Leffingwell 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.
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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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