Skip to content
Swan Land Properties
Montana Cattle Ranch with a Solid Return on Capital
Glacier County


  • Babb, Montana

  • 22,480 Total

  • $14,700,000

North Fork Ranch is an exceptional grass ranch located in Northwestern Montana.  Presently, under a properly executed Management Intensive Grazing Program, the owners rate the carrying capacity of the Ranch at 24,000± AUM.  Currently, the Ranch carries 1,850 pairs plus 75 bulls and 25 horses.  Commercial cattle operations of this scale and operational efficiency are rare in today’s farm and ranch market.  Further, commercial cattle ranches priced at only $7,350/AU are even more elusive.  North Fork Ranch represents a singular opportunity for an excellent ranch investment with a consistently good return on capital.  This productive operation runs very efficiently with limited equipment and includes more than 3,770 acres of dryland hay ground.  The natural beauty of this part of Northwestern Montana and the Blackfeet Reservation are world-renowned.  North Fork Ranch’s commanding views of the famed Chief Mountain, the Canadian Rockies, the eastern part of Glacier National Park, and the Rocky Mountain Front is an imposing and spectacular backdrop to the highly-productive deep green pastures, aspen groves and cold-mountain waters on the Ranch.
The Ranch, with 22,480± total acres, is composed of 19,993± deeded acres and 2,487± acres of private lease and sublease. The current ranch owners and their predecessors have a long and successful history of working together with the owners of the private and tribal leases in a mutually beneficial format. The current owners have worked diligently to improve the cattle-handling facilities, pasture fencing, grass utilization, stock-water network, hay fields, and capital improvements to optimize the efficiency, carrying capacity, and hay production of the Ranch operation. North Fork Ranch is in exceptional operating condition and will transition seamlessly to new ownership with no large deferred maintenance issues.
North Fork Ranch is located in northwestern Montana’s Glacier County within the boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Ranch, located on Highway 464 – Duck Lake Road, is easily accessible year-round on well-maintained county roads within close proximity to services. The convenient and consistent road access adds to the functionality of the operation.Babb, a small farming and ranching community on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, is located about 15 miles west of the Ranch and about 9 miles from the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. The community includes an elementary school, post office, fire station, Thronson’s General Store and Motel, several restaurants, a couple of churches, and a gas station.Browning, situated about 28 miles south of the Ranch, is the tribal headquarters of the 1.5 million-acre Blackfeet Indian Reservation and ancestral homeland dating back over 5,000 years. The community, currently with a population of about 1,031 people, includes a federal building, community college, Native American Museum and Heritage Center, casino, fairgrounds, and race track. A Native American camp area hosts an annual Native American celebration and pow-wow. Blackfeet tribal fishing and recreational permits, as well as fly fishing and recreational guide services, are also available in Browning.

Cut Bank, the county seat of Glacier County, is located about 63 miles southeast of the Ranch. With a diverse population of about 3,500 residents, the town offers a hospital and clinic, a municipal airport, a nine-hole golf course, and a swimming pool.


The Ranch is accessible from three commercial airports with private FBOs:

Glacier Park International Airport:
Kalispell Alpine Air Express and Delta

Lethbridge County Airport :
Lethbridge, Canada Air Canada, Integra Air, and WestJet

Great Falls International Airport:
Great Falls Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, and United

Approximate driving distances from North Fork Ranch to proximate Montana and Alberta cities:

Cut Bank
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Great Falls

15 miles
28 miles
63 miles
80 miles
120 miles
157 miles
202 miles

North Fork Ranch has historically been utilized for a variety of equestrian and livestock operations but has been operating as a successful commercial cow-calf operation under the current ownership for the past nine years.  Presently, under a properly executed Management Intensive Grazing Program, the owners rate the carrying capacity of the Ranch at 24,000± AUM.  Currently, the Ranch runs 1,850 pairs plus 75 bulls and 25 horses on the heavily sodded grass pastures during the spring, summer, and early fall months, and utilizes the riparian bottoms, native grass hillsides, and dryland hay fields during the late-fall and winter months.
The current owners have emphasized improving the Ranch’s existing 3,770± dryland hay fields, and over 1,000 acres have been recently re-farmed and planted into an alfalfa hay and grass mixture. Historically these fields have generated between 1.0-1.5 tons per acre. The owners anticipate that production will increase with 600 acres of new alfalfa seeding completed in 2017. In normal years, the dryland hay base should provide all of the annual feed necessary for the Ranch when in full production. The Ranch currently feeds about 1.75 tons of hay per cow over the winter and typically keeps about 2½ tons ‘in the stack’ annually.
The Ranch uses a well-designed network of pastures on a rotational basis to provide the flexibility to utilize and optimize the primary ranch resources – hardy native grasses and clear, clean water. The working corrals are steel-pipe construction. These corrals have been designed and built to handle the demands of the large commercial cattle operation efficiently. There is a covered calving and livestock working facility that houses a Western Ranch hydraulic chute and well-designed and efficient sorting pens and alleys. This very efficient and well-built set of working improvements comfortably handles all of the demands of a commercial cattle operation of this scale.
The total Ranch acreage is generally classified as follows:
TOTAL DEEDED 19,993± Acres
NORTH FORK UNIT 17,373± Acres
Native Range
Dryland Hay
Improved Pasture

13,577.32± Acres
3,361.82± Acres
433.86± Acres

A&N RANCH UNIT 2,620± Acres

Native Range
Dryland Hay
Improved Pasture

681.95± Acres
411.66± Acres
1,526.39± Acres

2,487± Acres
Native Pasture
2,487± Acres
22,480± Acres

Under the current ownership, calving season on the Ranch typically runs from mid-April into June. North Fork Ranch management has transformed the ranch operation to calve later in the spring to take advantage of the typically warmer weather and the availability of abundant green grass to turn out cow/calf pairs. This practice reduces weather-related calf mortality and decreases the amount of hay required to feed mother cows. Weaning is typically completed in October.

The later calving season allows cows to calve on green grass and the pairs to be directly turned out onto green grass pastures surrounding the improvements and then moved to summer pasture in the higher and more removed portions of the Ranch. The pastures are all well watered with a system of live-water streams, natural prairie pot-holes, and reservoirs supplemented by good stock-water tanks that fill with a combination of surface, spring, and piped water. The grass and water resources on the Ranch are abundant and historically have been sufficient even in drought years.
The calves are branded in the calving pastures in the spring, and the pairs are rotated between summer pastures on the deeded and leased ground several times over the course of the summer maximizing the grass resource by giving grazed pastures time to rest and grow between rotations. At weaning, steers typically weigh approximately 510 pounds and heifers run approximately 490 pounds. After weaning, the cows spend the remainder of the fall and into winter on the dryland hay ground, creek bottoms, and native range until the feeding and calving cycle returns.
With a consistent soil profile and typical rainfall that exceeds 20‒25 inches annually, the dryland hay fields have historically yielded around 1‒1.5 tons of alfalfa and grass hay per acre with one cutting and fall and winter grazing for bred cows. Many of the hay fields have undergone annual improvements and recent re-seeding that will increase hay production when fully mature and fertilized. The current owners have emphasized building soil health in the fields and have invested heavily in soil-building fertilizers that should continue to improve production into the future. The Seller is confident that continuing with this fertilizer program in these fields could yield an additional half to one ton of forage per acre. The current owners have re-seeded over 1,000 acres of the hay fields to alfalfa in the past few years.


North Fork Ranch is situated in some of the most pristine wildlife habitats in the lower 48 states. This location has received interest from many notable conservation organizations over the years. The ownership has always been conservation-minded and has granted several conservation easements to protect the wild and scenic nature of the Ranch and conserve fish and wildlife habitat into perpetuity. These easements were drafted to maximize wildlife conservation for fish and game animals and limit future development and subdivision, but they do not restrict agricultural operations now or in the future. The pertinent easements are available for qualified buyers to review upon request.

The elevation gain on North Fork Ranch is approximately 820 feet with the highest point just over 5,270 feet above sea level near Goose Lake on the west portion of the Ranch and the lowest point of 4,450 feet along the North Fork of the Milk River.
The average annual precipitation in the valley is approximately 21 inches. The Ranch’s western pastures receive an average of 25 inches of precipitation.
Average maximum temperatures in June, July and August range from 71° to 80° Fahrenheit. In December, January and February average maximum temperatures are between 32° and 38° Fahrenheit. Summer nights average about 43° Fahrenheit. Winter average minimum is between 9° and 17° Fahrenheit.
This is an area that receives a good amount of sunshine throughout the year with an average of 186 sunny days.

All of the improvements on the Ranch, including interior and perimeter fencing, appear to be in very good condition and are functional and very well maintained. The next owners will not be paying for unneeded improvements or deferred maintenance.
North Fork Ranch is very nicely and appropriately improved. The improvements are located in four separate locations on the Ranch – the Shipping Facilities are located on the south portion of the Ranch along Whiskey Gap Road; the Indoor Riding Arena is located along the southern end of the North Fork Milk River valley; the Ranch Compound is located along the northern end of the North Fork Milk River valley, and the Cattle Operations Headquarters are located about 1 mile north of the Ranch Compound.

Owner’s Lodge House

Constructed in 1997, the 6,374± square-foot log home has two levels with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a complete apartment downstairs. It appears to be well-maintained and in very good repair. The house is heated with propane radiant in-floor heat and includes an attractive wood-burning river-rock fireplace in the main level great room, the master bedroom, and the basement recreation room. The main level has an open floor plan with a large kitchen area that opens up to a living/ dining room. The large French doors off of the dining room area open up to a spacious covered deck facing south over the North Fork of the Milk River valley below. This river valley is a wildlife mecca and provides a constantly changing and diverse backdrop of beautiful green landscapes and countless species of wildlife and birds. The house is served by a separate well and septic system. The yard is nicely landscaped with mature trees and has an underground sprinkler system and an additional gravel parking pad that is well-sized for convenient trailer parking and turnaround.

Manager’s House

The 3,738± home was built in the early 1900s and beautifully remodeled and updated in the 1980s. The six bedrooms and three bathrooms home has three levels, including a full basement that has been remodeled. The yard is nicely landscaped with mature trees and has a classic Montana farm compound look and feel with several outbuildings and a barn to complement the compound. The house is on a separate well and septic system. Around the Manager’s House are multiple and very functional barns, sheds and a large heated shop each described below.


The 300′ x 150′ arena is conveniently located between the Manager’s House and the Owner’s Lodge and offers an excellent outdoor facility for riding, roping, and training horses.
The Ranch includes many very functional and appropriate barns, sheds, and Quonsets.
Quonset (1997) – 120′ x 40′
Pole Barn (1998) – 40′ x 90′
Pole Barn (1995) – 36′ x 60′
Shed (1930) – 24′ X 26′
Barn (1965) – 40′ x 46′

Calving Barn/Shed

The calving facilities and working corrals are located about a mile to the north of the manager’s house and the log lodge home. The 60′ x 154′ metal-sided calving shed and 126′ x 126′ x 32′ L-Shaped Pole Barn creates a sheltered ‘courtyard’ corral around the calving barn that provides an excellent wind break and shelter. The calving barn contains a heated and insulated vet room with a concrete floor and drain, steel “jugs” for new pairs, a heated and insulated coffee room, and a full apartment upstairs. The barn is complete with hot and cold water, a shower, and restroom facilities. The barn also contains a completely covered and lighted Hi-Hog tub and alley system. The hydraulic squeeze chute with a digital scale attached to the tub and alley is inside the barn on a concrete floor.
The working alley system and holding pens, all continuous steel-pipe fencing and serviced by all-season waterers, are effectively lit by halogen commercial-grade flood lights.
Several large pens and working alleys to sort and hold cows surround the barn. When necessary, calving cows needing assistance or a dry place to calve can be easily brought into the calving facility. Otherwise, cows calve out in the surrounding pastures and calving pens.
Also located at this facility is a six-stall horse tacking facility, with concrete floors and wood stalls with steel piping hitch rails and feed bunks. An indoor enclosed stud pen, two large tack rooms, and a large leather/saddle repair workshop complete this spacious barn and allows the cowhands to gather their horses from the attached paddock system and saddle their livestock protected from the elements.

Employee Residence

The mid-1990s 1,800-square-foot, modular home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was entirely re-painted, re-carpeted, and outfitted with new appliances in 2016.


Located at the Shipping Facilities on the south portion of the Ranch is a 60′ x 60′ Quonset with a concrete floor that is suitable for a wide variety of equipment storage including airplanes should the new owner choose to utilize the historic grass airstrip. The well-designed network of steel pipe corrals and mesh panels has been recently updated and can comfortably handle the shipping demands of a commercial cattle operation of this scale.


The Ranch includes an exceptional metal-sided 130′ x 220′ free-span steel barn that has 15 horse stalls and is complete with a heated arena providing a year round riding facility. The barn has multiple roll-up doors, tack rooms, a large vet room, running water and a modest two-bedroom sleeping apartment. The interior of the barn is nicely appointed with vapor flood lights, concrete floors and tongue-and-grove pine stalls. Located near the indoor arena is a 32′ x 80′ Pole Barn which was built in 1998, and two 18′ x 38′ Loafing Sheds.

Goose Lake Cabin

The rustic, one-room log cabin is perched on the east shore of Goose Lake with stunning westward views of Chief Mountain and Glacier National Park. This off-the-grid cabin is modest in scale and scope but includes a small wood stove and bunks along the walls. This is the perfect spot to spend the day fishing or picnicking along the scenic eastern shores of Goose Lake or to allow cowboys to pen their horses and rest when on a multi-day gather of livestock from the surrounding quaking aspen groves and pastures.


The A & N Unit in the northwestern portion of the Ranch includes a set of modest functional improvements including a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house, shop, implement sheds, barn, and corrals. The A & N Unit and all of the improvements are currently leased on an annual basis.
According to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, North Fork Ranch owns a total of 128 water rights of which 124 are stock rights. The main sources for the stock rights include unnamed tributaries of Milk River-North Fork, Milk River-Middle Fork, Squaw Creek, Willow Creek, Saint Mary River and Hall Coulee. For a complete list of water rights and additional information please contact the Swan Land Company Bozeman Office at 406.522.7342.
The Ranch is well watered with many natural potholes, streams, headwaters of area river beds, springs, improved wells and water from the St. Mary’s Canal. Each pasture has several water sources, providing easy access by cattle to fresh, cold and clean water.
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 Basin is currently being adjudicated. The Sellers have made all of the filings currently required and will transfer the water rights as they currently stand with no warranty of future viability.

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

The Sellers hereby make known that there may be variations between the deeded property lines and the location of the existing fence boundary lines on North Fork Ranch. The Sellers make no warranties with regard to the location of the fence lines in relationship to the deeded property lines, nor do the Sellers make any warranties or representations with regard to specific acreage within the fenced property lines.
The Sellers are selling North Fork 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.

All hunting and fishing on the North Fork require the appropriate licenses and/ or permits from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Ranch borders the east of Goose Lake, which provides excellent fishing for cutthroat trout in all seasons. There are truly some trophy trout immersed in the depths of Goose Lake, which typically receives minimal fishing pressure throughout the season.
Hunting on the Blackfeet Reservation as a non-tribal member requires a special license that is typically selected via an annual draw process that changes yearly. Additional details about the hunting and fishing regulations are available online at
The wildlife on the Ranch includes a diverse representation of large North American mammals including deer, elk, moose and bears. The grizzly bear habitat along the east slope of the Rocky Mountain Front is especially important and grizzly bears are seen frequently on the Ranch. The Ranch is also home to a diverse population of smaller wildlife and birds. Bald eagles can frequently be seen soaring overhead, and wolves, though elusive, can be occasionally seen.

The Ranch was founded in the 1800s by J.J. Galbreath, a horse trader who married a Blackfeet woman. He aggregated lands and allotments eventually forming an 18,000 acre ranch. The Galbreath Ranch initially raised horses for the U.S. Army Remount Program at Fort Shaw, Montana, and later for the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police at Lethbridge, Alberta. In the 1920s it was converted to a cattle ranch and has remained one ever since, with the exception of a brief period of time in the 1990s when the Ranch was used for breeding and training polo ponies.

North Fork Ranch is an exceptional grass ranch located in Northwestern Montana.  Presently, under a properly executed Management Intensive Grazing Program, the owners rate the carrying capacity of the Ranch at 24,000± AUM.  Currently, the Ranch carries 1,850 pairs plus 75 bulls and 25 horses.  Commercial cattle operations of this scale and operational efficiency are rare in today’s farm and ranch market.  Further, commercial cattle ranches priced at only $7,350/AU are even more elusive.  North Fork Ranch represents a singular opportunity for an excellent ranch investment with a consistently good return on capital.  This productive operation runs very efficiently with limited equipment and includes more than 3,770 acres of dryland hay ground.  The natural beauty of this part of Northwestern Montana and the Blackfeet Reservation are world-renowned.  North Fork Ranch’s commanding views of the famed Chief Mountain, the Canadian Rockies, the eastern part of Glacier National Park, and the Rocky Mountain Front is an imposing and spectacular backdrop to the highly-productive deep green pastures, aspen groves and cold-mountain waters on the Ranch.

It is our privilege to present the North Fork Ranch to select buyers on behalf of the Floweree Land & Cattle Company, and we thank you for the opportunity to present this exceptional grass ranch to you. North Fork Ranch represents an exceptional opportunity in today’s ranch market.


North Fork Ranch, as previously described herein, is offered at US $14,700,000.00 Cash or Terms acceptable solely at the discretion of the Sellers. As of January 2018, the conditions of sale are as follows:

1. All offers to purchase or letters of intent must be in writing and accompanied by a wire transfer of 5.0% of the purchase price to the escrow account at First American Title Company in Cut Bank;

2. Earnest money deposits will be placed in escrow with First American Title Company in Cut Bank;

3. All Prospective Buyers must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Sellers absolute financial capability to purchase the Ranch prior to scheduling an inspection of the Ranch;

4. 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;

5. All of the 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;

6. Buyers’ Brokers are welcomed and invited to contact Tim Anderson or 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.

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

Please submit your email to receive access to media downloads.
Media Download

Timothy Anderson
With over two decades of experience in real estate and a background in science and technology, I’ve been honored to serve and represent some of Montana’s finest farm, ranch, and recreational properties. Before my time with Swan, I co-founded Montana Real Estate Co. with my wife, where we guided the successful sales effort for Moonlight ...
Meet the Broker
Swan Land Broker, Tim Anderson
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

Suggested Properties
Camas Creek Cattle & Sheep Company
  • White Sulphur Springs, MT
  • Meagher County

  • 36,621 Total
  • $58,750,000

Acreage | Ag | Barn | Cattle | Cattle Facilities | Cattle Ranch | Conservation Potential | Fishing | House with Acreage | Hunting | Investment | Mountain View

Crazy P Ranch
  • Buffalo, WY
  • Johnson County

  • 1,749 Total
  • $18,500,000

Acreage | Ag Improvements | Big Game | Custom Home | Equestrian Center | Fishing | Horse Property | House with Acreage

5350 River Road
  • Bozeman, MT
  • Gallatin County

  • 163 Deeded
  • $12,975,000

Custom Home | Fishing | Horse Property | Live Water | Luxury

New Listing
Crazy Woman Water
  • Buffalo, WY
  • Johnson County

  • 76 Deeded
  • $12,000,000

Facilities | Investment | Live Water | ROI | Water Rights