While Chief Mountain Ranch is found in a remote area of northwest Montana, the surrounding region is surprisingly accommodating and numerous communities nearby provide common amenities. The property lies within the western flank of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and near the eastern border of Glacier National Park. The Canadian border is just five miles north of the ranch. The closest provisions are found 5 miles south in Babb, which is a small town incorporated within the Blackfeet Nation and has basic groceries, gas, and a few watering holes and restaurants. Chief Mountain Ranch is in the middle of Blackfeet country and is steeped in Native American history and lore. The Blackfeet Tribe is very welcoming to respectful outsiders and has a rich cultural heritage. Travelling south or west of Babb about twenty minutes one will find the towns of Saint Mary and Many Glacier, which are more influenced by Glacier National Park tourism and have a more resort style feel. Twenty-Five miles north along Chief Mountain Highway one enters Alberta and will find the quaint mountain town of Waterton and Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. The closest commercial airports are found west or the property in Whitefish, or southeast in Great Falls.
- Rainfall (in.): 25
- Snowfall (in.): 110
- Precipitation Days: 43
- Sunny Days: 158
- July High: 74° F
- Jan. Low: 14° F
Chief Mountain Ranch is perched above the convergence of Otatso and Kennedy Creeks and the St. Mary’s River and is surrounded circumferentially by a vast expanse of Rocky Mountain wilderness. The property is encircled by high, jagged mountain peaks, and gorged “U” shaped canyons and valleys, evidence of glaciation from the Pleistocene ice age some two million years ago. Elevations on the property range from around 4,600 feet in the lower reaches of the canyons and meadow to just above 5,000 feet on the higher alpine lookouts. Chief Mountain Highway (MT HWY 17) bisects the property and provides good year round access. An ideal place for a well-protected home site is situated relatively close to the main property gate and has stunning western facing views. Chief Mountain Ranch is a stronghold of incredibly wild and unspoiled land containing critical wildlife habitat and fascinating mega fauna. This area is a vital migration corridor and a known breeding/nesting ground for Bald eagles and Golden eagles as well as many migratory songbirds and waterfowl.
Fishing on the property’s 1.5 miles of creeks is good for both rainbow and brook trout, and provides the unique opportunity of catching the rare and elusive bull trout. Otatso and Kennedy Creek are both glacial streams that are fast flowing and cold – providing pristine oxygenated habitat for fish. Because of the cold water temperatures the fish are very healthy but tend to stay in the 10-14 inch range, although bull trout can grow to sizes of 30 inches or more. Downstream of the property Kennedy Creek eventually finds its confluence with the Saint Mary’s River, a larger stream with miles of good fishing eventually meandering into Glacier National Park. On top of these resources there are many lakes near the ranch that offer wonderful still water fishing and countless alpine creeks in Glacier Park provide an endless playground for the angler in close proximity to the property. Fishing on Blackfeet tribal lands is permitted for non-tribal members through an easily obtained annual fishing license.
Other recreation on and around the ranch includes awesome hiking, bird watching, and cross country skiing in the winter months. The ranch is well suited for horseback riding and this is a wonderful way to explore the vast and wild areas both on and surrounding the property.
Chief Mountain Ranch and the surrounding area is a big game hunting paradise. Elk and mule deer often take up residence on the property and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is known for being a factory for trophy bulls. Black bear are also abundant here as are numerous upland bird species like Sharp-tailed Grouse and Hungarian Partridge. Hunting opportunities are abundant and managed by Blackfeet Fish & Game, requiring non-tribal members to obtain the proper hunting permit and be accompanied by an Indian guide. The Blackfeet tribe has made this process easy to navigate and there are many qualified outfitters who provide top-notch guide services. Please contact the listing broker for more information on hunting and tribal regulations.
Chief Mountain Ranch is currently held as a private family retreat. The property is grazed during the summer months through a year-to-year agreement with a local cattle rancher who also maintains fences and other property upkeep and monitoring
2015 property taxes were a modest $370.
Chief Mountain Ranch is currently unencumbered by a Conservation Easement, however presents a compelling case for conservation and habitat preservation.