Sundance Bench Ranch
Featuring private fly-fishing access to a wade-only stretch of the Madison River and a Norwegian-style compound.
- Located in Montana’s coveted Madison Valley
- 35 minutes from Ennis, 40 minutes to West Yellowstone, and 1.5 hours to Big Sky
- Private fly-fishing access to a wade-only stretch of the Madison River and situated in the epicenter of several other destination fisheries like Henry’s Fork and Hebgen Lake
- Other recreational activities include trophy hunting for elk and deer, horseback riding, hiking, and winter sports like downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling
- Easy access to Yellowstone National Park
- Private jet accessible Airport in Ennis, the nearest commercial airport is in Bozeman (1.5 hours away)
- This property is co-listed with Trent Lister of PureWest Ranches.
Sundance Bench Ranch is the quintessential Montana retreat. This 40-acre property is nestled on its own perch overlooking the Madison River and features scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valley below. The ranch is located within Sundance Bench, a private ranch development at the southern end of Madison Valley. The town of Ennis is approximately 40 miles north and is known for its western charm.
Sundance Bench Ranch consists of a balanced mix of pine forest and open meadows and adjoins the Beaverhead National Forest for immediate recreational opportunities right out the back door. A stone’s throw from the ranch, the Madison River is acclaimed worldwide as a premier fly-fishing destination and flows for more than 60 miles. Landowners within Sundance Bench enjoy private access to a prized wade-only stretch, which is regarded as one of the best in the valley.
The centerpiece of Sundance Bench is a distinctive Norwegian-style compound that is totally unique. Originally designed and constructed by skiing legend Stein Eriksen, this was his personal hideout and favorite spot to spend summers with family for over 30 years. The 4,300 square foot lodge features extensive decks, an outdoor gazebo and fire-pit, a large garage and shop, plus a full-size tennis court and comfortable guest cabin. The house has recently been updated and completely re-decorated with new furniture, while still hanging on to the original Norwegian theme.
The Madison Valley is one of the most sought-after locales in all of Montana. The area is known for its surrounding recreational resources and superb fly-fishing and is characterized by a panoramic landscape primarily made up of large historic ranches. This valley has been a focus for regional and national conservation groups and as a result, much of the ranch land has been protected and will remain open and working. Sundance Bench Ranch is located about equidistant from Ennis and West Yellowstone, both of which are quaint western towns filled with character. Ennis is a vibrant community that supports many part-time residents and recreationists from spring through fall with its old-time Main Street, watering holes, and beloved restaurants and shops. West Yellowstone is south of the property and is the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. This town is alive with tourism in the summer months but retains an authentic feel.
Sundance Bench Ranch is located within a recreational ranch development of mostly 20-acre tracts located at the southern end of the valley. The property itself consists of two contiguous 20-acre parcels and is considered to be one of the best and most private properties in the entire subdivision. The estate sits elevated atop the Sundance Bench and overlooks the meandering Madison River below. The property boasts dramatic eastern-facing views of the Madison Mountain Range and equally stunning vistas of the Centennial Range to the south. Sundance Bench Ranch adjoins the Beaverhead National Forest on its western boundary. Directly to the west lie the landmarks of Wade Lake, Cliff Lake, and the West Fork of the Madison River – all of which are a short hike from the ranch. The property’s 40 acres are diverse and dotted with mature alpine timber blending in with the adjoining National Forest.
The improvements at Sundance Bench Ranch are totally unique. Architecturally designed with a blend of western and Norwegian style, the main home is 4,300 square foot classic lodge featuring log construction and 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The master stateroom occupies its own wing and has its own fireplace, vaulted ceilings, picture windows, and a private bath suite. The central area of the house is open and designed for family or entertaining guests. The large great room has a log cabin style feel and is centered around a custom fireplace with a wide hearth that was built with local river rock. A large and practical kitchen is great for cooking and has ample storage, a walk-in pantry, and the cabinetry is adorned with intricate Norwegian carving. The opposite wing of the house is complete with a bunk-room and another bedroom with its own full bath, as well as a second bathroom with a shower and game room. Rounding out the main lodge is a finished basement with a half-bath & utility room, locker room, exercise area, and two pull-out murphy beds for extra sleeping accommodations.
Sundance Bench Ranch also features a 500 square foot guest cabin with a sod roof. The cabin has a queen size sleeping area, a cozy sitting area around an adobe-style fireplace, a full bathroom, and a kitchenette. The cabin has a wrap-around deck allowing guests to enjoy the view and outside seating.
Sundance Bench Ranch also offers owners complete comfort and practicality while at the ranch with a detached two-car garage, enlarged equipment storage area, and heated workshop. The ranch is designed to be the ultimate retreat and features full-size tennis courts, shuffleboard, an outdoor gazebo with stone fireplace and grill, extensive lawn and gardens, and a greenhouse.
May through October at the ranch has a wonderful climate. Warm days and cool nights with low humidity and lots of sunshine. Winter typically sets in for good in November and is known for deep snow and colder temperatures through March.
Fly-Fishing is at the epicenter of Sundance Bench Ranch. The Madison River, also known as the 60-mile riffle, is one of the top 5 fishing destinations in Montana and is a walkable distance from the ranch. Owners within the Sundance Bench development have private access to a wade-only stretch of the river, which is considered to be one of the finest and most productive in the valley. Drift boats may pass through this area but they may not fish from the boat. Numerous public boat ramps are scattered about on the river from Three Dollar Bridge, upstream of the ranch, all the way to town in Ennis – providing an almost endless menu of float fishing opportunities.
Other fly-fishing resources in the area are in great supply. The West Fork is just minutes away and is a smaller alpine-style stream that is a main spawning tributary of the Madison. The Henry’s Fork River is south of the ranch about 35 miles and is famous for its technical dry-fly fishing. Numerous lakes are close by and provide excellent still water fishing, including Wade Lake, Cliff Lake, Quake & Hebgen Lake, Henry’s Lake, and Upper and Lower Red Rock Lakes – just to name a few. Many smaller streams are nearby adding to the plethora of fishing options, not to mention the angler’s playground found within Yellowstone National Park.
Elk and mule deer hunting in the Beaverhead National Forest can be very good. Access to this vast public hunting area is easy as the entire western border of the property abuts the National Forest.
Winter sports abound in the area and Sundance Bench Ranch is well set up for cross country skiing and snowmobiling into the National Forest right from the property. Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area are large draws for snowmobilers. With Big Sky Resort just 1.5 hours from the ranch, downhill skiing is also an attractive option in the winter.
Though Sundance Bench Ranch does not currently have the infrastructure to support horses the association allows equine activities and there is room on the property to build a small barn. The National Forest to the west of the ranch and other surrounding areas offer great access to many trails.
Sundance Bench Association
Sundance Bench is a private gated development of 20-acre and some 10-acre lots, mostly along the Madison River and reaching up the elevated bench and National Forest lands to the West. The Association has very minimal and sensible restrictions. Roads and common areas are maintained by the HOA, however, roads are not plowed so winter access to the property is by snowmachine only.
Taxes & Dues
The total property taxes for 2017 are $2,557.66
(Lot #11: $2,518; Lot #12: $39.66)
Sundance Bench HOA dues are $350 per lot per year.