Big Horn River Nature Retreat - Custer, Montana

Natural Wildlife Habitat • Boating • Hunting • Fishing • Horses • Rafting • Birdwatching • Farming • Livestock • Ranching • Over 2 miles River Frontage
big horn river nature retreat ranch montana

Total Deeded Parcel #1 and #2:
471 +/- acres
Price: $2,100,000.

Agricultural Parcel #1: 230 +/- acres
Price: $850,000.

Recreational Parcel #2: 241 +/- acres $1,400,000.

Parcel #3: Non-deeded range lease acres: 233+/-


The Big Horn River Nature Retreat is a 471+/- acre scenic property that fronts over 2 miles on the western bank of the Big Horn River, and is located 13 miles south of Custer, Montana. The Big Horn River Nature Retreat is an excellent long term investment opportunity and an immediate enjoyable property. The Big Horn River Nature Retreat is a pristine, recreational and immediate use property approximately one hour drive from Billings, Montana's largest city, and airport. See the beautiful property photographs on the Photo Gallery page.

The Big Horn River Nature Retreat represents an outstanding opportunity to purchase some of Montana's most productive land. A combination of high quality big game, upland bird, waterfowl, recreational activities, such as hunting, fishing, boating, horses, rafting along side with high quality farm ground is appealing as a multi-use property.

The Big Horn River Nature Retreat is a potential offering in part or the entire tract, subject to a 1031 exchange. It has good potential for a conservation easement.

A color brochure and video (VHS or DVD) about The Big Horn River Nature Retreat is available. Serious inquiries are welcome. Showing is by private appointment by calling 919-542-4412.

471+/-deeded acres; Entire acreage Parcel #1 and #2

Parcel #1: 230+/- deeded acres; Agricultural acreage ($850,000.)

Parcel #2: 241+/- deeded acres; Recreational acreage ($1,400,000.) Parcel #3: Lease acres

Property is subject to survey.

See the map page for the property survey.

Location and Access

The Big Horn Nature Retreat is approximately 60 miles east of Billings, Montana, 13 miles south of Custer on the West Side of the Big Horn River. Driving time from Billings Airport (with a full roster of commercial and private air service) is just over one hour away on all paved highway. Billings is also a major distribution center and home to Montana's major banks, law firms, livestock markets, equipment dealers, and the largest medical community.

The "Horn" part of the Big Horn River originates some 125 miles away in Wyoming and passes through the rugged Big Horn Mountains in a deep spectacular gorge. The Big Horn River, as it leaves the mountains, is controlled by Yellowtail Dam just above Ft. Smith, which is some 60 miles upriver from the property.

The Big Horn River, with its channels and meanders, form the south and eastern boundaries of the Big Horn Nature Retreat for over two miles. The river bottom land is covered with dense stands of cottonwoods, willows and various woody shrubs interspersed with open grassy areas, providing seasonal grazing and shelter for livestock and some of the finest wildlife habitat found in Montana. Adjoining to the west and north of the river is the irrigated cropland.


Recreational & Sporting Opportunities

There are few areas of Montana that offer the abundance and diversity of wildlife as do the lower reaches of the Big Horn River. The Big Horn River Nature Retreat delivers as a recreational property, due to its unique layout with over 2 miles of river frontage bordered by cottonwoods, and its highly productive irrigated cropland and game fields which attracts and is home to a diversity of native wildlife.

Outstanding Fishing
The deep backwaters of Yellowtail Dam form Big Horn Lake, providing excellent fishing as well as countless miles of water recreation. The tail waters of the dam create an outstanding trout fishery for 20 or more miles. The Nature Retreat on the Big Horn River is located within an one-hour drive of the world famous trout fishing on the upper Big Horn River and the Big Horn Lake where a variety of public boat access and guide services are available. The 21 miles from the Yellowtail Dam tail waters to Saint Xavier, is considered to be one of the finest trophy Brown and Rainbow Trout fisheries in the lower 48 states.

The dam has had a profound and beneficial impact on the rest of the river as well. The Yellowtail dam has "tamed" the river, enabling it to achieve a stable water flow thus providing landowners with a reliable, abundant, and inexpensive source of water.

A Multitude of Wildlife
The confluence of the Big Horn and Yellowstone Rivers is known throughout America for its waterfowl populations. In the spring and fall, the lower Big Horn and mid-Yellowstone rivers host one of the central flyway's largest migratory waterfowl populations. Lying at the lower end of the Big Horn Valley, its fields are among the first stopping points for waterfowl on their daily feeding flights coming off these two rivers. During peak migration, over 100,000 Canadian Geese, which include four subspecies, and 150,000 Ducks, pass through this area.

The Big Horn Nature Retreat also has Ring-necked Pheasant, Partridge, and Wild Turkey. The Big Horn River is also recognized as an area of importance to wintering Bald Eagles. A multitude of Elk, Whitetail and Mule Deer are found along the river bottom as well.

The Big Horn River Nature Retreat is located in the center of one of Montana's most productive irrigated farming regions, and is in an area known for its outstanding recreational features. The area's fertile river bottom soils produce a variety of crops. Sugar beets, corn for silage, pinto beans, wheat, barley and alfalfa are commonly grown in addition to irrigated pasture. Farms and ranches in this area have been tightly held and the few recent changes in ownership involved individuals seeing a solid agricultural and or recreational holding.

The ranch has been leased for several years to a neighbor on a crop/cattle share lease. Presently some of the irrigated land is being utilized for pasture, as is the river bottom and native range. There is also a small feed lot on the ranch.

For 2010, the recreational field acreage is planted in alfalfa, corn, barley, milo and millet.

Climate and Soils
Average annual precipitation is estimated to be in the 13.25-inch range with a frost-free growing season of approximately 125+ days. The Big Horn River Nature Retreat has good quality irrigated land, and inherently fertile soils. Temperature and moisture are the limiting production factors. The soils are alluvial in nature and vary from sandy clay loams on the upper bench, to heavier silty clay loams on the bottomland.

Water Rights
The Big Horn River Nature Retreat has irrigation rights in the Two Leggins Irrigation District, out of the Two Leggins Ditch, for 244 acres. These water rights date back to incorporation of the district in the 1950's. The 2010 district water charge was $3,172. and is being paid by the current agricultural leasee.


The Big Horn River Nature Retreat property is a potential offering in part or subdivided as two parcels (Reacreational, Agricultural) or in whole; subject to a 1031 exchange. Serious inquiries are welcome.

Price: $2,500,000. Price Reduced for 2011: $2,100,000. for both parcels.
Parcel #1: 230+/- Agricultural acres: $850,000.
Parcel #2: 241 +/- "Recreational" acres - $1,400,000.
Parcel #3: 233+/- non-deeded range leases (Indian and Government)

Taxes: The 2010 Big Horn County property taxes were $2,371.42.

Call 919-542-4412 as to current availability.