Lazy CA Ranch

Jackson , Montana | Beaverhead County | 2925 Acres

Property Information

Located in the beautiful Big Hole Valley of Southwestern Montana, This Montana ranch for sale comprises 2,925 acres of irrigated, sub-irrigated and timbered ranchland. The ranch adjoins the Beaverhead National Forest and holds the grazing permit on Miner Creek. The ranch has excellent valuable water rights and numerous ranch improvements. The Lazy CA offers one of the most beautiful ranch settings in Montana with both tremendous resource capabilities and recreation possibilities. Wildlife and fishing in this area is second to none. Rarely does a ranch that has been held by the same family for over 100 years come on the market.

Close Details

The Lazy CA is located in the western portion of Beaverhead County, Montana in a geographic region known as the Big Hole Valley. The Big Hole Valley is a high-elevation valley approximately 50 miles long and surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The Big Hole Valley, known as “The Land of 10,000 Haystacks” makes up the headwaters of the Big Hole River with plentiful runoff from the surrounding mountains. The area is known to be “drought- proof” as well as “darned cold” in the winter and is without question one of the most beautiful and pleasant places to be in the summer.

The ranch abuts the eastern face of the Continental Divide and is approximately seven miles west of the town of Jackson, Montana on Miner Lake Road. The ranch lies along the Beaverhead National Forest boundary and the associated grazing permit is accessed out the back gate of the ranch, making for ideal summer country for the cattle operation.


Beaverhead County, located at the headwaters of the Missouri River, is situated in the hub of four ecological regions -- northern Rocky Mountains, central Rocky Mountains, Great Basin and northern Short Grass Prairie. This diversity of environments affords a wealth of habitats for a great variety of wildlife species. Permanent residents are abundant and others migrate. The area is home to 19 species of fish, eight amphibians, 11 reptiles, 274 birds, and 74 mammals. Red Rock Lakes Wildlife Refuge is home to the rare Trumpeter swan.

Beaverhead County, located in the southwest corner of Montana, is surrounded on three sides by the Continental Divide. The county's land area consists of deep valleys separated by forested mountain ranges. Four different mountain ranges are located in the county including the Beaverhead Mountains of the Bitterroot Range, the Tendoys, the Centennial Range, and the Pioneer Mountains.

The geographical surface of Beaverhead County displays a variety of land forms ranging from flat pediments to jagged peaks, from broad-river valleys to narrow gorges. Elevations in the county range from 11,154 feet at Tweedy Mountain in the Pioneer range to 4,770 feet on the Big Hole River.

Total County Land Area: 3,549,870 Acres; 5,551 Square Miles
Population: (1990 Census) County -- 8,424, Dillon (County Seat) -- 4,172
Towns and locales in county include Argenta, Bannack, Dell, Dewey, Dillon, Elkhorn, Glen, Grant, Jackson, Lima, Monida, Polaris, Wisdom and Wise River.

The Beaverhead County area is unique in that it is both cold and dry. Precipitation varies widely. Average annual amounts range from 10 inches in Dillon to over 50 inches in the mountains forming the Continental Divide to the west. Two-thirds of precipitation in the mountains is snow.
Average Temperatures: January 21.01; July 66.20
Normal frost free days for Dillon is 99. Cloudy weather rarely exceeds more than several days.

Commercial airlines - Butte or Bozeman, Montana
Air Charter - Local airport
Bus - Intermountain Bus Service daily. Senior citizen bus service available locally in Dillon and Lima.
Railroad - Union Pacific Freight serving area.
Truck - Local interstate and intrastate carriers serve the area.

Utilities & Communication:
North Western Energy - natural gas and electricity.
Vigilante Electric - rural electricity. Electrical power requirements are served by two major transmission lines. Natural gas is available in unlimited quantity.
Phone - Qwest, Southern Montana telephone services some outlying areas.
TV - cable in Dillon and nearby vicinity. Rural - antenna, limited reception; dish antenna for increased reception.
Western Union
Internet Access - Blue Moon Technologies, Dillon.

One county high school, three elementary (Dillon), three rural schools in Jackson,Wisdom, and Polaris. The University of Montana - Western (UMW) is located in Dillon. UMW offers four-year degrees in teacher education as well as two-year associate degrees.

Community concert series, community theater, professional theater, community band and orchestra, Shakespeare in the Park, The University of Montana - Western Art Gallery, Lunch in the Park series, Southwest Montana Arts Council.


The Lazy CA encompasses 2,925 acres of deeded land, which is categorized as follows:

1,140 acres irrigated
395 acres sub-irrigated
1,204 acres upland pasture and timber

The Lazy CA has open meadows bisected with willow-lined creeks which grade into timber lined creeks and pastures that abut the Beaverhead National Forest.

The allotment in the Beaverhead National Forest is rated for 300 pairs for the summer.

Currently, the ranch is operated under a long-term lease to a local rancher, who grazes 500 cow/calf pairs on the property for the summer. The lease can be canceled if desired. Historically, the same family has operated the ranch for over 100 years. A cow/calf operation was the main undertaking running 400 animal units by putting up hay in the summer off the irrigated land for winter feed. Sub-irrigated and upland pastures and forest allotment provided summer grazing. The operation is very stable due to the plentiful water rights and annual precipitation of the area.

The ranch has extensive water rights for its irrigated lands. A complete list of the water rights are available in our office. The ranch is bisected by Engelsgjerd Creek and has water rights from Miner Creek and Hamby Creek. Recently, the State of Montana has purchased additional water from the ranch for the downstream Grayling spawning season. This has provided an additional source of income for the ranch. In addition to the grazing operation, additional income could be generated from guiding and guest ranch operations.


The ranch has extensive building improvements with two headquarters locations. The main ranch has a 3,500 square foot home along with a newer modular home and a cabin. The other location offers an older ranch house and apartment. The two sites are complemented with older barns, machine sheds, shops and corrals.

The physical address of the main ranch house is 4801 Miner Lake Road, Jackson, Montana 59736


The ranch offers a multitude of recreation opportunities for summer and winter activities. The hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities are second to none with elk, deer, moose, bear and most other alpine animals on or near the ranch. Fishing is available on the ranch in Englejard Creek as well as Miner Creek and Miner Lake on the adjoining National Forest.

Other activities encompass trail riding, packing, hiking, four-wheeling, snowmobiling and crosscountry skiing. Downhill skiing is available at two nearby ski areas. The Lewis and Clark Festival is held annually in Beaverhead County


Rarely does one find an opportunity to purchase a century old ranch offered for the first time in an area as magnificent as the Big Hole with amenities and location of the Lazy CA Ranch. From its valuable irrigated lands to the backdoor leading into the National Forest and Miner Creek Basin, the Lazy CA is a productive ranch holding with an abundance of wildlife and recreational opportunity.

Co-listed with Best of the West Realty