The film industry has long-celebrated Montana’s unrivalled beauty. Movies such as Legends of the Fall, The Horse Whisperer, and A River Runs Through It were all acclaimed for excellence in cinematography, due in large part to the stunning natural backdrop. Billionaires and celebrities who call or have called the state home include Tom Brady, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, and John Mayer.
Heart K, just five minutes from the thriving western town of Livingston, is a place of serene majesty and beauty, even by Montana’s high standards. Meticulously maintained by the same family for more than 40 years, it is located in a lush river valley in the shadows of the Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains. The Yellowstone River, prized by anglers worldwide, flows for over five miles along the property and supports an abundance of wildlife, birds, waterfowl, and majestic stands of cottonwoods.
With a complete remodel for the owner’s residence and the addition of an equine-events facility—stall space for 160 horses, oversized heated indoor and adjoining outdoor arenas, with 60 RV hook-ups—the property also includes a separate rustic but elegant river house with an outdoor firepit, a guest house, luxury bunkhouse, and ranch managers’ compound. Mission Field, a private airport accommodating jets, is minutes away from the main gate as is Livingston Hospital. Commercial air service is just 30 minutes away at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
A one-mile paved drive winds past ponds, pastures, and river views, offering glimpses of the array of wildlife, including whitetail deer, antelope, turkey, waterfowl, and upland birds. The private drive delivers you to the entry of the custom home, with understated landscaping, native stone terracing, and a surrounding grove of willow trees. Embodying elegant simplicity, the exteriors are of pewter and white, topped by a blue pitched roof.
The 4,237-square-foot owner’s residence with four bedrooms and three baths, was completely rebuilt in 2009 while still respecting the footprint and quaintness of the original farmhouse. White interiors, accented with wood beams on the pitched roof ceiling and wide plank floor, open through French doors to a bright sunroom that looks out towards Livingston peak. The kitchen’s pitched roof perfectly matches the living room’s and includes all-new appliances and an adjoining casual dining area.
The rest of the first floor includes a cozy seating nook for television viewing, an office space, and another living room with a stone hearth. The primary bedroom suite is on the second level, and three additional bedrooms are located in the adjoining luxury bunkhouse, accessed through an enclosed breezeway.
Setting this property apart is the world-class equestrian event center, which has hosted dressage, rodeo, roping, and reining competitions plus futurity Quarter Horse sales. The heated 148-foot x 242-foot indoor arena, with bleacher seating for 180 and a big-screen viewing television for spectators, also includes a VIP observation lounge with seating area warmed by a fireplace, a dining area served by a large catering kitchen, and a private apartment. On the second level is another seating area with a balcony overlooking the 200-foot x 300-foot lighted outdoor arena with an announcer’s booth and PA system. The facility offers indoor and outdoor wash bays, 64 indoor stalls, and 60 outdoor stalls.
Related: Discover More Equestrian Properties
Another stand-out feature is the luxury river house. Perfect for entertaining, this 2,360-square-foot stand-alone facility along the riverbank houses an outdoor patio, a billiards and game area, a grand dining space, a large bar, and home theater room, all warmed by a freestanding wood-burning Tulikivi stove.
The ranch comes with substantial surface water rights to irrigate over 700 acres. As a cattle operation, the historical carrying capacity is roughly 150 cow/calf pairs year-round with excess hay being sold. The 300-unit Yellowstone Preserve residential development on 568 acres on the western portion of the ranch has been annexed by the city of Livingston should the new owner want to develop or place in a conservation easement.
Livingston, Montana, only 5 minutes from the ranch, is known as the “Literary Town on the Yellowstone River” for the number of residents who are authors and artists and now boasting both fine dining and down-home eateries. The low-slung 19th-century brick buildings that line the town’s Main Street give the town its distinctive western charm.