Welcome to Stagecoach Montana. This property is remote without being inaccessible. Access to the property is from the US Hwy 93 about 2 hours from Missoula, MT. Travel from the airport in Missoula, MT south on Hwy 93 and then south of Darby approximately 5 miles to the West Fork Road. Turn right onto The West Fork Road, which is a two lane Secondary Highway. One of the most scenic roadways in the area, the road follows the West Fork of the Bitterroot River with great views and amazing fly fishing opportunities. Continue past Painted Rocks Lake about 10 miles to the ranch entry. Look for the second Alta Meadow Ranch sign on the right. There is a gate at the bridge. The roads to the ranch are maintenance year around by the Montana State Highway and Ravalli County Road Department. Take the drive but be aware that cell service terminates up the canyon and appointments are needed for showings in advance.
As part of a once larger land holding, Stagecoach is a special real estate offering with three cabins on beautiful land with river frontage along the banks of the upper West Fork of the Bitterroot River. The land is level with views of the surrounding mountains plus access to U.S. Forest Service. Bring you fly rod and hiking boots and settle into mountain living!
Parcel D has a marketing address of 9975 D West Fork Road. It is also known as 47 Alta Meadow Trail, Darby MT 59829. Parcel D includes deeded land of 28.87 acres and the use of other Common Area land and trails. The parcel offers approximately 1,300 feet of West Fork river frontage plus Chicken Creek frontage. It is easy to wade fish the entire stretch of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River without ever leaving the ranch. The flow of the river offers long runs and deep pools with many bends and good trout habitat in structures created by large boulders, grassy undercuts, and tree roots.
The parcel is level with a green meadow. Trees were planted in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, adding to appeal and have matured well. Surrounding mountains feature Ponderosa pine covered hills with trails for easy access for horseback and ATV travel. Recreation in the Bitterroot Mountains and Selway Bitterroot Wilderness is endless.
The parcel shares a bridge over the West Fork of the Bitterroot River with other land owners. Access to Parcel B, D and E require the use of the bridge. The bridge has had moving trucks cross and has steel rails under the decking. Maintenance of the bridge is addressed in the homeowners association documents. The roads that serve Parcel B, C & E are easements through Parcel D. Refer to the Certificate of Survey in the associated documents for more information regarding roadways and boundaries.
The Alta Meadow property consists of 5 ownership parcels. Parcels A, B, C, D, E and Parcel 6. Parcel E, which adjoins Parcel D cannot be used as a residence. This parcel is currently under the ownership of Blinc Enterprises LLC. aka Britt Litchford, the original owner and developer who also owns Parcel B. Ranch equipment is stored in the equipment shed, there is a barn, and corrals, and a portion of this land is used for open burning of slash as needed for maintenance of the common areas. Parcel A has a conservation easement with Five Valleys Land Trust which has restrictions against new dwellings but does allow the construction of a new shop with services. Parcel 4, which is “attached” to Parcel A is not considered as a separate ownership and cannot be further developed. The subject Parcel D is allowed to build a garage, but no further dwellings. Modifications of existing dwellings is covered under the Restated Covenants. See separate document. Therefore, there are a total of 5 voting ownerships in this subdivision of the original ranch. The intent is that the ranch as a whole be protected from further development, noise, traffic, and wildlife interference. Residents will enjoy the pristine and historic nature of the property for years to come.
Collection of homeowners dues insures the safety of the bridges, the retention of the historic water rights, the weed management in the meadows, snow plowing for good all season access, garbage collection, and more. It would be very difficult and costly for each parcel owner to maintain what is collectively shared as an association.
Maps and more information are available on the Brochure on the Home Page
The maps provided in the Downloadable Brochure on the Home Page clearly define Parcel D and the balance of the ranch. The land is described by Certificate of Survey which includes all the parcels which used to be a large ranch used as a dude ranch through the years.
The original ranch was approximately 230 acres. The owner’s vision was to share the ranch without interfering with the open space, wildlife, and appeal. The parcels included in the ranch are: Parcel A plus Parcel 4, Parcel B, Parcel C, Parcel D, Parcel E (HOA and Blinc Enterprises LLC), and Parcel 6. There are 5 ownership votes for any changes to the restrictions or management of the ranch.
Ask the agent for a copy of the documents.
Utilities on The Ranch
There is a recently updated septic system on Parcel D which serves all three cabins. See Permit No: 1055520-1 Ravalli County Records. Servicing the tank filters twice per year is recommended.
Two wells are located on Parcel D. The older well is located inside the Homestead Cabin and provides domestic water for all three cabins. An ultraviolet sanitary system is located in the nearby pumphouse.
A second well located near the pumphouse is used for the irrigation of the lawn area and landscaping.
There is a 1,000 gallon above ground propane tank (leased) located on the property for heating purposes.
Land telephone is provided by Blackfoot Communication to all cabins. There is currently no cell service at the property. Starlink.com is a good resource for satellite service which will provide remote internet for TV, Internet, and possible cell service going forward. Buyers are asked to make their own determination as to their needs with regards to technology.
There is a generator shed east of the structures. However, there is no generator inside. One would require a propane generator with a transfer switch as well as a dedicated propane tank. The hardest part, underground wiring to all three cabins is already in place. Power outages are not common, but the option is there to be more self sufficient if they occur. The cabins are all on the same electric meter.
The ranch has historic irrigation water rights filed with the association. The water flows through ditches through Parcel D and other parcels in the association. The ponds located on Parcel C benefit from the irrigation water flow.
Beside the Homestead Cabin is a well which is used for irrigation of the lawn and trees solely on Parcel D. The cost of haying and the maintenance of the hay fields are addressed in the homeowners documents. Ask the agent for a land stewardship report regarding the agricultural practices on the ranch.
The hay meadow which is part of this land will support the grazing for horses. Please refer to the Covenants for the number and type of livestock which can be kept. However, keeping and fencing livestock is restricted under the Restated Covenants recently approved by the homeowner’s association. See separate document. The use of the barn and corrals on Parcel E could enable horse ownership and hay storage away from wildlife. Licensed outfitters in the area could be hired to offer horseback rides in the area.
Electric fencing is covered under the restrictive covenants to insure that it does not interfere with wildlife. If Parcel and D and Parcel E are purchased together, it would greatly enhance the livestock use on the properties.
Note: Tract E could be purchased for an additional amount. See Home Page. Tract E borders Tract D on the south and is used by the HOA. Tract E is a 42.91 acre parcel south of Chicken Creek at its confluence with the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. The land on the east side of the river is mountainous and forested, and on the west side of the river the few acres are taken up by a horse barn and large implement shed, as well as two fenced pastures. A portion of the 3,000 SF implement shed is considered as common area and used for storage of HOA equipment. While Tract E is for sale, the new owner will be obligated to provide space for storage of HOA equipment and hay and access to the fuel tanks for deliver and distribution of gasoline for tractors and ATV's.
OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION
Parcel D is a part of the ALTA MEADOW RANCH. AMR is governed by a home owners association. The ranch functions best when key elements of infrastructure are in working order, and since all property owners benefit from the proper functioning of this infrastructure, the responsibility is a shared one.
A reserve fund will be established for emergency expenditures, a possibility not entirely unexpected in a land heavily influenced by natural forces. Special assessments may at times be necessary.
New HOA documents and Restated Covenants have been approved in 2021. Each of the 5 land owners receive 1 vote each. Any changes must be approved by a majority vote of the 5 owners.
Upon joining the HOA new members will contribute a deposit to establish an operating account and reserve fund. Dues are collected from each owner as repairs and maintenance require. Buyers should anticipate paying approximately $200 monthly for their share of the dues.
Monies in the HOA account will be used for repairs and maintenance of those areas of the ranch designated for common use or having common interest and are listed below.
- Roads (repairs and snow removal)
- River and creek banks
- Common area trails
- Ponds in common areas
- Trees in common areas
- Mail facility
- Refuse collection structure
- Weed abatement on common and private areas
- Fire retardant measures (removal of down timber & dead limbs) in common areas
- Payment of refuse collection fees and accounting fees
- Ownership and management of water rights and maintenance of irrigation system
Since snow removal will depend on the amount of snowfall, the time necessary to remove it will be the basis on which charges are calculated. Alta Meadow Ranch Inc. will provide the snow removal equipment and personnel, and will bill the HOA for this service. The cost per hour will reflect standard charges for the equipment and operator. The HOA will be billed separately for snow removal from common areas. Charges to individual owners will reflect the time required to remove snow from their roads and driveways.
Alta Meadow Ranch, Inc. also has equipment to perform minor road repairs. For more substantial repairs and maintenance of roads, as well as repairs of stream banks and irrigation system, the HOA will employ a construction company with heavier equipment.
See color map for illustration of Common Areas in this section.
More on Common Areas
Taxes and Personal Property
It should be noted that the term "common area" does not reflect ownership of these areas by the Alta Meadow Ranch Home Owners Association, but rather easements granted by each owner for common usage. Areas for common use have been established to reflect the interdependent nature of the different tracts on the ranch. Each tract contributes to the pool of common areas based on its location and topography, benefiting all owners with very little, if any, infringement on privacy. It is with this type of arrangement that each tract's value is enhanced, as is the convenience and enjoyment afforded individual owners. The roads designated for common use are for pedestrian and equestrian traffic only, with the exception of the short distance to the refuse collection structure and mail facility on Tract A, which may be approached in vehicles. Vehicle easements are in place for Tracts B & C to use Alta Meadow Trail to reach West Fork Road via the main entry way bridge on Tract D.
On Tract A the northernmost portion of Alta Meadow Trail (as it exits from West Fork Road) has been designated by the Postal Service and Bitterroot Sanitation as sites for delivery of mail and collection of refuse respectively. To minimize the impact on that entryway, the structures have been constructed in a manner compatible with ranch architecture and unobtrusively located. A sturdy collection structure well away from the residences is also a safety feature because of the occasional bear in search of an easy meal. The bridge between Tracts A and C as well as that portion of Alta Meadow Trail on Tract A would be used for vehicular traffic on a temporary basis only if the main entryway bridge on Tract D were unusable.
Tract B contributes a hiking trail system through the meadow to a natural pond, at times the home of beavers. Along the way is a spur to a river access point. The trail progresses into a beautiful forest glade. From there it winds though the property forming a loop back to Alta Meadow Trail (the road). This trail is for pedestrian traffic only.
Tract C has four ponds, two of which are well away from the Ranch House and partially hidden by willows. The latter two ponds are considered common areas and will be stocked by the association. That portion of Alta Meadow Trail running through Tract C is also a common area for pedestrian and equestrian traffic. The access spur to the trail system on Tract B is limited to pedestrian use.
All of Alta Meadow Trail on Tract D is common area, providing pedestrian and equestrian access for Tracts A, E and 6 to forest service land and a hiking loop for Tracts B & C. Also the eastern portion of Tract D between West Fork Road and the West Fork of the Bitterroot River is designated for common use, providing access to a flood plain on the eastern side of the river. It is an excellent fishing spot.
Tract E contributes an area of flood plain between West Fork Road and the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. This land is immediately southwest of a similar area on Tract D. A faint trail traverses this area along the river, leading to more great fishing access. In addition, Tract E contributes a portion of the large (3,000 SF) implement shed for storage of implements used to maintain and repair infrastructure designated for common use. Tract 6 is relatively small with no obvious common areas, but with its excellent view of the meadow, the Chalet is uniquely situated to serve as the "neighborhood watch" for the other tracts. It should also be noted that owners of Tract 6 will be contributing funds to the maintenance and repair of all areas designated for common use.
For a map of the overview of the ranch, please download the Brochure from the Home Page.
The taxes on the property total $2,472.82 for 2020.The parcel number associated with the property is: 1055520.
The property is not currently located in a designated flood plain. Insurance rates may vary depending up use, bundling with automobiles, past claims, etc. Buyer must verify their own insurance.
Personal Property Bill of Sale
The property is being sold fully furnished. All the appliances, furniture, and interior décor and linens are included. A list of the personal property will be provided for the buyers review and approval. The propane tank is currently leased from Energy Partners. For purposes of financing where personal property is not considered as a part of real property, the value on the Bill of Sale is ten dollars.
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MONTANA RANCH PROPERTIES
AGRICULTURE | CONSERVATION | LAND | SPORTING
Berkshire Hathaway Montana Properties
120 S. Fifth St. Ste 201
Hamilton, MT 59840