‘Everybody needs beauty…places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.’ – John Muir.
7424 Bridger Canyon is such a place, a true legacy property, a once-in-a-lifetime holding! This secluded 46-acre property in a sunny bow of Bridger Canyon, protected by cottonwoods, aspens and pines, has a 1000′ of Bridger Creek running through it, abundant wildlife that nest in the land and yet, only 10 minutes to Downtown Bozeman!! The prominent main home, 5 bd/5ba, 7639 sf, is elegant and timeless. The ‘family & friends’ compound also has two separate guest quarters from the hip skier’s cabin to the turn-of-the century creekside home. Joe Urbani’s pond perfection crafted the two large and deep, spring-fed stocked ponds. A big, red vintage barn has been refurbished and the original Bridger Canyon dance hall brings a spiritual grace to the property’s heritage. ‘Walk between the pines’ as John Muir whispered and you will see a new world!
5 bedroom | 4.5 bathroom | 7,639 Sq. Ft.
Designed by architect Van Bryan, the modern farmhouse style home is approximately 7,600 square feet with two stories. It has decks on both sides of the home, as well as a large stone porch, a hot tub, and an outside shower. Swanson Construction completed the home in 2007-2008. Designed as a home to entertain friends and family, the home has an open floor plan on the first floor that centers around the gourmet kitchen and dining area. This dining area connects the outside patios with the classic great room where a large wood-burning fireplace is there to enjoy. The main floor also includes a custom wood paneled study that doubles as a library or a den with a fireplace. Additionally, the first floor holds a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, two pantries, a laundry/mud room, and a large screened-in porch with a two-sided wood-burning fireplace. The master bedroom suite completes the first floor and features his and her closets and vanities, a large soaking tub, and an oversized steam shower. Off the master suite is a charming sitting room with a private entrance and a deck.
The second floor has four large bedrooms, three baths, a large study/office and an exercise/game room with a cedar closet at its entrance. The second floor has large closets for storage throughout the bedrooms and hallway.
The home has a heated oversized two-car garage with floor drainage.
4 bedroom | 2 bathroom | 1,626 Sq. Ft.
The Creek House was the first building on the property, estimated to have been built in 1914. It has had one or two addition since and in July 2019 a new metal roof was installed. The building next to the Creek House was moved to the property in the 1940’s. It was originally a fish hatchery building and then used for storage and a garage until 2015 when it was converted to its current state and used as a studio/retreat by the current owners.
2 bedroom | 1 bathroom | 1,512 Sq. Ft.
Built in the 1960’s, this unique cabin sleeps eight people comfortably. It features two bedrooms that currently hold five beds, perfect for guests looking for a seemingly rustic, but modern getaway. The cozy den holds a rock fireplace and the charming kitchen features wood heat as well. But don’t let that fool you, it has gas forced heat throughout to keep you warm on extra chilly nights. The current owners renovated the cabin and the deck in 2005. A new roof was installed in 2011 and the lower level can be used as a dry, cool storage space. The large deck is perfect for enjoying a sunrise view of the Bridger Mountains. The cabin is a secluded gem on the property and awaits more visitors to experience its charm.
Originally built around 1924, the red barn was renovated in 2013, with an addition of a bar for entertaining and was walnut shell sandblasted for a cleaner interior. A new floor was placed in the center room and the walls of the horse stalls were removed from the north side. Windows were installed, as well as electricity throughout the entire building. The building has been used as a wedding venue for friends and family, as well as a party venue for charitable organizations in the Bozeman Community. If desired, the barn could easily be converted back to a horse barn.
A historically significant community building in Bridger Canyon, the dance hall was a community-gathering place during the 1930’s through the 1960’s. Previously, it was used as a shop, but sometime in the 1930’s the Oma family added a second floor and its use was solidified as a community space. Present day Oma descendants, Karen Smith and Victor Oma, have visited the property on numerous occasions and a few years ago organized, hosted, and filmed a reenactment of the old-time dance parties. Before modern snow plowing equipment, the canyon was isolated from Bozeman in the winter. Consequently, most Bridger Canyon families gathered every Saturday night at the “Bridger Canyon Dance Hall,” as it became to be known. In 2010 it was renovated with new exterior siding, as well as a bar in the dance hall itself. All of the wood in the dance hall is reclaimed from various buildings on the property.
15 +/- Acres
On the slope south of the main home sits the property’s forest. At approximately 15 acres, it consists mainly of Douglas fir and Aspen trees. In the middle of the forest is a path that traverses the entire length from east to west, making for a lovely walk through your very own wooded forest.
The current owner attended an MSU Forest extension class in 2009 to learn how to maintain and care for the wooded area. During this time, the owner learned that the trees are freestanding within the forest, and are not a part of a broader forest. Also, in an effort to fully understand the age and composition of the forest, the owner had some of the Douglas firs cored determining that the oldest trees exceed 300 years. This part of the forest is very healthy. Douglas firs are not susceptible to the pine beetle’s destruction, but the Limber Pine is. To determine and demonstrate the health of the forest, it holds three Limber Pines. Two successfully fought off the pine beetle, and the third Pine was never infected. In the center of the forest lies a beautiful moss bed and this area contains a unique ecosystem all unto itself. Aspen groves line the southwest area of the back lawn and create a beautiful grove for wildlife, providing shade from the bright summer sun. This is one of the largest and healthiest Aspen groves in Bridger Canyon.
25 +/- Acres
The property holds four fields that total approximately 25 acres. The two largest fields were cultivated to grow hay and alfalfa respectively. The east field naturally grows Timothy (a grass horses love!) and it could be cultivated to produce more of it. These cultivated fields have produced, on average, around 35 tons of hay and alfalfa yearly over the past decade without irrigation. This is enough agricultural product to allow the property to be taxed as an agricultural property, which is the most favorable property tax treatment allowed.
Two uncultivated fields are by the hillside. The lower field contains the septic system/drain field.
1,000’ of creek frontage; 1 +/- acres of ponds
The creek and ponds are outstanding fisheries! Both sides of the creek, approximately 1000’ of frontage, are included in the deeded property, guaranteeing that it has no public access. The creek contains brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Many good size fish have been caught over the years in this pristine creek! Improvements were made to the creek in 2005 by deepening the pools for fish to hold in, as well as improving beds for spawning. Some of the improvements have been compromised over the past decade by nature, but most are in good condition. The ponds total approximately one acre. The largest pond is on the east side of the property and is fed by a spring in the hillside. The ponds were deepened to approximately 17 feet in 2005 to provide an excellent year-round habitat to hold fish. The creek between the two ponds was improved in 2005 and continuously since to provide a good spawning habitat. A recirculating pump increases the water speed in the creek to optimize the spring and fall spawning seasons. Joe Urbani of Urbani Fisheries completed all improvements on the creek and ponds.
A conservation easement was placed on the property in 2015 with Montana Land Reliance. The easement restricts additional homes being built on the property and specifically that a riding arena cannot be constructed. In addition, the previously platted separate lots are now combined as one, so no subdivision can take place. The importance of the easement through Montana Land Reliance was for the property to continue to serve as a corridor and open space for all of Bridger Canyon’s wildlife: moose, bear, elk, deer, numerous birds of prey (eagles, hawks, osprey, owls, etc.) and includes an annual migration of two cranes. The property is a wildlife sanctuary in the broadest terms. However, it is not designated as so in the easement. It is important to also note that there is no public access to the property. The only requirement is an annual visit to the property by a land steward employed by the Montana Land Reliance to review uses and any changes, along with confirming that all is in compliance with the terms of the easement.