land in montana and wyoming : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

i was wonderingabout the land deals in montana (nearcraig treasure state ranches)and the land near rawlins wy. is it liveable is therework?how do the communties feel about homesteaders?(i am a roofer by trade)looking to move in the spring when all bills arepaid.any help would be greatly appreaciated

-- michael t.j.hackwith (, September 14, 2000


I don't know about Montana but Rawlins has a mighty severe climate. There ain't no water and there ain't no trees and the wind blows all the time. On the other hand there are lots of deer, antelope, and rabbits that mostly live on private land.

-- Don (, September 14, 2000.

Rawlins is up near the Great Divide, which in that area splits and comes back together with the Great Divide Basin in the middle. I doubt that it would be a good place to live. I've only driven through there, but it didn't look very inviting. There is quite a bit of land in that area listed on e-Bay, and when I e-mailed the sellers to ask about using it for homesteading, they were quite insistent that it was for camping, not for living on. So I suspect that Don is entirely right, and there isn't any water there at all, or no good water. And you would have a long drive to get it, if you tried hauling water from somewhere else. If there was water there, that land would've been homesteaded years ago, instead of just being cattle land. I expect the wind could be lived with, and building materials can be hauled, but it's pretty necessary to have water either on the property or close by. Don't know anything about the Montana properties -- hopefully someone will respond about that area. Wise of you to ask, though, before you jump into anything.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, September 14, 2000.

Here is a website for a real estate company that specializes in rual property in Montana and Wyoming:

Good luck! Brett

-- Brett (, September 15, 2000.

Nearly 2 years ago the gas plant my husband worked at was closing down, the co. offered him a job in Gillette and Rawlins Wy. after looking into it and talking to a few people he declined, one man told him that area was like West Tx just a whole lot colder and when you went to work in the winter you may not get to come home for a while. One man did take a job up there he was back in 3 months, sd he couldn't find a place decent and reasonable enough place to live, of course he wasn't trying to homestead. One man did go to Green River, Wy and he didn't come back, of course they have water there with the reservoir and all.

-- Carol (, September 15, 2000.

Hey from NM. I was checking out the Wyo/Montana area because I thought it'd be so harsh up there that I'd never see another WalMart! I raise Angora goats, so I didn't think the cold climate would bother them as long as they had shelter. One indication to me of the weather was as I was driving along I-80, there are miles of these HUGE fences all along the interstate and railroad tracks. Being a Texican by birth, I asked my friend about them and she looked at me in wide-eyed wonder and said, "they're snowdrift fences (stupid!)". Whereupon I said, "Ohhhhhh...."

Well, not to be discouraged, I checked out that website and they sent all kinds of beautiful color pics and specs, and the prices are very reasonable. BUT THEY NEVER MENTIONED WATER AVAILABILITY!!! And when I asked about it, they never got back to me on it. I don't know the particulars, but if you do have water on your place in Wyoming, check into the local laws for water rights, too. I'm still on their mailing list and get stuff often; wish I could talk my other half into going, but looks like we'll stay in the southwest. I liked the Pinedale area, myself; check it out. Good luck. debra in nm.

-- debra (, September 15, 2000.

Its true. Water is scarce here but that depends where you live in the state. My nephew used to drill for water wells and a man had bought a piece of land, built a big, big house (he tanked his water in) and hired my nephew to drill the well. At 2500 feet they had not touched water yet. The house was situated atop a fairly high hill. I don't know the outcome of it but my neighbor has a well (we live within city limits) and he only went down 60 feet. I've heard of others that only had to go down 15 feet. There was an extreme lack of snowfall last season and the runoff left reservoirs not completely full. Today there is snow on Casper mountain and its only the 21st of September. Casper mountain is just a butte southeast of the city and isn't very high. An acquaintance came home through South Pass from Rawlins and there was snow in the pass already. Now we live in Riverton which is northwest central and situated in the Wind River Valley. Agriculture in the county is BIG and getting bigger. Sugar beets, alfalfa, corn, wheat, are big. I've seen people make little garden microcosms and are able to grow just about anything. Heck our neighbor has apricots, plums and peaches. Can you believe grapes and melons? I'm not trying to sell Wyoming but there are people in worse climates than us who are "taming" the land and making do. There are hundreds of wild plum trees in the area that are free for the picking. Beds and beds of wild (used to be cultivated) asparagus. The local tribes (Northern Shoshone and Eastern Arapaho) have always said that their ancestors settled in this valley because it was balmy, at least relatively speaking. Some years ago I saw it reach minus 30 farenheit and it stayed hovering around minus 20 to minus 10 for about 10 days. But thats it. Most of the time it stays around 0 to 30s in the winter. The winter has changed so much that the local winter carnival has been "warmed out" the last couple of years. Maybe we're getting back to normal? I would recommend Wyoming to anyone. There are scores of "homesteaders" around here only they probably don't call themselves that. To them its just a way of life. We've canned antelope, fish, venison, elk, moose, even rabbit.

-- Harry Meekins (, September 21, 2000.

To all my country neighbors, Thank You for your words and such (especially Harry).See you in the spring. Do they have Home Depot in Rawlins? Take care with blesings. Michael

-- Michael T.J. Hackwith (, October 14, 2000.

I looked into Treasure State Ranches. There's some pluses and minuses. One thing is, the best land is taken. Most of what is left is extremely hilly. The entrance to the property is several miles off of the highway. Then you could be 5-10 miles worth of windy roads. Some roads were really bad, others not so bad at all, but you'd want 4 wheel drive in the winter, just in case. The neighbors seem friendly, helped us find the lot we were looking for. There's a lot of land no one has built on yet, a lot of out of state owners.

The people seem to keep to themselves. The covenants aren't too bad, and they aren't really enforced. Such as no pigs or goats...saw plenty of them. There is plenty of wildlife there, the area is mostly mountains and pine trees and rocks. Unfortunately, unless you luck out with a low-lying piece of property, you'd have to haul water. There's virtually no chance of electricity, etc. unless you get a piece on the edge of the ranch.

We put $500 down, and changed our minds. So beware, be ready to kiss your money goodbye if you don't like the property. Yes, they'll let you switch within the allotted time, but there isn't a lot to choose from usually.

Personally, if you can, the best way to get a good deal is move to Montana, rent for a while and save up money, then keep an eye out for contract deals. These type of deals, like TSR, are usually asking more than the land is worth. The land we looked at was around $30,000, and shouldn't have been more than $20,000 at the most. But if you're broke and not picky, it's not a bad deal.

-- Jane Doe (, February 22, 2002.

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