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When we say "cowboy," you likely conjure up images of tumbleweeds and tents, campfires and cattle rustlers. You probably don't envision a community of wealthy folks with luxury kitchens and an all-day pass to the ski resort the next mountain over.
But that's exactly what you'll find at a few custom cowboy retreats. Known as luxury ranches, they're the second home of wealthy buyers who want to enjoy the great outdoors without actually roughing it there.
Luxury ranches are "like summer camp for adults. That's how one of my clients refers to his ranch. It could be for fly-fishing, hunting, skiing, to play cowboy, you name it," explains Bill McDavid, a real estate partner at Hall and Hall, a brokerage that specializes in high-end land and ranches.
"Being wealthy is a prerequisite, and most use these ranches as a second place to be in the world," McDavid says. He noted many owners spend most of their time in cities like New York City and San Francisco, and buy luxury ranches as a retreat.
"The low population density where these ranches are located is a large part of why they are so attractive. Still, there are a smattering of others who completely relocate for a variety of reasons usually centered around lifestyle," he says.
These ranches are usually located in a private community, where activities like fishing, horseback riding, and skiing are offered. Residents here are well taken care of -- McDavid notes some communities come with heated sidewalks so residents don't have to shovel the snow outside their house.
And if you want to saddle up to the silver-spoon cowboy lifestyle, it's a great time. McDavid says even though the luxury ranch market "has been very good," he "would still characterize it as largely a buyers' market."
So get your gold-plated spurs ready, and check out these five luxe ranches below.
Price: $3.25 million
The diamond stirrups: Located in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, the Stock Farm Club is a sprawling 2,600 acres of golfing, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and cycling. Within those 2,600 acres is this 1.29-acre lot of land with a 6,600-square-foot log cabin. Naturally, this isn't just any simple log cabin -- this is a luxe log cabin, with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, three fireplaces (including a massive one in the main living area), an office with built-in bookshelves, and a large chef's kitchen.
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Price: $3.9 million
The diamond stirrups: This seasonally snowy retreat is located in the mountainous expanse of Marabou Ranch, a 1,700-acre spot that includes a cattle ranch and a 200-acre hay meadow. This 5,575-square-foot home built in 2009 features a moss rock fireplace in the living room with huge windows showcasing a backdrop of Elk Mountain. The home has four bedrooms, including two master suites.
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Price: $13.5 million
The diamond stirrups: Mill Ranch is a three-bedroom cabin that's part of Moonlight Basin, a resort with skiing, hunting, golfing, fishing, and even a summer camp for kids. Since this cabin is rather pricey -- it sits on 1,916 acres, an enormous expanse -- you can also vacation at the resort if you're just looking to kick up your cowboy boots for a short stay.
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Price: $13 million
The diamond stirrups: This seven-bedroom, seven bathroom Craftsman measures 15,000 feet and comes with a "jumping stream" water feature that encircles the house and spills into the backyard pool with lighted fountain. It's located inside Yellowstone Club, a 13,000-acre private ski resort near the Rocky Mountains.
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Price: $32.5 million
The diamond stirrups: If you're an extremely wealthy investor (or just appreciate nice things), you may want to mosey toward this ultra-luxe property. Clocking in at 20,500 square feet and sitting on over 14,000 acres, Kessler Canyon is a cowboy hotel. Included in the property is a lodge "built by one of the country's most creative luxury hotel developers," two cabins, a guesthouse, shooting pavilion, a VIP guesthouse suite, and a bunch of places to ride, fish, and enjoy nature.