Our Ranch

Our ranch is located along the banks of the Madison River several miles outside the community of Ennis, Montana.  The Madison Valley lies on the western edge of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and Ennis is located about 70 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park.  With long held traditions as a ranching community, in recent years Ennis has also become a widely recognized gateway for outdoor recreation.  The Madison River, one of Montana’s most storied blue-ribbon trout fisheries, is a premier destination for fly-fishing.

The ranch is significantly associated with early non-native settlement of southwestern Montana.  Parts of it are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It now encompasses over 6,000 acres of productive landscape reaching gently toward the northern foothills of the Gravelly Range.  The ranch is rich in the soil, water, grass and riparian resources that support both livestock and wildlife.  It rises from a broad, well-watered river bottom and extends to vast expanses of upland native range….the same native range grazed by the ranch's original Shorthorn cattle back in the open-range era.  Our mother cows and calves also graze on verdant summer pasture high in the Gravelly Mountains.

Mother Nature has blessed the ranch with abundance, and under the Alton family’s ownership since 1993 stewardship has been the watchword.  Most of the ranch has been placed under conservation easement.  Our pastures are optimized for rotational grazing that sustains rangeland health and ensures the balance of warm and cool season native grass species.  Water is precious in our valley and we distribute it to these pastures carefully through time tested means that apply it most efficiently.

The riparian corridors running along nearly four miles of spring creek and river frontage provide the diverse habitat that allows so many creatures of fur, fin and feather to call the ranch home.  Today our cattle share the ranch with pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk in the uplands and whitetail deer in the creek bottoms.  Black bear and moose are occasional visitors.  The ranch also hosts the greatest number and variety of bird species found in the Upper Missouri River drainage -- from resident raptors and songbirds to migrating waterfowl, sandhill cranes and shorebirds such as herons, western sandpiper and curlew.

Interested in more about our ranch's colorful history?  Click here

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Alton Ranch Grassfed Beef   |   513 Varney Road   |   Ennis, Montana  59729

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